Abstract

Some biblical scholars claim that the use of the second-person plural mandates that the action or activity described refers not to individuals but only to groups. By way of critique, this understanding of the force of the second-person plural is reductionistic, is based on a fallacious argument, makes abrupt shifts in number incomprehensible, and is not supported by examples inside and outside the NT. By way of an alternative reading, this article asserts that the second-person plural, the second-person singular, and the third-person singular contain different levels of rhetorical directness. All three can be used to call for individual application.

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