In a recent book, Margaret Sim lays out an approach to exegesis of the Greek NT that draws upon the insights of linguistics, especially what is known as “relevance theory”: A Relevant Way to Read: A New Approach to Exegesis and Communication (Cambridge: James Clarke, 2016).
Sim is herself an expert in linguistics and completed her PhD here with a fine work that likewise applied “relevance theory.” The published form = Marking Thought and Talk in New Testament Greek: New Light from Linguistics on the Particles ἱνα and ὁτι (James Clark, 2011). In her more recent book, Sim widens the scope to address verbal irony (and how to detect it), several “small words” such as those addressed in her earlier book, conditional sentences, and several other matters, one of them being “verbal aspect.”
The first couple of chapters lay out in simple terms what “relevance theory” is in linguistics, and how it offers insight into human communication in general and into reading and interpreting texts in particular. These chapters lay a helpful foundation for all the following discussion. But the key strength of her work is the provision of copious clear and helpful examples of sentences from the Greek NT and other Koine literature. Personally, I find it necessary to have such “for instance” examples in grasping any theoretical proposal, and Sim understands that need well.
Essentially, “relevance theory” proceeds on the view that humans seek to make themselves understood, and that we also seek to understand others (which goes against some forms of much-touted “deconstructionist” theory). So, on this view, Sim shows how speakers and authors kit out their speech and writing to achieve success in communication, and also shows how hearers and readers can improve their abilities in understanding things.
Having myself benefited from an introduction to linguistics back in the 1980s, through studying initially John Lyons, Language and Linguistics: An Introduction (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981), which I still think is a good place to begin for those without linguistics training, I’ve lamented for many years how rare it is to find NT exegetes with any understanding of elementary principles of semantics. For those without any introduction to linguistics, Sim’s book will open up whole new vistas on how to engage the Greek NT.