On Tuesday morning the pastors of Lutheran Saints in Ministry gather in Fairborn Ohio to discuss the texts for Sunday.

These are the contributions that are brought to the table.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Greek Text, John 9 - Pr. Fourman

John 9:1-41

v1 παραγων (παραγω) pres. part. "as he went along" - The participle is adverbial, temporal.
ek + gen. "from [birth]" - Expressing source / origin. A more Semitic way of putting it would be "from the mother's womb", cf. Matt.19:12. Blindness from birth underlines the seriousness of the condition and also stifles the argument that the man's condition is a consequence of sin.
v2 τις ημαρτεν (αμαρτενω) aor. "who sinned ....?" - Exodus 20:5 certainly encouraged the notion that the stain of a parent's sin may infect a child, but the book of Job makes it clear that there is no direct correlation between a particular sin and sicknes

v3 ινα + subj. "so that [the work of God might be displayed]" NIV has the hina clause expressing purpose, but such a reading implies that God made the man blind so that Jesus could heal him. It is more likely that the clause expresses result. The man's blindness provides an opportunity for Jesus to be the light of the world. The man's blindness has nothing to do with his, or his parent's sin; "but because of his blindness, you will see God perform a miracle for him".
v4 ημας pro. "we" - The use of the plural here by Jesus may be original, although some manuscripts have "I". If the plural is original, Jesus is including his disciples.
εργαζεσθαι (εργαζομαι) pres. inf. "[must] do the work" - often used to express divine necessity.
ερχεται (ερχομαι) pres. "[night] is coming" – A predictive present, "it will soon be night."

v5 φως ειμι του κοσμου "I am the light for the world".

v6 ειπων (ειπον) aor. part. "when he had thus spoken".
επτυσεν (πτυω) aor. "he spat”. It was commonly held that saliva had curative powers, but its use was later banned in Jewish circles due to its use in the magical arts so saliva, as with dirt, may also have implied ritual impurity and that Jesus here is defying Jewish sensibilities and healing independently of the prevailing notions of ritual cleanliness. Also the day Jesus does this on is Sabbath; further indication he intended to attack Jewish religious sensibilities.

v7 νιψαι (νιπτω) aor. imp. "wash" – the aorist probably indicates the command expects an immediate response. Note the parallel with 2 Kings 5:10-13.
την κολυμβηθραν του Σιλωαμ "the pool of Siloam" - The pond for the diverted waters from the spring of Gihon that flows through Hezekiah's tunnel; most likely the "lower pool".
απεσταλμενος (αποστελλω) perf. pas. part. "having been sent”. John typically explains Semitic words, here a word based on the root slh, "to send" = the waters sent from Gihon.

v8 οι θεωρουντες (θεωρεω) pres. part. "those who had [formerly] seen him". The present tense probably indicates continuous action, ie. they regularly saw him begging.
ο καθημενος (καθημαι) pres. part. "who used to sit [and beg]".

v9 ελεγον (λεγω) imperf. "claimed" - said. The use of the imperfect indicates that numerous comments were made of the man.
εγω ειμι "I am [the man]" -. An interesting use of a phrase that Jesus enjoyed using as well. Here it mean, "I am the man who used to beg ".

v10 ηνεω/χθησαν (ανοιγω) aor. pas. "opened" - were opened. The sense is "how is it that you now see?"
ελεγον imperf. "they demanded" - imperfect indicating a continuous request.

v11 ο λεγομενος (λεγω) pres. pas. part. "the one being called…”."
επεχρισεν (επιχριω) aor. " rub on, anoint” lit. "smeared it on my eyes".

v12 εκεινος "this one” - a rather rude form of address.
v13 αγουσιν (αγο) act. "they brought" a passive sense, reinforcing the idea that those who knew the man insisted that he come with them to see the religious authorities.

v14 likely an editorial comment serving to explain the increased hostility of the religious authorities. 

v16 παρα + gen. "[this man is no man of God." because he does not obey the Sabbath law, cf. Deut.13:1-5. In strict accordance with the law, Jesus should have properly waited till the first day of the week to perform the healing, since the man's condition was not life threatening.
ου τηρει (threw) pres. "he does not keep [the Sabbath]"
ποιειν (ποιεω) pres. inf. "[how can a sinner] do" - The infinitive is complementary.

v17 προφητης "prophet" - thinks Jesus is an Elisha type, or like Moses, the one who precedes more likely he sees Jesus in a general sense, as a special person obviously a man of God.
v18 ουκ επιστευσαν (πιστευω) aor. "did not believe".
εφωνησαν (φωνεω) aor. "they sent/called”. the investigation of the parents is obviously undertaken without their blind son being present.

v19 For stylistic reasons the NIV divides this Greek sentence into two sentences separated by "they asked". "Is this your son who you say was born blind?" RSV.

v21 ηνοιξεν αυτου τους οφθαλμους "opened his eyes" ημεις "we the pronoun is emphatic; “ask him, ηλικιαν (a) "he is a grown-up ".

v22 συνετεθειτο (συντιθημι) pluperf. "[the Jews] agreed together. The pluperfect indicates that the decision to act against anyone who acknowledged Jesus was made well before these events.
αποσυναγωγος adj. "put out of the synagogue" - excommunicate. John is probably referring to a total excommunication of believers from Israel - a banishment. There were other more formal disciplinary banishments which could last a week or a month and which did not bar a person from religious services. 

v24 εκ δευτερου "a second time" - An uncommon temporal use of εκ to form this idiomatic phrase.
δος δοξαν τω θεω "give glory to God" - The sense is probably "swear by God to tell the truth".

v25 αμαρτωλος (ος) "he is a sinner" - Jesus did heal on the sabbath so his legal standing under the law is something the blind man is unable to debate.
ων (ειμι) pres. part. "I was" - The participle is probably concessive, "although ......, yet", ie. he concedes the point that he was blind and that a possible sinner set about to heal him, yet the result is that he now sees. What does that say about this man Jesus?
v27 ουκ ηκουσατε (ακουω) aor. "you did not/would not listen"
ακουειν (ακουω) pres. inf. "[why do you want] to hear" - μη "no” a rhetorical question in the Greek expecting a negative answer, "You don't want to become his disciples, do you?"
v28 ελοιδορησαν (λοιδορεω) aor. " they hurled insults" 
v29 ουκ οιδαμεν ποθεν εστιν "we don't even know where he comes from" Most commentators suggest that the "where" is his home town, eg. yet 7:27 indicates that the Jewish authorities do know that Jesus comes from Nazareth and given that no one will know where the messiah comes from, it is obvious (to them!) that Jesus is not the messiah. It is quite possible that we have here a general statement as to Jesus' lack of divine association and therefore, authority.
v31 αμαρτωλων ο θεος ουκ ακουεω "God does not listen to sinners" in the sense of those in rebellion against God, that is God does not answer the prayers of those who are against him.
τις θεοσεβης adj. "the godly man" - a devout person is one who does what God wants them to do.
v32 εκ του αιωνος "[nobody] has ever [heard]" – a temporal use of the preposition εκ −  there is no record in any canonical writings of a person regaining their sight who was 
γεγεννημενου (γενναω) perf. pas. part. "[of a man] born [blind]"
v34 και συ διδασκεις ημας "how dare you lecture us!" – there isalot of outrage I this story. 
v35 ευρωμ (ευρισκω) aor. part "when he found [him]" 

v36 και τις εστιν, κυριε "who is he, lord?
ινα + subj. "so that I may" πιστευσω (πιστευω) aor. subj. " that I may come to put my faith in him."
v37 εωρακας (οραω) perf. "you have already seen him".
ο λαλων pres. part. "[he is] the one speaking [with you]".
v38 προσεκυνησεν (προσκυνεω) aor. "he worshiped"

v39 κριμα (α ατος) "judgment/decision” - Jesus does not come into the world to judge the world, 3:17, yet, as a result of his coming, judgment takes place. In the face of God's revelation, people separate into two groups; what Bultmann called "the paradox of the revelation, that in order to bring grace it must also give offence.”
οι μη βλεποντες (βλεπω) pres. part. "the blind [will see]".
οι βλεποντες "those who see [will become blind]" -.
v40 μη "[what, are we blind too?]" - no. The Greek implies an expected negative answer to the question, "we are not blind, are we?" The expected answer would be "of course not." The truth, of course, is that they are blind.

v41 ουκ αν ειχετε αμαρτιαν (a) "you would not be guilty of sin" - you would not have sin. Most commentators take "sin" in the Old Testament sense of "guilt", "you would not be guilty" but the play on words makes the point that those who are aware of their guilt, who recognize it, can seek forgiveness and find it in the Son of Man, while those who deny their guilt, deny their condition of loss, their blindness, remain in a state of sin, blind, and under condemnation.

No comments: