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.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Text in Greek: John 11 - Pr. Fourman

John 11:1-44

v1 Λαζαρος "Lazarus" - Greek form of the Hebrew "Eleazar" - "God helps."
ασθενων (ασθενεω) pres. part. "was sick”.

v2 η δε Μαριαμ "this Mary" – an idiom; and it was this Mary- η αλειψασα (αλειπω) aor. part. " the same one who anointed. - probably proleptic, ie., John is referring to a past event which is still future as far as the story is concerned (12:1-8) a clear redactive edit.

v3 απεστειλαν ....... λεγουσαι "sent word" – a Semiticism.
ιδε (οραω) aor. imp. behold, look. to reinforce the urgency of the message; the first of MANY uses of this word in this story (and throughout John)
ο}ν φιλεις "the one you love" – another idiom; "your dear friend”

v4 ακουσας (ακουω) aor. part. "When he heard this" - best treated as temporal; "When Jesus received the message", another word used often in this story/John.  The Greek that is used in the remainder of this passage is another idiom, meaning, roughly “this is not as big a deal as you might think” or in American English; “this illness is no problem

v8 υπαγεις (υπαγω) pres. "you are going back" - expressing intention, "you intend/plan to go back".

v9 της ημερας (α) gen. "[twelve hours] of daylight" another idiom; ‘we have plenty of time’.  This stand in apposition to the “you must work while it is day ebfoer that night comes….” From earlier in John, more in the vein of Matthew 6 “Do not worry….”

v11 ο φιλος ημων "our dear friend" κεκοιμηται (κοιμαω) perf. pas. "has fallen asleep" – which is, of course, what one does at night (see previous verse) This is a euphemism for death taken up by Paul. The idea is that we are not aware of the passage of time, just as when we sleep, we are in the keeping of God, beyond time as He is
εξυπνισω (εξυπνιζω) aor. subj. "wake [him] up" so if sleep m eans death, to eb awakened means life.  But what kind of life?  Are we watching the pilot for the Walking Dead?

v12 σωθησεται (σωζω) fut. pas. "he will get better" literally “he will be saved/healed”. The disciples have taken Jesus' "asleep" literally, understanding Lazarus is in recovery mode i.e. sleeping off his illness.

v13 της κοιμησεως του υπνου "natural sleep" - a tricky phrase.

v15 πιστευσητε (πιστευω) aor. subj. "you may believe/be in faith" - The aorist possibly identifies the commencement of faith, this sentence is a little messy. It literally reads "and I rejoice because of you, in order that you might believe that because I was not there ......" Like I said, a little messy, it tries, I think, to convey the idea that Jesus is happy that he refrained from tending to Lazarus' need since the miracle he will now perform will serve to encourage faith in his disciples.  Or not?!
v16 ο λεγομενος (λεγω) pres. pas/mid. part. "(called [Didymus]) literally "whose nickname was Twin".  Why the nickname?  Perhaps it was the way he was known in the time of the telling of this story.
τοις συμμαθηταις (ης ου) dat. "to the rest of the disciples" - Thomas is speaking for all the disciples.  Later, in chapter 20, in his doubt he speaks for us!

v17 ελθων (ερχομαι) aor. part. "on his arrival" for John, the word “come” serves the equivalent of “immediately” in Mark. 
εχοντα (εχω) pres. part. "had already been [in the tomb]" Lazarus has been buried for four days. The mention of four days serves to underline the fact that Lazarus is dead, given the commonly held belief that the soul remained with the body three days.

v18 εγγυς + gen. "near/at hand from [Jerusalem]" - [Bethany was] near [Jerusalem].
σταδιων δεκαπεντε "two miles" - fifteen stadia/3 kilometers – this serves to explain why so many Jews are present with Martha and Mary.

v19 εληλυθεισαν (ερχομαι) pluperf. "had come" - a past event with present ramifications, ie. the Jews had come to Mary and Martha and were still there.

v20 ηκουσεν (ακουω) aor. "heard" – idiom, the sense of "got wind of the news.".
εκαθεζετο (καθεζομαι) imperf. "[Mary] stayed [at home]" – literally ‘sat’, the implication is that Mary, with Martha, had become aware of Jesus' arrival, but remained at home. "Sitting" is a proper position for mourning and so it is likely John is saying that Mary was unaware of Jesus' arrival, since she was at home taking her turn as the family representative in the public grieving.

v22 οιδα perf. "I know" - extensive perfect. Martha knows and therefore believes.  (I do not think that word means what you think it means…)

v23 αναστησεται (ανιστημι) fut. "will rise again" - The teaching  moment here is for Martha and for us as eavesdroppers on this little drama.  Martha understands Jesus' words as a reference to the resurrection of the dead on the last day. Jesus is referring to something far less powerful (resuscitation) and far more important (Lazarus’ return) to her ‘here and now’ - this is not ‘pie in the sky in the sweet bye and bye’.

v25 η αναστασις (ις εως) "the resurrection" - "I myself am resurrection and life", Jesus causes the dead to rise and it is he who gives life. Jesus wields the power of God. This is a strong Messianic claim.
και η ζων"and the life" (omitted in some manuscripts). It is easy to explain why the phrase would be added, but not why it would be omitted. 
ο πιστευων (πιστευω) pres. part. "he who believes" - The present tense is durative, "everyone who continues to have faith ", rather than just descriptive.

v26 ο ζων (ζαω) pres. part. "whoever lives" a substantive limiting πας, "everyone". This is likely referring to resurrection life, to that life beyond death when they ου μη + subj. "[will] never [die]" – an emphatic negation.

v27 εγω "I" - emphatic πεπιστευκα (πιστευω) perf. "I believe" - carries the sense of a past believing in the Messiah that continues.
ο υιος του θεου "the Son of God" - in the mouth of anyone but Jesus can range in meaning from little more than a godly person to someone close to God, or, commonly, the title for the messiah.

v28 ειπουσα (λεγω) aor. part. "after she said [this]" temporal.
λαθρα adv. "aside" – i.e. privately she says to her sister that the teacher παρεστιν (παρειμι) pres. "is present and is calling for you", ESV.

v29 ταχυ adv. "[she] sprung to her feet", an idiom – there was a clear urgency in her going, she had something to say..

v31 παραμυθουμενοι (παραμυθεω) pres. part. "comforting" adverbial, possibly modal, expressing the manner in which the Jews were with Mary, 

v33 κλαιουσαν (κλαιω) pres. part. "weeping" τους συνελθοντας (συνερχομαι) aor. part. "[the Jews] who had came along with her saw"
ενεβριμησατο (εμβριμαομαι) aor. mid. "deeply moved" - is often used to express deep feelings of anger, although translators usually soften it to "groan", "sigh", or worse "terribly upset". This is an agricultural word meaning the noise a horse makes when it snorts.
τω/ πνευματι (α ατος) dat. "in spirit" – idiom, at his core – in his gut i.e. pissed off.
εταραξεν (ταρασσω) aor. "troubled" visibly distressed?
τεθεικατε (τιθημι) perf. "[where] have you laid [him]?"

v35 εδακρυσεν (δακρυω) "wept" - a hapax legomenon. Mary wails ( as is normal for Jewish funerals) but Jesus sheds a tear.

v37 ο ανοιξας (ανοιγω) aor. part. "he who opened" serves as a substantive, introducing a substantival construction standing in apposition το ουτος, "this one." some may have interpreted Jesus' tears as a sign of frustration. He gives sight to the blind so why couldn't he ποιησαι (ποιεω) aor. inf. "have kept" – literally to do - the infinitive completes the verb "was [not] able to save Lazarus.  John often calls Jesus acts “ποιεω” – deeds/works

v38 εμβριμωμενος εν εαυτω as above, "deeply moved" - angry within himself. Note how "in himself" replaces "spirit" from v33.
σπηλαιον (ον) "a cave" the common shape of a grave was a vertical shaft, but it is unclear whether John intends this word to describe such a hole.  Today in Bethany it is a vertical shaft tomb you can visit. 
λιθος (ος) "stone" - used to keep animals away from the corpse.
v39 αρατε (αιρω) aor. imp. "take away [the stone]" – the aorist implies immediacy, now!
του τετελευτηκοτος (τελευταω) gen. perf. part. "[the sister] of the dead man" (doesn’t say which one, we often assume it was practical Martha but here is no reason to believe it was not Mary).
τεταρταιος adj. "four days" - on the fourth day. 
οζει (οζω) "there is a bad odor" The usual anointing of the body would not cover the smell of decomposition. This observation serves to underline the fact that Lazarus was indeed dead.

v41 ηρεν τους οφθαλμους ανω "[Jesus] looked up
ευχαριστω (ευχαριστω) pres. "I thank" - continuous action of thanking, central to prayer, but interestingly, the request itself is not recorded.
ηκουσας (ακουω) aor. "you have heard" aorist indicates that we may be dealing with a particular prayer, past or present, that is unrecorded. Is the prayer, "Lazarus, come out"? Such language is typical of Jesus healings, said prayerfully under God. So, Jesus gives thanks prior to his faith-act so that "they may believe that you sent me."

v42 ηδειν (οιδα) pluperf. "knew" - Jesus was well aware the Father would act.

v43 εκραυγασεν (κραυγαζω) "called" a forceful command by Jesus.
φωνη/ (η) dat. "in a [loud] voice".
δευρο εξω "come out” the literal translation is; "Here! Outside! Now!"

v44 ο τεθνηκως (θνησκω) perf. part. "the dead man" – commanding the wind and the waves was pretty keen, commanding the dead, AWESOME! Lazarus died and is dead [but now walks].
δεδεμενος (dew) perf. part. "wrapped" the one having had bound feet came out." "Bound" reflects the common meaning of this verb, but the so called "with strips of linen" is actually κειριαις, "with sheets", which carries the image of Lon Chaney doing his Mummy's thing so "draped over" is better. 

v45 οι ελθοντες (ερχομαι) aor. part. "who had come" stands in apposition to the "Jews" who are now standing around with no role - they don’t need to mourn any more.  

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