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.

Friday, May 23, 2014

John 14:15-21 Greek Study - Pr. Fourman

John 14:15-21
Two observations:
  1. This text is very Trinitarian, presupposing conversation between God and the Son, and the Son and the Spirit.
  2. Faith, defined in relational language (αγαπε) between the believer and Jesus, the believer and God, enabled by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, underlies this as well.
v:15 αγαπατε (αγαπαω) pres. subj. "you love" - keeping Jesus' commands entails the ongoing action of being in relationship with Jesus. 
τηρησετε (τηρεω) fut. "you will obey" note the tense, not present but future. There is something missing yet!
τας εμας "what" - τας εντολας (η) "I command" - "believe in God, believe also in me", is the substance of Christ's command to his disciples. υπακοην
πιστεως  "the obedience of faith" means keeping God's commands through faith.

v16 ερωτησω (ερωταω) fut. "I will ask" – not as in asking God a question but rather as in a prayer request to the Father. 
δωσει (διδωμι) fut. "he will give" – this is reminiscent of the East/West divide on the procession of the Spirit (either from the Father alone, or the Father and Son.)
παρακλητον (ος) masc. sing. "Counselor/advocate/comforter” – “spirit” in Greek is neuter in tense but John renders paraclete as masculine singular – it is a person not a thing or a power. The word is a verbal adjective that functions as a noun, and it has a number of possible meanings:
i] "Advocate", one who advises and speaks on our behalf in the courts of heaven, "someone else to stand by you",
ii] "Counselor", in that he gives divine counsel
iii] "Helper"
iv] "Comforter", a meaning originating with Wycliffe; 
v] "Convincer", the one who convinces us of the things of God and accomplishes in them a change of heart; 
vi] "friend". 
All of these words describe the FUNCTION of the Paraclete/Spirit.

v17 της αληθειας (α) "of truth" literally meaning “to not forget” – the truth is in part about the retention of what we already know, as well as the revelation of what we do not!
ο κοσμος (ος) "the world" in John's gospel this is usually a negative word. 
λαβειν (λαμβανω) aor. inf. "[cannot] accept" - complementary, completing the sense of the negated verb "is not able." Sinful humanity in rebellion against God, is not unable to exercise faith apart from the Paraclete

v18 ουκ αφησω (αφιημι) fut. "I will not leave (you)" – a strong word. 
ορφανους adj. "orphans" – an adjective used as a substantive, defining "you". 
ερχομαι pres. "I will come" - We are unsure what "coming" Jesus is referring to; either the resurrection or in the coming of the Holy Spirit; it is extremely unlikely he is referring to the parousia. Given the context, the coming in the Spirit is most likely.

v19 ετι μικρον "before long" – literally “a little time” – in a hot minute. 
ουκετι θεωρει (θεωρεω) pres. "will not be able to see [me]" – the present tense again emphasizes the immediacy of the seeing. Jesus does not reveal himself to the general population after his resurrection, only to his disciples - or once again might refer to the coming of the Spirit. 
ζησετε (ζαω) fut. "you will live" - The sense of " live" is dependent on what is seen (the risen Christ or the manifested Spirit?) If it is the risen Christ then "live", is in the sense of "be alive" in the now, but if the Spirit then in the sense of “life in the fullest measure now and in the future”.

v20 εν εκεινη τη ημερα "in that day" – again that day is not stated, but Jesus is referring either to his post-resurrection appearances or the manifestation of the Spirit. Given the content of the "knowing", the Holy Spirit may well be intended, although John has his own slant on this in 20:22.

v21 ο εξων pres. part. "whoever has" - the participle serves as a substantive. The present tense is durative, (ongoing action) so the sense is "firmly in mind". 
τας εντολας (η) "[my] commands" - although a debatable issue, it is very likely that Jesus' instructions distill down to faith. So, a more general translation is "my authoritative words." 
τηρων (τηρεω) pres. part. "obeys/keeps" a substantive. the "commands" are ethical in nature, so an idiom; whoever accepts my words and acts on them."
ο αγαπων pres. part. "the one who loves [me]" - serves as a substantive. 
αγαπηθησεται (αγαπαω) fut. pas. "will be loved]" – here the passive to bring out the idea of the conscious experience of love. Such love is reciprocal; but there is no suggestion that God's love is conditional.  The language here simply reflects the substantial relationship that exists between the believer and the Triune God, a relationship that rests on faith. 

εμφανισω (εμφανιζω) fut. "[I will] show/reveal”. The specific revelation is not identified and so we are left with the same set of options: is it post resurrection appearance of Christ, the spiritual manifestation of the Spirit, the appearance of Christ is His glory, or even the personal manifestation of Christ to believers through prayer, Word and Sacrament? I suppose it could be one or more of the above, John’s language is couched a bit too much in mystery here, although the manifestation of the Holy Spirit seems the best option – which is through all of the above (Word, Sacrament, piety and prayer.

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