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.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

John 14: The Greek Text -- Pr. Fourman

John 14:1-14

14:1 μη ταρασσεσθε (ταρασσω) pres. pas. imp. "do not let [your hearts] be troubled" - This negation with the present imperative expresses a command to not proceed with an action, so read; "don't allow yourselves to become troubled." η καρδια (α) "hearts" – heart - the singular is Semitic idiom, expressed with the plural in English, so it is the seat of the intellect not the emotion, that Jesus is referring to.

v2 πολλαι adj. "many" - the sense is , " room enough for all" al la the old spiritual. μοναι (η) "rooms" - place to live. some suggest "resting place" i.e. believers on the move toward heaven but actually "permanent dwelling or home”
ετοιμασαι (ετοιμαζω)  aor. inf. "to prepare" - infinitive expresses purpose, "I am going in order to prepare a place…” 

v3 ερχομαι pres. "I will come back" – a present tense that is futuristic, expressing confidence in future events. 

v4 Note the longer variant: "You know the place where I am going, and you know the way", read in P66. The variant expresses the intended sense of "οιδατε (οιδα) "you know".

v5 πως (an interrogative) ειδεναι (οιδα) perfect inf. "how [can] we know"? την οδον (ος) "the way/road".

v6 εγω ειμι "I am" η οδος "the way/road" - the context, and particularly the next sentence, clearly states that Jesus is "the way to God." So, in answering Thomas' question, Jesus states that he himself is the means of getting home.  ουδεις ερχεται (ερχομαι) pres. "no one comes [to the Father]" a present tense expressing a universal truth; "no one ever comes to the Father except through my work." The exclusivity expressed here by Jesus is not conditional. This is not about our response but about God’s work.  There is no other way than the way God Himself provides; Jesus is not debating but declaring ‘the truth’.

v7 εγνωκατε (γινωσκω perf. pl. "[if] you really knew [me]" - the "you" is plural indicating that Jesus is now addressing all the disciples.
γινωσκετε (γινωσκω) pres. ind. "you do know [him]. The verse is a touch too concise so probably best translated "since you know me, from now on you are going to know the Father." 

v8 δειξον (δειχνυμι) aor. imp. "show/reveal”. Phillip has misunderstood the nature of Jesus' revelation and asks to see the Father with his own eyes. αρκει (αρκεω) pres. "that will be enough" – satis est, we ask no more!

v9 ουκ εγνοκας (γινωσκω) perf. "don't you know me?" this is a stronger word than just to recognize or perceive, ο εωρακως (οραω) perf. part. "anyone who has seen [me]" the participle serves as a substantive. Usually translated as a relative clause, so "whoever has seen me", has seen the Father.

v10 ου πιστευεις (πιστευω) pres. "don't you believe" – another rhetorical, the negation ου in a question expects a positive answer.  μενων (μενω) pres. part. dwells/abides/lives in me" more likely an idiom, "the Father is constantly in me.”
αυτου gen. pro. "[doing] his τα εργα " work" - in John's gospel this word is used for the signs (miracles).

v11 πιστευετε pres. imp. "believe [me]" - is used here in the sense of "be convinced". English readers are often misled by the word "believe". The disciples do "believe" in Jesus in the sense of having put their faith in him, neither do they "believe/acknowledge" (give intellectual assent to) his teachings. In fact the disciples are completely unaware of the unique nature of the relationship between Jesus and the Father - they do not understand having known Jesus they now know the Father as well.

v12 αμην αμην λεω υμιν "I tell you the truth" – a formula used by Jesus when making a significant point. "I am telling you the solid truth." ο πιστευων pres. part. "anyone who has faith" - the one having faith - κακεινος pro. that one an emphatic pronoun that fixes attention upon the one who is to do τα εργα "the works” that Jesus does, i.e. the signs/miracles. 
τουτων gen. pro. "[that one] will do even greater things than these" -. The genitive is an ablative of comparison; "greater than these." The object is unstated, so presumably "greater works" than Jesus' works, but the sense of these words is open to some dispute. Obviously not "more", as in more extensive or more spectacular or more supernatural. Traditionally the "greater works" is understood to mean conversions. It is a proleptic sign of Pentecost.

v13 αιτησητε (αιτεω) aor. subj. "you ask" - P75 reads a present tense giving a durative sense. Presumably "ask the Father in my name", although this is not stated. εν τω ονοματι (α ατος) "in my name" – a debatable term. In a general sense "the name" represents the person, so the request is made in accord with the person of Jesus, or as Augustine put it, "in accord with Christ's character." Yet, it is likely that the "anything" is limited to requests made "under the authority of Jesus", ie. based on a promise, or command of Jesus. The phrase "in the name", when used of healings, etc., seems likely to express "under the authority of", and this sense would surely apply here. So Jesus is offering his support in the performance of those works the Father has commissioned Jesus' disciples to perform. Such works are designed to δοξασθη (δοξαζω) aor. pas. sub. "bring glory” to God. εν το υιω "in the Son

v14 Is a gloss or later addition.

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