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, March 12, 2015

John 3:14-21, Greek Studies

Greek Study John 3:16-21

v16 γαρ "for" - Expressing cause/reason; introducing a causal clause explaining why God made eternal life available to those who believe, namely, because he loves his creation.
ουτως adv. "[God] so" - expressing manner. Usually taken to mean "in this excessive way" = "so much." God's love for his creation, particularly human creation, was so great ωστε "that as a result" he gave up his Son to the cross.
ηγαπησεν (αγαπαω) aor. "loved"  John is focused on this word, using the verb 36 times in the gospel. He notes the Father's love for the Son and the Son's love for the Father, the Son for disciples and disciples for the Son. The particular meaning is dictated by the context, the common thread involving a relational process rather than just expressing feelings. A word like "compassion", may suit. The consequence of God's love for "the world" is the sending of Christ to be lifted up.
τον κοσμον (ος) "the world" - Not the creation as such but rather the world of humanity and human activity.
ωστε + ind. "that" - so that, in order that. Introducing a causal clause, "so that, consequently, therefore, so".
εδωκεν (διδωμι) aor. ind. act. "he gave" - in the sense of "sent" to the cross. The tense indicates a shift from Jesus' words to John's reflection.
τον μονογενη adj. "only Son / one and only Son" - only begotten, one of a kind, unique. John is stressing Christ's unique relationship with the Father. Only John uses the word "son" of Jesus and never of Jesus' disciples. This serves to underline the unique nature of the relationship between the Father and the Son.
ινα + subj. "that" - a purpose clause. 
ο πιστευων (πιστευω) pres. part. "[whoever] believes" - [all the ones] who believe / [all] the believing ones. The participle may be taken as a substantive, understood as a generalizing construction.
αποληται (απολλυμι) "perish" - The natural state of humanity is death. Only God possesses life, and by extension, those who believe in Christ.
αλλ (αλλα) "but [have eternal life]" - Adversative, as NIV.

v17 γαρ "for" - cause/reason. Often taken to introduce a causal clause, "because, for", although here more a clarification of Christ's mission so probably best not translated; "God did not send his Son into the world to judge the world; he sent his Son that through him the world should be saved".
ου απεστειλεν (αποστελλω) aor. "did not send" Used of an authoritative sending and therefore used of Christian mission, which meaning John obviously wants to convey. God's mission, in the sending of Christ, is not the condemnation of mankind, but rather its salvation.
ινα + subj. "to" - a final clause expressing purpose.
κρινη (κρινω) aor. subj. "condemn" - decide against / condemn  either sense is possible. Technically the word is used to offset salvation which is the purpose of Christ's coming. God sent Christ in order to save, not to condemn, although a consequence of Christ's coming is the reiteration of the condemnation already hanging over humanity. Note, the agent of condemnation is God, not Christ.
αλλ (αλλα) "but" – a strong adversative.
ινα + subj. "to [save]" – a final clause expressing purpose.
δι (δια) + gen. "through [him]" - expressing agency; the Father does the saving, through the Son.

v18 ο πιστευων (πιστευω) pres. part. "whoever believes" - puts trust in, relies upon. The participle serves as a substantive.
εις + acc. "in [him]"- [believes] into [him]. The prepositions eiV and en, when used for belief in Christ, probably take the same meaning, although some argue that eiV demands the sense "believes-and-trusts."
δε "but [whoever does not believe]" –here is adversative.
κεκριται (κρινω) perf. "stands condemned" - has been judged. In the "perfect tense the judgment is already past, but the sentencing remains.
ηδη adv. "already" – idiom; now = now after all this waiting. Temporal. 
οτι "because" - Here causal.
μη πεπιστευκεν (πιστευω) perf. "he has not believed" - The perfect tense is expressing "the settled state of unbelievers' condemnation and unbelief",  The use of the extreme negation  μη with the indicative is rare; the word ου is normal.
το ονομα (α ατος) "name" - For the ancients, a person's name represents the person. Insult a person's name and you insult the person.
μονογενους gen. adj. "only [Son] / one and only [Son]" - See v16. The genitive is adjectival, possessive; "the name that belongs to ..."

v19 δε "-" - but, and. Connective “this is the η κρισις (ις εως) "the verdict" - judgment, decision. Some scholars think that at this point in the passage it means "the process of judging" rather than a sentence of condemnation. 
οτι "that" - a dependent statement expressing the content of the verdict. to φως "the light" – is an Old Testament image used to describe both wisdom and  “law and prophets”. God's revelation is light - its enlivens because it is good. For John, Jesus is divine life, and this life radiates a divine truth which gives life. (1:9).
γαρ "because" - humanity / the world) loved darkness  and so preferred it.

v20 ο ... πρασσων (πρασσω) pres. part. "[everyone] who does" - a adjectival  limiting the ο φαυλα "evil ones
ελεγχθη (ελεγχω) aor. pas. subj. "will be exposed" – a phrase used of the Holy Spirit in 16:8. A person under the grace of God (light) is free from guilt and willing to have sin exposed, while a person apart from (the dark) God denies guilt and fears any exposure.

v21 ο ποιων (ποιεω) pres. part. "whoever lives by/does [the truth]" - participle serves as a substantive. In Hebrew the phrase would be "to keep faith". In the Dead Sea Scrolls uses the phrase: "the men of truth, the doers of the law, whose hands do not grow slack from the service of truth." 

εστιν ειργασμενα (εργαζομαι) perf. pas. part "what he has done has been done" - perfect periphrastic construction serves to underline the completeness of God's work through Christ in us.

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