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.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

John 6:22-35 - A Study of the Greek Text by Pr. Fourman

Greek Study John 6:24-35

v24 ενεβησαν (εμβαινω) enebaisen "got into the boats" - embarked. 
ζητουντες (ζητεω) zatoontes pres. part. "in search of [Jesus]" - participle is adverbial, expressing purpose; "and went to Capernaum in order to look for Jesus."

v25 ευροντες (ευρισκωeurontes aor. part. "when they found" - Participle is adverbial, forming a temporal clause, as NIV.
περαν της θαλασσης peran tes thalasses "on the other side of the lake" - Capernaum is on the North Western shore of lake Galilee, Tiberias is on the Western shore, so "across the sea" doesn't really fit. It is unclear where the actually feeding took place, most opt for the Eastern shore. "Across the sea" also serves to underline the miracle of walking on water. Jesus didn't just walk around the edge.
ραββι "Rabbi" - teacher. A title of respect.
ποτε ωδε γεγονας pote hodae gegontes "when did you get here?" – an idiomatic question that combines "when" and "how"; "How long have you been here?" As if they didn’t notice him before this!
v26 αμην αμην λεγω υμιν amen, amen lego hoomin "I tell you the truth " – John uses this phrase to introduce every important statement.
σημεια (ονsemeia "miraculous signs"
εχορτασθητε (χορταζωechortasthetay aor. pas. "had your fill" - were satisfied  The word was originally used of gross feeding of animals. Jesus implies that the crowd is just after the food, yet they are aware that the feeding is miraculous 6:14. Note that not all those present were also present at the feeding. Many had heard of the miracle, but not participated, so most of the crowd may well have just wanted full bellies. None-the-less, the real problem is that the crowd fails to see the significance of the miracle and so fails to identify the true nature of the person performing it. 

v27 εργαζεσθε (εργαζομαι) μη ergasthesthay me pres. imp. "do not work for" - here in the sense of "do not strive after." This particular negative the imperative serves as a command to stop an  action already commenced; so "stop trying to earn what has been given as a gift.”
την απολλυμενην (απολλυμιtaen appolumenain "[food] that spoils" - participle is adjectival, describing "food". This is the food that is produced by working, food that does not last, hence the need to work forever.
την μενουσαν (μενωtain menoosain "[the food] that abides" - participle is adjectival, limiting "food"; hence "food that lasts."
ο υιος του ανθρωπου ho huios too anthrowpoo [which] the Son of Man [will give]" - Jesus uses his favorite messianic title, a title unrecognized by the crowd because the phrase can just mean man.
εσφραγισεν (σφραγιζωesphragaisain aor. "set his seal of approval" - to demonstrate by authentic proof the truth or validity of something or to put a mark on something indicating ownership. Its an usual phrase so it may be used here to mean consecrated to God's service, i.e. God has given Jesus the right to do what he has done.

v28 τι ποιωμεν (ποιεωtea poiomain pres. subj. "what must we do" a deliberative subjunctive, so "What do we do next?"
εργαζωμεθα (εργαζομαιergatsomaytha aor. subj. "do [the works]" Bultman suggests here that the crowd has no understanding of what Jesus is talking about, yet their question implies some understanding. Their stress is on "what they must strive to do" rather than on Jesus' sense of "striving after a gift”. They see the potential work that follows as the gift, but Jesus sees the gift as the work, God’s work. 
του θεου (οςtoo thae-oo "God requires" - genitive is treated as verbal, so ‘those works which God requires of us”. 

v29 το εργον (ονtoe ergon "the work [of God]" – now "the work" is now singular, and the genitive του θεου, "of God" is used, classed as an objective genitive. In the Greek God receives the action. A subjective genitive can also mean that God produces the action, in the sense of "the work that God does or accomplishes in Jesus”. It has been argued that it is plenary, i.e. both objective and subjective, but that would impose a level of Greek sophistication otherwise missing in John . 

v30 πιστευσωμεν (πιστευωpisteusomaen aor. subj. "believe [you]" – action in the present with ongoing impact on the future.
τι εργαζη pres. ind. ta ergatsay "what will you do?" - As noted, Jesus has already fed the 5,000, but that carries no weight with this crowd. It is clear that the "miraculous sign" in the minds of this crowd means the "heavenly food", i.e. more manna. The charge is that Jesus can only be trusted if he can performs a real sign for them; the feeding was so 5 minutes ago!

v31 οι πατερες (ηρ ροςhoi pateras "forefathers" - Our ancestors – this claim becomes an asserted norm, there is a strong sense of entitlement with this crowd (and those that follow)..
μαννα "Manna" - cf. Ex.16. the defining miracle for the Jews. It was later spiritualized, becoming a symbol for God's word, particularly the law, and of blessings of the age to come. 
καθως εστιν γεγραμμενον kathos estin gaegramennon as it is written" – a typical introduction to scriptural texts; the reference is unclear, probably Neh.9:15 or Ps.78:24.
φαγειν (εσθιωfagaen aor. inf. "to eat" - infinitive expressing purpose, "in order to eat."

v32 δεδωκεν (διδωμιdedoken perf. "has not [Moses] given" - Perfect tense expresses continuity of the action, so God (through Moses, i.e. Torah) continues to give.
διδωσιν (διδωμιdidomai pres. "gives"- present tense, being durative, also expresses ongoing action. "It is my Father who is giving you …”
αληθινον allatheenon adj. "true" an emphatic.  John uses the word αληθινον often in his Gospel, particularly at critical moments. The nature of "truth" for John cannot be understated.  Jesus exegetes the quotation in typical Jewish fashion. He makes two points. 1) Don't read "he" to mean Moses, but rather "my Father". 2) Don't read "gave" as a past tense, but rather as a present tense, "gives." The true bread from heaven is available now for the eating. Some doubt whether John wrote these words with an eye to the Eucharist, but clearly this chapter served as a source for liturgical images for the early church. 
v33 του θεου (ος) gen. "[the bread] of God" - the genitive can be read here as ablative, expressing source, the bread that comes from God.
ο καταβαινων (καταβαινωho katabainon pres. part. "he who comes down" – a substantive participle can be either personal "he who comes down" or impersonal, "that which comes down." In v34 the crowd takes it as impersonal, in a figurative sense; spiritual bread that gives life, bread from heaven, spiritual manna. Then in v35 Jesus proclaims (using this same grammatical construct) that he is this life-giving bread, or more particularly that his words are life-giving bread.
διδους (διδωμι) pres. part. "gives" - participle serves as a substantive, the bread of God is the one coming down from heaven and giving life to the world. The present tense is durative, indicating the ongoing action of life-giving. 
τω κοσμω (οςtoe cosmo "to the world" – literally the place of human habitation.
v34 παντοτε adv. pantowtay "henceforth" – always- adverb; the position is emphatic.
δος (διδωμι) "give [us]" - Note the similarity with the Samaritan woman of Chapter 4 the bread and the water move from wilderness manna (Moses) and the well (Jacob) – two scions of the Old Testament faith, to Jesus as the source. This is a BIG deal.

V35 εγω ειμι ego emee “I am" - Best translated as an emphatic "I myself am [the bread]". The presence of the predicate, "the bread", means "I am" is not being used as a divine title. Jesus is continuing to exegete v31 by pointing out that rather than acting as a Moses figure who expedites bread, Jesus is the bread. 
της ζωης (ηtoe zo-aes "[the bread] of life" - genitive is adjectival, attributive, so a life-giving kind of bread.
ο ερχομενος (ερχομαιho erkomaynos pres. part. "he who comes" - the one coming. As with ο πιστευων, "the one believing", participle serves as a substantive. Note the parallelism here where "comes" and "believes" carries the same sense. Continuing with the exegesis of v31, Jesus makes the point that those who ate the manna got hungry and had to eat again. But once a person has tasted/believed in the life-giving Christ, they are eternally satisfied.

ου μη πειναση (πειναωwho may paynasay aor. subj. "will never be hungry" - the double negative with the subjunctive is a subjunctive of emphatic negation. So “will certainly never ever be hungry” again.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Craig... Thanks for being my look into the Greek. Other language was not one of my gifts. You allow me to be smart in my understanding and teaching of texts. (Or it could be the car I drive .