Jesus "breathed" and said...
Carl W. Conrad
cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Sat Feb 13 07:11:17 EST 1999
At 9:05 AM +0200 2/13/99, Tom Belt wrote:
>In John 20:22 ENEFUSHSEN usually gets translated "breathed on
>them" ("...after this he breathed on them [the disciples] and said..."). In
>his commentary on John, D. Carson argues that in the dozen or so uses of the
>verb in the LXX (I could only find three or four) there is always some
>additional word added to convey the idea of in or upon when that was the
>intended meaning. He argues also that the use of the verb outside the NT
>does not suggest the preposition in or upon was part of the meaning of
>the verb (but gives no examples). Thus, the verb ENEFUSHSEN by itself simply
>means he breathed or perhaps he exhaled. The picture that emerges from
>John 20 is not that of Jesus going to each disciple and "blowing" on them.
>Notice too that KJV italicizes the object of the verb ("them"),
>acknowledging that the original text does not contain the object.
>So what did Christ actually do? Any thoughts?
The LXX of Gen 2:7 confirms what I have always assumed to be a deliberate
literary allusion in John 20:22: KAI EPLASEN hO QEOS TON ANQRWPON COUN APO
THS GHS KAI *ENEFUSHSEN* EIS TO PROSWPON AUTOU PNOHN ZWHS KAI EGENETO hO
ANQRWPOS EIS YUCHN ZWSAN.
John 20:22 KAI TOUTO EIPWN ENEFUSHSEN KAI LEGEI AUTOIS: LABETE PNEUMA hAGION
It's quite true that the Johannine text does not give us the full
expression of Genesis 2:7, whereby the verb ENEFUSHSEN has its full
complement PNOHN EIS TA PROSWPA AUTWN, but the echo is clear enough for the
interpreter who recognizes the echo to fill it in, if only with a bracketed
"on them." The word *ENEFUSHSEN* by itself is quite enough to achieve the
echo of Gen 2:7 and indicate that this is the moment of the regeneration of
the disciples gathered in the upper room. This is not the appropriate forum
to develop a total interpretation of John 20 in the larger context of
John's gospel, but I certainly do believe that John's conception of
"resurrection now" involves an impact of recognizing that the crucified one
is alive and present as triggering a regeneration in those who recognize
him. Although the time frame for this process is understood differently in
1 Cor 15, nevertheless I think the very same idea is indicated in verses 44
and 45: as Adam is PRWTOS ANQRWPOS, Christ is ESCATOS ANQRWPOS; buried or
"planted" as SWMA YUCIKON, he is raised as SWMA PNEUMATIKON and becomes
(EGENETO EIS) PNEUMA ZWiOPOIOUN. This is the point, I believe, where the
Pauline and the Johannine conceptualization of
1 Cor. 15:44 SPEIRETAI SWMA YUCIKON, EGEIRETAI SWMA PNEUMATIKON. EI ESTIN
SWMA YUCIKON, ESTIN KAI PNEUMATIKON. 45. hOUTWS KAI GEGRAPTAI: EGENETO hO
PRWTOS ANQRWPOS ADAM EIS YUCHN ZWSAN, hO ESCATOS ADAM EIS PNEUMA ZWOPOIOUN.
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649
cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu OR cconrad at yancey.main.nc.us
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