John 5:18b (revised)
Richard Allan Stauch
RStauch at worldnet.att.net
Tue Jul 3 01:04:21 EDT 2001
From: Richard Ghilardi [mailto:qodeshlayhvh at juno.com]
Sent: Monday, July 02, 2001 6:25 PM
>On Fri, 29 Jun 2001 06:37:44 -0500 "Carl W. Conrad"
><cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu> writes:
> In the message I sent a few minutes ago, I now realize that I never
> did clearly answer the chief question: I DON'T think that readers
> should assume that what's cited in the hOTI clause is believed by
> the writer himself to be true; he's simply reporting or telling
> what he thinks the reasoning behind their action was.
>DIA TOUTO OUN MALLON EZHTOUN AUTON hOI IOUDAIOI APOKTEINAI, hOTI OU MONON
>ELUEN TO SABBATON, ALLA KAI PATERA IDION ELEGEN TON QEON ISON hEAUTON
>POIWN TWi QEWi. IWAN. E 18
>Of course the writer himself believed that the content of the hOTI clause
>was true! Thus he believed the following three statements to be true:
>1) Jesus claimed to be the unique (IDION) Son of God.
>2) Sonship implies equality with the Father.
>3) Jesus broke the Sabbath.
>Surely no one can doubt that John believed 1 and 2 to be true. In fact,
>he not only believed that Jesus CLAIMED to be God's Son, but also that
>the claim was true. If he believed that the claim was true, then
>naturally he believed that Jesus actually made the claim. I don't think I
>need to cite any proof texts for this. As for equality with the Father, I
>think nearly everyone on this list could cite several verses from John's
>gospel to show this.
Yet, I think everyone on this list could cite John 14:28d: hOTI hO PATHR
MEIZWN MOU ESTIN. If context is at all important, then we must take all
relevant statements into full account, and allow the author to speak for
himself. "Not equal" would not rule out "oneness", nor does "greater"
militate against "oneness," but John's Gospel records Jesus saying (10:30)
EGW KAI hO PATHR hEN ESMEN. So, John knows they are "one", but that Jesus
claimed the Father was "greater," ergo, not "equal."
>Now while it is true that John shared his belief in the truth of 1 and 2
>with the Jews, did he also share their belief in the truth of 3? Did he
>believe that Jesus broke the Sabbath as the Jews believed?
Did he? Is this not precisely at question?
>The hOTI clause is composed of two sub-clauses set in the form of the OU
>MONON ... ALLA KAI structure. The rhetorical effect of this structure is
>ADDITIVE and is called **a minore ad majorem**. John builds his argument
>from the lesser to the greater. He begins with the weaker cause for
>putting Jesus to death: he broke the Sabbath. He then goes on to state
>the stronger cause: he claimed God was his Father in a special way, which
>is tantamount to claiming equality with God.
>If John was willing to own the greater cause for killing Jesus (and by
>implication his followers) as true, why should we think he would not or
>did not own the lesser cause?
>Carl, the section of Smyth which you cited, #2614, is irrelevant. The
>relevant sections which support my contention are #2086 and #2242 and
>also see #2622.
Is it truly a "lesser cause?" Matthew records Jesus' own mission statement
at 5:17 MH NOMISHTE hOTI HLQON KATALUSAI TON NOMON hH TOUS PROFHTAS: OUK
HLQON KATALUSAI ALLA PLHRWSAI. John's Gospel confirms it (in a more
spiritual sense) at 15:10c KAQWS EGW TAS ENTOLAS TOU PATROS MOU TETHRHKA. I
am sure many here could adduce a number of phrases Jesus used throughout the
Gospels to affirm the Commandments in the Law, and his own obedience to
them. The question your reading of the text raises is, what does Jesus mean
by saying MH NOMISHTE hOTI HLQON KATALUSAI TON NOMON, yet John says ELUEN TO
SABBATON? In context, could it not be that John was stating as true that hOI
IOUDAIOI (nominative case, ergo explicit subject) believed ELUEN
(indicative) TO SABBATON was true?
The sections you cite are precisely the sections that my other poster sent
me to review, and I found them (believe it or not) less than convincing on
this point. Could it not be that Smyth section 2614 (and following) applies?
I copy the example Smyth gives from 2615, Secondary Tenses, (b) Direct Form
Retained: DIHLQE LOGOS hOTI DIWKEI AUTOUS KUROS "A report spread that Cyrus
was pursuing them" (Xenophon, Anabasis 1.4.7). In the context of the story,
Xenophon could not possibly believe this report to be true, since Cyrus made
a point of telling everybody that he was not pursuing them (because of their
past excellent service to him). So, LOGOS (nominative) hOTI DIWKEI
(indicative); ergo, Xenophon knew that DIHLQE LOGOS was indeed true, but
DIWKEI AUTOUS KUROS was not true, and the author knew it was not true.
(Oh, MY! I'm reading GREEK!),
Richard Allan Stauch
Long Beach, CA
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