[B-Greek] John 8:31ff
Harold R. Holmyard III
hholmyard at ont.com
Sat Feb 7 06:18:30 EST 2004
You say that the people who speak in 8:33 are hOI FARISAIOI from verse 13
and who are traced by the pronominal references. You say that they are hOI
IOUDAIOI of verse 22. I would agree that the ones who speak in verse 33
probably include the Pharisees, but it is the kind of statement that an
ignorant person, not necessarily a hostile one, would make, as you observe.
And the term hOI IOUDAIOI has been used in v. 31 as a broad term. It is
clear that hOI IOUDAIOI can be a broad or narrow term, as the context
requires (Narrow-John 7:1 "the Jews sought to kill Him"; Broad-7:2 "the
Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand"). So I think the reader just
has to understand that Jesus addresses the "Jews," a crowd of people that
includes all sorts. Some of them believe, most of them are confused, and
the Pharisees are hostile. If a comment comes out of the crowd that is
hostile, one can assume it was the Pharisees that spoke it. But the whole
crowd, as the Jews, can be said to be seeking to kill Jesus (v. 40), since
the nation through its official representatives was seeking to do so.
>> John 8:31ff
>> 1) Jesus begins by addressing TOUS PEPISTEUKOTAS AUTWi
>> IOUDIOUS but later states ZHTEITE ME APOKTEINAI
>> (v.37). I cannot discern a shift in this passage from
>> those who believe in him and those who are trying to
>> kill him; does this mean they are the same people? Am
>> I missing something?
>Yes, you have missed something, but so have all English translations that I
>have checked. The shift is in v. 33. In v. 30-32 Jesus is encouraging those
>in the crowd who had believed in him to stand fast and grow in their
>knowledge of the truth which will set them spiritually free. In v. 33 the
>unbelieving opponents (Pharisees) jump in and object to the comment about
>people needing to be set free. After all, they claim, they have never been
>slaves. It is a common feature of John's gospel, that Jesus is speaking
>spiritually and metaphorically, while his hearers misunderstand him because
>they think he is speaking literally. Think of the famous Nicodemus in
>chapter 3 or Jesus' disciples in c. 11.
>In NT Greek discourse the main, global (i.e. occurring throughout the
>episode) participants are tracked by pronominal reference, contrary to
>English standard. A literal English translation will therefore be confusing
>and misleading - as literal versions usually are. The plural subject in
>APEKRIQHSAN in v. 33 refers back to hOI FARISAIOI who are introduced in v.
>13, picked up in v. 19 by ELEGON, in v. 21 by AUTOIS, in v. 22 by hOI
>IOUDAIOI, in v. 23 by AUTOIS, in v. 25 by ELEGON, in v. 27 by EGNWSAN, in v.
>28 by AUTOIS, in v. 33 by APEKRIQHSAN, etc. The minor and local (i.e.
>occurring only in one spot of the episode) participants - those who believed
>him in contrast to the Pharisees - are introduced by POLLOI in v. 30 and
>then referred to by a full noun phrase for the sake of identification and
>contrast: TOUS PEPISTEUKOTAS IOUDAIOUS in v. 31. It is because of this
>convention to refer to global participants with pronominal reference that
>the author can refer to the main dialogue partners (Pharisees) simply as
>You can find more about this in a thread on March 16, 2003 (under subject
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