[B-Greek] John 8:31ff
Harold R. Holmyard III
hholmyard at ont.com
Wed Feb 11 14:52:36 EST 2004
>> HH: This is where your reading seems particularly dubious to me (7:20-21).
>> The crowd asks Him a question, and you say Jesus answers the
>> Pharisees. But the text is specific that Jesus "answered" them, that is,
>>the people in the previous verse that asked the question.
>Yes, this is where Greek and English discourse differ. In English, a "they"
>would definitely refer back to the crowd, but in Greek, it refers back to
>the main dialogue partners, the major participants. The crowd here is a
>minor participant, and had the reference been to the crowd, it should have
>been a more specific reference, not just "them".
HH: This switch from singular "crowd" to plural "them" does not carry the
weight that you claim for it. Look at other verses where the plural pronoun
"them" is used to refer back to the singular "crowd."
Matt. 14:14 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on
_them_ and healed their sick.
Mark 2:13 ¶ Once again Jesus went out beside the lake. A large crowd came
to him, and he began to teach _them_.
Luke 9:12 ¶ Late in the afternoon the Twelve came to him and said, "Send
the crowd away so _they_ can go to the surrounding villages and countryside
and find food and lodging, because we are in a remote place here."
HH: And "you all" (John 7:21) would be very misleading if intended only for
the Pharisees, since the previous verse indicates an additional crowd
present that did not consist of Pharisees.
>Did the crowd ask him a question?
>7:20: APEKRIQH hO OCLOS...
>It is a rhetorical question: "You are crazy! No one is trying to kill you!"
>Jesus does not repeat his accusation that the Jewish leaders are trying to
>kill him. Instead, he defends himself and accuses his opponents further. At
>this early stage, the general populace were not aware of the intention of
>the Jewish leaders.
HH: Yes, the crowd asked him a question. You can write it off as a
rhetorical question, but it was still a question. It called for some sort
>Maybe that is based on the common mistranslation of "generation" which
>really means a specific group of people, not a whole generation? But that is
>another topic I have dealt with before. (Search for GENEA).
HH: But if even the people who came for baptism were vipers, what of the
rest? How were those who came for baptism any worse than the rest? Jesus
spoke of a judgment on a generation in passage after passage where the
clear intent is the body of people who were living, the nation. Here is an
example below. The judgment of A.D. 70 affected everyone. Jerusalem is not
just the religious rulers. The leaders represent the nation.
Matt. 23:33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the
damnation of hell?
Matt. 23:34 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and
scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall
ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:
Matt. 23:35 That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the
earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of
Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.
Matt. 23:36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this
Matt. 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and
stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy
children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings,
and ye would not!
>> HH: And even if Jesus began a discourse by responding to Jewish
>> authorities, He could quickly broaden it to include everyone in
>> For example, in John 5:18 the "Jews" ask Jesus a question, and His answer
>> is in vv. 19-47.
>I don't see the question in v. 18. It is a comment from the author
>describing the situation. That v. 19 starts with APEKRINATO does not mean
>that he answers a specific question. This word can be used for a response to
>a situation. To translate it by "answer" here and in v. 17 is a mistake,
>because the word is much broader than English "answer".
HH: Right, this was a mistake. All I meant was that Jesus originally
addressed either the Jewish leaders or an issue that they had brought into
prominence by their behavior, but in the address he evidently expands his
words to take in the whole nation.
>John the Baptist had a message that would not be too far from that of the
>Pharisees, and John 5 refers to a much earlier stage than Luke 20. I would
>say that the Pharisees could accept part of John's message, but not what he
>said about Jesus. And they did not like the fact that he was baptizing
>without authority from them.
HH: It's possible, but Luke 20:5 was speaking about earlier times. The text
says they did not believe John back when he was alive and ministering.
Other texts say that John directed attention at the Pharisees and scribes
from the start, calling them in particular vipers.
>Did they? The leaders managed to get a sizable crowd together. There would
>have been a good number of people who did not sanction what happened, but
>they were powerless. It doesn't take many loud people to sway a crowd,
>especially when the religious authorities are in the lead.
HH: The crowd was already there. There was a custom at Passover to release
a prisoner, and Pilate called together the Israelites to proclaim Christ's
innocence and speak of the custom (Luke 23:13; Matt 27:17). The Pharisees
persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and ask that Jesus be destroyed
(Matt 27:20). They did not force the crowd to say that; they persuaded
them, so the crowd was responsible for its own statement. Later even the
passers-by mocked Jesus on the cross, quoting His words back to him (Mark
1Th. 2:14 For you, brothers, became imitators of God's churches in Judea,
which are in Christ Jesus: You suffered from your own countrymen the same
things those churches suffered from the Jews,
1Th. 2:15 who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets and also drove us out.
They displease God and are hostile to all men
1Th. 2:16 in their effort to keep us from speaking to the Gentiles so that
they may be saved. In this way they always heap up their sins to the limit.
The wrath of God has come upon them at last.
Paul is speaking about Jewish people being harrassed by their own
countrymen. The wrath of God was on the nation, not just the leaders.
More information about the B-Greek