[B-Greek] John 8:58 and Gen 17:1 (LXX)
MSangrey at BlueFeltHat.org
Sat Feb 19 14:09:29 EST 2005
On Fri, 2005-02-18 at 16:46 -0500, Carl W. Conrad wrote:
> At 11:11 AM -0800 2/18/05, Doug Hoxworth wrote:
> >i didn't really think it was. i only noted it because
> >Gen 17.1 had ABRAM while John 8 had ABRAAM. and i
> >noticed that here was his name change. so i thought it
> >may be a bit significant though not central.
> Yes, and evidently Mike Sangrey felt it was very important, inasmuch as he
> put a special twist of interpretation on PRIN ABRAAM GENESQAI as "before
> Abram was born as/became Abraham." That's very clever indeed, but I really
> don't find it any more convincing than the linkage generally between Gen 17
> and Jn 8.
Isn't PRIN ABRAAM GENESQAI a weird way of saying in Greek what we mean
when we say, "Before Abraham was born"?
I just spent some time going through L&N; and under the semantic domain
of "birth, Procreation (23.46-23.60)" they don't list GINOMAI. So, it's
not a common word for referring to 'birth'. That is NOT to imply that
GINOMAI was not closely associated with birth, but when it was used of
birth the emphasis was on where the person came from and not just a
statement of the fact of birth (cf Gal. 4:4 ECAPESTEILEN hO QEOS TON
hUION AUTOU, GENOMENON EK GUNAIKOS, GENOMENON hUPO NOMON).
In other words, I'm thinking of the fact that a writer chooses words and
chooses to not use other words. I'll grant you that it's not generally
all that conscious an activity; however, it seems to me that Jesus here
in John 8:58 decided to choose a rather unusual way to say, "Before
Abraham was born." Taking Mat. 1:18 as the jumping off point, it
appears that PRIN hH GENESIN ABRAAM would be the more natural way to
state the meaning.
Earlier, Carl had asked:
> Wouldn't that have to be PRIN ABRAAM GENESQAI TON ABRAM?
But isn't PRIN ABRAAM GENESQAI also an elipsis when considered from a
Greek point of view? Couldn't I argue that the text as we have it is
eliptical when either interpretation is considered? In other words,
accepting the normal interpretation, shouldn't the full rendering be
PRIN ABRAAM GENESQAI ANQROPON?
More grammatical, lexical, and interpretive analysis needs to be done.
Definitely! I think what would be convincing is setting two things side
by side. On the one side: An analysis that weaves the concept of the
pre-existence of Christ into Jesus' argument for his identity and also
the identity of the Jews, each coupled with the topic of Isa 43. Some
of this would come from John 8:23. And the other side would do the same
but with the various features of the Abrahamic covenant as mentioned in
Gen. 17. The whole question of whose children ARE the Pharisees and
their blamelessness fits in here.
In other words, the development of two semantic networks arising out of
an analysis of John 8:21-59, Gen. 17, and Isa. 43. I'll not pursue this
further here; I'm stating it so people know where I'm coming from (and
NOT coming from). And who knows, maybe someone will do the analysis and
msangrey AT BlueFeltHat.org
"The first one last wins."
"A net of highly cohesive details reveals the truth."
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