[B-Greek] Jn 12:44

Yancy Smith Y.W.Smith at tcu.edu
Thu Nov 17 17:10:23 EST 2005


Thanks for getting me up to speed. Of course this problem arises from  
the gen. of AUTOS, H, O having the same form. But, I think it may  
depend on the koloi written in this case. What might decide the case  
here is the presence of the article with TO YEUSTOS and its absence  
with YEUSTHS. The anafora would more likely go back to the last  
emphatic noun, rather than merely to the last noun, although I think,  
on any score, the way John said it is infelicitous, i.e. ambiguous.  
Much like the reference to Zaccheus/Jesus in Luke 19:3. Which one is  
short, Jesus or Zachaeus? The words "because he was short" also build  
anaphorically on what went before, the anaphora being carried by the  
subjects of the 3rd person verbs. Jesus is the last one mentioned,  
yet most translators take the short person to be Zachaeus. One way to  
find out how a Greek speaker would have read John 12:44 is to check  
out Chrysostom's commentary, who is not against creativity in his  
readings, or to find out whether any ancient Gnostic traditions  
refered to "the father of the devil" both these will take us to  
ancient, native Greek readings. Im not sure whether Origen comments  
on this text, since his Commentary on John does not extend this far.  
As for Chrysostom, he says:
"For he gave birth to the lie first by saying in the day that you eat  
[it] your eyes will be opened."

I would say that the average "man on the street" in Corinth would not  
have know the Adam and Eve narrative and would, therefore, not have  
had the background of assumptions necessary to access the implicature  
necessary to understand that "AUTOU" should be construed with TO YEUDOS.

Homilies on the Gospel of John 33.299.58 (See Migne's edition, or use  
these numbers in TLG 153,

Yancy Smith
Y.W.Smith at tcu.edu
Brite Divinity School
Texas Christian University

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