wengurobo at yahoo.com
Mon Feb 11 15:23:05 EST 2008
To: Bert de Haan,
A belated comment on the reference to M Black's "Aramaic Approach" in your citation from BDAG.
Matthew Black's argument, put briefly, was that ENEBRIMJSATO TWi PNEUMATI would mean in Greek "he fumed with rage in his spirit" and that this would be "a most extraordinary" phrase in Greek. The verb would necessarily in ordinary Greek refer to anger that broke out in unarticulated sounds, and this would be incompatible with the phrase TWi PNEUMATI, which would imply suppression of the anger.
Black proposed that this problem was to be solved by invoking a Syriac idiom. This idiom apparently has a wider meaning in Syriac and could be translated "he was deeply moved" if the context so requires, which Black thought it does. He considered that there is no other evidence in John of anger on the part of Jesus. His explanation for the presence of the syriacism seems to be that either the Lazarus story originated in a bilingual Greek-Syriac milieu, or that perhaps Palestinian Aramaic possessed a corresponding idiom to the Syriac one.
Not being a syriacist but only a Bible translator I can only comment that solving a difficulty by invoking a calque of an idiom from another language demands that the calque would not have been at risk of being misunderstood by the intended audience (assuming of course that the original author wished to make sense).
As a further comment on the lexical question, it is worth noting that, as discussed in the commentary of Beasley-Murray, the original German Bauer lexicon does not give the same gloss for the John 11 examples as the English translation. (I am using BAGD not BDAG, but the same phrase "apparent harshness of expression" occurs there, so I assume all that has changed for this entry is the formatting. For the German original, perhaps someone who has Bauer to hand can fill in the details.)
So I agree with Iver and many others that EMBRIMAOMAI refers to anger, and in fact outwardly expressed. There have been various explanations of what Jesus was angry at, and to me the one Iver has put forward in his post looks very plausible.
Bert de Haan dehaanaf at gmail.com
Fri Feb 8 14:46:04 EST 2008
In BDAG, in the section with the third definition for EMBRIMAOMAI,
there are references given regarding the "apparent harshness of
expression." M Black, An Aramaic Approach...240-243, C Bonner, Traces
of Thaumaturgic Technique in the Miracles...171-181, E Bevan, JTS.
These books and this journal is not available to me. I was wondering
if any of you mind telling me something about the apparent harshness
of the expression in John 11:38.
This verse reads as follows; IHSOUS OUN PALIN EMBRIMWMENOS EN hEAUTWi
ERXETAI EIS TO MNHMEION.
Bert de Haan
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