[B-Greek] John 3:3-4 (was Ambiguity)
George F Somsel
gfsomsel at yahoo.com
Fri Feb 5 18:17:43 EST 2010
I'm not sure what significance you apparently assign to the Syriac. Although it is a development of Aramaic, it is a later development which has little if any significance for this discussion.
While Jesus does play off Nick's image of entering once again into the womb by also using the word εἰσέρχομαι to reference entering into the Kingdom (used twice here -- once by Nick and once by Jesus), of greater significance is the use of the term ἄνωθεν ANWQEN which is used 3 times and thus carries the scope of the message: Jn 3.3, 7, 31. In the last usage seems tacked onto JB's words to designate Jesus as the one who comes from God. The catchword ἄνωθεν ANWQEN is thus the unifying concept of this passage.
… search for truth, hear truth,
learn truth, love truth, speak the truth, hold the truth,
defend the truth till death.
- Jan Hus
From: Yancy Smith <yancywsmith at sbcglobal.net>
To: b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org
Sent: Fri, February 5, 2010 3:44:07 PM
Subject: [B-Greek] John 3:3-4 (was Ambiguity)
The Syriac Peshitta has two different constructions ܡܶܬ݂ܺܝܠܶܕ݂ ܡܶܢ ܕ݁ܪܺܝܫ MeTiYLeD MeN DRiYSH "born from above/head" and ܬ݁ܽܘܒ݂ TWB, again. But, as Don says, the focus here is not on a transparent ambiguity in ANWQEN, but on Nick's use of playing "born" in reductio ad absurdum and Jesus' reposte playing off the word "enter." For "born" Nick also uses another, a crass reversal of birth "enter his mother's womb for a second time and be born." Then Jesus' counter reposte picks up on the word "enter" as a rhetorical check-mate: "no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit" (whatever that means). So, the problem does not hinge on the ambiguity of ANWQEN, but on the plasticity of the image of birth and entering the world to come.
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