TI GEGONEN in John 14:22

Steven R. Lo Vullo doulos at appleisp.net
Fri Aug 24 02:12:50 EDT 2001

on 8/23/01 10:27 PM, Mark Wilson at emory2oo2 at hotmail.com wrote:

> I wrote concerning this awkward construction:

I guess I'm not sure what makes a subject and a verb with a subordinating
conjunction awkward.

> -----
>>> Take it as "How will it occur/happen/be fulfilled that ..."
>>> Much can be gleaned by how Jesus answers
>>> the question put to him. Note that Jesus does not address
>>> a "what" or a "why."
> ------
> Here is JB Phillips on this verse:
> Then Judas (not Iscariot), said, "Lord, how is it that you are going to make
> yourself known to us but not to the world?"

It is not entirely clear that Phillips means the same thing you are saying.
Rather than expressing means, he seems to be attempting to bring out by
paraphrase Judas' conflict over Jesus' saying, i.e., "how can this be, that
you are going to disclose yourself to us and not to the world?"

> I really was not trying to express a "Future tense" as much as
> a "logical consequence," which is how I understand this question.
> Although, MELLEIS does look to the future, does it not?

The problem with this is that GEGONEN doesn't express a consequence, seeing
that it is the main verb in the sentence. MELLEIS is a verb in a subordinate
clause dependent on GEGONEN. With the complementary infinitive EMFANIZEIN it
does express a future action, even though both are present tense verbs, but
the future sense of this subordinate clause reflects the future tense of the
verbs Jesus uses in v. 21 (note especially EMFANISW [v.21] and MELLEIS
EMFANIZEIN [v. 22]). But how a construction with a future sense in a
subordinate clause magically changes a perfect tense verb in the main clause
to a future is beyond me. Imagine the confusion in which we would be
entangled if we did grammar and syntax like this on a regular basis!

> From Judas' standpoint, the Lord had just stated that XYZ will
> now happen, to which Judas asks: how will XYZ happen? Or, "help
> us understand this statement of yours."

You are stating as fact what needs to be proven, i.e., that TI GEGONEN means
"how" and expresses means or manner. It seems to me that you need to show at
least one unambiguous example of this being the case. The closest parallel I
have seen to this construction is in Acts 7:40 (TI EGENETO). In John we have
TI GEGONEN as a direct question, whereas in Acts TI EGENETO is an indirect
question. The example from Acts if turned into a direct question would
clearly mean something like "what happened?" There is no good grammatical
reason why this isn't so in the direct question of John 14:22.
> At any rate, this is the question the Lord answers. I suppose
> one could argue that Jesus completely ignored this question,
> but that's a little hard for me to accept.

No one has argued that; nor is any such proposal necessary if we read TI
GEGONEN as "What has happened?" I don't want to go into this right now,
since I have posted my thoughts on this earlier and am awaiting the approval
of that post (I just returned to the list after a long absence).

> This is hardly an illegitmate question, and one to which I think the
> Lord did owe an explanation.

If Judas was confused as to why the Lord would be revealing himself only to
those who loved him, i.e, if he previously thought the Lord was going to
continue to reveal himself to the world, or manifest himself to the world in
some special way, then the question "What has happened?" (i.e.,to change
this plan) is hardly an illegitimate question. I have more details in my
other post.

> The interrogative here sets up a question, and "how" seems
> to fit the context well, as JB takes it.
> Some may prefer: in what way... but that's what I mean by HOW.

I think as my other post will show, "What has happened?" fits the context
well, and in addition does justice to the grammar, syntax, and semantics.
Just because "how" seems to fit the context doesn't mean it is a legitimate
understanding of TI GEGONEN. Again, just because something may "seem" to fit
a certain context doesn't mean it is grammatically or semantically
permissible, or that there is not a better and more natural way to view the
grammar, syntax, and semantics. And again, I'm not certain that Phillips has
the same thing in mind as you do, as I stated above.

One other thing I think you are overlooking. Judas' question is a two
SEAUTON *KAI OUCI TWi KOSMWi*. So Judas question not only pertains to the
disciples, but also to the world. If we follow your strict standard, Jesus
has not answered the question, since he nowhere explains the means by which
or manner in which he is NOT going to manifest himself to the world. In
fact, both hHMIN and OUCI are emphatic, so Judas is very interested not only
in how Jesus words relate to the disciples, but also in how they relate to
the world. The sheer implausibility of the notion that Judas wanted Jesus to
explain the means by which or manner in which he was NOT going to manifest
himself to the world argues against understanding TI GEGONEN as meaning
"how" in the sense of "in what manner" or "by what means." When this is
taken into consideration, it makes much more sense to understand the
sentence as "What has happened that you are going to disclose yourself to us
and not to the world."

Steve [LoVullo -- New list members please take note: BG protocol
calls for a full-name signature on all messages sent to the list.]

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