Jn 11:37 question tag OUK
c stirling bartholomew
cc.constantine at worldnet.att.net
Sat Mar 16 01:16:31 EST 2002
on 3/15/02 6:26 PM, richard smith wrote:
> OUK EDUNATO hOUTOS hO ANOIXAS TOUS OFQALMOUS TOU TUFLOU POIHSAI hINA KAI
> hOUTOS MH APOQANHi;
> The basic Greek texts all teach about the expected yes answer of OU
> indicative questions.
> Is the above verse intended to express that those who asked the question
> expected that Jesus could have acted so that Lazarus might not have died?
> Perhaps the question is intended rhetorically. Even in that case, though,
> the question would seem to be an evaluation of the actions of Jesus, who
> is evidently seen by the questioners as being able to accomplish this
> miracle of stopping Lazarus'death, but did not.
> Is the sense of the verse that the questioners expect that Jesus could
> have prevented Lazarus' death and did not act, or that Jesus was evidently
> not up to the task of preventing the death, despite His strong desire to
> do so?
JN 11:33 IHSOUS OUN WS EIDEN AUTHN KLAIOUSAN KAI TOUS SUNELQONTAS AUTH
IOUDAIOUS KLAIONTAS, ENEBRIMHSATO TW PNEUMATI KAI ETARAXEN EAUTON 34 KAI
EIPEN: POU TEQEIKATE AUTON; LEGOUSIN AUTW: KURIE, ERCOU KAI IDE. 35
EDAKRUSEN O IHSOUS. 36 ELEGON OUN OI IOUDAIOI: IDE PWS EFILEI AUTON. 37
TINES DE EX AUTWN EIPAN: OUK EDUNATO OUTOS O ANOIXAS TOUS OFQALMOUS TOU
TUFLOU POIHSAI INA KAI OUTOS MH APOQANH; 38 IHSOUS OUN PALIN EMBRIMWMENOS EN
EAUTW ERCETAI EIS TO MNHMEION: HN DE SPHLAION KAI LIQOS EPEKEITO EP AUTW.
There are some clues in the context which you might want to ponder. In 11:33
ENEBRIMHSATO TW PNEUMATI KAI ETARAXEN EAUTON introduces a response of Jesus
to something (what?) and in 11:38 IHSOUS OUN PALIN EMBRIMWMENOS EN EAUTW we
see an abbreviated repetition of this response to something (what?).
Now if the response of Jesus in 11:33 is to essentially the same thing as
the response in 11:38, then we might ask ourselves what relationship is
there between the comment under discussion (11:37) and Jesus response in
Another thought: It is possible that the question in 11:37 is intended to
state what the speakers considered a valid inference, if A then B, and then
deny both A and B by simply observing that B isn't true. In other words,
Jesus didn't keep this man form dying so he didn't heal the blind man
either. This would explain the use of OUK in what is an overall negative
assessment of Jesus power of healing. This is "street" logic, not the kind
they teach in college logic classes.
Now if we combine that thought with the previous suggestions about Jesus
response in 11:33 & 11:38, it might be argued that Jesus EMBRIMWMENOS EN
EAUTW (11:38) was about something other than his friend's death.
These are just suggestions, they don't constitute "my view" on this subject.
Not sure I have a view on it at this point.
For a long discussion of Jesus' response in 11:33 & 11:38 you can see an
article in The Collected Shorter Writings of B.B. Warfield. I am citing from
memory here (20 some years ago) so you might find it in a different book.
Also there is a good long discussion of this in B.F. Westcott's commentary
Clayton Stirling Bartholomew
Three Tree Point
P.O. Box 255 Seahurst WA 98062
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