[B-Greek] Use of AIRW in John 15:2

Iver Larsen iver_larsen at sil.org
Wed Jul 23 06:01:45 EDT 2003

> I just found this site the other day and have read a number of
> the messages that have been posted, in particular those
> concerning the perfect tense. Reading them made me quickly
> realize there was a great wealth of knowledge on this site.
> I have a question that perhaps some of you could shed some light on.
> I have read that in John 15:2, the verb "AIRW - to take away
> (KJV)"  could also mean "to lift up".
> Perhaps this questions has been addressed in the past, but I
> would like to know if any of you know of any exegesis support for
> this interpretation.
> Thanking you in advance.
> Erich V. Burton

This was recently discussed on the Bible-translation list

For instance, I made the following comment on it on Saturday, May 3, 2003:

The basic sense of AIRW, sense (a) in L&N, 15.203 is
"to lift up and carry (away) - to carry (away), to carry off, to remove, to
take (away)"

AIRW has both the idea of picking something up and carrying it away. In
certain contexts the carrying away/off or removing is so much in focus that
the sense develops into "destroy". In other contexts, the focus is more on
picking up an object from the ground as in John 8:59 and 5:8.

John 15:2 says: "Every branch in me that does not bear fruit, he AIREI it."
A recent book by a popular author argues that the word means to
lift up and bind up as if the branch was bent to the ground. But this sense
is hardly allowed by AIRW, and certainly not in this context. It must mean
that the branch without fruit is removed and taken away. The NET Bible
(www.bible.org) has a
long comment on this at AIRW in John 15:2.

To follow up on an earlier topic, I just realized that John 15:1-8 seems to
of two Semitic overlapping circles. The first circle is 1-4 and the second
5-8. The overlapping is marked by the first clause in v. 1 and 5 being
identical, plus the overlap in words and topics in the two sections.
This means that one gets a fuller picture by putting these two sections on
top of each other and get certain details from one section and other details
from the other.
For instance, we can see that there are two types of branches, the
fruitbearing and the non-fruitbearing. We get information about the two
kinds from both sections, e.g:

1) fruit-bearing:
	is pruned to give even more fruit (v. 2b),
	it must *remain* connected to the vine (v. 4b, 5)
	if connected, prayers will be answered (v. 7)
	if much fruit, the Father is glorified and those "branches" are truly
disciples (v. 8)

2) non-fruit-bearing:
	no fruit results in being removed (v. 2a)
	no fruit is a result of not staying connected to the vine (v. 4b,c, 5c)
	if not remaining connected (and therefore no fruit and therefore removed),
it will be thrown away to wither and then burned as trash (v. 6)

Iver Larsen

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