[B-Greek] John 8:51 "never see death"

Ben and Jo Crick ben.crick at argonet.co.uk
Sat Jun 21 12:30:03 EDT 2003

On Fri 20 Jun 2003 (13:41:18), markosl80 at yahoo.com wrote:
> John 8:51-52
> In both these passage there are Greek words untranslated in most
> versions: "eis aion" never see death "for ever", never taste of death
> "to the age".
> In your view..
> What is the significance of these two words, in this passage, and also
> John 11:26, in terms of ..  translation 
> doctrine
> idiomatic usage

 In terms of Greek, EIS TON AIWNA in both verses 51 and 52 appear to be a
 Hebraism rendering `aD `oWLaM, "to eternity". This adverbial phrase of
 time is found in Psalms 41:14, 90:2, 103:17, and 106:48. In Psalm 41:14
 we have "Blessed be the LORD God of Israel
 Me`Ha`oWLaM            W:`aD Ha`oWLaM           'aMeN W:'aMeN
 From [the] everlasting and to [the] everlasting  Amen and Amen".

 The `oWLaM is "the age" or "eternity"; that is, eternity past and eternity
 future. You'll notice that Jesus starts his saying in John 8:51 AMHN AMHN
 LEGW hUMIN: the doubled Amen with which Psalm 41:14 ends.

 EIS TON AIWNA reinforces the double negative OU MH in verses 51 and 52:
 "No not for ever" or "never ever for all eternity".

 Doctrine is a No-no for B-Greek; I'll refer you to the commentators for that.

 Idiomatic Usage is the Hebrew idiomatic usage, somewhat woodenly translated
 into Greek. Compare Psalm 41:14 (40:13 in LXX) EULOGHTOS KURIOS hO QEOS

 With GENOITO for 'aMeN, compare MH GENOITO in Romans 6:2, 7:7,13, 9:14, 11:1,
 11:11 and elsewhere, rendered "God forbid" in the KJV and "by no means" in
 later versions. You can hardly get more idiomatic than that!  The emphatic
 negative MH plus the Optative implies "may it never ever be even an option!".

 Revd Ben Crick BA CF, and Mrs Joanna (Goodwin) Crick
 <ben.crick at argonet.co.uk>
 232 Canterbury Road, Birchington, Kent, CT7 9TD (UK)

More information about the B-Greek mailing list