[B-Greek] John 8:31ff

Clwinbery at aol.com Clwinbery at aol.com
Fri Feb 6 11:58:15 EST 2004

In a message dated 2/6/2004 9:49:45 AM Eastern Standard Time, jbnard at yahoo.co.uk writes:

> Dear b-greekers,
> I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on this:
> John 8:31ff
> 1) Jesus begins by addressing TOUS PEPISTEUKOTAS AUTWi
> (v.37). I cannot discern a shift in this passage from
> those who believe in him and those who are trying to
> kill him; does this mean they are the same people? Am
> I missing something?
I do not think the two are necessarily the same though there are a couple of examples in John where the crowd turns against him such as the reaction to the feeding in chapter 6. 
> Is POIEITE indicative or imperative? 
> It seems to me that an indicative fits the context
> better since an imperative (You must do the works of
> your Father) would effectively be saying “stop trying
> to kill me” whereas Jesus doesn’t seem to be on the
> defensive in this passage and a command to stop trying
> to kill him seems unlikely considering his mission was
> to die.

This must be indicative in this context. It seems more like a description (descriptive present) than a command.
> However if it is an indicative is it: 
>   1)    Sarcastic i.e. he has just made it plain that
> they are not doing the works of their father (Abraham)
> and he states (sarcastically), yes of course you do
> the works of your father.
>   2)    A solemn statement that they do the works of
> their father who would later be identified as the
> Devil (v.44).
> Concerning option 1 I wonder if there are any examples
> of Jesus being sarcastic, i.e. would this be out of
> character?
> Concerning option 2 I can see how this works in a
> text, and perhaps the author had this in mind, but
> this is primarily a record of a conversation and I
> doubt the Jews would get a reference to something
> Jesus has not yet said.

Again this seems more like a description of them than sarcasm. 

Carlton Winbery
Louisiana College

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