[B-Greek] Jn 7:22 DIA TOUTO

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Sat Nov 4 07:14:36 EST 2006

I confess that I didn't find the conventional usage of DIA TOUTO as  
"For this reason ... " or "That's why ... " works very well at the  
beginning of of 7:22 -- and in that respect, I agree with Iver's  
concerns. But I find the suggestion that DIA TOUTO belongs at the end  
of Jn 7:21b unconvincing also. The examples cited by Iver (way down  
below -- I prefer here to respond above the cited prior  
correspondence) all involve DIA and an accusative object -- but NONE  
OF THEM involves TOUTO. What I find most problematic about the  
suggestion that DIA TOUTO stands at the end of 7:21b and means simply  
"for that reason" is that TOUTO is a demonstrative pronoun, and it  
seems odd to me that a demonstrative pronoun should be the final  
element in a clause, particularly if, as Iver notes in an aside at  
the end of his discussion below, this DIA TOUTO in final position is  
not at all emphatic.

I don't know what an adequate explanation for DIA TOUTO may be  
(evidently there's no real textual problem here) might be (perhaps,  
"And for that matter ..."? -- but I'm not sure we could find similar  
usage in other instances of DIA TOUTO) but I still find it difficult  
to believe that a demonstrative (hOUTOS/hAUTH/TOUTO is a  
demonstrative, isn't it?) should be situated at the very end of a  
clause and still not be at all emphatic.

On Nov 4, 2006, at 2:40 AM, Iver Larsen wrote:

> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Oun Kwon" <kwonbbl at gmail.com>
>> On 11/2/06, Carl W. Conrad <cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu> wrote:
>>> On Nov 2, 2006, at 9:20 AM, Oun Kwon wrote:
>>>> I'm unsure of the verse break vv Jn 7:21 & 22.
>>>> Shouldn't DIA TOUTO belong to the end of v. 21 to explain QAUMAZETE
>>>> (shocked BY IT)?
>>> DIA TOUTO doesn't mean "by it" but "for this reason." What 7:22 says
>>> is "That's why Moses gave us circumcision ... "
>>> There are 131 instances of DIA TOUTO in the GNT, all of them at the
>>> beginning of a clause.
>> I just found the source of my question. I am copying the footnote on
>> DIA TOUTO here from the Translator's New Testament (1973) by British
>> and Foreign Bible Society:
>> The literal translation is 'on account of this'. Two different
>> punctuations are found in modern translations: (1) If the full stop
>> follows 'by it', the meaning is that Jesus did a miracle on the
>> Sabbath and the Jews were shocked by it. (2) If the stop is put  
>> before
>> 'by it' we read 'on account of this Moses gave you the rite of
>> circumcision', which would imply that Moses did so in order that the
>> Sabbath should be broken. Since this seems unnatural, TT has adopted
>> (1).
>> Here I do not agree with their argument 'in order that the Sabbath
>> should be broken'.   The idea must be 'to follow what Moses commanded
>> for circumcision rites, Sabbath may have to be broken'.
>> What I was curious was whether there is something definite (rather
>> than discretionary) to tell where to keep DIA TOUTO. In this
>> particular example, the context and usage may allow to keep this at
>> the end of the preceding verse though I see that many instances of
>> this appearing at the beginning of a clause.
>> Oun Kwon.
> This is an excellent question, and there is no quick and easy  
> answer. Louw and Nida offers no help,
> and there is not much discussion of it in BAGD.
> Looking at all the 64 instances of DIA TOUTO in the GNT, I have  
> come up with three different usages.
> (I did not research the 350 instances in LXX).
> 1. With the meaning "therefore, that is why, the reason for B is A"  
> we find it as a logical
> connector between two clauses or sentences. It indicates that the  
> previous clause (A) gives the
> reason for the following clause (B). The two common possibilities  
> are reason-purpose and
> reason-result. In my analysis, this applies to 32 of the 64. It may  
> come after the coordinating
> conjunction KAI as in Matthew 14:2, but John often uses it without,  
> possibly because he prefers
> asyndeton.
> 2. With the same meaning it is used cataphorically to highlight a  
> reason that is given later in the
> sentence ("the reason for A is that/because B"). The reason clause  
> is often introduced by hOTI. I
> found 11 such examples, and John is the main user of them. John  
> also commonly uses the corresponding
> anaphoric EN TOUTWi, especially in 1 John. The first example is  
> Matt 13:13:
> (The reason I speak to them in parables is that they see but don't  
> get it and they hear but don't
> obey)
> 3. The third meaning is as a discourse connector that has no  
> equivalent in English, so some English
> versions simply don't translate the words, whereas many of them  
> somewhat misleadingly translate it
> by "wherefore", "therefore" or "for this reason".
> In this usage, it does not link two clauses or sentences in terms  
> of one being the reason for the
> other. Rather it introduces a new and important thought that is  
> loosely based on the theme of the
> whole preceding paragraph. I would describe the meaning as "Based  
> on the foregoing, I want to tell
> you somethingimportant:"
> This third meaning is not covered in a traditional dictionary like  
> BAGD, because it can only be
> described from the vantage point of discourse analysis. It often  
> starts a new paragraph. The
> difference between traditional grammar and discourse (or text)  
> linguistics is that traditional
> grammar deals with the hierarchy from morpheme to sentence, whereas  
> text linguistics focuses on the
> hierarchy form sentence to text, i.e. how sentences are built into  
> paragraphs and how paragraphs are
> built into texts. It discusses tense, demonstratives etc. from a  
> whole text perspective and DIA
> TOUTO it is able to explain things that cannot be explained in  
> traditional "low-level" grammar.
> I found 19 examples of this usage of DIA TOUTO, or about 30%. (I  
> realize that in some cases
> alternative analyses can be suggested, and there is not always a  
> clear demarcation between 1. and
> 3.) One of many examples is in
> Mat 12:31:
> RSV: 30 He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not  
> gather with me scatters. 31 DIA
> TOUTO I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but  
> the blasphemy against the Spirit
> will not be forgiven. For some reason this usage is most common in  
> Matthew, but is also found in
> Luke and Paul. There are no examples in John's gospel or letters of  
> option 3, although he is the
> most prolific user of option 1 and 2.
> Now, returning to Jn 7:22, I found that neither of the three  
> options fit here. Option 1 is out,
> because it cannot be a logical connector between the two sentences  
> "I did one work, and you all
> marvel" and that is why(?) "Moses gave you the circumcision". 2 is  
> also out, because there is
> nothing later that it could connect to. 3 is also out, because  
> there is no paragraph preceding, only
> one short sentence.
> And even in 3, there must be some logical basis in the preceding  
> text, even though it is a more
> loose connection. There is no such basis to be found in the first  
> sentence.
> It is not a good solution to suggest a fourth usage of DIA TOUTO  
> just to cover this instance. It is
> much better to analyse these two words, not as a clause, sentence  
> or discourse connector, but as a
> simple prepositional phrase where TOUTO refers back to ERGON (or  
> the whole sentence). This is what
> was suggested above and what is found in RSV: "I did one deed, and  
> you all marvel at it. 22 Moses
> gave you circumcision..." CEV has "I worked one miracle, and it  
> amazed you." God's Word: "I
> performed one miracle, and all of you are surprised by it." JBP: "I  
> have done one thing and you are
> all amazed at it." JB: "One work I did, and you are all surprised  
> by it." NJB: "One work I did, and
> you are all amazed at it." (Why they say "at it" rather than  
> "because of it" I don't know.)
> If we had the Greek text before us without punctuation, my guess is  
> that many more translators would
> have taken it to mean "and you all marvel because of this (deed)."  
> The words have been
> misunderstood, because it is so common to have them together as a  
> connector in the beginning of a
> sentence, and it is rare to have them as a prepositional phrase.  
> But if we look at a DIA phrase
> indicating reason at the end of a clause or sentence, that is quite  
> common in John. (To continue my
> good-humoured disagreement with Carl, there is no emphasis  
> signalled by the clause-final position.)
> Let me quote some examples:
> 6:57b ZHSEI DI' EME.
> 11:15 CAIRW DI' hUMAS,
> I need to go back and revise my translations of John, because I  
> didn't know this until today when I
> researched it.
> Iver Larsen
> ---
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Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)
1989 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad2 at mac.com
WWW: http://www.ioa.com/~cwconrad/

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