[B-Greek] Significance of Pluperfects In John 6:17

Webb webb at selftest.net
Tue Jul 24 19:57:04 EDT 2007


16 hWS DE OYIA EGENETO KATEBHSAN hOI MAQHTAI AUTOU EPI THN QALASSAN 17  KAI
EMBANTES EIS PLOION HRCONTO PERAN THS QALASSHS EIS KAFARNAOUM KAI SKOTIA HDH
EGEGONEI KAI OUPW ELHLUQEI PROS AUTOUS hO IHSOUS 

16 When evening came, Jesus' followers went down to the lake. 17 They got
into a boat, and were going across the lake to Capernaum. It had already
gotten dark, and Jesus hadn't come to them yet.

Dear Doug,

You're always free to make something of light and dark language in John.
Nonetheless, the pluperfects make good sense to me without any surplus
meaning in the context of Jn 6:16-17. 

The coming of evening does not mean the same thing as it getting dark. It
probably means around the time the sun goes down. So they went down to the
lake around sunset, and perhaps they waited around for Jesus for a while,
but at some point, when "Jesus hadn't come to them yet", they decided to
start across the lake without him. His meeting with them on the lake was in
the dark, so in fact John had to supply the information that it had gotten
dark because just saying it was evening did NOT imply that it was dark. 

Webb Mealy

-----Original Message-----
From: b-greek-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:b-greek-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Douglas M. Wood
Sent: Tuesday, July 24, 2007 2:57 PM
To: b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: [B-Greek] Significance of Pluperfects In John 6:17

Dear Text Experts:

     I am a pastor preaching this coming Sunday.

In chewing on and investigating the meaning of

my text (John 6:15-21; Jesus Walks On The Sea),

I discovered your website.  I trust that you are

most interested in discerning the meaning that

the Holy Spirit intended, through His on-purpose

choice of Greek words.  

 

     There are 2 pluperfects in John 6:17.  Since 

there are only 22 pluperfects in the entire NT, I

am thinking that 2 in one spot is very significant.

 

     Most English translations render the verse

as a report on the time and status -- for example, 

"And it was already dark, and Jesus had not come

to them" (NKJV).  I find such a translation superfluous 

given the time report in v. 16.  

 

     I am theorizing that the pluperfects in this 

verse intone something more significant --

and cosmically so, related to the Light

coming into the Darkness theme in this, the

Gospel of John.

 

    What say you about the pluperfects here ?

Are there any articles in your archives that you

can point me to ?  Do you know of any 

commentaries that attempt to fathom the significance

of the pluperfects (so far, I have only found the

William Hendriksen volume on John in the New

Testament Commentary by Baker Book House

[1953] that calls any attention at all to the pluperfects;

but, I find his interpretation of the meaning not

fully satisfying) ?

 

    Thank you for any assistance that you can be.

 

                                    In Christ,

                                                   Doug Wood

 

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