[B-Greek] John 2:15

yancywsmith at sbcglobal.net yancywsmith at sbcglobal.net
Sun Aug 8 21:45:00 EDT 2010

One might receive a bit of instruction about this passage by taking a gander at the standard translations. The NEB suggests that Jesus uses the whip on all of the men: "Jesus made a whip of cords and drove them out of the temple, sheep, cattle, and all." The NRSV and NIV suggest that he uses the whip only on the cattle and sheep: "Making a whip of cords, he drove all (PANTAS EXEBALEN) of them out of the temple, both the sheep and the cattle." Who/what does PANTAS (all) refer to? PANTAS is a plural masculine. The masculine does not correspond to the PROBATA (sheep), which is neuter, although it agrees with BOAS (oxen), which is masculine. Verse 15 dies imply that Jesus makes the whip because he finds in the temple those who sell cattle, sheep, and doves--and the moneychangers seated at their tables. But did Jesus use  his whip only on the sheep and cattle? The basis for the NIV and NRSV is the construction TE ... KAI (cf. 4:32 and 6:18).  TE ... KAI subdivides a subject or object previously mentioned into its component parts. PANTAS refers to the sheep and cattle and not men. However, it is difficult to take the sheep and oxen in apposition with PANTAS (all) because PROBATA (sheep) is neuter. Still, the grammatical rule, as I have intuited it, is that the adjective, when qualifying two nouns of different genders, agrees with the masculine or feminine noun rather than with the neuter noun, irrespective of position. One might also make the further point that if Jesus had used the whip on people he would most certainly have been in trouble immediately. Furthermore, taking the PANTAS as referring to animals clears up the question of why Jesus speaks to those who sell the doves and tells them to take them out of the temple. I.e., why didn't he just drive them out too? Presumably, when he turned over the money changers tables a general confusion would have ensued as everyone went scampering for the loose coins, some trying to make off with some extra cash while others attempted to recover their money. It seems best to conclude that John portrays Jesus using the whip on the animals while the human beings tried to recover their goods.

Yancy Smith, PhD
yancywsmith at sbcglobal.net
Y.W.Smith at tcu.edu
yancy at wbtc.com
5636 Wedgworth Road
Fort Worth, TX 76133

On Aug 8, 2010, at 5:53 PM, Barry wrote:

> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Oun Kwon" <kwonbbl at gmail.com>
> To: "Barry" <nebarry at verizon.net>
> Cc: "greek B-Greek" <b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Sent: Sunday, August 08, 2010 6:31 PM
> Subject: Re: [B-Greek] John 2:15
>> How come?
> Did you see Carl's response?
>> On the contrary, there is no way that PANTAS could include other than animals. There is no indication in the Greek text. It simply says 'sheep and cattle'! and we don't have to read no more and no less. A whip is for animals. Jesus did not have any right to swing the whip over the people and, the fact is, he did not have to, neither.
>> People would drive themselves out of the place (as Jesus intended to see), for they could not do other than running after their treasure - their animals - which they had to hold on ;-)
> And how does the Greek support these assertions?
> N.E. Barry Hofstetter
> Classics and Bible Instructor, TAA
> http://www.theamericanacademy.net
> (2010 Savatori Excellence in Education Winner)
> Mentor, TNARS
> http://www.tnars.net
> http://my.opera.com/barryhofstetter/blog
> http://mysite.verizon.net/nebarry
> ---
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