Iver Larsen iver_larsen at sil.org
Mon Aug 23 01:34:08 EDT 2010

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Mark Lightman
To: Blue Meeksbay ; Iver Larsen
Cc: b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org
Sent: 22. august 2010 21:24
Subject: Re: [B-Greek] A REMOTE ANTECEDENT IN JOHN 12:20-26??

<(I made a mistake, the present is used three times as you said, not
four as I said),>

Or, maybe only once, as the Majority Text has the aorist APOKRINATO at 12:23 and 
the aorist APEKRIQH at 13:38.  Only 13:26 has APOKRINETAI.  And this strikes me 
as the least "crucial" or "prominent" of Jesus' three replies.

Mark L

Most of the studies of John's use of the historic present deal with LEGEI, since 
that is very common. The present tense of APOKRINOMAI is rare in John, 
regardless of textual issues. However, the pattern established for LEGEI is 
likely to also apply to APOKRINETAI.

It would be very strange for John to have written APEKRINATO at 12:23. The 
normal phrase for John is APEKRIQH KAI EIPEN. Have a look at the 78 occurrences 
of APOKRINOMAI in John. There is no parallel to APEKRINATO LEGWN in John. It 
does occur in Luke 3:16, but that is the only place in the NT. The only place 
John uses APEKRINATO is in 5:19 where it is followed by KAI ELEGEN, or possibly 
KAI EIPEN as the Majority text has it.
Both internal and external reasons suggest to me that APOKRINETAI is also the 
original reading in 13:38, but I only mention this is passing since it was 
brought up. Textual discussions are outside our scope here.

Another interesting question is why John sometimes only uses the verb 
APOKRINOMAI and why he so often uses APEKRIQH KAI EIPEN. My initial take on this 
after a quick glance of the passages is that APOKRINOMAI is used if the answer 
is limited to answering the question, corresponding to the English "he 
answered". If LEGW is added, it appears that the response goes beyond a 
straightforward answer and includes a statement that opens a new thread and 
gives information not envisaged by the question. In English that might 
correspond to: "In response he said..."

In regard to 13:26 "prominent" does not apply, but the general function of 
"hightened tension" or "added suspense" does. These are alternative ways of 
describing the historic present - even when used in English.

Iver Larsen

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