Tuesday, May 26, 2009

John 16:4-16 (15.26)

15.26 The word parakletos for the HS is a tough one to crack! The noun literally means "one called along side of." Originally it meant a "legal assistant." Hence the affinity for the term advocate. Yet, the whole field of words related to parakletos pushes against a cold, judicial term. So, have fun and look over the job description John gives for the parakletos and you tell me what this sounds like!
14.16 The parakletos is a gift from God
14.17 The parakletos will be with us, even abide in us forever
14.26 The parakletos will teach you and cause you to remember the words of Jesus
15.26 The parakletos will witness about Jesus
16.8 The parakletos will prove the world concerning sin, righteousness and judgment.
16.13 The parakletos will guide you on the way
16.13 The parakletos will listen to the Father and Son
16.14 The parakletos will glorify Jesus
16.14 The parakletos will make Jesus known

Interestingly, the Vulgate does not even use the term advocate to translate parakletos, instead transliterating the word "paracletus." In fact, the Latin does translate the word "parakletos" from the Greek into the Latin "advocatum" once, and this is from 1 John 2.1, where the sense is different. Indeed, here the idea is Jesus interceding for us against the judge of the Father concerning our sins; in John the idea of the parakletos has nothing to do with a legal metaphor before God the Father, but the enabler of Christian before the world of unbelievers.

16.6 John here uses the word "plehro-oo"; Jesus says sorrow has filled their hearts. This will be the same word that Luke will use to the desribe the Holy Spirit, that the Holy Spirit filled them.

16.9 "Concerning sin, because they do not..." The because here is a "hoti" clause; it could also be translated, "concerning sin, that they do not believe in me." This applies for 16.10 and 11 too, ie, concerning righteousness that...concerning judgement that...

16.12 The word hear for "bear" is "bastaz-oo" This word Paul will use in Galatians, to bear one another's burdens.

16.13 The verb here for "guide" is "hodege-oo" which means "hodos+ag-oo"=lead on the way; the verb we say two weeks back with Philipp and the Eunuch.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

John 5:9-13

Two brief comments on this brief text:

5:9 The major translations differ on how the understand the "ei" clause in verse 9. "Ei" expresses conditionality (if); however, in this case, since the verb in the "ei" clause is in the indicative and not the subjunctive, one can translate the "ei" to mean "since."

The entire passage: The verbs for life are all in the present. Jesus is the life; the one who is believing/having the son is having eternal life. Eternal life and having Jesus are not future activities, but present ones.

There are some verbs in the perfect (testify; make a liar); but the verbs around faith, life and Jesus are all present, implying now and on-going action.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

1 John 5:1-6

5.1 The translators here put human language on abstraction here. The second half of this verse literally says:

"The one who loves the one who begets loves the one who is begotten." The language of "born" and "Father/Parent" and "son" are not in the verse here, rather, the language of beget is used.

5.4 The NRSV blows the tense of the verb "conquer." It is in the aorist; there is no sense that victory has not been won.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Acts 8:26-40

The biggest word cluster is around "way."  Both Philip and the Ethiopian are on their way.  But THE way of Jesus means the way of the Spirit.  Which means its not what we expect.

Key words:
αναστηθι και πορευου ("Get up and go"; 8:26) Philip is told to "Get up and go" (a very familiar line from the OT; Abraham -- Get up and go!). The question is whether this is verbal coordination Hebrew style (Go in a quick way) or whether Luke is implying two separate verbs. The English translations tend to put the verbs together, but the tense is actually different in the Greek. "Stand up and keep traveling/going" is probably the best translation.

γαζα (gaza, two meanings, town's name or treasury; 8:26/8:27) The word for "treasury" is actually γαζα so this Ethiopians is in charge of the "gaza"; Philip is on the road heading south of Jerusalem toward γαζα, aka treasure.  He is on the road to treasure, which will actually be is Baptism...okay, I am stretching it here, but it hardly seems coincidence that Luke uses the word γαζα in two consecutive sentences; once to mean treasury and once for the name of a town.

κολληθητι (from κολλαω, meaning "cling"; 8:29) The word for join/stay here is κολλαω as in collate or really cling. Philip is told to cling to the chariot. (Paul tells us in Romans to cling to what is good, 12:9)

απα (ara; 8:30)  The word that begins the sentence (ara) is an untranslatable interjection that expects a negative answer, so really, Philip's question is "You don't understand..."

ογηγησαι ("lead", 8:31) The word for "guide/explain" here is ογηγεω ...which comes from οδος (road/way) and αγω (lead). So Philip has been sent on the way by the Spirit to be the way-leader for someone else.

οδος (hodos, meaning "way"; 8:32) Again, we have the word "way" here...which will also show up in 8:39, he went on his way rejoicing!  Early Christians will be described as followers of the way (Acts 9:2)