Wednesday, August 26, 2009

James 1:17-27

1.17 The word for "from above" is "anothen," which is used in John 3 -- a person must be born "from above//again"

1.18 Translations suffer how to translate a participle here: "boulomai," which means wish, desire, will, plan. Basically, the sentence reads "Under the circumstances of having planed/desired/wished/willed, he gave birth to us through the word." Interesting, the word is used twice more in the book of James; once to refer to the rudder of a ship (3.4) and once to refer to a person wishing to become a friend of the world (4.4). In otherwords, the translation "soverign plan" of the NET or even the NRSV "The fulfillment of his own purposes," are probably fairly strong. The most natural translation might simply be: "Because he wanted to he gave birth to us through the word."

1.18 The word for give birth here is used in 1.15 (not a part of this weeks reading) talking about how sin gives birth to death.

1.19-1.20 The word for anger here is "orgeh," which also means wrath.

1.21 The word for "implant" is "emphytos," is an organic reference here.

1.25 The word here for "stoop down" is "parakyptoo," which is also used in both Luke and John's account of the resurrection when the disciples bend down to look at Jesus. I guess Jesus is the law perfected...

To put a summary on all of this; this verse might be tough for those that hate James' general theology of works-righteousness. However, I find a lot of ideas of grace here and some connections with Paul and John. Gifts, both law and Gospel, come from heaven; God makes us alive again; the word takes soil in us, saving us and working in us to do good works.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

John 6:56-69

6:56 The word for "eat" is "troogoo" which means, according to Lidell-Scott (the overall Greek, not just NT, dictionary, "to gnaw, nibble, munch, of herbivorous animals, as mules." If you were not grossed out enough we go!

6:60 The word for "teaching" is simply "ho logos." The teaching is not the problem, simply the logos is!

6:61 Jesus asks them if they have been offended; literally, "Has this scandalized you?"

6:63 One of my favorite words in the NT: "zoopoie-oo" "make alive" Here we see the common ground of Paul, Peter and John; the work of the Spirit is to make-alive! (1 Pet 3:18; 2 Cor 3:6)

6:64 Jesus says, "The words that I have spoken are Spirit and life." Actually, Jesus says, "The words that I have spoken is Spirit and life." Ie, the words of Jesus form a coherent unit, the Logos, that early people complained was hard.

6:66 Some of the disciples stop following Jesus; but literally it is "stopped walking with him."

6:69 "We have come to believe and know..." It is interesting that John puts believing before knowing. Come, see, believe, know and live...what might be the ordo salutus here?

Eph 6:10-20

6:11 The word for armor here is "panoplia." This literally is all hoplia or all the armor...Compare Col 3.12 where Paul said we should put on (endy-oo; same verb): compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.

6:11 Wiles of the devil: "methodeia" of the devil (methodia = trickery, but literally means the side route). I think this would be a much scarier translation in English: "The methods of the devil." The translators do not do this because technically there is another sibling word that more clearly translates as "methodos."

6:12 The word for "world powers of darkness" is kosmoskratos, literally, rulers of the world. This is quite an acknowledgment of the powers of evil, given that the Greek liturgy praises God as the pantokrator, the ruler of the all.

6:13 The word here for "withstand" is actually "anthisthni" or literally, "stand against." The idea here is for resistance. Paul uses this word to talk about his own actions when he "opposed" Peter for determining that he was better/more Christian than other people.

6:14 The verb "stand" here appears for the third time (in addition to a
4th "withstand"). For all the use of armor, the word attack is never used, but rather stand and maybe oppose.

6:20 The word for ambassador here is presbyter, which can also mean elder.