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[John_Lit] John 15.26

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  • N & RJ Hanscamp
    Since I haven t heard from this group in a long time, I wonder if I could still ask for some comment on the following. To whom is the witness of the Spirit in
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 16, 1999
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      Since I haven't heard from this group in a long time, I wonder if I could
      still ask for some comment on the following.

      To whom is the witness of the Spirit in John 15.26. The world (forensic -
      conviction: Brown, Lindars), the world (witness for faith-response), or the
      disciples (Newman & Nida)?

      I am tending to favour against the first and last for the following reasons:

      Brown sees this as introducing the forensic element of "establish(ing) the
      guilt and sin of the world" which will be introduced in 16.8-11. While
      this may be true of the Paraclete in that passage, several factors seem to
      mitigate against Brown's reading. The imperative that the disciples will
      also witness in the next is one factor. The disciples are never given the
      task of accusers or judges of the world's sin. A second factor is that the
      witness of the Spirit in 15.26 is not a witness PERI hAMARTIAS KAI PERI
      DIKAIOSUNHS KAI PERI KRISEWS as it is in 16.8. In 15.26 it is a witness
      PERI EMOU, that is Jesus. It would seem that the two are separate, yet
      complimentary functions.

      Newman and Nida see the witness of the Spirit as being to the disciples.
      This would compliment 14.25 since “the role of the Spirit was primarily in
      relation to the believer, and since the previous cause states specifically
      that Jesus is to send the Spirit to the believers, it seems preferable to
      render the final clause of verse 26 “and he will speak to you about me.’”
      (N&N 497) However, this too has its problems. The assumption that the
      relationship of the Spirit is primarily with the disciples is dealt with in
      the next chapter (Jn 16.8-11). Further, the Paraclete is sent to the
      disciples (16.7) and his role is to "prove the world wrong about sin and
      righteousness and judgment," not to speak to the disciples. The fact that
      Newman and Nida go on to state that the goal of the witness in the next
      verse is "other persons" may be grammatically correct. However it does not
      seem to make sense in the light of the wider context of the hatred of the
      world, and the various roles of "witness" in the Fourth Gospel, nor is it
      necessarily the best grammatical choice.

      Any comments would be appreciated.

      Nigel

      Nigel Hanscamp
      Trinity Methodist Theological College
      Auckland Consortium of Theological Education, New Zealand
      Email: hanscamps@...
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