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Re: [John_Lit] John 20:23

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  • Maluflen@aol.com
    In a message dated 4/21/2004 2:37:42 PM Pacific Daylight Time, ... I think the meaning of the term KRATEIN here is clear enough because of the context: it
    Message 1 of 12 , Apr 22 7:24 AM
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      In a message dated 4/21/2004 2:37:42 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
      bobschacht@... writes:


      > NRS John 20:23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if
      > you retain the sins of any, they are retained."
      >
      > So what the heck does this mean?
      >
      > "Retain" is apparently a form of the verb kratein. One of the most common
      > applications of this verb is "arrest," as in
      > NRS Mark 14:44 Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, "The one I
      > will kiss is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard."
      >

      I think the meaning of the term KRATEIN here is clear enough because of the
      context: it means to withhold forgiveness. On the other hand, it remains an
      unusual, not to say an odd expression because it actually speaks of the sins,
      rather than the forgiveness as being "retained". KRATEIN frequently means "to
      have power over, to control". In this meaning too, the verb would make more sense
      if its implied object were "forgiveness", rather than the sins themselves.
      And although the context makes the overall meaning clear, the terms AFIENAI and
      KRATEIN do not, to my knowledge, form an otherwise biblically attested pair of
      contrasting terms. The term KRATEIN is very common in 4 Macc, almost always
      in the context of the "control" of reason over the passions, or the "dominance"
      of the passions over reason. But, again, I don't think these uses of the term
      are particularly illuminative of this Johannine passage.

      Leonard Maluf


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Ramsey Michaels
      Without using the term retain, Jesus does in fact retain sins in Jn 8:21, 24; 9:41; 15:22. Interestingly, I know of no place in John s Gospel where he
      Message 2 of 12 , Apr 22 7:50 AM
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        Without using the term "retain," Jesus does in fact "retain" sins in Jn
        8:21, 24; 9:41; 15:22. Interestingly, I know of no place in John's Gospel
        where he explicitly "forgives" anyone's sin (5:14 comes closest, except for
        8:11, which I guess does not count).

        Ramsey Michaels

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: <Maluflen@aol.c;om>
        To: <johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com>; <crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Thursday, April 22, 2004 10:24 AM
        Subject: Re: [John_Lit] John 20:23


        > In a message dated 4/21/2004 2:37:42 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
        > bobschacht@... writes:
        >
        >
        > > NRS John 20:23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them;
        if
        > > you retain the sins of any, they are retained."
        > >
        > > So what the heck does this mean?
        > >
        > > "Retain" is apparently a form of the verb kratein. One of the most
        common
        > > applications of this verb is "arrest," as in
        > > NRS Mark 14:44 Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, "The one
        I
        > > will kiss is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard."
        > >
        >
        > I think the meaning of the term KRATEIN here is clear enough because of
        the
        > context: it means to withhold forgiveness. On the other hand, it remains
        an
        > unusual, not to say an odd expression because it actually speaks of the
        sins,
        > rather than the forgiveness as being "retained". KRATEIN frequently means
        "to
        > have power over, to control". In this meaning too, the verb would make
        more sense
        > if its implied object were "forgiveness", rather than the sins themselves.
        > And although the context makes the overall meaning clear, the terms
        AFIENAI and
        > KRATEIN do not, to my knowledge, form an otherwise biblically attested
        pair of
        > contrasting terms. The term KRATEIN is very common in 4 Macc, almost
        always
        > in the context of the "control" of reason over the passions, or the
        "dominance"
        > of the passions over reason. But, again, I don't think these uses of the
        term
        > are particularly illuminative of this Johannine passage.
        >
        > Leonard Maluf
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        >
        >
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      • Tobias Hägerland
        Yesterday, I posted the following comment in the Xtalk forum, but it ... them; if ... I think the closest parallel to the expression in Jn 20.23 is probably
        Message 3 of 12 , Apr 23 1:28 AM
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          Yesterday, I posted the following comment in the Xtalk forum, but it
          appears more appropriate here:

          --- In crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com, Bob Schacht <bobschacht@i...>
          wrote:
          > NRS John 20:23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven
          them; if
          > you retain the sins of any, they are retained."
          >
          > So what the heck does this mean?
          >

          I think the closest parallel to the expression in Jn 20.23 is
          probably Sir. 28.1 according to Rahlfs' text: tas hamartias autou
          diatêrôn diatêrêsei (RSV "he will firmly establish his sins").

          Could diatêrein in Sirach be equal to kratein in John? The simple
          têrein once renders the Hebrew QWM hif'îl in Rahlfs' Septuagint (1
          Kingdoms 15.11 LXX = 1 Sam. 15.11 MT); likewise kratein is employed
          for QWM hif'îl once (Prov. 30.4). But this is an extremely weak
          argument.

          I heard Sandra M. Schneiders propose a different interpretation of Jn
          20.23 during last year's Raymond E. Brown conference on the Gospel of
          John. Hopefully, I both got her right at that time and do now
          remember her argument correctly.

          Sr Schneiders claimed that there is no evidence for the construction
          hamartiôn kratein in Greek literature unaffected by the Gospel of
          John (and I think she is correct on that matter). She also pointed
          out that there is no explicit mention of 'sins' in 20.23b.
          Schneider's suggestion was that the customary understanding of 20.23b
          as saying, in effect, 'an tinôn kratête tôn hamartiôn kekratêntai' is
          a misreading. Rather, tinôn is not a qualifier of a supplanted tôn
          hamartiôn but the object of kratête. Thus, 20.23b should be
          translated simply: 'if you hold fast any, they are held fast'. And
          to 'hold fast' means to preserve within the community, within God's
          love, or the like (actually I do not recall her exact wording).

          Interesting as this suggestion seems to me, it has not convinced me.
          The parallel relationship between Jn 20.23 and Mt. 16.19 is hardly
          coincidental, and in the latter passage the two members of the
          construction are opposite to each other in meaning. Also, it appears
          strange to have kratein and aphienai as synonyms (see Song 3.4 LXX,
          where the two are clearly antonyms).

          /Tobias Hägerland

          Tobias Hägerland, M.Th.
          Ph.D. Candidate
          Göteborg University
          Department of Religious Studies and Theology
        • Bill Bullin
          No one seems to have referred to Isaiah 22:22 yet nor the Lord s Prayer debts / sins. It seems to me we may be dealing with idioms that reflect / link sin and
          Message 4 of 12 , Apr 23 12:07 PM
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            No one seems to have referred to Isaiah 22:22 yet nor the Lord's Prayer
            debts / sins. It seems to me we may be dealing with idioms that reflect /
            link sin and forgiveness with debt and imprisonment for debt, hence doors
            shutting and opening, hands grasping and releasing. It is as if to be sinned
            against raises a debt that may be 'forgiven' or 'released' or 'held' almost
            physically like an unpaid bill. Isaiah 22:22 and context seems to relate to
            the High Priest's ephod which would fit well with Johannine interests, Jesus
            as the Temple and ultimate High Priest and criticism / condemnation of the
            Jerusalem High Priesthood cf.Isaiah 22: 18-19. Breathing the Holy Spirit
            might be a metaphor for re-creation. Incidentally if you close your eyes and
            breath onto your hand you feel, 'wind', 'water' and 'fire', which, when
            taken with clay gives earth, wind, water, and fire, the ancient elements;
            wind and fire are pentecost signs while water may relate to baptism,
            cleansing, and initiation.

            My material on Isaiah is in a huge pile waiting to be sorted and shelved and
            which I have not consulted so this may not be of much help in which case
            please 'fling it out of the ball park', cf. Isaiah 22: 18: "He will seize
            firm hold of you, whirl you round and round and throw you like a ball into a
            wide land; there you shall die and there your splendid chariots shall lie".
            Sounds like the Highland games to me!

            Fortunately the issue of 'David's key' is not strictly Johannine.

            Bill Bullin (Private Student, East Sussex).
          • Bill Bullin
            A lateral thinking after thought in relation to Isaiah 22:22 and John 20:23. Could there be some vague connection too with the curious comment made in the
            Message 5 of 12 , Apr 23 12:43 PM
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              A lateral thinking after thought in relation to Isaiah 22:22 and John 20:23.

              Could there be some vague connection too with the curious comment made in
              the letter of Polycrates of Ephesus to Victor concerning the Evangelist, as
              cited by Martin Hengel, The Johannine Question, (E.T.1989), 125-6:

              "We could go on to ask as was often done earlier - whether the report of
              Polycrates of Ephesus in his letter to Victor of Rome about John 'who was a
              priest and wore the high-priestly plate on his forehead', is connected with
              John 18:16, ' he was known (or related) to the High Priest' indeed whether
              Polycrates, who was born about 125 CE and bound to earlier Asian
              Christianity by mant ties of family relationships, and of course knew very
              much more than he writes in the letter, wanted in this way to indicate that
              the disciple 'who reclined on the Lord's breast' was, like John the Baptist,
              of priestly descent." with a footnote to Eusebius, HE5:24:.3?

              Bill Bullin (Private Student, East Sussex).
            • Jack Kilmon
              ... From: Bill Bullin To: Sent: Friday, April 23, 2004 2:07 PM Subject: Re: [John_Lit]
              Message 6 of 12 , Apr 23 1:34 PM
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                ----- Original Message -----
                From: "Bill Bullin" <bill.bullin@...>
                To: <johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com>
                Sent: Friday, April 23, 2004 2:07 PM
                Subject: Re: [John_Lit] John 20:23


                > No one seems to have referred to Isaiah 22:22 yet nor the Lord's Prayer
                > debts / sins. It seems to me we may be dealing with idioms that reflect /
                > link sin and forgiveness with debt and imprisonment for debt, hence doors
                > shutting and opening, hands grasping and releasing. It is as if to be
                sinned
                > against raises a debt that may be 'forgiven' or 'released' or 'held'
                almost
                > physically like an unpaid bill.

                Debts xwbyn for sins is an Aramaic idiom.

                "And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors."

                Keep in mind that Luke, being from an Incola of Syrian Antioch, was surely
                competent in Aramaic as well as Greek. The author of Canonical Matthew,
                on the other hand, appears neither competent in Aramaic nor Hebrew.
                Matthew,
                therefore, renders this petition as:

                KAI APHES EMIN TA OPHEILEMATA EMON
                and forgive us our DEBTS

                OS KAI EMEIS APHIEMEN TOIS OHIEILETAIS EMON
                as also we forgive our DEBTORS

                You see, Matthew, IMO, was working from a GREEK translation of the sayings
                source document (TA LOGIA) mentioned by Papias in Eusebius. In the
                Greek OPHEILEMATA refers to your Master Card bill <g>.

                NOW...let's look at it in Aramaic before moving on to good old Luke:

                I will phoneticize this rather than use standard
                transliteration scheme and
                I am going to use a capital X for the pharyngeal,
                back-of-the-throat het thingy because this sentence as it came from the
                mouth of
                Jesus will make you reach for the gargle if you are not middle eastern.

                woshVOX lan Xoy-ya-VAIN ayKAH-na dup XaNAN shva-XAN ull-Xaya-VAIN

                The Aramaic hoyBAYN for "debts" is an idiom *ONLY IN ARAMAIC* for "SINS."

                NOW let's Look at how our Greek educated but Aramaic speaking physician
                writes
                this in his gospel:

                KAI APHES EMIN TAS AMARTIAS EMON
                and forgive us our SINS

                KAI GAR AUTOI APHIEMEN PANTI OPHEILONTI EMIN
                for also ourselves we forgive everyone indebted
                to us

                You will notice that Luke, writing for Greek speaking gentiles, uses the
                Greek word for SINS in the first part while retaining the Greek word for
                "debt" (in participial form) in the second part. So what is Luke telling us
                here?

                Luke is saying:

                "I am writing this in Greek for you because you speak Greek and not the
                native Aramaic of our Lord so you dont know that "debt" means "sin"
                to someone who speaks Aramaic so I am writing YOUR word for SIN
                to make you understand what it means."

                Luke is testifying here that 1. Jesus spoke Aramaic; 2. The Lord's Prayer
                was originally spoken in Aramaic; 3. He is translating the Aramaic to Greek
                for his gospel.

                That's my take on the debts/sins thingy.

                Jack

                Jack Kilmon
                San Marcos, TX
              • Bill Bullin
                Dear Jack If I have followed your exposition (below) correctly, then it appears to confirm that the concepts of debt and sin were linked through an Aramaic
                Message 7 of 12 , Apr 24 2:00 AM
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                  Dear Jack

                  If I have followed your exposition (below) correctly, then it appears to
                  confirm that the concepts of debt and sin were linked through an Aramaic
                  idiom. Metaphorically sin could be spoken of as a debt. This being the case
                  I am suggesting that a similar semi-connected idiom may have existed linking
                  sin to retaining \ holding or releasing. This is a seperate issue from the
                  'breathing' on them of the Holy Spirit, which, I suppose some could argue is
                  connected and others that 20:23 is an intrusion. I see no reason to follow
                  the second option. Isaiah 22 as a whole, the High Priesthood and the letter
                  to Victor are seperate issues again, I cannot see any clear connection
                  myself but I like to doubt my doubts and explore all options. Isaiah 22:22
                  does appear, ar first take, to have some bearing on the first issue though.

                  > > No one seems to have referred to Isaiah 22:22 yet nor the Lord's Prayer
                  > > debts / sins. It seems to me we may be dealing with idioms that reflect
                  /
                  > > link sin and forgiveness with debt and imprisonment for debt, hence
                  doors
                  > > shutting and opening, hands grasping and releasing. It is as if to be
                  > sinned
                  > > against raises a debt that may be 'forgiven' or 'released' or 'held'
                  > almost
                  > > physically like an unpaid bill.
                  >
                  > Debts xwbyn for sins is an Aramaic idiom.
                  >
                  > "And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors."
                  >
                  > Keep in mind that Luke, being from an Incola of Syrian Antioch, was surely
                  > competent in Aramaic as well as Greek. The author of Canonical Matthew,
                  > on the other hand, appears neither competent in Aramaic nor Hebrew.
                  > Matthew,
                  > therefore, renders this petition as:
                  >
                  > KAI APHES EMIN TA OPHEILEMATA EMON
                  > and forgive us our DEBTS
                  >
                  > OS KAI EMEIS APHIEMEN TOIS OHIEILETAIS EMON
                  > as also we forgive our DEBTORS
                  >
                  > You see, Matthew, IMO, was working from a GREEK translation of the
                  sayings
                  > source document (TA LOGIA) mentioned by Papias in Eusebius. In the
                  > Greek OPHEILEMATA refers to your Master Card bill <g>.
                  >
                  > NOW...let's look at it in Aramaic before moving on to good old Luke:
                  >
                  > I will phoneticize this rather than use standard
                  > transliteration scheme and
                  > I am going to use a capital X for the pharyngeal,
                  > back-of-the-throat het thingy because this sentence as it came from the
                  > mouth of
                  > Jesus will make you reach for the gargle if you are not middle eastern.
                  >
                  > woshVOX lan Xoy-ya-VAIN ayKAH-na dup XaNAN shva-XAN ull-Xaya-VAIN
                  >
                  > The Aramaic hoyBAYN for "debts" is an idiom *ONLY IN ARAMAIC* for "SINS."
                  >
                  > NOW let's Look at how our Greek educated but Aramaic speaking physician
                  > writes
                  > this in his gospel:
                  >
                  > KAI APHES EMIN TAS AMARTIAS EMON
                  > and forgive us our SINS
                  >
                  > KAI GAR AUTOI APHIEMEN PANTI OPHEILONTI EMIN
                  > for also ourselves we forgive everyone indebted
                  > to us
                  >
                  > You will notice that Luke, writing for Greek speaking gentiles, uses the
                  > Greek word for SINS in the first part while retaining the Greek word for
                  > "debt" (in participial form) in the second part. So what is Luke telling
                  us
                  > here?
                  >
                  > Luke is saying:
                  >
                  > "I am writing this in Greek for you because you speak Greek and not the
                  > native Aramaic of our Lord so you dont know that "debt" means "sin"
                  > to someone who speaks Aramaic so I am writing YOUR word for SIN
                  > to make you understand what it means."
                  >
                  > Luke is testifying here that 1. Jesus spoke Aramaic; 2. The Lord's Prayer
                  > was originally spoken in Aramaic; 3. He is translating the Aramaic to
                  Greek
                  > for his gospel.
                  >
                  > That's my take on the debts/sins thingy.
                  >
                  > Jack
                  >
                  Bill Bullin (Private Student, East Sussex).
                • Jack Kilmon
                  ... From: Bill Bullin To: Sent: Saturday, April 24, 2004 4:00 AM Subject: Re: [John_Lit]
                  Message 8 of 12 , Apr 24 12:29 PM
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                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: "Bill Bullin" <bill.bullin@...>
                    To: <johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com>
                    Sent: Saturday, April 24, 2004 4:00 AM
                    Subject: Re: [John_Lit] John 20:23


                    > Dear Jack
                    >
                    > If I have followed your exposition (below) correctly, then it appears to
                    > confirm that the concepts of debt and sin were linked through an Aramaic
                    > idiom. Metaphorically sin could be spoken of as a debt. This being the
                    case
                    > I am suggesting that a similar semi-connected idiom may have existed
                    linking
                    > sin to retaining \ holding or releasing.

                    We are dealing with three separate languages and different times. Isaiah
                    22:22 is a poetic play on words: w'patch w'aik sagar w'sagar w'aik patach in
                    Hebrew. The only test is to find other uses of "shut/open...hold/release"
                    that are used as an idiom for sin.

                    > This is a seperate issue from the
                    > 'breathing' on them of the Holy Spirit, which, I suppose some could argue
                    is
                    > connected and others that 20:23 is an intrusion.

                    The Hebrew rwx (ruach) is wind, breath, mind, spirit as is the Aramaic rwx).
                    The Greek pneuma also refers to the movement of air, hence ruach qodesh and
                    pneuma agion are the same. Of course, the translation "ghost" is, in my
                    mind, cumbersome...to be polite.



                    > I see no reason to follow
                    > the second option. Isaiah 22 as a whole, the High Priesthood and the
                    letter
                    > to Victor are seperate issues again, I cannot see any clear connection
                    > myself but I like to doubt my doubts and explore all options. Isaiah 22:22
                    > does appear, ar first take, to have some bearing on the first issue
                    though.

                    I think it is very tenuous unless precedents can be found.

                    shlomo amek

                    Jack Kilmon
                    San Marcos, Tx
                  • w van lohuizen
                    I am a bit late in joining the discussion, but I am wondering whether the translation of KRATEIN should not be closer to the basic meaning of KRAT*, which is
                    Message 9 of 12 , Apr 24 1:04 PM
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                      I am a bit late in joining the discussion, but I am wondering whether the
                      translation of KRATEIN should not be closer to the basic meaning of
                      KRAT*, which is essentially something like power, rule, victory, control,
                      (to get the) upperhand.

                      Obviously many scholars have wondered, and continue to do so, about the
                      usual translations. In the view of some they do not give a clarifying
                      rendering of
                      the phrase. One of the obstacles was the need to construct a meaning of
                      KRATEIN that rendersit as an opposite to APHIEIN. For generally the phrase
                      with
                      KRATEIN is considered to imply to be an opposite to 'forgiving'.
                      But we may ask if it is really necessary or even logical to view 20:23b as
                      an opposite to 23a? It could also be a variant? Or a positive alternative
                      for
                      'forgiving'?

                      Let us consider the crucial character of the moment described in J 20:19-23:
                      the risen Christ appears and addresses the apostles about their task. They
                      will continue his message. He breathes over them and tells them to receive
                      holy spirit. He
                      continues and tells them that their forgiving anybody will imply a radical
                      change in the other: "if you forgive the shortcomings of anyone ,
                      these shortcomings have been forgiven". Mind the perfect tense! An extremely
                      powerful and loving blessing given to the disciples by which he transfers
                      powers of his to the disciples.

                      Is it not logical that the following phrase breathes the same love and
                      power? E.g. in this way: "Ïf you overcome the shortcomings of anyone (for
                      them (AUTOIS), their shortcomings have been overcome". Overcoming means to
                      conquer, to master, to control, to rise above. The ultimate effect is that
                      they have disappeared. It is a transformation. It reminds of the miraculous
                      healings and other deeds of Jesus. His saying something renders the word
                      into a reality. The spiritually blessed one has the inner power to radically
                      change a situation or the psyche of somebody.

                      I feel that this rendering remains close to the basic meaning of KRAT*,
                      whilst at the same time giving a meaning to the phrase that might be less
                      puzzling than the usual ones. It breathes the spirit of the renewed divine
                      message.

                      Well, this is not a paper, of course. Thorough research is missing on my
                      behalf. Yet some explorations in the basic literature have shown that this
                      rendering is worth considering, even if it may have to yield
                      to a better one.

                      I am looking forward to your comments!

                      Wali van Lohuizen
                      Amsterdam, NL









                      bly to be translated by 'shortcomings'; see my paper
                      SBLCambridge 2003). The text gives two possibilities for their reaction.
                      One is 'to let their shortcomings go from them'.
                      The other to give them the power over their shortcomings so that they can
                      handle them.


                      ----- Original Message -----
                      From: "Ramsey Michaels" <profram@...>
                      To: <johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com>
                      Sent: Thursday, April 22, 2004 5:06 PM
                      Subject: Re: [John_Lit] John 20:23


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                      Date: Thu, 22 Apr 2004 10:50:07 -0400
                      Subject: Re: [John_Lit] John 20:23
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                      Without using the term "retain," Jesus does in fact "retain" sins in Jn
                      8:21, 24; 9:41; 15:22. Interestingly, I know of no place in John's Gospel
                      where he explicitly "forgives" anyone's sin (5:14 comes closest, except for
                      8:11, which I guess does not count).

                      Ramsey Michaels

                      ----- Original Message -----
                      From: <Maluflen@aol.c;om>
                      To: <johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com>; <crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com>
                      Sent: Thursday, April 22, 2004 10:24 AM
                      Subject: Re: [John_Lit] John 20:23


                      > In a message dated 4/21/2004 2:37:42 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
                      > bobschacht@... writes:
                      >
                      >
                      > > NRS John 20:23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them;
                      if
                      > > you retain the sins of any, they are retained."
                      > >
                      > > So what the heck does this mean?
                      > >
                      > > "Retain" is apparently a form of the verb kratein. One of the most
                      common
                      > > applications of this verb is "arrest," as in
                      > > NRS Mark 14:44 Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, "The one
                      I
                      > > will kiss is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard."
                      > >
                      >
                      > I think the meaning of the term KRATEIN here is clear enough because of
                      the
                      > context: it means to withhold forgiveness. On the other hand, it remains
                      an
                      > unusual, not to say an odd expression because it actually speaks of the
                      sins,
                      > rather than the forgiveness as being "retained". KRATEIN frequently means
                      "to
                      > have power over, to control". In this meaning too, the verb would make
                      more sense
                      > if its implied object were "forgiveness", rather than the sins themselves.
                      > And although the context makes the overall meaning clear, the terms
                      AFIENAI and
                      > KRATEIN do not, to my knowledge, form an otherwise biblically attested
                      pair of
                      > contrasting terms. The term KRATEIN is very common in 4 Macc, almost
                      always
                      > in the context of the "control" of reason over the passions, or the
                      "dominance"
                      > of the passions over reason. But, again, I don't think these uses of the
                      term
                      > are particularly illuminative of this Johannine passage.
                      >
                      > Leonard Maluf
                      >
                      >
                      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      >
                      >
                      >
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                    • David Trapero
                      ... whether the ... control, ... phrase ... 20:23b as ... alternative ... task. They ... receive ... radical ... extremely ... transfers ... anyone (for ...
                      Message 10 of 12 , Apr 26 8:28 AM
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                        --- In johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com, "w van lohuizen"
                        <BPBwalisufi@c...> wrote:
                        > I am a bit late in joining the discussion, but I am wondering
                        whether the
                        > translation of KRATEIN should not be closer to the basic meaning of
                        > KRAT*, which is essentially something like power, rule, victory,
                        control,
                        > (to get the) upperhand.
                        >
                        > Obviously many scholars have wondered, and continue to do so, about the
                        > usual translations. In the view of some they do not give a clarifying
                        > rendering of
                        > the phrase. One of the obstacles was the need to construct a meaning of
                        > KRATEIN that rendersit as an opposite to APHIEIN. For generally the
                        phrase
                        > with
                        > KRATEIN is considered to imply to be an opposite to 'forgiving'.
                        > But we may ask if it is really necessary or even logical to view
                        20:23b as
                        > an opposite to 23a? It could also be a variant? Or a positive
                        alternative
                        > for
                        > 'forgiving'?
                        >
                        > Let us consider the crucial character of the moment described in J
                        20:19-23:
                        > the risen Christ appears and addresses the apostles about their
                        task. They
                        > will continue his message. He breathes over them and tells them to
                        receive
                        > holy spirit. He
                        > continues and tells them that their forgiving anybody will imply a
                        radical
                        > change in the other: "if you forgive the shortcomings of anyone ,
                        > these shortcomings have been forgiven". Mind the perfect tense! An
                        extremely
                        > powerful and loving blessing given to the disciples by which he
                        transfers
                        > powers of his to the disciples.
                        >
                        > Is it not logical that the following phrase breathes the same love and
                        > power? E.g. in this way: "Ïf you overcome the shortcomings of
                        anyone (for
                        > them (AUTOIS), their shortcomings have been overcome". Overcoming
                        means to
                        > conquer, to master, to control, to rise above. The ultimate effect
                        is that
                        > they have disappeared. It is a transformation. It reminds of the
                        miraculous
                        > healings and other deeds of Jesus. His saying something renders the word
                        > into a reality. The spiritually blessed one has the inner power to
                        radically
                        > change a situation or the psyche of somebody.
                        >
                        > I feel that this rendering remains close to the basic meaning of KRAT*,
                        > whilst at the same time giving a meaning to the phrase that might be
                        less
                        > puzzling than the usual ones. It breathes the spirit of the renewed
                        divine
                        > message.
                        >
                        > Well, this is not a paper, of course. Thorough research is missing on my
                        > behalf. Yet some explorations in the basic literature have shown
                        that this
                        > rendering is worth considering, even if it may have to yield
                        > to a better one.
                        >
                        > I am looking forward to your comments!
                        >
                        > Wali van Lohuizen
                        > Amsterdam, NL
                        >
                        I absolutely love this interpretation! For a moment there, I thought
                        I was in the presence of previously undiscovered Jesus tradition!
                        Wonderful, refreshing exegesis and wrestling with the Greek text! I'm
                        hoping a solid case can be made for this interpretation because this
                        is the primitive community I've been looking for and I suspected
                        existed all along.

                        Great job and thank you!

                        David

                        David Trapero M.Div.
                        818 2nd St. PL NE #95
                        Hickory, NC 28601
                        Dtrap303@...
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