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Re: [John_Lit] Re: John 20:23

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  • John M. Noble
    ... This discussion is interesting, but seems to me to miss the real difficulty. In Matthew 6v15, the possibility of not forgiving sins is not present. Yet the
    Message 1 of 5 , May 3, 2004
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      On 26th April, Leonard Maluf wrote:

      >I love it too, but I don't think that's a good
      >enough reason to accept it, as an exegete. The
      >semantic opposition between AFIENAI and KRATEIN
      >is not something artificial, imposed on the text
      >from without, or entirely dependent on reading
      >this Johannine text in the light of Matt 16:19.
      >There is, I think, an innate semantic opposition
      >in the meaning of the two verbs themselves ("to
      >let go", "to hold on to") which must figure in
      >the exegesis of the text. Even though no DE is
      >present in the second clause indicating this
      >opposition it seems to me that it is
      >sufficiently expressed in the meaning of the
      >terms.
      >
      >I must admit, however, that the original text
      >and its usual interpretation are not entirely
      >satisfactory from the point of view of clarity.
      >The second phrase is eliptical. This makes it
      >elegant, but problematic when the elements
      >supplied should be "sins" and "to them". How
      >does one "retain" sins to people? It would make
      >more sense to speak of retaining, or withholding
      >forgiveness, but the noun "forgiveness" does not
      >appear in the previous phrase so that it could
      >be assumed in the elipsis. I suppose after all I
      >should admit to resolving the issue
      >(tentatively) in virtue of a Matthean prejudice.
      >Somehow, I think the text of John alludes to
      >alternative exercises of the apostle's powers
      >with respect to sinners, such as we find alluded
      >to in Matt 18:15b, contrasted with 18:16-17 (and
      >followed in 18:18 by a restatement of the
      >promise regarding binding and loosing). Yet in
      >this case, the forgiven sinner is "retained"
      >(18:15b: you have "gained" your brother), and
      >the non-forgiven, non-reconciled sinner is "let
      >go" (18:17: let him be to you as the heathen and
      >the publican). Help me somebody!
      >
      >Leonard Maluf

      This discussion is interesting, but seems to me
      to miss the real difficulty. In Matthew 6v15, the
      possibility of not forgiving sins is not present.
      Yet the verb used in John 20v23 is active.
      Attempts to make it not active seem to me to lack
      grammatical sense.

      John M. Noble

      (amateur)
      Linköping, Sweden
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