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Translation of Jn. 4:22

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  • Kevin Snapp
    Greetings/Shalom/Xaire Is there a NT Greek expert who would take a look at Jn. 4:22 with me? I m in the awkward position of thinking I know better than the
    Message 1 of 17 , Mar 10 11:45 AM
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      Greetings/Shalom/Xaire

      Is there a NT Greek expert who would take a look at Jn. 4:22 with me? I'm in the awkward position of thinking I know better than the standard translations and don't trust my competence.

      Because people had trouble reading my Greek font when I posted in the past, I have transliterated, and included what I think are relevant cites in my copy of Smyth's Greek Grammar, if I understand it correctly.

      In John ch. 4, Jesus converses with a Samaritan woman at Jacob's Well near Sychar. In v. 4:22, he tells her, as it is usually translated, “You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews.” (This is NRSV, but others are substantially the same.)

      That doesn't make much sense. In v.20, the Samaritan woman says, “Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain,” without specifying who or what they worshiped, but it is understood, as Jesus confirms in v.21, that Samaritans worship the God of Israel, whom Jesus calls “the Father.” So who or what is it that Samaritans worship that they don't know?

      Here's how I analyze it, for brevity taking the second parallel clause together with the concluding clause, i.e.,“we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews.”

      The verb “proskunew,” “worship,” in the Septuagint and the New Testament takes an indirect dative object, while “know” takes an accusative direct object. If the translation “we worship what we know” is correct, the singular accusative relative pronoun “ho” serves as the object of both verbs.

      The problem is not only that “ho” is accusative and “worship” requires a dative object; Jesus has just said that both Samaritans and Jews worship the indubitably masculine “Father,” yet “ho” is the neuter singular accusative relative pronoun.

      John’s Jesus might have employed a dative demonstrative pronoun followed by an accusative relative pronoun, i.e., “hHmeis proskunoumen toutw, hon oidamen,” “We worship Him, whom we know.” The demonstrative pronoun could have been omitted, but then we would expect the relative pronoun to have been “attracted” into the dative case, giving, “hHmeis proskunoumen hw oidamen,” “We worship whom we know.” [See Smyth, Greek Grammar (1956) §§2522,2531, p. 567-68] But that isn’t what Jesus said.

      I think the reader was intended to apprehend from what Jesus said, “hHmeis proskunoumen hon oidamen,” that (a) since there is no dative object, the object of “we worship” is unspecified, as in v.20; (b) the relative pronoun “ho” serves as the object of “oidamen,” “we know,” and effectively serves as a conjunction, forming a “relative clause of cause”; [Smyth, §2490-91, p.560-61; §2555, p.574] and (c) its referent, what “we know,” is not “what/who we worship,” but rather “that salvation is from the Jews,” reading “hoti” to mean “that” rather than “because.”

      This portion of the verse should consequently be translated, “We worship, [because] we know it, that salvation is from the Jews.” In context, “we worship” could be understood to imply “we worship as we do,” or “we worship in Jerusalem.” Adding the first third of the verse yields, “You worship [on this mountain] because you don’t know it; we worship [in Jerusalem] because we know it, that salvation is from the Jews.” In better English, “You worship here because you don’t know, while we worship there because we do know, that salvation is from the Jews.”

      To me, this makes perfect sense. Jews “knew,” as Samaritans did not, “that salvation is from the Jews,” but Samaritans did know whom they worshiped. But that's not the standard translation. What am I doing wrong?

      Thanks!

      Kevin Snapp
      Chicago, IL
    • Gary Manning
      Just a couple of quick thoughts on this question. First, you raise an interesting point about the nature of Samaritan worship and John s response to it, but I
      Message 2 of 17 , Mar 10 8:07 PM
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        Just a couple of quick thoughts on this question. First, you raise an interesting point about the nature of Samaritan worship and John's response to it, but I think the solution is found more in the realm of historical/cultural background than in an alternate translation.

        Technically correct Greek did indeed require a dative as the direct object for proskuneo. However, Hellenistic Greek (including the Greek found in the NT and LXX) often ignored this rule and used the accusative (see Jdg 7:15, 2 Ki 5:18, 2Chr 24:17, Lk 4:8, 24:52, Jn 4:24, Rev 13:8, 13:12, 14:9, and probably others). Likewise, Greek required a genitive as direct object for many verbs of sensation, such as akouo and geuomai, but NT authors do not consistently follow this rule.

        The reason for the neuter relative pronoun is likely the standard reason for using a neuter relative or demonstrative pronoun with no antecedent: to refer to an idea in the passage rather than a particular noun. This is why we translate it with a "what" - this properly gets John's idea across that Samaritan worship is without knowledge, not that Samaritans did not know God at all (although I wouldn't put it past John to say so - see Jn 8:19, 8:55, and others, where John says that Jews do not know God).

        Your other line of reasoning is more promising. Essentially, you are suggesting (I think) that hoti could be translated "that" rather than "because", rendering "You worship what you do not know, but we worship what we know, that salvation comes from the Jews." There are other passages where John's use of hoti is a bit ambiguous; for example, Johannine scholars debate which way to translate hoti in 1 Jn 2:12-14 (see comms by Brown and Smalley for the debate).

        However, we would then end up with this meaning: "We worship a fact that you do not know... that salvation comes from the Jews." I'm not saying that it is impossible, but it makes less sense at first look than the standard translations. It also ultimately makes salvation the object of worship, which is not a likely Johannine idea.

        Stimulating question! Glad you posted it.

        Gary

        _______________________________________
        Gary Manning, Ph.D.
        http://eutychusnerd.blogspot.com/

        Associate Professor of Bible and Biblical Languages
        Interim Academic Dean
        Pacific Rim Bible College
        http://www.prbc-hawaii.edu/
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: Kevin Snapp
        To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Tuesday, March 10, 2009 8:45 AM
        Subject: [John_Lit] Translation of Jn. 4:22


        Greetings/Shalom/Xaire

        Is there a NT Greek expert who would take a look at Jn. 4:22 with me? I'm in the awkward position of thinking I know better than the standard translations and don't trust my competence.

        Because people had trouble reading my Greek font when I posted in the past, I have transliterated, and included what I think are relevant cites in my copy of Smyth's Greek Grammar, if I understand it correctly.

        In John ch. 4, Jesus converses with a Samaritan woman at Jacob's Well near Sychar. In v. 4:22, he tells her, as it is usually translated, â?oYou worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews.â? (This is NRSV, but others are substantially the same.)

        That doesn't make much sense. In v.20, the Samaritan woman says, â?oOur ancestors worshiped on this mountain,â? without specifying who or what they worshiped, but it is understood, as Jesus confirms in v.21, that Samaritans worship the God of Israel, whom Jesus calls â?othe Father.â? So who or what is it that Samaritans worship that they don't know?

        Here's how I analyze it, for brevity taking the second parallel clause together with the concluding clause, i.e.,â?owe worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews.â?

        The verb â?oproskunew,â? â?oworship,â? in the Septuagint and the New Testament takes an indirect dative object, while â?oknowâ? takes an accusative direct object. If the translation â?owe worship what we knowâ? is correct, the singular accusative relative pronoun â?ohoâ? serves as the object of both verbs.

        The problem is not only that â?ohoâ? is accusative and â?oworshipâ? requires a dative object; Jesus has just said that both Samaritans and Jews worship the indubitably masculine â?oFather,â? yet â?ohoâ? is the neuter singular accusative relative pronoun.

        Johnâ?Ts Jesus might have employed a dative demonstrative pronoun followed by an accusative relative pronoun, i.e., â?ohHmeis proskunoumen toutw, hon oidamen,â? â?oWe worship Him, whom we know.â? The demonstrative pronoun could have been omitted, but then we would expect the relative pronoun to have been â?oattractedâ? into the dative case, giving, â?ohHmeis proskunoumen hw oidamen,â? â?oWe worship whom we know.â? [See Smyth, Greek Grammar (1956) §§2522,2531, p. 567-68] But that isnâ?Tt what Jesus said.

        I think the reader was intended to apprehend from what Jesus said, â?ohHmeis proskunoumen hon oidamen,â? that (a) since there is no dative object, the object of â?owe worshipâ? is unspecified, as in v.20; (b) the relative pronoun â?ohoâ? serves as the object of â?ooidamen,â? â?owe know,â? and effectively serves as a conjunction, forming a â?orelative clause of causeâ?; [Smyth, §2490-91, p.560-61; §2555, p.574] and (c) its referent, what â?owe know,â? is not â?owhat/who we worship,â? but rather â?othat salvation is from the Jews,â? reading â?ohotiâ? to mean â?othatâ? rather than â?obecause.â?

        This portion of the verse should consequently be translated, â?oWe worship, [because] we know it, that salvation is from the Jews.â? In context, â?owe worshipâ? could be understood to imply â?owe worship as we do,â? or â?owe worship in Jerusalem.â? Adding the first third of the verse yields, â?oYou worship [on this mountain] because you donâ?Tt know it; we worship [in Jerusalem] because we know it, that salvation is from the Jews.â? In better English, â?oYou worship here because you donâ?Tt know, while we worship there because we do know, that salvation is from the Jews.â?

        To me, this makes perfect sense. Jews â?oknew,â? as Samaritans did not, â?othat salvation is from the Jews,â? but Samaritans did know whom they worshiped. But that's not the standard translation. What am I doing wrong?

        Thanks!

        Kevin Snapp
        Chicago, IL




        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Kevin Snapp
        Thanks for responding, Gary. I asked the question because my Greek is unfortunately limited to what I can look up; I don t read the NT in Greek. I knew that
        Message 3 of 17 , Mar 11 11:46 AM
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          Thanks for responding, Gary.

          I asked the question because my Greek is unfortunately limited to what I can look up; I don't read the NT in Greek. I knew that in classical Greek proskunew took an accusative object, but thought that in Hellenistic Greek it had been completely supplanted by the dative; I wasn't aware it could be found in the NT. Nevertheless, since John uses the dative in the preceding verse (proskunete tw patri) we can expect the dative in 4:22.

          I didn't mean to suggest that the proposition "that salvation is from the Jews" was an object of worship -- rather, that just as proskunew has no object in 4:20 ("our fathers worshiped at this mountain ...") [dative of location; surely she didn't mean they worshiped the mountain! :)] it should be understood to have no object in 4:22, with "ho" standing for the object of "know," i.e., "that salvation is from the Jews." The meaning I had in mind might be better expressed in English with a participle, i.e., "You worship, not knowing [it/ho]; we worship, knowing [it/ho] that salvation is from the Jews."

          You wrote,
          >
          > The reason for the neuter relative pronoun is likely the standard reason for using a neuter relative or demonstrative pronoun with no antecedent: to refer to an idea in the passage rather than a particular noun. This is why we translate it with a "what" - this properly gets John's idea across that Samaritan worship is without knowledge, not that Samaritans did not know God at all (although I wouldn't put it past John to say so - see Jn 8:19, 8:55, and others, where John says that Jews do not know God).
          >
          My problem is that there really needs to be "something" that is known or not known, if not stated in the sentence, then implied by the context. It can't mean "you know nothing." So if what the Samaritans don't know isn't "what you worship," it has to be "that salvation is from the Jews."

          I don't think it can be "what you worship"; turning 8:19 around, while Jesus might have said the Samaritans don't know God, he wouldn't have said that the Jews do know God in the same breath! (Of the three, Jews/Judeans, Samaritans and Galileans, only concerning the Samaritans does John's Jesus have no complaints.) So that leaves "that salvation is from the Jews."

          BTW, I did a word search and this is the only place John's Jesus says "we" meaning himself and the Jews. Maybe even here "we" should be limited to Jesus' disciples, but since the context is Jews vis-a-vis Samaritans, the Samaritan woman would understand "we" to mean "we Jews."

          I took a look at 1 John 2:12-14, but didn't try to find that discussion. I'd be surprised to see "hoti"translated by "that" in that context -- unless, and here I'm ignorant -- the translator understood John to be using the Greek perfect as if it were a Hebrew/Aramaic past tense, which could imply continuing action, and that "hoti" here has almost the sense of "hina," i.e., "I write/wrote ... [in order] that you [continue to] overcome evil."


          Thanks again,
          Kevin

          Kevin Snapp
          Chicago, IL

          --- In johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com, "Gary Manning" <gary.t.manning@...> wrote:
          >
          > Just a couple of quick thoughts on this question. First, you raise an interesting point about the nature of Samaritan worship and John's response to it, but I think the solution is found more in the realm of historical/cultural background than in an alternate translation.
          >
          > Technically correct Greek did indeed require a dative as the direct object for proskuneo. However, Hellenistic Greek (including the Greek found in the NT and LXX) often ignored this rule and used the accusative (see Jdg 7:15, 2 Ki 5:18, 2Chr 24:17, Lk 4:8, 24:52, Jn 4:24, Rev 13:8, 13:12, 14:9, and probably others). Likewise, Greek required a genitive as direct object for many verbs of sensation, such as akouo and geuomai, but NT authors do not consistently follow this rule.
          >
          > The reason for the neuter relative pronoun is likely the standard reason for using a neuter relative or demonstrative pronoun with no antecedent: to refer to an idea in the passage rather than a particular noun. This is why we translate it with a "what" - this properly gets John's idea across that Samaritan worship is without knowledge, not that Samaritans did not know God at all (although I wouldn't put it past John to say so - see Jn 8:19, 8:55, and others, where John says that Jews do not know God).
          >
          > Your other line of reasoning is more promising. Essentially, you are suggesting (I think) that hoti could be translated "that" rather than "because", rendering "You worship what you do not know, but we worship what we know, that salvation comes from the Jews." There are other passages where John's use of hoti is a bit ambiguous; for example, Johannine scholars debate which way to translate hoti in 1 Jn 2:12-14 (see comms by Brown and Smalley for the debate).
          >
          > However, we would then end up with this meaning: "We worship a fact that you do not know... that salvation comes from the Jews." I'm not saying that it is impossible, but it makes less sense at first look than the standard translations. It also ultimately makes salvation the object of worship, which is not a likely Johannine idea.
          >
          > Stimulating question! Glad you posted it.
          >
          > Gary
          >
          > _______________________________________
          > Gary Manning, Ph.D.
          > http://eutychusnerd.blogspot.com/
          >
          > Associate Professor of Bible and Biblical Languages
          > Interim Academic Dean
          > Pacific Rim Bible College
          > http://www.prbc-hawaii.edu/
          > ----- Original Message -----
          > From: Kevin Snapp
          > To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
          > Sent: Tuesday, March 10, 2009 8:45 AM
          > Subject: [John_Lit] Translation of Jn. 4:22
          >
          >
          > Greetings/Shalom/Xaire
          >
          > Is there a NT Greek expert who would take a look at Jn. 4:22 with me? I'm in the awkward position of thinking I know better than the standard translations and don't trust my competence.
          >
          > Because people had trouble reading my Greek font when I posted in the past, I have transliterated, and included what I think are relevant cites in my copy of Smyth's Greek Grammar, if I understand it correctly.
          >
          > In John ch. 4, Jesus converses with a Samaritan woman at Jacob's Well near Sychar. In v. 4:22, he tells her, as it is usually translated, �?oYou worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews.�?� (This is NRSV, but others are substantially the same.)
          >
          > That doesn't make much sense. In v.20, the Samaritan woman says, �?oOur ancestors worshiped on this mountain,�?� without specifying who or what they worshiped, but it is understood, as Jesus confirms in v.21, that Samaritans worship the God of Israel, whom Jesus calls �?othe Father.�?� So who or what is it that Samaritans worship that they don't know?
          >
          > Here's how I analyze it, for brevity taking the second parallel clause together with the concluding clause, i.e.,�?owe worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews.�?�
          >
          > The verb �?oproskunew,�?� �?oworship,�?� in the Septuagint and the New Testament takes an indirect dative object, while �?oknow�?� takes an accusative direct object. If the translation �?owe worship what we know�?� is correct, the singular accusative relative pronoun �?oho�?� serves as the object of both verbs.
          >
          > The problem is not only that �?oho�?� is accusative and �?oworship�?� requires a dative object; Jesus has just said that both Samaritans and Jews worship the indubitably masculine �?oFather,�?� yet �?oho�?� is the neuter singular accusative relative pronoun.
          >
          > John�?Ts Jesus might have employed a dative demonstrative pronoun followed by an accusative relative pronoun, i.e., �?ohHmeis proskunoumen toutw, hon oidamen,�?� �?oWe worship Him, whom we know.�?� The demonstrative pronoun could have been omitted, but then we would expect the relative pronoun to have been �?oattracted�?� into the dative case, giving, �?ohHmeis proskunoumen hw oidamen,�?� �?oWe worship whom we know.�?� [See Smyth, Greek Grammar (1956) §§2522,2531, p. 567-68] But that isn�?Tt what Jesus said.
          >
          > I think the reader was intended to apprehend from what Jesus said, �?ohHmeis proskunoumen hon oidamen,�?� that (a) since there is no dative object, the object of �?owe worship�?� is unspecified, as in v.20; (b) the relative pronoun �?oho�?� serves as the object of �?ooidamen,�?� �?owe know,�?� and effectively serves as a conjunction, forming a �?orelative clause of cause�?�; [Smyth, §2490-91, p.560-61; §2555, p.574] and (c) its referent, what �?owe know,�?� is not �?owhat/who we worship,�?� but rather �?othat salvation is from the Jews,�?� reading �?ohoti�?� to mean �?othat�?� rather than �?obecause.�?�
          >
          > This portion of the verse should consequently be translated, �?oWe worship, [because] we know it, that salvation is from the Jews.�?� In context, �?owe worship�?� could be understood to imply �?owe worship as we do,�?� or �?owe worship in Jerusalem.�?� Adding the first third of the verse yields, �?oYou worship [on this mountain] because you don�?Tt know it; we worship [in Jerusalem] because we know it, that salvation is from the Jews.�?� In better English, �?oYou worship here because you don�?Tt know, while we worship there because we do know, that salvation is from the Jews.�?�
          >
          > To me, this makes perfect sense. Jews �?oknew,�?� as Samaritans did not, �?othat salvation is from the Jews,�?� but Samaritans did know whom they worshiped. But that's not the standard translation. What am I doing wrong?
          >
          > Thanks!
          >
          > Kevin Snapp
          > Chicago, IL
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
        • Stephen C. Carlson
          ... The text is: hUMEIS PROSKUNEITE hO OUK OIDATE. hHMEIS PROSKUNOUMEN hO OIDAMEN, hOTI hH SWTHRIA EK TWN IOUDAIWN ESTIN. I m not sure the proposal works,
          Message 4 of 17 , Mar 12 4:22 PM
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            On Mar 10, 2009 2:45 PM, Kevin Snapp <kalvachomer@...> wrote:
            >I think the reader was intended to apprehend from what Jesus said,
            >"Hmeis proskunoumen hon oidamen," that (a) since there is no dative
            >object, the object of "we worship" is unspecified, as in v.20; (b)
            >the relative pronoun "ho" serves as the object of "oidamen" "we know,"
            >and effectively serves as a conjunction, forming a "relative clause
            >of cause"; [Smyth, §2490-91, p.560-61; §2555, p.574] and (c) its
            >referent, what "we know," is not "what/who we worship," but rather
            >"that salvation is from the Jews," reading "hoti" to mean "that"
            >rather than "because."

            The text is: hUMEIS PROSKUNEITE hO OUK OIDATE. hHMEIS PROSKUNOUMEN
            hO OIDAMEN, hOTI hH SWTHRIA EK TWN IOUDAIWN ESTIN.

            I'm not sure the proposal works, unfortunately. hO in both cases is
            a demonstrative folded into a relative pronoun. It is in the accusative
            because it is the object of OIDATE / OIDAMEN. The whole clause is the
            object of PROSKUNEITE / PROSKUNOUMEN; no dative is required in this
            situation. There is no requirement that hO be in the dative; attraction
            does not always happen. Also, since "what we know" is the object of "we
            worship", it is unlikely that the hOTI gives the content of "what we know"
            since people do not worship the statement that salvation comes from the Jews.
            Here, the meaning of "because" is appropriate for hOTI.

            Stephen

            --
            Stephen C. Carlson
            Ph.D. student, Religion, Duke University
            Author of The Gospel Hoax: Morton Smith's Invention of Secret Mark (Baylor, 2005)
          • Kevin Snapp
            ... Hi, Stephen, Thanks for your input. I seem to be having trouble with English as well as Greek, because I don t think we re understanding each other. I
            Message 5 of 17 , Mar 16 7:24 PM
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              --- In johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com, "Stephen C. Carlson" <scarlson@...> wrote:
              >
              >
              > The text is: hUMEIS PROSKUNEITE hO OUK OIDATE. hHMEIS PROSKUNOUMEN
              > hO OIDAMEN, hOTI hH SWTHRIA EK TWN IOUDAIWN ESTIN.
              >
              > I'm not sure the proposal works, unfortunately. hO in both cases is
              > a demonstrative folded into a relative pronoun. It is in the accusative
              > because it is the object of OIDATE / OIDAMEN. The whole clause is the
              > object of PROSKUNEITE / PROSKUNOUMEN; no dative is required in this
              > situation. There is no requirement that hO be in the dative; attraction
              > does not always happen. Also, since "what we know" is the object of "we
              > worship", it is unlikely that the hOTI gives the content of "what we know"
              > since people do not worship the statement that salvation comes from the Jews.
              > Here, the meaning of "because" is appropriate for hOTI.
              >
              > Stephen


              Hi, Stephen,

              Thanks for your input. I seem to be having trouble with English as
              well as Greek, because I don't think we're understanding each other.
              I think I understand how the standard translation "works," but I
              pointed out that it doesn't really make much sense. Jesus has
              acknowledged that the Samaritan woman, and presumably Samaritans
              generally, worship "the Father." So what is it they don't know? If
              John's Jesus were talking about "knowing God"in a deeper sense, would
              he have said that the Jews do "know" God and the Samaritans don't? I
              don't think so, given the harsh comments about "the Jews."

              Let me go through your message.

              >hO in both cases is a demonstrative folded into a relative pronoun.
              >It is in the accusative because it is the object of OIDATE/OIDAMEN.

              Agreed that hO is accusative, and the object of OIDATE/OIDAMEN. hO
              is a relative pronoun. It is "a demonstrative folded into a relative
              pronoun" only if it is also the object of PROSKUNEITE/PROSKUNOUMEN,
              as the standard translation assumes.

              I'm asking why that's necessary. I suggested that PROSKUNEITE /
              PROSKUNOUMEN has no object, just as it has no object in 4:20, because
              Jesus is not talking about the object of worship. Jesus is talking
              about why Jews and Samaritans worship where they do. Those who
              "know" that "salvation is from the Jews/Judeans (presumably meaning
              they expect the Messiah to be a descendant of David of Judah) worship
              at Jerusalem. This the Samaritans don't "know," as they reject the
              canonical prophets.

              >The whole clause is the object of PROSKUNEITE / PROSKUNOUMEN;

              That's what I'm questioning. Why does it have to be?

              >no dative is required in this situation. There is no requirement
              >that hO be in the dative; attraction does not always happen.

              As I understand it, in the usual translation, "hO" is a relative
              pronoun and "hO OIDATE / OIDAMEN" are relative clauses modifying the
              (identical) object of of PROSKUNEITE / PROSKUNOUMEN. The
              demonstrative pronoun that would have been the dative object of
              PROSKUNEITE / PROSKUNOUMEN has been omitted. In this situation,
              according to Smyth, an accusative relative pronoun would "usually" be
              attracted into the dative of the omitted demonstrative. Granted,
              "usually" is not "always," and I know that Smyth is oriented toward
              classical Greek, not Koine.

              >Also, since "what we know" is the object of "we worship"it is
              >unlikely that the hOTI gives the content of "what we know"
              > since people do not worship the statement that salvation comes from
              >the Jews. Here, the meaning of "because" is appropriate for hOTI.

              Agreed, but only if "what we know" is the object of "we worship." If
              Jesus had not (uniquely in John) identified himself with "the Jews"
              as "we," it could conceivably mean, "the Jews know they are the
              people from whom salvation will come, and that's what they worship."
              But I won't go there, and on its face it would be silly to say anyone
              worships the statement that salvation comes from the Jews. But I'm
              saying that the statement that "salvation comes from the Jews"is
              "what"(hO) "we know/ you don't know." It is not the object of
              worship.

              To sum up, as best I can understand your message, you have done a
              good job of explaining the rationale for the standard translation,
              but you haven't explained what is wrong, grammatically, with my
              alternative.

              I should explain that I am convinced that a number of things in John
              are deliberately ambiguous, and I think this is one of them. I will
              acknowledge that the standard translation is acceptable, and even
              that it is the most "natural" way to read the verse. Nevertheless,
              although it appears to be a major put-down of the Samaritans -- they
              worship what they don't know -- it doesn't make a lot of sense when
              you think about it. Consistent with my take on John, I wanted to
              propose the alternative translation, but I didn't want grammatical
              egg on my face, which is why I posted here.

              So what, if anything is wrong with "You worship [and] you don't know
              it; we worship [and] we know it, that salvation is from the Jews"?

              This translates PROSKUNEITE / PROSKUNOUMEN as having no object, while
              "hO" acts in each half as the identical object of OIDATE/OIDAMEN, and
              as a conjunction. ["Many relative clauses are equivalent to
              coordinate clauses. In such cases the relative has the force of a
              demonstrative or personal pronoun with a connective ...." (Smyth sec.
              2490)]

              Why not? I grant that my translation makes the meaning trivial, but
              for my purposes that's fine, as I think it was intended to be.

              Thanks,
              Kevin

              Kevin Snapp
              Chicago, IL
            • Matson, Mark (Academic)
              why do you think that proskunew requires a dative object? According to LSJ the accusative is very common. In fact I couldn t find the dative as the basic case
              Message 6 of 17 , Mar 16 7:49 PM
              • 0 Attachment
                why do you think that proskunew requires a dative object? According to LSJ the accusative is very common. In fact I couldn't find the dative as the basic case referenced there at all.

                If proskunew takes the accusative, the sentence makes complete grammatical sense.

                Mark A. Matson
                Academic Dean
                Milligan College
                http://www.milligan.edu/administrative/mmatson/personal.htm

                ________________________________

                From: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com on behalf of Kevin Snapp
                Sent: Mon 3/16/2009 10:24 PM
                To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: Re: [John_Lit] Translation of Jn. 4:22



                --- In johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com, "Stephen C. Carlson" <scarlson@...> wrote:
                >
                >
                > The text is: hUMEIS PROSKUNEITE hO OUK OIDATE. hHMEIS PROSKUNOUMEN
                > hO OIDAMEN, hOTI hH SWTHRIA EK TWN IOUDAIWN ESTIN.
                >
                > I'm not sure the proposal works, unfortunately. hO in both cases is
                > a demonstrative folded into a relative pronoun. It is in the accusative
                > because it is the object of OIDATE / OIDAMEN. The whole clause is the
                > object of PROSKUNEITE / PROSKUNOUMEN; no dative is required in this
                > situation. There is no requirement that hO be in the dative; attraction
                > does not always happen. Also, since "what we know" is the object of "we
                > worship", it is unlikely that the hOTI gives the content of "what we know"
                > since people do not worship the statement that salvation comes from the Jews.
                > Here, the meaning of "because" is appropriate for hOTI.
                >
                > Stephen


                Hi, Stephen,

                Thanks for your input. I seem to be having trouble with English as
                well as Greek, because I don't think we're understanding each other.
                I think I understand how the standard translation "works," but I
                pointed out that it doesn't really make much sense. Jesus has
                acknowledged that the Samaritan woman, and presumably Samaritans
                generally, worship "the Father." So what is it they don't know? If
                John's Jesus were talking about "knowing God"in a deeper sense, would
                he have said that the Jews do "know" God and the Samaritans don't? I
                don't think so, given the harsh comments about "the Jews."

                Let me go through your message.

                >hO in both cases is a demonstrative folded into a relative pronoun.
                >It is in the accusative because it is the object of OIDATE/OIDAMEN.

                Agreed that hO is accusative, and the object of OIDATE/OIDAMEN. hO
                is a relative pronoun. It is "a demonstrative folded into a relative
                pronoun" only if it is also the object of PROSKUNEITE/PROSKUNOUMEN,
                as the standard translation assumes.

                I'm asking why that's necessary. I suggested that PROSKUNEITE /
                PROSKUNOUMEN has no object, just as it has no object in 4:20, because
                Jesus is not talking about the object of worship. Jesus is talking
                about why Jews and Samaritans worship where they do. Those who
                "know" that "salvation is from the Jews/Judeans (presumably meaning
                they expect the Messiah to be a descendant of David of Judah) worship
                at Jerusalem. This the Samaritans don't "know," as they reject the
                canonical prophets.

                >The whole clause is the object of PROSKUNEITE / PROSKUNOUMEN;

                That's what I'm questioning. Why does it have to be?

                >no dative is required in this situation. There is no requirement
                >that hO be in the dative; attraction does not always happen.

                As I understand it, in the usual translation, "hO" is a relative
                pronoun and "hO OIDATE / OIDAMEN" are relative clauses modifying the
                (identical) object of of PROSKUNEITE / PROSKUNOUMEN. The
                demonstrative pronoun that would have been the dative object of
                PROSKUNEITE / PROSKUNOUMEN has been omitted. In this situation,
                according to Smyth, an accusative relative pronoun would "usually" be
                attracted into the dative of the omitted demonstrative. Granted,
                "usually" is not "always," and I know that Smyth is oriented toward
                classical Greek, not Koine.

                >Also, since "what we know" is the object of "we worship"it is
                >unlikely that the hOTI gives the content of "what we know"
                > since people do not worship the statement that salvation comes from
                >the Jews. Here, the meaning of "because" is appropriate for hOTI.

                Agreed, but only if "what we know" is the object of "we worship." If
                Jesus had not (uniquely in John) identified himself with "the Jews"
                as "we," it could conceivably mean, "the Jews know they are the
                people from whom salvation will come, and that's what they worship."
                But I won't go there, and on its face it would be silly to say anyone
                worships the statement that salvation comes from the Jews. But I'm
                saying that the statement that "salvation comes from the Jews"is
                "what"(hO) "we know/ you don't know." It is not the object of
                worship.

                To sum up, as best I can understand your message, you have done a
                good job of explaining the rationale for the standard translation,
                but you haven't explained what is wrong, grammatically, with my
                alternative.

                I should explain that I am convinced that a number of things in John
                are deliberately ambiguous, and I think this is one of them. I will
                acknowledge that the standard translation is acceptable, and even
                that it is the most "natural" way to read the verse. Nevertheless,
                although it appears to be a major put-down of the Samaritans -- they
                worship what they don't know -- it doesn't make a lot of sense when
                you think about it. Consistent with my take on John, I wanted to
                propose the alternative translation, but I didn't want grammatical
                egg on my face, which is why I posted here.

                So what, if anything is wrong with "You worship [and] you don't know
                it; we worship [and] we know it, that salvation is from the Jews"?

                This translates PROSKUNEITE / PROSKUNOUMEN as having no object, while
                "hO" acts in each half as the identical object of OIDATE/OIDAMEN, and
                as a conjunction. ["Many relative clauses are equivalent to
                coordinate clauses. In such cases the relative has the force of a
                demonstrative or personal pronoun with a connective ...." (Smyth sec.
                2490)]

                Why not? I grant that my translation makes the meaning trivial, but
                for my purposes that's fine, as I think it was intended to be.

                Thanks,
                Kevin

                Kevin Snapp
                Chicago, IL




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                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Stephen C. Carlson
                ... The example in Smyth has an antecedent for the relative pronoun in the preceding clause. Where are your antecedents for hO? Stephen -- Stephen C. Carlson
                Message 7 of 17 , Mar 16 9:16 PM
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                  On Mar 16, 2009 10:24 PM, Kevin Snapp <kalvachomer@...> wrote:
                  >--- In johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com, "Stephen C. Carlson" <scarlson@...> wrote:
                  >> The text is: hUMEIS PROSKUNEITE hO OUK OIDATE. hHMEIS PROSKUNOUMEN
                  >> hO OIDAMEN, hOTI hH SWTHRIA EK TWN IOUDAIWN ESTIN.
                  >
                  >So what, if anything is wrong with "You worship [and] you don't know
                  >it; we worship [and] we know it, that salvation is from the Jews"?
                  >
                  >This translates PROSKUNEITE / PROSKUNOUMEN as having no object, while
                  >"hO" acts in each half as the identical object of OIDATE/OIDAMEN, and
                  >as a conjunction. ["Many relative clauses are equivalent to
                  >coordinate clauses. In such cases the relative has the force of a
                  >demonstrative or personal pronoun with a connective ...." (Smyth sec.
                  >2490)]
                  >
                  >Why not? I grant that my translation makes the meaning trivial, but
                  >for my purposes that's fine, as I think it was intended to be.

                  The example in Smyth has an antecedent for the relative pronoun in the
                  preceding clause. Where are your antecedents for hO?

                  Stephen

                  --
                  Stephen C. Carlson
                  Ph.D. student, Religion, Duke University
                  Author of The Gospel Hoax: Morton Smith's Invention of Secret Mark (Baylor, 2005)
                • Kevin Snapp
                  ... Mark, My understanding was that proskunew took the accusative in classical Greek, but in Hellenistic Greek was supplanted by the dative. If my version of
                  Message 8 of 17 , Mar 17 6:48 PM
                  • 0 Attachment
                    --- In johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com, "Matson, Mark (Academic)" <MAMatson@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > why do you think that proskunew requires a dative object? According to LSJ the accusative is very common. In fact I couldn't find the dative as the basic case referenced there at all.
                    >
                    > If proskunew takes the accusative, the sentence makes complete grammatical sense.
                    >
                    > Mark A. Matson
                    > Academic Dean
                    > Milligan College
                    > http://www.milligan.edu/administrative/mmatson/personal.htm

                    Mark,

                    My understanding was that proskunew took the accusative in classical
                    Greek, but in Hellenistic Greek was supplanted by the dative. If my
                    version of LSJ 9th edition matches yours, on p. 1518, col. 2, there
                    is a note that in later Greek it took the dative, with citations to
                    the LXX, the NT, Josephus' Antiquities and Dio Cassius.

                    For my own education I ran a word search, and while the dative seems
                    to be universal or almost universal in the LXX (I didn't read every
                    example), it is mixed in the NT. Oddly mixed -- apart from 4:22
                    under discussion, John uses the dative in 4:21,in 4:23 he uses the
                    dative (tw patri), but then lets the accusative case of the
                    participle govern the object of the participle, saying "the father
                    seeks such worshipers of him (toioutous zHtei tous proskunountas
                    auton), and then repeats the accusative "tous proskunountas auton"
                    for "his worshipers" in 4:24. I have no idea whether there are
                    variants; I didn't go that far.

                    Interestingly, Matthew uses it with dative (2:2, 2:8, 4:9) except
                    once with accusative in 4:10 -- where one would presume he is quoting
                    the LXX: "for it is written, 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve
                    only him." That quote does not occur in the Hebrew Bible; the
                    footnoted verse, Deut. 6:13 has "Fear the Lord ...." The combination
                    of "worship" (with dative) and "serve" does occur several times, but
                    in admonitions not to serve or worship other gods, not positive
                    commands to only worship and serve God. Was Matthew misquoting from
                    memory, or avoiding any implication that Satan is "another god"?

                    So Satan asks Jesus to worship him -- in the dative, and Jesus
                    responds, "it is written "Worship the Lord your God" -- in the
                    accusative, which the LXX doesn't use.

                    Revelation looks very strange to me -- God is worshiped in the
                    dative, the Beast in the accusative, and the image of the Beast in
                    the dative. I won't even guess why.

                    Anyway, you're right that proskunew can take an accusative object,
                    and I'll drop any grammatical objections to the accepted
                    translation.

                    ***************
                    Stephen,

                    You wrote:

                    >The example in Smyth has an antecedent for the relative pronoun in
                    >the preceding clause. Where are your antecedents for hO?

                    I was taking hO to refer to the thing that is known/non known in each
                    case respectively, the final hOTI clause, "that salvation is from the
                    Jews." I don't know whether it can be called an "antecedent,"
                    because it comes after. "You worship [and] don't know it; we worship
                    [and] know it, that salvation is from the Jews." Impossible?

                    Kevin

                    Kevin Snapp
                    Chicago, IL
                  • Matson, Mark (Academic)
                    Kevin: Thanks for that. I went back to LSJ (at Perseus online this time, since I am at home w/o my LSJ 9 handy), and looked at your examples. I wonder, is the
                    Message 9 of 17 , Mar 17 7:31 PM
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Kevin:

                      Thanks for that. I went back to LSJ (at Perseus online this time, since I am at home w/o my LSJ 9 handy), and looked at your examples.

                      I wonder, is the difference actually something explainable by context/

                      Might the dative simply mean "I bow down before, or toward"? While the accusative is used more generically for worship. this would explain most of the instances you cite, and the reference in LSJ to the "later use" of dative under the subheading of "to bow down before in the oriental fashion" ....

                      Of course to test this would require some research in a larger data base, say TLG for the Hellenistic period. And i doubt I will find time to do that. but that is just a thought.



                      Mark A. Matson
                      Academic Dean
                      Milligan College
                      http://www.milligan.edu/administrative/mmatson/personal.htm

                      ________________________________

                      From: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com on behalf of Kevin Snapp
                      Sent: Tue 3/17/2009 9:48 PM
                      To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: Re: [John_Lit] T Jn. 4:22 -responses to Mark and Stephen



                      --- In johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com, "Matson, Mark (Academic)" <MAMatson@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > why do you think that proskunew requires a dative object? According to LSJ the accusative is very common. In fact I couldn't find the dative as the basic case referenced there at all.
                      >
                      > If proskunew takes the accusative, the sentence makes complete grammatical sense.
                      >
                      > Mark A. Matson
                      > Academic Dean
                      > Milligan College
                      > http://www.milligan.edu/administrative/mmatson/personal.htm

                      Mark,

                      My understanding was that proskunew took the accusative in classical
                      Greek, but in Hellenistic Greek was supplanted by the dative. If my
                      version of LSJ 9th edition matches yours, on p. 1518, col. 2, there
                      is a note that in later Greek it took the dative, with citations to
                      the LXX, the NT, Josephus' Antiquities and Dio Cassius.

                      For my own education I ran a word search, and while the dative seems
                      to be universal or almost universal in the LXX (I didn't read every
                      example), it is mixed in the NT. Oddly mixed -- apart from 4:22
                      under discussion, John uses the dative in 4:21,in 4:23 he uses the
                      dative (tw patri), but then lets the accusative case of the
                      participle govern the object of the participle, saying "the father
                      seeks such worshipers of him (toioutous zHtei tous proskunountas
                      auton), and then repeats the accusative "tous proskunountas auton"
                      for "his worshipers" in 4:24. I have no idea whether there are
                      variants; I didn't go that far.

                      Interestingly, Matthew uses it with dative (2:2, 2:8, 4:9) except
                      once with accusative in 4:10 -- where one would presume he is quoting
                      the LXX: "for it is written, 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve
                      only him." That quote does not occur in the Hebrew Bible; the
                      footnoted verse, Deut. 6:13 has "Fear the Lord ...." The combination
                      of "worship" (with dative) and "serve" does occur several times, but
                      in admonitions not to serve or worship other gods, not positive
                      commands to only worship and serve God. Was Matthew misquoting from
                      memory, or avoiding any implication that Satan is "another god"?

                      So Satan asks Jesus to worship him -- in the dative, and Jesus
                      responds, "it is written "Worship the Lord your God" -- in the
                      accusative, which the LXX doesn't use.

                      Revelation looks very strange to me -- God is worshiped in the
                      dative, the Beast in the accusative, and the image of the Beast in
                      the dative. I won't even guess why.

                      Anyway, you're right that proskunew can take an accusative object,
                      and I'll drop any grammatical objections to the accepted
                      translation.








                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Stephen C. Carlson
                      ... Well, impossible is really the wrong way to go about conceptualizing how to understand the grammar. A better way is assess which understanding of the
                      Message 10 of 17 , Mar 17 8:05 PM
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                        On Mar 17, 2009 9:48 PM, Kevin Snapp <kalvachomer@...> wrote:
                        >You wrote:
                        >>The example in Smyth has an antecedent for the relative pronoun in
                        >>the preceding clause. Where are your antecedents for hO?
                        >
                        >I was taking hO to refer to the thing that is known/non known in each
                        >case respectively, the final hOTI clause, "that salvation is from the
                        >Jews." I don't know whether it can be called an "antecedent,"
                        >because it comes after. "You worship [and] don't know it; we worship
                        >[and] know it, that salvation is from the Jews." Impossible?

                        Well, "impossible" is really the wrong way to go about conceptualizing
                        how to understand the grammar. A better way is assess which understanding
                        of the grammar is the more compelling. Relative probability, not absolute
                        probability, is what needs to be looked at.

                        In this case, your objection to the standard understanding (that PROSKUNEW
                        does not take an accusative) turns out to not be the case, and your own
                        proposal not only necessitates an unusual usage of the relative clause, but
                        now with the additional exception that there is no antecedent.

                        At some point, you just have to throw up your hands and say, "well, it was
                        worth a shot, at least" -- and I suggest that this point has long since come.

                        Stephen

                        --
                        Stephen C. Carlson
                        Ph.D. student, Religion, Duke University
                        Author of The Gospel Hoax: Morton Smith's Invention of Secret Mark (Baylor, 2005)
                      • Kevin Snapp
                        ... Stephen, I don t think you understand why an improbable or awkward alternative translation, if it is not an impossible translation, might be of interest to
                        Message 11 of 17 , Mar 17 9:11 PM
                        • 0 Attachment
                          --- In johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com, "Stephen C. Carlson" <scarlson@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > On Mar 17, 2009 9:48 PM, Kevin Snapp <kalvachomer@...> wrote:
                          > >You wrote:
                          > >>The example in Smyth has an antecedent for the relative pronoun in
                          > >>the preceding clause. Where are your antecedents for hO?
                          > >
                          > >I was taking hO to refer to the thing that is known/non known in each
                          > >case respectively, the final hOTI clause, "that salvation is from the
                          > >Jews." I don't know whether it can be called an "antecedent,"
                          > >because it comes after. "You worship [and] don't know it; we worship
                          > >[and] know it, that salvation is from the Jews." Impossible?
                          >
                          > Well, "impossible" is really the wrong way to go about conceptualizing
                          > how to understand the grammar. A better way is assess which understanding
                          > of the grammar is the more compelling. Relative probability, not absolute
                          > probability, is what needs to be looked at.
                          >
                          > In this case, your objection to the standard understanding (that PROSKUNEW
                          > does not take an accusative) turns out to not be the case, and your own
                          > proposal not only necessitates an unusual usage of the relative clause, but
                          > now with the additional exception that there is no antecedent.
                          >
                          > At some point, you just have to throw up your hands and say, "well, it was
                          > worth a shot, at least" -- and I suggest that this point has long since come.
                          >
                          > Stephen
                          >
                          > --
                          > Stephen C. Carlson
                          > Ph.D. student, Religion, Duke University
                          > Author of The Gospel Hoax: Morton Smith's Invention of Secret Mark (Baylor, 2005)
                          >
                          Stephen,

                          I don't think you understand why an improbable or awkward alternative translation, if it is not an impossible translation, might be of interest to me, although not to you. As I said, I am interested in deliberate ambiguity, where something is written so that it can be understood in two ways, and the facile reading may be the misleading one. I'm sorry that you found my persistence annoying. Thank you for your time.

                          Kevin

                          Kevin Snapp
                          Chicago, IL
                        • Kevin Snapp
                          ... Mark, I thought a bit about that, but at least at first glance I don t see a distinction between literal and figurative corresponding to dative and
                          Message 12 of 17 , Mar 18 1:24 AM
                          • 0 Attachment
                            --- In johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com, "Matson, Mark (Academic)" <MAMatson@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > Kevin:
                            >
                            > Thanks for that. I went back to LSJ (at Perseus online this time, since I am at home w/o my LSJ 9 handy), and looked at your examples.
                            >
                            > I wonder, is the difference actually something explainable by context/
                            >
                            > Might the dative simply mean "I bow down before, or toward"? While the accusative is used more generically for worship. this would explain most of the instances you cite, and the reference in LSJ to the "later use" of dative under the subheading of "to bow down before in the oriental fashion" ....
                            >
                            > Of course to test this would require some research in a larger data base, say TLG for the Hellenistic period. And i doubt I will find time to do that. but that is just a thought.
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > Mark A. Matson
                            > Academic Dean
                            > Milligan College
                            > http://www.milligan.edu/administrative/mmatson/personal.htm
                            >
                            > ________________________________
                            Mark,

                            I thought a bit about that, but at least at first glance I don't see a distinction between literal and figurative corresponding to dative and accusative. The Jewish translators of the LXX chose proskunew as the translation for "hishtacheveh" which means both to prostrate oneself and to worship, probably choosing dative for the object because there was no action upon the person or thing bowed to, and they favored the literal sense. It may have been more or less a semitism in Greek, especially with dative, so how it is used by NT authors might depend more than anything on their backgrounds -- Jewish versus Gentile, Greek-speaking versus Aramaic-speaking.

                            I believe the consensus is that Mark was a Gentile and native Greek speaker, and he doesn't use it at all. Perhaps a little too "oriental-exotic" for his audience? Luke, a Greek-speaking Gentile but familiar with the LXX, whose Greek I believe is considered the best of the four, uses it once with accusative at Luke 24:52, and once without object, but with the preposition "enwpion"+ genitive in 4:7, in his version of Matthew's temptation scene I mentioned earlier, probably to make it literal, "bow down in front of me." When Luke is "semitizing," i.e., imitating the LXX, in Stephen's speech, Acts 8:27, he uses proskunew with dative.

                            Paul, a Jew but a native Greek speaker, addressing Gentiles, uses it once, with dative, in 1 Cor. 14:25 in the context of literal prostration.

                            John was a Jewish Aramaic speaker who uses it, although only a few times. Ditto for Matthew. The author of Revelation, who I think scholars agree came from a Jewish, Aramaic-speaking background, uses it most of all.

                            I've been puzzling over Jn. 4:23, where he switches from dative (worship the father, tw patri) to accusative, ("his worshipers, proskunountas auton). Maybe the reason is that when speaking directly of worshiping God he was drawn to the feel of the LXX, even though it wasn’t standard usage -- just as many English speakers will have a flashback to the seventeenth century and say “hallowed be thy name” because of the KJV. On the other hand, the participle form of hishtacheveh is rare in the Hebrew Bible, and in my search I only saw one instance where it was used to mean a “worshiper” rather than simply someone bowing down in the present tense. Speaking of a “worshiper” in postbiblical Hebrew one would use oveid, from the root meaning to serve. So perhaps dealing with the participle, John didn’t feel the pull from remembered LXX usage to use the dative and was comfortable with the accusative.

                            That’s just a guess, but it’s interesting that the author of Revelation seems consistent in worshiping God - tw thew-- in the dative, too. It’s not a matter of true piety, because although the Beast -- to thHrion -- is worshiped in the accusative, the image of the beast is worshiped in the dative - tH eikoni tou theriou. There is worship of God, and worship of idols in the Hebrew Bible, but no worship of a beast. So perhaps the author’s linguistic choices were being driven by memories of the LXX, with dative forms for “God” and “idol” but not “beast” associated with “worship” in his mind.

                            I’d like to see whatever you find, but I’d guess the NT authors were in a heavily Jewish-influenced milieu somewhat disconnected from the Hellenistic mainstream as far as religious or worship-related language is concerned.

                            Kevin
                            Kevin Snapp
                            Chicago, IL
                          • Ramsey Michaels
                            Isn t it possible that John 4:22 uses the accusative instead of the dative simply because the dative does not allow the author to distinguish between the
                            Message 13 of 17 , Mar 18 2:32 PM
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                              Isn't it possible that John 4:22 uses the accusative instead of the dative simply because the dative does not allow the author to distinguish between the neuter and the masculine?

                              He wants to say, "You worship *that which* you do not know," and "We know *what* we worship," rather than "You worship *him whom* you do not know." and "We know *him whom* we worship." The dative does not allow him to specify that he intends the neuter, for the dative singular masculine and neuter are the same.

                              For the neuter used in a similar way to refer to God, though with a different word for worship, see Acts 17:23.

                              In v 23, he reverts to the dative, "worship the Father," because he is finishing the thought he began in v 21. But then in vv 23b and 24 we get the accusative again. The efforts of Abbott, Johannine Vocabulary, 134-42, to distinguish different meanings for the verb with dative and accusative are not convincing to me.

                              Ramsey Michaels







                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            • Gary Manning
                              I glanced through all the uses of proskuneo in the NT and LXX. I agree with Ramsey (below) that you can t distinguish between meanings of proskuneo based on
                              Message 14 of 17 , Mar 18 2:49 PM
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                                I glanced through all the uses of proskuneo in the NT and LXX. I agree with Ramsey (below) that you can't distinguish between meanings of proskuneo based on whether the object is in the dative or accusative. The only pattern I could discern among the texts that use the accusative for the direct object is that a disproportionate number of them are pronouns (esp. autos). It seems almost as if using the "wrong" case with pronouns sounded acceptable to Greek speakers, but less so with other nouns.

                                We have a similar misuse of case in English pronouns: no one says "to I", but many English speakers say "to you and I", which is technically incorrect but very common. This is not exactly parallel to Greek, but it reminds us that when native speakers do not appear to be following a well-known grammatical rule, they may be following another, less-known rule, or are following normal usage even if grammarians don't like it.

                                An earlier post on this topic reminded us of a basic rule of relative pronouns : the number and gender of a relative pronoun is determined by its antecedent, but its case is determined by its grammatical role in the relative clause. In this sentence, the accusative case may be for the simple reason that it is functioning as the object of oidamen in the relative clause. "Attraction" is when the case is determined by the main clause, or the gender is determined by the relative clause, in violation of the "rule." Wallace (BBBG, 337-343) points out some of the patterns that attraction follows. He uses Jn 4:22 as an example of gender attraction or perhaps omission of the antecedent (p. 337 and fn 58).

                                Gary


                                _______________________________________
                                Gary Manning, Ph.D.
                                http://eutychusnerd.blogspot.com/

                                Associate Professor of Bible and Biblical Languages
                                Interim Academic Dean
                                Pacific Rim Bible College
                                http://www.prbc-hawaii.edu/
                                ----- Original Message -----
                                From: Ramsey Michaels
                                To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
                                Sent: Wednesday, March 18, 2009 11:32 AM
                                Subject: Re: [John_Lit] T Jn. 4:22 -responses to Mark and Stephen


                                Isn't it possible that John 4:22 uses the accusative instead of the dative simply because the dative does not allow the author to distinguish between the neuter and the masculine?

                                He wants to say, "You worship *that which* you do not know," and "We know *what* we worship," rather than "You worship *him whom* you do not know." and "We know *him whom* we worship." The dative does not allow him to specify that he intends the neuter, for the dative singular masculine and neuter are the same.

                                For the neuter used in a similar way to refer to God, though with a different word for worship, see Acts 17:23.

                                In v 23, he reverts to the dative, "worship the Father," because he is finishing the thought he began in v 21. But then in vv 23b and 24 we get the accusative again. The efforts of Abbott, Johannine Vocabulary, 134-42, to distinguish different meanings for the verb with dative and accusative are not convincing to me.

                                Ramsey Michaels

                                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]




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                              • Kevin Snapp
                                ... Thank you -- would you elaborate? I understand that the accusative would permit an unambiguous neuter object, but why would John want that result? What
                                Message 15 of 17 , Mar 22 8:54 PM
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                                  --- In johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com, "Ramsey Michaels" <profram@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > Isn't it possible that John 4:22 uses the accusative instead of the dative simply because the dative does not allow the author to distinguish between the neuter and the masculine?
                                  >
                                  > He wants to say, "You worship *that which* you do not know," and "We know *what* we worship," rather than "You worship *him whom* you do not know." and "We know *him whom* we worship." The dative does not allow him to specify that he intends the neuter, for the dative singular masculine and neuter are the same.


                                  Thank you -- would you elaborate? I understand that the accusative
                                  would permit an unambiguous neuter object, but why would John want
                                  that result? What would that mean in this context, when John's Jesus
                                  has acknowledged that both Jews and Samaritans worship the
                                  unambiguously masculine "Father"?
                                  >
                                  > For the neuter used in a similar way to refer to God, though with a different word for worship, see Acts 17:23.
                                  >
                                  I see your point, but it’s quite a different context, isn’t it? Paul
                                  says he observed “your objects of worship," "ta sebasmata" (neut.
                                  acc. pl.), and found an altar inscribed "to [the] unknown god,"
                                  "agnwstw thew" (masc. dat. sg.). I suggest that Paul is tactfully
                                  avoiding any implication of idolatry by referring to "objects of
                                  worship" rather than "gods," and that Paul’s use of the neuter
                                  relative is intended to refer back to the neuter “objects of worship”
                                  rather than the masculine “unknown god.”

                                  If Paul had led off with the masculine relative pronoun, he would be
                                  saying, “[The god] whom you unknowingly worship, Him, I proclaim to
                                  you,” but he doesn’t want to say the Athenians have actually been
                                  worshiping God all along as “the unknown god.” Paul wants to use the
                                  Athenians’ symbolic acknowledgment that there may be a god they
                                  don’t know as his “hook” to grab their attention but without
                                  implying that his God is just another god. So Paul chose to begin
                                  with the impersonal neuter relative, “That which you unknowingly
                                  worship,” which then required the neuter demonstrative, “this”
                                  (rather than "Him”) "I proclaim to you.”

                                  But I understand your point, that unless Paul were avoiding the
                                  masculine for the reason I suggest, he is using the neuter singular
                                  relative to refer to the masculine “unknown god” as “what you
                                  worship,” followed by the neuter demonstrative representing the
                                  masculine God Paul proclaims. So it is a precedent for using the
                                  neuter singular relative for “what you worship” in Jn. 4:22. If that
                                  explains the neuter gender, and proskunew can be used with accusative
                                  as well as dative, it would explain Jn. 4:22 and its accepted
                                  translation -- in isolation.

                                  I think it is still legitimate to ask, though, why John switches back
                                  and forth from dative to accusative in 4:23, this time keeping the
                                  masculine gender. You wrote:

                                  > In v 23, he reverts to the dative, "worship the Father," because he is finishing the thought he began in
                                  > v 21. But then in vv 23b and 24 we get the accusative again. The efforts of Abbott, Johannine
                                  > Vocabulary, 134-42, to distinguish different meanings for the verb with dative and accusative are not
                                  > convincing to me.

                                  Granted, v. 23a finishes the thought, but it seems artificial to
                                  divide the explanatory 23b from 23b to explain the switch to the
                                  accusative, which simply looks odd.

                                  I have not read Abbott, but agree that one cannot distinguish here
                                  between the “worship” of those “true worshipers” who “will worship
                                  the (dative) Father in spirit and truth” and “those ones worshiping
                                  Him (accusative)” whom He seeks. Even if 23b is explained as an
                                  addition it seems extraordinarily clumsy to switch cases. So it
                                  seems a better explanation to think of “tw patri” and “tw thew” as
                                  fixed by the Septuagint in the dative, with John otherwise using the
                                  accusative.

                                  But with respect to 4:22, I’m back where I started from with the
                                  problem of meaning, the problem that originally led to my suggestion
                                  of grammatical ambiguity. It seems to me a very different thing for
                                  Paul to say to the Athenians that they, “not knowing,” worship a
                                  (neuter) “what,” than for John’s Jesus to tell the Samaritan woman
                                  that “you, [Samaritans] worship what you do not know.”

                                  Since Jesus has acknowledged that Samaritans, like Jews, worship “the
                                  Father,” what could he have meant? Particularly since John is
                                  obviously contrasting the Samaritans, who immediately believed in
                                  Jesus as “savior of the world,” with the mostly unbelieving
                                  Jews/Judeans? Furthermore, what could it mean to say that the
                                  Jews/Judeans “worship what we know” “because salvation is from the
                                  Jews”?

                                  To me, 4:22 appears to say, “you worship what you do not know ...,”
                                  but while the arguments here persuade me that is grammatically
                                  acceptable, its meaning dissolves under scrutiny and a search for
                                  alternatives is justified.

                                  Kevin Snapp
                                  Chicago, IL
                                • Ramsey Michaels
                                  To me the parallel with Acts 17:23 was illuminating: That which [neuter pronoun] you ignorantly worship I make known to you. A different word for worship to
                                  Message 16 of 17 , Mar 23 6:16 AM
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                                    To me the parallel with Acts 17:23 was illuminating: "That which [neuter pronoun] you ignorantly worship I make known to you."

                                    A different word for worship to be sure, but it is language Paul uses in addressing Gentiles, telling tham that in fact they are worshipping the true God, but in ignorance. Something similar is going on here, I suspect, with the Samaritans being viewed as Gentiles, and in some sense representative of the Gentile world.

                                    Best,

                                    Ramsey Michaels




                                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  • Kevin Snapp
                                    Whether or not the author of Luke/Acts thinks of Samaritans as Gentiles, the author of John considers them Israelites. At least one commentator (sorry, I
                                    Message 17 of 17 , Mar 24 9:24 PM
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                                      Whether or not the author of Luke/Acts thinks of Samaritans as Gentiles, the author of John considers them Israelites. At least one commentator (sorry, I don't remember who) pointed out that Jn. 4:35-36 alludes to the sabbatical year of Lev.25:1-7: "Do you not say, four months more then comes the harvest? But lift up your eyes and see the fields that are white for harvesting." We know from the beginning of ch. 4 that it was hot, i.e., summer, but there could be no harvesting until the new year began in the fall.

                                      In this context, Jesus' saying that "the reaper receives wages and gathers fruit for eternal life" refers to Samaritan farmers, who instead of sowing and reaping their own fields, worked for Gentiles for pay, and by doing so "gathered fruit for eternal life" as reward for keeping the commandment. I don't think anyone has noticed the similarity to a rabbinic saying:

                                      "These are the things of which a man eats their fruits (income) in this world, while their source (principal) is kept for him in the world to come: honoring one's parents, deeds of kindness, and making peace between fellow men, while the study of the Torah surpasses them all." (BT Shab. 127a and elsewhere.) (In keeping the mitzvah of the sabbatical year, it is literally the "fruits" one does not eat, so Jesus reverses it.) John is subtly reminding Jewishly-knowledgeable readers that the Samaritans are Israelites who keep the Torah.

                                      As the Samaritans reap what others have sown, so shall Jesus' disciples. Those who "have sown" among the Samaritans for Jesus' disciples to "reap" include not only Moses, but also, John implies, John the Baptist and his disciples. Although its location is uncertain, probably "Aenon near Salim,"Jn. 3:23, was either in Samaria or on the Samaria-Galilee border. I understand the dispute "between John's disciples and a Jew" of 3:25 regarding "purification" as concerning whether Samaritans could be "purified" of their supposed hereditary taint, suspicion of mamzerut due to their differing halakhah or deficient observance with respect to divorce and/or levirate marriage. "Purification" was the term used in connection with mamzerim much later in the Talmud, when the rabbis sought to find a way around the unfairness of this biblically-mandated hereditary pariah caste.

                                      Although John acknowledges that in his death Jesus would "draw all men to him," John's Jesus is never depicted interacting with Gentiles in his ministry, in contrast to the Synoptics. John 4 is not a prototype of "outreach" to Gentiles; it is about reuniting the House of Israel. John was discreet about it because his (and Jesus') ties to the Samaritans (of which there is other evidence in John) were closer than John wished to acknowledge publicly.

                                      Just explaining the method in my madness, or the madness behind my method. From this perspective, for John's Jesus to dismiss Samaritan worship in a statement that doesn't withstand close logical scrutiny makes sense. I was not probing the limits of the Greek merely to torture it.

                                      Kevin Snapp
                                      Chicago, IL

                                      --- In johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com, "Ramsey Michaels" <profram@...> wrote:
                                      >
                                      > To me the parallel with Acts 17:23 was illuminating: "That which [neuter pronoun] you ignorantly worship I make known to you."
                                      >
                                      > A different word for worship to be sure, but it is language Paul uses in addressing Gentiles, telling tham that in fact they are worshipping the true God, but in ignorance. Something similar is going on here, I suspect, with the Samaritans being viewed as Gentiles, and in some sense representative of the Gentile world.
                                      >
                                      > Best,
                                      >
                                      > Ramsey Michaels
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                      >
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