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Jo 8:25 THN ARCHN

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  • Wieland Willker
    Chrys C. Caragounis What Did Jesus Mean by THN ARCHN in John 8:25? Novum Testamentum 49 (2007) 129-147 After a detailed check of the thousands of occurrences
    Message 1 of 7 , May 6, 2008
      Chrys C. Caragounis
      "What Did Jesus Mean by THN ARCHN in John 8:25?"
      Novum Testamentum 49 (2007) 129-147

      After a detailed check of the thousands of occurrences in the Greek literature Chrys Caragounis (2007) comes to the conclusion that THN ARCHN is used as an adverb without accusative force. The meaning as such is then "the beginning". The preposition must be deduced from the context. The position of THN ARCHN at the beginning is for emphasis.
      He further concludes that hO TI should be taken as "that which/what" and the KAI as "precisely" (Caragounis: "Needless to say KAI does not mean 'precisely'. This is only the force it assumes in the present context"). His final translation of the sentence is:

      "[I am] From the beginning! - precisely what I have been saying (speaking) to you."

      with the comment: "The English may translate it with '[I am] what I have been saying to you from the beginning', but this is only a functional reading deprived of the literary effect of the original."


      Is this a textcritical issue?
      Yes. We have variant readings here:
      01 adds EN (meaning?)
      P66 adds EIPON hUMIN
      047 omits THN ARCHN


      Best wishes
      Wieland
      <><
      ------------------------------------------------
      Wieland Willker, Bremen, Germany
      mailto:wie@...
      http://www.uni-bremen.de/~wie
      Textcritical commentary:
      http://www.uni-bremen.de/~wie/TCG/index.html
    • mjriii2003
      Wieland, From a grammatical standpoint the use of THN ARXHN is unambiguous. It the non prepositional use of the accusative expressing extent of space or
      Message 2 of 7 , May 7, 2008
        Wieland,

        From a grammatical standpoint the use of THN ARXHN is unambiguous.
        It the non prepositional use of the accusative expressing "extent of
        space or duration of time." Hence the rendering "from the
        beginning..."

        But the context of Jesus' remarks are even more telling. His use of
        EGO EIMI = ani hu' is an unequivable self identification by Jesus
        Himself as YHWH = Yahweh.

        But even further the use of THN ARXHN echoes back to both the LXX and
        Masoretic texts in Genesis 1:1, EN ARXHi EPOIHSEN hO QEOS...

        Malcolm

        ___________________


        --- In textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com, "Wieland Willker" <wie@...>
        wrote:
        >
        > Chrys C. Caragounis
        > "What Did Jesus Mean by THN ARCHN in John 8:25?"
        > Novum Testamentum 49 (2007) 129-147
        >
        > After a detailed check of the thousands of occurrences in the Greek
        literature Chrys Caragounis (2007) comes to the conclusion that THN
        ARCHN is used as an adverb without accusative force. The meaning as
        such is then "the beginning". The preposition must be deduced from
        the context. The position of THN ARCHN at the beginning is for
        emphasis.
        > He further concludes that hO TI should be taken as "that
        which/what" and the KAI as "precisely" (Caragounis: "Needless to say
        KAI does not mean 'precisely'. This is only the force it assumes in
        the present context"). His final translation of the sentence is:
        >
        > "[I am] From the beginning! - precisely what I have been saying
        (speaking) to you."
        >
        > with the comment: "The English may translate it with '[I am] what I
        have been saying to you from the beginning', but this is only a
        functional reading deprived of the literary effect of the original."
        >
        >
        > Is this a textcritical issue?
        > Yes. We have variant readings here:
        > 01 adds EN (meaning?)
        > P66 adds EIPON hUMIN
        > 047 omits THN ARCHN
        >
        >
        > Best wishes
        > Wieland
        > <><
        > ------------------------------------------------
        > Wieland Willker, Bremen, Germany
        > mailto:wie@...
        > http://www.uni-bremen.de/~wie
        > Textcritical commentary:
        > http://www.uni-bremen.de/~wie/TCG/index.html
        >
      • Diana Fulbright
        Dear Malcolm, EGO EIMI does not equal or translate ANI HU . I am does not mean I am he. If you want to discuss why EGO EIMI implies that Jesus is in
        Message 3 of 7 , May 7, 2008

          Dear Malcolm,

          EGO EIMI does not equal or translate ANI HU’.   “I am” does not mean “I am he.”  If you want to discuss why EGO EIMI implies that Jesus is in these words (cf. Jn. 8:58) identifies himself with God, go for it.  But please stick to accurate translation. 

          Thanks,   Diana

           

          From: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com [mailto:textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of mjriii2003
          Sent: Wednesday, May 07, 2008 9:13 AM
          To: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [textualcriticism] Re: Jo 8:25 THN ARCHN

           

          Wieland,

          >From a grammatical standpoint the use of THN ARXHN is unambiguous.
          It the non prepositional use of the accusative expressing "extent of
          space or duration of time." Hence the rendering "from the
          beginning..."

          But the context of Jesus' remarks are even more telling. His use of
          EGO EIMI = ani hu' is an unequivable self identification by Jesus
          Himself as YHWH = Yahweh.

          But even further the use of THN ARXHN echoes back to both the LXX and
          Masoretic texts in Genesis 1:1, EN ARXHi EPOIHSEN hO QEOS...

          Malcolm

          ___________________

          --- In textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com, "Wieland Willker" <wie@...>
          wrote:
          >
          > Chrys C. Caragounis
          > "What Did Jesus Mean by THN ARCHN in John 8:25?"
          > Novum Testamentum 49 (2007) 129-147
          >
          > After a detailed check of the thousands of occurrences in the Greek
          literature Chrys Caragounis (2007) comes to the conclusion that THN
          ARCHN is used as an adverb without accusative force. The meaning as
          such is then "the beginning". The preposition must be deduced from
          the context. The position of THN ARCHN at the beginning is for
          emphasis.
          > He further concludes that hO TI should be taken as "that
          which/what" and the KAI as "precisely" (Caragounis: "Needless to say
          KAI does not mean 'precisely'. This is only the force it assumes in
          the present context"). His final translation of the sentence is:
          >
          > "[I am] From the beginning! - precisely what I have been saying
          (speaking) to you."
          >
          > with the comment: "The English may translate it with '[I am] what I
          have been saying to you from the beginning', but this is only a
          functional reading deprived of the literary effect of the original."
          >
          >
          > Is this a textcritical issue?
          > Yes. We have variant readings here:
          > 01 adds EN (meaning?)
          > P66 adds EIPON hUMIN
          > 047 omits THN ARCHN
          >
          >
          > Best wishes
          > Wieland
          > <><
          > ------------------------------------------------
          > Wieland Willker, Bremen, Germany
          > mailto:wie@...
          > http://www.uni-bremen.de/~wie
          > Textcritical commentary:
          > http://www.uni-bremen.de/~wie/TCG/index.html
          >

        • Jack Kilmon
          EGO EIMI translates into Judean Aramaic as ana itai )n) ).ty FWIW Jack Kilmon ... From: Diana Fulbright To: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com Sent: Wednesday,
          Message 4 of 7 , May 8, 2008
            EGO EIMI translates into Judean Aramaic as ana itai   )n) ).ty
             
            FWIW
             
            Jack Kilmon
            ----- Original Message -----
            Sent: Wednesday, May 07, 2008 9:42 PM
            Subject: [textualcriticism] Jo 8:25 THN ARCHN/EGO EIMI

            Dear Malcolm,

            EGO EIMI does not equal or translate ANI HU’.   “I am” does not mean “I am he.”  If you want to discuss why EGO EIMI implies that Jesus is in these words (cf. Jn. 8:58) identifies himself with God, go for it.  But please stick to accurate translation. 

            Thanks,   Diana

             

            From: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com [mailto:textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of mjriii2003
            Sent: Wednesday, May 07, 2008 9:13 AM
            To: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: [textualcriticism] Re: Jo 8:25 THN ARCHN

             

            Wieland,

            >From a grammatical standpoint the use of THN ARXHN is unambiguous.
            It the non prepositional use of the accusative expressing "extent of
            space or duration of time." Hence the rendering "from the
            beginning..."

            But the context of Jesus' remarks are even more telling. His use of
            EGO EIMI = ani hu' is an unequivable self identification by Jesus
            Himself as YHWH = Yahweh.

            But even further the use of THN ARXHN echoes back to both the LXX and
            Masoretic texts in Genesis 1:1, EN ARXHi EPOIHSEN hO QEOS...

            Malcolm

            ___________________

            --- In textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com, "Wieland Willker" <wie@...>
            wrote:
            >
            > Chrys C. Caragounis
            > "What Did Jesus Mean by THN ARCHN in John 8:25?"
            > Novum Testamentum 49 (2007) 129-147
            >
            > After a detailed check of the thousands of occurrences in the Greek
            literature Chrys Caragounis (2007) comes to the conclusion that THN
            ARCHN is used as an adverb without accusative force. The meaning as
            such is then "the beginning". The preposition must be deduced from
            the context. The position of THN ARCHN at the beginning is for
            emphasis.
            > He further concludes that hO TI should be taken as "that
            which/what" and the KAI as "precisely" (Caragounis: "Needless to say
            KAI does not mean 'precisely'. This is only the force it assumes in
            the present context"). His final translation of the sentence is:
            >
            > "[I am] From the beginning! - precisely what I have been saying
            (speaking) to you."
            >
            > with the comment: "The English may translate it with '[I am] what I
            have been saying to you from the beginning', but this is only a
            functional reading deprived of the literary effect of the original."
            >
            >
            > Is this a textcritical issue?
            > Yes. We have variant readings here:
            > 01 adds EN (meaning?)
            > P66 adds EIPON hUMIN
            > 047 omits THN ARCHN
            >
            >
            > Best wishes
            > Wieland
            > <><
            > ------------------------------------------------
            > Wieland Willker, Bremen, Germany
            > mailto:wie@...
            > http://www.uni-bremen.de/~wie
            > Textcritical commentary:
            > http://www.uni-bremen.de/~wie/TCG/index.html
            >

          • Peter
            Wieland is surely right to ask, Is this a text critical question? People ask us, but what does the Greek say? The Greek uses Kyrios for Jahveh, but John avoids
            Message 5 of 7 , May 8, 2008
              Wieland is surely right to ask, Is this a text critical question?
              People ask us, but what does the Greek say?
              The Greek uses Kyrios for Jahveh, but John avoids using it.
              The translations we are subjected to at church are now deciding the
              meaning of EGO EIMI in favor of a solemn I AM--as though the "I" who
              spoke in the Jewish scriptures was not the Father but Jesus. At
              least, that's my problem with thinking the doctrine is Johannine.
              It is a text critical "issue," perhaps, to get the translators to
              leave ambiguous and pregnant with meaning or obscurity what was
              clearly obscure to the scribes and remains debatable to the exegetes.
              John can use an EGO alone, without verb, to mean "I am" (1:23), but
              he feels forced to use the verb for his Greek. I'll bet he's giving
              more Semitic color than Greek emphasis (on EGO) when he has "I" am
              the bread of life, etc. "I am he," also, works too often (esp. 18:8)
              to think it means the God who really is there.
              THN ARCHN is one of those places we fault scribes for trying to clear
              it up, so let's signal translators to let it remain ambiguous.
              I don't know what Sinaiticus had in mind, where EN could mean one and
              the same thing (as in, the Father and I are TO EN--one and the same
              (thing, not person--definitely not the same "I").
              The Latin, Qui et loquor, I can't help but see as an attempt to make
              the "quia et loquor" refer to the Lord Jesus as the ARCH.
              Even the O-TI separation may be the natural attempt to make it refer
              to Jesus, where That I speak to you at all! is rhetorical retort to a
              sarcastic question, Who are you? The fact that the question often
              calls for origin may miss the sarcasm behind, Whom do you make
              yourself to be? A question Jesus meticulously avoids answering for us.
              --Pete

              --- In textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com, "Jack Kilmon" <jkilmon@...>
              wrote:
              >
              > EGO EIMI translates into Judean Aramaic as ana itai )n) ).ty
              >
              > FWIW
              >
              > Jack Kilmon
              > ----- Original Message -----
              > From: Diana Fulbright
              > To: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com
              > Sent: Wednesday, May 07, 2008 9:42 PM
              > Subject: [textualcriticism] Jo 8:25 THN ARCHN/EGO EIMI
              >
              >
              > Dear Malcolm,
              >
              > EGO EIMI does not equal or translate ANI HU'. "I am" does not
              mean "I am he." If you want to discuss why EGO EIMI implies that
              Jesus is in these words (cf. Jn. 8:58) identifies himself with God,
              go for it. But please stick to accurate translation.
              >
              > Thanks, Diana
              >
              >
              >
              > From: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com
              [mailto:textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of mjriii2003
              > Sent: Wednesday, May 07, 2008 9:13 AM
              > To: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com
              > Subject: [textualcriticism] Re: Jo 8:25 THN ARCHN
              >
              >
              >
              > Wieland,
              >
              > >From a grammatical standpoint the use of THN ARXHN is
              unambiguous.
              > It the non prepositional use of the accusative expressing "extent
              of
              > space or duration of time." Hence the rendering "from the
              > beginning..."
              >
              > But the context of Jesus' remarks are even more telling. His use
              of
              > EGO EIMI = ani hu' is an unequivable self identification by Jesus
              > Himself as YHWH = Yahweh.
              >
              > But even further the use of THN ARXHN echoes back to both the LXX
              and
              > Masoretic texts in Genesis 1:1, EN ARXHi EPOIHSEN hO QEOS...
              >
              > Malcolm
              >
              > ___________________
              >
              > --- In textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com, "Wieland Willker" <wie@>
              > wrote:
              > >
              > > Chrys C. Caragounis
              > > "What Did Jesus Mean by THN ARCHN in John 8:25?"
              > > Novum Testamentum 49 (2007) 129-147
              > >
              > > After a detailed check of the thousands of occurrences in the
              Greek
              > literature Chrys Caragounis (2007) comes to the conclusion that
              THN
              > ARCHN is used as an adverb without accusative force. The meaning
              as
              > such is then "the beginning". The preposition must be deduced
              from
              > the context. The position of THN ARCHN at the beginning is for
              > emphasis.
              > > He further concludes that hO TI should be taken as "that
              > which/what" and the KAI as "precisely" (Caragounis: "Needless to
              say
              > KAI does not mean 'precisely'. This is only the force it assumes
              in
              > the present context"). His final translation of the sentence is:
              > >
              > > "[I am] From the beginning! - precisely what I have been saying
              > (speaking) to you."
              > >
              > > with the comment: "The English may translate it with '[I am]
              what I
              > have been saying to you from the beginning', but this is only a
              > functional reading deprived of the literary effect of the
              original."
              > >
              > >
              > > Is this a textcritical issue?
              > > Yes. We have variant readings here:
              > > 01 adds EN (meaning?)
              > > P66 adds EIPON hUMIN
              > > 047 omits THN ARCHN
              > >
              > >
              > > Best wishes
              > > Wieland
              > > <><
              > > ------------------------------------------------
              > > Wieland Willker, Bremen, Germany
              > > mailto:wie@
              > > http://www.uni-bremen.de/~wie
              > > Textcritical commentary:
              > > http://www.uni-bremen.de/~wie/TCG/index.html
              > >
              >
            • Wieland Willker
              Please keep comments regarding the meaning of EGW EIMI etc. off-list. Best wishes Wieland
              Message 6 of 7 , May 8, 2008
                Please keep comments regarding the meaning of EGW EIMI etc. off-list.


                Best wishes
                Wieland
                <><
                ------------------------------------------------
                Wieland Willker, Bremen, Germany
                mailto:wie@...
                http://www.uni-bremen.de/~wie
                Textcritical commentary:
                http://www.uni-bremen.de/~wie/TCG/index.html
              • A. Dirkzwager
                Dear Wieland, I am a little bit late, but time is lacking from time to time. Hereby I give a summary of an article I wrote in the Dutch language some time ago.
                Message 7 of 7 , May 9, 2008
                  Dear Wieland,


                  I am a little bit late, but time is lacking from time to time. Hereby I
                  give a summary of an article I wrote in the Dutch language some time
                  ago. Persons who want to get the article can send me an e-mail.

                  It is not difficult to read Dutch if you understand English and German
                  (like most theologians).


                  The discussion reported in John 8: 21-29 seems to lack unity. If we see
                  such a lack there is probably a discussion between Jesus and his
                  opponents by means of allusions. One person makes a statement using an
                  allusion to a verse of the Old Testament. The other answers by means of
                  another allusion taken from the same chapter of the Old Testament or
                  from a chapter with the same theme. If we find these chapters, we find
                  the unity of the discussion. This way of discussion was very normal
                  between Jewish theologians.


                  The theme behind John 8: 12-29 are the prophesies about the Servant of
                  the Lord in Isaiah (42: 1ss., 49: 1ss., 50: 4ss., 52: 13ss.). Jesus
                  claims to be that Servant.


                  Light of the world (vs. 12) can be found in Is 42: 6 and 49: 6. The Jews
                  don't accept the way Jesus presents Himself as the predicted Light (vs.
                  13), for Isaiah says that God Himself declares who is the Servant (see
                  Is 42: 5-6, 49: 6).


                  In vs. 14 gives Jesus an answer based on Is 49: 5 and 7, where is stated
                  that God knows the origin and the destination of the Servant. Jesus says
                  that He Himself knows about his origin and destination. His opponents
                  can conclude that Jesus means to say that He is God or that God had said
                  to Him that He should be the Servant.


                  Jesus says in vs. 15 that He does not judge anybody, according to Is 49: 4.


                  In vs. 17-18 says Jesus that there are two witnesses indeed: the Father
                  and Jesus. required


                  In vs. 19 Jesus says that his opponents don't know the Father, like is
                  stated in Is 50: 10.


                  Vs. 21 gives a paraphrasis of Is 53: 8. "I am going away" represents "he
                  was cut off from the land of the living" , " you will look for me" is
                  the compliment of " who of his generation considered that he was cut off
                  from the land of the living" and " you will die in your sin" is the
                  consequence of the fact that people did not realise that " he was cut
                  off from the land of the living for the transgression of my people".


                  If you don't see that Jesus is speaking about Is 53: 8, his words " you
                  will die in your sin" don't have any connection with the beginning of
                  the verse. So Is 53: 8 gives the unity in the sentence of Jesus.


                  Then we have in vs. 24 "that I am". I don't think that "I am" is
                  equivalent with God's name. We should understand "that I am the Servant
                  of the Lord".


                  For the moment I skip vs. 25 and then comes vs. 26. "What I have heard
                  from Him" comes from Is 50: 4.


                  From vs. 28 begins Jesus to quote more directly: He sees that his
                  opponents don't understand enough of the allusions. He calls Himself the
                  Son of Man and claims to be the fulfilment of Dan. 7. But He combines
                  that prophesy about his glorious future with Is 52: 13 ("lift up") about
                  the suffering Servant. At the end of the verse He nearly quotes Is 50: 4.


                  Vs. 29 contains a combination of Is 50: 7, 8, 9, 5.


                  And now vs. 25 with THN ARCHN.

                  R. Kühner B. Gerth, Ausführliche Grammatik der griechischen Sprache,
                  II. Teil Satzlehre, 1. Band, Hannover Leipzig 1898, third edition (=
                  Darmstadt 1966), p. 315, n. 15, tell us

                  ARCHN, THN ARCHN, zum Anfange, dann omnino (von vornherein), in den
                  letzteren Bdt. in der Regel in Verbindung m.e. Negat. .... cf.
                  Andocides, 3, 20 EXHN GAR AUTOIS KAI THN ARCHN EWSIN ORCOMENIOUS
                  AUTONOMOUS EIRHNHN AGEIN

                  Our sentence in John 8 does not contain a negation. So the meaning
                  "omnino" does not apply.

                  J. Humbert, Syntaxe grecque, Paris 1960, third edition, p. 264,
                  translates ARCHN with au début.

                  The sentence of Andocides quoted above has been translated by G.
                  Dalmeyda in his edition of the works of Andocides Andocide Discours,
                  Paris 1960, as "car ils pouvaient, dès le début, laisser l'autonomie à
                  Orchomène et vivre en paix".


                  So we have as translation of our sentence "what I am saying you from the
                  beginning". He points his opponents to a text of Isaiah in the
                  neighborhood of the prophesies about the Servant of the Lord (Is 48: 3-6a):

                  I have declared the former things from the beginning; and they went
                  forth out of my mouth, and I shewed them; I did them suddenly, and they
                  came to pass. Because I knew that thou art obstinate, and thy neck is an
                  iron sinew, and thy brow brass; I have even from the beginning declared
                  it to thee; before it came to pass I shewed it thee: lest thou shouldest
                  say, Mine idol hath done them, and my graven image, and my molten image,
                  hath commanded them. Thou hast heard, see all this; and will not ye
                  declare it?


                  Arie


                  A. Dirkzwager

                  Hoeselt, Belgium
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