- 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 avoidsMessage 1 of 7 , May 8, 2008View SourceWieland 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.
--- In email@example.com, "Jack Kilmon" <jkilmon@...>
>mean "I am he." If you want to discuss why EGO EIMI implies that
> EGO EIMI translates into Judean Aramaic as ana itai )n) ).ty
> Jack Kilmon
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Diana Fulbright
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> 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
Jesus is in these words (cf. Jn. 8:58) identifies himself with God,
go for it. But please stick to accurate translation.
>[mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf Of mjriii2003
> Thanks, Diana
> From: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Sent: Wednesday, May 07, 2008 9:13 AMunambiguous.
> To: email@example.com
> Subject: [textualcriticism] Re: Jo 8:25 THN ARCHN
> >From a grammatical standpoint the use of THN ARXHN is
> It the non prepositional use of the accusative expressing "extentof
> space or duration of time." Hence the rendering "from theof
> But the context of Jesus' remarks are even more telling. His use
> EGO EIMI = ani hu' is an unequivable self identification by Jesusand
> Himself as YHWH = Yahweh.
> But even further the use of THN ARXHN echoes back to both the LXX
> Masoretic texts in Genesis 1:1, EN ARXHi EPOIHSEN hO QEOS...Greek
> --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "Wieland Willker" <wie@>
> > 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
> literature Chrys Caragounis (2007) comes to the conclusion thatTHN
> ARCHN is used as an adverb without accusative force. The meaningas
> such is then "the beginning". The preposition must be deducedfrom
> the context. The position of THN ARCHN at the beginning is forsay
> > He further concludes that hO TI should be taken as "that
> which/what" and the KAI as "precisely" (Caragounis: "Needless to
> KAI does not mean 'precisely'. This is only the force it assumesin
> the present context"). His final translation of the sentence is:what I
> > "[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]
> have been saying to you from the beginning', but this is only aoriginal."
> functional reading deprived of the literary effect of the
> > 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
- Please keep comments regarding the meaning of EGW EIMI etc. off-list. Best wishes WielandMessage 2 of 7 , May 8, 2008View Source
- 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 3 of 7 , May 9, 2008View SourceDear 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