Re: prepositions with kai

T & J Peterson (
Mon, 14 Oct 1996 12:08:10 -0700

Now of these five (which is not in itself a great number), a case could
probably be built against 2 Cor 2:4, since the adjective helps the
connection. Rev 18:12 seems to be questionable, since each item appears
to be a vessel of a different material. (I could argue that the list
creates new circumstances, but then I would be on shaky ground with 1 Tim
1:5, which also includes a list.) All in all, then, the evidence so far
is quite limited and leaves too much up for grabs to draw hard
conclusions. A more complete set of results would have to include the
same construction with other prepositions.

The question I am trying to consider is whether the structure lends
itself more readily to a semi-contrast or to a connection of some sort.
My contention is that Jesus could have stated it more clearly if His
intent were to say, "No, Nicodemus, everyone is born of water, but
entrance into the kingdom requires the addition of spiritual birth." As
His words stand, they seem to be taken most naturally as giving a joint
expansion of anothen in verse three. Taken this way, verse five is an
expanded parallel, changing "see" to "enter" and "again (or from above)"
to "of water and spirit." There are, of course other arguments involved,
from context, OT imagery, and a number of sources and angles, but here
I've tried to consider the syntactical structure--an argument used on
more than one occasion to oppose the physical birth view, but never
really taken up in any detail. At least I haven't found anything
substantial on it.

Perhaps it is a bit odd for me to be responding to my own original
message, but I thought it fitting to close the matter, if in fact the
number and depth of responses is indicative of the regard held for this
study. I'll not beat it to death from this point forward.