John 8:25

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Scott Lawson
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Re: John 8:25

Post by Scott Lawson » February 24th, 2012, 12:13 pm

Scott Lawson wrote:let me just say that I cannot accept that "reading" to begin with.
David! I think there's an intentional pun in that sentence! But I don't think I could prove it.;)
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Stephen Carlson
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Re: John 8:25

Post by Stephen Carlson » February 24th, 2012, 12:23 pm

Scott Lawson wrote:I’ll back off of putting Greek words in Jesus’ mouth if it pleases you and instead I’ll say that the author of the book of John may have intended a double entendre at this point in his narrative.
Given the difficulty of resolving the ambiguity of the question in John 8:25 and the author's love of double meaning elsewhere in the text, I would have to concede that the possibility of an intentional double meaning is something that has to be taken into account. I'm not sure how to do this, because interpretation is ordinarily and justifiably biased to finding a single meaning in texts, unless circumstances dictate otherwise.

Stephen
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David Lim
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Re: John 8:25

Post by David Lim » February 24th, 2012, 11:57 pm

Scott Lawson wrote:
Scott Lawson wrote:let me just say that I cannot accept that "reading" to begin with.
David! I think there's an intentional pun in that sentence! But I don't think I could prove it.;)
Actually I embedded a few others elsewhere also, but you see, except for this obvious one, unless I tell, it is hard to see them. Even for this obvious one, until I confirm it, no one can be certain. ;) I suppose that is the problem if people have double meanings in what they say. ;)
Stephen Carlson wrote:
Scott Lawson wrote:I’ll back off of putting Greek words in Jesus’ mouth if it pleases you and instead I’ll say that the author of the book of John may have intended a double entendre at this point in his narrative.
Given the difficulty of resolving the ambiguity of the question in John 8:25 and the author's love of double meaning elsewhere in the text, I would have to concede that the possibility of an intentional double meaning is something that has to be taken into account. I'm not sure how to do this, because interpretation is ordinarily and justifiably biased to finding a single meaning in texts, unless circumstances dictate otherwise.
I guess it would come down to the combination of individual opinion, just like how some people just do not get a pun even if it stares them in the face but others see possible puns everywhere. And in this case, my opinion is that the possible pun does not fit the grammatical structure well at all for the two reasons I gave, thus it would be difficult for the hearers to even notice it and thus rendering the pun useless even if it was intended. The one concerning "ανωθεν", on the contrary, is a different story.
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Iver Larsen
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Re: John 8:25

Post by Iver Larsen » February 28th, 2012, 5:33 am

An interesting discussion of a difficult verse. However, I don't think enough attention has beeng given to the adverb καὶ and the present tense of λαλῶ.

Τὴν ἀρχὴν ὅ τι καὶ λαλῶ ὑμῖν;

The adverb καὶ qualifies the following word, not the preceding one. When KJV said: "Even [the same] that I said unto you from the beginning" I think it has gone astray in various ways. It has introduced a non-existent "the same", it has moved "even" to come before "that" and it is using a paste tense. The English versions that I have checked, have followed in those footsteps.

According to LSJ ὅ τι can mean "Why" and τὴν ἀρχήν can mean "at all" usually in a negative context.

It therefore makes good sense to hear a frustrated rhetorical question: "Why do I even speak to you at all?" He is asking himself: "Why did I ever begin to speak to these people who won't believe anyway, whatever I say?"
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David Lim
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Re: John 8:25

Post by David Lim » February 28th, 2012, 10:09 am

Iver Larsen wrote:According to LSJ ὅ τι can mean "Why" [...]
According to LSJ (at least the one on Perseus) "οτι" does not mean "why". If you are referring to the section I reproduced below, in every instance cited the interrogative pronoun is there as well, and even the rough gloss given by LSJ in that case implies that "οτι" means "because" and not "why":
LSJ wrote:b. folld. by τί, ὅτι τί; why? (lit. because why?) D.23.214; ὅτι τί δή; Ar.Pl.136, Luc.Dem.Enc.22; ὅτι δὴ τί μάλιστα; Pl.R.343a; ὅτι δὴ τί γε; Id.Chrm.161c; cf. ὁτιή.
I would like to see examples of "οτι" used in the way you claim with no interrogative and not at the start of the sentence.
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Mark Lightman
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Re: John 8:25

Post by Mark Lightman » February 28th, 2012, 10:20 am

Iver wrote: Τὴν ἀρχὴν ὅ τι καὶ λαλῶ ὑμῖν;

The adverb καὶ qualifies the following word, not the preceding one. When KJV said: "Even [the same] that I said unto you from the beginning" I think it has gone astray in various ways. It has introduced a non-existent "the same", it has moved "even" to come before "that" and it is using a paste tense. The English versions that I have checked, have followed in those footsteps.

According to LSJ ὅ τι can mean "Why" and τὴν ἀρχήν can mean "at all" usually in a negative context.

It therefore makes good sense to hear a frustrated rhetorical question: "Why do I even speak to you at all?" He is asking himself: "Why did I ever begin to speak to these people who won't believe anyway, whatever I say?"
Hi, Iver. As always, it is great to get your take on this.

But don’t you violate here your own recently expressed principle that the simplest reading is to be preferred? Your point about the the tense of λαλῶ is interesting, but the use of the tenses in Koine was nothing if not imprecise. See below.

One county that has not yet been heard from is Nonnus of Panapolis.

http://books.google.com/books?id=p9-97q ... is&f=false

Nonnus of Panapolis paraphrased in a fine neo-Epic style John 8:25 thus: «τίς σὺ πέλεις?» καὶ Χριστὸς ἀνίαχεν «ὅττι περ ὑμῖν ἐξ ἀρχῆς ὀάριζον.»
which I would paraphrase back into Koine

«τἰς ἐστιν ἡ οὐσία σου?» ὁ δὲ Χριστὸς φωνῇ μεγάλῇ ἐβόησεν «τὸ αὐτὸ ὅ τι ἐλάλει ὑμῖν ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς»


and would English thus
“Who, basically, are you?” And Christ cried out in exasperation: “The very thing I’ve been trying to tell you since the beginning!”
the thrust of which I would put back into Greek as:
ἐγὼ, ὁ κήρυξ, τὸ κήρυγμά εἰμι .
and loosely re-English as
The medium is now the Message.


Notice that Nonnus, in rendering λαλῶ with ὀάριζον, appears to take λαλῶ as what Wallace would call an imperfective present.

Another county heard from…
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Iver Larsen
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Re: John 8:25

Post by Iver Larsen » February 28th, 2012, 10:38 am

David,

I was referring to the following entry in LSJ:

ὅ τι or ὅτι (as it is freq. written exc. in 1, sts. also ὅ, τι), Ep. ὅττι, neut. of ὅστις, used as an Adv. like διότι in indirect questions, for what, wherefore, ὅς κʼ εἴποι, ὅ τι τόσσον ἐχώσατο Il.1.64, cf. Od.19.464; εἴρετο, ὅ τι οὐ χρᾶται τῇ χειρί Hdt.3.78, cf. 1.111, 2.19, 91 al.; ἢν μὴ φράσῃς ὅ τι .. unless you tell me why .., Ar.Pl.19, cf. 966: sts. with a Prep., εἰρωτώμενος κατʼ ὅ τι .. οὕτως ἐπέστειλε Hdt.6.3.

Liddell, H. G., Scott, R., Jones, H. S., & McKenzie, R. (1996). A Greek-English lexicon (Rev. and augm. throughout) (1265). Oxford; New York: Clarendon Press; Oxford University Press.

You are quoting from a different entry: ὅτῐ, Ep. ὅττῐ etc.
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David Lim
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Re: John 8:25

Post by David Lim » February 28th, 2012, 11:20 am

Iver Larsen wrote:David,

I was referring to the following entry in LSJ:

ὅ τι or ὅτι (as it is freq. written exc. in 1, sts. also ὅ, τι), Ep. ὅττι, neut. of ὅστις, used as an Adv. like διότι in indirect questions, for what, wherefore, ὅς κʼ εἴποι, ὅ τι τόσσον ἐχώσατο Il.1.64, cf. Od.19.464; εἴρετο, ὅ τι οὐ χρᾶται τῇ χειρί Hdt.3.78, cf. 1.111, 2.19, 91 al.; ἢν μὴ φράσῃς ὅ τι .. unless you tell me why .., Ar.Pl.19, cf. 966: sts. with a Prep., εἰρωτώμενος κατʼ ὅ τι .. οὕτως ἐπέστειλε Hdt.6.3.

Liddell, H. G., Scott, R., Jones, H. S., & McKenzie, R. (1996). A Greek-English lexicon (Rev. and augm. throughout) (1265). Oxford; New York: Clarendon Press; Oxford University Press.

You are quoting from a different entry: ὅτῐ, Ep. ὅττῐ etc.
Okay. In the entry you quote, "ο τι" is only used in content clauses, and could simply mean something like "[that] which why", which explains why it does not occur in direct questions. So I still see no evidence for the claim that it can be read as an interrogative.
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Stephen Carlson
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Re: John 8:25

Post by Stephen Carlson » February 28th, 2012, 11:49 am

David Lim wrote:Okay. In the entry you quote, "ο τι" is only used in content clauses, and could simply mean something like "[that] which why", which explains why it does not occur in direct questions. So I still see no evidence for the claim that it can be read as an interrogative.
BDF § 300(2) has been cited, copied, and pasted on this very point earlier in the thread. That's not "no evidence."

Stephen
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David Lim
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Re: John 8:25

Post by David Lim » February 28th, 2012, 8:29 pm

Stephen Carlson wrote:
David Lim wrote:Okay. In the entry you quote, "ο τι" is only used in content clauses, and could simply mean something like "[that] which why", which explains why it does not occur in direct questions. So I still see no evidence for the claim that it can be read as an interrogative.
BDF § 300(2) has been cited, copied, and pasted on this very point earlier in the thread. That's not "no evidence."

Stephen
And BDF had been disproved earlier too. I do not consider what other people say as evidence unless it can be verified, and it does not matter who they are. As it stands, BDF's claim that "οτι" is always used to translate certain interrogatives in the LXX is completely false, so I have no reason to believe that it is a reliable source. It is not that I have something against that particular claim of what John 8:25 means, but as long as I do not see evidence of the usage in actual texts and not merely in lexicons, I do not think we should simply accept it without any question. Otherwise it would just become a matter of people's opinions, which we all know may be wrong. If anyone can find at least a handful of texts that demonstrate the claimed usage, which is "οτι" as a direct interrogative that is used neither at the start of the sentence nor together with any other interrogative, then I will concede of course that that usage exists. But even then, as I described in detail earlier, I do not think such usage is a valid reading of John 8:25 based on the context alone. The present tense of "λαλω" is not a good reason, as others have also pointed out, because he is really speaking to the Pharisees about who he is, besides having already spoken to them the same thing earlier. Nevertheless I hope we can at least come to a common understanding of the use of "οτι" apart from John 8:25. :)
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