John 11:23 Ἀναστήσεται

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Bob Nyberg
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John 11:23 Ἀναστήσεται

Post by Bob Nyberg » January 16th, 2015, 11:07 am

John 11:23 λέγει αὐτῇ ὁ Ἰησοῦς, Ἀναστήσεται ὁ ἀδελφός σου.

This is probably a silly question and there’s probably not a good answer for it. But I will throw it out anyway.

It seems like the majority of English translations render the word Ἀναστήσεται as “rise again” in John 11:23 even though the word “again” does not appear in the Greek text.

According to Strong’s the verb ἀνίστημι occurs 108 times in the N.T. It is usually translated “get up, stand up, or rise up”. But I noticed that when it is used in reference to someone rising from the dead quite often it is rendered “rise again.”

So here is my silly question. Why do English translators feel compelled to add the word “again” when ἀνίστημι is in reference to rising from the dead? The authors of the text in Greek do not seem to feel that same compulsion, so why would English translators feel bound to do so? It is almost as if they feel the need to have a special class of “rising” that is related to a resurrection from the dead.

And here is another silly question. Why use the word “again?” If I do something “again” it implies that I did it at least once before. I can’t think of very many people in the Bible who have experienced (or will experience) more than one resurrection.

Sorry if these questions come across as silly or flippant. But my curious mind actually does wonder about things like these.

Bob
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cwconrad
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Re: John 11:23 Ἀναστήσεται

Post by cwconrad » January 16th, 2015, 12:01 pm

Bob Nyberg wrote:John 11:23 λέγει αὐτῇ ὁ Ἰησοῦς, Ἀναστήσεται ὁ ἀδελφός σου.

This is probably a silly question and there’s probably not a good answer for it. But I will throw it out anyway.

It seems like the majority of English translations render the word Ἀναστήσεται as “rise again” in John 11:23 even though the word “again” does not appear in the Greek text.

According to Strong’s the verb ἀνίστημι occurs 108 times in the N.T. It is usually translated “get up, stand up, or rise up”. But I noticed that when it is used in reference to someone rising from the dead quite often it is rendered “rise again.”

So here is my silly question. Why do English translators feel compelled to add the word “again” when ἀνίστημι is in reference to rising from the dead? The authors of the text in Greek do not seem to feel that same compulsion, so why would English translators feel bound to do so? It is almost as if they feel the need to have a special class of “rising” that is related to a resurrection from the dead.

And here is another silly question. Why use the word “again?” If I do something “again” it implies that I did it at least once before. I can’t think of very many people in the Bible who have experienced (or will experience) more than one resurrection.

Sorry if these questions come across as silly or flippant. But my curious mind actually does wonder about things like these.

Bob
It does seem to me that you are not really raising several questions but asking the same one over and over "again" (if I may append that adverb in this instance).

One factor in a response to your question is this: as a prefix ἀνα- has two common meanings: (1) up/upwards, (2) back/backwards. That second sense, "back/backwards" may also indicate "back to the beginning" or "again." This ambiguity is also evident in the word ἄνωθεν in the celebrated text in John 3:3, where Jesus tells Nicodemus, ἐὰν μή τις γεννηθῇ ἄνωθεν, οὐ δύναται ἰδεῖν τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ θεοῦ. There the -θεν is an ablatival suffix and ἄνωθεν may mean "from above" or "again."

The verb ἀνίστασθαι/ἀναστῆναι means "rise" or "stand up"; the active-voice ἀνιστάναι/ἀναστῆσαι form is causative and means "cause to rise, make stand up, raise up, erect." Although "stand" may mean -- and often does -- "come to a standstill", it far more often means "rise" or "get up" from a seated or reclining position. Standing up is something that all who live do over and over again. However, when we die, we no longer stand; we κείμεθα. Standing up again after death is an extraordinary "getting up" or "rising" -- it's a "rising again" after being "down for the count." Think of those louts (I come across them from time to time here in rural North Carolina), who like to speak about how "The South will rise again." Those people don't take seriously the proposition that the South, insofar as the South means the Confederate States of America, was "down for the count" in 1865.

I'm sure that this question will be answered again, and again.
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οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

Bob Nyberg
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Re: John 11:23 Ἀναστήσεται

Post by Bob Nyberg » January 16th, 2015, 12:21 pm

Thanks Carl!

I totally forgot that ἀνα- can mean "again." Now it makes sense to me.

Bob
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Stirling Bartholomew
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Re: John 11:23 Ἀναστήσεται

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » January 16th, 2015, 2:18 pm

There was some confusion concerning the referent for the noun form τὴν ἀνάστασιν among τῶν Ἐπικουρείων καὶ Στοϊκῶν φιλοσόφων; some of whom thought it was a proper name for a δαιμόνιον (minor deity).

Acts 17:18 τινὲς δὲ καὶ τῶν Ἐπικουρείων καὶ Στοϊκῶν φιλοσόφων συνέβαλλον αὐτῷ, καί τινες ἔλεγον· τί ἂν θέλοι ὁ σπερμολόγος οὗτος λέγειν; οἱ δέ· ξένων δαιμονίων δοκεῖ καταγγελεὺς εἶναι, ὅτι τὸν Ἰησοῦν καὶ τὴν ἀνάστασιν εὐηγγελίζετο.

RSV: Acts 17:18 Some also of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers met him. And some said, “What would this babbler say?” Others said, “He seems to be a preacher of foreign divinities” — because he preached Jesus and the resurrection.
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C. Stirling Bartholomew

Stephen Carlson
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Re: John 11:23 Ἀναστήσεται

Post by Stephen Carlson » January 16th, 2015, 8:18 pm

As had been noted, again corresponds to the ἀνα- prefix of the verb. It should also be noted that again is ambiguous between a repetitive sense (doing the same action another time) and a restitutive sense (being in the same state another time), although the trend in English over the recent centuries is that the repetitive sense has been gaining over the restitutive sense.
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Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia

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