Re: dynamic words

From: A. Brent Hudson (
Date: Wed Mar 06 1996 - 22:23:53 EST

on Wednesday, 06-Mar-96
Gary S. Shogren wrote

> If I understand your criteria rightly, KATALAMBANW is a prime example -
> does it mean "comprehendeth it not (KJV)" in John 1:5 or "did not overcome it"?
> What I find interesting is that both make very good sense in the immediate
> context, and fairly decent sense in the context of Johannine theological vocab. I
> seem to recall that Carson lists the verse in Exegetical Fallacies, reminding
> us not to try to work BOTH meanings into a single context unless there's evidence
> of a play on words. By the way - Exegetical Fallacies is shortly to be re-
> released in an updated form.

Moisˇs Silva in his _Biblical Words And Their Meanings_ (p. 149) states that there is considerable evidence in John's Gospel for "deliberate ambiguity." That being the case, I think that 1:5 must be understood with both meanings. Other instances of deliberate ambiguity in the Fourth Gospel are found in 3:3 (ANWQEN) and 4:10 (hUDWR ZWN). Entire clauses can have double meaning, such as 17:17b where the phrase hO LOGOS hO SOS ALHQEIA ESTIN has a literal referent but also refers to Jesus who is explicitly called both LOGOS and ALHQEIA in the Gospel. Double entendre abounds in the Fourth Gospel.

There are literally hundreds of examples in the NT that Carsen could have used to demonstrate "illegitimate totality transfer;" it is too bad he felt compelled to use a passage from one who so loves to turn a pun.

A. Brent Hudson

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