Re: houtws

From: Edgar M. Krentz (
Date: Tue Mar 12 1996 - 20:53:13 EST

>Anyone care to comment on the use of HOUTWS in John 4:6? It seems to be
>descriptive of Jesus' action in sitting down almost as though the
>story-teller acted it out as it was read. Translators tend to ignore it.
>Rick Strelan

Rick, I was inadvertently off the list for a few days and do not know if
anyone replied to your question above. I do not have a great deal of wisdom
to offer, but such as I have, give I thee.

I recall hearing from Saul Levin in a graduate seminar on Greek drama that
hOUTOS[I] was often the equivalent of a stage direction written into the
text. Thus it equalled "this here"--sometimes in a derogative sense, "this
guy here." It might even have indicated a hand gesture.

Ernst Haenchen in his commentary on John [Hermeneia} 1, 219 comments:
"hOUTWS ("and so") means just about the same things, according to Ammonius,
as hWS ETUXE ("just, simply")." The phrase is vague in context, possibly
referring back to the reference to being tired.

Your suggestion is, IMHO, possible, especially if one thinks of John as
oral literature, meant to be heard, not read.

Maybe this will stimulate some more responses.

Edgar M. Krentz Tel: 312-256-0752
Professor of New Testament FAX: 312-256-0782
1100 East 55th Street Home:312-947-8105
Chicago, IL 60615

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