Re: John 3:5 and Carson

From: Paul Dixon - Ladd Hill Bible Church (
Date: Fri Mar 14 1997 - 11:45:46 EST

On Fri, 14 Mar 1997, Andrew Kulikovsky wrote:

> Paul Dixon wrote:
> > Of course, taking hUDATOS as reference to water baptism is the least
> > likely, if at all possible, of the options available. The following
> > parallel (v. 6) suggests the water be taken as the water associated with
> > physical birth versus spiritual birth as denoted by PNEUMATOS paralleling
> > "that which is born of the spirit is spirit."
> >
> > But, KAI could be taken ascensively or appositionally and the spiritual
> > cleansing of Ezekiel be in view.
> Someone mentioned Carson's discussion in "Exegetical Fallacies". I have
> a copy of this book and checked it out. Very Interesting! (p. 41-42)
> Carson said he initially accepted the idea that water = amniotic fluid
> but turned away from this because He couldn't find any other ancient
> text that spoke about being "born out of water". He then accepted (with
> some reluctance) that water = semen = natural birth. He was then
> convinced by a student that this phrase EX UDATOS KAI PNEUMATOS *doesn't
> refer to 2 births but to one* (he says the fact that both nouns are
> governed by one prep. favours this view).
> Therefore v. 3, 5, 6b and 7 are all parallel statements. Water and
> spirit are linked in Ezek 36:25-27, where the prophet forsees a time of
> eschatalogical cleansing in which God will sprinkle clean water on his
> people, making them clean, and will give them a new heart and a new
> spirit - which Nicodemus should have understood.
> Therefore the phrase isn't a hendiadys but a reference to the dual work
> of the spirit (3:6) who simultaneously purifies and imparts God's nature
> to man.
> So what does everyone think about this argument? It does seem quite
> convincing.
I tend to agree with the Ezekiel cleansing.

Paul Dixon

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