Re: John 3.5 and the genitive

From: Micheal Palmer (
Date: Sat Mar 15 1997 - 22:36:37 EST

At 11:22 PM +0000 3/15/97, Brian E. Wilson wrote:

>I have been waiting to see if anyone would raise the question concerning
>John 3.5 whether Jesus was including himself in his statement. Was Jesus
>himself GENNHQH EX hUDATOJ KAI PNEUMATOJ ? As the statement stands,
>there is good reason to suppose that Jesus was including himself in it.
>After all, He of all people was in the kingdom of God. If Jesus
>included himself in those "born of water" , and if, as some b-greekers
>are on record as having supposed, hUDATOJ means "semen", it would follow
>that, on such a view, Jesus had a human father.

But you can see EX hUDATOU as referring to physical birth without seeing
any reference to semen. The water probably (despite Carson's claims) refers
to the water of birth (amniotic fluid). Verse 6 strongly suggests that
water is parallel to physical birth.

>I personally think that GENNHQH EX hUDATOJ KAI PENUMATOJ does not allude
>to human procreation, but refers to baptism in water and being empowered
>by the Holy Spirit. We know (and I am sure the writer of the Fourth
>Gospel also knew) that Jesus was baptized in water and was empowered by
>the Holy Spirit. On this interpretation, Jesus includes himself in his
>statement in John 3.5 without implying that he had a human father.
>Brian E. Wilson

Yes, the writer of the fouth Gospel certainly knew that Jesus was baptized
in water, but he never mentions that fact anywhere in his Gospel! Where we
find the story of Jesus' baptism in the other three Gospels, John only
tells us of an encounter between Jesus and John the Baptist, but never
mentions that John baptized him. On the other hand, he mentions physical
birth (3:6) in the very next verse after the one we are discussing.

Micheal Palmer

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:38:09 EDT