Re: Ambiguity in John 12:31?

From: Roland Milanese (
Date: Wed Mar 26 1997 - 03:14:43 EST

Hi Martin:

Wow, can two people ever read a text differently!

I understand "the ruler of this world" to be a reference to Satan, as is
indicated elsewhere in the gospel, i.e. John 14:30 and 16:11. The
relation of the two parts of verse 31 is one of apposition: the second
part defines the first part. These two parts are more closely linked in
thought and are thus somewhat distanced from verse 32 as is indicated by
the conjuctive KAGW. The editors indicate this by the raised dot
puctuation. The genitive relation in 31a is therefore objective - i.e.
now is the time for this world to become an object of judgment. In
English we might use the passive voice - it is now the time for this
world to be judged.

This judgment is chiefly against the ruler of this world because he loses
his kingdom - i.e. he loses the people who all their lives were subject
to death and the fear of death, because they now have the promise of the
resurrection through the death of Christ. By his lifting up (i.e. his
crucifixion) we will be lifted up(i.e. gain resurrection). Hebrews
2:10-14 says pretty much the same thing.


Roland Milanese

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