Re: John 21:15

From: Jack Kilmon (
Date: Fri May 30 1997 - 12:26:14 EDT

Jim Beale wrote:

> At 8:08 AM -0700 5/30/97, T & J Peterson wrote:
> >In John 21:15, Jesus asks Peter, "AGAPAiS ME PLEON TOUTWN?" which is
> >generally translated, "Do you love me more than these?" Now, I know
> >there is debate as to what the antecedent is of TOUTWN, but I don't
> >recall any argument that it refers to the other disciples in the
> sense
> >of "Do you love me more than these [love me]?" Is there any way to
> >determine grammatically whether TOUTWN refers to the subject or
> object
> >of AGAPAiS? I haven't been able to find anything specific enough on
> the
> >genitive of comparison to tell one way or the other.
> The text, I think, is grammatically ambiguous. Check out Raymond
> Brown's commentary. He has a good discussion of the possibilities.
> I think there are three:
> 1. Do you love me more than these other men love me.
> 2. Do you love me more than you love these things.
> 3. Do you love me more than you love these men.
> The normal way to take the text is "Do you love me more than these
> other men love me?" That is the way most of the commentators whom
> I have read take it. Bernard thinks there are problems with this
> approach, but I find his reasons singularly unsatisfying.
> Peter's boast in Mt. 26:33 seems to be in view here, and the Lord's
> questions do not have the intention of gathering information. Peter
> denied the Lord three times by a charcoal fire and so came to realize
> that his heart was not the rock he thought it was. Now, by another
> charcoal fire he is brought to confess his new-found humility before
> his brothers.
> In Christ,
> Jim Beale


    The Aramaic text of the Peshitta reads:<aram> rFxm )ent liy yatir
min hFleyn
[RAxem ant ly yaTIR min haLEYN]

"Love you me more (extraordinary) than (from, out of) these."

yatir does seem to be a stronger word than PLEION but min haleyn to
TOUTWN seems to be pretty faithful but clearly "apart frtom these
(men)" and
closer to your choice 3 than choice least as far as the Peshitta


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