Sleeping? daughter

From: John M. Moe (
Date: Wed Jun 25 1997 - 06:42:52 EDT

        I tryed to post the following message to the list June 24. I have
recieved neumerous messages about it being undeliverable mail, and since
I have seen no response from anyone on the list I will assume it didn't
get posted and try again. If It was recieved previously, please accept
my apology for cluttering up the mails.

In all three synoptic accounts of the raising of Jairus' daughter,
Matt. 9:24, Mark 5:40, and Luke 8:52 we have the aorist OUK APEQANEN
followed by the present ALLA KAQEUDEI. The natural understanding of
this seems to me to be something like "she's not dead (or didn't die)
but she's sleeping." Commentaries seem to be eager to maintain this as
an account of a resuscitation from death such as the raising of the Son
of the Widow of Nain, or the Raising of Lazarus. They are quick to
point to the Biblical circumlocution "sleep" meaning death.However,
here Jesus not only says she sleeps (KAQEUDEI) He says she did not die
        Jesus uses the Sleep=death Circumlocution At John 11 when he
tells the disciples of the death of Lazarus. When they fail to
understand and say that Lazarus will be ok if he is sleeping Jesus told
them plainly that Lazarus died (APEQANEN John 11:14). With the daughter
        My question is this. Is there anyting in the Gr. text that
would require a figurative intrupritation of the words of Jesus?
Couldn't it be that this is not an accout of resuscitation from death,
but from a coma?
         This is not to diminish the miraculas, surely, raising someone
from a coma (the current "brain death?") so that they get up and walk
around is a miracle. I do'nt want to start that type of off topic
discussion. I'm merely trying to get at the most natural understanding
of the Gr. text.


John M. Moe

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