Re: Greek Help?

From: Michael A. Ferrando (
Date: Tue Aug 26 1997 - 16:57:46 EDT

On Tue, 26 Aug 1997, Carl W. Conrad wrote:

> At 1:21 PM -0500 8/26/97, Michael A. Ferrando wrote:
> >Formites,
> >My question is concerning the use of edoken
> >in the Gospel of John 5.26.
> >
> >edoken is 3p. 1 aor. act. ind.
> I was confused at first by this (until I check the Greek NT), thinking you

Thanks Conrad, I am catching on to the e-mail Greek

> I'd write these as ECEI and ECEIN (3d sg. and pres. infl. respectively).
> I'm going to delete the rest of the material you sent me and deal directly
> with your question, as well as I can.
> And this gets us into the heart of theological controversy. If the GIVING
> is an event of the "past," then WHEN was it given? And that's what the
> various interpreters you have cited are giving their own opinions about.
> Personally I'd say that all of those opinions, insofar as they bear
> directly upon the Johannine passage, are governed by theological
> perspectives rather than by what the Greek alone can or must strictly
> assert or imply.

I gathered this too. I seemed that all of them in 5.21
freely admitted the structure of parallel authority but
then in 5.26 they had different understandings because of
the aorist verb.

> I'd translate (as literally as I can): "For even as (hWSPER) the Father has
> life in himself, just so (hOUTWS) did he give (EDWKEN) to the Son (the
> ability/capacity/authority--I think EXOUSIAN is implicit here) to have
> life."

Interesting. I thought that the DIDWMI might mean "authority"
or "power" in this context. Raymond E. Brown in his commentary
on John, Anchor Bible series, says the same thing. But isn't this
breaking up the use of the adverbs? Certainly to have power/authority
is different than having LIFE IN HIMSELF, as the Father has.

In Theological Dictionary of the New Testament the word was
was defined as rather strictly something passed from one to another.

I was rather put off by the information being so infexible concerning
biblical use, esp in John. At first I went for this idea of
authority too. But if you say so.

> POIEIN). Both of these are powers which the Son of Man, according to
> apocalyptic eschatological tradition, is to exercise at his coming. So
> verse 26 is talking about the power to raise the dead and is saying that
> this is a power held by the Father and bestowed also upon the Son. WHEN was
> it bestowed? Frankly I don't see any indicator in the Greek text that
> points to any time frame of the giving. The important point is rather that
> Jesus, as the Son, now has that power because God gave it to him.

Yes. I thought that the "time" aspect was really null, except
for the augment, indicative aorist "giving". "past" being the only
possible "definite" about it. As in Dana and Mantely's Greek

> What the hWSPER and hOUTWS do here, in my view, is to emphasize the
> parallel holding of this authority by Father and Son. It may seem a bit odd
> that the verb of the first clause is ECEI and that of the second is EDWKEN,
> but I think it is implicit in the second that hOUTWK KAI hO hUIOS ECEI ZWHN

What strikes me of real interest in your explanation is that
the power to judge is mentioned in 5.22 as DEDWKEN perfect
active indicative, while in 5.27 is aorist active indicative
with a hOTI clause... "because" ESTIN "(a) son of man" or "Son of Man".

In 5.21, the parallel verse, all the verbs are in the present
active indicative, EGEIREI, ZWOPOIEI, [Theta]ELEI. Here in 5.26
the EN hEUTWi also given as being ECEI, ECEIN.

It seems to me that the hOTI clause indicates some different
reason in mind, as per the use of the aorist in 5.27.

Don't the Adverbs point to "before" instead of "after"

> I've tried to keep this as short as I could. I hope you find it reasonably
> helpful.


In Christ,

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