From: Jonathan Robie (
Date: Fri Oct 17 1997 - 09:29:09 EDT

At 06:09 AM 10/17/97 -0500, Carl W. Conrad wrote:
>At 11:20 PM -0500 10/16/97, Micheal Palmer wrote:
>>At 9:56 PM -0400 10/14/97, Jonathan Robie wrote:
>>>Mary: OINON OUK EXOUSIN. ("they have no wine")
>>>Jesus: TI EMOI KAI SOI, GUNAI? OUPW hHKEI hH hWRA MOU? ("What is that to you
>>>and me? Is not my hour already come?")
>>>Mary: hO TI AN LEGHi hUMIN POIHSATE ("do whatever he says to you")

I've always wondered why Mary responds by saying to the servants "do
whatever he says to you", and her reply makes much more sense if OUPW
hHKEIhH hWRA MOU is read as a question. Micheal and Carl both see this as
shaky. They may well be right, but I want to pull out some more information
and see how they respond to it, because I am still uncertain.

Carl suggests that this is not possible on grammatical grounds:

>I guess I didn't catch this when Jonathan first posted it, but it also
>seems to me that there's no way that OUPW hHKEI hH hWRA MOU could be
>seriously taken as a question. The sense of OUPW is essentially "not
>yet"--I don't see any use of it as separable into an interrogative particle
>in the sense of "Isn't it so that ... already?"

OUPW does introduce questions in other places in the New Testament:

Mark 4:40 TI DELOI ESTE? OUPW ECETE PISTIN? ("Why are you afraid? Do you
still have no faith?")

PEPWRWMENHN ECETE THN KARDIAN hUMWN ("Why are you talking about having no
bread? Do you still not see or understand? Have your hearts been hardened?")

Mark 8:21 KAI ELEGEN AUTOIS, OUPW SUNIETE? ("And he said to them, do you
still not understand?")

None of these really have the sense of "Isn't it so that ... already?" -
e.g. Mark 4:40 does NOT mean "Isn't it so that you have faith already?" But
might it be legitimate to interpret it like this:

Jesus: TI EMOI KAI SOI, GUNAI? OUPW hHKEI hH hWRA MOU? "Is this such a big
deal to you and me? Is my hour still not come?"
Mary: hO TI AN LEGHi hUMIN POIHSATE "do whatever he says to you"

Micheal and Carl both point out that Jesus later says that his hour has
*not* yet come:

Michael write:
>>Except that later in John's Gospel the author says that Jesus' hour has
>>*not* come. (See 8:20, for example.) The first time Jesus says it *has*
>>come is in 12:23 isn't it?

Carl concurs:
>And as Micheal notes, there
>are recurrent phrases in John's gospel prior to 12:23 where there's an
>equivalent statement by Jesus that the "hour" has not yet come: 7:6, 7:8,

This is an interesting issue *regardless* of whether you take it as a
question. In this context, Jesus is implying that the coming of his hour has
something to do with the current situation. When I was a kid in Sunday
School, we were told that Jesus really wasn't ready to start doing miracles
yet, but when his mother told him to, he was obedient. I doubt that this is
the real explanation, but still, this reference to his hour coming seems to
have more to do with working miracles in the immediate context than with
Jesus going to the cross. If "my hour is not come" means basically the same
as "my time is not come", then it could be applied to more than one time:
the time to start working miracles, the time to go to the cross, etc.



Jonathan Robie
POET Software, 3207 Gibson Road, Durham, N.C., 27703

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:38:33 EDT