Re: "Jerusalems" of John 1:19

From: Maurice A. O'Sullivan (
Date: Tue Mar 03 1998 - 09:48:27 EST

At 07:35 03/03/98 -0500,
Jonathan Robie <> wrote:

>At 10:51 PM 3/2/98 EST, WmHBoyd wrote:
>>Why is "Jerusalem" (IEROSOLUMWN) plural in John 1:19?
>This is quite common - it is plural 61 times in the GNT, and also in
>extra-biblical literature. BAGD and Louw&Nida mention this, but neither
>mentions any particular significance.
>While we're waiting for a real answer....
>I wonder if this has a meaning something like "Jerusalem and the area right
>around it". I also wonder if hOI OURANOI has a similar meaning. No evidence
>or knowledge behind this, just a conjecture.

In the Exegetical Dict of the N.T, it is pointed out that the two forms of
Jerusalem in the N.T derive from the LXX.

The Hebraizing form ( IEROUSALHM) -- which does not appear in secular Greek
-- is used in books from the Hebrew canon, whereas the Hellenistic dplural
form is reserved for the Apocrypha ( and also appears in non-biblcial
writings ).

The -HM form often had an archaizing or festive ring to it, whereas the -MA
form had a more common and neutral ring.

They go on to make the point that in Matthew, Mark and John the Hellenistic
 form is the norm ( except for Mt. 23:37 where the festive form, derived
from Q, fits well )

As for Luke, they point out that the festive form predominates, making it
consistent with the Evangelist's style of harmonizing with the Bible.

And in Acts, they point up the use, except in 1:4, of the festive form in
chaps 1-8, namely that portion dealing with the early Church.
After chap 8, though, they cannot find any conistent pattern.

It is their looking back to the LXX which strikes me as the most important.


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