Re: John 7:39

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Wed Mar 11 1998 - 11:34:52 EST

At 8:21 AM -0600 3/11/98, Edgar Foster wrote:
>In John 7:39, John says that there was "no spirit" during Jesus' earthly
>What is the 'glorification' that John refers to. Some link it with Jesus'
>death and
>resurrection. Could it also extend to Jesus' Ascension? Is there a link
>between John
>7:39 and 1 Tim. 3:16?

Methodologically speaking, I would try to understand what John's gospel
says in terms of the rest of John's gospel before attempting to interpret
it in relationship to other NT documents. I would point to Raymond Brown's
discussion of DOXAZEIN in his Anchor commentary; I really think John's
usage of the verb is pretty consistent in reference to Jesus'
death/resurrection/ascension conceived as a single process and often used
in conjunction with the verb hUYOUN (or one commonly gets the two verbs in
the passive together as DOXASQHNAI and hUYWQHNAI): the "lifting up" of
Jesus onto the cross is the event that makes it possible for believers to
discern God's glory in action through the saving action of Jesus; it is
also the raising up of a sign, an ensign, in terms of the association with
Moses raising the serpent in the wilderness. But paradoxically at the same
time the crucifixion/resurrection/ascension is the event of Jesus' RETURN
to the father and restoration of the primal oneness referred to in chapter
17 ("Glorify me with the glory that I had with you before the world was
created.") and so it is exaltation of Jesus that exposes to view his
oneness with the Father. If you want to compare a non-Johannine passage
relevant to this usage, I'd look sooner to Phil 2:9 DIO KAI hO QEOS AUTON
"exaltation" shows the unity of God's act of RAISING Jesus and bringing him
on high (ascension) in what I think was originally conceived of as a single
process, whereby resurrection means at the same time ascension. I think the
fact that Luke articulates his account of crucifixion, resurrection, and
ascension in a chronological framework that separates out the motifs
disguises the fact that even Luke views the ascension rather than
crucifixion or resurrection as the term for the key saving event: Luke's
gospel ends with it and Acts begins with it, and the journey to Jerusalem
is characterized as the drawing near of the time when he is to be "taken
up" (Luke 9:51). In response to the question, therefore, I'd want to say
that "glorification" refers to all three--crucifixion, resurrection, and
ascension--rather than to one or the other.
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649 OR

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