Re: John 11:6-17 ~ A Time Plexity

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Fri Apr 17 1998 - 10:06:33 EDT

At 8:16 AM -0500 4/17/98, wrote:
>George Athas wrote:
>> In addition to Carl's comments, John's gospel uses time, especially the
>> idea of 'days', in a very contrived way. I do not think you can take
>> John's chronology at face value.
>This is a most intriguing comment... I have suspected, but not
>understood, [I still don't understand], that time values in John are
>there for a reason, and that the reason does not seem to be historical
>accuracy, which concurs with you comment that chronology in John is
>'contrived', meaning purposive. Even the insertions of 'the hour was
>...' are baffling to me so far, and yet they do exist in the text, as
>well as 'days'.
>So my question is: What is the purpose of John's time usage, if it is
>contrived? In this passage, why would the text tell us that Jesus
>remains [a very loaded word itself] where He was for two days? Is the
>two days itself a contrivance? To what purpose?
>And as I read my own question, George, I am seeing that it is not a
>b-greek question, so let me re-phrase it. How do you get the idea of
>'contrivance' connected to the idea of 'days' from John's text? Are
>the two days herein mentioned then not necessarily two days as we
>think of them?
>I guess my question originally was too narrow ~ The real question is,
>How does time work in John? [not just in this passage] And it is too
>big a question!! So I ask it not expecting much in the way of
>grammatical response, yet not without hope either! :-)

This really ISN'T a B-Greek question but a hermeneutical one; I don't think
we should get into the business here of suggesting how we each understand
John's chronology, but it might be helpful to point simply to some
commentaries that could be useful to George on this matter.

Carl W. Conrad
B-Greek Staff

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