Re: John 3:6

Date: Wed May 06 1998 - 09:52:37 EDT

Edgar Foster wrote:

> > > In a valuable essay entitled "Reading Text As Discourse", JP Louw
> > > says: "The second of the two units [of Jesus' reply to Nicodemus in
> > > John 3] states the issue [of begettal] unambiguously: "what is
> born of
> > > a human is PHYSICAL, what is born of the Spirit is SPIRITUAL" (Caps.
> > > for emphasis. Words in brackets inserted for clarity).
> > > Based on these grammatical insights, my question is:
> > > Is it "permissible" to use the terms "physical" and "spiritual" in
> > > John 3:6? This rendering seems to obfuscate the meaning of Jesus'
> > > words. Before saying any more, I wonder what you think about Louw's
> > > suggestion.

I was just re-reading John 3 this morning and when I got to this
passage, I was struck by the similarity in the article-noun/anarthous
noun [THS SARKOS/SARX ~ TOU PNEUMATOS/PNEUMA] parallel with John 1 [hO

Gave me great pause...

"What has been born out of the flesh is being flesh, and what has been
born out of the Spirit is being Spirit."

This try, which puts the ESTI in the ongoing present tense clearly,
would then seem to give this passage a decidedly clearer meaning, and
would also seem to have some exegetical value to John 1:1.

What do you think?

George Blaisdell

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