Date: Mon Jun 01 1998 - 12:00:02 EDT
Edgar Foster wrote:
> I would like to offer a text for the purposes of literary case
> analysis: John 11:3, 5.
> In John 11:3, the Lord is said to FILEIS Lazarus. Conversely,
> according to John, Jesus "loved" (HGAPA) Martha and Mary. Now what is
> John telling us here? Are we to suppose that Jesus had a close
> affectionate relationship with Lazarus, and not with Martha and Mary?
My text has 11:5 reading:
HGAPA DI hO IHSOUS THN MARQAN KAI THN ADELFHN AUTHS KAI TON LAZARON
And has the sisters, not John or Jesus, saying hON FILEIS in 11;3
The overlapping of the two terms should probably not be denied, yet
here they do seem to be differentiated according to perspectives ~ The
sisters are ascribing FILOS, and the one narrating AGAPH, both to
Jesus. If we assume that both are true, yes?, then perhaps they are
differentiated for some reason. I am personally not so sure that
Mary, Martha and Lazarus are related by blood, and tend to see the
FILOS as describing the religious bond of the brotherhood/sisterhood
group to which they belong [An Essenian community??], and of which
Jesus is perhaps a member, but is definitely a factor!! So on this
understanding, the FILOS is more restricted in its scope than AGAPH,
and the need for the AGAPH is clearly mandated, because Lazarus dies
with FILH only, but is ressurrected in Christ's AGAPH.
The inability of the 'sisters' to handle their 'brother' Lazarus'
'sickness', and the shortfall of their understanding [via their
blaming of Jesus for not coming right away] seems to give a good
indication, at least in John, of the difference in the two terms, as
well as their relatedness.
Does it have to be either-or?
> This could be one way of looking at the text. But could it also be
> true that the words overlap in this context? Would the Greek mind
> differentiate between the two words in this context?
imho the answer is unequivocally yes.
> Earle says that Jesus expressed "a higher kind of love" toward Mary
> and Martha over against the love he had for Lazarus.
This could not be the case, if my text [quoted above] is accurate,
because all three are indicated.
> What do you think?
I think we are into the 'heart' of John, right here in chapter 11...
As forshadowed in 1:18. [eis ton kolpon]
This is the hinge of this gospel...
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