Re: John 11:35

From: Jonathan Robie (
Date: Mon Jun 22 1998 - 10:56:15 EDT

At 12:21 PM 6/21/98 -0700, wrote:

>Jonathan Robie wrote:
>> At 08:07 PM 6/19/98 -0500, Eric Weiss wrote:
>> >Regardless of whether they were tears of anger or sorrow, I
>> >never did like "burst into tears" - but maybe it conveys
>> >something different to me than it did when Robertson wrote
>> >these words decades ago. Is "Jesus wept" the only alternative?
>> Started crying?
>> Broke into tears?
>I'm with you on this one, Jonathan ~ "Burst into tears" makes me laugh
>out loud, sounding, as it toes, to our current ears cheaply
>melodramatic. I like "Jesus wept."

The point Eric was making was that this could be seen as an inceptive
aorist, that Jesus started crying. "Jesus wept" does not convey that to me.
"Started crying" conveys the inceptive aorist without the melodrama of
"burst into tears".

>And even more, I like the
>indefinite English historical present: "Jesus weeps." He does weep,
>you know... And I believe this is the first time in John that this
>fact is noted, though I could be mistaken.

Frankly, I find this really odd. The only way I could see "Jesus weeps"
would be if this were a gnomic aorist, but it isn't - it refers to a
specific occasion, to the response of Jesus upon hearing that Lazarus died
and seeing Mary and the Jews weeping.

I like "started crying", with the inceptive sense, but "Jesus wept" also
makes sense, if this is merely reporting a past event.


Jonathan Robie

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