Re: John 5:29

From: Carl W. Conrad (cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu)
Date: Wed Sep 30 1998 - 09:17:41 EDT


<x-rich>At 7:11 AM -0500 9/30/98, John M. Sweigart wrote:

>Fellow list members:

>I've been looking carefully at John 5:29. Several questions present

>themselves. One is grammatical. How should we understand the
genitives

>"of life" and "of judgment/condemnation"? Two are lexical. Is there

>any justification for translating PHAULA as "evil" which is done in
the

>NASV? Is there any justification for translating KRISIS as

>"judgment/condemnation"? In LSJ this translation seems to be a very

>minor usage. One is theological (perhaps outside the bounds of the

>list--if so reply off list). Are two groups of believers in view or

>must we conclude that the second group are unbelievers. The second
view

>is problematical for me due to the parallel with 2 Cor. 5:10 in the
use

>of PHAULA. Any comments would be helpful.

This IS an interesting passage: text: KAI EKPOREUSONTAI hOI TA AGAQA
POIHSANTES EIS ANASTASIN ZWHS, hOI DE TA FAULA PRAXANTES EIS ANASTASIN
KRISEWS.

(a) I think the genitives are to be understood in terms of final
destination after appearance before the tribunal of last judgment: all
must be raised, so all undergo resurrection, but the "sleepers" will be
"raised" in the one instance to Life, in the other to Condemnation.

(b) Yes, I think in this instance there can hardly be any question but
that FAULA means evil; it clearly stands in antithesis to AGAQA; I
don't understand what the problem is with the parallel in 2 Cor 5:10,
where AGAQON and FAULON, in this instance in the singular, are used
similarly in antithetical senses of "good" and "evil." I find it
interesting and not a little amusing that the classical adjective
KAKOS/H/ON--which originally meant "worthless," "incompetent" and only
later assumed the moral sense of "evil"--has yielded in the Koiné to
adjectives such as PONHROS/A/ON and FAULOS/H/ON for the moral sense of
"evil." The fact is that in earlier Greek these words had less clear
moral senses: PONHROS originally meant "working class"--hence
"worthless," while FAULOS tended to mean "trifling,"
"insignificant"--hence "worthless." I guess that all these words which
originally meant simply "of no value" gradually came to take on the
moral sense of "evil."

(c) While properly speaking KRISIS means "judgment," "discerning,"
"discrimination," or "decision" (the original root sense of KRI- seems
to be "distinguish between"), the simple noun often does service for
the negative judgment/judgment as negative: condemnation. That is,
commonly or at least somewhat more commonly one finds KATA- compounds
such as KATAKRINW or KATAGINWSKW used for this negative judgment or
condemnation, but the facile equation of "judgment" with "condemnation"
is by no means uncommon in the usage of the verb KRINW and its cognate
noun KRISIS.

(d) The last question is whether two groups of BELIEVERS are in view
here; I don't think so; I think that this formulation is in terms of
the traditional Jewish apocalyptic view (indeed, the Zoroastrian
apocalyptic view) that all humanity will be raised in the end-time and
be judged in terms of their good or evil actions. In this instance I
don't think BELIEF IN JESUS is envisioned as a criterion for judgment,
although a few verses earlier in 5:24 Jesus says, hO TON LOGON MOU
AKOUWN KAI PISTEUWN TWi PEMYANTI ME ECEI ZWHN AIWNION KAI EIS KRISIN
OUC ERCETAI, ALLA METABEBHKEN EK TOU QANATOU EIS THN ZWHN. As I read
this, the sense I derive from it is that believers do not face judgment
at all; indeed, it is said that they have already completed the
transition from death to life--they are alive NOW (Johannine realized
eschatology); 5:29 however seems phrased in terms of standard Jewish
apocalyptic with the conception of final judgment based upon good or
evil behavior.

I would add that the larger matter of Johannine eschatology itself is
probably too complex and perhaps controversial for discussion in its
own right on B-Greek, although it doesn't seem unreasonable to tackle
individual verses that have eschatological implications and to endeavor
to exegete them individually.

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

cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu OR cconrad@yancey.main.nc.us

WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/

</x-rich>



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