Re: Jesus "breathed" and said...

From: Carl W. Conrad (cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu)
Date: Sat Feb 13 1999 - 07:11:17 EST


<x-rich>At 9:05 AM +0200 2/13/99, Tom Belt wrote:

>Friends-

>

>In John 20:22 ENEFUSHSEN usually gets translated "breathed on

>them" ("...after this he breathed on them [the disciples] and
said..."). In

>his commentary on John, D. Carson argues that in the dozen or so uses
of the

>verb in the LXX (I could only find three or four) there is always
some

>additional word added to convey the idea of „inš or „uponš when that
was the

>intended meaning. He argues also that the use of the verb outside the
NT

>does not suggest the preposition „inš or „uponš was part of the
meaning of

>the verb (but gives no examples). Thus, the verb ENEFUSHSEN by itself
simply

>means „he breathedš or perhaps „he exhaled.š The picture that emerges
from

>John 20 is not that of Jesus going to each disciple and "blowing" on
them.

>Notice too that KJV italicizes the object of the verb ("them"),

>acknowledging that the original text does not contain the object.

>

>So what did Christ actually do? Any thoughts?

The LXX of Gen 2:7 confirms what I have always assumed to be a
deliberate literary allusion in John 20:22: KAI EPLASEN hO QEOS TON
ANQRWPON COUN APO THS GHS KAI *ENEFUSHSEN* EIS TO PROSWPON AUTOU PNOHN
ZWHS KAI EGENETO hO ANQRWPOS EIS YUCHN ZWSAN.

John 20:22 KAI TOUTO EIPWN ENEFUSHSEN KAI LEGEI AUTOIS: LABETE PNEUMA
hAGION

It's quite true that the Johannine text does not give us the full
expression of Genesis 2:7, whereby the verb ENEFUSHSEN has its full
complement PNOHN EIS TA PROSWPA AUTWN, but the echo is clear enough for
the interpreter who recognizes the echo to fill it in, if only with a
bracketed "on them." The word *ENEFUSHSEN* by itself is quite enough to
achieve the echo of Gen 2:7 and indicate that this is the moment of the
regeneration of the disciples gathered in the upper room. This is not
the appropriate forum to develop a total interpretation of John 20 in
the larger context of John's gospel, but I certainly do believe that
John's conception of "resurrection now" involves an impact of
recognizing that the crucified one is alive and present as triggering a
regeneration in those who recognize him. Although the time frame for
this process is understood differently in 1 Cor 15, nevertheless I
think the very same idea is indicated in verses 44 and 45: as Adam is
PRWTOS ANQRWPOS, Christ is ESCATOS ANQRWPOS; buried or "planted" as
SWMA YUCIKON, he is raised as SWMA PNEUMATIKON and becomes (EGENETO
EIS) PNEUMA ZWiOPOIOUN. This is the point, I believe, where the Pauline
and the Johannine conceptualization of
resurrection/regeneration/rebirth/life-renewal intersect.

1 Cor. 15:44 SPEIRETAI SWMA YUCIKON, EGEIRETAI SWMA PNEUMATIKON. EI
ESTIN SWMA YUCIKON, ESTIN KAI PNEUMATIKON. 45. hOUTWS KAI GEGRAPTAI:
EGENETO hO PRWTOS ANQRWPOS ADAM EIS YUCHN ZWSAN, hO ESCATOS ADAM EIS
PNEUMA ZWOPOIOUN.

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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