From: James S. Murray (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Fri May 14 1999 - 15:46:17 EDT
This verse recently generated a lively discussion at my bible study, and
reading it in the Greek has raised a number of questions for me. It
reads; KAI EPI THi PISTEI TOU ONOMATOS AUTOU TOUTON hON QEWREITE KAI
OIDATE, ESTEPEWSEN TO ONOMA AUTOU, KAI hH PISTIS hH DI AUTOU EDWKEN
AUTWi THN hOLOKLHPIAN TAUTHN APENANTI PANTWN hUMWN.
Apart from the punctuation given in the critical edition (UBS4), which I
understand would not have been in the earliest uncials, it seems that TO
ONOMA AUTOU could either be the subject of ESTEPEWSEN in the first
clause or go with hH PISTIS in the second clause. Most of the English
translations I've checked make it the subject of the first clause (AV,
RSV, NRSV,NASB). However, the NIV translates it as part of the second
clause ("It is Jesus' name and the faith...").
Is there anything in the Greek syntax that would lead us to prefer one
rendering over the other? While I know KAI usually is not the first
word in the sentence, is this convention usually followed in compound
sentences? A cursory investigation suggests that this is the case (in
John 6:11, hOMOIWS comes before KAI, but goes with the following
If TO ONOMA is the subject of the first clause, then we're left with the
question of whether this is a personal reference or an impersonal one
--- invocational or incantational (I like how that that preaches :-).
Also, "On the basis of faith in his name, his name has strengthened..."
seems a bit clumsy, at least in English (Is it also clumsy in the
Greek?). Wouldn't KAI EPI THi PISTEI TOU ONOMATOS AUTOU hOUTOS hON
QEWREITE KAI OIDATE, ESTEPEWQH have been smoother, or am I looking at it
only from an English point of view?
If, however, TO ONOMA belongs with the second clause, then the subject
would be personal ("On the basis of faith in his name, he has
strengthened.."). This would clearly erase any notion of an
incantation, or at least shift it to in the next clause. However,
because of the parallel between the two clauses, I think this would
require us to understand TO ONOMA in a personal sense; e.g. the name
standing for the person who healed, or possibly the authority by which
the man was healed.
Any thoughts? Thanks.
James S. Murray
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