PAREDWKEN TO PNEUMA: John 19.30

From: Carl W. Conrad (cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu)
Date: Fri Jun 25 1999 - 09:20:54 EDT


<x-rich>I am posing a concern regarding the "idiomatic" phrasing of John
19:30b: KAI KLINAS THN KEFALHN PAREDWKEN TO PNEUMA, specifically the
phrase PAREDWKEN TO PNEUMA. Although my concern specifically regards
the idiom, I will openly admit that I am interesting in showing a
thematic relationship between Jn 19:30 and 20:21-23 which I shall not
discuss further in this forum, than to cite a couple of my own
statements from earlier private correspondence, in order to make clear
why I am raising this question:

<excerpt><excerpt><bold><fontfamily><param>Arial</param>---</fontfamily></bold>To
put it succinctly, I believe that PAREDWKE TO PNEUMA in 19:30 is
deliberately echoed in 20:21-23 KAI TOUTO EIPWN EDEIXEN TAS CEIRAS KAI
THN PLEURAN AUTOIS. ECARHSAN OUN hOI MAQHTAI IDONTES TON KURION. EIPEN
OUN AUTOIS hO IHSOUS PALIN: EIRHNH hUMIN: KAQWS APESTALKEN ME hO PATHR,
KA'GW PEMPW hUMAS. KAI TOUTO EIPWN ENEFUSHSEN KAI LEGEI AUTOIS, 'LABETE
PNEUMA hAGION ...'

</excerpt>

My view is that John's narrative representation of the
transmission/reception of the spirit as an essential aspect of the
revealing event of Jesus' death/resurrection bifurcates what is a
single event into two distinct narratives (similarly I think that in
chapter 20, what the narrator does is to single out for distinct
narrative representation what are four aspects of a single resurrection
event). In death Jesus "transmits" the revelation and the spirit,
making it accessible to believers; in His resurrection--which
simultaneously with their coming-to-believe BECOMES the resurrection of
believers--the Spirit and Life and Enlightenment are "received" by
believers.

>From the limited resources available to me directly where I now am, I
can't demonstrate that PARADIDWMI TO PNEUMA is used outside the gospels
in the sense, "give up the ghost," = expire, die. A few observations:

(1) In Jn 19:30 PAREDWKEN TO PNEUMA really cannot--on the surface--mean
anything other than "gave up the ghost" = "expired" = "died."

(2) Although I can find no instances of the phrase in LSJ or in lexical
info directly available to me, I think that L&N are right in claiming
that this is an "idiom." I am also inclined to think, from checking
that Latin Lewis&Short lexicon on-line at Perseus, that PARADIDONAI TO
PNEUMA may be a latinism modeled on a very common Latin idiom, REDDERE
ANIMAM or REDDERE SPIRITUM = expire, die.

(3) I do in fact believe that the author of the gospel of John (whoever
it may in fact have been--I tend to hold to Raymond Brown's view that
it is a community composition of three generations) has quite
deliberately exploited the ambiguities of the verb PARADIDWMI in the
service of the distinctive revelation-through-death-on-the-cross theme
of the gospel to suggest the double sense of 19:30 "died/expired" and
"transmitted the spirit."

Here's Louw & Nida on PARADIDWMI . I think what they say about this
range of usage is very supportive of the interpretation I have
suggested:

<color><param>0000,7777,0000</param>13.142 DIDWMI; PARADIDWMI: to grant
someone the opportunity or occasion to do something - 'to grant, to
allow.'

21.7 PARABOLEUOMAI; PARADIDWMI THN YUCHN (an idiom, literally 'to hand
over life'): to expose oneself willingly to a danger or risk - 'to
risk, to risk one's life.'

23.110 PARADIDWMI TO PNEUMA: (an idiom, literally 'to give over the
spirit') to die, with the possible implication of a willing or
voluntary act - 'to die.' KAI KLINAS THN KEFALHN PAREDWKEN TO PNEUMA
'and bowing his head, he gave up his spirit' or ' he died' Jn 19:30.

33.237 PARADIDWMI: to pass on traditional instruction, often implying
over a long period of time - 'to instruct, to teach.' hUPOSTREYAI EK
THS PARADOQEISHS AUTOIS hAGIAS ENTOLHS 'to turn back from the sacred
command that had been taught them' 2Pe 2:21.

37.12 PARADIDWMI EIS CEIRAS: (an idiom, literally 'to give into the
hands') to hand someone over into the control of others - 'to deliver
to the control of, to hand over to.' hO hUIOS TOU ANQRWPOU PARADIDOTAI
EIS CEIRAS hAMARTWLWN 'the Son of Man will be given over into the
control of sinners' Mt 26:45. In a context such as Mt 26:45,
PARADIDOTAI EIS CEIRAS may be rendered as 'will hand him over to be
arrested' or 'will cause him to be taken into custody.'

37.111 PARADIDWMI; PARISTHMI: to deliver a person into the control of
someone else, involving either the handing over of a presumably guilty
person for punishment by authorities or the handing over of an
individual to an enemy who will presumably take undue advantage of the
victim - 'to hand over, to turn over to, to betray.'

57.77 PARADIDWMI: to hand over to or to convey something to someone,
particularly a right or an authority - 'to give over, to hand over.'
hOTI EMOI PARADEDOTAI KAI hWi AN QELW DIDWMI AUTHN 'because this has
been handed over to me and I give it to whomever I wish' Lk 4:6. In
some languages, however, it is impossible to speak of 'handing over
authority.' In some instances one may use a causative expression, for
example, 'to cause someone to have.'

</color></excerpt><color><param>0000,7777,0000</param>

</color>I want to limit any discussion of this on B-Greek to the
question of the idiomatic use of PARADIDWMI PNEUMA in the sense of
"expire," "breathe one's last." If anyone wants to raise questions
about the interpretation or theological dimensions of the question,
please write me off-list about it.

Carl W. Conrad

Department of Classics, Washington University

Summer: 1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243

cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu

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

</x-rich>



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