Re: Jn 20.22

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Wed Oct 13 1999 - 06:27:00 EDT

<x-rich>At 9:07 PM +1300 10/13/99, N & RJ Hanscamp wrote:

<excerpt>Without picking a theological fight here, can someone tell

what is the imperative force of the aorist active LABETE in Jn 20.22.


And if you WERE picking a theological fight? ;-)

LABETE is pretty simply, "Receive"; I would think the aorist used here
would indicate effectual reception, so that, to put it colloquially,
one might use "Take" or "Get" in this instance, or even "take
possession of," except that this last suggests that the Spirit is
something one can have all by oneself, and I hardly think that is

LAMBANW is fundamentally applicable to physical seizure--grabbing;,
although it's used metaphorically in many ways, they all seem to
involve the notion somehow of taking "in hand" or "taking hold" even
when it's metaphorically "taking hold." KATALAMBANW can be used (and
was by the Stoics) for intellectual comprehension, but it can also be
used for snuffing a candle or lampwick, as in the Johannine prologue.
Perhaps the usage of PARADIDONAI and PARALAMBANEIN for "hand over (a
tradition, something valuable)" and "receive/accept (a tradition,
something valuable)" might help to clarify the basic sense of the root
LAB as "latch onto" or "take hold of."

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



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