Re: Jn 20.22

From: Steven Craig Miller (
Date: Wed Oct 13 1999 - 10:00:51 EDT

To: Nigel Hanscamp and Carl W. Conrad,

NH: << ... can someone tell me: what is the imperative force of the aorist
active LABETE in Jn 20.22. >>

I'm unsure that I understand your (Nigel Hanscamp's) question. What do you
mean by "imperative force"? Do you merely mean to ask what type of
imperative it is? Such as, whether it is a command, prohibition, request,

CWC: << 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 meant. >>

Effectual reception? The context might imply effectual reception, but the
aorist imperative at Jn 20:22 is simply an exhortation. If I have a bowl of
grapes on a table and I say to my guest: "Take some grapes" there is no
effectual reception of the grapes, just a request, yes?

-Steven Craig Miller (

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