John 3:3 and John 1:5

From: Stephen C. Carlson (
Date: Tue Jan 11 2000 - 23:31:26 EST

At 10:58 AM 1/11/00 -0600, Carl W. Conrad wrote:
>Elizabethan English used "comprehend" in the KJV, and then the primary
>sense of the word was apparently "grab," "seize." I think that "apprehend"
>might work the same way now.

I think so too. I like "apprehend."

>But I'm not really sure it's possible to
>capture what appear to be authentic double-entendres in the Greek. What
>does one do with ANWQEN in John 3:3 EAN MH TIS GENNHQHi ANWQEN ...? How do
>you say both "again" and "from on high" Can we resort to something like "da
>capo"? I suspect we can do little more than footnote the version to
>indicate the possibility or suspicion of a double entendre.

I thought about John 3:3 quite a bit, and the closest English pun
I come up with is: "... unless they are born over." Not entirely
satisfactory, but at least "over" has literal senses that could
support both meanings, while "again" does not.

Another possibility is "born from the top."

Stephen Carlson

Stephen C. Carlson              
Synoptic Problem Home Page
"Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words."  Shujing 2.35

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