John 3:3 (was Re: John 3:3 and John 1:5)

From: Stevens, Charles C (
Date: Wed Jan 12 2000 - 12:30:07 EST

On 11 January 2000 at 8:31PM, Stephen C. Carlson wrote:

<<I thought about John 3:3 quite a bit, and the closest English pun
I come up with is: "... unless they are born over." ... Another possibility
is "born from the top.">>

I believe there were *two* issues in GENNHQHi ANwQEN: the one cited on
ANWQEN (again / from above) and the underlying non-gender-specificity of of
GENNAW "bring forth [non-specific], beget [as a male], bear [as a female]".

The original (before the editors revised the New Testament) of the New
American Bible" (1970) translates v. 3 as "... unless he is begotten from
above.", and Nicodemus' answer in v.4 as "How can a man be born again once
he is old?". The notes postulate a misunderstanding on the part of
Nicodemus as to what Jesus actually meant by both GENNHQHi and ANWQEN in
v.3, and that v.5ff is a clarification that he really meant "begotten from
above", not "born again". This interpretation did not survive the
revision to the *translation*, though as I recall it is reflected in the
footnotes of later editions. I believe it is defensible from the Greek.

        -Chuck Stevens

B-Greek home page:
You are currently subscribed to b-greek as: []
To unsubscribe, forward this message to
To subscribe, send a message to

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:40:54 EDT