Re: Jo 4:54 PALIN

From: Joe A. Friberg (
Date: Thu Feb 03 2000 - 15:08:34 EST

I would like to point out the discourse level function of this verse, which
provides the motivational explanation for their redundancy in the semantics
of the verse.

This verse and (and this incident) occur in the 'Book of Signs' (1.19-12.50)
as the second of seven signs highlighted by John. As a chief motif of this
section of the gospel, John uses marked grammar to highlight both the first
and second signs (2.11, 4.54). Once the pattern is established of picking
out particular signs which are elaborated upon, John becomes much more
relaxed in his presentation of later signs. But this is only the second
sign highlighted, and it is by this second sign that clearly establishes the
pattern followed in the construction of this section of the gospel. Hence
the unusual grammar, double-highlighting as it were the sequencing of signs.
John does not want the pattern to be lost on the reader.

Was I read ended enough in that last paragraph? Maybe John is rubbing off
on me!

God bless!
Joe A. Friberg
----- Original Message -----
From: "Carl W. Conrad" <>
To: "Biblical Greek" <>
Cc: "Biblical Greek" <>
Sent: Thursday, February 03, 2000 11:48 AM
Subject: Re: Jo 4:54 PALIN

At 12:28 PM -0500 2/3/00, Mike Sangrey wrote:
> said:
>> What is the meaning of PALIN here? "this again a second sign did
>> Jesus" sounds a bit strange to me.
>Could this be "this again a sign, the second one, Jesus did..."?

I think that's the force of it, in fact. Curiously this redundancy in
expression of recurrence seems to be as old in Greek as Homer (from whom,
of course, Yogi Berra got "Déjà vu all over again"). But certainly the
TOUTO here is an emphatic demonstrative stuck way out in front so as almost
to be conveyable into English with an adverb: "and here/on this occasion
again (was) a second sign (that) Jesus performed after he came from Judea
into Galilee." This should be understood not as a "literal" translation but
as an attempt to convey what seems to me to be the effect of the word-order
of the Greek into idiomatic English.

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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