Re: Jo 4:54 PALIN

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Thu Feb 03 2000 - 16:01:24 EST

At 2:08 PM -0600 2/3/00, Joe A. Friberg wrote:
>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!

Well, when we cross the Read Sea we gotta pay attention to a lot of Reads,
I guess.


I would not want to dispute a word of what Joe has said here; although not
everyone accepts the notion of a 'Book of Signs,' it's always seemed to me
a pretty reasonable hypothesis, even if applying only to the structuring of
chapters 2-11 of the gospel. Nor do I think that what I said about a
traditional redundancy in Greek expressions of recurrence is in any way
antithetical to the point Joe makes here; the only other thing I might add
to my earlier note about the highlighting function of the initial TOUTO is
that the entire phrase preceding the essential verb and noun (EPOIHSEN hO
IHSOUS) is a neatly-constructed and powerful unit: TOUTO DE PALIN DEUTERON
SHMEION--such even that PALIN would seem to have to be understood not as an
adverb qualifying the verb EPOIHSEN but rather, odd as it may seem to put
it this way, an adverb highlighting the demonstrative immediately preceding

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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