Re: pragmatics at the well

From: Kevin L. Barney (
Date: Thu May 04 2000 - 12:40:09 EDT

On Jn. 4:17, I think Jesus moves up ANDRA to the first word in quoting the
woman at the well for emphasis. Something like "well you said a HUSBAND I
have not, because you have already had five husbands and the man you're
living with now is not a husband." I.e., since Jesus is about to go into
detail making an accounting of her husbands, past and present, I sense a
certain ironic tone in his switching the word order here.

On v. 29, I like the suggestion of the NET annotation. It says that, yes,
MHTI normally presupposes a negative response, which doesn't seem to fit
here, so perhaps the woman is using a bit of reverse psychology to gain a
hearing for her claims, which, due to her background, would normally not be
taken seriously. Something like "this man cannot be the messiah, can he?"

Kevin L. Barney
Hoffman Estates, Illinois

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