From: Robert L. Garringer (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Sat Sep 16 2000 - 10:04:35 EDT
Will Wagers wrote:
> As has been pointed out, there are two distinct stages in birth:
> 1. First, the water breaks, and the baby is born of water.
> 2. When the newborn takes it's first breath, it is born of spirit.
> Obviously, these *births* are the physical basis of subsequent metaphors.
> Baptism, for example, is the recreation of this moment.
> Chris Core writes:
> >I also don't know of an idiom, but if it was a common Hebrew idiom,
> >it would fit
> >with the statement "Born again". The second birth is of the spirit
> >so the birth that
> >precedes it must be the natural birth otherwise actual first birth
> >is not being
> >counted, or else the term "born again" doesn't refer to a second
> >birth but a third,
> >but I see that as doubtful and the emphasis on being born of the Spirit.
The fact that the water breaks and a baby breathes are events that
accompany birth, but in this context, these incidental details cannot
explain what it means to be "born of"(lit. "born out of") water and
spirit (breath). The sixth verse gives the significance of that
expression. Jesus explains, TO GEGENNHMENON EK THS SARKOS SARX ESTIN,
KAI TO GEGENNHMENON EK TOU PNEUMATOS PNEUMA ESTIN. That which gives
birth reproduces something in the same category as itself. Therefore,
the expression, GENNHQHi EX hUDATOS, in verse 5 would mean that "water"
reproduces "water," a nonsensical assertion if the word is taken
literally. However, the full expression in verse 5 is TIS GENNHQHi EX
hUDATOS KAI PNEUMATOS. It seems to me that the best explanation is that
the KAI here is explicative, with the meaning for the entire phrase
being, "anyone who is born of water, that is the Spirit." To speak of
the water as being the Spirit is not unusual in John's Gospel (4:14 with
Pastor Robert L. Garringer
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