[b-greek] re: To be born of water

From: Will Wagers (hyle@e-denton.com)
Date: Mon Sep 18 2000 - 07:34:41 EDT

<x-flowed>Robert L. Garringer writes:

>"water" reproduces "water," a nonsensical assertion if the word is taken

Actually, whatever the meaning of the verse is taken to be, "like
begets like" is a basic tenet of ancient philosophy, especially
Greek philosophy.


>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,
>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

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