[b-greek] Re: JOH 16,23

From: Carl W. Conrad (cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu)
Date: Wed May 02 2001 - 09:14:25 EDT


I'd like to get one word in on this before I drop off the scene for a
while. I agree with what Al writes below on the probability that EN TWi
ONOMATI MOU should be understood with AITHSHTE TON PATERA rather than with
DWSEI hUMIN. At least the context provides some help with this one, but I
think it is worth pointing out that there are several prepositional phrases
falling strategically between two clauses or participial phrases concerning
which prepositional phrases it seems nigh unto arbitrary to decide how best
to construe it. Sometimes it doesn't really matter--and I'd say that's the
case here, where the phrase EN TWi ONOMATI MOU must be understood, I
believe, implicitly with the other of the two clauses as well as with the
first one no matter which one thinks is more probable.

But we've had other cases like this: the reference of SHMERON in Lk 23:43
(I used to think SHMERON ought to construe with META EMOU ESHi EN TWi
PARADEISWi although now I'm pretty confident it belongs rather with AMHN
SOI LEGW); then there are the phrases that fall ambiguously between clauses
in Eph 1:3-12: does EN AGAPHi at the end of verse 4 belong with the clause
preceding it (KAQWS EXELEXATO hHMAS KTL.) or with the clause following it
(PROORISAS hHMAS EIS hUIOQESIAN KTL.); the same question can be raised at
the end of verse 8, whether EN PASHi SOFIAi KAI FRONHSEI should better be
construed with the preceding clause (hHS EPERISSEUSEN EIS hHMAS) or with
the following clause (GNWRISAS hHMIN TO MUSTHRION TOU QELHMATOS AUTOU).

These are all instances, I think, wherein more careful writing could have
eliminated ambiguity; I don't think there's any intentional ambiguity in
any of these verses I've cited (nor in John 16:23), but I rather doubt that
there'll ever be universal consensus on resolving these ambiguities clearly
in favor of one alternative or the other.

At 8:11 AM -0500 5/1/01, Al Jacobson wrote:
>Jay
>
>Context works with grammar here(or with syntax, to be more precise) and I
>think that in this instance context becomes essential. For example, I am
>looking at the verse in the Nestle Aland 26th Edition (Logos Library). The
>verses say:
>
>AMHN AMHN LEGW hUMIN AN TI AITHSHTE TON PATERA EN TW ONOMATI MOU DWSEI
>hUMIN. EWS ARTI OUK HTHSATE OUDEN EN TW ONOMATI MOU, AITEITE KAI LHMYESQE
>hINA hH XARA hUMWN Hi PEPLHRWMENH
>
>If EN TW ONOMATI MOU went with DWSEI hUMIN, then I would not expect to find
>it in the next sentence with HTHSATE OUDEN. Moreover, I would expect to
>find it (at least in some variants) in the last clause quoted (e.g. LYMYESQE
>EN TW ONOMATI MOU, or something like that).
>
>So, if I may translate: Truly truly I say to you, if you should ask the
>Father anything in my name, He will give to you. Until now you have asked
>nothing in my name. Ask and you shall receive that your joy be fulfilled
>(made full).
>
>My point is: Why should verse 24 say "until now you have asked nothing IN
>MY NAME" (emphasis added), if originally the EN TW ONOMATI MOU went with the
>DWSEI, instead of with AN TI AITHSHTE? And I would also expect to find at
>least a variant (by some pedantic scribe) in the next verse saying (I will
>translate): "Ask and you shall receive in my name, that your joy be
>fulfilled."
>
>So, given the way the EN TW ONOMATI MOU is used in these verses, confirms to
>me that the phrase goes with the asking, not the giving. I'm doing this
>hastily now, but in the back of my mind something suggests that there are
>probably other verses in John that would confirm this. But I'll leave it to

>you to confirm or confound me on that.
>
>Hope this is the kind of discussion you were asking for.
>
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Jay Anthony Adkins [mailto:Jadkins26438@cs.com]
>Sent: Tuesday, May 01, 2001 3:54 AM
>To: Biblical Greek
>Subject: [b-greek] Re: JOH 16,23
>
>
>> John N. Lupia
>> 501 North Avenue B-1
>> Elizabeth, New Jersey 07208-1731 USA
>> JLupia2@excite.com
>>
>>
>> TO : Jay Anthony Adkins
>>
>> b-greek@franklin.oit.unc.edu
>>
>> Regarding the TR and Papyri , the text consulted was: W. L. Elliot & D.C.
>> Parker, The Gospel According to St. John (American & British Committees
>> IGNTP) Vol. One: The Papyri. (Leiden, 1995)
>> This is the best source for the TR in John in print..
>>
>> IMHO, the best English translation of that portion of the passage AN TI
>> AITHSHTE TON PATERA EN TW ONOMATI MOU DWSEI hUMIN you have in mind is:
>> "whatever you ask the Father in my name He will give you"
>>
>> I hope this helps clarify things.
>>
>> Peace in Christ,
>> JOHN
>
>No, not really John. I appreciate your attempt to help and I agree with
>your translation based purely on contextual grounds, however, I was really
>hoping someone might explain the grammatical grounds that the
>prepositional phrase EN TW ONOMATI MOU should modify the asking as opposed
>to the giving as in some translations (NASB, RSV, ASV, etc.). Is this
>difference based on purely word order and the placement of the
>prepositional phrase? The NRSV which I have quoted a couple of times
>seems to indicate this.
>
>John 16:23 (NRSV) On that day you will ask nothing of me. {Or [will ask me
>no question]} Very truly, I tell you, if you ask anything of the Father in
>my name, he will give it to you. {Other ancient authorities read Father,
>he will give it to you in my name]}
>
>Lacking any further information, I suppose that context is again the key
>grammatical rule in play here and that word order is merely a supporting
>help. If someone would or could confirm that, my confidence would be much
>greater than it presently is. Otherwise, I am hard pressed to understand
>why placing DWSEI hUMIN in front of EN TW ONOMATI MOU (as some variants
>do) would cause some to change their translation.
>
>Again, thank you for the textual critical information.
>
>Sola Gratia,
> Jay Adkins
>Always Under Grace!
>
>---
>B-Greek home page: http://metalab.unc.edu/bgreek
>You are currently subscribed to b-greek as: [abj@the-bridge.net]
>To unsubscribe, forward this message to
>leave-b-greek-327Q@franklin.oit.unc.edu
>To subscribe, send a message to subscribe-b-greek@franklin.oit.unc.edu
>
>
>
>---
>B-Greek home page: http://metalab.unc.edu/bgreek
>You are currently subscribed to b-greek as: [cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu]
>To unsubscribe, forward this message to
>leave-b-greek-327Q@franklin.oit.unc.edu
>To subscribe, send a message to subscribe-b-greek@franklin.oit.unc.edu

--

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649
cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu
WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/

---
B-Greek home page: http://metalab.unc.edu/bgreek
You are currently subscribed to b-greek as: [jwrobie@mindspring.com]
To unsubscribe, forward this message to leave-b-greek-327Q@franklin.oit.unc.edu
To subscribe, send a message to subscribe-b-greek@franklin.oit.unc.edu




This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:36:56 EDT