[b-greek] Re: John 17:25

From: Iver Larsen (iver_larsen@sil.org)
Date: Sat Jun 02 2001 - 06:49:41 EDT

Harry Jones responded to me with:

> I appreciate your post and I found it very interesting. But if KAI was
> paired in Jo.17:25 and if paired KAI's could show contrast I just
> don't believe that we have a contrast between,
> "KAI hO KOSMOS SE OUK EGNW " and "KAI hOUTOI". I believe that the
> contrast is between, "ho KOSMOS SE OUK EGNW" and "EGW DE SE EYNWN".
> Which is covered by "DE". Now I've seen no evidence that would suggest
> that KAI could be paired with DE to show contrast. So I have to
> continue go with my original post of the first KAI being emphatic
> and not paired.

If I have lost the thread of thought somewhere, I apologize. I certainly agree with your
statement that the first KAI is emphatic and not the first element of a KAI - KAI pair.
That was also how I understood Ghilardi's post.

I was not supporting the KAI pair hypothesis claim, but only wanted to suggest that
contrast between clauses is not indicated only - and not even primarily - by connecting
words like DE and KAI. KAI basically indicates an addition, something on top of something
else, and it is from this basic function that the emphatic "also, indeed" sense is
derived. I know several languages where "and" and "with" is shown by the same lexical
item. The two concepts are semantically very close.

KAI is different from English "and" mainly in the sense that the English "and" is normally
disjunctive, whereas KAI is not disjunctive. To illustrate this: In English "Peter and the
apostles" would normally suggest that Peter was not among the apostles, whereas the Greek
PETROS KAI hOI APOSTOLOI does not suggest that Peter was not among the apostles.
Therefore, to translate the Greek KAI with an English "and" is often misleading. Maybe one
has to say "together with", "and also", "and yet" or something else. Sometimes, it is best
not to translate it.

Likewise, DE indicates change, and to translate it simply as "but" and assume it has the
same function as English "but" is clearly wrong. (I am not saying you are doing this, but
some people do.)

Contrast is indicated more by word order and lexical cohesion than by conjunctions. Unless
you think of a stronger contrastive conjunction like ALLA.

So, I accept a contrast between:
The contrast is indicated by the same verb being used, but with an OUK in the first
clause. In addition, the fronted hO KOSMOS is contrasted with the fronted and emphatic
EGW. The DE indicates that the short statement "but I know you" is a parenthetical
comment. It does not contain much new information, but separates Jesus from "the world" by
indicating who knows or do not know the Father. One of several discourse functions of DE
is to introduce a parenthetical comment. It would not be correct to say that DE only or
always indicates contrast.

But then there is also a contrast between 1) above and

The contrast is again shown by the fronted hOUTOI in parallel opposition to hO KOSMOS and
the contrast between "know" and " not know". In 3) the object SE is clarified to indicate
what the disciples know about the Father, namely that the Father sent Jesus.
If we compare 2) and 3) then we see the addition, and this is where the KAI comes in. Not
only do EGW know SE, but hOUTOI also know SE. And in particular, they know one crucial
thing about God, namely that he sent Jesus. That is what sets hOUTOI apart from hO KOSMOS.

I can almost feel the agony in Jesus' prayer that hO KOSMOS which is whom God loved so
much that he sent his only son to die for them, did not receive Jesus as sent from God and
therefore did not truly know God or recognize what God had done. But, happily, a few
disciples present - hOUTOI - did believe that Jesus was sent by God and therefore they are
in contrast to the rest of hO KOSMOS.
So, I agree with the suggestion that there is a thematic parallel to John 1:10-12, in
addition to other parts of John 17, like verses 6-8, 14-16, and 23.

Best wishes,
Iver Larsen

But there is also a contrast

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