Sunday, April 24, 2016

Stealth Insight and a Special Peace

Below is a rough translation and some initial comments regarding John 14:23-29, the Revised Common Lectionary’s gospel reading for the 6th Sunday of Easter. Your comments are welcomed.

I get the feeling that we are watching the development of theology in this chapter, from the post-Easter community, many of whom have not had a face-to-face encounter with Christ but who still experience the risen Christ as alive and among them. It is an experience of love (v.23), obedience (keeping word, v.23), learning (v.26), remembering (v.26), being at peace (v.27), rejoicing (v.28), and believing (v.29). 

23 ἀπεκρίθη Ἰησοῦς καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ, Ἐάν τις ἀγαπᾷ με τὸν λόγον μου τηρήσει, καὶ ὁ 
πατήρ μου ἀγαπήσει αὐτόν, καὶ πρὸς αὐτὸν ἐλευσόμεθα καὶ μονὴν παρ'αὐτῷ 
ποιησόμεθα
Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone would love me he will keep my word, and my father loves him, and to him we will come and a home with him we will make.
ἀπεκρίθη: API 3s, ἀποκρίνομαι, 1) to give an answer to a question proposed, to answer  
εἶπεν: AAI 3s, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak
ἀγαπᾷ: PASubj 3s, ἀγαπάω, 1) of persons  1a) to welcome, to entertain, to be fond of, to love dearly
τηρήσει: FAI 3s, τηρέω, 1) to attend to carefully, take care of  
ἀγαπήσει: FAI 3s, ἀγαπάω, 1) of persons  1a) to welcome, to entertain, to be fond of, to love dearly
ἐλευσόμεθα: FMI 1p, ἔρχομαι, 1) to come  1a) of persons
ποιησόμεθα: FMI 1p, ποιέω, 1) to make  1a) with the names of things made, to produce, construct,  form, fashion, etc. 
1. The “him” that Jesus is answering is Judas, who asked in v.22 how it is that Jesus would reveal himself to the disciples and not to the world in general. This is the “other Judas,” not Judas Iscariot.
2. I am reading Elaine Pagel’s Beyond Belief, in which she makes a strong case that the theology of John’s gospel is in contention with the theology reflected in The Gospel of Thomas. A primary dispute is whether the knowledge of the gospel that Christians possess comes by believing in Jesus (per John) or is more innately contained within everyone (per Thomas). If Pagels is correct, Judas’ question in v.22 raises the issue directly and – not insignificantly perhaps – from the mouth of Judas Iscariot.
3. This verse, then, could be John’s way of disclosing the manner in which Christians are privy to a truth that not everyone else can perceive: The one who loves Jesus will keep his word and God and Jesus will make a home within him.

24 ὁ μὴ ἀγαπῶν με τοὺς λόγους μου οὐ τηρεῖ: καὶ ὁ λόγος ὃν ἀκούετε οὐκ ἔστιν ἐμὸς 
ἀλλὰ τοῦ πέμψαντός με πατρός.
The one who is not loving me does not keep my words; and the word which you hear is not mine but of the father who sent me.
ἀγαπῶν: PAPart nsm, ἀγαπάω, 1) of persons  1a) to welcome, to entertain, to be fond of, to love dearly
τηρεῖ: PAI 3s, τηρέω, 1) to attend to carefully, take care of  
ἀκούετε: PAI 2p, ἀκούω, 1) to be endowed with the faculty of hearing, not deaf  2) to hear
ἔστιν: PAI 3s, εἰμί, 1) to be, to exist, to happen, to be present 
πέμψαντός: AAPart gsm, πέμπω, 1) to send 
1. The first clause seems to show the opposite to v.23, again with the order that loving Jesus leads to keeping his word. In v.24, it is plural – ‘my words.’
2. The second clause explains that the words of Jesus are actually God’s words.

25 Ταῦτα λελάληκα ὑμῖν παρ' ὑμῖν μένων
These things I have said to you while remaining with you.
λελάληκα: PerfAI 1s, λαλέω, 1) to utter a voice or emit a sound  2) to speak 
μένων: PAPart nsm, μένω, 1) to remain, abide
1. I added ‘while’ to relate the present participle to the perfect main verb.
2. This is one of those places in the gospels where the narrator’s voice seems to speak through Jesus’ voice oddly. Within the narrative itself, Jesus is with the disciples and the use of the perfect tense or even a reference to a time when Jesus was remaining with the disciples makes no sense. So, as a direct quote in story time, this verse is odd. However, as a gospel written after the fact, it makes perfect sense for the narrator to speak of a time when Jesus had said things to them while remaining with them.

26 ὁ δὲ παράκλητος, τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον ὃ πέμψει ὁ πατὴρ ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί μου, ἐκεῖνος 
ὑμᾶς διδάξει πάντα καὶ ὑπομνήσει ὑμᾶς πάντα ἃ εἶπον ὑμῖν [ἐγώ]. 
Yet the paraclete, the holy spirit which the father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and will remind you all things which I [I] said to you.
πέμψει: FAI 3s, πέμπω, 1) to send 
διδάξει: FAI 3s, διδάσκω, 1) to teach 
ὑπομνήσει: FAI 3s, ὑπομιμνήσκω (μιμνήσκω with ὑπό implying stealth, prefixed) to call to one's mind, privately, silently, by hints or suggestions; hence, to suggest to one's mind, put in mind of, bring to remembrance.
εἶπον: AAI 1s, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak  
1. I am transliterating paraclete, because I am unsure whether John is intending the reader to know something by that term of whether he is stipulating a new meaning for the term. It is originally introduced earlier in this chapter, 14:16-17, and the roles that it plays seem far different than what we ordinarily think of with words like “Advocate” or “Comforter.” I am more comfortable letting it be its own word, without assuming that it means anything more than what John says it to mean.
2. Play close attention to the etymology of the verb ὑπομνήσει (remind). According to the lexicon from greattreasures.org, the prefix ὑπό implies “stealth.” That would imply that disclosure from the paraclete to the one who loves Jesus and keeps his word is an unseen, perhaps even uncanny, remembrance of Jesus’ teaching. If this isn’t Gnosticism proper, it seems close.

27 Εἰρήνην ἀφίημι ὑμῖν, εἰρήνην τὴν ἐμὴν δίδωμι ὑμῖν: οὐ καθὼς ὁ κόσμος δίδωσιν ἐγὼ δίδωμι ὑμῖν. μὴ ταρασσέσθω ὑμῶν ἡ καρδία μηδὲ δειλιάτω.
Peace I leave to you, my peace I give to you; not as the world gives I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled nor fear.
ἀφίημι: PAI 1s, ἀφίημι, 1) to send away  1a) to bid going away or depart 
δίδωμι: PAI 1s, δίδωμι, 1) to give 
δίδωσιν: PAI 3s, δίδωμι, 1) to give 
δίδωμι: PAI 1s, δίδωμι, 1) to give 
ταρασσέσθω: PPImpv 3s, ταράσσω, 1) to agitate, trouble (a thing, by the movement of its parts to and fro)  1a) to cause one inward commotion, take away his calmness of  mind, disturb his equanimity
δειλιάτω: PAImpv 3s, δειλιάω, 1) to be timid, fearful 
1. I’m curious about the similarities and differences of the first and second clauses here. Is there a difference between ‘peace’ and ‘my peace’? If so, the first and second clauses say different (though closely related) things. If not, the second clause is a repetition of the first in some way. Relatedly, are ‘leaving’ and ‘giving’ peace the same things?
2. Is Jesus making a distinction between how the world gives and how he gives? Or, is he making the distinction between the peace that the world gives and the peace that he gives? If the ‘peace’ that the world gives is the ‘peace through victory through violence’ that the Pax Romana offered, the question might be whether the peace that Jesus gives looks any different or is accomplished differently.
3. The verb ταρασσέσθω (troubled) is a passive imperative in the 3rd person – not typical. The next verb, δειλιάτω (fear) is likewise a 3rd person imperative, but it is active. Many translations treat it as if it were passive as well.

28 ἠκούσατε ὅτι ἐγὼ εἶπον ὑμῖν, Ὑπάγω καὶ ἔρχομαι πρὸς ὑμᾶς. εἰ ἠγαπᾶτέ με ἐχάρητε 
ἄν, ὅτι πορεύομαι πρὸς τὸν πατέρα, ὅτι ὁ πατὴρ μείζων μού ἐστιν
You heard that I said to you, ‘I am going away and returning to you.’ If you were loving me you would have been gladdened, because I go to the father, because my father is great.
ἠκούσατε: AAI 2p, ἀκούω, 1) to be endowed with the faculty of hearing, not deaf  2) to hear
εἶπον: AAI 1s, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak  
Ὑπάγω: PAI 1s, ὑπάγω, 1) to lead under, bring under 2) to withdraw one's self, to go away, depart
ἔρχομαι: PMI 1s, ἔρχομαι, 1) to come
ἠγαπᾶτέ: IAI 2p, ἀγαπάω, 1) of persons  1a) to welcome, to entertain, to be fond of, to love dearly
ἐχάρητε: API 2p, χαίρω, 1) to rejoice, be glad
πορεύομαι: PMI 1s, πορεύομαι, 1) to lead over, carry over, transfer, to go, to pass
ἐστιν: PAI 3s, εἰμί, 1) to be, to exist, to happen, to be present 
1. Again, the language of “you heard that I said to you...” would be odd coming in real time. It is language more suited to one who spoke in the past but continues to dwell in the present as the resurrected Christ.
2. I have translated ἐχάρητε as “gladdened” because it is passive. And, while it is aorist indicative, the particle ἄν gives it a conditional sense, so “would have been gladdened.”

29 καὶ νῦν εἴρηκα ὑμῖν πρὶν γενέσθαι, ἵνα ὅταν γένηται πιστεύσητε.
And now I have said to you before [it is] to begin, in order that when it begins you may believe.
εἴρηκα: PerfAI 1s, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak 
γενέσθαι: AMInf, γίνομαι, 1) to become, i.e. to come into existence, begin to be, receive being 
γένηται: AMSubj 3s, γίνομαι, 1) to become, i.e. to come into existence, begin to be, receive being 
πιστεύσητε: AASubj 2p, πιστεύω, 1) to think to be true, to be persuaded of, to credit, place  confidence in
1. The verb γενέσθαι is in the infinitive mood, but because it is preceded by πρὶν (before) I have supplemented “it is” to make it readable and to keep the infinitive. Other translations make the infinitive read like a present indicative.
2. Again, the narrator time/reader time seems to be overlapping. Jesus said it beforehand, so that when it happened they might believe ... so that the community looking back would believe as well.



Monday, April 18, 2016

Commanding Love

Commanding Love
Below is a rough translation of John 13:31-35, along with some initial comments. This is a very brief pericope, selected for the lection – one would think – because of “new commandment” to love. However, the context is very important. Just before this pericope is the whole exchange between Jesus and Judas, when the two of them are the only ones who know that Judas’ betrayal is at hand. Following this text is when Jesus tells Peter that he will deny him three times. The astounding fact is that the whole language of loving one another as disciples is wedged between these two encounters of betrayal and denial. Lifting vv. 31-35 out of the context of betrayal and denial seems to make it just a morality piece, an injunction to love with sweet feelings and kind sentiments. Keeping these verses in this context makes it a call to a radical kind of love.

John includes a lot of time-laden words in these few verses: ‘When’, ‘now’, ‘immediately’, ‘yet’, and a second word meaning ‘now.’  Add to those words the various tenses of the verbs and there seems to be more than one layer of meaning in play – an intimate conversation between Jesus and the disciples and a sermon from John to his reading community.

Several other key words are important. “Glory” appears repeatedly in vv.31-32, and it seems to reference Jesus’ death. “Love” is repeated in vv.34-35. And v.33 makes reference to Jesus “going away” where neither the Judeans nor the disciples are able to go. That is a theme that arose in c.8 and will be an important part of the verses that immediately follow our pericope.

31 Οτε οὖν ἐξῆλθεν λέγει Ἰησοῦς, Νῦν ἐδοξάσθη ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου, καὶ ὁ θεὸς ἐδοξάσθη ἐν αὐτῷ: 
Therefore when he left Jesus says, “Now the son of man was glorified, and God was glorified in him.
ἐξῆλθεν: AAI 3s, ἐξέρχομαι, 1) to go or come forth of  
λέγει: PAI 3s, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak
ἐδοξάσθη (2x) API: δοξάζω, 1) to think, suppose, be of opinion  2) to praise, extol, magnify, celebrate 
1. This story begins after Judas has left the room to go and arrange Jesus’s arrest. Judas is the antecedent to the ‘he’ in the first clause.
2. This is a curious verse to translate. The verb λέγει is a present tense, but it is modified by the original clause ‘Therefore, when [Judas] left ...’ giving it a past tense feel. The verbs ἐδοξάσθη are aorist passives, but they are modified by the word “Now,” giving them a present tense feel. Hence, most translations make the present tense past and the past tenses present.
3. I am retaining the literal tense, because this is a rough translation. I would agree with other translations and modify them during the refining process.
4. The word δοξά, which is at the heart of the verb ἐδοξάσθη, has a very interesting history. It means “opinion” or “thought,” or “appearance.” The latter is where we get the word ‘paradox,’ meaning ‘against the appearance.’ But, it can also mean “glory.” The verb here, δοξάζω, is almost exclusively translated as “glorify” in the gospels. It’s kind of fun, but hard to work out, to substitute – for example – “appearance” and “to appear” for “glory” and “to glorify” in this pericope. Hmm...

32 [εἰ ὁ θεὸς ἐδοξάσθη ἐν αὐτῷ] καὶ ὁ θεὸς δοξάσει αὐτὸν ἐν αὐτῷ, καὶ εὐθὺς δοξάσει αὐτόν. 
[If God has been glorified in him] God also will glorify him in him, and immediately he will glorify him.
ἐδοξάσθη: API 3s, δοξάζω, 1) to think, suppose, be of opinion  2) to praise, extol, magnify, celebrate 
δοξάσει (2x): FAI 3s, δοξάζω, 1) to think, suppose, be of opinion  2) to praise, extol, magnify, celebrate 
1. The first clause is not found in many of the earlier Greek manuscripts.
2. “God will glorify him in him” is very awkward, but the awkwardness is in the Greek text itself. Most translations make it “God will glorify him in himself,” treating the dative pronoun αὐτῷ as if it were a reflexive pronoun. Another possibility would be to read the accusative pronoun αὐτὸν as the reflexive pronoun: “God will also glorify himself in him.”
3. When a sentence has two masculine singular antecedents [God and Son of Man] then uses the pronoun “him” four times, the translator/interpreter has to decide which of the antecedents in indicated by the pronouns. 
4. The role of the word “immediately” and the future tense that follows seem to be referring to the crisis at hand, with Judas going to seal the deal of betrayal. Being “glorified”, then, refers to the soon-to-take-place betrayal and death.
5. What if we all looked at our impending death – whether by violent means or simply by nature of being finite – as our impending glorification? Would there be any fear left?

33 τεκνία, ἔτι μικρὸν μεθ' ὑμῶν εἰμιζητήσετέ με, καὶ καθὼς εἶπον τοῖς Ἰουδαίοις ὅτι Οπου ἐγὼ ὑπάγω ὑμεῖς οὐ δύνασθε ἐλθεῖν, καὶ ὑμῖν λέγω ἄρτι. 
Children, yet a little I am with you; You will seek me, and just as I said to the Judeans, ‘Where I am going you are not able to go,” so I say to you now.
εἰμι: PAI 1s, εἰμί, 1) to be, to exist, to happen, to be present
ζητήσετέ: FAI 2p, ζητέω, 1) to seek in order to find
εἶπον: AAI 1s, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak
ὑπάγω: PAI 1s, ὑπάγω, 1) to lead under, bring under  2) to withdraw one's self, to go away, depart 
δύνασθε: PMI 2p, δύναμαι, 1) to be able, have power whether by virtue of one's own ability and  resources, or of a state of mind, or through favourable  circumstances, or by permission of law or custom  
ἐλθεῖν: AAInf, ἔρχομαι, 1) to come
λέγω: PAI 1s, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak
1. The adjective “little” (μικρὸν, with no article, hence “a little”) has no noun that it is modifying. Many translations insert time-related word like “a little while.”
2. ἄρτι is another temporal term, meaning ‘now’ but different from Νῦν in v.31.
3. I continue to follow Richard Horsley’s lead (although he was referring to Mark) that Ἰουδαίοις is better translated as “Judeans” than “Jews.”
4. In Jn.8:21 Jesus says (to either the Pharisees [8:13] or the Judeans more generally [8:22]): ‘I am going away, and you will search for me, but you will die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come.’ Jesus will press this matter further in the verses just following our pericope.
5. This assertion seems different from either “take up your cross and follow me” or “this day will you be with me in Paradise.”
6. If I am reading greattreasures.org correctly, this is the only use of τεκνία in the gospels. Why suddenly “little children”?

34 ἐντολὴν καινὴν δίδωμι ὑμῖν, ἵνα ἀγαπᾶτε ἀλλήλους: καθὼς ἠγάπησα ὑμᾶς ἵνα καὶ ὑμεῖς ἀγαπᾶτε ἀλλήλους. 
A new command I am giving to you, in order that you may love one another; just as I loved you in order that you may love one another.
δίδωμι: PAI 1s, δίδωμι, 1) to give 
ἀγαπᾶτε (2x): PASubj 2p, ἀγαπάω, 1) of persons  1a) to welcome, to entertain, to be fond of, to love dearly
ἠγάπησα: AAI 1s, ἀγαπάω, 1) of persons  1a) to welcome, to entertain, to be fond of, to love dearly  
1. I would suggest that the two uses of ἵνα gives this sentence a parallel structure between the first and second halves, as I have tried to indicate through the colors of my translation. The new command which Jesus gives and the love with which Jesus has loved the disciples are the parallels, set off by the phrase “just as,” each of which lead to the disciples’ love for one another.
2. The problem with this parallel structure is that “I give” is in the present and “loved” is in the past. I wonder, however, if the reason for the difference is that the person-to-person love that the disciples received from Jesus was confined to Jesus’ time among them bodily; while the command is ongoing call for John’s community.
3. Most translations, interpret the first ἵνα differently from the second one. The NRSV, for example, turns the second ἵνα into “should” and makes the second half of this sentence an elaboration of the first. The NIV makes the first ἵνα the beginning of a quote of the command itself. I certainly don’t know which of the possible translations of ἵνα is best, but it does seem to me that a sentence written so clearly as a parallel in Greek ought to reflect that parallel in English. So, whichever translation of ἵνα is best, I think it should at least be consistent in this sentence.
4. The challenge of translating the ἵνα in this text is similar to the challenge of translating it in John 15:9-17. (If interested, see comments that I made on that text at http://leftbehindandlovingit.blogspot.com/2015/05/in-order-that-you-love.html).
The word ἵνα can be translated “that” or “in order that.”  If we translate ἵνα as “that” (like the KJV, ESV, NRSV), this verse reads as if “Love one another” is the new command itself. This is, of course, a very popular way of reading this text (and John 15).
But, if we translate it as “in order that,” something different appears. Instead of the ἵνα introducing the command, it shows the purpose of the command. That is to say, “Love one another” is not the command itself, but the command is given in order that the disciples would love one another. The question, then, would be: What is the new command (for which loving one another is the result)?
I would suggest that the whole demonstration of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet is the command, per verses 15-17: “I have set you an example (or pattern), that you also should do as I have done to you. Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.”

35 ἐν τούτῳ γνώσονται πάντες ὅτι ἐμοὶ μαθηταί ἐστε, ἐὰν ἀγάπην ἔχητε ἐν ἀλλήλοις. 
In this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love in one another.”
γνώσονται: FMI 3p, γινώσκω, 1) to learn to know, come to know, get a knowledge of perceive, feel
ἐστε: PAI 2p, εἰμί, 1) to be, to exist, to happen, to be present
ἔχητε: PASubj 2p, ἔχω, 1) to have, i.e. to hold




Tuesday, April 12, 2016

A Winter's Story

Below is a rough translation and some initial comments on John 10:22-30, the gospel reading for the fourth Sunday of Easter. Your comments are always welcomed!

22 Ἐγένετο τότε τὰ ἐγκαίνια ἐν τοῖς Ἱεροσολύμοις: χειμὼν ἦν,
Then the festival of dedication in Jerusalem began; it was winter,
Ἐγένετο: AMI 3s, γίνομαι, 1) to become, i.e. to come into existence, begin to be
ἦν: IAI 3s, εἰμί, 1) to be, to exist, to happen, to be present
1. Apparently this is a festival of the consecration of the renovated Temple. See 2 Mac. 1: 9, 18; 10: 1; 1 Mac. 4:41, and Josephus’ Antiquities, 7:7. 6, 7
2. “It was winter” is a curious detail. It can snow in Jerusalem in the winter, but I saw this on an executive travel site: “Winter in Jerusalem, from November to February, brings the rainy season and temperatures of between 5 and 13 degrees Celsius (41 and 54 degrees Fahrenheit). Generally, the weather is likely to be very sunny all year round.”

 23 καὶ περιεπάτει ὁἸησοῦς ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ ἐν τῇ στοᾷ τοῦ Σολομῶνος.
And Jesus walked in the temple in the portico of Solomon.
περιεπάτει: IAI 3s, περιπατέω, 1) to walk 
1. Some Bible history sites seem to me a little more devotional than historical. Still, it appears that “Solomon’s portico” is a portion of the first temple wall that Herod chose not to rebuild, but was still standing during the NT era. From what I can gather, the portico was built up on an “E” shaped foundation, because the landform was uneven, and provided a view overlooking the city.

 24 ἐκύκλωσαν οὖν αὐτὸν οἱ Ἰουδαῖοι καὶ ἔλεγον αὐτῷ, Εως πότε τὴν ψυχὴν ἡμῶν αἴρεις; εἰ σὺ εἶ  Χριστός, εἰπὲ ἡμῖν παρρησίᾳ.
Therefore the Judeans surrounded him and were saying to him, “How long will you keep our souls in suspense?  If you are the Christ, tell us outright.” 
ἐκύκλωσαν: AAI 3p, κυκλόω, 1) to go around, lead around  2) to surround, encircle, encompass  2a) of persons standing around  2b) of besiegers 
ἔλεγον: IAI 3p, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak
αἴρεις: PAI 2s, αἴρω, 1) to raise up, elevate, lift up  ... 3d) to take off or away what is attached to anything  3c) to remove  3d) to carry off, carry away with one  3e) to appropriate what is taken 
εἶ: PAI 2s, εἰμί, 1) to be, to exist, to happen, to be present
εἰπὲ: AAImpv 2s, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak
1. The verb αἴρεις (keep in suspense) and the noun παρρησίᾳ (outright) seem to be in opposition in this very interesting comment from the Judeans.
2. Following Richard Horsley’s argument (although he is addressing Mark, which may be a different scenario), I translate Ἰουδαῖοι  as Judeans, rather than Jews. It reminds me that the tensions may be more fraternal, between competing strands of Judaism, than Christian v. Jewish, as it is often read.
3. This is a curious use of “souls” or “minds” (psyche/ ψυχὴν). I also am inclined to take the question at face value, that they were truly wondering and wanting some verification.

 25 ἀπεκρίθη αὐτοῖς  Ἰησοῦς, Εἶπον ὑμῖν καὶ  οὐ πιστεύετε: τὰ ἔργα ἐγὼ ποιῶ ἐν τῷ ὀνόματι τοῦ πατρός μου ταῦτα μαρτυρεῖ περὶ ἐμοῦ:
Jesus answered to them, “I told you and you do not believe; the works which I do in the name of my father these witness concerning me;
ἀπεκρίθη: API 3s, ἀποκρίνομαι, 1) to give an answer to a question proposed, to answer 
Εἶπον: AAI 1s, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak
πιστεύετε: PAI 2p, πιστεύω, 1) to think to be true, to be persuaded of, to credit, place  confidence in 
ποιῶ: PAI 1s, ποιέω, 1) to make  1a) with the names of things made, to produce, construct,  form, fashion, etc.
μαρτυρεῖ: PAI 3s, μαρτυρέω, 1) to be a witness, to bear witness, i.e. to affirm that one has  seen or heard or experienced something,
1. Jesus now puts the burden of belief back onto the Judeans. He has said it plainly enough and – in addition – his works which are done in God’s name are witnesses.
2. The issue has shifted slightly from ‘speaking outright’ to ‘believing what Jesus has said and what his works testify.’

26 ἀλλὰ ὑμεῖς οὐ πιστεύετε, ὅτι οὐκ ἐστὲ ἐκ τῶν προβάτων τῶν ἐμῶν.
but you do not believe, because you are not out of my sheep.
πιστεύετε: PAI 2p, πιστεύω, 1) to think to be true, to be persuaded of, to credit, place  confidence in 
ἐστὲ: PAI 2p, εἰμί, 1) to be, to exist, to happen, to be present 
1. And now the issue shifts even more dramatically. It is not just a matter of Jesus telling outright or of Jesus telling while his works witness. It is a matter of believing based on whose one is – a sheep of this shepherd or of a different flock.
2. The conjunction is usually translated as “that” or “because.” Every translation I’ve seen goes with “because” here, which puts the Judeans’ unbelief as a result of their non-belonging. If we went with translating as “that,” it could read, “but you do not believe that you are from my sheep.” Possible, but not really fitting to the overall flow.

 27τὰ πρόβατα τὰ ἐμὰ τῆς φωνῆς μου ἀκούουσιν, κἀγὼ γινώσκω αὐτά, καὶ ἀκολουθοῦσίν μοι,
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me,
ἀκούουσιν: PAI 3p, ἀκούω, 1) to be endowed with the faculty of hearing, not deaf
γινώσκω: PAI 1s, γινώσκω, 1) to learn to know, come to know, get a knowledge of perceive, feel 
ἀκολουθοῦσίν: PAI 3p ἀκολουθέω, 1) to follow one who precedes,
1. The matter of belonging to a sheepfold is bi-directional. The shepherd knows the sheep, the sheep hear the shepherd’s voice and follow.

 28κἀγὼ δίδωμι αὐτοῖς ζωὴν αἰώνιον, καὶ οὐ μὴ ἀπόλωνται εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα, καὶ οὐχ ἁρπάσει τις αὐτὰ ἐκ τῆς χειρός μου.
and I give to them life of the ages, and they may not perish into the ages, and anyone will not snatch these ones out of my hand.
δίδωμι: PAI 1s, δίδωμι, 1) to give  2) to give something to someone 
ἀπόλωνται: AMSubj 3p, ἀπόλλυμι, 1) to destroy
ἁρπάσει: FAI 3s, ἁρπάζω, 1) to seize, carry off by force  2) to seize on, claim for one's self eagerly  3) to snatch out or away 
1. The verb “I give” is present tense, not future. “Perish” is also not in the future, it is an aorist middle subjunctive. The only verb that is in the future tense here is “will not snatch.” That is curious because we typically hear “life of the ages” and “perish” as future possibilities based on how well we preserve here and now. In this verse, “life of the ages” and “perish” are not future, but the “not-able-to-snatch” is.

 29  πατήρ μου  δέδωκέν μοι πάντων μεῖζόν ἐστιν, καὶ οὐδεὶς δύναται ἁρπάζειν ἐκ τῆς χειρὸς τοῦ πατρός.
My father who has given to me of all is great, and no one is able to snatch out of the father’s hand.
δέδωκέν: PerfAI 3s, δίδωμι, 1) to give 
ἐστιν: PAI 3s, εἰμί, 1) to be, to exist, to happen, to be present 
δύναται: PMI 3s, δύναμαι, 1) to be able, have power whether by virtue of one's own ability and  resources
ἁρπάζειν: PAInf, ἁρπάζω, 1) to seize, carry off by force  2) to seize on, claim for one's self eagerly  3) to snatch out or away 
1. There are some translating challenges in this verse. First, there is no direct object for for the verb “given.” Most translations supply one, usually “My father has given them to me.”
2. Second, the adjective μεῖζόν is in the nominative case. Typically, the nominative case signified the subject of the verb, but with the verb ‘to be’ (as we have here) it can be a predicate, called the ‘predicate nominative.’ Hence, “great” can be the object of the verb “is.” But, then there is the genitive “of all,” which fits better with a comparative word like “greatest” than “great.” The question would be, what does that genitive modify? “Great?” That is where most translations go. I am trying to leave other possibilities on the table, but nothing fits without difficulty.
3. The successive “hands”, mentioned in v.28 and v.29 are ‘my hand’ and ‘the father’s hand.’ Perhaps the comparative “great” is comparing Jesus’ hand and God’s hand.

 30ἐγὼ καὶ  πατὴρ ἕν ἐσμεν.
I and the father are one. 
ἐσμεν: PAI 1p, εἰμί, 1) to be, to exist, to happen, to be present 
1. Like John’s prologue, where the Word ‘was’ and ‘was with’ God (‘was with,’ implying ‘was not the same as’), v.30 shows the identity between Jesus and God, while v.29 depends on the difference between Jesus and God. It reminds me of how some 19th/20th century philosophers call truth the ‘synthesis of identity and difference.’


So, after all of this, the question lingers ... "Why the note that it was winter?" 

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