Monday, May 26, 2014

Glory and Giving That All May Be One

Below is a rough translation and some initial comments regarding John 17:1-11, the lectionary gospel reading for Sunday, June 1.
Two verbs stand out prominently in this text: δοξάζω “glorify” and δίδωμι “give.”
δοξάζω appears 5 times in this chapter. When Jesus prays, “Father … glorify thy son,” we are
δίδωμι appears 17 times in this chapter. Sometimes it refers to the authority or glory that God has given to Jesus, several times to the persons whom God has given to Jesus, as well as to the name, the glory, the word, etc. that Jesus has given to them.  
I will carry both of these terms around with me as I rest in this text throughout the week. Your comments are very welcomed.

1 Ταῦτα ἐλάλησεν Ἰησοῦς, καὶ ἐπάρας τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς αὐτοῦ εἰς τὸν 
οὐρανὸν εἶπεν, Πάτερ, ἐλήλυθεν  ὥρα: δόξασόν σου τὸν υἱόν, ἵνα  υἱὸς 
δοξάσῃ σέ, 
Jesus spoke these things, and having lifted his eyes into the heaven said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your son, in order that the son may glorify you,
ἐλάλησεν: AAI 3s, λαλέω, 1) to utter a voice or emit a sound  2) to speak  
ἐπάρας: AAPart nsm, ἐπαίρω, 1) to lift up, raise up, raise on high  
ἐλήλυθεν: PerfAI 3s, ἔρχομαι, 1) to come  … of persons arriving and returning 
δόξασόν: AAImpv 2s, δοξάζω, 1) to think, suppose, be of opinion  2) to praise, extol, magnify, celebrate 
δοξάσῃ: AASubj 3s, δοξάζω, 1) to think, suppose, be of opinion  2) to praise, extol, magnify, celebrate 
1. The word glory/glorify will recur throughout the text in the verbal (δοξάζω) or nominal form (δόξῃ). Of note, it is not a general prayer for ongoing glorification, but is specific to the hour that has come and – with the verbs in the aorist tense – has a one-time ‘on this occasion’ feel. John uses the verb 18 times outside of our text. The complete list is located at the bottom of this post.

2 καθὼς ἔδωκας αὐτῷ ἐξουσίαν πάσης σαρκός, ἵνα πᾶν  δέδωκας αὐτῷ 
δώσῃ αὐτοῖς ζωὴν αἰώνιον. 
Just as you gave to him authority of all flesh, in order that all whom you have given him he may give ages-long life.
ἔδωκας : AAI 2s, δίδωμι, 1) to give  2) to give something to someone  2a) of one's own accord to give one something, to his advantage  
δέδωκας : PerfAI 2s δίδωμι, 1) to give  2) to give something to someone  2a) of one's own accord to give one something, to his advantage
δώσῃ : AASubj 3s, δίδωμι, 1) to give  2) to give something to someone  2a) of one's own accord to give one something, to his advantage
1. Most refined translations say “over all flesh.” There is no preposition; it is implied in the genitive case of the words “all flesh.” I typically translate genitives as “of” and will leave it here in this rough translation to show that it is an implied word that shows the interpreter’s perspective of how authority works.
2.The second phrase is awkward because there are two objects of the verb “give” – ‘all’ and ‘ages-long life.’
3. I use the translation “ages-long life” instead of the customary “eternal life.” I must admit that I feel a bit stranded here, because a quick google search shows that the most popular hits on this subject are sites that I would ordinarily stay away from. In fact, I need to go wash my eyes. … Okay, I’m back. Because my blog is a rough translation, I will not try to settle the “does αἰώνιον mean ‘eternal’ or not?” question in its entirety. I will say, however, that my bias is that it is a time-laden term, not an ‘above-time’ term, which is how I would characterize “eternity.”

3 αὕτη δέ ἐστιν  αἰώνιος ζωή, ἵνα γινώσκωσιν σὲ τὸν μόνον ἀληθινὸν θεὸν 
καὶ ὃν ἀπέστειλας Ἰησοῦν Χριστόν. 
Yet this is the ages-long life, that they may know you the only true God and Jesus Christ whom you sent.
ἐστιν: PAI 3s, εἰμί, 1) to be, to exist, to happen, to be present
γινώσκωσιν : PASubj 3p, γινώσκω 1. know -est,-eth,-ing; knew, -est to perceive, observe, obtain a knowledge of or insight into.
ἀπέστειλας : AAI 2s, ἀποστέλλω, 1) to order (one) to go to a place appointed  2) to send away, dismiss  2a) to allow one to depart, that he may be in a state of  liberty  
1. Just an observation: Verses 1-3 could easily have begun with the phrase, “Martha spoke these things” instead of “Jesus.” Every reference to Jesus is in the 3rd person, not the 2nd.
2. Likewise, v.3 particularly is not a “prayer,” even if it is addressing God in the 2nd person voice. It is an explanation that surely Jesus has no need to offer to God. My only point is that while we are reading what is commonly called “Jesus’ prayer,” it is much more than that. The narrator is very deliberately speaking to the audience, as evidenced by this clarification that has no place in a prayer from Jesus to God.
3. And what an explanation it is! The phrase αἰώνιος ζωή is a key to John’s gospel, appearing 17 times with this as the last. The definition offered in this verse has nothing to do with time. Ages-long life is knowing God and Jesus Christ.

4 ἐγώ σε ἐδόξασα ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς, τὸ ἔργον τελειώσας  δέδωκάς μοι ἵνα 
ποιήσω: 
I glorified you on the earth, having completed the work which you have given to me in order that I would do;
ἐδόξασα: AAI 1s, δοξάζω, 1) to think, suppose, be of opinion  2) to praise, extol, magnify, celebrate 
τελειώσας : AAPart nsm, τελειόω, 1) to make perfect, complete  1a) to carry through completely, to accomplish, finish, bring to an end 
δέδωκας : PerfAI 2s δίδωμι, 1) to give  2) to give something to someone  2a) of one's own accord to give one something, to his advantage
ποιήσω: AASubj 1s, ποιέω, 1) to make  1a) with the names of things made, to produce, construct,  form, fashion, etc.
1. It is curious that this pre-crucifixion prayer refers to Jesus having completed the work God gave him to do, rather than saying, “I’m almost done.” Again, this seems to be the guise of an ‘in-time’ prayer for Jesus, but is rather John speaking to his community about Jesus.

5 καὶ νῦν δόξασόν με σύ, πάτερ, παρὰ σεαυτῷ τῇ δόξῃ  εἶχον πρὸ τοῦ τὸν 
κόσμον εἶναι παρὰ σοί. 
And now you glorify me, Father, with yourself in the glory which I had before … the world to exist with you.  
δόξασόν: AAImpv 2s, δοξάζω, 1) to think, suppose, be of opinion  2) to praise, extol, magnify, celebrate 
εἶχον : AAI 1s, ἔχω, 1) to have, i.e. to hold  1a) to have (hold) in the hand, in the sense of wearing, to have  (hold) possession of the mind (refers to alarm, agitating  emotions, etc.), to hold fast keep, to have or comprise or  involve, to regard or consider or hold as 
εἶναι : PAInf, εἰμί, 1) to be, to exist, to happen, to be present
1. I’m at a loss for how to negotiate this verse. There are two things that are perplexing me. One is the τοῦ in the phrase, πρὸ τοῦ τὸν κόσμον – a genitive singular article, which is substantive since it is not followed by a genitive noun. I have a feeling that it is supposed to cast the rest of the sentence in some direction, but I don’t know what. The second is the present active infinitive εἶναι, which most translations treat as an indicative verb. I keep hoping for an illuminating connection between the naked substantive article and this curious infinitive, but I can’t even invent one. “Translation Fail.”

6  Ἐφανέρωσά σου τὸ ὄνομα τοῖς ἀνθρώποις οὓς ἔδωκάς μοι ἐκ τοῦ κόσμου. 
σοὶ ἦσαν κἀμοὶ αὐτοὺς ἔδωκας, καὶ τὸν λόγον σου τετήρηκαν. 
I showed your name to the persons whom you gave to me out of the world. They were from you and to me you gave them, and they have attended to your word.
Ἐφανέρωσά : AAI 1s, φανερόω, 1) to make manifest or visible or known what has been hidden or unknown,   to manifest, whether by words, or deeds, or in any other way
ἔδωκας : AAI 2s, δίδωμι, 1) to give  2) to give something to someone  2a) of one's own accord to give one something, to his advantage  
τετήρηκαν:PerfAI 3p, τηρέω, 1) to attend to carefully, take care of  1a) to guard
1. For my translation of τηρέω as “attended to,” see my note on John 14:21 from last week.

7 νῦν ἔγνωκαν ὅτι πάντα ὅ σα δέδωκάς μοι παρὰ σοῦ εἰσιν:
Now they have come to know that all which you have given to me is from you.
ἔγνωκαν : PerfAI 3p, γινώσκω, 1) to learn to know, come to know, get a knowledge of perceive, feel
δέδωκάς: PerfAI 2s δίδωμι, 1) to give  2) to give something to someone  2a) of one's own accord to give one something, to his advantage
εἰσιν: PAI 3p, εἰμί, 1) to be, to exist, to happen, to be present
1. Some Greek texts have ἔδωκάς (AAI, “gave”) instead of δέδωκάς (PerfAI).

8 ὅτι τὰ ῥήματα  ἔδωκάς μοι δέδωκα αὐτοῖς, καὶ αὐτοὶ ἔλαβον καὶ 
ἔγνωσαν ἀληθῶς ὅτι παρὰ σοῦ ἐξῆλθον, καὶ ἐπίστευσαν ὅτι σύ με 
ἀπέστειλας. 
Because the words which you gave to me I have given to them, and they received and came to know truly that I came out from you, and they believed that you sent me.
ἔδωκάς: AAI 2s, δίδωμι, 1) to give  2) to give something to someone  2a) of one's own accord to give one something, to his advantage
δέδωκα: PerfAI 1s, δίδωμι, 1) to give  2) to give something to someone  2a) of one's own accord to give one something, to his advantage
ἔλαβον: AAI 3p, λαμβάνω, 1) to take  1a) to take with the hand, lay hold of, any person or thing  in order to use it  1a1) to take up a thing to be carried 
ἔγνωσαν: AAI 3p, γινώσκω, 1) to learn to know, come to know, get a knowledge of perceive, feel  
ἐξῆλθον: AAI 1s, ἐξέρχομαι, 1) to go or come forth of   
ἐπίστευσαν: AAI 3p, πιστεύω, 1) to think to be true, to be persuaded of, to credit, place  confidence in
ἀπέστειλας: AAI 2s, ἀποστέλλω, 1) to order (one) to go to a place appointed 
1. I think vv. 7 and 8 are elaborations of what Jesus means in v.6, that Jesus has showed God’s name to the ones God gave him, and they attended to it.

9 ἐγὼ περὶ αὐτῶν ἐρωτῶ: οὐ περὶ τοῦ κόσμου ἐρωτῶ ἀλλὰ περὶ ὧν δέδωκάς 
μοι, ὅτι σοί εἰσιν, 
I ask concerning them – not concerning the world do I ask but concerning the ones whom you have given me – because they are yours,
ἐρωτῶ: PAI 1s, ἐρωτάω, 1) to question  2) to ask  2a) to request, entreat, beg, beseech 
δέδωκας : PerfAI 2s δίδωμι, 1) to give  2) to give something to someone  2a) of one's own accord to give one something, to his advantage
εἰσιν: PAI 3p, εἰμί, 1) to be, to exist, to happen, to be present

10 καὶ τὰ ἐμὰ πάντα σά ἐστιν καὶ τὰ σὰ ἐμά, καὶ δεδόξασμαι ἐν αὐτοῖς. 
And all mine is yours and yours is mine, and I have been glorified in them.
ἐστιν: PAI 3s, εἰμί, 1) to be, to exist, to happen, to be present
δεδόξασμαι : PerfPI 1s, δοξάζω, 1) to think, suppose, be of opinion  2) to praise, extol, magnify, celebrate  3) to honor, do honor to, hold in honor
1. While I am a little perplexed by the “mine” and “yours” references – with no clear (to me) antecedent of “my what” or “your what,” at least the principle of identity here is quite familiar – one sees Jesus, one sees God, and visa-versa; Jesus is glorified, God is glorified, and visa-versa; what belongs to Jesus, belongs to God, and visa-versa.

11 καὶ οὐκέτι εἰμὶ ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ, καὶ αὐτοὶ ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ εἰσίν, κἀγὼ πρὸς σὲ 
ἔρχομαι. Πάτερ ἅγιε, τήρησον αὐτοὺς ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί σου  δέδωκάς μοι, ἵνα 
ὦσιν ἓν καθὼς ἡμεῖς. 
And I am no longer in the world, and they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, attend to them in your name which you have given to me, in order that they may be one just as we. 
εἰμὶ : PAI 1s, εἰμί, 1) to be, to exist, to happen, to be present
εἰσίν: PAI 3p, εἰμί, 1) to be, to exist, to happen, to be present
ἔρχομαι: PMI 1s, ἔρχομαι, 1) to come  1a) of persons  1a1) to come from one place to another, and used both of  persons arriving and of those returning 
τήρησον : AAImpv 2s, τηρέω, 1) to attend to carefully, take care of  1a) to guard  1b) metaph. to keep
δέδωκας : PerfAI 2s δίδωμι, 1) to give  2) to give something to someone  2a) of one's own accord to give one something, to his advantage
ὦσιν: PASubj 3p, εἰμί, 1) to be, to exist, to happen, to be present 

1. Now the identity of being ‘one’ that Jesus has been asserting over and over regarding himself and God is brought to a new place. His prayer is that those whom God has given to him out of the world might have that same kind of identity.

3 comments:

  1. You were wondering what to do with verse 5 (προ του τον κοσμον ειναι). I don't have a Greek grammar handy to cite, but I believe infinitives can have definite articles. So του belongs to the infinitive ειναι. It is genitive because it it is governed by the preposition προ and "world" is accusative because it is the subject of the infinitive. Literally "before the world to be" or "before the world's being." In normal English, "before the world was/existed." The "with you" at the end probably goes with "that I had." "...the glory that I had with/alongside you before the world was."

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  2. This sounds exactly right, Caleb. Thanks for getting me out of the logjam.

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  3. Sometimes we say someone is living in the 'stone age' or the 'dark ages' - Aion could relate to Kosmos (although time and space are also different) as being the mode of living and thinking vs. chronological time itself.

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