Sunday, April 3, 2016

Tevye and Golde sing "Do you love me?"

John 21:1-19

Below is a rough translation and some initial comments regarding John 21:1-19, the lectionary gospel reading for the 3rd Sunday of Easter.
I think one of the best ways to prepare oneself to hear the latter part of this reading is to watch Tevye and Golde sing, "Do You Love Me?" You can see it here.

Μετὰ ταῦτα ἐφανέρωσεν ἑαυτὸν πάλιν  Ἰησοῦς τοῖς μαθηταῖς ἐπὶ τῆς 
θαλάσσης τῆς Τιβεριάδος: ἐφανέρωσεν δὲ οὕτως.
With these things Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberius; Then he revealed in this manner.
ἐφανέρωσεν: AAI 3s, φανερόω, 1) to make manifest or visible or known what has been hidden or unknown,  to manifest by words, deeds, or any other way
1. The first half of this verse seems to conclude the story of Jesus’ first and second appearances from c.20, while the second half introduces this third and final appearing.
2. I think this transition is awkward and an obvious addition to what was originally the ending of the gospel in c.20.

 2 ἦσαν ὁμοῦ Σίμων Πέτρος καὶ Θωμᾶς  λεγόμενος Δίδυμος καὶ Ναθαναὴλ 
ὁ ἀπὸ Κανὰ τῆς Γαλιλαίας καὶ οἱ τοῦ Ζεβεδαίου καὶ ἄλλοι ἐκ τῶν μαθητῶν 
αὐτοῦ δύο.
There were together Simon Peter and Thomas the one called Didymus and Nathaniel the one from Cana of Galilee and the ones of Zebedee and two others out of his disciples. 
ἦσαν: IAI 3p, εἰμί, 1) to be, to exist, to happen, to be present
λεγόμενος: PPPart nsm, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak
1. The narrator here signifies – as the narrator of c.20 did – that Thomas is called “the twin.” We don’t know whose twin he is.
2. There are three persons named here, plus the ones who are named with reference to their father (how many? 2? Let's say 2.) and two others totally anonymous. Later the story will mention that “the disciple whom Jesus loved,” but does not signify whether he is one of these seven and, if so, which. All we can say is that it is not Peter because of the way the conversation unfolds. 
3. This is the only mention of Zebedee in John's gospel and his sons are not named in John. They are named James and John in the synoptics. 
4. Nathaniel is not in the synoptics. Thomas is named in the synoptics, but only in the lists of disciples. He does not have a significant voice there as he does in John. 

 3 λέγει αὐτοῖς Σίμων Πέτρος, Ὑπάγω ἁλιεύειν. λέγουσιν αὐτῷ, Ἐρχόμεθα 
καὶ ἡμεῖς σὺν σοί. ἐξῆλθον καὶ ἐνέβησαν εἰς τὸ πλοῖον, καὶ ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ 
νυκτὶ ἐπίασαν οὐδέν.
Simon Peter says to them, “I am going to fish.” They say to him, “We will come with you also.” They went and stepped into the boat, and in that night they caught nothing.
λέγει: PAI 3s, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak
Ὑπάγω: PAI 1s, ὑπάγω, 1) to lead ...  2) to withdraw one's self, to go away, depart
ἁλιεύειν: PAInf, ἁλιεύω, 1) to fish
λέγουσιν: PAI 3p, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak 
Ἐρχόμεθα: PMI 1p, ἔρχομαι, 1) to come
ἐξῆλθον: AAI 3p, ἐξέρχομαι, 1) to go or come forth of 
ἐνέβησαν: AAI 3p, ἐμβαίνω, 1) to go into, step into 
ἐπίασαν: AAI 3p, πιάζω, 1) to lay hold of  2) to take, capture  2a) of fishes  

 4 πρωΐας δὲ ἤδη γενομένης ἔστη Ἰησοῦς εἰς τὸν αἰγιαλόν: οὐ μέντοι ᾔδεισαν 
οἱ μαθηταὶ ὅτι Ἰησοῦς ἐστιν.
Yet now having become morning Jesus stood on the shore; nevertheless the disciples had not seen/known that it was Jesus.
γενομένης: AMPart gsf, γίνομαι, 1) to become, i.e. to come into existence, begin to be, receive being
ἔστη: AAI 3s, ἵστημι, 1) to cause or make to stand, to place, put, set
ᾔδεισαν: PluperfectAI 3p, εἴδωἴδω, an obsol. form of the present tense, the place of which is supplied by ὁράω. The tenses coming from εἴδω and retained by usage form two families, of which one signifies to see, the other to know.
ἐστιν: PAI 3s, εἰμί, 1) to be, to exist, to happen, to be present
1. This is the gospel where Mary “supposed Jesus to be the gardener” when she first encountered him. Both there and here, the disciples’ inability to know/see Jesus could be attributed to the early breaking of the day rather than some mysterious quality of Jesus himself.
2. The word “see/know” (εἴδωἴδω), as the definition suggests, is ambiguous, much like one might use “see” to mean “know” in “Oh, I see what you mean.”
3. It is also in the pluperfect tense here: “They had (not) known.” I cannot yet see what the purpose of using the pluperfect rather than the present tense.
4. The word ὅτι could be translated “that” or “because.” Therefore, the last phrase could be, “the disciples had not seen/known because it was Jesus.”

 5λέγει οὖν αὐτοῖς [ὁ] Ἰησοῦς, Παιδία, μή τι προσφάγιον ἔχετε; ἀπεκρίθησαν αὐτῷ, Οὔ.
Then [the] Jesus says to them, “Children, do you not have anything to eat?” They answered to him, “No.”
λέγει: PAI 3s, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak
ἔχετε: PAI 2p, ἔχω, 1) to have, i.e. to hold  
ἀπεκρίθησαν: API (dep) 3p, ἀποκρίνομαι, 1) to give an answer to a question proposed
1. It is a little disconcerting to see Οὔ, which looks like the French oui, but means ‘no’; and later Ναί, which looks like the word ‘no’ in many languages, but means ‘yes.’ I’m okay now, it just takes a moment.
2. The question is posed using the subjunctive negative particle, which expects a negative response.
3. The word προσφάγιον is translated “meat” or “fish” in many translations. This is the only time it appears in the NT and it is obviously composed of the prefix προσ (most often “to”) Φάγω (“I eat”). It makes sense to assume that it means “fish” here. I imagine that they hear Jesus as a merchant, looking to take their catch to the market.

 6 δὲ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς, Βάλετε εἰς τὰ δεξιὰ μέρη τοῦ πλοίου τὸ δίκτυον, καὶ 
εὑρήσετε. ἔβαλον οὖν, καὶ οὐκέτι αὐτὸ ἑλκύσαι ἴσχυον ἀπὸ τοῦ πλήθους τῶν  ἰχθύων.
Yet he said to them, “Cast the net into the right side of the boat, and you will find.” Then they cast, and were no longer able to draw from the plentitude of the fish.
εἶπεν: AAI 3s, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak
Βάλετε: AAImpv 2p, βάλλω, 1) to throw or let go of a thing ... 1a) to throw, cast into
εὑρήσετε: FAI 2p, εὑρίσκω, 1) to come upon, hit upon, to meet with
ἔβαλον: AAI 3p, βάλλω, 1) to throw or let go of a thing ... 1a) to throw, cast into
ἑλκύσαι: AAInf, ἕλκω, to draw
ἴσχυον: IAI 3p, ἰσχύω, 1) to be strong  1a) to be strong in body, to be robust, to be in sound health  2) to have power  ...  2d) to be able, can

 7λέγει οὖν  μαθητὴς ἐκεῖνος ὃν ἠγάπα  Ἰησοῦς τῷ Πέτρῳ,  κύριός ἐστιν. 
Σίμων οὖν Πέτρος, ἀκούσας ὅτι  κύριός ἐστιν, τὸν ἐπενδύτην διεζώσατο, 
ἦν γὰρ γυμνός, καὶ ἔβαλεν ἑαυτὸν εἰς τὴν θάλασσαν:
Then that disciple whom Jesus was loving says to Peter, “He is the lord.” Then Simon Peter, having heard that he is the lord, put on the clothing, for he was naked, and cast himself into the sea.
λέγει: PAI 3s, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak
ἠγάπα: IAI 3s, ἀγαπάω, 1) of persons  1a) to welcome, to entertain, to be fond of, to love dearly  2) of things  2a) to be well pleased, to be contented at or with a thing 
ἐστιν: PAI 3s, εἰμί, 1) to be, to exist,
ἀκούσας: AAPart nsm, ἀκούω, 1) to be endowed with the faculty of hearing,
ἐστιν: PAI 3s, εἰμί, 1) to be, to exist,
διεζώσατο: AMI 3s, διαζώννυμι, 1) to bind or gird all around 
ἦν: IAI 3s, εἰμί, 1) to be, to exist,
ἔβαλεν: AAI, 3s, βάλλω, 1) to throw or let go of a thing
1. “The disciple whom Jesus was loving”: The verb “loving” is in the imperfect tense. If it were aorist, it would be “loved.” Most translations make it “loved” and I don’t know why. That is true in Jn.13:23 as well.
2. The gospel of John uses two different terms that get translated as “the one/disciple whom Jesus loved.” In 13:22, 21:7, and 21:20, the imperfect form of ἀγαπάω is used to describe this one. In 11:3, Lazarus is described and in 20:2 the disciple who outruns Peter to the tomb is described as “the one whom you love” using the imperfect form of φιλέω. They all show up as “the one/disciple whom Jesus loved” in English, but since the distinction between ἀγαπάω and φιλέω seems to be important later in this chapter, I thought this would be worth pointing out.
3. No one was identified in v.2 as the one whom Jesus loved.
4. Simon Peter gird himself – that activity will return in this story. It seems a bit odd to put a garment on before jumping in water, but it appears that being wet is not the issue here. Rather, it is fishing naked v. walking along the shore naked.
5. Simon Peter “cast” himself into the sea, just as they had been told and did “cast” their net into the right side of the boat for the haul.

 8οἱ δὲ ἄλλοι μαθηταὶ τῷ πλοιαρίῳ ἦλθον, οὐ γὰρ ἦσαν μακρὰν ἀπὸ τῆς 
γῆς ἀλλὰ ὡς ἀπὸ πηχῶν διακοσίων, σύροντες τὸ δίκτυοντῶν ἰχθύων.
Yet the other disciples in the boat came, for they were not far from the shore, but as from 200 measures, dragging the net of fish.
ἦλθον: AAI 3p, ἔρχομαι, 1) to come 
ἦσαν: IAI 3p, εἰμί, 1) to be, to exist, to happen, to be present
σύροντες: PAPart npm, σύρω, 1) to draw, drag  1a) of one before the judge, to prison, to punishment 
1. The word for ‘boat’ (πλοῖον in v.3 and 6) is made diminutive here, πλοιαρίῳ, which is “little boat.” The same word is used throughout c.6.

 9ὡς οὖν ἀπέβησαν εἰς τὴν γῆν βλέπουσιν ἀνθρακιὰν κειμένην καὶ ὀψάριον 
ἐπικείμενον καὶ ἄρτον.
Then as they came down onto the ground they see a charcoal fire set and fish lying on it and bread.
ἀπέβησαν: AAI 3p, ἀποβαίνω, 1) to come down from, i.e. a ship 
βλέπουσιν: PAI 3p, βλέπω, 1) to see, discern, of the bodily eye
κειμένην: PMPart asf, κεῖμαι, 1) to lie 2) to set or place
ἐπικείμενον: PMPart asn, ἐπίκειμαι, 1) to lie upon or over, rest upon, be laid or placed upon

 10λέγει αὐτοῖς  Ἰησοῦς, Ἐνέγκατε ἀπὸ τῶν ὀψαρίων ὧν ἐπιάσατε νῦν.
Jesus says to them, “Bring from the fish which you caught now.”
λέγει: PAI 3s, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak
Ἐνέγκατε: AAImpv 2p, φέρω, 1) to carry
ἐπιάσατε: AAI 2p, πιάζω, 1) to lay hold of  2) to take, capture  
1. There is already fish on the fire, but now the fishers get to contribute to the meal.

 11ἀνέβη οὖν Σίμων Πέτρος καὶ εἵλκυσεν τὸ δίκτυον εἰς τὴν γῆν μεστὸν 
ἰχθύων μεγάλων ἑκατὸν πεντήκοντα τριῶν: καὶ τοσούτων ὄντων οὐκ ἐσχίσθη τὸ δίκτυον.
Then Simon Peter went up and drew the net into the ground full of great fish 153; and even being so many the net did not break.
ἀνέβη: AAI 3s, ἀναβαίνω, 1) ascend  1a) to go up
εἵλκυσεν: AAI 3s, ἕλκω, to draw
ὄντων: PAPart gpm, εἰμί, 1) to be, to exist, to happen, to be present
ἐσχίσθη: API 3s, σχίζω, 1) to cleave, cleave asunder, rend  2) to divide by rending  3) to split into factions, be divided
1. This is a lot of fish and I wonder who would take the time to count under these circumstances, but apparently this number means something to someone or else it is just a huge number that would impress other fishers.
2. This may be a scene depicting Simon’s zeal and enthusiasm. V.6 says that the seven in the boat were having difficulty hauling the net out of the water because of the number of fish. V.8 says that the other six were dragging the net to the shore. Now Simon Peter “manfully” goes up and draws the net out of the dingy to the ground. Wow.
3. The fact that the net did not break seems important or remarkable as well.

 12λέγει αὐτοῖς  Ἰησοῦς, Δεῦτε ἀριστήσατε. οὐδεὶς δὲ ἐτόλμα τῶν μαθητῶν ἐξετάσαι αὐτόν, Σὺ τίς εἶ; εἰδότες ὅτι  κύριός ἐστιν.
Jesus says to them, “Come eat breakfast.” Yet none of the disciples were daring to inquire of him, “Who are you?” because they were seeing/knowing that it is the lord.
λέγει: PAI 3s, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak
ἀριστήσατε: AAImpv 2p, ἀριστάω, 1) to breakfast  2) by later usage, to dine
ἐτόλμα: IAI 3s, τολμάω, 1) not to dread or shun through fear  2) to bear, endure  3) to bring one's self to  4) to be bold  5) bear one's self boldly, deal boldly 
ἐξετάσαι: AAInf, ἐξετάζω, 1) to search out  1a) to examine strictly, inquire 
εἶ: PAI 2s, εἰμί, 1) to be, to exist, to happen, to be present
εἰδότες: PAPart npm, εἴδωἴδω, to see, the other to know
ἐστιν: PAI 3s, εἰμί, 1) to be, to exist, to happen, to be present
1. The question, “Who are you?” could be translated, “Are you somebody?”
2. The lack of clarity of v.4 is now ambiguous. They see/know it is Jesus, but none of them is confident enough to inquire and make sure.

 13ἔρχεται Ἰησοῦς καὶ λαμβάνει τὸν ἄρτον καὶ δίδωσιν αὐτοῖς, καὶ τὸ 
ὀψάριον ὁμοίως.
Jesus approaches and takes the bread and gives to them and the fish likewise.
ἔρχεται: PMI 3s, ἔρχομαι, 1) to come
λαμβάνει: PAI 3s, λαμβάνω, 1) to take 
δίδωσιν: PAI 3s, δίδωμι,
1) to give  2) to give something to someone
1. The word ἔρχομαι is often translated “come,” but it is in the middle voice here and Jesus is already present. So, it seems to have the feel Jesus, approaching them with the food that he is offering, since they seem to be a bit dumbstruck at the moment.
2. During the Easter season, the Lord’s Supper should include fish. Yum.

 14τοῦτο ἤδη τρίτον ἐφανερώθη Ἰησοῦς τοῖς μαθηταῖς ἐγερθεὶς ἐκνεκρῶν.
Now Jesus was revealed this third (time) to the disciples having been raised out of the dead.
ἐφανερώθη: API 3s, φανερόω, 1) to make manifest or visible or known what has been hidden or unknown
ἐγερθεὶς: APPart nms, ἐγείρω, 1) to arouse, cause to rise
1. This seems like it is a conclusion, echoing the sentiment of the v.1.

 15Οτε οὖν ἠρίστησαν λέγει τῷ Σίμωνι Πέτρῳ  Ἰησοῦς, Σίμων Ἰωάννου, 
ἀγαπᾷς με πλέον τούτων; λέγει αὐτῷ, Ναί, κύριε, σὺ οἶδας ὅτι φιλῶ σε. λέγει αὐτῷ, Βόσκε τὰ ἀρνία μου.
Then when they ate breakfast, Jesus says to Simon Peter, “Simon of John, do you dearly love me more than these?” He says to him, “Yes lord, you see that I love you.” He says to him, “Feed my lambs.”
ἠρίστησαν: AAI 3p, ἀριστάω, 1) to breakfast  2) by later usage, to dine
λέγει: PAI 3s, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak
ἀγαπᾷς: PAI 2s, ἀγαπάω, 1) of persons  1a) to welcome, to entertain, to be fond of, to love dearly
λέγει: PAI 3s, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak
οἶδας: PerfAI 2s, εἴδωἴδω, to see, the other to know
φιλῶ: PAI 1s, φιλέω, 1) to love   1a) to approve of   1b) to like   1c) sanction
λέγει: PAI 3s, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak
Βόσκε: PAImpv 2s, βόσκω, 1) to feed  
1. I am cautious about factoring in too many distinctions between the words ἀγαπάω and φιλέω, two Greek words for love that are at play in this conversation. Some commenters argue that Jesus is asking about ἀγαπάω (the verbal form of ἀγαπέ), a pure love rooted in God’s own unconditional love, as opposed to φιλέω, a more measured kind of friendship love. I think this text is indeed playing with Jesus’ choice of the word “ἀγαπάω” and Peter’s insistence on the word “φιλέω,” but I am not convinced that we know what the exact nuances of the difference are. It certainly sounds pious and clear to call one “unconditional” and the other something else, but I’m not sure that this text or the Scriptures themselves bear out a clear difference.
2. If one is inclined to find meaning in the differences of ἀγαπάω and φιλέω here, I think, for consistency’s sake, one ought also to deal with the differences that I show in v.7, note 2 above, in the ways that the beloved disciple is named using ἀγαπάω in some cases and φιλέω in others.
Still, there is some word play going between Jesus’ use of ἀγαπάω and Peter’s use of φιλέω. Let’s enjoy that.
3. There is also some play between “feed my lambs” (v.15), “tend my sheep” (v.16), and “feed my sheep” (v.17). I’m not sure what to do besides marvel at that either, at this point.

 16 λέγει αὐτῷ πάλιν δεύτερον, Σίμων Ἰωάννου, ἀγαπᾷς με; λέγει αὐτῷ, Ναί, 
κύριε, σὺ οἶδας ὅτι φιλῶ σε. λέγει αὐτῷ, Ποίμαινε τὰ πρόβατά μου.
He says to him again a second (time), “Simon of John, do you dearly love me?” He says to him, “Yes, lord, you know/see that I love you.” He says to him, “Tend my sheep.”
λέγει: PAI 3s, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak
ἀγαπᾷς: PAI 2s, ἀγαπάω, 1) of persons  1a) to welcome, to entertain, to be fond of, to love dearly
λέγει: PAI 3s, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak
οἶδας: PerfAI 2s, εἴδωἴδω, to see, the other to know
φιλῶ: PAI 1s, φιλέω, 1) to love   1a) to approve of   1b) to like   1c) sanction
λέγει: PAI 3s, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak
Ποίμαινε: PAImpv 2s, ποιμαίνω, 1) to feed, to tend a flock, keep sheep  1a) to rule, govern  1a1) of rulers  1a2) to furnish pasture for food  1a3) to nourish 

 17 λέγει αὐτῷ τὸ τρίτον, Σίμων Ἰωάννου, φιλεῖς με; ἐλυπήθη  Πέτρος ὅτι 
εἶπεν αὐτῷ τὸ τρίτον, Φιλεῖς με; καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ, Κύριε, πάντα σὺ οἶδας, σὺ 
γινώσκεις ὅτι φιλῶ σε. λέγει αὐτῷ [ὁἸησοῦς], Βόσκε τὰ πρόβατά μου.
He says to him the third (time), “Simon of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved that he said to him the third (time), “Do you love me?” and says to him, “Lord, you see/know all things, you understand that I love you.” [The Jesus] says to him, “Feed my sheep.
λέγει: PAI 3s, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak
φιλεῖς: PAI 2s, φιλέω, 1) to love   1a) to approve of   1b) to like
ἐλυπήθη: API 3s, λυπέω, 1) to make sorrowful  2) to affect with sadness, cause grief, to throw into sorrow  3) to grieve, offend  
εἶπεν: AAI 3s, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak
Φιλεῖς: PAI 2s, φιλέω, 1) to love   1a) to approve of   1b) to like
λέγει: PAI 3s, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak
οἶδας: PerfAI 2s, εἴδωἴδω, to see, the other to know
γινώσκεις: PAI 2s, γινώσκω, 1) to learn to know, come to know, get a knowledge of perceive, feel  1a) to become known  2) to know, understand, perceive
φιλῶ: PAI 1s, φιλέω, 1) to love   1a) to approve of   1b) to like   1c) sanction
λέγει: PAI 3s, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak
Βόσκε: PAImpv 2s, βόσκω, 1) to feed  
1. There seem to be two contesting dynamics to this conversation, which lead to two very different ways of interpreting its significance. 
(A) There is the obvious word play between ἀγαπάω and φιλέω, which seems deliberate and meaningful. One might see the text as Peter's admission that he "only" loves Jesus in a brotherly love or friendship manner, if that is how one interprets φιλέω. Peter's grief, then, would be that he can only profess that φιλέω kind of love and non an ἀγαπάω kind of love. Again, I need to express my reticence about putting too much confidence in how different these words are. 
(B) One could attribute Simon’s grievance to the repetition, the fact that Jesus asks him the same question a third time, with less emphasis on the fact that Jesus changed his wording. The dynamic of asking the same question three times might imply that one has not answered the question truthfully or fully yet. 
2. Peter expands his language regarding Jesus from “you see/know that I love you” to “you see/know all things.” Compare this to the disciples’ inability to see/know or their confusion about it.

18ἀμὴν ἀμὴν λέγω σοι, ὅτε ἦς νεώτερος, ἐζώννυες σεαυτὸν καὶ περιεπάτεις 
ὅπου ἤθελες: ὅταν δὲ γηράσῃς, ἐκτενεῖς τὰς χεῖράς σου, καὶ ἄλλος σε ζώσει 
καὶ οἴσει ὅπου οὐ θέλεις.
“Truly truly I say to you, when you were being young, were girding yourself and walking where you were willing; yet when you age, you will stretch out your hands, and others will gird you and lead you where you do not will.”
λέγω: PAI 1s, , λέγω, 1) to say, to speak
ἦς: IAI 2s, εἰμί, 1) to be, to exist, to happen, to be present
ἐζώννυες: IAI 2s, ζώννυμι, 1) to gird  2) to gird one's self 
περιεπάτεις: IAI 2s, περιπατέω, 1) to walk 
ἤθελες: IAI 2s, θέλω, 1) to will, have in mind, intend  1a) to be resolved or determined, to purpose 
γηράσῃς: AASubj 2s, γηράσκω, 1) to grow old  2) of things and institutions: to fail from age, be obsolescent
ἐκτενεῖς: FAI 2s, ἐκτείνω, 1) to stretch out, stretch forth 
ζώσει: FAI 3s, ζώννυμι, 1) to gird  2) to gird one's self 
οἴσει: FAI 3s, φέρω, 1) to carry   1a) to carry some burden
θέλεις: PAI 2s, θέλω, 1) to will, have in mind, intend  1a) to be resolved or determined, to purpose
1. We are remembering that Simon girded himself in this story, back in v.7 and Simon jumped up into the boat and hauled fish very powerfully. One day he will lose that power and independence.

 19τοῦτο δὲ εἶπεν σημαίνων ποίῳ θανάτῳ δοξάσει τὸν θεόν. καὶ τοῦτο εἰπὼν λέγει αὐτῷ, Ἀκολούθει μοι.
Yet he said this while signifying in what sort of death he will glorify the God. And having said this he says to him, “Follow me.”
εἶπεν: AAI 3s, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak
σημαίνων: PAPart nsm, σημαίνω, 1) to give a sign, to signify, indicate  2) to make known
δοξάσει: FAI 3s, δοξάζω, 1) to think, suppose, be of opinion  2) to praise, extol, magnify, celebrate  
εἰπὼν: AAPart nsm, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak
λέγει: PAI 3s, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak
Ἀκολούθει: PAImpv 2s, ἀκολουθέω, 1) to follow one who precedes, join him as his attendant,  accompany him
1. The description of v.18 could indicate feebleness and dependence on caregivers, but here it is transformed into the “kind of death” by which Peter would glorify God.  That gives the “girding” and “being led against his will” a much more sinister tone. Does it indicate shackles and being led to execution?

2. The lection ends here with the stirring “follow me,” but the story flows through v.23.



8 comments:

  1. Hi Mark - as always, thank you for this. I am recently back in pastoral ministry after a dozen years away, and my Greek was pretty shaky to start with... so your Greek translation is greatly appreciated. Your pastoral heart is also very evident. Blessings!!

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  2. Thanks, Greg. Welcome back into pastoral ministry. I hope your work is fruitful and glorifies God.

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  3. Elsewhere in the bible, we're told that numbers can have symbolic significance, or can be read as codenames. Might that 153 signify a name or concept?

    Its factors are 9*17, and 3*51: do those numbers suggest anything?

    I ask because I'm hearing echos in this story of the feeding of the multitudes, in which the number of baskets left over has been argued to have significance.

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  4. Victoria,
    It would be neat if the number were 3.14, or something that Dan Brown could include in his next thriller.
    I was told this week that 153 is the number of known species of fish in the ancient world, although that sounds suspiciously like one of those "facts" that gets invented to answer an unanswered question.
    I cannot fathom the significance of 153, although I have to admit that I have not read about it too much.
    I'd welcome anyone else's wisdom on it!

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  5. In fact, Simon is grieved that Jesus asks him again, with no attention to Jesus’ change of words from ἀγαπάω to φιλέω. ... Simon’s grievance that Jesus would ask him the same question a third time, regardless of the fact that Jesus changed his wording.

    I don't understand this. Peter's sorrow the third time is specifically about the Lord's changing his wording. He's absolutely attentive to it. He is not grieved that the same question is asked a third time: he is grieved that the third time the Lord asked, "Are you fond of me?" adopting Peter's choice of words and sentiment. It's not a stretch of interpretation to understand that Peter feels bad to hear his own reticence to love the Lord as he has been asked finally echoed right back at him. The difference between the two words remains crucial throughout the passage. Peter is a character in Scripture who vacillates between boldness and cowardice, and this is an example of how he still has a ways to go before he fulfills what the Lord expects of him. That he is disappointed with himself, and feels it most painfully when his shortcoming is verbalized by Christ (in the third question) is crucial to the story.

    Sorry, I just stumbled on your blog, and I know it's out of the ordinary to post a comment on an old post (even just a few months old in these here-today-gone-today times), but this just left me scratching my head. So anyway, pardon the intrusion. I hope you find something of value in my comment.

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  6. Virgil,
    I don't know how to adjudicate between my inclination that it is the repetition and your inclination that it is the word use that grieves Peter here. I agree that the difference between the two words seems important in the passage, but I don't know what that importance is. And I think I have overstated my position, so I am going to modify it.
    But, when you say, "It's not a stretch of interpretation to understand that Peter feels bad to hear his own reticence to love the Lord as he has been asked finally echoed right back at him," you are presuming that agape and phileo have clear and substantial differences, which I am not ready to accept. Hence, my caution in putting too much value on what we reckon to be the words at play in the conversation.

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  7. This site: http://www.biblestudy.org/bibleref/meaning-of-numbers-in-bible/153.html says that Jesus blessed a total of 153 people in 48 incidents.

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    Replies
    1. Hmm... I think that is kinda fishy - so to speak.

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