Monday, March 27, 2017

Jesus Enters the Danger Zone

Below is a rough translation and some preliminary comments regarding John 11:1-45, the Revised Common Lectionary gospel reading for the 5th Sunday of Lent.

This is another LONG reading, so my translation and notes probably have multiple errors and typos. Sorry about that, but for some reason I had never translated this whole text before and it was a lot of work.

HOWEVER, what may enrage you about what you find here is not the simple errors that show my lack of competence, but the comments that show my … well, I’ll let you describe it. I am convinced that there are two issues at play here. One, obviously, is the death and rising of Lazarus. The language is quite similar to the death and rising of Jesus, so we can make of that what we will. The other issue at play is that Jesus is entering a danger zone. He was bullied out of Jerusalem by those who – twice! – tried to stone him. He is going back into the region (only 2 miles away in Bethany) and his life is clearly in danger. I’m allowing myself to follow that trail and see how it shapes my reading of the story. I think there is a lot to this basic premise, even if my musings about it are arguable.  

Per usual, your comments are welcomed.

1 ην δέ τις ἀσθενῶν, Λάζαρος ἀπὸ Βηθανίας, ἐκ τῆς κώμης Μαρίας καὶ Μάρθας τῆς ἀδελφῆς αὐτῆς.
Yet a certain one was ill, Lazarus from Bethany, out of the village of Mary and Martha her sister.
ην: IAI 3s, εἰμί, 1) to be, to exist, to happen, to be present
ἀσθενῶν: PAPart nsm, ἀσθενέω, 1) to be weak, feeble, to be without strength, 3) sick 
1. To get our locations straight. Jesus left Jerusalem in c.10, with 10:40 reading, “He went away again across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing earlier, and he remained there.” In 11:18, we’ll read that Mary’s and Martha’s village Bethany is about 15 stadia (2 miles in modern translations) from Jerusalem. 

2 ἦν δὲ Μαριὰμ ἡ ἀλείψασα τὸν κύριον μύρῳ καὶ ἐκμάξασα τοὺς πόδας αὐτοῦ ταῖς θριξὶν αὐτῆς, ἧς ὁ ἀδελφὸς Λάζαρος ἠσθένει.
Yet Mary was the one having anointed the lord in ointment and having wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.
ην: IAI 3s, εἰμί, 1) to be, to exist, to happen, to be present
ἀλείψασα: AAPart nsf, ἀλείφω, 1) to anoint
ἐκμάξασα: AAPart nsf, ἐκμάσσω, 1) to wipe off, to wipe away
ἠσθένει: IAI 3s, ἀσθενέω, 1) to be weak, feeble, to be without strength, 3) sick 

3 ἀπέστειλαν οὖν αἱ ἀδελφαὶ πρὸς αὐτὸν λέγουσαι, Κύριε, ἴδε ὃν φιλεῖς ἀσθενεῖ.
Therefore the sisters sent to him saying, “Lord, behold the one whom you love is ill.”
ἀπέστειλαν: AAI 3p, ἀποστέλλω, 1) to order (one) to go to a place appointed  2) to send away, dismiss
λέγουσαι: PAPart npf, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak
ἴδε: Imp, εἴδω, ἴδω, - at times this imperative takes the form of a particle, such as in “Lo” and “Behold.”
φιλεῖς: PAI 2s, φιλέω, 1) to love
ἀσθενεῖ: PAI 3s, ἀσθενέω, 1) to be weak, feeble, to be without strength, 3) sick 

4 ἀκούσας δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν, Αὕτη ἡ ἀσθένεια οὐκ ἔστιν πρὸς θάνατον ἀλλ' ὑπὲρ τῆς δόξης τοῦ θεοῦ, ἵνα δοξασθῇ ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ θεοῦ δι' αὐτῆς.
Yet having heard, Jesus said, “This sickness is not to death, but for the glory of God, in order that the son of God may be glorified through it.”
ἀκούσας: AAPart nsm, ἀκούω, 1)  to hear
εἶπεν: AAI 3s, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak
ἔστιν: PAI 3s, εἰμί, 1) to be, to exist, to happen, to be present
δοξασθῇ: APSubj 3s, δοξάζω, 1) to think, suppose, be of opinion 2) to praise, extol, magnify, celebrate  3) to honor, do honor to, hold in honor

5 ἠγάπα δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς τὴν Μάρθαν καὶ τὴν ἀδελφὴν αὐτῆς καὶ τὸν Λάζαρον.
Yet Jesus was loving Martha and her sister and Lazarus.
ἠγάπα: IAI 3s, ἀγαπάω, 1) of persons  1a) to welcome, to entertain, to be fond of, to love dearly
1. While “Jesus loved Martha, etc.” reads more easily, the verb is imperfect and not aorist. I don’t know if that’s significant, but for a rough translation it is worth noting.

6 ὡς οὖν ἤκουσεν ὅτι ἀσθενεῖ, τότε μὲν ἔμεινεν ἐν ᾧ ἦν τόπῳ δύο ἡμέρας:
Therefore when he heard that he is sick, then he remained in the place where he was two days.
ἤκουσεν: AAI 3s, ἀκούω, 1)  to hear
ἀσθενεῖ: PAI 3s, ἀσθενέω, 1) to be weak, feeble, to be without strength, 3) sick 
ἔμεινεν: AAI 3s, μένω,1) to remain, abide
ἦν: IAI 3s, εἰμί, 1) to be, to exist, to happen, to be present
1. This verse begins with “therefore,” (οὖν) a fairly common connective tissue between events, but one that usually signifies an action that results from what was previously stated. (A connection, which would not necessarily imply connection but simply sequence, would be the δέ that is fairly common throughout this story). So, does Jesus remain where he was for two days because (v.4) God was going to be glorified through Lazarus’ sickness? Or, because (v.5) Jesus was loving Mary, Martha, and Lazarus? Or both?

7 ἔπειτα μετὰ τοῦτο λέγει τοῖς μαθηταῖς, Ἄγωμεν εἰς τὴν Ἰουδαίαν πάλιν.
Then after this he says to the disciples, “Let us go into Judea again.”
λέγει: PAI 3s, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak
Ἄγωμεν: PASubj 1p, ἄγω, 1) to lead, take with one 
1. For Greek students, here’s that “hortatory subjunctive” we learn to look for.

8 λέγουσιν αὐτῷ οἱ μαθηταί, Ῥαββί, νῦν ἐζήτουν σε λιθάσαι οἱ Ἰουδαῖοι, καὶ πάλιν ὑπάγεις ἐκεῖ;
The disciples say to him, “Rabbi, just now the Judeans were seeking to stone you, and again you go there?”
λέγουσιν: PAI 3p, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak
ἐζήτουν: IAI 3p, ζητέω,1) to seek in order to find
λιθάσαι: AAInf, λιθάζω,1) to overwhelm or pelt with stones
ὑπάγεις: PAI 2s, ὑπάγω,1) to lead under, bring under  2) to withdraw one's self, to go away, depart
1. John 8 ended with this ominous verse (v.59) “So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.” Again, in 10:31 John says, “The Jews took up stones again to stone him.”

9 ἀπεκρίθη Ἰησοῦς, Οὐχὶ δώδεκα ὧραί εἰσιν τῆς ἡμέρας; ἐάν τις περιπατῇ ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ, οὐ προσκόπτει, ὅτι τὸ φῶς τοῦ κόσμου τούτου βλέπει:
Jesus answered, “Are not twelve hours in the day? If one walks around in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world;
ἀπεκρίθη: API 3s, ἀποκρίνομαι,1) to give an answer to a question proposed, to answer
εἰσιν: PAI 3p, εἰμί, 1) to be, to exist, to happen, to be present
περιπατῇ: PASubj 3s, περιπατέω,1) to walk 
προσκόπτει: PAI 3s, προσκόπτω, 1) to strike against  1a) of those who strike against a stone or other obstacle  in the path, to stumble 
βλέπει: PAI 3s, βλέπω,1) to see, discern, of the bodily eye 

10 ἐὰν δέ τις περιπατῇ ἐν τῇ νυκτί, προσκόπτει, ὅτι τὸ φῶς οὐκ ἔστιν ἐν αὐτῷ.
yet if one walks around in the night he stumbles, because the light is not in him.
περιπατῇ: PASubj 3s, περιπατέω,1) to walk 
προσκόπτει: PAI 3s, προσκόπτω, 1) to strike against  1a) of those who strike against a stone or other obstacle  in the path, to stumble 
ἔστιν: PAI 3s, εἰμί, 1) to be, to exist, to happen, to be present
1. Since the word “light” and the phrase “light of the world” seem central to John’s gospel, it is worth noting how John uses the word and the phrase. The word “light” is prevalent in the prologue of John 1, appearing in vv.4, 5, 7, 8 (2x), and 9. It is part of Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus in c.3, appearing in vv. 19 (2x), 20 (2x), and 21. Jesus describes John the Baptizer as “a burning and shining lamp” in whose “light” people were willing to rejoice in 5:35. John 8 has the well-known “I am” saying, “I am the light of the world,” which continues that whoever follows Jesus shall have the “light” of life. Last week we read in John 9 that Jesus says (v.5) “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” In c.12, while speaking about this death, Jesus says, “The light is with you for a little longer. Walk while you have the light, so that the darkness may not overtake you. If you walk in the darkness, you do not know where you are going. While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of light.” (vv.35-36), the repeating in v.46, “I have come as light into the world, so that everyone who believes in me should not remain in the darkness.”
2. In vv.9-10 of our pericope, Jesus uses the phrase “the light of this world,” and a reference to “light” not to signify his own illuminating presence but as a reference to daylight as opposed to night. In plain speech, to walk in the daytime is to see “the light of this world” and to have the light within. While Jesus may be using this naturalistic reference for a greater purpose, it seems important to me to remember that is it a natural reference first, an obvious and common experience, not automatically a deep, spiritual reference.
3. The greater question is, how does this reference to light/day and darkness/night address the disciples’ concern that Jesus is re-entering territory where his life was just threatened?

11 ταῦτα εἶπεν, καὶ μετὰ τοῦτο λέγει αὐτοῖς, Λάζαρος ὁ φίλος ἡμῶν κεκοίμηται, ἀλλὰ πορεύομαι ἵνα ἐξυπνίσω αὐτόν.
He said these things, and after this says to them, “Lazarus our friend has fallen asleep, but I go in order that I may awaken him.”
εἶπεν: AAI 3s, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak
λέγει: PAI 3s, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak
κεκοίμηται: PerfMI 3s, κοιμάω, 1) sleep, to make sleep, put to sleep; hence, in NT, passive and future middle, to fall asleep, sleep.
πορεύομαι: PMI 1s, πορεύομαι, 1) to lead over, carry over, transfer 
ἐξυπνίσω: AASubj 1s, ἐξυπνίζω, 1) to wake up, awaken out of a sleep

12 εἶπαν οὖν οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτῷ, Κύριε, εἰ κεκοίμηται σωθήσεται.
Therefore the disciples said to him, “Lord if he has fallen asleep he will be made whole.”
εἶπαν: AAI 3p, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak
κεκοίμηται: PerfMI 3s, κοιμάω, 1) sleep, to make sleep, put to sleep;
σωθήσεται: FPI 3s, σῴζω, 1) to save, keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger or destruction 
1. I’m sure that “made whole” is not the best of choices for σῴζω in this conversation, but since σῴζω can be translated with anything from “healed” to “saved,” I try to use “made whole” generally in the rough translation.

13 εἰρήκει δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς περὶ τοῦ θανάτου αὐτοῦ. ἐκεῖνοι δὲ ἔδοξαν ὅτι περὶ τῆς κοιμήσεως τοῦ ὕπνου λέγει.
Yet Jesus had spoken concerning his death. Yet they assumed that he speaks about the rest of sleep.
εἰρήκει: PluperfAI 3s, LEGO
ἔδοξαν: AAI 3p, δοκέω, 1) to be of opinion, think, suppose  2) to seem, to be accounted, reputed 
λέγει: PAI 3s, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak

14 τότε οὖν εἶπεν αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς παρρησίᾳ, Λάζαρος ἀπέθανεν,
Therefore then Jesus said to them plainly, “Lazarus died, 
εἶπεν: AAI 3s, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak
ἀπέθανεν: AAI, ἀποθνήσκω 1) to die, to die out, expire, become quite dead.
1. It is a source of never-ending joy to me that the lexicon (from thebible.org) offers “become quite dead” as the meaning of ἀποθνήσκω. I suppose they want to honor Miracle Max’ distinction that “There's a big difference between mostly dead and all dead” (from The Princess Bride). Had they invoked the Monty Python phrase, “metabolical functions have ceased,” I would be even happier.
2. Ahem, back to more substantial matters: According to the punctuation in the Greek text here, this sentence ends with a comma. If that is the best punctuation here, the statement that Lazarus is dead has purpose other than simply to clarify that Jesus didn’t mean Lazarus was asleep.

15καὶ χαίρω δι' ὑμᾶς, ἵνα πιστεύσητε, ὅτι οὐκ ἤμην ἐκεῖ: ἀλλὰ ἄγωμεν πρὸς αὐτόν.
And I rejoice for you, in order that you may believe, that I was not there; but let us go to him.”
χαίρω: PAI 1s, χαίρω, 1) to rejoice, be glad
πιστεύσητε: AASubj 2p, πιστεύω, 1) to think to be true, to be persuaded of, to credit, place  confidence in  1a) of the thing believed
ἤμην: IMI 1s, εἰμί, 1) to be, to exist, to happen, to be present
ἄγωμεν: PASubj 1p, ἄγω, 1) to lead, take with one
1. I’ve kept the order of this sentence, but it makes it very awkward.
2. This verse implies that the pain that Mary and Martha (and Jesus) will endure as part of this death and resurrection is subordinate to the outcome that the disciples might believe. That sounds harsh, but I am wondering if that is simply John’s way of seeing tragedy. We saw the same kind of flow in c.9:3-4, when a man was born blind, not as a result of anyone’s sin, but for the purpose of being healed and God’s name being glorified.
3. And here is yet another hortatory subjunctive (“Let us ….”) for all the preachers out there who get accused of using “Lettuce” language too often in church. John started it.

16 εἶπεν οὖν Θωμᾶς ὁ λεγόμενος Δίδυμος τοῖς συμμαθηταῖς, Ἄγωμεν καὶ ἡμεῖς ἵνα ἀποθάνωμεν μετ' αὐτοῦ.
Therefore said Thomas the one who is called Didymus to the fellow disciples, “Let us also go in order that we may die with him.”
εἶπεν: AAI 3s, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak
λεγόμενος: PPPart nsm, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak
ἄγωμεν: PASubj 1p, ἄγω, 1) to lead, take with one
ἀποθάνωμεν: AASubj 1p,
1. This is the only use of the word συμμαθητής that I know of in the Scriptures. It is the word “disciple” (μαθητής) with the prefix denoting association (σύν).
2. One could ask if Thomas’ suggestion is that they would die with Lazarus, whom they now know is dead, or with Jesus, who is under the threat of being stoned.

17  Ἐλθὼν οὖν ὁ Ἰησοῦς εὗρεν αὐτὸν τέσσαρας ἤδη ἡμέρας ἔχοντα ἐν τῷ μνημείῳ.
Therefore having come Jesus found him already four days having been in the tomb.
Ἐλθὼν: AAPart nsm, ἔρχομαι,1) to come 
εὗρεν: AAI 3s, εὑρίσκω, 1) to come upon, hit upon, to meet with
ἔχοντα: PAPart asm, ἔχω,1) to have, i.e. to hold

18 ἦν δὲ ἡ Βηθανία ἐγγὺς τῶν Ἱεροσολύμων ὡς ἀπὸ σταδίων δεκαπέντε.
Yet Bethany was near Jerusalem from about 15 stadia.
ἦν: IAI 3s, εἰμί, 1) to be, to exist, to happen, to be present
1. Again, most translations make about 15 stadia into about 2 miles. Perilously close to Jerusalem, one might say. The lexicon of thebible.org has this interesting note: “a stadium, that is to say the standard of measure, viz. a distance of 600 Greek feet or 625 Roman, equivalent to 6041/2 feet, or 2011/2 yards English. The course for the Olympic games was a stadium in length; hence, a stadium came to he used of any course where public games were exhibited.”

19 πολλοὶ δὲ ἐκ τῶν Ἰουδαίων ἐληλύθεισαν πρὸς τὴν Μάρθαν καὶ Μαριὰμ ἵνα παραμυθήσωνται αὐτὰς περὶ τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ.
Yet many out of the Judeans had come to Martha and Mary in order that they might console them concerning their brother.
ἐληλύθεισαν: PluperfAI 3p, ἔρχομαι, 1) to come
παραμυθήσωνται: AMSubj 3p, παραμυθέομαι, 1) to speak to, address one, whether by way of admonition and  incentive, or to calm and console
1. I wonder if this verse is more than just an indicator that 1st century Jews knew how to bring jello salads to the bereaved and reminds us that Jesus is entering a danger zone.

20ἡ οὖν Μάρθα when she ἤκουσεν ὅτι Ἰησοῦς ἔρχεται ὑπήντησεν αὐτῷ: Μαριὰμ δὲ ἐν τῷ οἴκῳ ἐκαθέζετο.
Therefore Martha who heard that Jesus arrives goes out to him; yet Mary was sitting in the house.
ἤκουσεν: AAI 3s, ἀκούω, 1)  to hear
ἔρχεται: PMI 3s, ἔρχομαι, 1) to come
ὑπήντησεν: AAI 3s, ὑπαντάω, 1) to go to meet, to meet  2) in military reference  2a) of a hostile meeting
ἐκαθέζετο: IMI 3s, καθέζομαι, 1) to sit down, seat one's self, sit
1. In this verse, I am translating ἔρχομαι as “arrives” rather than “comes” because it is in the middle voice.
2. So, we have some choices here to interpret:
Does Martha go out to Jesus angrily? The verb ὑπαντάω can indicate a hostile meeting, even a military conflict according to the lexicon.
Or, is this yet another way of showing the vast difference in temperaments between the sisters Martha, who goes out, and Mary, who sits? There is no indication that Mary knows Jesus has arrived yet. That is coming in v.28.
Or, is Martha going out to meet him because it is dangerous for him to enter and they know it, even though they knew that Jesus might have responded to their message to him by returning to the danger zone?  If the house is full of Judeans, perhaps she is trying to keep this under wraps.

21 εἶπεν οὖν ἡ Μάρθα πρὸς τὸν Ἰησοῦν, Κύριε, εἰ ἦς ὧδε οὐκ ἂν ἀπέθανεν ὁ ἀδελφός μου:
Therefore Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here my brother would not have died;
εἶπεν: AAI 3s, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak
ἦς: IAI 2s, εἰμί, 1) to be, to exist, to happen, to be present 
ἀπέθανεν: AAI 3s, ἀποθνήσκω 1) to die, to die out, expire, become quite dead.
1. The εἰ … ἂν construction makes this an if … then statement.
2. I’ve always heard this as an accusation that Jesus should have responded immediately to the news of Lazarus’ death. But, if Jesus only dallied for 2 days in the Jordan (v.6) before leaving, and then arrived four days after Lazarus’ entombment, that would not be the case. Perhaps this is not an accusation, but just a statement of fact that Jesus, having been run out of Judea, was simply not there when it would have been possible for him to heal Lazarus.
3. I often use this text for funerals and memorial services to note that when someone we love dies, there are almost always regrets of what we could have or should have done/avoided in the past. Such expressions are a sign of love.

22 [ἀλλὰ] καὶ νῦν οἶδα ὅτι ὅσα ἂν αἰτήσῃ τὸν θεὸν δώσει σοι ὁ θεός.
[but] even now I know that whatever you ask God God will give to you.”
οἶδα: εἴδω, ἴδω, an obsolete 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
αἰτήσῃ: AMS 2s, αἰτέω, 1) to ask, beg, call for, crave, desire, require
δώσει : FAI 3s, δίδωμι, 1) to give 

23 λέγει αὐτῇ ὁ Ἰησοῦς, Ἀναστήσεται ὁ ἀδελφός σου.
Jesus says to her, “Your brother will rise again.”
λέγει: PAI 3s, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak
Ἀναστήσεται: FMI 3s, ἀνίστημι, 1) transitive, to cause to stand up raise up 2) intransitive, to stand up, to rise
1. The the verb ἀνίστημι and the noun ἀναστάσει will be used throughout the next few verses. Because they are related, I want to be consistent by using “rise” and “the rising.” The other option would be to use “resurrect” for the verb and “the resurrection” for the noun. I could be okay with that as well. I just want to make it apparent that these are related words.
2. Just a quick note: While there is no grammatical reason to distinguish Lazarus’ rising as a “resuscitation” and Jesus’ as a “resurrection,” people tend to do so because the assumption is that Lazarus was raised to mortal life and presumably died again at some point, while Jesus was raise to eternal life. Of course, the possibility that Lazarus might not die again might be the issue behind the identity of the “beloved disciple” and his dying or not dying that is raised in John 21:20-25. That whole conversation makes a lot more sense if it is Lazarus whose death or non-death is under discussion than a beloved disciple named “John.” (Some of you knew I had to go there. I think “Lazarus” is the narrator of this gospel.)   

24 λέγει αὐτῷ ἡ Μάρθα, Οἶδα ὅτι ἀναστήσεται ἐν τῇ ἀναστάσει ἐν τῇ ἐσχάτῃ ἡμέρᾳ.
Martha says to him, “I know that he will rise in the rising in the last day.”
λέγει: PAI 3s,  λέγω, 1) to say, to speak
Οἶδα: PAI 1s,  εἴδω, ἴδω, an obsolete 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
ἀναστήσεται: FMI 3s, ἀνίστημι, 1) transitive, to cause to stand up raise up 2) intransitive, to stand up, to rise
1. Jesus’ own words in John 6:40 attest to Martha’s claim: “This is indeed the will of my Father, that all who see the Son and believe in him may have eternal life; and I will raise them up on the last day.”

25 εἶπεν αὐτῇ ὁ Ἰησοῦς, Ἐγώ εἰμι ἡ ἀνάστασις καὶ ἡ ζωή: ὁ πιστεύων εἰς ἐμὲ κἂν ἀποθάνῃ ζήσεται,
Jesus said to her, “I am the rising and the life; the one who believes in me though he may die will live.
εἶπεν: AAI 3s, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak
εἰμι: PAI 1s, εἰμί, 1) to be, to exist, to happen, to be present
πιστεύων: PAPart nsm, πιστεύω, 1) to think to be true, to be persuaded of, to credit, place  confidence in  1a) of the thing believed
ἀποθάνῃ: AASubj 3s, ἀποθνήσκω 1) to die, to die out, expire, become quite dead.
ζήσεται: FMI 3s, ζάω, 1) to live, breathe, be among the living

26 καὶ πᾶς ὁ ζῶν καὶ πιστεύων εἰς ἐμὲ οὐ μὴ ἀποθάνῃ εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα: πιστεύεις τοῦτο;
And everyone who lives and believes in me will not die into the age; do you believe this?”
ζῶν: PAPart nms, , ζάω, 1) to live, breathe, be among the living
πιστεύων: PAPart nsm, πιστεύω, 1) to think to be true, to be persuaded of, to credit, place  confidence in  1a) of the thing believed
ἀποθάνῃ: AASubj 3s, ἀποθνήσκω 1) to die, to die out, expire, become quite dead.
πιστεύεις: PAI 2s πιστεύω, 1) to think to be true, to be persuaded of, to credit, place  confidence in  1a) of the thing believed
1. I am translating phrase εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα as “into the age” (transliterates as “into the eons”) while most translations have something like “never.” It is the language that is often translated “eternal” only in this case it has a negative particle ruling it. The point is that Jesus is not saying that people who believe in him will not experience mortality, but that they will not experience eternal death or death into the eons. 

27 λέγει αὐτῷ, Ναί, κύριε: ἐγὼ πεπίστευκα ὅτι σὺ εἶ ὁ Χριστὸς ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ θεοῦ ὁ εἰς τὸν κόσμον ἐρχόμενος.
She says to him, “Yes, Lord; I have believed that you are the Christ the son of God who comes into the world.”
λέγει: λέγω, 1) to say, to speak
πεπίστευκα: PerfAI 1s, πιστεύω, 1) to think to be true, to be persuaded of, to credit, place  confidence in  1a) of the thing believed
εἶ: εἰμί, 1) to be, to exist, to happen, to be present
ἐρχόμενος: PMPart nms, ἔρχομαι, 1) to come
1. Martha believes. That puts her one step ahead of the disciples who have to see Lazarus raised up in order to believe (v.15).
2. I am puzzled why the NIV translates the present middle participle ἐρχόμενος as a future tense – ‘is to come.’

28 Καὶ τοῦτο εἰποῦσα ἀπῆλθεν καὶ ἐφώνησεν Μαριὰμ τὴν ἀδελφὴν αὐτῆς λάθρᾳ εἰποῦσα, Ὁ διδάσκαλος πάρεστιν καὶ φωνεῖ σε.
And having said this she went and spoke to Mary her sister privately saying, “The teacher is present and calls you.”
εἰποῦσα: AAPart nsf, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak
ἀπῆλθεν: AAI 3s, ἀπέρχομαι,1) to go away, depart
ἐφώνησεν: AAI 3s, φωνέω, 1) to sound, emit a sound, to speak
εἰποῦσα: AAPart nsf, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak
πάρεστιν: PAI 3s, πάρειμι, 1) to be by, be at hand, to have arrived, to be present
φωνεῖ: PAI 3s, φωνέω, 1) to sound, emit a sound, to speak
1. To beat this drum one more time: The word “privately” might indicate a reminder that Judea and the gathered Judeans may pose a threat to Jesus.

29 ἐκείνη δὲ ὡς ἤκουσεν ἠγέρθη ταχὺ καὶ ἤρχετο πρὸς αὐτόν:
Yet then when she heard she rose quickly and was going to him;
ἤκουσεν: AAI 3s, ἀκούω, 1)  to hear
ἠγέρθη: API 3s, ἐγείρω, 1) to arouse, cause to rise 
ἤρχετο: IMI 3s, ἔρχομαι, 1) to come

30 οὔπω δὲ ἐληλύθει ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἰς τὴν κώμην, ἀλλ' ἦν ἔτι ἐν τῷ τόπῳ ὅπου ὑπήντησεν αὐτῷ ἡ Μάρθα.
Yet Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was still in the place where Martha met him.
ἐληλύθει: PluperfAI 3s, ἔρχομαι, 1) to come
ἦν: IAI 3s, εἰμί, 1) to be, to exist, to happen, to be present
ὑπήντησεν: AAI 3s, ὑπαντάω, 1) to go to meet, to meet 
1. Thump, thump. These last two verses – Mary’s haste and Jesus’ location – may again be indicators that they are in the danger zone.

31 οἱ οὖν Ἰουδαῖοι οἱ ὄντες μετ' αὐτῆς ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ καὶ παραμυθούμενοι αὐτήν, ἰδόντες τὴν Μαριὰμ ὅτι ταχέως ἀνέστη καὶ ἐξῆλθεν, ἠκολούθησαν αὐτῇ, δόξαντες ὅτι ὑπάγει εἰς τὸ μνημεῖον ἵνα κλαύσῃ ἐκεῖ.
Therefore the Judeans who were with her in the house and comforting her, having seen Mary that she rose quickly and left, followed her, supposing that she goes to the tomb in order to weep there.
ὄντες: PAPart npm,
παραμυθούμενοι: PMPart npm, παραμυθέομαι, 1) to speak to, address one, whether by way of admonition and  incentive, or to calm and console
ἰδόντες: AAPart npm, εἴδω, ἴδω, an obsolete 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.
ἀνέστη: AAI 3s,
ἐξῆλθεν: AAI 3s, ἐξέρχομαι, 1) to go or come forth of 
ἠκολούθησαν: AAI 3p, ἀκολουθέω, 1) to follow one who precedes
δόξαντες: AAPart npm, δοκέω, 1) to be of opinion, think, suppose 
ὑπάγει: PAI 3s, ὑπάγω, 1) to lead under, bring under
κλαύσῃ: AASubj 3s, κλαίω, 1) to mourn, weep, lament
1. Dang it. Here comes the Judeans. Now the gig is up and Jesus is exposed.

32 ἡ οὖν Μαριὰμ ὡς ἦλθεν ὅπου ἦν Ἰησοῦς ἰδοῦσα αὐτὸν ἔπεσεν αὐτοῦ πρὸς τοὺς πόδας, λέγουσα αὐτῷ, Κύριε, εἰ ἦς ὧδε οὐκ ἄν μου ἀπέθανεν ὁ ἀδελφός.
Therefore when Mary came where Jesus was having seen him fell to his feet, saying to him, “Lord, if you had been here my brother would not have died.”
ἦλθεν: AAI 3s, ἐξέρχομαι, 1) to go or come forth of 
ἦν: IAI 3s, εἰμί, 1) to be, to exist, to happen, to be present
ἰδοῦσα: AAPart nsf, εἴδω, ἴδω, an obsolete 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
ἔπεσεν: AAI 3s, πίπτω, 1) to descend from a higher place to a lower 
λέγουσα: PAPart nsf, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak
ἦς: IAI 2s, εἰμί, 1) to be, to exist, to happen, to be present
ἀπέθανεν: AAI 3s, ἀποθνήσκω 1) to die, to die out, expire, become quite dead.
1. Again, I’m not sure this is the accusation that I had always heard it to be, or an expression of grief. Of course, that line is blurred in such moments.  

33 Ἰησοῦς οὖν ὡς εἶδεν αὐτὴν κλαίουσαν καὶ τοὺς συνελθόντας αὐτῇ Ἰουδαίους κλαίοντας, ἐνεβριμήσατο τῷ πνεύματι καὶ ἐτάραξεν ἑαυτόν,
Therefore Jesus saw her weeping and those Judeans having come together with her weeping groaned in the spirit agitated himself,
εἶδεν: AAI 3s, εἴδω, ἴδω, an obsolete 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
κλαίουσαν: PAPart asf, κλαίω, 1) to mourn, weep, lament
συνελθόντας: AAPart apm, συνέρχομαι, 1) to come together
κλαίοντας: PAPart apm, κλαίω, 1) to mourn, weep, lament
ἐνεβριμήσατο: AMI 3s, ἐμβριμάομαι, 1) to charge sternly (refers to horses snorting), painfully moved or indignant 2) to groan 3) to murmur against, threaten with indignation
ἐτάραξεν: AAI 3s, ταράσσω, 1) to agitate, trouble
1. You’re gonna hate me for this, but … what if the significance of “agitated himself” means that Jesus was faking it, so that the Judeans who had followed Mary would be more sympathetic to his presence? I need to consult some commentaries and see if anyone has followed this trail before.
2. Sorry for that last note. The idea of Jesus groaning and being troubled in spirit has always been one of the most endearing episodes of Jesus’ life.

34 καὶ εἶπεν, Ποῦ τεθείκατε αὐτόν; λέγουσιν αὐτῷ, Κύριε, ἔρχου καὶ ἴδε.
and said, “Where have you put him?” They say to him, “Lord come and see.”
εἶπεν: AAI 3s, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak
τεθείκατε: PerfAI 2p, τίθημι, 1) to set, put, place
λέγουσιν: PAI 3p, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak
ἔρχου: PMImpv 2s, ἐξέρχομαι, 1) to go or come forth of 
ἴδε: AAImpv 2s, εἴδω, ἴδω, an obsolete 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
1. Isn’t it interesting that the phrase “Come and see” is being directed toward Jesus?  It seems that the typical use in John is for people to come, see, and believe.

35 ἐδάκρυσεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς.
Jesus wept.
ἐδάκρυσεν: AAI 3s, δακρύω, 1) to weep, shed tears 

36 ἔλεγον οὖν οἱ Ἰουδαῖοι, Ἴδε πῶς ἐφίλει αὐτόν.
Therefore the Judeans said, “Behold how he was loving him.”
ἔλεγον: IAI 3p, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak
Ἴδε: Imp, εἴδω, ἴδω, - at times this imperative takes the form of a particle, such as in “Lo” and “Behold.”
ἐφίλει: IAI 3s, φιλέω, 1) to love
1. Ha! It worked! The Judeans are turning sympathetic! (I shudder at this line of interpretation, but it has some merit, does it not?)

37 τινὲς δὲ ἐξ αὐτῶν εἶπαν, Οὐκ ἐδύνατο οὗτος ὁ ἀνοίξας τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς τοῦ τυφλοῦ ποιῆσαι ἵνα καὶ οὗτος μὴ ἀποθάνῃ;
Yet some of them said, “Was this one not who had the power to open the eyes of the blind also able to make this one not die?”
εἶπαν: AAI 3p, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak
ἐδύνατο: IMI 3s, δύναμαι, 1) to be able, have power
ἀνοίξας: AAPart nsm, ἀνοίγω, 1) to open 
ποιῆσαι: AAInf, ποιέω ,1) to make, 2) to do 
ἀποθάνῃ: AASubj 3s, ἀποθνήσκω 1) to die, to die out, expire, become quite dead.
1. Okay, so not all of the Judeans are on board yet.
2. This sentence is a bear to translate strictly, so the rough edges would need to be smoothed out in a refined translation.
3. The reference to the blind man is important because that miracle continues to be a dividing line among Judeans. 10:19-21 reads: Again the Judeans were divided because of these words. Many of them were saying, ‘He has a demon and is out of his mind. Why listen to him?’ Others were saying, ‘These are not the words of one who has a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?’

38  Ἰησοῦς οὖν πάλιν ἐμβριμώμενος ἐν ἑαυτῷ ἔρχεται εἰς τὸ μνημεῖον: ἦν δὲ σπήλαιον, καὶ λίθος ἐπέκειτο ἐπ' αὐτῷ.
Therefore Jesus again groaned in himself enters to the tomb; yet it was cave and a stone was placed over it.
ἐμβριμώμενος: PMPart nsm, ἐμβριμάομαι, 1) to charge sternly (refers to horses snorting), painfully moved or indignant 2) to groan 3) to murmur against, threaten with indignation
ἔρχεται: PMI 3s, ἐξέρχομαι, 1) to go or come forth of 
ἦν: IAI 3s, εἰμί, 1) to be, to exist, to happen, to be present
ἐπέκειτο: IMI 3s, ἐπίκειμαι, 1) to lie upon or over, rest upon, be laid or placed upon

39 λέγει ὁ Ἰησοῦς, Ἄρατε τὸν λίθον. λέγει αὐτῷ ἡ ἀδελφὴ τοῦ τετελευτηκότος Μάρθα, Κύριε, ἤδη ὄζει, τεταρταῖος γάρ ἐστιν.
Jesus says, “Lift the stone.” The sister of the one who had expired Martha says to him, “Lord, he stinks, for it is four days.”
λέγει: PAI 3s, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak
Ἄρατε: AAImpv 2p, αἴρω, 1) to raise up, elevate, lift up
λέγει: PAI 3s, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak
τετελευτηκότος: PluperfAPart gsm, τελευτάω, 1) to finish, bring to and end, close  2) to have an end or close, come to an end 
ὄζει: PAI 3s, ὄζω, 1) to give out an odor (either good or bad), to smell, emit a smell 1a) of a decaying corpse
ἐστιν: PAI 3s, εἰμί, 1) to be, to exist, to happen, to be present

40  λέγει αὐτῇ ὁ Ἰησοῦς, Οὐκ εἶπόν σοι ὅτι ἐὰν πιστεύσῃς ὄψῃ τὴν δόξαν τοῦ θεοῦ;
Jesus says to her, “Did I not say to you that if you believed you will see the glory of God?”
λέγει: PAI 3s,  λέγω, 1) to say, to speak
εἶπόν: AAI 1s, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak
πιστεύσῃς: AASubj 2s, πιστεύω, 1) to think to be true, to be persuaded of, to credit, place  confidence in  1a) of the thing believed
ὄψῃ: FMI 2s, ὁράω, 1) to see with the eyes 

41 ἦραν οὖν τὸν λίθον. ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς ἦρεν τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς ἄνω καὶ εἶπεν, Πάτερ, εὐχαριστῶ σοι ὅτι ἤκουσάς μου.
Therefore they lifted the stone. Yet Jesus lifted the eyes upward and said, “Father, I thank you that you heard me.
ἦραν: AAI 3p, αἴρω, 1) to raise up, elevate, lift up
ἦρεν: AAI 3s, αἴρω, 1) to raise up, elevate, lift up
εἶπεν: AAI 3s, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak
εὐχαριστῶ: PAI 1s, εὐχαριστέω, 1) to be grateful, feel thankful  2) give thanks
ἤκουσάς: AAI 2s, ἀκούω, 1)  to hear
1. It’s been a bit weird to use “lift” as the way of describing Jesus’ command and someone’s response of removing the stone. The reason is because it is the same verb used to describe Jesus lifting his eyes. That’s all.

42 ἐγὼ δὲ ᾔδειν ὅτι πάντοτέ μου ἀκούεις: ἀλλὰ διὰ τὸν ὄχλον τὸν περιεστῶτα εἶπον, ἵνα πιστεύσωσιν ὅτι σύ με ἀπέστειλας.
Yet I had known you always hear me; but because of the crowd that has stood by I said, in order that they might believe that you sent me.”
ᾔδειν: PluperfAI 1s, εἴδω, ἴδω, an obsolete 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
ἀκούεις: PAI 2s, ἀκούω, 1)  to hear
περιεστῶτα: PerfAPart asm, περιΐστημι, 1) to place around one 
εἶπον: AAI 1s, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak
πιστεύσωσιν: AASubj 3p, πιστεύω, 1) to think to be true, to be persuaded of, to credit, place  confidence in  1a) of the thing believed
ἀπέστειλας: AAI 2s, ἀποστέλλω, 1) to order (one) to go to a place appointed  2) to send away, dismiss
1. Okay, if you’re mad at me for suggesting that Jesus was fake grieving, then get mad at John for suggesting that Jesus is fake praying. I’m thinking that the grief and the prayer are demonstrative for the purpose of attending to Lazarus and still not forcing the hand of those who want to stone Jesus.

43 καὶ ταῦτα εἰπὼν φωνῇ μεγάλῃ ἐκραύγασεν, Λάζαρε, δεῦρο ἔξω.
And having said these things he spoke in a loud cry, “Lazarus, out here!”
εἰπὼν: AAPart nsm, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak
ἐκραύγασεν: AAI 3s, κραυγάζω,1) to cry out, cry aloud, to shout, to cry out to one
1. The lexicons say that δεῦρο is an adverb of place (or time), not an imperative verb. It seems to take the feel of an imperative, like “Here, boy!” Of course, Lazarus may have needed audio directions, since his face was covered.

44  ἐξῆλθεντεθνηκὼς δεδεμένος τοὺς πόδας καὶ τὰς χεῖρας κειρίαις, καὶ ἡ ὄψις αὐτοῦ σουδαρίῳ περιεδέδετο. λέγει αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς, Λύσατε αὐτὸν καὶ ἄφετε αὐτὸν ὑπάγειν.
The one who had died came out the feet and the hands having been bound, and his face having been covered with a cloth. Jesus says to them, “Loose him and release him to go.”
ἐξῆλθεν: AAI 3s, ἐξέρχομαι, 1) to go or come forth of 
τεθνηκὼς: PerfAPart nsm, θνῄσκω, 1) to die, to be dead
δεδεμένος: PerfPPart nsm, δέω, 1) to bind tie, fasten
περιεδέδετο: PluperfAI 3s, περιδέω, 1) to bind around, tie over
λέγει: PAI 3s, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak
Λύσατε: AAImpv 2p, λύω, 1) to loose any person (or thing) tied or fastened
ἄφετε: AAImpv 2p, ἀφίημι, 1) to send away
ὑπάγειν: PAInf, ὑπάγω, 1) to lead under, bring under  2) to withdraw one's self, to go away, depart

45 Πολλοὶ οὖν ἐκ τῶν Ἰουδαίων, οἱ ἐλθόντες πρὸς τὴν Μαριὰμ καὶ θεασάμενοιἐποίησεν, ἐπίστευσαν εἰς αὐτόν:
Therefore many of the Judeans, who came to Mary and beheld what he did, believed in him;
ἐλθόντες: AAPart npm, ἐξέρχομαι, 1) to go or come forth of 
θεασάμενοι: AMPart npm, θεάομαι, 1) to behold, look upon, view attentively, contemplate (often  used of public shows)
ἐποίησεν: AAI 3s, ποιέω ,1) to make, 2) to do 
ἐπίστευσαν: AAI 3p, πιστεύω, 1) to think to be true, to be persuaded of, to credit, place  confidence in  1a) of the thing believed
1. So, many of the Judeans saw and believed.
2. BUT … v.46 continues, “Certain ones of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus did.” That’s when the council decided that it was better for one man to die than for the whole people to perish and they began to plot Jesus’ death. And Lazarus’ death.
DANGER ZONE.


3 comments:

  1. A "Princess Bride" reference! I love it. The "fake praying" thing was bothering me last week until I read your comments about "fake grieving" to ease the tensions with the Judeans. Makes sense! (But I think I'll leave that out of my sermon). Thanks for the insights and the chuckles.

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  2. Just wanted to thank you for the excellent help with this. And for getting Kenny Loggins stuck in my brain on an endless loop.

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  3. Jenn and Anna, You two are the reason I write. Thanks.

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