Wednesday, May 03, 2017

3 John 13

Πολλὰ εἶχον γράψαι σοι, ἀλλ’ οὐ θέλω διὰ μέλανος καὶ καλάμου σοι γράφειν·

(3 John 13, Nestle GNT 1904)

The older version of the Interpreter's Bible points out that 3 John 12 closely mirrors 3 John 13, but it has "just enough difference to reassure us that no copyist or imitator is at work" (page 12).

3 John 12 reads: Δημητρίῳ μεμαρτύρηται ὑπὸ πάντων καὶ ὑπὸ αὐτῆς τῆς ἀληθείας· καὶ ἡμεῖς δὲ μαρτυροῦμεν, καὶ οἶδας ὅτι ἡ μαρτυρία ἡμῶν ἀληθής ἐστιν. (Nestle)

3 John 14 also needs to be mentioned within the context of this discussion: ἐλπίζω δὲ εὐθέως σε ἰδεῖν, καὶ στόμα πρὸς στόμα λαλήσομεν. Εἰρήνη σοι. ἀσπάζονταί σε οἱ φίλοι. ἀσπάζου τοὺς φίλους κατ’ ὄνομα. (Nestle)

The IB says that for καλάμου, we should understand "reed." Of course, μέλανος refers to ink. Then in 3 John 14, the expression στόμα πρὸς στόμα λαλήσομεν occurs.

IB suggests the rendering "face to face" or "literally, 'mouth to mouth.'"

Compare Genesis 32:30; Exodus 33:11; Number 12:8; Deuteronomy 34:10; 1 Corinthians 13:12; 2 John 12. Meyer's cites Xenophon, Mem. ii. 6. 32.


Duncan said...

2 Kings 2

Duncan said...

Deuteronomy 5:4

Duncan said...

As time permits I will translate relevant portions:-

So as I said there are no blanket claims that can be easily supported with regards to Hebrew over time but as I also stated before diachronics is almost impossible as we just do not have enough source material equivalent to early biblical Hebrew.

Edgar Foster said...

Deuteronomy 5:4 is a good text also. Commentators associate Deut 4:12, 15 with 5:4 and invoke metaphor to promote understanding of this language, "face to face."

Edgar Foster said...

I admit that we're always learning more about biblical Hebrew and its antecedent(s), but does that mean diachronic study of Hebrew is impossible? While it may not be a perfect science, I am not yet convinced that Hebrew diachronics is a futile enterprise. See

Edgar Foster said...

Another interesting analysis of the issues can be found here:

Edgar Foster said...

Compare Jeremiah 34:3.