The role of the second clause and δε in John 21:1

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Tim Evans
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The role of the second clause and δε in John 21:1

Post by Tim Evans » January 23rd, 2016, 7:51 pm

Working through John in Greek has been my first personal Greek reading project after first year Greek.

When I first came across this verse, the last phrase stood out for me, as in, what is its role. It seems redundant in that it partially repeats the info from the first half of the verse. It seems somewhat of a literary device rather than adding information.

My initial thoughts are to understand it as a separate sentence which introduces the next block of text i.e. Maybe even as "Now this is how he revealed himself:" or "He revealed himself in this way:"
Μετὰ ταῦτα ἐφανέρωσεν ἑαυτὸν πάλιν ὁ Ἰησοῦς τοῖς μαθηταῖς ἐπὶ τῆς θαλάσσης τῆς Τιβεριάδος· ἐφανέρωσεν δὲ οὕτως
Other translations, however, join the two phrases. But the resulting English feels awkward to me.

Perhaps there is really not enough of a difference to nitpick, Am I making too much of this? I guess I wonder if someone with more experience cares to comment on how they understand this Greek?


Here are the two ways bibles tend to translate this verse for reference:

After this Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias. Now this is how he did so. (NET)

Later, Jesus appeared again to the disciples beside the Sea of Galilee. This is how it happened. (NLT)

After these things Jesus manifested Himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias, and He manifested Himself in this way. (NASB)

After this Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias, and he revealed himself in this way. (ESV)
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Jonathan Robie
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Re: The role of the second clause and δε in John 21:1

Post by Jonathan Robie » January 24th, 2016, 6:14 pm

Tim Evans wrote:When I first came across this verse, the last phrase stood out for me, as in, what is its role. It seems redundant in that it partially repeats the info from the first half of the verse. It seems somewhat of a literary device rather than adding information.
Luke tends to pack lots of information together in one place, resulting in more complex sentences. John tends to put something in view, then show it from various sides, using simple sentences and simple language.

I think you understand what he is saying here: ἐφανέρωσεν ἑαυτὸν πάλιν tells you that he revealed himself, ἐφανέρωσεν δὲ οὕτω promises to tell you how he revealed himself. I think you are suggesting that he could have combined the two thoughts, perhaps along these lines:

Μετὰ ταῦτα ἐφανέρωσεν ἑαυτὸν πάλιν ὁ Ἰησοῦς τοῖς μαθηταῖς ἐπὶ τῆς θαλάσσης τῆς Τιβεριάδος οὕτως

True, but it makes the sentence more complex, and it suggests ἐφανέρωσεν ἑαυτὸν πάλιν οὕτως, which is slightly different from ἐφανέρωσεν ἑαυτὸν οὕτως, it seems to imply that οὕτως indicates not just the way he revealed himself, but the way he revealed himself again.
Tim Evans wrote:My initial thoughts are to understand it as a separate sentence which introduces the next block of text i.e. Maybe even as "Now this is how he revealed himself:" or "He revealed himself in this way:"
Μετὰ ταῦτα ἐφανέρωσεν ἑαυτὸν πάλιν ὁ Ἰησοῦς τοῖς μαθηταῖς ἐπὶ τῆς θαλάσσης τῆς Τιβεριάδος· ἐφανέρωσεν δὲ οὕτως
Other translations, however, join the two phrases. But the resulting English feels awkward to me.

Perhaps there is really not enough of a difference to nitpick, Am I making too much of this?
I think you understand the sentence just fine, and are trying to figure out how to translate it. I rather like "And this is how he revealed himself:", your mileage may vary.
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Tim Evans
Posts: 88
Joined: July 10th, 2015, 1:40 am

Re: The role of the second clause and δε in John 21:1

Post by Tim Evans » January 25th, 2016, 1:03 am

Seeing the two clauses revealing "that" and "how" shows how both clauses have a clear role and purpose (I suspect I perhaps felt the second clause was redundant until you pointed this out), and furthermore, seeing that doing it this way makes the sentence simpler, also really helps. I can better picture how the verse functions as a whole.

Thanks, that is really helpful. I am glad I asked.
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