John 14:30

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Bill Ross 2
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John 14:30

Post by Bill Ross 2 » June 3rd, 2011, 8:28 pm

καὶ ἐν ἐμοὶ οὐκ ἔχει οὐδέν

What might that mean?

Thanks.
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Jonathan Robie
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Re: John 14:30

Post by Jonathan Robie » June 3rd, 2011, 9:50 pm

Ruminator wrote:καὶ ἐν ἐμοὶ οὐκ ἔχει οὐδέν

What might that mean?
Literally, "and in me he does not have nothing". Which naturally makes you ask, "what might that mean"?

I see that translations render this "He has no claim on me" or "He has no claim on me". I wonder where else this phrase is used with similar meanings?
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

Bill Ross 2
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Re: John 14:30

Post by Bill Ross 2 » June 4th, 2011, 6:44 am

Is the double negative οὐκ ἔχει οὐδέν functionally euqivalent to ἔχει οὐδέν?
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Re: John 14:30

Post by cwconrad » June 4th, 2011, 7:17 am

Ruminator wrote:Is the double negative οὐκ ἔχει οὐδέν functionally equivalent to ἔχει οὐδέν?
Ancient Greek, like some other languages, tends to use the negating word (οὐ or μὴ) with a second negative adverb or pronoun. This is one of the structural features of ancient Greek usage that one learns when one works systematically through a beginning Greek textbook. One does not learn things like this from interlinears or piecing parts of the text together from individual word meanings.
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οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

brethicks
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Re: John 14:30

Post by brethicks » June 4th, 2011, 8:23 am

Ruminator wrote:Is the double negative οὐκ ἔχει οὐδέν functionally euqivalent to ἔχει οὐδέν?
AS I understand it, a "double negative" like this serves to strengthen the force of the negative idea. In other words, something like "he has NOTHING in me." But as Carl said, as you read in the NT, this kind of thing is fairly common.
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Jason Hare
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Re: John 14:30

Post by Jason Hare » June 4th, 2011, 11:25 am

cwconrad wrote:Ancient Greek, like some other languages, tends to use the negating word (οὐ or μὴ) with a second negative adverb or pronoun. This is one of the structural features of ancient Greek usage that one learns when one works systematically through a beginning Greek textbook. One does not learn things like this from interlinears or piecing parts of the text together from individual word meanings.
Carl,

One would gather from this that you're in favor of working through a beginning textbook systematically. :)

For those interested, there are often new groups forming for group study on GreekStudy. Get involved!

Jason
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Jason A. Hare
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Re: John 14:30

Post by Jason Hare » June 4th, 2011, 11:35 am

brethicks wrote:
Ruminator wrote:Is the double negative οὐκ ἔχει οὐδέν functionally euqivalent to ἔχει οὐδέν?
AS I understand it, a "double negative" like this serves to strengthen the force of the negative idea. In other words, something like "he has NOTHING in me." But as Carl said, as you read in the NT, this kind of thing is fairly common.
No, the double negative isn't any more emphatic than a regular singular negative. (At least in my opinion.)

οὐκ ἔχω οὐδέν. = οὐδὲν ἔχω.

The difference is that with the previous order the word "nothing" appears after the verb. If it appears before the verb, it simply eliminates the need for the negative that accompanies the verb.

We see this in modern languages like Spanish even today.

No tengo nada. = Nada tengo.

In the case of Spanish, nada tengo is rarer (more poetic) than no tengo nada, but we certainly cannot imagine that nada is in any way reinforcing the negation. You just can't say *no tengo algo or *no tengo cualquier cosa. It doesn't work like English. In fact, English is one of the few languages in the world in which double negatives cancel one another out.

It seems to me that the case is the same in Greek and in Spanish. If you have a negative object, you need to negate the verb as well.

Regards,
Jason Hare
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Jason A. Hare
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Bill Ross 2
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Re: John 14:30

Post by Bill Ross 2 » June 4th, 2011, 6:46 pm

The other problem/opportunity to understand this phrase is that it is providing a rationale for the first half of the sentence:

οὐκέτι πολλὰ λαλήσω μεθ’ ὑμῶν, ἔρχεται **γὰρ** ὁ τοῦ κόσμου ἄρχων· καὶ ἐν ἐμοὶ οὐκ ἔχει οὐδέν,

How does "no claim" give reason for not speaking much with the disciples anymore? It seems to me that it would make much more sense if he *did* have some claim on him, so he can't stay with them. Grammatically, couldn't it just as likely be "no interest in men" or "no grip"? (I'm not suggesting these, just saying that "claim" doesn't seem to be in the words, unless that is seen as a part of ἔχει.

I'm wondering if ἐν ἐμοὶ isn't receiving a bit of emphasis that serves to contrast himself with his disciples? "I won't be speaking much with you any more... (in the future, you'll be doing the speak without me)." If so, then this might fit with the arrival of the paraclete, who, in the future will be assisting them by preparing what they should say at their trials. In which case, the idea might be "the ruler of this world has nothing desire for me, or anything I have to say." Or, "he gets nothing from me." "He has no interest in me."

It seems the passage starts in verse 25 and goes through 31. If so, is the "ruler of this world" a particular ruler? (Caiaphas? Pilate?), or can the singular be some kind of gnomic reference? (Between Caiaphas and Pilate, it is usually the Jew who is the villified one, so I would think it would be him between those two).
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MAubrey
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Re: John 14:30

Post by MAubrey » June 4th, 2011, 7:10 pm

Bill Ross wrote:The other problem/opportunity to understand this phrase is that it is providing a rationale for the first half of the sentence:

οὐκέτι πολλὰ λαλήσω μεθ’ ὑμῶν, ἔρχεται **γὰρ** ὁ τοῦ κόσμου ἄρχων· καὶ ἐν ἐμοὶ οὐκ ἔχει οὐδέν,

How does "no claim" give reason for not speaking much with the disciples anymore? It seems to me that it would make much more sense if he *did* have some claim on him, so he can't stay with them. Grammatically, couldn't it just as likely be "no interest in men" or "no grip"? (I'm not suggesting these, just saying that "claim" doesn't seem to be in the words, unless that is seen as a part of ἔχει.
I'm assuming you're using a translation. What translation that is I don't know, but "no claim" is from οὐδέν: nothing, as in "he has nothing on me." [EDIT: I see now that Jonathan had check some translations. I had been confused where "no claim" had come from. My mistake]
Bill Ross wrote:I'm wondering if ἐν ἐμοὶ isn't receiving a bit of emphasis that serves to contrast himself with his disciples? "I won't be speaking much with you any more... (in the future, you'll be doing the speak without me)." If so, then this might fit with the arrival of the paraclete, who, in the future will be assisting them by preparing what they should say at their trials. In which case, the idea might be "the ruler of this world has nothing desire for me, or anything I have to say." Or, "he gets nothing from me." "He has no interest in me."
No. That's not possible. ἔχει cannot mean "he has no interest" so "he has no interest in me" is impossible And ἐν cannot mean "from" so "he gets nothing from me" is impossible.

The ἐν ἐμοὶ has no contrastive relation to the disciples. If it did (and it doesn't) then Jesus would be saying that while the rule of the world has no claim on him, the rules of the world does have a claim on his followers.
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Bill Ross 2
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Re: John 14:30

Post by Bill Ross 2 » June 4th, 2011, 7:24 pm

Mike, "no claim" is not my suggestion (I thought I made that clear).

Do you have a suggestion on how to render the phrase?
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