Question about John 11:43

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Bob Nyberg
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Question about John 11:43

Post by Bob Nyberg » July 6th, 2011, 4:59 pm

I have a question about John 11:43 which reads:

καὶ ταῦτα εἰπὼν φωνῇ μεγάλῃ ἐκραύγασεν, Λάζαρε, δεῦρο ἔξω.

Most translations render it something like this: When He had said these things, He cried out with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come forth." (NASB)

Translators have the phrase φωνῇ μεγάλῃ modifying ἐκραύγασεν rather than modifying εἰπὼν.

When I first read this verse, I was tempted to translate it something like “When He had said these things with a loud voice, He cried out . . .”

So how can I tell that φωνῇ μεγάλῃ modifies the verb ἐκραύγασεν rather than modifies the participle εἰπὼν?

Thanks for your help.

Bob Nyberg
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cwconrad
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Re: Question about John 11:43

Post by cwconrad » July 6th, 2011, 5:49 pm

Bob Nyberg wrote:I have a question about John 11:43 which reads:

καὶ ταῦτα εἰπὼν φωνῇ μεγάλῃ ἐκραύγασεν, Λάζαρε, δεῦρο ἔξω.

Most translations render it something like this: When He had said these things, He cried out with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come forth." (NASB)

Translators have the phrase φωνῇ μεγάλῃ modifying ἐκραύγασεν rather than modifying εἰπὼν.

When I first read this verse, I was tempted to translate it something like “When He had said these things with a loud voice, He cried out . . .”

So how can I tell that φωνῇ μεγάλῃ modifies the verb ἐκραύγασεν rather than modifies the participle εἰπὼν?
If one has read NT gospel narrative even a little while, one should be accustomed to ταῦτα εἰπὼν as a standard adverbial transitional formula = "with these words" preceding the new content. φωνῇ μεγάλῃ is a strong adverbial phrase, the sort that's likely to be fronted in a clause.

That may seem like a rather weak reply to your question, but if you just think through the likelihood of φωνῇ μεγάλῃ construing with ταῦτα εἰπὼν or with ἐκραύγασεν, I don't think you'd really want to read this as, "After saying that very loudly, he shouted, 'Lazarus, come out here!'" Is it possible to construe φωνῇ μεγάλῃ with ταῦτα εἰπὼν? Yes, it is. Is it likely? Not very.
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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)

Randall Tan
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Re: Question about John 11:43

Post by Randall Tan » July 6th, 2011, 7:03 pm

In support of Carl's statement that ταῦτα εἰπὼν is a standard adverbial transitional formula. See the following passages:

John 9:6
ταῦτα εἰπὼν ἔπτυσεν χαμαὶ καὶ ἐποίησεν πηλὸν ἐκ τοῦ πτύσματος καὶ ἐπέχρισεν αὐτοῦ τὸν πηλὸν ἐπὶ τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς
John 11:43
καὶ ταῦτα εἰπὼν φωνῇ μεγάλῃ ἐκραύγασεν· Λάζαρε, δεῦρο ἔξω.
John 13:21
Ταῦτα εἰπὼν [ὁ] Ἰησοῦς ἐταράχθη τῷ πνεύματι καὶ ἐμαρτύρησεν καὶ εἶπεν· ἀμὴν ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι εἷς ἐξ ὑμῶν παραδώσει με.
John 18:1
Ταῦτα εἰπὼν Ἰησοῦς ἐξῆλθεν σὺν τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ πέραν τοῦ χειμάρρου τοῦ Κεδρὼν ὅπου ἦν κῆπος, εἰς ὃν εἰσῆλθεν αὐτὸς καὶ οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ.
Acts 1:9
Καὶ ταῦτα εἰπὼν βλεπόντων αὐτῶν ἐπήρθη καὶ νεφέλη ὑπέλαβεν αὐτὸν ἀπὸ τῶν ὀφθαλμῶν αὐτῶν.
NA27 Acts 19:40
καὶ γὰρ κινδυνεύομεν ἐγκαλεῖσθαι στάσεως περὶ τῆς σήμερον, μηδενὸς αἰτίου ὑπάρχοντος περὶ οὗ [οὐ] δυνησόμεθα ἀποδοῦναι λόγον περὶ τῆς συστροφῆς ταύτης. καὶ ταῦτα εἰπὼν ἀπέλυσεν τὴν ἐκκλησίαν.
Acts 20:36
Καὶ ταῦτα εἰπὼν θεὶς τὰ γόνατα αὐτοῦ σὺν πᾶσιν αὐτοῖς προσηύξατο.

Steve Runge includes this type of adverbial transitional construction under Tail-Head Linkage (chapter 8 of his excellent A Discourse Grammar of the Greek New Testament). In John 11:43, the effect is probably: (1) to signal a close connection between Jesus' previous address to the Father: "Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me." and his act in resurrecting Lazarus by the command of his voice; & (2) as a rhetorical device to slow down the pace of the story and highlight the significant event to follow of resurrecting Lazarus.
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Randall Tan

Stephen Carlson
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Re: Question about John 11:43

Post by Stephen Carlson » July 7th, 2011, 8:31 pm

I have to admit that I've been frustrated by many appeals to context to disambiguate syntactically ambiguously sentences (such as John 11:43) as a kind of exegetical "get out of jail free" card. What I like about Steve Runge's work is that he gives a more useful set of tools for examining how a sentence works in context. You can also get a sense of how this works by reading a fair amount of Greek, and I'd certainly recommend both reading a lot of Greek and studying how people analyze contexts.

Stephen
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Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
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