Changing word-order in John 8:21,24

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Stephen Hughes
Posts: 3323
Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

Changing word-order in John 8:21,24

Post by Stephen Hughes » February 18th, 2016, 6:43 am

I noticed this:
John 8:21-24 wrote:Εἶπεν οὖν πάλιν αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς, Ἐγὼ ὑπάγω, καὶ ζητήσετέ με, καὶ ἐν τῇ ἁμαρτίᾳ ὑμῶν ἀποθανεῖσθε· ὅπου ἐγὼ ὑπάγω, ὑμεῖς οὐ δύνασθε ἐλθεῖν. 22 Ἔλεγον οὖν οἱ Ἰουδαῖοι, Μήτι ἀποκτενεῖ ἑαυτόν, ὅτι λέγει, Ὅπου ἐγὼ ὑπάγω, ὑμεῖς οὐ δύνασθε ἐλθεῖν; 23 Καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς, Ὑμεῖς ἐκ τῶν κάτω ἐστέ, ἐγὼ ἐκ τῶν ἄνω εἰμί· ὑμεῖς ἐκ τοῦ κόσμου τούτου ἐστέ, ἐγὼ οὐκ εἰμὶ ἐκ τοῦ κόσμου τούτου. 24 Εἶπον οὖν ὑμῖν ὅτι ἀποθανεῖσθε ἐν ταῖς ἁμαρτίαις ὑμῶν· ἐὰν γὰρ μὴ πιστεύσητε ὅτι ἐγώ εἰμι, ἀποθανεῖσθε ἐν ταῖς ἁμαρτίαις ὑμῶν.
Here are the words which someone spoke and the report by the person themself of the words that they had recently spoken. Is there any rationale to explain the difference in word-order between the first instance and the second?
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Wes Wood
Posts: 688
Joined: September 20th, 2013, 8:18 pm

Re: Changing word-order in John 8:21,24

Post by Wes Wood » February 19th, 2016, 11:29 am

I can't add anything to your post Stephen, unless the number of people interested moves someone to respond, but I do find it interesting. I know little about such things, and what little I know I probably misunderstand. The first instance seems difficult to me because there are only two constituents in that specific phrase, I think. I would expect the verb would come first unless the prepositional phrase served as point of departure, but I don't think that is the case. I would also expect the verb to come before the phrase if the word order was unmarked, so I assume something is in focus? (If that is the proper word for it.) That leads me to think that the phrase is topic comment where the comment comes first. The question in my mind though is whether the prep. Phrase is fronted for emphasis or whether the verb is being emphasized by being placed in the back. I am inclined to think the latter. I will give someone the opportunity to correct or at least comment on my foolishness, before I add more to it. I hate to see your questions to unanswered when you make so many efforts to help others. If nothing else, maybe the exchange of ideas was worth something.
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Ἀσπάζομαι μὲν καὶ φιλῶ, πείσομαι δὲ μᾶλλον τῷ θεῷ ἢ ὑμῖν.-Ἀπολογία Σωκράτους 29δ

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