John 7:35 - the 'diaspora of the Greeks'

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Stephen Nelson
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John 7:35 - the 'diaspora of the Greeks'

Post by Stephen Nelson » July 22nd, 2020, 12:06 pm

If the common understanding of John 7:35 is correct, the reference to 'ἡ διασπορά τῶν ἑλλήνων' (literally 'the diaspora of the Greeks') presumably refers to the Jewish diaspora among the Gentiles ('dispersionem gentium' in Latin), despite John's use of a seemingly unprecedented phrase. I've failed to find any comparable reference to a 'dispersion of the Greeks'.

But, it seems as though this phrase has engendered no confusion or deep thought among commentators, as far as I can tell. And translations are largely in agreement, paraphrasing the same general idea; mostly avoiding a literal rendering, such as 'the dispersion of the Greeks' (cf. Young's Literal Translation).

Presumably this would give English speakers the wrong impression; that it refers to 'Greeks' (Gentiles) who are dispersed, rather than 'Jews' among them; even though it's the 'Greeks' who are the rumored target audience of Jesus. Thus the popular implication seems to be that Jesus would go to the Jews to teach the Greeks.

I've seen 'τῶν ἑλλήνων' (of the Greeks) identified as an 'objective genitive'; though it strikes me as resembling a 'partitive genitive' - even though the latter does not appear to be compatible with the common understanding. In my attempt to rationalize it, I suppose 'the (Jewish) diaspora' is conceived (by the author) as 'PART of the Greek-speaking (world)' - and thus constitutes 'the Greek diaspora', so to speak. In other words, the reference might be to the 'Hellen(ist)ic dispersion' - Hellenized Jews living in the Diaspora. Alternatively, if it simply meant 'the Greek-speaking world', it might tie-in to Jesus' 'teaching the Greeks'. Then again, could 'the Greeks' simply be a referred to thoroughly 'Hellenized Jews' writ large?

Here's the Greek text vs the KJV, NASB and NET (with added emphasis and formatting):

John 7:35 (SBL)
εἶπον οὖν οἱ Ἰουδαῖοι πρὸς ἑαυτούς·
Ποῦ οὗτος μέλλει πορεύεσθαι ὅτι ἡμεῖς οὐχ εὑρήσομεν αὐτόν;
μὴ εἰς τὴν διασπορὰν τῶν Ἑλλήνων μέλλει πορεύεσθαι καὶ διδάσκειν τοὺς Ἕλληνας;
John 7:35 (KJV)
Then said the Jews among themselves,
Whither will he go, that we shall not find him?
will he go unto the dispersed among the Gentiles, and teach the Gentiles?
John 3:35 (NASB):
The Jews then said to one another,
“Where does this man intend to go that we will not find Him?
He is not intending to go to the Dispersion among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks, is He?
John 7:35 (NET):
Then the Jewish leaders said to one another,
“Where is he going to go that we cannot find him?
He is not going to go to the Jewish people dispersed* among the Greeks and teach the Greeks, is he?
*sn The Jewish people dispersed (Grk “He is not going to the Diaspora”). The Greek term diaspora (“dispersion”) originally meant those Jews not living in Palestine, but dispersed or scattered among the Gentiles.

Here's how BDAG addresses this verse under the term 'diaspora':
διασπορά, ᾶς, ἡ (s. διασπείρω; Philo, Praem. 115; Plut., Mor. 1105a; Just.)
LXX of dispersion of Israel among the gentiles (Dt 28:25; 30:4; Jer 41:17; s. also PsSol; TestAsh 7:2).

① state or condition of being scattered, dispersion of those who are dispersed (Is 49:6; Ps 146:2; 2 Macc 1:27; PsSol 8:28)

ἡ δ. τῶν Ἑλλήνων those who are dispersed among the Greeks J 7:35.

—Schürer III 1–176; JJuster, Les Juifs dans l’Empire romain 1914; ACausse, Les Dispersés d’Israël 1929; GRosen, Juden u. Phönizier 1929; KKuhn, D. inneren Gründe d. jüd. Ausbreitung: Deutsche Theologie 2, ’35, 9–17; HPreisker, Ntl. Zeitgesch. ’37, 290–93 (lit.); JRobinson, NTS 6, ’60, 117–31 (4th Gosp.).

② the place in which the dispersed are found, dispersion, diaspora (Jdth 5:19; TestAsh 7:2). Fig., of Christians who live in dispersion in the world, far fr. their heavenly home αἱ δώδεκα φυλαὶ αἱ ἐν τῇ δ. Js 1:1. παρεπίδημοι διασπορᾶς 1 Pt 1:1.—Hengel, Judaism II index. DELG s.v. σπείρω. TW.
BDAG decidedly puts John 7:35 in the former category of 'state or condition of being scattered...', not 'the place in which the dispersed are found', even though the preposition 'εἰς' seems to open up the latter possibility. So, I don't really see any conflict between the traditional translation of John 7:35 ('the (Jewish) diaspora among the Greeks') and BDAG's #2 definition - "the place in which the dispersed are found, dispersion, diaspora".

Here are a couple of references explaining the 'partitive genitive' that fave a familiar form:

The Cambridge Grammar of Classical Greek
*30.29 The partitive gentivie (also 'of the divided whole') denotes a whole to which the head belongs as a part:
οἱ χρηστοὶ τῶν ἀνθώπων the good people (lit. 'the good among the people')
πολλοὶ τῶν λόγων many of the words
Smyth's Greek Grammar
*1306. The genitive may denote a whole, a part of which is denoted by the noun it limits.
The genitive of the divided whole may be used with any word that expresses or implies a part.
1310. (I) The genitive of the divided whole is used with substantives.
μέρος τι τῶν βαρβάρων some part of the barbarians T.1.1
Compare that to the use of the phrase 'our diaspora' in 2 Maccabees 1:26-27 -
πρόσδεξαι τὴν θυσίαν ὑπὲρ παντὸς τοῦ λαοῦ σου Ισραηλ,
καὶ διαφύλαξον τὴν μερίδα σου, καὶ καθαγίασον.
ἐπισυνάγαγε τὴν διασπορὰν ἡμῶν·
ἐλευθέρωσον τοὺς δουλεύοντας ἐν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν·
τοὺς ἐξουθενημένους καὶ βδελυκτοὺς ἔπιδε, καὶ γνώτωσαν τὰ ἔθνη ὅτι σὺ εἶ ὁ θεὸς ἡμῶν.
Accept this sacrifice on behalf of all your people Israel,
and preserve your portion, and make it holy.
Gather together our diaspora;
set free those who are slaves among the nations;
look on those who are rejected and despised, and let the nations know that you are our God.


There 'our diaspora' is clearly from the perspective of Israel. Presumably, it may have raised eyebrows had it described 'the diaspora of the nations' (ἡ διασπορὰ τῶν ἐθνῶν), followed by the exhortation to 'set free those who are slaves among the nations'. The author seems careful to avoid conflating 'the (Gentile) nations' with 'the people of Israel'. Presumably, a gentivie construction like the one found in John 7:35 would NOT have conjured up the image of a 'diaspora AMONG the nations'.

I dug around a few commentaries and came up with some noteworthy (albeit underwhelming) results:

Ernst Haenchen's Commentary on John 2 (Hermeneia Series), 1985
7.35 The Jews misunderstand these words and, without knowing it, they pronounce in them a prophesy that had come to pass in the time of the Evangelist: the Christian mission in the diaspora. The Evangelist has in mind not just a mission among hellenistic Jewish Christians; the word "Greeks" (Ἕλληνες) and the fact of the mission to the Gentiles in the time of the Evangelist proves that.

Adam Clarke's Commentary on John-Romans, 1800s
Verse 35. The dispersed among the Gentiles] Or Greeks. By the dispersed, are meant here the Jews who were scattered through various parts of that empire which Alexander the Great had founded, in Greece, Syria, Egypt, and Asia Minor, where the Greek language was used, and where the Jewish Scriptures in the Greek version of the Septuagint were read. Others suppose that the Gentile themselves are meant-others, that the ten tribes which had been long lost are here intended.
Clarke doesn't say who exactly (in the early 19th century) subscribed to the latter interpretation. The implication is that the 'diaspora of the Greeks' was actually 'the Northern Israelite diaspora' ('the lost sheep of the House of Israel'), scattered among 'the nations/Gentiles' and prophesied to be re-gathered as part of the restoration of all Israel - cf. James 1:1 & Peter 1:1.

Interestingly, John Chrysostom, associated 'the diaspora of Greeks' with 'Gentiles' in this verse and doesn't seem to consider the modern reading as an alternative:

Chrysostom. (Homily 50 on the Gospel of John, 1. 32.)
Τί δέ ἐστι διασπορά; οὕτω τὰ ἔθνη ἐκάλουν οἱ Ἰουδαῖοι ὡς πανταχοῦ διεσπαρμένα.

What is, "dispersion"? The Jews gave this name to the Gentiles, because they were dispersed everywhere.
Though I've failed to find analogous examples to 'the diaspora of the Greeks', I did manage to find the following examples of the term "diaspora", which I'll list for ease of reference without trying to illustrate anything in particular:

LXX Isaiah 49:6 (NETS) -
καὶ εἶπέν μοι·
«μέγα σοί ἐστιν τοῦ κληθῆναί σε παῖδά μου,
τοῦ στῆσαι τὰς φυλὰς Ιακωβ,
καὶ τὴν διασπορὰν τοῦ Ισραηλ ἐπιστρέψαι.
ἰδοὺ, τέθεικά σε εἰς διαθήκην γένους εἰς φῶς ἐθνῶν,
τοῦ εἶναί σε εἰς σωτηρίαν ἕως ἐσχάτου τῆς γῆς
And he said to me,
“It is a great thing for you to be called my servant
so that you may set up the tribes of Iakob
and turn back the dispersion of Israel.
See, I have made you a light of nations,
that you may be for salvation to the end of the earth.
Justin Martyr, Dialogue Wity Trypho, 113.3 (fragment) -
...οὕτως καὶ Ἰησοῦς ὁ Χριστὸς τὴν διασπορὰν τοῦ λαοῦ ἐπιστρέψει, καὶ διαμεριεῖ τὴν ἀγαθὴν γῆν ἑκάστῳ, οὐκέτι δὲ κατὰ ταὐτά.
...so also Jesus the Christ will turn again the dispersion of the people, and will distribute the good land to each one, though not in the same manner.
Justin Martyr, Dialogue Wity Trypho, 117.5 (fragment) -
Εἶτα δὲ ὅτι κατ ἐκεῖνο τοῦ καιροῦ, ὅτε ὁ προφήτης Μαλαχίας τοῦτο ἔλεγεν, οὐδέπω ἡ διασπορὰ ὑμῶν ἐν πάσῃ τῇ γῇ, ἐν ὅσῃ νῦν γεγόνατε, ἐγεγένητο, ὡς καὶ ἀπὸ τῶν γραφῶν ἀποδείκνυται.
And then at the time when Malachi wrote this, your dispersion over all the earth, which now exists, had not taken place.
Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 3.1.2 -
Πέτρος δὲ ἐν Πόντῳ καὶ Γαλατία καὶ Βιθυνία Καππαδοκία τε καὶ Ἀσία κεκηρυχέναι τοῖς ἐν διασπορᾷ Ἰουδαίοις ἔοικεν· ὃς καὶ ἐπὶ τέλει ἐν Ῥώμῃ γενόμενος, ἀνεσκολοπίσθη κατὰ κεφαλῆς, οὕτως αὐτὸς ἀξιώσας παθεῖν.
but Peter seems to have preached to the Jews of the Dispersion in Pontus and Galatia and Bithynia, Cappadocia, and Asia, and at the end he came to Rome and was crucified head downwards, for so he had demanded to suffer.
Eusebius, The Proof of the Gospel 2.3.4 -
Τὰ περὶ τῆς εἰς πάντα τὰ ἔθνη διασπορᾶς τοῦ Ἰουδαίων ἔθνους, καὶ περὶ τῆς ἀνανεώσεως τῆς Χριστοῦ παρουσίας καὶ βασιλείας, καὶ τῆς ἐπ’ αὐτῇ γεγενημένης τῆς τῶν ἐθνῶν ἁπάντων κλήσεως.
Concerning the Dispersion of the Jewish Race among all the Nations, and the Renewing of Christ's Coming and Kingdom, and the Call of all the Nations consequent upon it.
Origen, Commentary on the Gospel of John, 13.335 (fragment) -
εἰ δὲ ἅγιοι ἄγγελοί εἰσιν, οἱ τὰς λοιπὰς μερίδας παρὰ τὴν ἐκλεκτὴν εἰληχότες
καὶ ἐπὶ τῆς διασπορᾶς τῶν ψυχῶν τεταγμένοι,
οὐδέν ἐστιν ἄτοπον τὸν σπείροντα ὁμοῦ χαίρειν καὶ τὸν θερίζοντα μετὰ τὸν θερισμόν.
And if it is the holy angels who have received the remaining portions in addition to the chosen portion
and who have been appointed over the dispersion of souls,
it is not strange that the one who sows and the one who reaps rejoice together after the harvest.
Philo, On Rewards and Punishments 115
ὅθεν εἴρηται πρὸς τοὺς ἐθέλοντας μιμεῖσθαι τὰ σπουδαῖα καὶ θαυμαστὰ κάλλη μὴ ἀπογινώσκειν τὴν ἀμείνω μεταβολὴν μηδὲ τὴν ὥσπερ ἐκ διασπορᾶς ψυχικῆς ἣν εἰργάσατο κακία πρὸς ἀρετὴν καὶ σοφίαν ἐπάνοδον· ἵλεως γὰρ ὅταν ἡ ὁ θεός, ἐξευμαρίζεται πάντα.
And therefore those who would imitate these examples of good living so marvellous in their loveliness, are bidden not to despair of changing for the better or of a restoration to the land of wisdom and virtue from the spiritual dispersion* which vice has wrought.
*Evidently an allegorization of Deut. xxx. 4 “if thy dispersion (διασπορά, E.V. thy outcasts) be from one end of heaven to the other, the Lord will gather thee thence.”

LXX Deuteronomy 30:3-4 (NETS) -
καὶ ἰάσεται κύριος τὰς ἁμαρτίας σου
καὶ ἐλεήσει σε
καὶ πάλιν συνάξει σε ἐκ πάντων τῶν ἐθνῶν
εἰς οὓς διεσκόρπισέν σε κύριος ἐκεῖ.
ἐὰν ᾖ ἡ διασπορά σου ἀπ᾽ ἄκρου τοῦ οὐρανοῦ ἕως ἄκρου τοῦ οὐρανοῦ,
ἐκεῖθεν συνάξει σε κύριος ὁ θεός σου, καὶ ἐκεῖθεν λήμψεταί σε κύριος ὁ θεός σου.
And the Lord will heal your sins
and have mercy on you
and gather you again from all the nations
among whom the Lord has scattered you there.
If your dispersion be from an end of the sky to an end of the sky,
from there the Lord your God will gather you, and from there he will take you.
Last edited by Stephen Carlson on July 23rd, 2020, 4:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Corrected typos in citations (7:35, not 3:35).
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Re: John 7:35 - the 'diaspora of the Greeks'

Post by Barry Hofstetter » July 23rd, 2020, 1:32 am

Stephen, not sure what your point is here. I will say this, I don't think an objective genitive would work (I mean, exactly how is the genitive the object of the verbal idea in διασπορά?) The partitive is also suspect -- it would mean the part of the Greeks who can be called diaspora. Maybe Wallace knows what to call this genitive, but to me it appears purely adjectival, and almost in a locative sense, the diaspora among the Greeks. It's clear from context that nothing else can be intended. What amuses me is that one of the commentaries calls it the objective genitive but then says it has to be translated "among..."
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Re: John 7:35 - the 'diaspora of the Greeks'

Post by Stephen Nelson » July 23rd, 2020, 2:21 am

Barry Hofstetter wrote:
July 23rd, 2020, 1:32 am
...not sure what your point is here...
Thanks for the feedback! Sorry. Perhaps my verbosity overshadowed my points to the point of making my post seem pointless. Excuse me for making a proverbial mound out of a mole hill.

Honestly, after compiling all of the examples, it just seemed worthwhile to throw them all in (along with the kitchen sink). Here is a recap of my the salient points on which I'm hoping to get feedback:
  • (1) Are the Jewish antagonists of this verse referring to the Jewish diaspora? Or are they referring to the 'Hellenistic world' at large as 'the diaspora'? If the diaspora is Israel, why don't they identify it as 'our diaspora', for example? (per the examples)
  • (2) Are “the Greeks” referred to at the end of the verse supposed to be ‘Hellenistic Jews'? Or are they referring to 'Gentiles'? Either way, there's obviously the hint of contempt towards this group.
I’ve tried and failed to find any comparable reference to a 'dispersion of the Greeks'. I’ve included a list of examples I did manage to find, for ease of reference. But I don’t assume that it’s the most comparable list or that it’s exhaustive.

If anyone can adduce any examples from Biblical or Extra-Biblical literature of something similar to ‘diaspora of the Greeks’ or a ‘diaspora of the nations’, I would love to see that, and to confirm that the author of gJohn is using an established convention. Or maybe the author just has a unique idiolect, and that explains this phenomenon just as well. Or maybe some other irony is lost on me.

Alternatively, a similar genitive construction with the sense of “among…” would be helpful. The example of the partitive genitive from the Cambridge Grammar (paraphrased with 'among') doesn’t seem to support the idea of a Jewish diaspora, since the partitive genitive simply indicates a part of a unified whole:
οἱ χρηστοὶ τῶν ἀνθώπων the good people (lit. 'the good among the people')
John Chrysostom clearly believes this is a ‘diaspora of the Greeks’ in the literal (partitive) sense. I'm confused how a native speaker of Greek had an understanding that is so far from the modern consensus of Greek scholars. His opinion doesn't seem to warrant any consideration, for some reason. Did he not realize that the genitive could be used this way - to mean the state of being scattered ’among’ a completely different group of people? Shouldn't this be obvious to him if the context is clear?

It seems like the modern understanding is derived primarily from the argument that the ONLY diaspora that could have been referred to is the only one that existed - that of the Jews. So, is Chrysostom simply engaged in baseless speculation when claiming tthe Jews commonly referred to the (Gentile) nations as a 'diaspora'?

BTW, I was confused by what I found in the text of Chrysostom -
Τί δέ ἐστι διασποράν;
I assumed the ’-ν’ must be a typo and deleted it. But, I think this was simply due to the word's being quoted in the accusative case. So I actually misquoted Chrysostom. Unfortunately, I can’t modify the post now to correct that.

Lastly, Adam Clarke’s commentary mentions (emphasis added):
‘Others suppose that the Gentile themselves are meant-others, that the ten tribes which had been long lost are here intended.’
Does anyone have any idea who these ‘others’ (preachers, scholars, commentators) might be? Has anyone ever heard of that interpretation being espoused in the 19th century? I have a specific reason behind my curiosity about this; but I’d rather not get into it. I won’t hold my breath for the answer, because I assume these unnamed exegetes are likely lost to history.

Continued apologies for flogging a dead horse if this all still seems pointless. Thank you for the feedback.
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Re: John 7:35 - the 'diaspora of the Greeks'

Post by Stephen Carlson » July 23rd, 2020, 4:51 am

There's a discussion of this phrase in Jan G. van der Watt, "Stereotypes, In-Groups, and Out-Groups in the Gospel of John," in Anatomies of the Gospels and Beyond, pp. 300-318. Brill, 2018, but Google Books won't give me the pages to read it in Australia. Your experience may differ in another country.
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Re: John 7:35 - the 'diaspora of the Greeks'

Post by S Walch » July 23rd, 2020, 7:49 am

Seems the discussion in Anatomies of the Gospels and Beyond for this is on pages 309-11. Unfortunately G-Books doesn't contain the preview for p. 309 for me; but the text from pages 310-11 is viewable. I've posted it below (with some, but not all, references. They're the main ones IMO).

The genitive may be understood as among the Greeks, which would make it a genitive "of direction," of "of region."*1 This implies that Jesus is going to the diaspora regions where the Greeks live, i.e. away from typical Jewish areas. It reveals nothing about the nationality or language, since it refers to a place and not to people as such.

According to Brown, understanding it this way would imply that Jesus will leave Israel and become one of the diaspora Jews, where he will then teach the Greek-speaking people (whether they are ethnically Greeks, Romans, or Jews) in these areas. This possibility leads Brown and others to see the reference of the phrase to everyone living outside of Judea or Galilee who are influenced and united by Greek/Hellenistic culture.

Another possibility is to understand the genitive as of the Greeks, implying the diaspora of Greek speakers, which probably refers to Jews if one takes the contextual use of the term diaspora seriously.*2 Robinson holds this opinion,*3 but it is rejected by Brown,*4 since it seems implausible to him that Jesus would have been received in a different way by the diaspora Jews, i.e. becoming part of his sheepfold (10:1-16), than the Jews in Jerusalem itself.

Obviously, it is also possible that the genitive refers to Greeks, and not necessarily to the diaspora Jews. Keener, for instance, argues that, in other New Testament authors like Luke and Paul, the term Ἕλλην is consistently used to refer to Greeks and not to Jews. This is also mostly the case in the LXX.*2 In his choice for the reference to Greeks and not Greek-speaking Jews, Schnackenburg*5 also notes that explicit mention of the Greeks in the second part of the phrase (καὶ διδάσκειν τοὺς Ἕλληνας) excludes any misunderstanding - the Jews think he is going to teach the Greeks; in other words, he will leave the holy land to teach the Greeks there.


*1 Brown, Gospel, 314; so also Schnackenburg, Gospel, Vol. 2, 150. Keener, Gospel, 721, also mentions this possibility.
*2 Keener, Gospel, 721.
*3 John A. T. Robinson, The Priority of John, 60, 90.
*4 Brown, Gospel, 314
*5 Schnackenburg, Gospel, Vol. 2, 150.
Would appear Raymond E. Brown's The Gospel According to John (I-XII) should be a place to look as well.
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Re: John 7:35 - the 'diaspora of the Greeks'

Post by nathaniel j. erickson » July 23rd, 2020, 1:36 pm

John Chrysostom clearly believes this is a ‘diaspora of the Greeks’ in the literal (partitive) sense. I'm confused how a native speaker of Greek had an understanding that is so far from the modern consensus of Greek scholars. His opinion doesn't seem to warrant any consideration, for some reason. Did he not realize that the genitive could be used this way - to mean the state of being scattered ’among’ a completely different group of people? Shouldn't this be obvious to him if the context is clear?

It seems like the modern understanding is derived primarily from the argument that the ONLY diaspora that could have been referred to is the only one that existed - that of the Jews. So, is Chrysostom simply engaged in baseless speculation when claiming tthe Jews commonly referred to the (Gentile) nations as a 'diaspora'?
It is, of course, necessary to remember that Chrysostom's homilies are not simply a recording of any of the possible meanings he understood the Greek to be capable of yielding, but belong to a larger pattern of his own understanding of history and theology as he interprets and teaches the text. One must always wonder what degree of access he may have had to cultural notions and other historical considerations which are tied up in understanding this phrase, beyond the level of Greek. Doubtless more than we have in many regards; and less than we have in many regards. If there is something the Church Fathers as a whole did not seem to be strong on, it is knowledge of and sympathy towards the Jews.

When you continue on with his quotation in the homily, it does not inherently inspire confidence that he has access to some great secret now lost to history:
What is, "the dispersion of the Gentiles"? The Jews gave this name to other nations, because they were everywhere scattered and mingled fearlessly with one another. And this reproach they themselves afterwards endured, for they too were a "dispersion." For of old all their nation was collected into one place, and you could not anywhere find a Jew, except in Palestine only; wherefore they called the Gentiles a "dispersion," reproaching them, and boasting concerning themselves. https://www.newadvent.org/fathers/240150.htm
I would be curious if there is any other evidence of such an understanding of "dispersion" among the Jews? One wonders where precisely Chrysostom would have come by this information of what "the Jews" were in the habit of saying in his day, and what they were in the habit of saying a couple centuries earlier in Palestine. There is a lot of usage of διασπορά in the LXX with reference to the Jewish dispersion, including in Judith and 2 Mac. While these uses, as you point out, are often accompanied by a genitive phrase specifying the nation, such as "τοῦ Ισραηλ", they would seem to add weight against Chrysostom's claim that the Jews did not refer to themselves with διασπορά. Rather, they seem to have been in the habit of calling Jews not living in Palestine "the diaspora." Certainly, Chrysostom may be passing on a valuable piece of information here. It is possible that his interpretation has been overlooked because until recently the patristic exegetes were often dismissed as a group of speculative morons in New Testament study. But, his evidence is certainly not going to cinch any arguments on this issue.

Edersheim (Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, Vol. 1 page 7) argues that this phrase is essentially a reference to the Jewish dispersion in the non-Semitic language regions, the "Western Dispersion", thus taking it as something like how most people understand Ἑλληνιστής in Acts 6.1:
Ἐν δὲ ταῖς ἡμέραις ταύταις πληθυνόντων τῶν μαθητῶν ἐγένετο γογγυσμὸς τῶν Ἑλληνιστῶν πρὸς τοὺς Ἑβραίους, ὅτι παρεθεωροῦντο ἐν τῇ διακονίᾳ τῇ καθημερινῇ αἱ χῆραι αὐτῶν.
Obviously, the passage in Acts raises it own huge set of complicated questions, but Edersheim's notion is at least interesting.
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Re: John 7:35 - the 'diaspora of the Greeks'

Post by Stephen Carlson » July 23rd, 2020, 5:06 pm

S Walch wrote:
July 23rd, 2020, 7:49 am
Seems the discussion in Anatomies of the Gospels and Beyond for this is on pages 309-11. Unfortunately G-Books doesn't contain the preview for p. 309 for me; but the text from pages 310-11 is viewable. I've posted it below (with some, but not all, references. They're the main ones IMO).
My problem with the excerpt is that van der Watt never comes to a conclusion rather than surveys a bunch of more or less possible solutions. Maybe his position is set forth on p. 309, but I still would like something at the end.

(New tip for scholars: write as if your readers are reading through Google Books?)
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Re: John 7:35 - the 'diaspora of the Greeks'

Post by Stephen Nelson » July 23rd, 2020, 5:11 pm

nathaniel j. erickson wrote:
July 23rd, 2020, 1:36 pm

When you continue on with his quotation in the homily, it does not inherently inspire confidence that he has access to some great secret now lost to history:
What is, "the dispersion of the Gentiles"? The Jews gave this name to other nations, because they were everywhere scattered and mingled fearlessly with one another. And this reproach they themselves afterwards endured, for they too were a "dispersion." For of old all their nation was collected into one place, and you could not anywhere find a Jew, except in Palestine only; wherefore they called the Gentiles a "dispersion," reproaching them, and boasting concerning themselves.
https://www.newadvent.org/fathers/240150.htm
Thanks for the insightful feedback.

I'm wondering if anyone might have access to the Greek vorlage of the above-mentioned citation from Chrysostom's Homily 50 on gJohn?

I managed to pull up a quotation from the Catena (on Perseus' Scaife viewer) that tracks reasonably in the beginning, but doesn't line-up after the 1st few sentences:
Τί δέ ἐστι διασποράν; οὕτω τὰ ἔθνη ἐκάλουν οἱ Ἰουδαῖοι ὡς πανταχοῦ διεσπαρμένα. Διὰ τι ἐπεσημήνατο ὁ Εὐαγγελιστὴς, ὅτι “ἐν τῇ ἐσχάτῃ ἡμέρᾳ τῇ μεγάλῃ;“διὰ τὸ τὴν πρώτην καὶ τὴν τελευταίαν μεγάλην εἶναι· τὰς γὰρ μεταξὺ μᾶλλον εἰς τρυφὴν ἀνήλισκον· ἐν τῇ ἐσχάτῃ δὲ ὁ Χριστὸς διαλέγεται, ὅτι ἐν αὐτῇ πάντες ἦσαν συγκεκροτημένοι· ἐν μὲν γὰρ τῇ πρώτῃ οὐ παρεγένετο, ἀλλ’ οὐδὲ ἐν τῇ ἐσχάτῃ, ὅτε ἀνεχώρουν οἴκαδε ἐφόδια αὐτοῖς δίδωσιν εἰς σωτηρίαν.
https://scaife.perseus.org/reader/urn:c ... C&qk=form
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S Walch
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Re: John 7:35 - the 'diaspora of the Greeks'

Post by S Walch » July 23rd, 2020, 5:18 pm

Depending on how far Stephen N is wanting to pursue this question (interesting that there's three 'Stephen's' in this thread (I'm the third, btw :))), he may want to find Jan G. van der Watt's email and ask if there's an off-print of his discussion. Heck, may even be able to ask him if he has a preference for which understanding he has of "diaspora" in the GoJ.
I'm wondering if anyone might have access to the Greek vorlage of the above-mentioned citation from Chrysostom's Homily 50 on gJohn?
This is what you're looking for methinks:

https://tinyurl.com/y3tr4k7m
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nathaniel j. erickson
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Re: John 7:35 - the 'diaspora of the Greeks'

Post by nathaniel j. erickson » July 23rd, 2020, 8:49 pm

I'm wondering if anyone might have access to the Greek vorlage of the above-mentioned citation from Chrysostom's Homily 50 on gJohn?
For any involved/interested in this discussion who don't have access to TLG, here is the page in Migne that it is on: https://books.google.com/books?id=czuFE ... BD&f=false

Crazy what you can find by just pasting a text into google these days.
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Nathaniel J. Erickson
NT PhD candidate, ABD
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
ntgreeketal.com
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