Thursday, April 16, 2009

Rereading John's Gospel

Rereading John's Gospel.

I simply love all the parentheticals! The oddest one so far, though, has been John 11:2 (NIV)
This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.
The weird thing is that she doesn't do this until 12:3
Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus' feet and wiped his feet with her hair.
The very first flash-forward scene?

Over all I am wondering if John's style - which is maddeningly repetitive - is some sort of High Greek Classical style. I know barely anything about ancient Greek literature but I know someone out there does...


Anonymous said...

Don't think Greek (especially not classical), think Late Hebrew and Aramaic. Probably Late Hebrew.

Also, think of a story that's been told by the author orally numerous times to similar audiences---yes its kind of a flash forward, but its also kind of like watching a DVD with the producer's commentary woven in. He assumes you remember the basic story like he does and throws in details as they come to mind.

An alternative view, of course, is to take the parenthetic as an early copyist's note/addition--not necessarily less inspired.

Anonymous said...

Oh, that was not to say there was a Hebrew original, just that the author's mind seems to have been working in Hebrew (or Aramaic) and then putting it into Greek.