Saturday, September 4, 2010

Spirit and Wind: John 3:5-8

5 ἀπεκρίθη Ἰησοῦς· ἀμὴν ἀμὴν λέγω σοι, ἐὰν μή τις γεννηθῇ ἐξ ὕδατος καὶ πνεύματος, οὐ δύναται εἰσελθεῖν εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ θεοῦ.  6 τὸ γεγεννημένον ἐκ τῆς σαρκὸς σάρξ ἐστιν, καὶ τὸ γεγεννημένον ἐκ τοῦ πνεύματος πνεῦμά ἐστιν.  7 μὴ θαυμάσῃς ὅτι εἶπόν σοι· δεῖ ὑμᾶς γεννηθῆναι ἄνωθεν.  8 τὸ πνεῦμα ὅπου θέλει πνεῖ καὶ τὴν φωνὴν αὐτοῦ ἀκούεις, ἀλλ᾿ οὐκ οἶδας πόθεν ἔρχεται καὶ ποῦ ὑπάγει· οὕτως ἐστὶν πᾶς ὁ γεγεννημένος ἐκ τοῦ πνεύματος.
Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I am saying to you, if anyone is not born from water and spirit, he is not able to go into the kingdom of God.  What has been born from the flesh is flesh, and what has been born of the Spirit is spirit.  Don’t marvel that I said to you, ‘it is necessary for you all to be born from above.’  The wind blows where it wishes and you hear it’s sound, but you don’t know from where it comes and where it goes.  It is this way with all who have been born from the Spirit.  John 3:5-8
If you like word plays, then this is the passage for you.  In greek, πνεῦμά can mean spirit, wind, or breath.  I have placed the word in bold type so that you can see everywhere that it is used.  I also have underlined the verb form of the same word with means “to blow”.  Where is it obvious that the “Holy Spirit” is in play here, I have capitalized those.
ἄνωθεν: “from above” or “again”.  ἄνωθεν can mean either “from above” or “again”.  In this passage, many translations render it as “again”.  Within the context of the passage though, I think “from above” is best suited here.  There is another greek word that means “again”.  That word is πάλιν.  This word occurs very frequently in the New Testament and could have been used here if the author really wanted to say “again”.  I think the author uses ἄνωθεν for the purpose of saying “from above”, besides, it makes more sense in this passage to be “born from above”.

For some commentary of this passage, check out my friend's blog.

No comments:

Post a Comment