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Two beloved disciples in John 20:2 ???

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Two beloved disciples in John 20:2 ???

Postby muminustrollus » Thu Mar 24, 2005 4:16 am

TON ALLON MATHETEN ON EPHILEI O IESOUS (John 20,2)

Is there any good reason for translating (with NASB R.Young, ASV, HNV, Webster and Latin Vulgate) this sequence of words straightforwardly and without any comma as

"the other disciple whom Jesus was loving (as a relative/"ephilei" instead of "egapa")"

Rather than using the circumlocution:

"the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved" ?

I find the second translation unnecessarily complicated in addition to containing an absurdity since it implies that Jesus had only two disciples, Peter and the disciple whom he loved, supposedly John, the fisherman and son of Zebedee.

The first translation is found in many Bibles, but seems to imply that Jesus had two beloved disciples, which is a theory that very few people are ready to consider.
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Postby muminustrollus » Thu Mar 24, 2005 8:41 am

See a discussion I'm having on this particular point on IIDB:

http://www.iidb.org/vbb/showthread.php?p=2274535#post2274535

Are Stephen Carlson's arguments tenable?
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Postby Paul » Sat Mar 26, 2005 3:07 pm

Hi,

[face=SPIonic]...kai\ e)/rxetai pro\j Si/mwna Pe/tron kai\ pro\j to\n a)/llon maqhth\n o(\n e)fi/lei
o( )Ihsou=j,..[/face]


I took a long, hard look at this interesting, boisterous, and sometimes difficult IIDB thread.

Mr. Carlson is quite correct that the relative (adjective) clause is in the predicate position. It is not in any of the three attributive positions, so it must be in the predicate position. Because there is no explicit copular verb, the relative clause stands to its substantive [face=SPIonic]maqhth\n[/face] in some relation realized by the verb [face=SPIonic]ei)mi/[/face]. In this case, "...the other disciple, being (him) whom Jesus loved"; whence the familiar and correct English translation, "...the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved,..".

Unfortunately, the look of the relative clause in English translation, separated from its antecedent by a comma, suggests that the clause is appositive.


Begin Digression:

Relative clauses may be classified as 'restrictive' or 'non-restrictive'. This is a notoriously difficult distinction. A restrictive relative clause makes the sense of its antecedent more precise - it defines:

My brother who lives in Boston dislikes sports.

Here the restrictive relative clause 'who lives in Boston' defines its antecedent, 'brother'. That is, I may have another brother in New York.

But a non-restrictive relative clause supplies additional information about the antecedent's referent (the person or thing the antecedent term refers to).

My brother, who lives in Boston, dislikes sports.

Here the non-restrictive relative clause 'who lives in Boston' simply tells us more about my brother. Some grammarians use the term 'appositive relative clause' instead of 'non-restrictive relative clause'.

I prefer 'defining' and 'non-defining' in place of 'restrictive' and 'non-restrictive'.

End Digression.


Again, the comma between 'disciple' and the relative clause suggests that the clause is 'non-defining'. I don't think this is correct. I see the clause as defining - it is intended to define its antecedent, to make plain which disciple is meant.

Please bear in mind that an attributive adjective also defines. In

the green house

the attributive adjective 'green', although not syntactically essential, is required from a semantic perspective. That is, I mean 'the green house', not 'the red one'. In their common use as attributive adjectives, relative clauses also define (cf. Smyth 2488).

Some of the confusion on this matter is grounded in the the translation of [face=SPIonic]to\n a)/llon[/face] as 'the other'. When English speakers hear the phrase 'the other', they often assume a framework of duality, e.g., 'self and other'. But this is not the primary meaning of the Greek word. In Homer it means 'an other', or 'different', or 'additional' person or thing. The BDAG says that, with the article, it means the 'remaining of two OR MORE' (emphasis mine).

If we let the sentence sound to us as it sounded to John, '...to Simon Peter and to an other|a different|a remaining disciple,..', then it becomes obvious that it cannot mean that Christ had only 2 disciples. I have little doubt that because John knew this originary meaning, he needed to further define which disciple he meant, i.e., in [face=SPIonic]to\n a)/llon[/face] he did not experience a binary opposition.

In fine, the 'circumlocution' is the right translation. As to matters of 'straightforwardness' and the 'unnecessarily complicated': as Einstein said, things should be as simple as possible, but no simpler. A terser translation is not better because it's terser. Above all else, a translation must express the intended meaning. If this requires more words, so be it.

Cordially,

Paul
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Postby Bert » Sat Mar 26, 2005 5:03 pm

I was waiting with eager anticipation for a reply to muminustrollus' question.
After I read the thread in question I thought; 'Mr. Carson is probably correct.'
But this was not based on anything that I can defend. I am happy to read a detailed explanation of the grammar involved.
Thanks Paul.
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I beg to disagree

Postby muminustrollus » Sun Mar 27, 2005 3:44 am

S.C.Carlson's Rule contains a number of Quantum Leaps

What is the rule?

The rule is derived from the rule on the position of adjectives in Greek, which can be either attributive or predicative.

Let us illustrate it with the help of John 20:2

ton allon matheten hon ephilei ho Iesous

ton allon matheten=the other disciple=first attributive position of the Greek adjective

Hon ephilei ho Iesous is regarded by Carlson as an adjective. Now the position of the relative clause corresponds to the position of a Greek predicative adjective:

ho allos mathetes (estin) agapetos: the other disciple (is) loved

Therefore ton allon matheten hon ephilei ho Iesous should be construed as:

the other disciple is the one whom Jesus loved

Note that the copula (is) has been added, as well as the words "the one".

Obviously, there is no possibility here of a second beloved disciple. The traditional interpretation is therefore vindicated and conventional scholarship can now breathe and sleep in peace.

Unfortunately this argument-it isn't a rule, it is an argument, or better said, a theory-contains a number of quantum leaps:

1.A rule concerning attributive vs predicative relative clauses is not to be found in any Greek grammar, not even in Smyth (pp. 293-295). What we do find is a very clear rule about adjectives. But relative clauses, although they can be viewed as adjectives, are not adjectives.

2. Even if there were such a rule, it would be totally useless since all Greek relative clauses occur after their antecedent (surprise, surprise!), which means that they would all be predicative. Now my interlocutor claims that sometimes the relative clause could be attributive. For that to happen, it would have to mimick the attributive adjective:

ho mathethes ho agapetos=the beloved disciple

Note the repetition of the article here. This is the key. According to Carlson's Rule, for a relative clause to be attributive, one would have to find a duplicate article before the relative pronoun:

ho mathetes ho hon ephilei ho Iesous: the disciple whom Jesus loved
(no comma!)

The trouble here is that besides its rarity (I haven't found a single example of such a pattern in the whole Bible!) this pattern only mimicks the second attributive position, which is not the most frequent. There are three attributive positions in Greek:

A ho agapetos mathetes
B ho mathetes ho agapetos
C mathetes ho agapetos


Now why should the relative clause only imitate the second position?

A seems impossible since relative clauses by definition always follow their antecedent in Greek. But C is possible. Unfortunately, that would make all relative clauses preceded by an indefinite antecedent, one without the definite article, attributive, which seems to mean for Carlson that they should be interpreted as restrictive (?). This is simply not supported by the facts.

The "rule" is untenable.

3. There is a huge quantum leap in the interpretation of hon ephilei ho Iesous as a predicative adjective/relative clause (I'm now pretending to accept Carlson's rule as valid)

Why should

ho allos mathetes agapetos be read as

the other disciple is the one who is loved

instead of

the other disciple is loved ??????????

The second interpretation is perfectly valid and means that the relative clause "whom Jesus loved" can be construed as a restrictive relative clause:

ho allos mathetes estin (kai) agapetos=the other disciple is (also) loved.

In other words, a supposedly predicative relative clause does not exclude a second beloved disciple at all !!!

Conclusion: I don't force anyone to recognize that "hon ephilei ho Iesous" must be interpreted as a restrictive relative clause, but I think that sheer honesty commands that such a possibility be aknowledged, if only because the Greek language is fluid (it is not an either/or problem!).

Muminus

PS: Wallace in his GGBBB says that the first attributive position (the position of allon in John 20:2) emphasizes the adjective rather than the noun:

the other disciple whom Jesus was loving as a relative

Interesting isn't it?
Last edited by muminustrollus on Sun Mar 27, 2005 4:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby muminustrollus » Sun Mar 27, 2005 4:11 am

Thank you Paul for all your "hard" labors. I do appreciate your contribution, but completely disagree with your analysis. I hope you will forgive me my impertinence and find it amusing, rather than arrogant or annoying 8) .

Mr. Carlson is quite correct that the relative (adjective) clause is in the predicate position. It is not in any of the three attributive positions, so it must be in the predicate position. Because there is no explicit copular verb, the relative clause stands to its substantive maqhth\n in some relation realized by the verb ei)mi/. In this case, "...the other disciple, being (him) whom Jesus loved"; whence the familiar and correct English translation, "...the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved,..".


1. A relative clause is stricto sensu not an adjective

2. How could a relative clause in Greek be in the first attributive position?

3. "the other disciple (, being him) whom Jesus loved"
(I bracketed all the things you added in your translation)

Why interpret the phrase this way and only this way? Why add a comma? Do you have any solid and imperative linguistic reasons for doing so or is your interpretation guided by what you think about the identity of the disciple?

I suggest:

"the other disciple (is also) loved by Jesus"

or

"the other disciple (is one) loved by Jesus"

or

"the other disciple (being) loved by Jesus"

Which opens the way to a translation without comma, the one chosen by several official translators of the Bible (are they all wrong?). The infamous translation that can be construed as implying the existence of two beloved disciples, horresco referens...

Please give absolute reasons why the above reconstructions of the supposedly predicative relative clause in John 20:2 are invalid interpretations.

4. What is the relationship between the question of attributive/predicative adjectives and the question of restrictive/unrestrictive relative clauses? I say there is none at all! Carlson simply threw a red herring and derailed the whole discussion.

Greek (and English too btw) simply has no way to tell us in advance when a relative clause is restrictive or unrestrictive. This entirely depends on the context. In English, it basically depends on the comma. In Greek, it depends on how you read the text aloud. All texts were read aloud in Antiquity, think of Augustine's astonishment when he found that Ambrose read the Bible silently.

5. Since you wholeheartedly endorse Carlson's arguments, could you please provide a Biblical example of a Carlsonian so-called "attributive" relative clause, one with a duplicate article before the relative pronoun something like:

ton allon matheten ton hon ephilei ho Iesous ?

Remember that according to S.C. Carlson, this is what John 20:2 should have looked like for me to be allowed to translate it straightforwardly as: "the other disciple whom Jesus loved".

6. All this confusing grammar stuff about so-called "predicative" relative clauses still leaves intact and unanswered the nagging question of why "John" added the word allon at all:

Since the disciple was already known to the reader by the highly evocative and intriguing title the-disciple-whom-Jesus-loved, why add allon in the first attributive position (one that emphasizes the adjective rather than the noun)? Why not simply say:

she ran to Peter and to the disciple whom Jesus loved
=ton matheten hon egapa ho Iesous
???

To drive home the crucial point that Peter was also a disciple?

And why change the verb "loved", ephilei instead of egapa?

whence the familiar and correct English translation, "...the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved,..".


In the OP, I listed six translations, including Jerome's Vulgate, which don't have the circumlocution. Therefore it is simply not correct to claim universality for the longer rendering. But I readily admit that its implications, namely that there was only one disciple whom Jesus loved and that this disciple was an undisputed male, are wonderfully familiar, reassuring and shared by most people, both learned and plain ordinary.

Begin Digression:

Relative clauses may be classified as 'restrictive' or 'non-restrictive'. This is a notoriously difficult distinction. A restrictive relative clause makes the sense of its antecedent more precise - it defines:

My brother who lives in Boston dislikes sports.

Here the restrictive relative clause 'who lives in Boston' defines its antecedent, 'brother'. That is, I may have another brother in New York.

But a non-restrictive relative clause supplies additional information about the antecedent's referent (the person or thing the antecedent term refers to).

My brother, who lives in Boston, dislikes sports.

Here the non-restrictive relative clause 'who lives in Boston' simply tells us more about my brother. Some grammarians use the term 'appositive relative clause' instead of 'non-restrictive relative clause'.

I prefer 'defining' and 'non-defining' in place of 'restrictive' and 'non-restrictive'.



The difference between restrictive and unrestrictive relative clauses is a notoriously simple but crucial one. John 20:2 is a perfect example of how adding or not adding a comma can transform Biblical exegesis.

Unfortunately, the "digression" above does not supply any useful information on how to solve the problem under discussion. It signally fails to establish a plausible link between the question of attributive and predicative adjectives and the question of restrictive and unrestrictive relative clauses.

The impression the reader has is that restrictive vs unrestrictive relative clause is not really the problem at hand in John 20:2, when this is in fact the case. The word "digression" speaks volumes in this regard...

Again, the comma between 'disciple' and the relative clause suggests that the clause is 'non-defining'. I don't think this is correct. I see the clause as defining - it is intended to define its antecedent, to make plain which disciple is meant.


Bravo! "If whom Jesus loved as a relative" is defining, there cannot be a comma in the English translation!


Please bear in mind that an attributive adjective also defines.


Truism: all adjectives define...

In

the green house

the attributive adjective 'green', although not syntactically essential, is required from a semantic perspective. That is, I mean 'the green house', not 'the red one'. In their common use as attributive adjectives, relative clauses also define (cf. Smyth 2488).


Smyth 2488 says that all relative clauses correspond to attributive adjectives.

Bye bye Carlson's Rule...


If we let the sentence sound to us as it sounded to John, '...to Simon Peter and to an other|a different|a remaining disciple,..', then it becomes obvious that it cannot mean that Christ had only 2 disciples.


The big trouble here is that there is absolutely no indefinite article at all in the Greek! You added an/a.

And that "other disciple" could refer to the Magdalen.

The-Other-disciple-whom-Jesus-loved is a semantic block. It can mean that the first disciple is mentioned in the same sentence, but that is not obligatory. Peter, obviously, cannot be the first disciple whom Jesus loved. Therefore...

I have little doubt that because John knew this originary meaning, he needed to further define which disciple he meant, i.e., in to\n a)/llon he did not experience a binary opposition.


John, an uneducated Galilean fisherman, was acquainted with all the nuances of Homeric Greek? Greek scholar humor, I presume...

In fine, the 'circumlocution' is the right translation. As to matters of 'straightforwardness' and the 'unnecessarily complicated': as Einstein said, things should be as simple as possible, but no simpler. A terser translation is not better because it's terser. Above all else, a translation must express the intended meaning. If this requires more words, so be it.


Total non sequitur! There is no necessity at all to translate "ton allon matheten hon ephilei ho Iesous" as "the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved". "The other disciple whom Jesus loved" is just as fine, if awfully disturbing, and lo! Smyth 2488 is on my side:

"Relative clauses correspond to attributive adjectives (or participles) since like adjectives they serve to define substantives. " (underlined mine)

Remember that Carlson's Rule, endorsed by Paul, was based on relative clauses functioning as predicative adjectives...

The "intended meaning" is your own exegesis, Paul. Nothing more, nothing less.

My conclusion:

How to translate John 20:2 depends on many factors, not just on a rigid and imho irrelevant rule on the position of adjectives. My rendering is possible: this is the weak Muminus hypothesis.

The strong Muminus hypothesis says that "the other disciple whom Yeshu'a was loving as a relative" is the only possible translation in view not only of grammatical considerations, but also of other non grammatical factors, on which I shall not dwell here, unless there be some readiness to take my hypothesis more seriously.


Multum valete et ridete, doctissimi amici!

PS: this discussion has received an interesting spin-off on IIDB.
John 21,20 is the focus of attention in this thread:

http://www.iidb.org/vbb/showthread.php?t=119861
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Postby Bert » Mon Mar 28, 2005 1:56 am

Even though I am not capable of interacting with every point, I would like to make a few comments.

quote:Since the disciple was already known to the reader by the highly evocative and intriguing title the-disciple-whom-Jesus-loved, why add allon in the first attributive position (one that emphasizes the adjective rather than the noun)? Why not simply say:

she ran to Peter and to the disciple whom Jesus loved
=ton matheten hon egapa ho Iesous ???

To drive home the crucial point that Peter was also a disciple?

Why indeed! He could have written what you suggested he could have written, but he didn't. The Greek ALLOS is not necessarily an exact equivelant of the English OTHER.
Middle Liddell gives this example:
[face=SPIonic]pe/mptoj potamo\j a)/lloj[/face]. yet a fifth river (Not: Another fifth river, but Another river, a fifth one)

quote:And why change the verb "loved", ephilei instead of egapa?

These two verbs are so close to synonymous that there might not be any significance at all.
I can't think of an English example to illustate this, but in Dutch if this passage were to be translated using -Hij houdt van- for the first verb, and -Hij heeft lief- for the second, it would not change the meaning one bit of these two verbs would be switched.

Quote:John, an uneducated Galilean fisherman, was acquainted with all the nuances of Homeric Greek? Greek scholar humor, I presume...

First you ask for rules and proof. When presented with some you say that because John was uneducated, he probably would not have known about this or that rule.
He certainly did not have the education that Paul had (the one of the Bible, not Textkit Paul :) ) but I am not convinced that the education of the common man was so inferior as to make John uneducated. He was able to write in a language other than his native one.
I am also relatively uneducated but I know how to formulate a sentence in my second language so that my meaning is expressed, even if I can't state the appropriate grammatical rule.

It is also entirely possible that in Greek this sentence can mean both things, but that the writer assumes that the audience knows the background. This is not to far-fetched considering that he does not mention a name.
If we consider Paul's example. Quote: My brother, who lives in Boston dislikes sports. I can well imagine someone who is not familiar with Paul's relatives, asking: " Do you have any other brothers"?

That's enough for today. :wink:
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Postby muminustrollus » Mon Mar 28, 2005 5:04 am

Before I restart this discussion let me state my own point of view very simply regarding not only this probleem but all other scriptural problems: I'm not a dogmatisch thinker, I don't think there are that many cases in Biblical exegesis where one can say with absoluut certainty, "this is the only possible translation" or, "this and only this is what the author meant".

The fakt is that our knowledge of Koine Grieks is imperfect and our knowledge of the Gospel authors, their identiteit and background, whether linguistic or cultureel, is even less perfekt. Therefore to claim, like Paul, that there is "no doubt" in his mind that John was aware of a remote nuance of the word "allos" is the sign that one thinks he knows when the fact is that one doesn't know.

What I say is that "the other disciple whom Jesus loved", without komma, is a perfectly acceptable translation, one besides that has been chosen by six standaard translations, listed in the OP (I don't think even for one second that these venerable translators would support the notion of two beloved disciples, it is obvious to me that they translated John 20:2 as they did blissfully unaware of the shocking implications).

If some people want to translate it otherwise by adding a komma, because they want to make it absolutely clear that Jesus had only one beloved disciple, let them do so! But I think it is arrogant and absurd for such authorities to assert that their translation is the only right one, which in fakt implies that only their theory about the beloved disciple is acceptabel.

Ultimately, every discussie about John 20:2 revolves around the question of what we think about the myterious figure of the beloved disciple. 2000 years of blind Biblical scholarship have made us 100% sure that there is nothing nieuw we could discover about this question, that indeed Jesus could only have one beloved male disciple just as he had only one male God, and that if a new discovery should be made it will not unsettle the status quo and come at any rate from a renowned authority, not from an obscure poster with minimaal knowledge of Grieks.

Unfortunately, many centuries of tradition and tons of knowledge are no guarantees of absolute truth or infallibility. Sometimes little knowledge, no traditional burdens and a fresh mind are better tools...

Why indeed! He could have written what you suggested he could have written, but he didn't. The Greek ALLOS is not necessarily an exact equivelant of the English OTHER.


What you are suggesting is that people-and we are not talking here about ordinary people writing Merry Christmas postkards but about Gospel writers with a theological vision and drive-write things for no reason. Gospel writing is a lottery, right? A chimpanzee with a typing machine would have written something similar, is that what you mean?

John was extremely careful about his choice of words, as one would expect from a writer of holy things. Remember that "he" told us the precise number of fish caught by Peter and the others on their miraculous fishing expedition in chapter 21: 153, the same Greek gematria number btw as "the Magdalen", if I'm not mistaken. Yes, this could be unintentional...

Greek gematria :shock: :? :x ? Yes, I believe that gematria played some role in the writing of the Gospels, specially in "John". Yes, I'm a loonie. No, you don't need to pay attention to anything I say from now on.

Middle Liddell gives this example:
pe/mptoj potamo\j a)/lloj. yet a fifth river (Not: Another fifth river, but Another river, a fifth one)


Ja zeker, obviously, in John 20:2, the extraordinarily common adjektief "allos" must have the most uncommon and extraordinary meaning, just to fit your own exegesis, I understand you perfectly...

These two verbs are so close to synonymous that there might not be any significance at all.
I can't think of an English example to illustate this, but in Dutch if this passage were to be translated using -Hij houdt van- for the first verb, and -Hij heeft lief- for the second, it would not change the meaning one bit of these two verbs would be switched.


Same argument as before: it's all haphazard, happenstance.

It just happened that "John" used ephilei instead of egapa and the fakt that this change of verb only occurs here has no significance at all, the world of Griek scholarship being ruled by chance, specially when discussing John 20:2...

Philein and agapan have overlapping semantiek fields, but in some contexts the meaning is different, otherwise why would you have two verbs in Greek to say "houden van, liefhebben, beminnen (like/love)"? Any one who has studied foreign languages or his own native language deeply knows that there are no such things as perfect synonyms.

That agapan and philein are different is shown by the famous dialogue in John 21 between Jesus and Peter. Ja, Ik know that some people deny that there is such a difference even there, but they are wrong. The sudden and untimely appearance of philein in 21:17 (Peter was grieved because he said to him a third time, 'do you love/phileis me?') is deliberate and has an ironical meaning.

Bertje, John 20:2 was not written in Dutch and the name of the author of the fourth Gospel was not "Jan". Besides, if the Gospel had been written in French and the author had used "aimer" and "aimer bien", significant differences would have been implied, and even in Dutch (a language which I know quite well, dank je wel), you could make it very klaar whether the concept represented by the verb "houden van" is erotiek or spiritueel or brotherly.

le disciple que Jesus aimait passionement
le disciple que Jesus aimait comme un frere
le disciple dont Jesus etait amoureux
le disciple que Jesus aimait bien
le disciple que Jesus estimait/admirait beaucoup
le disciple que Jesus cherissait

Are all different and no one would choose one expression rather than the other without a good reason. The fakt that in French adverbs have to be used point to the relative indigence of the language in this particular field. In Greek, they were lucky enough to have eran, agapan and philein. But you already knew that, or at least seemed to until recently...

First you ask for rules and proof. When presented with some you say that because John was uneducated, he probably would not have known about this or that rule.
He certainly did not have the education that Paul had (the one of the Bible, not Textkit Paul ) but I am not convinced that the education of the common man was so inferior as to make John uneducated. He was able to write in a language other than his native one.
I am also relatively uneducated but I know how to formulate a sentence in my second language so that my meaning is expressed, even if I can't state the appropriate grammatical rule.


The grammatical rule used to justify the circumlocution in Jon 20:2 is pure nonsense. Smyth says that all relative clauses function like attributive adjectives. IOW, there is no such thing as a "predicative relative clause".

Besides, I could perfectly analyse "ton allon matheten hon ephilei ho Iesous" as an attributive relative clause mimicking the second attributive position:

ton allon matheten hon ephilei ho Iesous

hon=ton
ephilei ho Iesous=attributive adjective in the second attributive position=ton matheten ton agapeton

If assimilating "hon" to "ton" seems problematical, I'll say that the article is implicit: ton allon matheten (ton) hon ephilei ho iesous

Fine grammatical hokus-pokus, right? But my contention is that my Greek grammar magik is much better than Paul's or Stephen's because at least I don't invent a monstrous new grammatical category called "predikative relative klause".

Let us make it klear: in John 20:2, the question was never one of attributive vs predicative adjectival position, but one of restrictive vs unrestrictive relative clause. The probleem is that conventional scholarship didn't want to venture into the latter question because there there were no exclusivist arguments to be had since Greek has no formal markers to distinguish restrictive from unrestrictive relative clauses. This can be checked easily by comparing the available translations of the very simple phrase "the disciple whom Jesus loved": some translations add a comma, while others don't in an almost 50/50 ratio. If there were absolute rules, why all these conflicting renderings?

Therefore a spurious grammatical rule about adjectives was put forward, the aim being to declare the restrictive relative clause in "the other disciple whom Jesus loved" totally heretical: 'Greek scholars of the world unite and save the one true beloved male disciple of Jesus!' :)

It is also entirely possible that in Greek this sentence can mean both things, but that the writer assumes that the audience knows the background. This is not to far-fetched considering that he does not mention a name.


The fakt that "John" used the definite article "ton" instead of simply saying allon matheten hon ephilei ho Iesous, shows that "he" was talking to insiders who knew who this person was. The definite article implies foreknowledge in all languages that have a definite article. The trouble is that we don't know for sure who is meant.

Let me say that if "John" had wanted to put in John 20:2 what traditional scholars want to read in it at any price, namely the undisputed male discipleship of Peter and the equally undisputed male unicity of the beloved disciple, "he" could-and maybe should-have said something quite unambiguous and simple like the following:

pros allon matheten ton matheten hon egapa ho Iesous
[she runs] to another disciple, the disciple whom Jesus loved

But there was no need at all to insist on Peter's discipleship since everybody knew that. Therefore the most plausible rendering is just:

pros ton matheten hon egapa ho Iesous

No second beloved disciple ghosts here and Ockham's celebrated cardboard cutter is definitely on my side. I leave Paul with Einstein and his complexities.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on your point of view, this is not what our text actually reads, and I say that this is highly significant, but then I'm just a lonely voice crying in the desert as my signature implies...

Het is genoeg, meer dan genoeg...

"Salut en de kost", as we say in Brussels... :wink:
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Postby Paul » Tue Mar 29, 2005 6:14 am

muminustrollus wrote:Thank you Paul for all your "hard" labors.

I said I took a 'hard look'. I said nothing about 'hard labor'.


muminustrollus wrote: I do appreciate your contribution

No....you don't.


muminustrollus wrote:I hope you will forgive me my impertinence and find it amusing, rather than arrogant or annoying.

But of course; I trust you will be similarly disposed towards me.

muminustrollus wrote:1. A relative clause is stricto sensu not an adjective

2. How could a relative clause in Greek be in the first attributive position?

3. "the other disciple (, being him) whom Jesus loved"
(I bracketed all the things you added in your translation)

Why interpret the phrase this way and only this way? Why add a comma?
Do you have any solid and imperative linguistic reasons for doing so or is your interpretation guided by what you think about the identity of the disciple?


1. So what? Word classes have rough edges. More to the point, it's a matter of grammatical function, not word class. In the strict sense, a noun is not an adjective. Tell me, what is the function of the noun 'school' in the phrase 'school house'?

In English grammar, subordinate clauses that modify nouns are called 'adjective clauses', a.k.a. 'relative clauses'.

2. With difficulty - see below.

3. I interpret it as I do because:

a. [face=SPIonic]o( a)/lloj maqhth/j[/face] is used elsewhere in the text to refer to John himself, e.g., 20.3, 20.4, 20.8
b. [face=SPIonic]o(\n h)ga/pa o( )Ihsou=j[/face] is used elsewhere in the text to refer to John himself, e.g., 13.23, 19.26, 21.7, 21.20

Hence, the text itself strongly suggests that [face=SPIonic]to\n a)/llon maqhth\n o(\n e)fi/lei o( )Ihsou=j[/face] refers to John.

Let me put a fine point on it, this interpretation is far more plausible than your laughable notion that 'the other disciple' is Mary Magdalen.
But more later on that sparkling gem.

I don't know what you mean by 'imperative linguistic reasons'. My interpretation is indeed guided by what I think about the identity of the disciple. But this in turn is grounded in what the text says when it elsewhere refers to this disciple.

muminustrollus wrote:5. Since you wholeheartedly endorse Carlson's arguments, could you please provide a Biblical example of a Carlsonian so-called "attributive" relative clause, one with a duplicate article before the relative pronoun something like:

ton allon matheten ton hon ephilei ho Iesous ?

Remember that according to S.C. Carlson, this is what John 20:2 should have looked like for me to be allowed to translate it straightforwardly as: "the other disciple whom Jesus loved".

I'm not sure what you think I 'endorsed'. I too would be surprised to see a relative clause in attributive position. You asked a simple question, I gave a simple answer: by definition, the position of the relative clause cannot be considered attributive. If it's not in the attributive position, it's in the predicate position. But given that relative clauses usually follow their antecedents, they are nearly always in predicate position.

The question is how to translate this particular relative clause?

1. 'the other disciple whom Jesus loved'
2. 'the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved'

Let me be very clear: there is nothing in the Greek grammar that precludes either translation. But I try to consider the entire text, not just a particular syntagm taken out of context.


muminustrollus wrote:
paul wrote: If we let the sentence sound to us as it sounded to John, '...to Simon Peter and to an other|a different|a remaining disciple,..', then it becomes obvious that it cannot mean that Christ had only 2 disciples.

The big trouble here is that there is absolutely no indefinite article at all in the Greek! You added an/a.


Do you think that, because there is no express form for the indefinite article, the language had no sense for the indefinite? Try again to listen to this definition, taken from the BDAG: With the article, [face=SPIonic]o( a)/lloj[/face] means 'pertaining to being the remaining one of two or more'.

After sampling the first of three wines at a tasting, would you say "I'll try the other" or "I'll try an other"?

muminustrollus wrote:6. All this confusing grammar stuff about so-called "predicative" relative clauses still leaves intact and unanswered the nagging question of why "John" added the word allon at all:


Bend your mind to the possibility, albeit perplexing, that more than two disciples were present.


muminustrollus wrote:Unfortunately, the "digression" above does not supply any useful information on how to solve the problem under discussion. It signally fails to establish a plausible link between the question of attributive and predicative adjectives and the question of restrictive and unrestrictive relative clauses.

Sigh.....the digression was intended to provide background information; to help readers who might not have your masterful knowledge of grammar. Unlike you, I try to write so as to include others in the conversation.


Some of your comments about restrictive/non-restrictive:
muminustrollus wrote:
The difference between restrictive and unrestrictive relative clauses is a notoriously simple but crucial one.
Bravo! "If whom Jesus loved as a relative" is defining, there cannot be a comma in the English translation!

Better grammarians than you or me say that this is often a difficult distinction to make. Your 'notoriously simple' assumes the presence of orthographical and prosodical hints. How would you characterize 'which I intend to sell' in:

'I have a mint-condition 1909 Indian-head American cent which I intend to sell.'

Is it 'defining' or 'non-defining'? We know your answer: there's no comma, therefore it is 'defining'. Notoriously easy, but wrong. Most grammarians would regard the relative clause as 'non-defining' despite the lack of 'proper' orthography. Why? When an antecedent is so clearly defined that it can stand on its own, a defining subsequent relative clause is unnecessary. Hence any subsequent relative clause is regarded as 'non-defining'.

So here then is grammatical ground to interpret our relative clause as 'non-defining': The phrase 'the other disciple' so clearly defines John - especially from chapter 18 forward - that its subsequent relative clause 'whom Jesus loved' is not necessary to define who is meant.

Mind you, I don't agree with this interpretation. But I thought it might help free you from what seems to be your rigid and ideologically-based exegesis.

muminustrollus wrote:
paul wrote:Please bear in mind that an attributive adjective also defines.

Truism: all adjectives define...

Wrong again. After again reading my useless digression, tell me, what is 'defined' by the the adjective clause in the 2nd sentence. While you're at it, tell me what is 'defined' by the adjectives 'lush' and 'green' in:

The tall trees, lush and green under the mid-day summer sun, swayed gently.


Some of your comments related to Smyth 2488:
muminustrollus wrote:Smyth 2488 says that all relative clauses correspond to attributive adjectives.
Bye bye Carlson's Rule...
Total non sequitur! There is no necessity at all to translate "ton allon matheten hon ephilei ho Iesous" as "the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved". "The other disciple whom Jesus loved" is just as fine, if awfully disturbing, and lo! Smyth 2488 is on my side:
"Relative clauses correspond to attributive adjectives (or participles) since like adjectives they serve to define substantives."

I agree with Smyth 2488. You put the emphasis in the wrong place. You should have underlined 'correspond'. By "Carlson's Rule" you seem to understand that if an expression is in predicate position, it can function neither attributively nor restrictively. I certainly don't agree with that. I said in my first post that I thought the relative clause was 'defining'.

Let me try to cut through the smoke thrown up by your ack-ack style and achieve some clarity with respect to John 20.2:

A. The relative clause is not in any attributive position;
B. Therefore it is in the predicate position.
C. A and B say nothing about the 'defining' nature of the clause.

So far, I think we agree. All I am saying is that the relative clause functions as a defining adjective and that it is in predicate position.

D. I maintain that the relative clause defines its antecedent. I understand the clause to specify that, by 'the other disciple', the author means 'John'.
I base this on the 'the other disciple' and 'whom Jesus loved' as used elsewhere in the text. This interpretation is not invalidated by the syntax.
E. You too maintain that the relative clause defines its antecedent. You understand the clause to specify a disciple other than Peter or John. You say that it
could refer to Mary Magdalen. Your interpretation is invalidated by the sense of the text and by the syntax (see below).


Some of your comments about John's knowledge of Greek:
muminustrollus wrote:
paul wrote: I have little doubt that because John knew this originary meaning, he needed to further define which disciple he meant, i.e., in to\n a)/llon he did not experience a binary opposition.

John, an uneducated Galilean fisherman, was acquainted with all the nuances of Homeric Greek? Greek scholar humor, I presume...
John was extremely careful about his choice of words, as one would expect from a writer of holy things.
It just happened that "John" used ephilei instead of egapa and the fakt that this change of verb only occurs here has no significance at all, the world of Griek scholarship being ruled by chance, specially when discussing John 20:2...

This lovely snippet is most illustrative of the emotional and subjective perspective from which you write: when I say that John hears in 'to\n a)/llon' more than binary opposition, you call John an uneducated fisherman and speak sarcastically of his familiarity with the nuances of Homer's Greek. But when it suits your purposes John is 'extremely careful about his choice of words'. In your discussion of file/w and a)gapa/w, I conclude from your sarcastic 'It just happened...' that you think John exhibits fine sensitivity to the nuances of meaning in the two words. You even start talking about 'semantic fields'. Wow, heady stuff! What happened to the St. John the Uneducated?


muminustrollus wrote:And that "other disciple" could refer to the Magdalen.


Finally we get to the heart of the matter. Your ideological assumptions are sadly predictable. You assume throughout your posts that what I called the 'familiar and correct' translation is the work of some sort of frightened, male-dominated hierarchy. You speak of how 'reassuring' this translation is; that is does not 'unsettle the status quo'. Evidently, any one who adopts this translation, myself included, is engaging, whether he knows it or not, in a kind of misogynistic lie.

Whereas you have achieved perfect clarity. The kind of clarity that has this other disciple, Mary Magdalen -

a. referred to with a masculine article and pronoun when just a few sentences earlier the 'extremely careful' John called her [face=SPIonic]Mari/a h( Magdalhnh/[/face].
b. coming to herself;
c. speaking to herself;
d. outrunning Peter to the tomb (do forgive my 'misogyny' here).

But, lo! - the scales fall from my eyes. Yes, I see it now! John is extremely careful in his choice of words; he uses the masculine gender deliberately. He uses file/w deliberately. He is revealing a secret teaching to all who, like muminustrollus, have ears for it.

Thank you muminustrollus for opening my eyes to this new teaching: the trans-gender John is the Magadalen!


muminustrollus wrote:PS: this discussion has received an interesting spin-off on IIDB.


I'll pass, thanks. When you are mature enough to ground your thinking in something more objective than political correctness, then I might be interested in what you have to say. But as long you wield the hammer of ideology, smashing and twisting a text to make it say what you want in the service of some obscure ressentiment, I'm not in the least interested.

muminustrollus wrote:I'm not a dogmatisch thinker.


A wondrous claim - at once sad and hilarious! I hate to break it to you Boy-O, but your 'thought' is nothing if not dogmatic.

One wonders why you even bother to read the text.

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Postby muminustrollus » Sat Apr 09, 2005 4:47 am

We all know that the author of the fourth gospel is also the mysterious and anonymous person described in shorthand as the 'beloved disciple'. This writer, unlike all the other gospel authors, claims to be a direct eye-witness of the Master. Therefore 'he' is very important and reliable, more reliable than, say, Matthew or Luke or Mark. At least this is the claim being made in the gospel.

Now the funny and intriguing thing about this beloved disciple is that in the original text 'he' is never described as 'beloved' (Greek:agapetos) but as 'the disciple whom Jesus loved'. What is even more funny and intriguing is that in many translations of the Bible there is a hesitation about how to punctuate the phrase. There are several examples of the phrase becoming

...the disciple, whom Jesus loved,...

See for example how translators wavered when deciphering John 19:26, a key passage for the correct identification of the disciple.

Noah Webster has: When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith to his mother, Woman, behold thy son!

But NASB has: When Jesus then saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He *said to His mother, "Woman, behold, your son!"

Is it indifferent whether you add a comma or not?

Not at all. Adding a comma or not adding it completely changes the meaning. Without a comma 'whom Jesus loved' becomes a defining trait of the disciple, one that sets 'him' apart from the other disciples who followed Jesus. This means that 'whom Jesus loved' is a kind of title or nickname. This could be made patent in English by hyphening the words:

the-disciple-whom-Jesus-loved

This kind of punctuation exists in Hebrew, a language 'John' probably knew. Maqqef, visually similar to an English hyphen, makes different words sound like one semantic unit. And it is one of the tricks Hebrew has to solve the difficult problem of restrictive vs. unrestrictive relative clauses.

With comma, the love Jesus feels for the disciple becomes incidental. It is no longer defining. Therefore, adding a comma makes it impossible for the reader to identify the disciple who was standing at the cross in 19:26 as the disciple who leaned on Jesus' bosom at the Last Supper in chapter 13. 'He' may be the same disciple or 'he' may be another disciple whom Jesus also loved (Martha, her sister Maria and Lazarus were loved by Jesus according to 'John'). The only thing we know is that the disciple has been mentioned before. And incidentally we also learn that Jesus loved him, which may be a transitory characteristic: he was being loved by Jesus at that moment.

In fact, the comma completely dissolves the character himself. IOW, if we consistently added commas before each occurrence of 'whom Jesus loved' there could be as many beloved disciples as there are verses where 'he' is mentioned.

The Greek text is very simple:

hon egapa ho Iesous= whom was loving (the) Jesus (Greek order )

Does the Greek version help us punctuate the phrase correctly? Some people claim that this is indeed the case. If we followed their advice, the comma is absolutely necessary here. But as I have just said, this completely ruins the character and consequently a very important message contained in the gospel.

John 21:7 is very enlightening:

Therefore the disciple whom Jesus loved says to Peter: It is the Lord.

Here all translators opted for a restrictive (no comma) relative clause. The reason seems to be that in Greek there is a strong demonstrative pronoun 'that' (Greek:ekeinos): that disciple whom Jesus loved...To translate as 'that disciple, whom Jesus loved' would have sounded clumsy. Apparently.

John 21:20 is the last reference to the disciple. Here again, and although there is no demonstrative pronoun or other grammatical marker, all translators render the phrase as 'the disciple whom Jesus loved'.

No comma. And this is absolutely correct. If one added a comma here, the result would be disastrous:

Then Peter, turning around, saw the disciple, whom Jesus loved, following, who also had leaned on His breast at the supper, and said, "Lord, who is the one who betrays You?"

There is one more reference to consider, namely John 20:2.

She runs to Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved

Strangely enough, here, the proportion of translators who add a comma or who even expand the relative clause, giving it the character of an explanatory clause, is quite high and includes some of the most popular translations.

But the relative clause in Greek is just as simple and straightforward. The only change is the fact that the antecedent (=disciple) is modified by 'other' and that the verb 'to love' is philein instead of agapan. Philein is supposed to mean 'to like' or 'to love' (as a friend or relative). Agapan has a distinctive Christian flavor since it often means 'divine love'.

My contention is that 'other' (allon) here has the same effect as 'that' (ekeinos) in John 21:7. It gives the antecedent and the relative clause that follows it a defining character: the-other-disciple-whom-Jesus-loved.

Rendering this as 'the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved' is a sleight of hand which is unwarranted by the original text. Adding 'the one' clearly modifies the meaning of the phrase by narrowing it. To really explain the word 'disciple', one must include its attributive:

the other disciple, the other one who was loved by Jesus

You can also give the phrase a predicative air (very popular with some posters here) like this (you just add a copula 'to be') :

the other disciple is loved by Jesus
the other disciple is a disciple who is loved by Jesus
the other disciple is one who is loved by Jesus

Why haven't so many translators realized this very simple thing? The reason is very simple too: if you don't add a comma, you are saddled with two beloved disciples instead of just one. Is it incredible and fantastic to entertain the notion that Jesus may have loved two disciples instead of just one? Apparently it is, for some people at least. Certainly for the translators of the KJV and the NKJV.

One God, one faith, one beloved disciple. Many 'ones' make a simpler world.

But in Greek the relative clause is quite simple.

If you are still unconvinced just look at 1 Cor 10:16

The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?

In Greek, you have here two relative clauses which are structurally absolutely similar to the one we find in John 19:26 or 20:2, but no translator added commas before 'which we bless' or 'which we break'.

To claim that a comma would not change the meaning at all is absurd:

The cup of blessing, which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread, which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?

To see this more clearly, just omit the unrestrictive relative clauses, something you can do since unrestrictive relative clauses contain unessential information about their antecedent:

The cup of blessing is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread is it not the communion of the body of Christ?

Clearly something is missing. Therefore no commas can be added here. The cup is the-cup-which-we-bless and the bread is the-bread-which-we-break.

Note that rendering 'the cup which we bless' as

the cup, the one which we bless

is quite okay and is exactly the same as 'the cup which we bless' (note that both renderings contain a restrictive relative clause). This is because the antecedent is not preceded by a modifier like 'other'. if 'other' were added, the expanded phrase with commas and 'the one' would change the meaning significantly.

the other cup, the one which we bless,... is different from

the other cup which we bless

In A there is only one cup, in B there are two .

The cup, the one which we bless,...

and

the cup, which we bless,...

ARE DIFFERENT!!! B is absurd .

To conclude, let me say that in the gospel of 'John', the phrase 'whom Jesus loved' is defining. The disciple is special and the love Jesus has for this disciple is special too, just as God feels special love for Israel (often, if not always, symbolized in the Bible by a woman, think of the Song of Songs) or repentant sinners (many of whom are women in the NT).

There can never be commas before it (John 13 is the one and only exception because that is the first mention of the character).

Have a hearty laugh.

Muminus from rebellious Brussels
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Postby muminustrollus » Sun Apr 10, 2005 4:08 am

Let us with infinite patience clear up the misunderstandings around this question of attributive and predicate adjectives and the relationship between this question and that of defining/restrictive and unrestrictive/non defining relative clauses.

A the stupid scholar
B the scholar who is stupid (a tautology sometimes, hehe!)

As Smyth rightly points out, relative clauses play the same role as attributive adjectives. In English, an attributive adjective is one that occurs before the noun it describes. An attributive adjective is one that appears in the attributive position.

To take another, less controversial example, 'the kind man' can be transformed into 'the man who is kind' and 'the man who is kind' can be transformed into 'the kind man'.

Let us note that in some languages, the relative clause (or what appears to be a relative clause from the point of view of languages that have this construct) appears before the antecedent. This is the case in Chinese and Japanese (yours truly is a Chinese translator).

Wo renshi de ren= the man I know=I know man (Chinese order!)

wo renshi=I know
de=whom
ren=man

This can also happen in Greek in some rather rare cases (not a single occurrence in the Bible at any rate!). But in general, they appear after the noun they modify (in predicate position, if you will, but they are still similar to attributive adjectives)

What about predicate adjectives?

The exegete is ignorant

is an example of a predicate adjective (and of a tautology?), an adjective which occurs after the noun it describes. In between, there is the verb 'to be'. In some languages, the verb can be omitted altogether. Greek is one of those languages, with Hebrew, Arabic and Chinese.

The exegete ignorant

could reflect a Greek sentence!

Now can this kind of adjectives be transformed into a relative clause?

The scholar is who is ignorant ?

It can't.

Therefore Smyth, who says that all relative clauses are attributive adjectives, is absolutely right, by Jove! There is no such thing as a 'predicate relative clause', which is the same as saying that there are no relative clauses occurring in the predicate position.

Therefore relative clauses=attributive adjectives.

This is the first point one needs to grasp.

What is the relationship between this question and that of defining/non defining relative clauses?

At first I thought there wasn't any link, but in fact there is a very tenuous one:

The short man=the man who is short

'the man who is short' is a defining/restrictive relative clause

the man, who is short,

How shall we analyze this undefining/unrestrictive relative clause?

Let us note first that the man, who is short cannot stand on itself. You need to add something.

The man, who is short, is a good basketball player.

This could be transformed into:

The man is short but he is a good basketball player.

The man is short is a statement that contains a predicate adjective. That's the sole link. Carlson's case is as flimsy and pregnable as Darwin's.

(Smyth, by the way, says that ordinary relative clauses are independent explanatory clauses. This statement is clearly vindicated by my analysis above. Another way to make this clear is to break the relative like this:

I know the man and he is a doctor=I know a man who is a doctor. )

If we compare:

the man who is short is a good basketball player

with

the man, who is short, is a good basketball player

We come to realize that the undefining relative clause in B tells us something that defines and describes the basketball player in a way which is somehow less essential than in sentence A. In fact, B could be transformed into

The man, although he is short, is a good basketball player.

Let us note also that A seems to imply that there are several men present and that the speaker is picking up one of them as the good basketball player in the presence of his interlocutor. B does not carry these implications. No one needs to be there in addition to the speaker and his hearer and the information imparted is one that is unessential. This last point can be seen clearly in the following example:

The man, who is drunk(=although he is drunk), is a good basketball player.

Let us now return to the question of whether there is a link between defining/undefining relative clauses and the question of the position of adjectives. As should be clear from the above, there is none.

If we found

the man who is short is a good basketball player

knowing that the author never punctuates his sentences, we would simply not be able to say whether a comma is necessary or not if we didn't have any context. But the meaning would be different. The same is true in Greek, no matter what SC Carlson may say to the contrary.

Let us examine John 20:2 once more, in the light of the above:

She (courageous Mary) runs to Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved

this has been rendered as

A She runs to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved.
B She runs to the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved.
C She runs to the other disciple whom Jesus loved.

A: A is more or less absurd. The definite article before 'disciple' obliges us to look for the nearest mention of a disciple of Jesus and this is Joseph of Arimathea (it could also be Mary Magdalen)! The undefining relative clause tells us as an incidental/accidental detail that Jesus loved him (at the time of the meeting).

A in fact could be transformed into

She runs to the other disciple, because/although/since/when he was loved by Jesus

The disciple was loved by Jesus and/but/therefore/then she ran to him (to tell him the body had disappeared)

There is no way to know with certainty that this disciple is the same as the one mentioned in 19:26 or in 13:23.

Conclusion: The undefining clause creates complete confusion.

B: B is special in that it contains a new antecedent (='the one'), which helps dissipate the confusion of the undefining relative clause in A (the relative clause in B is defining!), but this is done in complete disregard for the simplicity of the Greek original which doesn't contain anything resembling or equivalent to 'the one' in English. Had there been something like "ekeinos" or "outos", things would have been different, but this is not the case.

Therefore what we have in NKJV and other translations is overtranslation by people who think they know better than 'John' who he is talking about!

Conclusion: B is out.

C: Well, obviously in light of what I have said, this is the most plausible translation, the one which is both the most accurate in view of the Greek text, the most consonant with the principle of Ockham's cardboard cutter, the most correct one with respect to the context and the English language, but it is also the one which is the most disturbing for orthodoxy, whether Christian or non Christian (non Christian orthodoxy being as bigoted as the Christian one). Therefore it has very little chance to be recognized, but truth is what it is no matter how many people and who sees it.

PS:

If some people still cling to Carlsonian illusions, I advise them to take a hard look at John 4:14

But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

These two relative clauses are structurally identical to the one found in John 20:2 and they were translated as defining relative clauses by all translators of the Bible.

But according to some self-proclaimed authorities, they should be translated as undefining relative clauses.

But whosoever drinketh of the water, that I shall give him, shall never thirst; but the water, that I shall give him, shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

Of course, one can continue to deceive oneself by saying (Steve's latest argument) that, in reality, the defining clauses are udefining in the mind of the translators because written English doesn't make a clear distinction between the two and is nonchalant in matters of punctuation, blablablablablabla...

Oh yeah! :P
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