The first word is a verb and in this verse pretty well has to be passive. The second is a noun so passive or middle is not an issue.joseph47parker wrote:.... The text in Greek leaves one perplexed, should Î²Î¹Î±Î¶ÎµÏ„Î±Î¹ and Î²Î¹Î±ÏƒÏ„Î±Î¹ it be seen the passive or middle? ....
Bert wrote:The first word is a verb and in this verse pretty well has to be passive. The second is a noun so passive or middle is not applicable.joseph47parker wrote:.... The text in Greek leaves one perplexed, should Î²Î¹Î±Î¶ÎµÏ„Î±Î¹ and Î²Î¹Î±ÏƒÏ„Î±Î¹ it be seen the passive or middle? ....
Kasper wrote:Come on Bert, quoting yourself doesn't add weight to your argument.
joseph47parker wrote:The first phrase if taken in the (+) can mean that the kingdom of God is making big strides forward, if in the (-) then it can mean that the Kingdom is under attack, like from the Pharisees and such. The second part if taken (+) usually takes the view of vigorous discipleship. If taken in the (+) some nonbelievers will use this to say that Christianity and Islam are both â€œreligionsâ€ of violence. If taken (-) then it can mean that the Pharisees and others are trying to get squash it. There is even some thought that if you translated this into the Hebrew that you will see that it was a metaphor of sheep forcing their way out of a pen of sorts â€œintoâ€ the kingdom of God. That is the relevance to Micah.
When I read this I tend to think that the first part of v 12 in reference to John the Baptist (JB) puts a â€œtimelineâ€ on the next statement and so I would think in light of JB and Jesus that the kingdom is coming forcefully. The next part, as I understand it, seems to make more sense if we consider that the words for violence are almost always used in a bad sense. So I would translate it as â€œviolent people plunder itâ€ as a reference to JB being put in prison and Jesus coming to be crucified. This puts me in the minority apparently on how this is translated, which is why I would like to get some of you great Greek/theologian types to tell me how you understand it and why.
NIGTC wrote:11:12. Matthew is, however, not entirely comfortable with what could easily be taken as exalting the significance of the kingdom of God at the expense of John the Baptist. For Matthew, John is a transitional figure who in important ways stands shoulder to shoulder with Jesus in working for God in bringing in the coming of the kingdom: both John and Jesus are preachers of the kingdom, and a brutal fate awaits both at the hands of the governing authorities. Seen together John and Jesus represent the â€˜advance forcesâ€™ of the kingdom.
Though â€˜fromâ€™ can either include or exclude â€˜the days of John the Baptistâ€™, the syntax is overweighted if â€˜from the daysâ€™ and â€˜until nowâ€™ are not designed to draw together the ministries of John and Jesus.28 Î²Î¹Î±Î¶ÎµÏ„Î±Î¹ could be either middle or passive. The former renders the kingdom powerfully making an impact, while the latter has the kingdom suffering violence. The cognate Î²Î¹Î±ÏƒÏ„Î±Î¹ occurs in the next clause and means â€˜violent (or impetuous) personsâ€™.29 Occasional attempts are made to apply Î²Î¹Î±ÏƒÏ„Î±Î¹ to those who eagerly come to Jesus, but this requires a reading that is too cryptically parabolic to be plausible.30 Scholars sometimes feel obliged to take the verb and the cognate noun as expressing synonymous sentiments, but this makes the second statement somewhat redundant and therefore anticlimactic.31 The balance and poetry of the statement emerge if we take it as a statement about how one kind of forceful activity is met by another, opposed kind of forceful activity. If we take Î²Î¹Î±Î¶ÎµÏ„Î±Î¹ as middle, the first clause speaks of the power and authority of the preaching of the kingdom of God (by John and Jesus) and of Jesusâ€™ assault on illness, disability, and even death itself.32 The second clause underlines the imprisonment of John in the immediate context and picks up on the various threads which have indicated the scale of opposition which what Jesus stands for will provoke.33
It is not easy to give a precise sense to Î±ÏÏ€Î±Î¶Î¿Ï…ÏƒÎ¹Î½. This is yet another word connoting violence, this time â€˜seizingâ€™, â€˜grabbing atâ€™, â€˜snatching upâ€™, â€˜plunderingâ€™, and the like. The proper force to be given depends a great deal on the way Î²Î¹Î±Î¶ÎµÏ„Î±Î¹ and Î²Î¹Î±ÏƒÏ„Î±Î¹ are to be understood. But given the above decisions, the word will express a hostile reaction of some kind. Trying to get into the kingdom on false terms is a possibility, with 3:7â€“9 in mind. Trying to control access to (the benefits of) the kingdom might suggest itself with reference to 9:3, 34 and especially 23:13 to come. Plundering as an image of carrying off the resources of the kingdom might be applied to the imprisonment of John and its counterpart in the growing hostility to Jesus. The imagery could even be of the attempt to snatch back those who have been forcefully impacted by the kingdom of God. No definite choice is possible, but the penultimate choice produces the best cohesion with the immediate context.
PillarNTC wrote:12. Jesus looks back to the days of John the Baptist. Normally such an expression would refer to a manâ€™s whole lifetime, but this cannot be the meaning here, for John was still alive. It refers to the time in the wilderness when he did his effective preaching and established his reputation, the time when he accomplished his lifeâ€™s work. That period had inaugurated an era in which the kingdom of heaven suffers violence.30 This does not mean that John inaugurated the kingdom; that was the work of Jesus, and the words point to what was happening in the ministry of Jesus. It is a very difficult expression and has been understood in any one of three general ways: (1) The kingdom is being violently treated (taking the word as a passive), that is, its messengers and preachers and adherents are rejected with violence, which may refer to activities like those of Herod and of Jewish opponents of the gospel. (2) The kingdom suffers violence in the sense that some who look for it (the violent men; people like the Zealots?) are trying to bring it about by violent means; perhaps also they view it as no more than a political kingdom. (3) The kingdom is entered with burning zeal. This may be in the sense, â€œgoes forward with triumphant forceâ€ (taking the verb as middle), or the verb may have the meaning â€œinvite urgently, of the â€˜genteel constraint imposed on a reluctant guestâ€™â€ (BAGD, 2.d). Cf. NIV, â€œhas been forcefully advancingâ€ (Carson accepts this sense).31
Violent men32 are those who are carrying out the violence the kingdom suffers. The nounâ€™s normal meaning supports the idea that the sense in the earlier part of the sentence is that of evil people harming the kingdom. If this is the way to take it, Jesus is referring to people who do not understand what God is doing in and through the coming of the kingdom. People like those in power in the world of Judaism act violently in seizing33 what they conceive to be the kingdom and in seeking the best for themselves as they reject what God offers in his Christ. Alternatively we may understand the word to mean putting forth oneâ€™s best effort in the kingdom, snatching people away from evil so that they may have membership in the kingdom. This, however, goes against the normal meaning of violent men. We should surely understand this of violent opposition to the kingdom; this means that in the earlier part of the verse â€œsuffers violenceâ€ (â€œhas been under violent attack,â€ AB) is more probable than â€œadvances strongly.â€ Matthew includes these words of Jesus in a context that speaks of the difficulties of John the Baptist and goes on to refer to people who found themselves unable to agree with Jesus or John. It is much more likely in such a context that Matthew understood the words of the opposition of the evil rather than the progress of the good.34 We should also bear in mind that in this chapter the Evangelist emphasizes meekness and lowliness rather than aggression; Jesus does not teach that people enter the kingdom by reason of their vigor and aggressiveness.
Kasper wrote:Come on Bert, quoting yourself doesn't add weight to your argument.
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