"Surprised" in John 3:7

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      James
      Keymaster

      Translators commonly use the words surprised, marvel, wonder, amazed, and astonished to render the Greek word thaumasēs in John 3:7, “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.”

      What’s interesting is that thaumasēs is the aorist, subjunctive, active of thaumazó. This configuration is always translated in the present tense because, even though the aorist is a past tense verb, no one seems to be able to make sense of the subjunctive in the past tense. Though Greek grammar books define it as the mood of probability, it is almost always translated as the mood of possibility. But actually, the subjunctive is the mood of intention, of will, of commitment, which can include probability, especially when God uses it.

      The following is a more in-depth study of thaumazó from HELPS Word-studies – to wonder at, be amazed (marvel), i.e. astonished out of one’s sensesawestruck, “wondering very greatly” (Souter); to cause “wonder; . . . to regard with amazement, and with a suggestion of beginning to speculate on the matter.”

      Jesus was clearly telling Nicodemus that he ran right past one of the greatest things Jesus could tell him. Jesus could have answered his questions all day long but until he stopped to ponder, meditate, and stand in awe of that truth, which is what the Jews were supposed to do with the Word in the first place, he wasn’t going to understand.

      • This topic was modified 3 years, 7 months ago by James.
      • This topic was modified 3 years, 7 months ago by James.
      • This topic was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by James.
      • This topic was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by James.
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