Bill Mounce

For an Informed Love of God

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John 15:1–27

In this passage you will see the value of carefully watching shifts in tenses. It also illustrates the importance of recognizing that even in the indicative, the primary significance of a tense is its aspect, not its time. You will need to understand the force of the subjunctive in conditional statements, especially when the subjunctive indicates a general (axiomatic) truth. Be careful that your translation does not make the truth of the statement conditional. What is conditional is whether or not you will do the action described in the “if” clause. Typically in John, the vocabulary is simple and repetitive.

Theologically, note carefully the necessity of abiding and the implications if you do not, especially in terms of one’s fruit. What does this passage teach about “carnal Christians”?

Much of this passage is enjoyable to phrase. You may want to look especially at 15:7-8 and 15:15-16.

John 15:1–4

John 15:1 This verse is pretty straight forward although there is interesting background to a few of the statements.
John 15:2 The trick with this verse is to see that the direct objects are both repeated twice. And be sure to have a class discussion about the verb "lift up; remove." Be prepared for a potentially somewhat heated theological discussion.
John 15:3 No surprises here.
John 15:4 When there are parallel thoughts in a sentence, Greek (and most languages) can leave out information in the second half that is to be assumed from the first half. This is where phrasing will really help you

John 15:5–11

John 15:5 Double negatives don't cancel each other in Greek; they strengthen the statement.
John 15:6 There is a lot in this verse, unusual tenses, and interesting textual variants.
John 15:7 A good example of the middle, and how some of the nice, neat definitions in Classical Greek no longer apply.
John 15:8 Verse 8 illustrates how even in the indicative tenses can have no time significance, and also why you must have a good Greek–English dictionary.
John 15:9 This verse is pretty easy, but it does have a good review of liquid verbs (BBG 22.3-5)
John 15:10 Another example of liquid verbs, and an explanation of two of the symbols used in textual criticism
John 15:11 No surprises here.

John 15:12–25

John 15:12 Easy verse, but watch the breathing on the first word.
John 15:13 We meet our first genitive of comparison and also see the nuances of word order.
John 15:14 Can you be a disobedient child of God?
John 15:15 Two double accusatives, and watch out for the relative clause
John 15:16 This is a more challenging verse, not only its theology but also its compound and μι verbs.
John 15:17 Does the plural ταῦτα refer back to the previous teachings, or does it point forward to ἀγαπᾶτε ἀλλήλους? If it poi ts forward, why is ταῦτα plural?
John 15:18 Are you going to translate εἰ as “if” or “since”? And is πρῶτον an adjective or adverb, and does it make a difference?
John 15:19 There's lots of stuff in this verse. Second-class contrary-to-fact conditional sentence. ἄν with a non-subjunctive verb. Interesting changes of tenses. And a great discussion point in class: what does ἐξελεξάμην ὑμᾶς refer to?
John 15:20  
John 15:21 No real surprises
John 15:22  
John 15:23  
John 15:24  
John 15:25  

John 15:26–27

John 15:26  
John 15:27