John 4:31-35

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The New Testament > John > Chapter 4

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Verses 31-38[edit]

  • What lesson does Jesus want his disciples to learn? Note the progress from symbolic “water” to “meat” in this chapter. What does verse 38 say about how Jesus viewed the law of Moses (and the Old Testament, in our terminology, by implication)?

Lexical notes[edit]

Verse 35[edit]

  • already The phrase "[the fields] are white already to harvest" can sounds like "the fields are white all ready to harvest." That leads us to think that what is being said is that the fields are completely ready to harvest. That's incorrect, though harmless. (It is likely because the point of this verse works just as well under the misreading that partly explains why this misreading is perpetuated.) The Greek ἤδη (ēdē) means, just as it is translated, now or already. The misreading occurs because of the unexpected word order. We expect already to come before white. It is further complicated because even if we put already before white the language still sounds odd since we would expect to hear for harvest instead of to harvest. In fact, when you make both of those changes you get the translation of the New King James Version: "[the fields] are already white for harvest."


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