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原创:神的工与人的信——约翰福音6:29解经
送交者: 从上而生 2018年12月17日04:05:22 于 [彩虹之约] 发送悄悄话

The Work of God and The Faith of Man, An Exegesis on John 6:29

        John 6:29 is a favorite verse of Chinese Arminians, who cite this verse as proof that man has to exercise his free will to choose repentance and faith as his personal action and contribution to his salvation. Because the Chinese Union Bible (CUB), the most predominant Chinese translation of the Bible used by Chinese Christians since 1919, translates this verse as “信神所差来的,这就是作神的工, literally “to believe in one whom God has sent: this is to do the work of God”. Obviously, CUB translation on John 6:29 gives the reader an impression that “the work of God” in 6:29 is the work that God requires us. Frequent challenges from Chinese Arminians on this issue prompted me to take a closer look at its Greek text, English translations and interpretations from scholars.

Translation

        The Greek text of John 6:29 reads: ἀπεκρίθη ὁ Ἰησοῦς καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Τοῦτό ἐστιν τὸ ἔργον τοῦ θεοῦ ἵνα πιστεύσητε εἰς ὃν ἀπέστειλεν ἐκεῖνος.  Translators are divided into two groups when translating Jesus’s words in John 6:29. The ESV, a representative of first group, translates them as: “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom He has sent.” Similar translations are seen in ASV, CSB, KJV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NKJV, NRSV, RSV, WEB and YLT. The Lu Zhen-Zhong version of the Bible is another Chinese translation, which is well-known in Chinese Christian community as more literal translation version than CUB. The New Testament translation of this version was published in 1946.  Lu’s version reads: “信他所差遣的,这就是上帝的工”, literally, “to believe in one whom he has sent: this is the work of God.” Lu’s translation is similar to that from ESV group. As Singurd Grindheim observes, these translations preserve the ambiguity of the expression “the work of God.”[1] While the REB, a representative of another group, translates them as, “This is the work that God requires: to believe in the one whom he has sent.” Similar translations are seen in CEB, CEV, GNB, NET, NJB, and NLT. CUB translation is similar to that from REB group. The REB group takes the phrase “the work of God” (τὸ ἔργον τοῦ θεοῦ) as an objective genitive, referring “the work that God expects from human beings”, as Grindheim pointed out.[2] The translation from ESV group seems more literal to the Greek text than that from REB group, which seems to have its interpretation brought into their translations.

        If we have a closer look at Greek text of John 6:29, we would find that Jesus’s statement is in the form of a subjunctive with the conjunction ἵνα, which is often translated as “in order that” or “that”. One of the uses given by D.B. Wallace in his GGBB for ἵνα is that it can be used substantivally and one of those functions is for the ἵνα clause to be in apposition to a previous noun. Wallace also notes that this construction is especially common in Johannine literature.[3]  Thus, the ἵνα clause in Jesus’s statement (ἵνα πιστεύητε εἰς ὃν ἀπέστειλεν ἐκεῖνος) can be taken as an apposition clause, which is in apposition to previous noun ἔργον. The clause “τοῦτό ἐστιν τὸ ἔργον τοῦ θεοῦ” can be considered as the object of εἶπεν. With this consideration, the Jesus’s words should be translated as ESV in English and as Lu Zhen-Zhong’s version of the Bible in Chinese. Since ἵνα is primarily used as a marker to denote the purpose, aim and goal[4] , it is hard to take the phrase “τὸ ἔργον τοῦ θεοῦ” as an objective genitive, for it contradicts the primary sense of ἵνα.

Interpretation

        I found it interesting that commentators were not so divided about the interpretation of Jesus’s words in 6:29, compared to its translation. Most of them lean towards to interpreting “τὸ ἔργον τοῦ θεοῦ” as the work that God requires us to do, even though many of them use the translations from ESV group. However, it is not hard to see their struggles to keep their interpretations in harmony with the established sound doctrine.  

        William Hendriksen takes “the work of God” as that “man must render to God the work of faith”, although he is fully aware that “salvation is entirely by grace”. He says, “the work of faith is the work of receiving the gift of God.”[5]

        Leon Morris found it as interesting that “Jesus describing ‘work’ as believing: God does not require that we pile up merits to obtain a heavenly credit. He requires that we trust him.” He concluded that “the ‘work of God’ means that which God requires of us.”[6]

Having said that “it is not what we can do for God but rather what God has already done for us. All that is required of us is that we believe it”, James Montgomery Boice, who considered John 6:29 as a “golden sentence”, still concluded “what God requires of us is that we give up trying to please him by our own efforts and instead commit ourselves into the hands of our Savior.” [7] Clearly, he views believing as the work that God requires from us.  Richard Phillips has the same view as Boice has on that “Jesus describes believing as ‘the work of God,’ his point is to contrast works with faith.” [8]

        Although Murray Harris stated “Jesus contrasts the one ‘work’ that God actually requires (τὸ ἔργον τοῦ θεοῦ)— namely (epex. ἵνα), constant belief (πιστεύητε, pres. subjunc.) in his accredited messenger— with the many ‘works’ the Jews imagined God demanded (τὰ ἔργα τοῦ θεοῦ, v. 28)”, he realized “Yet this human ‘work’ of continually believing in Jesus is ultimately the work of the Father who draws believers to Christ (v. 44).”[9]

Edward Klink noted “the singular work of the Christian is faith in the Son who was sent from the Father … Any work for God must involve faith in his Son.” Then he continued “There is a work to be done, but it belongs to God… Faith, then, is to trust in the work of God accomplished in Jesus Christ.”[10]

        D.A. Carson commented on 6:28 “they respond by focusing all attention on the work (lit) ‘What must we do in order to work the works of God?’ The expression ‘the works of God” does not refer to the works that God performs, but (as in NIV) to the works God requires.” Carson then went on “Jesus sets them straight: The work of God — i.e. what requires — is faith.” [11]

        Urban C. Von Wahlde found that scholars intended to set up a contrast between the audience’ s use of the plural“works” (ἔργα) and Jesus’s use of the singular (ἔργον), in order to interpret Jesus’s words in 6:29 as a correction of audience’s legalistic misunderstanding of works. He shows that these conclusions are unwarranted. In his commentary on John 6:29, he says, “This is often treated as the Johannine answer to the relation between faith and works. It is not. The confusion arises from the presence of the idiomatic expression in v. 28.” On verse 28, he noted, “‘What should we do (poiōmen), to work the works (ergazōmetha ta erga) of God?’ This is not a question about doing the works of the Law but an example of the idiomatic expression found in apocalyptic meaning ‘to do the will of,’ or ‘to do what is characteristic of.’ (The expression appears also in 8:39, 41)”[12] Von Wahlde claims that the tension between legalism and faith is not an issue in the Gospel of John, and he has forcefully denied the notion that Jesus taught his audience that God was only interested in one “work”: faith, as opposed to the many works by which they merit eternal life. 

        On the basis of the flow of the argument that unfolds in the bread of life discourse with its focus on God’s gift, Grindheim argues that the genitive construction of “τὸ ἔργον τοῦ θεοῦ” should be interpreted as subjective genitive, meaning the work God does, rather than objective genitive, meaning the work God requires. [13] He concluded that Jesus’s words in v.29 should be interpreted as “the work that God does is that you believe in him whom he has sent”, which is to say “faith is given by God”. For “The bread of life discourse emphasizes the same point. Faith in Jesus is a gift that God gives”, Grindheim explained[14]

        Grindheim’s observation provides many new insights on the translation and interpretation of this verse, yet some issues are not fully resolved.  First, the ἵνα clause seems not well interpreted and translated. Klink noted, “Jesus’s statement is in the form of a subjunctive with the conjunction often translated as ‘that/in order that’ (ἵνα), which in this context is best taken as introducing an epexegetical clause explaining the preceding ‘this’ (τοῦτό) and is fittingly translated as an infinitive”[15] It seems that Grindheim treats the ἵνα clause in v.29 in the same way as Klink.

My Argument

        In this article, I will argue that τοῦτό (v.29) refers to the idiomatic expression in the ἵνα clause in v.28: “in order to work the work of God (ἵνα ἐργαζώμεθα τὰ ἔργα τοῦ θεοῦ)”, meaning “in order to become the children of God” on the basis of study on the same idiomatic expression used in 6:28, 8:39, 8:41, while the conjunction ἵνα in v. 29 is used in its primary sense as a marker to denote purpose, aim or goal. Meanwhile, I consider John 6:44 and 65 as two parallel verses to John 29, for Jesus defines “the work of God” (v.29) as the Father’s drawing (v.44), which is graciously given by the Father (v.65).

1, Idiomatic Expression of “Work the Works of God”

        Jesus’s words in 6:29 are given in answer to a question from the audience: “What shall we do that we might work the works of God?” (v. 28). In order to understand what Jesus really teaches in v. 29, we first have to understand what the question from the audience really means. As Von Wahlde suggests that the idiomatic expression used in v.28 appears in John 8:39 and 41. In 8:39, Jesus said to Jews, “If you are the children of Abraham, you would do (ἐποιεῖτε) the works (ἔργα) of Abraham”, in which Jesus has lineage and this idiomatic expression linked together. In John 8:41, when Jesus said to the Jews, “you are doing the deeds of your father (ὑμεῖς ποιεῖτε τὰ ἔργα τοῦ πατρὸς)”, the Jews responded to Jesus with a statement about birthright and lineage: “We were not born of fornication (Ἡμεῖς ἐκ πορνείας οὐ γεγεννήμεθα); we have one Father: God” (NASB), which is shown as a pattern of “born of……Father”. Verse 39 and 41 can be also translated as “for if you were really the children of Abraham, you would follow his example” (v.39) and  “you are imitating your real father”(v.41, NLT, emphasis mine). This translation suggests the relationship between seed (σπέρμα, 8:33) and image is involved. The word σπέρμα actually means semen, and it originally comes from the Hebrew word זֶרַע (Gen.1:11-12), which is best translated as “seed”. Desmond Alexander noted, “zeraʿ conveys the idea that there is a close resemblance between the ‘seed’ and that which has produced it.” When Peter talks about the new birth in terms of God’s sovereign grace in election in 1Peter 1:23, as Boice indicated, “he emphasizes that God is the Father of his children and that we are born again spiritually by means of the Word of God, which Peter likens to the male life germ. The Latin Vulgate makes this image of Peter’s even clearer than our English versions, for the word used there is semen.”[16] We can find that same concept in James 1:18, "Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures." In the immediate context of 6:29, Jesus says, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life” (6:63). Jesus teaches his audience that the Father would have his elect begotten of his own will through Jesus’s words (cf. John 3:5). Unless the sinner received the Word of God, the spiritual seed of his new life, he is unable to imitate him, or follow his example, or do his will. In other words, he is not a child of God. Satan is his father in the spiritual sense and he will do his will. That is why Jesus rebukes the Jews in 8:37-44. “To work the work of God”(v. 28) is therefore a periphrasis for “to be born of God” or “to become the children of God”.

2, Man’s Faith Is a Result from the Work of Father’s Regeneration

        This is actually the theme of the Gospel of John, for it is addressed from the prologue, “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of …… but of God” (1:12-13). The use of the concept of new birth strongly emphasizes the need for a divine initiative for man’s faith on Jesus. Now we can see John’s statement (1:12-13) is on Jesus’s lips (6:29), which is to say that man’s faith on Jesus is a result from the regeneration of God.

        The implied subject of the clause in v. 29 “whom he has sent” by the 3rd singular ἀπέστειλεν indicates that “the work of God” refers to “the work of the Father”. In the light of 8:39-41, the question in 6:28, in the presence of the same idiomatic expression, that “What shall we do (ποιοῦμεν), that we might work the works of God (ἐργαζώμεθα τὰ ἔργα τοῦ θεοῦ)?” should be best taken as a question about birthright and lineage: what shall we do, in order that (ἵνα) we might become the children of God? Jesus’s words in v. 29 is to answer the question of birthright and lineage: This (in order to have you born in God’s family) is (of course) the work of the Father, in order that (ἵνα) you believed into the One whom he sent. John’s point in 1:12-13 is succinctly expressed by Jesus in 6:29. Therefore, Jesus words in v.29 were meant to teach that the Father grants regeneration unto faith and regeneration precedes faith, which is also consistent to his own teaching in John 3:3,5.

Grindheim observes that the work of God in verse 29 specifically refers to the work that the Father does to draw people to Christ (6:44), and that drawing work is the Father’s sovereign grace (v.65).[17] At this point, it is not hard to see that verse 29, 44 and 65 are three parallel verses:

        Verse 29: Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”

        Verse 44: “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.”

        Verse 65: And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”

        I consider John 6:44 as a single verse which covers all five points of Calvinism, in the acrostic TULIP. The narrative reveals the total depravity of the people, which is evident on their inabilities to receive the gift that is given to them. Jesus teaches his audience that they need Father’s sovereign and unconditional choice of sinners to have them born again by Father’s drawing first, in order that they can come to him. Unless the Father "draws" him, a sinner will not believe Jesus. This regenerating work of the Father is done by Father’s drawing definitively to elect.  Then Christ would have them persevered to the last day.  

        BDAG implies the key verb “draw” (ἑλκύσῃ) meaning that the object being moved is incapable of propelling itself or in the case of persons is unwilling to do so voluntarily.[18]Joel Beeke uses this verb to describe God’s irresistible grace in calling sinner as forceful and compelling force.[19] For “there is not one example in the New Testament of the use of this verb where the resistance is successful”, as Morris says.[20]

         When Paul says, “he (Father) has delivered (ἐῤῥύσατο) us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son” (Col. 1:13), he echoes the teaching of Jesus in 6:44 and 3:3, 5, where Jesus says, “unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God....he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” Total deprived man lacks all ability to save himself, even to believe in the gospel freely offered to him. He needs Father’s sovereign and invincible grace to drag him out from the domain of darkness in order to enter and see the kingdom of God. Jesus’s use of the singular (ἔργον) in v.29 indicates the work of God is a monergistic grace from the Father (v.65). God's gracious choosing makes man willing to receive salvation in Christ.

3, Revision of the Translation of Jesus’ Words in John 6:29

        Having understood that Jesus’s words in v.29 were meant to teach that the Father grants regeneration unto faith, it is not hard to understand why the existing translations caused so many confusions. When interpreting John 3:16, Wayne Grudem noted, “The Greek phrase πιστεύω εἰς αὐτόν could also be translated ‘believe into him’ with the sense of trust or confidence that goes into and rests in Jesus as a person.”[21] Morris understands the Greek phrase πιστεύω εἰς to be a significant indication that faith is not just intellectual assent but includes a “moral element of personal trust.”[22] Same Greek phrase is used in v.29. Given the fact that man’s faith on Jesus is his personal trust in Jesus to save him, it is correct to say that faith is a result of God’s regenerating work, but it is not theologically correct to say faith is the work of God. For faith is a humanly exercised act, although it is a divinely imparted habit. Based on this doctrinal consideration, ἵνα here in v.29 should be treated as a subordinate conjunction, introducing the purpose the Father regenerated his elect first, in order that they believe into Jesus, just as how Wallace interprets the use of ἵνα in John 3:16.[23] The conjunction ἵνα here is used in its primary sense as a marker to denote purpose, aim or goal.[24]Jesus words in verse 29 are therefore best translated as: “this is the work of God, in order that you believe into the One whom He sent.” In Chinese, it would be translated as, “这是神的工作,好叫你们信祂所差来的”This revised translation offers a clear expression of ordo salutis existing in John 6:29. Jesus’s words in this verse are meant to teach that man’s faith on him is a gift that the Father gives through his gracious and invincible drawing.

 

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

A Greek–English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, 3rd Ed. (BDAG).

Beeke, Joel R. Living for God’s Glory: An Introduction to Calvinism. Lake Mary, FL: Reformation Trust, 2008.

Carson, D. A. The Gospel According to John. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1991.

Daniel B. Wallace. “Greek grammar: beyond the basics 5.0.” Zondervan interactive, 2003.

Von Wahlde, Urban C. Eerdmans Critical Commentary: The Gospel and Letters of John, Volume 2: The Gospel of John. (ECC; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2010)

Grindheim, Sigurd. “The Work of God or of Human Beings: A Note on John 6:29.” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society; Lynchburg 59, no. 1 (March 2016): 63–66.

Harris, Murray J., Andreas J. Kostenberger, and Robert W. Yarbrough. John. Nashville, TN, UNITED STATES: B&H Publishing Group, 2015.

III, Edward W. Klink. John. Edited by Clinton E. Arnold. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2016.

James Montgomery Boice. The Gospel of John: An Expositional Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2005.

Leon Morris. The Gospel According to John. Rev. ed.. New International Commentary on the New Testament. Grand Rapids, Mich.: WBEerdmans PubCo, 1995.

Phillips, Richard D. John: 2 Volume Set. 2 volume set edition. Phillipsburg, New Jersey: P & R Publishing, 2014.

Wayne A. Grudem. Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine. Leicester, England : Grand Rapids, Mich.: Inter-Varsity Press ; Zondervan PubHouse, 1994.

William Hendriksen. Exposition of the Gospel According to John. New Testament Commentary. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1992.

 

神的工与人的信——约翰福音6:29解经

 

        约翰福音6:29乃华人阿米念主义者最喜欢的经文,他们引用这节经文来证明人需要行使他的自由意志来选择悔改相信作为得到他救恩的作为和贡献,因为和合本——华人基督徒自1919年以来最盛行的圣经版本是这样翻译这节经文的:“信神所差来的,这就是作神的工”, 这个中文翻译字面上的意思是to believe in one whom God has sent: this is to do the work of God”. 很显然,和合本对约翰福音6:29的翻译给人的印象是这节经文中的“神的工”乃是神要我们做的工。因为频繁地受到华人阿米念主义者在这个问题上的挑战,这促使我去仔细查考这节经文的希腊文原文、英文翻译和学者们的阐释。

翻译

        约翰福音6:29 希腊文的原文是这样的: ἀπεκρίθη ὁ Ἰησοῦς καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Τοῦτό ἐστιν τὸ ἔργον τοῦ θεοῦ ἵνα πιστεύσητε εἰς ὃν ἀπέστειλεν ἐκεῖνος翻译家们在约翰福音6:29这节经文中耶稣的话的翻译上有很大的分歧,这种分歧可大致分为两组。第一组以 ESV为典型代表,将之译作 “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom He has sent.” 类似的翻译可见于这些版本:ASV, CSB, KJV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NKJV, NRSV, RSV, WEB YLT。吕振中译本是另外一种中文译本,该版本在华人基督徒圈子内跟和合本比较以更加直译著称,其新约部分于1946年出版。吕振中版本这节经文译作: “信他所差遣的,这就是上帝的工”, 字面上的意思是, “to believe in one whom he has sent: this is the work of God.” 吕振中的翻译跟ESV这组的英文翻译类似,这种翻译正如Singurd Grindheim 所观察到的,保留了 “the work of God”这个词组意义上的模糊性。[1]REB这个版本是另一组翻译的代表,它将之译作, “This is the work that God requires: to believe in the one whom he has sent.” 类似的翻译见于CEB, CEV, GNB, NET, NJB, NLT等版本。和合本的翻译跟REB这组的翻译类似,将 “the work of God” (τὸ ἔργον τοῦ θεοῦ) 作为受词的所有格来处理,正如Grindheim所指出的那样,是指作 “神期待我们人来做的工作。”[2] ESV这组版本的翻译似乎更像希腊文的直译,而REB这组版本的翻译似乎将翻译者的注释翻译带进译文里面了。

        倘若我们仔细查看约翰福音6:29希腊文原文,我们会发现耶稣的话是以ἵνα这个连接词的一种虚拟语气说出来的,这个字通常译作“好叫”或“叫”。D.B. Wallace在他的GGBB这本书中说到ἵνα这个字的一种用法就是可以用作名词来用,而ἵνα从句的功用之一就是作前面名词的同位语。还说到,这种结构在约翰的著作中尤其常见[3] 因此耶稣这句话中的ἵνα从句 (ἵνα πιστεύητε εἰς ὃν ἀπέστειλεν ἐκεῖνος)可以看作同位语从句,作为前面“工作”(ἔργον)这个名词的同位语。 “τοῦτό ἐστιν τὸ ἔργον τοῦ θεοῦ” 这个从句可以看作是εἶπεν的宾语。基于这种考虑,耶稣在这节经文中的话英文就可以作ESV那样的翻译,中文就可以作吕振中译本那样的翻译。因为ἵνα这个字主要的意思是用作表示意图、目的和目标[4] ,因此很难将 “τὸ ἔργον τοῦ θεοῦ” 作为受词的所有格来处理,因为这个跟ἵνα这个字的主要意思相违背。

Interpretation

    注释家们对6:29这节经文的阐释远不如在其翻译上的分歧那么多,我觉得这很有意思。他们大多数将“τὸ ἔργον τοῦ θεοῦ”当作神要求我们去做的工作来看,即使他们用的是ESV这组的圣经翻译版本。不过,不难看出他们在自己对经文的解释和现有的纯正教义之间保持和谐这方面的挣扎纠结。

        William Hendriksen “神的工” 看作 “人必须回应神之信心的工作,即便他完全清楚“救恩完全是出于恩典”,他说。“信心的工作乃解释神礼物的工作。”[5]

        Leon Morris 觉得“耶稣将‘工作’描述成相信” 很有意思,他说,“神不需要我们积德来获得属天的信用,祂要我们的就是相信祂。” 他因此得出结论说,“‘神的工’意思是神要求我们做的工”[6]

        James Montgomery Boice629视作“金句”,他在说完“不在乎我们为神做什么,而在乎神已经为我们做了什么。神要求我们的一切就是我们相信之”之后,却得出结论说,神要求我们的是放弃我们自己的努力来取悦祂,而是要我们将自己委身给救主的手中。”[7]他显然将信心视作神要求我们做的工。Richard Phillips Boice的观点相同,他说,“耶稣将信心描述成‘神的工’,祂的指向是要将行为与信心对照起来。”[8]

        尽管Murray Harris说及,“耶稣将神确切地要求我们做的一个‘工作’(τὸ ἔργον τοῦ θεοῦ)— 也就是 (ἵνα作为解释性的), 将相信 (πιστεύητε, 现在时虚拟语气) 祂信任的使者——与犹太人所想象的神要求的许多“工作”作为对照(τὰ ἔργα τοῦ θεοῦ, v. 28), 但他也意识到,“不过这种人的持续相信耶稣的“工作”最终是父神吸引信徒到基督那里的工作(44节)”[9]

         Edward Klink说,“基督徒单一的工作信父差遣来的子、、、为神做的任何工作都涉及到对祂儿子的信。”他接着又说,“还有一项工作需要做,但却是属于神的、、、信心,而后是相信神在耶稣基督里面所成就的工作。”[10]

        D.A. Carson 是这样注解6:28的“他们关注全是工作(字面上的意思是)‘我们当行什么,才算作神的工?’‘神的工’这个表述不是指神做的工作,而是(正如NIV所翻译的)神要求我们做的。” Carson 接着说,“耶稣跟他们直白地说:神的工——就是所要求的——就是信心。”[11]

        Urban C. Von Wahlde 发现学者们都有把会众使用复数的“工作”(ἔργα) 与耶稣使用的单数的工作 (ἔργον)来作显明对照,目的是要将耶稣在约629中的话解释成纠正会众错误地理解成守律法的行为,他表明这些结论是没有根据的。在他对约629的注释当中他这有说,“这常常将约翰的回答作为一种信心与工作之间的关系来处理,但这却不是。这种混乱主要是因为28节中有一个成语表述。”在对28节的注释中,他说,“‘我们当行什么(poiōmen), 才算做神的工(ergazōmetha ta erga),这个问题不是在说行律法的工作,而是成语表述的范例,表达启示性的意思‘按谁的旨意行’或‘按谁的特征行’(这种表述还在约83941出现)”[12] Von Wahlde 宣称律法主义和信心之间的张力不是约翰福音要说的问题,他强烈地否认耶稣是在那里教导会众:跟他们想要做的许多工作来赚取永生相对而言,神唯一对人感兴趣的一个“工作”就是:信心。

        基于耶稣有关生命的粮讲道所展开的论点是聚焦在神的恩赐上,Grindheim辩论说,τὸ ἔργον τοῦ θεοῦ这个所有格结构应该解释为主词的所有格,意思是神做的工作,而不是受词的所有格,意思是神要求人做的工作。[13] 他的结论是耶稣在29节经文中的话应该解释为“神的工就是你信祂所差来的祂”,也就是说,“信心乃是神恩赐的”。因为“生命的粮之讲道强调是同一个观点,在耶稣里的信心乃是神恩赐的礼物”,Grindheim解释说[14]

        Grindheim’s 的观察对这节经文的翻译和解释提供了不少深刻的见解,但有些问题还是没有完全得到解决。首先, ἵνα 从句似乎没有得到很好的解释和翻译。Klink写到,“耶稣的表白是一种虚拟语气结合通常译作‘叫/好叫’ (ἵνα)的这个连接词一起说出来的,从上下文来看,最好将这个连接词视作介导一个解释性从句,以此来解释前面的‘这’ (τοῦτό),将之译作不定词比较合适。”[15] 看上去Grindheim是以Klink同样的方式来处理29节当中的 ἵνα从句的

我的论点     

     在这篇文章当中,我要辩论的观点是29节中的“这” (τοῦτό) 是指着28节ἵνα 从句中的成语表述而说的in order to work the work of God (ἵνα ἐργαζώμεθα τὰ ἔργα τοῦ θεοῦ)”, 意思是“好叫我们成为神的儿女”,这是结论是在对同样的成语用在6:28, 8:39, 8:41三节经文的研究基础上得出来的,而29节中的连接词ἵνα 这个字用的是其主要的意思来表示意图、目的和目标。与此同时,我认为约6:4465是两节与约6:29平行的经文,因为耶稣在44节用父的吸引来定义29节的“神的工”,而神的这工乃是父恩典地赐予的(65节) 。

1, “做神的工Work the Works of God”这个成语表述

        耶稣在6:29所说的话乃是针对会众在28节问的问题: “我们当行什么,才算作神的工呢?What shall we do that we might work the works of God?” 要想明白耶稣在29节教导的真意,我们首先得明白会众问题的真意。正如Von Wahlde所提示的,用于在28节里面的那个成语也出现在约8:39 41节里面。在8:39, 耶稣对犹太人说,“你们若是亚伯拉罕的儿子,就必行(ἐποιεῖτε)亚伯拉罕所行的事(ἔργα)”,在这句话里面耶稣将家系与这个成语紧紧联结在一起。在约8:41, 当耶稣对犹太人说,“你们是行你们父所行的事(ὑμεῖς ποιεῖτε τὰ ἔργα τοῦ πατρὸς)”,而犹太人给耶稣的回应却是一个关乎出生权和家系的表白:“我们不是从淫乱生的 (Ἡμεῖς ἐκ πορνείας οὐ γεγεννήμεθα),我们只有一位父就是神。” 这里显示出一种“从、、、父而生”的模式。第39节和41节的英文翻译还可以这样翻for if you were really the children of Abraham, you would follow his example效法祂的样式” (v.39) and  “you are imitating your real father效法你真正的父”(v.41, NLT, 斜体强调是我放上去的)。这个翻译提示其中蕴含着种子seed (σπέρμα, 8:33) 与形象之间的关系,σπέρμα 这个字的意思其实就是精子,其本来源于希伯来文 זֶרַע (1:11-12)这个字,其最好的翻译是“种子”(不少人翻译作“后裔”)。Desmond Alexander , “zeraʿ זֶרַע)这个字表达一种‘种子’与从其而出的两者之间非常相像的观念。”正如Boice所指出的,当彼得在彼得前书1:23论及神在拣选中的主权恩典的新生时,“他强调神是祂子民的父,而我们从属灵意义上来说我们的重生乃是藉着神的道,在那里彼得将神的道比作男人生命的精子。拉丁文圣经比起英文版圣经来甚至将彼得用的这幅画面刻画得更清晰,因为拉丁文用的那个字就是精子。”[16] 我们在雅各书118也可以发现同样的概念,“他按自己的旨意,用真道生了我们,叫我们在他所造的万物中,好像初熟的果子。”在 6:29紧邻的上下文里,耶稣说,“叫人活着的乃是灵,肉体是无益的。我对你们所说的,就是灵,就是生命” 6:63)。耶稣教导祂的会众父会按照祂的旨意使祂拣选的人藉着祂的话生出来(参见约3:5)。 除非罪人接受了神的道——他新生命属灵的种子,他就不可能效法祂,或跟从祂,或按祂的旨意行。换句话说,他还不是神的孩子呢。从属灵意义来说,撒旦乃是他的父,他会按照撒旦的旨意行。这就是为什么耶稣在8:37-44那样驳斥犹太人说。 因此,28节中“做神的工”实际上是“从神而生”或“成为神的儿女”的委婉表述。

2,人的信乃父重生之工的结果

        这实际上是约翰福音的主题思想,因为在开场白里面就讲到这点,“他到自己的地方来,自己的人倒不接待他。凡接待他的,就是信他名的人,他就赐他们权柄,作神的儿女。这等人、、、乃是从神生的”(112-13)使用新生这个概念本身就是非常强调人信耶稣需要一个从神而来的创始。如今我们就能看见约翰的在112-13的告白在耶稣的口中表达出来了 6:29),也就是说,人对耶稣的信乃是神重生之工的结果。

        29节“祂所差遣的”这个从句中第三人称单数动词ἀπέστειλεν所暗示出来的主语“祂”表明“神的工”是指着“父的工”。在 8:39-41的亮光之下,因着6:28中的问句当中也使用了同样的成语表达“我们当行(ποιοῦμεν)什么,才算作神的工(ἐργαζώμεθα τὰ ἔργα τοῦ θεοῦ)呢?”最好是将之视作作一个关于出生权和家系的问题:我们当行什么,好叫 (ἵνα) 我们可以成为神的儿女呢? 耶稣在29节的话就是回答这个出生权和家系问题的: 这(使你们生在神的家中)(当然)是父的工作,好叫你们信祂所差来的那位。约翰在1:12-13中的观点被耶稣在6:29中清楚地表达了出来。因此,耶稣在29节中的话意在教导会众父赐重生使得人信,亦即重生先于信心,这也跟祂在约 3:3,5的教导是一致的。

         Grindheim观察到29节中神的工是特别指着父吸引人到基督那里来讲的(644),而这种吸引的工作乃是父主权的恩赐(665)。[17] 及此,就不难看出29, 44 65这三节经文实际上是平行的:

        29: 耶稣回答说,信神所差来的,这就是作神的工。(笔者译:这是神的工作,好叫你们信祂所差来的)

        44: “若不是差我来的父吸引人,就没有能到我这里来的。到我这里来的,在末日我要叫他复活。

       65: 耶稣又说,所以我对你们说过,若不是蒙我父的恩赐,没有人能到我这里来。

        我将约6:44看作一个单节含括郁金香(TULIP)这个缩写所代表的加尔文主义五要点的经文。 经文显示出人的全然变坏,表现在他们没有能力得到给予他们的礼物。耶稣教导祂的会众,他们需要父主权的和无条件的拣选罪人,使得他们藉着父的吸引而先得重生,好叫他们能够来到祂面前。若不是父“吸引”人,罪人就不会相信耶稣。父的这种重生的工作是特定地做在祂拣选的人身上。而后基督保守他们到末日。

        BDAG (新约和早期基督教文献希腊文英文字典)暗示匙词吸引” (ἑλκύσῃ) 这个字的意思是所挪动的物体本身无法驱动,或在说到人时意思是人自己不情愿那样做。[18]Joel Beeke用这个字来描述神在呼召罪人那种强大和无可抗拒力量带来的不可抗拒的恩典。[19]   正如Morris所说,因为“在新约中还没有一例在用这个动词的情况下抗拒成功了的”[20]

         当保罗说“他救了我们脱离(ἐῤῥύσατο)黑暗的权势,把我们迁到他爱子的国里”(西 1:13)时,他是在回应耶稣在6:44 3:3, 5的教导,在那里耶稣说“人若不重生,就不能见神的国、、、人若不是从水和圣灵生的,就不能进神的国。”全然败坏的人没有能力救自己,甚至没有能力相信白白给他的福音。他需要父主权的和不可战胜的恩典将他从黑暗的权势下硬拽出来,好叫他进入和看见神的国。耶稣在29节所用的单数的工作 (ἔργον) 表明神的工乃是从父而来独一的恩赐(65节)。神恩典地选择使得人愿意接受在基督里的救恩。

3, 约翰福音6:29翻译上的修订

        在明白了耶稣在29节中的话意在教导会众父赐重生使得人信,亦即重生先于信心之后,就不难明白现存的翻译会导致如此多的困惑。Wayne Grudem在阐释约3:16时这样说,希腊文的短语πιστεύω εἰς αὐτόν(信祂)也可以翻译作“信入祂”,带有个人信靠或带着信任进入和安歇在耶稣里面的意思。[21] Morris 将希腊文短语πιστεύω εἰς 理解为一个显著的标识表达信心不仅仅是知性上的同意而已,还包括着“个人信靠的道德成分”在里面。[22]这个同样的希腊文短语也见于29节,鉴于人对耶稣的信心乃是他个人对耶稣拯救他的信靠,说信心是神重生之工的结果就对了,但若说信心乃是神的工在神学上就不对了。因为信心尽管是从神那里赐给的习性,但毕竟还是人的作为。基于这个教义上的考虑,也正如Wallace在解释 ἵνα在约 3:16的用法时所指出的,29节里面的这个ἵνα最好是作为附属从句的连词,引出父重生祂拣选的人在先,目的是好叫他们信入耶稣。[23] 连接词ἵνα这个字主要的意思是用作表示意图、目的和目标。[24]因此,耶稣在29节中的话的最佳翻译是this is the work of God, in order that you believe into the One whom He sent.中文的最佳翻译是, “这是神的工作,好叫你们信祂所差来的。”这一修订的翻译将6:29里面所蕴含的救恩的次序清晰地表达出来了,耶稣在这节经文意在教导人对祂的信乃从藉着祂恩典的无法抗拒的吸引父赐下的礼物。

 

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

A Greek–English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, 3rd Ed. (BDAG).

Beeke, Joel R. Living for God’s Glory: An Introduction to Calvinism. Lake Mary, FL: Reformation Trust, 2008.

Carson, D. A. The Gospel According to John. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1991.

Daniel B. Wallace. “Greek grammar: beyond the basics 5.0.” Zondervan interactive, 2003.

Von Wahlde, Urban C. Eerdmans Critical Commentary: The Gospel and Letters of John, Volume 2: The Gospel of John. (ECC; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2010)

Grindheim, Sigurd. “The Work of God or of Human Beings: A Note on John 6:29.” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society; Lynchburg 59, no. 1 (March 2016): 63–66.

Harris, Murray J., Andreas J. Kostenberger, and Robert W. Yarbrough. John. Nashville, TN, UNITED STATES: B&H Publishing Group, 2015.

III, Edward W. Klink. John. Edited by Clinton E. Arnold. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2016.

James Montgomery Boice. The Gospel of John: An Expositional Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2005.

Leon Morris. The Gospel According to John. Rev. ed.. New International Commentary on the New Testament. Grand Rapids, Mich.: WBEerdmans PubCo, 1995.

Phillips, Richard D. John: 2 Volume Set. 2 volume set edition. Phillipsburg, New Jersey: P & R Publishing, 2014.

Wayne A. Grudem. Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine. Leicester, England : Grand Rapids, Mich.: Inter-Varsity Press ; Zondervan PubHouse, 1994.

William Hendriksen. Exposition of the Gospel According to John. New Testament Commentary. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1992.

 

 

 



[1] Sigurd Grindheim, “The Work of God or of Human Beings: A Note on John 6:29,” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society; Lynchburg 59, no. 1 (March 2016): 63–66.

[2] Grindheim.

[3] Daniel B. Wallace, “Greek grammar: beyond the basics 5.0” (Zondervan interactive, 2003), 749.

[4] A Greek–English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, 3rd Ed. (BDAG), 475.

[5] William Hendriksen, Exposition of the Gospel According to John, New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1992) 232.

[6] Leon Morris, The Gospel According to John, Rev. ed.., New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Mich.: WB Eerdmans Pub Co, 1995), 319.

[7] James Montgomery Boice, The Gospel of John: An Expositional Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2005), 471.

[8] Richard D. Phillips, John: 2 Volume Set, 2 volume set edition (Phillipsburg, New Jersey: P & R Publishing, 2014), 382.

[9] Murray J. Harris, Andreas J. Kostenberger, and Robert W. Yarbrough, John (Nashville, TN, UNITED STATES: B&H Publishing Group, 2015), kindle location: 5749

[10] Edward W. Klink III, John, ed. Clinton E. Arnold (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2016), 328.

[11] D. A. Carson, The Gospel According to John (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1991), kindle location: 5743 of 18081.

[12]  Urban C. von Wahlde, The Gospel and Letters of John, vol. 2: Commentary on the Gospel of John (ECC; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2010), 290-291.

[13] Grindheim, “The Work of God or of Human Beings.”

[14] Grindheim.

[15] III, John, 327.

[16] James Montgomery Boice, The Gospel of John, an expositional commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books 202.

[17] Grindheim, “The Work of God or of Human Beings.”

[18] A Greek–English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, 3rd Ed. (BDAG), 318.

[19] Joel R. Beeke, Living for God’s Glory: An Introduction to Calvinism (Lake Mary, FL: Reformation Trust, 2008) Kindle Locations 1442-1443.

[20] Leon Morris, The Gospel According to John, 318.

[21] Wayne A. Grudem, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine (Leicester, England : Grand Rapids, Mich.: Inter-Varsity Press ; Zondervan PubHouse, 1994), 710.

[22] Leon Morris, The Gospel According to John, 336.

[23] Daniel B. Wallace, “Greek grammar,” 668.

[24] A Greek–English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, 3rd Ed. (BDAG), 475.


 

 



[1] Sigurd Grindheim, “The Work of God or of Human Beings: A Note on John 6:29,” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society; Lynchburg 59, no. 1 (March 2016): 63–66.

[2] Grindheim.

[3] Daniel B. Wallace, “Greek grammar: beyond the basics 5.0” (Zondervan interactive, 2003), 749.

[4] A Greek–English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, 3rd Ed. (BDAG), 475.

[5] William Hendriksen, Exposition of the Gospel According to John, New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1992) 232.

[6] Leon Morris, The Gospel According to John, Rev. ed.., New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Mich.: WB Eerdmans Pub Co, 1995), 319.

[7] James Montgomery Boice, The Gospel of John: An Expositional Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2005), 471.

[8] Richard D. Phillips, John: 2 Volume Set, 2 volume set edition (Phillipsburg, New Jersey: P & R Publishing, 2014), 382.

[9] Murray J. Harris, Andreas J. Kostenberger, and Robert W. Yarbrough, John (Nashville, TN, UNITED STATES: B&H Publishing Group, 2015), kindle location: 5749

[10] Edward W. Klink III, John, ed. Clinton E. Arnold (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2016), 328.

[11] D. A. Carson, The Gospel According to John (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1991), kindle location: 5743 of 18081.

[12]  Urban C. von Wahlde, The Gospel and Letters of John, vol. 2: Commentary on the Gospel of John (ECC; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2010), 290-291.

[13] Grindheim, “The Work of God or of Human Beings.”

[14] Grindheim.

[15] III, John, 327.

[16] James Montgomery Boice, The Gospel of John, an expositional commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books 202.

[17] Grindheim, “The Work of God or of Human Beings.”

[18] A Greek–English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, 3rd Ed. (BDAG), 318.

[19] Joel R. Beeke, Living for God’s Glory: An Introduction to Calvinism (Lake Mary, FL: Reformation Trust, 2008) Kindle Locations 1442-1443.

[20] Leon Morris, The Gospel According to John, 318.

[21] Wayne A. Grudem, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine (Leicester, England : Grand Rapids, Mich.: Inter-Varsity Press ; Zondervan PubHouse, 1994), 710.

[22] Leon Morris, The Gospel According to John, 336.

[23] Daniel B. Wallace, “Greek grammar,” 668.

[24] A Greek–English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, 3rd Ed. (BDAG), 475.


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  可见,教义都不叫人正常说人话了!👈  /无内容 - repentant 12/17/18 (220)
    “教义”在和合本译作“教训”。圣经的教训当然抵触世俗的话!  /无内容 - 从上而生 12/17/18 (210)
  败笔在这里2 - repentant 12/17/18 (173)
    这是最忠实于原文的中文翻译  /无内容 - 从上而生 12/17/18 (218)
      道理忠于,表达翻译错误! 还是不让人正常说话嘛! - repentant 12/17/18 (238)
        忠于的就是原文,不是中文,宝贝  /无内容 - 从上而生 12/17/18 (206)
  败笔在这里1 - repentant 12/17/18 (191)
      这句话本身包含了救恩的次序,先被神重生,才会有信心  /无内容 - 从上而生 12/17/18 (203)
      你不是号称“神恩独做”吗?露马脚了吧?  /无内容 - 从上而生 12/17/18 (206)
    问题并不在最后一句。  /无内容 - repentant 12/17/18 (227)
      哦,说说看  /无内容 - 从上而生 12/17/18 (143)
      木有,你木瓜脑袋搞不明白,那是你的事  /无内容 - 从上而生 12/17/18 (217)
        漏怯了了了!😁 - repentant 12/17/18 (228)
          啥意思?  /无内容 - 从上而生 12/17/18 (154)
            去改去,如法炮制:)  /无内容 - repentant 12/17/18 (209)
              啥意思?  /无内容 - 从上而生 12/17/18 (141)
    揩油族的经典!  /无内容 - 从上而生 12/17/18 (204)
    而人的信却是神给的,你歪歪唧唧乱叫个啥?  /无内容 - 从上而生 12/17/18 (206)
    补充:你的错 - repentant 12/17/18 (170)
      没有否则定,但次序非常重要!  /无内容 - 从上而生 12/17/18 (231)
        不是次序,是因果。  /无内容 - repentant 12/17/18 (211)
          是啊,父重生人是因,人信基督乃父重生人的结果  /无内容 - 从上而生 12/17/18 (204)
        否则定=否定  /无内容 - 从上而生 12/17/18 (142)
    你小子压根就没有看明白 - 从上而生 12/17/18 (234)
      这经文和29表达的类似,但内容却根本不同。  /无内容 - repentant 12/17/18 (220)
        是6:28,不是29节  /无内容 - 从上而生 12/17/18 (208)
          当然29也是啦。  /无内容 - repentant 12/17/18 (206)
            蛇精病,29节哪里有8:39和41用的那个短语?  /无内容 - 从上而生 12/17/18 (197)
        都是在说linegage,这是希腊文文法的beauty之处  /无内容 - 从上而生 12/17/18 (204)
  特供懊悔哥脑补:)  /无内容 - 从上而生 12/17/18 (215)
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