Easter Gospel lection from John 20; Comments on the Greek text

Jn 20:1 Τῇ δὲ μιᾷ τῶν σαββάτων[A] Μαρία ἡ Μαγδαληνὴ ἔρχεται[B] πρωῒ σκοτίας ἔτι οὔσης εἰς τὸ μνημεῖον, καὶ βλέπει τὸν λίθον ἠρμένον ἐκ τοῦ μνημείου. On the first [day] of the week, Mary Magdalene comes early, while it is still dark, to the tomb, and she sees the stone removed from the tomb.
Jn 20:2 τρέχει οὖν καὶ ἔρχεται πρὸς Σίμωνα Πέτρον καὶ πρὸς τὸν ἄλλον μαθητὴν ὃν ἐφίλει[C] ὁ Ἰησοῦς, καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς· Ἦραν τὸν κύριον ἐκ τοῦ μνημείου, καὶ οὐκ οἴδαμεν[D] ποῦ ἔθηκαν αὐτόν. So she runs and comes to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and she says to them, “They took the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they placed him.”
Jn 20:3 ἐξῆλθεν οὖν ὁ Πέτρος καὶ ὁ ἄλλος μαθητής, καὶ ἤρχοντο[E] εἰς τὸ μνημεῖον. Then Peter and the other disciple went out, and they were going to the tomb.
Jn 20:4 ἔτρεχον δὲ οἱ δύο ὁμοῦ· καὶ ὁ ἄλλος μαθητὴς προέδραμεν τάχιον τοῦ Πέτρου καὶ ἦλθεν πρῶτος εἰς[F] τὸ μνημεῖον, And the two were running together; and the other disciple ran ahead more quickly than Peter, and he came first to the tomb.
Jn 20:5 καὶ παρακύψας βλέπει κείμενα τὰ ὀθόνια, οὐ μέντοι εἰσῆλθεν. And after stooping down, he sees the cloth wrappings lying, though he did not go in.
Jn 20:6 ἔρχεται οὖν καὶ Σίμων Πέτρος ἀκολουθῶν αὐτῷ, καὶ εἰσῆλθεν εἰς τὸ μνημεῖον· καὶ θεωρεῖ τὰ ὀθόνια κείμενα, Then Simon Peter also comes following him, and he entered into the tomb; and he sees the cloth wrappings lying,
Jn 20:7 καὶ τὸ σουδάριον, ὃ ἦν ἐπὶ τῆς κεφαλῆς αὐτοῦ, οὐ μετὰ τῶν ὀθονίων κείμενον ἀλλὰ χωρὶς ἐντετυλιγμένον εἰς ἕνα τόπον· And the facecloth, which was on his head, not lying with the wrappings, but apart, folded in one place.
Jn 20:8 τότε οὖν εἰσῆλθεν καὶ ὁ ἄλλος μαθητὴς ὁ ἐλθὼν πρῶτος εἰς τὸ μνημεῖον, καὶ εἶδεν καὶ ἐπίστευσεν[G]· So then also the other disciple, who came first to the tomb, entered into the tomb, and he saw and believed.
Jn 20:9 οὐδέπω γὰρ ᾔδεισαν τὴν γραφὴν ὅτι δεῖ αὐτὸν ἐκ νεκρῶν ἀναστῆναι. For they did not yet know the Scripture, that it [was] necessary from him to rise from the dead.
Jn 20:10 ἀπῆλθον οὖν πάλιν πρὸς αὑτοὺς[H] οἱ μαθηταί. Then the disciples went out again to them.
Jn 20:11 Μαρία δὲ εἱστήκει[I] πρὸς[J] τῷ μνημείῳ ἔξω κλαίουσα. ὡς οὖν ἔκλαιεν παρέκυψεν εἰς τὸ μνημεῖον, But Mary was standing at the tomb outside weeping.  Then, as she was crying, she stooped down into the tomb.
Jn 20:12 καὶ θεωρεῖ δύο ἀγγέλους ἐν λευκοῖς καθεζομένους, ἕνα πρὸς τῇ κεφαλῇ καὶ ἕνα πρὸς τοῖς ποσίν, ὅπου ἔκειτο[K] τὸ σῶμα τοῦ Ἰησοῦ. And she sees two angels in white, sitting one at the head and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus was lying.
Jn 20:13 καὶ λέγουσιν αὐτῇ ἐκεῖνοι· Γύναι, τί κλαίεις; λέγει αὐτοῖς ὅτι Ἦραν τὸν κύριόν μου, καὶ οὐκ οἶδα ποῦ ἔθηκαν αὐτόν. And they say to her, “Woman, why are you crying?”  She says to them, “They took my Lord, and I don’t know where they placed him.”
Jn 20:14 ταῦτα εἰποῦσα ἐστράφη εἰς τὰ ὀπίσω, καὶ θεωρεῖ τὸν Ἰησοῦν ἑστῶτα, καὶ οὐκ ᾔδει ὅτι Ἰησοῦς ἐστιν. Having said these things, she turned around, and she sees Jesus standing, and she did not know that it [was] Jesus.
Jn 20:15 λέγει αὐτῇ Ἰησοῦς· Γύναι, τί κλαίεις; τίνα ζητεῖς; ἐκείνη δοκοῦσα ὅτι ὁ κηπουρός ἐστιν λέγει αὐτῷ· Κύριε[L], εἰ σὺ ἐβάστασας αὐτόν, εἰπέ μοι ποῦ ἔθηκας αὐτόν, κἀγὼ αὐτὸν ἀρῶ. Jesus says to her, “Woman, why are you crying?  Whom are you seeking?”  That one [i.e. Mary], thinking that he is the gardener, says to him, “Sir, if you carried him [off], tell me where you placed him, and I will take him away.”
Jn 20:16 λέγει αὐτῇ Ἰησοῦς· Μαριάμ. στραφεῖσα[M] ἐκείνη λέγει αὐτῷ Ἑβραϊστί· Ραββουνι (ὃ λέγεται Διδάσκαλε). Jesus says to her, “Mary.”  Turning, that one says to him in Aramaic “Rabbouni” (which means “teacher”).
Jn 20:17 λέγει αὐτῇ Ἰησοῦς· Μή μου ἅπτου[N], οὔπω γὰρ ἀναβέβηκα πρὸς τὸν πατέρα· πορεύου δὲ πρὸς τοὺς ἀδελφούς[O] μου καὶ εἰπὲ αὐτοῖς· Ἀναβαίνω πρὸς τὸν πατέρα μου καὶ πατέρα ὑμῶν καὶ θεόν μου καὶ θεὸν ὑμῶν. Jesus says to her, “Stop holding me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father.  But go to my brothers and tell them ‘I am going to my Father and your Father, both my God and your God.’”
Jn 20:18 ἔρχεται Μαριὰμ ἡ Μαγδαληνὴ ἀγγέλλουσα τοῖς μαθηταῖς ὅτι[P] Ἑώρακα τὸν κύριον καὶ ταῦτα εἶπεν αὐτῇ. Mary Magdalene comes announcing to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and that he said these things to her.

 

 

[A] Literally “on the first of the Sabbath”

[B] The present tense is used commonly throughout this passage to create a sense of vividness.  I have translated tenses literally.

[C] Imperfect tense, indicating continuous action in the past.  Jesus was in the present and enduring state of loving him.

[D] An interesting point of contact with the synoptic accounts, which have more than one woman, in contrast to John’s focus on Mary.

[E] Imperfect tense here connotes the beginning of an ongoing process.

[F] I translated “to the tomb” because that’s what the context seems to require (especially the end of v. 5), but the text says literally “into the tomb.”  (Cf. the same phrase in the prior verse, where “to the tomb” is the only possible meaning.)

[G] Note the significance and recurrence of this phrase in John—the juxtaposition of (and sometimes the distinction between) seeing and believing.

[H] I translated literally, but this is a classic difficult phrase to know how to translate, even though most translations render “to their homes.”  “To them” may simply refer to a return to the other disciples.

[I] Pluperfect in tense, but the perfect and pluperfect forms of this verb are simply the intransitive forms, so this is just a simple past tense.

[J] Literally “[facing] towards the tomb.”

[K] One might have expected a pluperfect here (i.e. “where the body of Jesus had been lying.”), since the story obviously intends to say that the body is missing, but the imperfect is what we have here.

[L] Depending on context, this can be translated either “sir” as a polite form of address, or “Lord.”

[M] She wasn’t facing him directly before?

[N] Literally “stop touching me,” though most commentators think that the emphasis is more on Mary’s trying to hold on to Jesus than on her simply touching him.

[O] Note the familial language all the way through this verse.

[P] Tough to translate, since the first clause to follow is clearly quoted speech, but the second is clearly indirect discourse.

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