Tuesday, August 17, 2021


Copious Flow

John 7:38 (KJV):
He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

ὁ πιστεύων εἰς ἐμέ, καθὼς εἶπεν ἡ γραφή, ποταμοὶ ἐκ τῆς κοιλίας αὐτοῦ ῥεύσουσιν ὕδατος ζῶντος.
Commentators are divided concerning the antecedent of αὐτοῦ, whether it's Jesus or the believer. Despite "as the scripture hath said," there is no exact scriptural parallel — commentators compare Isa 55:1, 58:11, Joel 4:18, Zech 14:8, Ps 77:16, 20, etc. (cf. also Jo 19:34-35).

Franco Montanari, The Brill Dictionary of Ancient Greek (Leiden: Brill, 1995), p. 1146, s.v. κοιλία: "of the male genitals VT Ps. 131.11," i.e. ἐκ καρποῦ τῆς κοιλίας σου θήσομαι ἐπὶ τοῦ θρόνου σου. But I'm not seriously proposing this meaning at John 7:38. I don't see Ps 131:11 cited in Johan Lust et al., A Greek-English Lexicon of the Septuagint (Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2003), under κοιλία.

Hat tip: Jim O'Donnell.

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