Ponder Eternity, Eternally

Collectively Considering with Scripture as our Rubric

# 5 Born Again January 31, 2007

February 11, 2007

I suggest you begin by reading John 2, tho it’s not in the assigned reading for the lesson.  

 John 3-4 

See Student Guide.

In addition, we may discuss these questions in class:

Note that Nicodemus is a Pharisee, possibly a member of the Sanhedrin

1. CHAPTER 3:  v. 1-2 Note the connection between the preceeding last verse/chapter “man” with the new chapter/verse.  Why?  Why does this exchange occur at night?  See vs. 19-21 to contrast light and dark.  Try substituting the name “Christ” for “light” in these 3 verses. 

2. v. 2-3  Why does he call Jesus “Rabbi?”  Why does he use “we” instead of “I?” What reasoning does he use to determine Jesus’ origin?  Does Nicodemus ask a question?  If so, what is it?  Does Jesus answer this very question, or another question?  How? 

3. v. 4. Why did Nicodemus so hugely miss what Jesus was telling him? Compare Matt. 3:7; Luke 3:8; and JST Luke 3:8. 

4. v. 5 How do Jesus’ two responses differ in v.3 & 5?

5. v. 10 Jesus implies that Nicodemus should have already known what the Savior is teaching him.  In v. 7-8, what is Jesus saying that Nicodeums should already know?  Note that in Aramaic & Greek “wind” and “Spirit” can be the same thing and interchangable with “breath”, i.e. Gen. 2:7.  Does the illusion in Ezek. 37:1-14 and words of Isaiah 44:3-5 (verses Nicodemus was familiar with), give added meaning to Jesus’ words?

6. v. 17 How might this concept be new to Nicodemus? 

7. v. 30 In view of v. 29, what does John mean?

8. v. 33 What does “set to his seal” mean? Can you think of other times in the sciptures where the term “seal” is used?   How did this apply to Nicodemus?  Us?

9. v. 34-36 What is the difference between the KJV & JST here?  Why does it matter?

CHAPTER 4

1. v. 1.  Note the connection, again, between the two chapters: “…wrath of God abideth on him.” as a segway to “…Pharisees…”.  Why do the Pharisees care about baptism numbers between John & Jesus?

2. v. 4 The word “needs” is interesting.  Did Jesus really NEED to go through Samaria?  (The normal route would have been the eastern bank of Jordan.) 

3. v. 6  Here the symbolism of water continues from the previous chapter.  What is significant historically and spiritually about Jacob’s well?  Why does John bother to make the connection between father and son in the previous verse?

4. v. 7 Contrast the two characters from Ch. 3 & 4 whom Jesus instructs & their reaction to his teachings.  Why a man (Nicodemus)?  Why a woman (Samaritan)–her ethnicity is underlined throughout the chapter–?

5. v. 10 Contrast Jesus’ opinion of her ignorance with that of Nicodemus back in 3:10.

6. v. 15 Note the progression in the woman’s awareness of Jesus’ identity from v. 15, 19, 25, 26.  How is this different from Nicodemus’ knowledge?  See 3:11-12. 

7.  Note the position of the story of Nicodemus, Samaritan Woman and then the nobleman.  Nicodemus comes on the heals of Ch.2 which is full of miracles.  How are Nicodemus and the nobleman alike, different?  Then in Ch. 5 more miracles. 

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12 Responses to “# 5 Born Again”

  1. erin Says:

    Hi Nanette, I succeeded in getting on here. I enjoyed the playing with Greek in your lesson today – you totally had me stumped; I thought maybe “growing out of” and “growing into” or “borne out of” and “born into,” couldn’t figure those out. I checked out the article and noticed that the verb they get the term exegesis from is a reflexive verb so it would read “I am leading myself out of.” Interesting – we never really can completely remove ourselves from our own scripture study.

    The Greek that hit me most today is the word pneuma which in Greek can be spirit, or breath, but most often we English speakers associate that particular word with breath. I felt thankful today for the Agio Pneuma (the Holy Ghost), upon whom we rely to “breathe” the meaning into the scriptures as we study them.

  2. Nanette Says:

    Erin, your Greek background must enrich your scriptures study immensely! I am envious & have seriously considered learning Greek & Hebrew enough to study the scritpures more fully. I’ve been trying to find some significant helps in this regard & was directed by a blog friend to some helpful site. Here’s a link: Greek Let me know what you think about it.

  3. Nanette Says:

    Erin, in pointing out the Greek behind the word Spirit being “breath” I find Gen. 2:7 interesting and wonder about the role of the HG in this event.

  4. Kim Stewart Says:

    you guys are too smart for me!! I would love to study greek and hebrew too! Hopefully soon i will have something meaningful to share!

  5. Nanette Says:

    Well, there you have it, Kim & Erin, a new group to round out the Relief Society “Mommy & Me,” & “Cooking” Groups: A Greek & Hebrew Study Group! You think I’m kidding…NOT! Erin can teach us all! We can watch “Fiddler on the Roof” & “Yentil” for the Hebrew part. Let me know when & where. 🙂

  6. erin Says:

    Hi Nanette, I checked out that website. I have an old Greek/English bible that I like to look at. The thing about websites and interlinear stuff is, Greek is such an old language that some of the accepted meanings of Greek words were attached somewhat remotely from actual users of the language (katharsis for example), so I’m not always that enlightened or whatever. The a-ha moments for me come when a Greek word I really know and got used to hearing/using helps me connect to the scriptures. I’d love to get together over lunch or something sometime and share my favorites, or I could just type them on here sometime.

    I think in Genesis it is describing the spirit i.e. that person’s spirit, not the Holy Spirit per se. I do think English disadvantages us a little in recognizing our connection to God and to the Holy Ghost because we usually use the word “spirit” for our own spirit and “Ghost” for the Holy Ghost, so I think maybe we sometimes subconsciously separate ourselves too much.

  7. Nanette Says:

    Erin, Greek for lunch would be great! Let me know when & where.

  8. Bari Says:

    I’m for Greek for lunch too or a Hebrew/Greek study group would be great. Do we have a Hebrew teacher? -bari

  9. Nanette Says:

    Bari, I just ordered books for Biblical Greek study. The same exists for Hebrew. Since I’m immersed in the Greek of the NT right now, I thought I’d start there. You loaned me a book–I’m embarrassed to say–several years ago that I just re-captured it off my bookshelf: “Scripture Study,” by James Faulconer. I finished it today, especially loving Appendix 2 all about Greek vs. Hebrew thinking. Thank you for allowing me to hijack your book for so long.

    I’d love a study group for Greek this year & Hebrew next, as we begin studying the Book of Mormon.

  10. Erin Says:

    This sounds like lots of fun to me. I am free Thursday mornings/lunchtime. Does that work for anybody else?

  11. Nanette Says:

    Erin, I’ve scheduled a Koine (Biblical) Greek study group for Tuesday nights at 7 p.m. beginning April 10th and successively the 2nd Tues. of each month to be hosted at my house. This is what I told Stephanie based on my schedule & assuming people would like to approach it w/o children around & perhaps include those who work during the day. I am biting off alot, having never learned a 2nd language & not having a class/tutor. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while & I might as well start today since it will be years (I’m giving myself 10) until I’m proficient. I hope you can make this time.

    During my conversation w/Stephanie she said she was planning to ask you to speak at a RS event on Greek insights into the Bible.

    I *am* free on Thursdays for lunch, however, if we still want to make such a date. Let me know what we’d do in light of the above plans. FYI, I have my Greek NT in hand, Mounce’s books & flashcards & an interliner Bible on the way…all set to FALL FLAT ON MY FACE! 🙂

  12. Erin Says:

    Sounds fun. I don’t have much useful, since most of my stuff is modern Greek. I do have an interlinear bible, modern Greek New Testament, and one textbook on Ancient Greek.


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