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John 9:2-3

Context
9:2 His disciples asked him, 1  “Rabbi, who committed the sin that caused him to be born blind, this man 2  or his parents?” 3  9:3 Jesus answered, “Neither this man 4  nor his parents sinned, but he was born blind so that 5  the acts 6  of God may be revealed 7  through what happens to him. 8 

1 tn Grk “asked him, saying.”

2 tn Grk “this one.”

3 tn Grk “in order that he should be born blind.”

sn The disciples assumed that sin (regardless of who committed it) was the cause of the man’s blindness. This was a common belief in Judaism; the rabbis used Ezek 18:20 to prove there was no death without sin, and Ps 89:33 to prove there was no punishment without guilt (the Babylonian Talmud, b. Shabbat 55a, although later than the NT, illustrates this). Thus in this case the sin must have been on the part of the man’s parents, or during his own prenatal existence. Song Rabbah 1:41 (another later rabbinic work) stated that when a pregnant woman worshiped in a heathen temple the unborn child also committed idolatry. This is only one example of how, in rabbinic Jewish thought, an unborn child was capable of sinning.

4 tn Grk “this one.”

5 tn Grk “but so that.” There is an ellipsis that must be supplied: “but [he was born blind] so that” or “but [it happened to him] so that.”

6 tn Or “deeds”; Grk “works.”

7 tn Or “manifested,” “brought to light.”

8 tn Grk “in him.”



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