Who sinned? (Jn 9:2-9:2)

“The disciples

Of Jesus

Asked him.

‘Rabbi!

Who sinned?

Did this man

Or his parents?

Why was he

Born blind?’”

καὶ ἠρώτησαν αὐτὸν οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ λέγοντες Ῥαββεί, τίς ἥμαρτεν, οὗτος ἢ οἱ γονεῖς αὐτοῦ, ἵνα τυφλὸς γεννηθῇ;

John uniquely indicated that the disciples of Jesus (οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ) addressed Jesus as Rabbi (Ῥαββεί).  They asked Jesus (καὶ ἠρώτησαν αὐτὸν) who had sinned (τίς ἥμαρτεν)?  Was it this man (οὗτος) or his parents (ἢ οἱ γονεῖς αὐτοῦ) that made him born blind (ἵνα τυφλὸς γεννηθῇ)?  These disciples were expressing the common belief that illness, sickness, and disability came from a sinful act.  We sometimes do that today when we talk about sexual diseases that come from sinful acts.  Sickness was a direct consequence of sin.  Who had sinned here, his parents or this man?  It had to be his parents, since he was born blind.  Could he sin while he was in the womb?  His disciples called Jesus “rabbi.”  This was a developing term in the first century CE among the Jewish leaders since this term was never used in the Hebrew Scriptures.  Generally, it meant a great one or teacher, as a sign of respect.  Do you assign blame when someone gets sick?

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