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Acta Theologica

On-line version ISSN 2309-9089
Print version ISSN 1015-8758

Acta theol. vol.35  suppl.21 Bloemfontein  2015

 

Speech act reading of John 9 - Chapter 4

 

Ito Hisa

 

1. INTRODUCTION

Chapter 9 of John's Gospel, which belongs to the book of signs, is placed within the broader co-text where the controversy between Jesus and those who opposed him, especially the Jewish leaders, gradually became more intense. The polemic started at the Feast of Tabernacles in Chapter 7, and continues between Jesus and his opponents in Chapter 8. In 8:12, Jesus said, 'I am the light of the world' and referred to the theme of light and darkness. The miracle portrayed in Chapter 9 is a perfect example of this statement. Furthermore, additional inquiries about the ongoing issues of his origin and identity are made in this chapter.

In Chapter 10, the same issues are discussed in a different manner. For instance, not only does 10:21 explicitly refer back to the miracle event, but also the relationships between Jesus, the blind man, and the Jewish authorities are and depicted in the figures of speech. While the thieves and hirelings destroy the sheep, the good shepherd protects and gives life to his own sheep. Being an independent and complete story in itself, Chapter 9, still fits well into the present co-text.1

The author of this Gospel does not intend to furnish the exact date and location of this miracle story. Although this information seems to be of little importance to him in this instance, one can nevertheless assume this from the co-text. The date was sometime between late September/ early October and late December, as can be inferred from the references to the Feast of Tabernacles in 7:2 and to the Dedication Festival in 10:22. The location was somewhere in Jerusalem, as can be inferred from the fact that Jesus left the temple in 8:59 and, from the narration, that he was walking after that in 9:1. Some critics assume that it is the temple area (Schnackenburg [1968] 1980:240; Jones 1997:165).

 

2. OVERALL STRUCTURE

The forty-one verses of Chapter 9 can be divided into 52 cola. These cola can be separated to form seven different clusters based on their semantic contents.2 More significant is that these seven clusters can be viewed as a chiastic arrangement: 9:1-7; 9:8-12; 9:13-17; 9:18-23; 9:24-34; 9:35-38 and 9:39-41.3 This rhetorical feature itself reveals the author of this Gospel as an extraordinary literary artist (cf. Haenchen 1984:41-42). As a matter of fact, this chiasm is based on the seven dialogues between the characters, and each dialogue presents very intriguing and vivid interactions between the two (groups of) participants.4 This fact is probably one of the reasons why this Chapter as a whole has such a dramatic effect on the reader.5Because of the chiasm, the seven clusters can be referred to as cluster A, B, C, D, C', B', and A', respectively (cf. my structural analysis chart in Appendix 4).

 

3. CLUSTER A: THE DIALOGUE BETWEEN JESUS AND THE DISCIPLES (9:1-7)

3.1 Specific mutual contextual beliefs

3.1.1 Blindness and sin

The particular interest in the story of the blind man addresses the issue in terms of blindness and sin. In this instance, I wish to discuss this issue from the perspective of the relationship between human suffering and sin.6There is no doubt that the characters (Jesus, his disciples and the Jewish authorities) in the narrative of John 9 share the common understanding regarding the connections between sin and suffering held by Jewish people in those days. Blomberg (1992:301) comments on Jesus' utterance to the man healed at the pool of Bethesda in 5:14: "Jesus presumes the common Jewish view that illness was a punishment for sin". When Buttrick (1979:338) gives his exposition on the account of the healed leper in Matthew 8:1-4, he states: "The rabbis usually regarded it [leprosy] as a direct punishment for various sins." Quast (1991:72) points out the background: when "a child was born with a sickness, the traditional retributive link between sin and suffering was challenged". This traditional link can be traced back to Old Testament passages such as Exodus 20:5 (also Nm 14:18; Dt 5:9; Is 65:7; Jr 32:18), which indicates that the fathers' sins were the cause of the punishment of the children; Job 4:7-8 where the retribution based on cause and effect is suggested, and Genesis 25:22 with Psalm 58:3 which helps to build the implication that sin could be induced by the babies even in their mothers' wombs (Brown 1966:371; Ps 51:5). Barrett (1955:295) further refers to the case that "when a pregnant woman worships in a heathen temple the foetus also commits idolatry". Edersheim's ([1967] 1976:163) remark reinforces Quast's point and mentions that "children benefited or suffered according to the spiritual state of their parents was a doctrine current among the Jews ... And sickness was regarded as alike the punishment for sin and its atonement". Schnackenburg ([1968] 1980:496) comments on the possibility that "malformations and physical illnesses present from early childhood were explained and used as the basis for admonitions to a pure married life". On the other hand, I wish to point out that there was a counterargument against this commonly held view: "From as far back as the time of Jeremiah and Ezekiel there was opposition in Israel to the idea that children have to pay for the sins of their parents" (Schnackenburg [1968] 1980:241; cf. Jr 29-30; Ezk 18:1-4, 19-20). Furthermore, the vast majority of expositors agree that the gnostic doctrine of the pre-existence of the soul was not under consideration in the exchange between Jesus and his disciples in 9:2-3.7

I can conclude that the view in question was common in the days of both the characters and the author. This means that the reader is also aware of this link between human suffering and sin.

3.1.2 Miracles

The subject of miracles has undoubtedly provoked one of the most heated discussions in New Testament studies. In such discussions, scholars often express their concern about the danger of viewing the miraculous events in the first century CE from our modern point of view (Vorster 1986:49; Pilch 1992:30; cf. Elliott 1993:11). Drawing attention to a distinction between miracles and miracle stories, Vorster (1986:48) stresses that "the miracle traditions in the New Testament were meant to serve as propaganda for faith in Jesus and in Christianity" (cf. Theissen 1983:259). Following this view, I shall discuss, in this section, the way in which the author presents miracles as signs in comparison with the synoptic presentation of miracle accounts. In addition, I shall refer to the knowledge of the reader and the characters concerning Jesus' miracles and the author's use of some finer details (e.g., spittle).

At the outset, I shall introduce the definitions of miracles and miracle stories. "In biblical scholarship the English word miracle normally denotes a supernatural event, that is, an event which so transcends ordinary happenings that it is viewed as a direct result of supernatural power" [Blackburn's italics] (Blackburn 1992:549). On the other hand, "miracle stories denote[s] relatively self-contained narratives in which an individual miraculous happening constitutes the, or at least a, major focus of the account" [Blackburn's italics] (Blackburn 1992:549). In the realm of Johannine miracles, Blackburn (Blackburn 1992:555) makes a good observation: "Jesus' miracles ... are set within the context of the one grand miracle, the incarnation of the Logos" (John 1:14). This observation is significant in two ways. It provides an overall framework for Johannine miracles and it suggests that the focus of Johannine miracles is Christological (Fortna 1970:228). Barrett (1955:63) echoes this: "The miracles once grasped in their true meaning lead at once to the Christology, since they are a manifestation of the glory of Christ (2:11)" (cf. also Nicol 1972:119-122). The difference in their emphasis on the Christological aspect of miracle stories is recognised between John and the synoptists. In the Synoptic Gospels, his miracles are frequently designated as δυνάμεις, mighty works or deeds, which emphasise Jesus' extraordinary power and often point to the manifestation of the kingdom of God (Blackburn 1992:555-556; Culpepper 1998:21). According to Theissen (1983:280), "The combination of eschatology and miracle in Jesus' activity is distinctive ... Jesus sees his own miracles as events leading to something unprecedented. They anticipate a new world". By contrast, John records only a few selected miracles (cf. John 20:30; Fortna 1970:100-101) and repeatedly describes these as σημαία signs. The signs are used to point primarily to Jesus' identity as the Christ, the son of God, and have the specific function to evoke faith in him (Blackburn 1992:556; Salier 2004:117-119). They demonstrate markedly "the character and power of God, and partial but effective realizations of his salvation" (Barrett 1955:64). John also refers to Jesus' miracles as his works (cf. Nicol 1972:116). "As such, they are also the works of God himself; there is a complete continuity between the activity of Jesus and the activity of the Father (cf., e.g., 5.36; 9.3; 10.32, 37f.; 14:10)" (Barrett 1955:63; Carroll 1995:135). In addition, I consider it important to clarify a further difference in terms of the effect of Jesus' miracles. Since we can consider Johannine miracles themselves to be eschatological events (Barrett 1955:64), the significance of the miracles is not hidden from those who encounter the miracles. Therefore Johannine miracles demand a response from the witnesses, either to believe or not at the time when the miracles are performed (e.g., John 2:11; 4:53; 5:16; 6:14; 9:16, 18, 38; 11:45). Conversely, as Barrett (1955:64) points out, in the synoptic miracles "the eschatological significance of the ministry of Jesus is a hidden thing, which will be understood only in the eschatological future; thus the signs (in the sense of miracles) are for the present secret signs. Even the disciples fail to understand them (Mk 8:17, 18, 21)".

Some details of Jesus' miracle

Regarding some details of Jesus' miracle of giving sight to the blind man, I wish to highlight three items, namely spittle, mud or clay, and the act of anointing, because this miracle, among all the miracles Jesus performed in the Gospel, seems to be the only incident where Jesus performed some particular actions during the miracle. The question then follows: Is there any significance in the author's depiction of these items?

"In antiquity spittle was believed to be of medical value" (Barrett 1955:296; Salier 2004:116). Theissen (1983:63) maintains that spittle appeared in the healing stories of blindness (Mk 8:22-26; John 9:1-7), because it was deemed as a remedy for eye disease. In his report, healing substances such as spittle "were rubbed into the eyes of the blind and those with eye-diseases" (Theissen 1983:63). However, spittle was not only used for such treatments. Theissen (1983:93-94) states that "spittle can also be used in exorcisms, though there it seems to belong more to the 'gesture of spitting as a sign of contempt', which continues to have an aggressive significance in our own day". This spitting gesture may have some significance in the story of John 9 concerning the ancient game of challenge and response (cf. section 4.1.2 in Chapter 3 and the analysis on 'CS' in 9:6). In addition, strictly speaking, Jesus did not use his spittle alone in the healing. He used it to make mud, "a healing paste out of spittle and earth" (Theissen 1983:94). This is interesting when comparing this Johannine miracle with Mark's miracle story (8:22-26), where Jesus gave sight to a blind man only by anointing his spittle on his eyes. In that instance, Jesus did not need to make mud. But the author particularly mentions mud. As will be noticed, the author's reference to making mud plays a crucial role in the plot of his story. The mixing of mud would constitute a double violation of the Sabbath laws in conjunction with Jesus' healing itself on the Sabbath.8 Furthermore, it was common that some kind of healing touch was involved in many miracles,9 and the laying on of hands was a usual form (e.g., Mk 5:23; 7:32; 8:23-25; Ac 28:8). It is obvious that the Johannine Jesus in 9:6 also touched the eyes of the man born blind. We can consider this action to be the laying on of his hands, as in the case of Mark 8:23-25. The main reason for touching is that "the touch transfers miraculous vital power to the sick person" (Theissen 1983:62). The healing touch also assures the recipient that the healer is doing something for his benefit. In the story of John 9, Jesus' touching or anointing, with his command to wash in the water of Siloam, should be regarded as the proof that the miracle was ultimately performed through Jesus' power (Beasley-Murray 1987:156).

The knowledge of the reader and the characters

I shall now discuss Jesus' miracles from the reader's perspective. From his reading up to Chapter 9, the reader knows the miracles Jesus performed at Cana (2:1-12), at Capernaum (4:43-54), at Bethesda (5:1-18), on a mountain (6:1-15), and on the Sea of Galilee (6:16-21). In addition, the reader is assumed to know that these miracles are signs that point primarily to Jesus' identity as the Christ, the Son of God, and demand a response from the witnesses, including the reader himself. However, the reader has no knowledge of greater signs than those Jesus would still perform in Chapters 9 and 11.

How much do the characters know of Jesus' miracles? The characters who were present in cluster A are Jesus, his disciples and the blind man. There is no need to mention Jesus' knowledge about his miracles. The disciples witnessed the majority, if not all, of his miracles until Chapter 9: the text explicitly tells us that they were with Jesus when Jesus performed his miracles at the wedding (2:2, 11), on the mountain (6:3), and on the sea (6:16-21). At the two healing miracles (4:43-54; 5:1-18), the text does not clearly report their presence, but we can presume that they were with Jesus. This means that they were perhaps the best witnesses of his miracles and responded to them positively (e.g., 2:11). By contrast, the blind man did not witness Jesus' miracles at all, for he was blind and his meeting with Jesus in Chapter 9 appeared to be his first encounter with Jesus.

3.1.3 Siloam

In this section, I shall discuss possible beliefs regarding the term Siloam based mainly on Grigsby's (1985) essay. According to Grigsby, it is assumed that the characters and the reader are aware of the symbolic role of Siloam's waters. They would have regarded Siloam's waters as cultic (to be used for a ritual purification) as well as "living" (Grigsby 1985:228). Brown (1966:372) endorses Grigsby's view concerning the cultic aspect: "Mentioned in Isa viii 6, the water of Siloam was used in the water ceremonies and processions of Tabernacles. Rabbinic sources mention it as a place of purification". As for the living aspect, Grigsby (1985:228) suggests that the status of Shiloam's water "as 'living water' ... was especially prominent during the feast of Tabernacles, the backdrop for the John 9 episode". In addition, "the Rabbinic discussion about the 'sign of Siloam' ... that the free-flowing fountain of Siloam signifies God's blessing - especially in the Messianic age" would also have been known to them (Grigsby 1985:229). Based on these observations, he further examines the symbolism of Siloam in relation to the living water motif in the Gospel, introduced for the first time in the episode of the Samaritan woman. He suggests three significant aspects of this symbolism (Grigsby 1985:232-234): Siloam's waters symbolise Jesus' works to endow eternal life; to cleanse from sin, and to provide living water as the Messiah. The reader is, of course, aware of the close link between living water and the Spirit mentioned in 7:37-39 (Jones 1997:174). Lastly, I wish to point out how Siloam's waters relate to Jesus' miraculous healing of the blind man. Like the Rabbinic discussion earlier, the sign of Siloam is reflected in this miracle which signifies God's work as his blessing. In other words, Siloam's symbolism is realised in this magnificent miracle including its effects on the man born blind described in the entire chapter. Although the success of the miracle is attributed solely to Jesus' power, Siloam's waters play a substantial role in the meaning (significance) of the miracle.10

3.1.4 The 'I am' statements

The frequent occurrences of the Greek formula έγώ €ΐμι and the way in which it is used in the Fourth Gospel have made many scholars investigate its meaning in the text and its significance in Johannine theology.11Schnackenburg ([1968] 1980:79) demonstrates the remarkable comparison with its usage in the Synoptics. Any reader of John's Gospel is constantly reminded that Jesus' 'I am' sayings are significant expressions, which the author uses for an effective communication with the reader (Bernard 1928:cxxi). John 9 also contains such an expression in verse 5, although this instance is debatable as to whether this is a 'pure' formula or not (cf. the analysis on 'GA' in 9:5). However, this expression is the repetition of 8:12, which is a real occurrence of the Johannine 'I am' statements (cf. Tenny 1981:101), and the author most likely alludes to the εγώ ειμι complex of ideas in 9:5. Hence, the analysis of 9:5 also requires an examination of these sayings.12 The way in which the reader understands these sayings up to Chapter 9 greatly illuminates his comprehension of Jesus' expression in 9:5. To begin with, since the expression in 9:5 appears to belong to the 'I am' sayings with an image, I wish to point out the instances of these sayings (with the emphasis on the occurrences from Chapters 1 to 9):

a. The 'I am' sayings with an image (from Chapters 1 to 9): 6:35, 48, 51; 8:12; 9:5.

b. The 'I am' sayings with an image (from Chapters 10 to 21): 10:7, 9, 11; 11:25; 14:6; 15:1, 5.

Among the seven 'I am' sayings with an image in the Gospel, only two (the bread of life and the light) are recorded in the first nine chapters. One should note that Jesus uttered these two sayings in the context of his discussions with the 'Jews': in the discussion of the bread of life (6:22-71), and of the light of the world and Abraham's true children (8:12-59). These sayings appear to be a very important theme in these dialogues (Smalley 1978:90). More importantly, these sayings are closely linked to his signs (Du Rand 1994:94; Ball 1996:146). In order to understand their importance, I shall scrutinise an overall picture of the Johannine 'I am' statements, first, from the author's perspective.

The author's perspective

The εγώ ειμι sayings in the Fourth Gospel are employed in various ways as well as in different forms. Ball (1996:146) observes: "The great variety of settings in which the words έγώ ειμι are used by the Johannine Jesus show that it is a phrase which pervades the whole Gospel. It is restricted neither by audience nor by religious context." This diversity makes it difficult to categorise these sayings clearly.13 Nevertheless, I shall employ a more conventional categorisation in which Ball (1996:14) combines Brown's second and third categories in footnote below: the 'I am' sayings without an image (the absolute use) and the 'I am' sayings with an image (the predicate use).14 This categorisation may correspond well to the meaning of the formula in the Gospel. The meaning of the formula can be explained in various ways.

Generally speaking, "while the 'I am' sayings without an image point to formal parallels in the Old Testament to explain Jesus' identity, the 'I am' sayings with an image point to conceptual parallels to explain Jesus' role among humanity" (Ball 1996:260). This distinction is valid yet not rigid, because Jesus' identity may be dominant in the meaning of the absolute use, whereas his role may be in that of the same form, and vice versa (Ball 1996:260). Regardless of whether the emphasis falls on his identity or his role, the main purpose of the εγώ είμι sayings is thus to reveal to the reader who Jesus is and what he does in relation to his believers and the world (Schnackenburg [1968] 1980:89; cf. Coetzee 1986:173).15 The 'I am' sayings "have the particular advantage of making the saving character of Jesus' mission visible in impressive images and symbols. The different images are simply variations on the single theme, that Jesus has come so that human beings may have life, and have it in abundance" (Schnackenburg [1968] 1980:88; Smalley 1978:90).

I shall examine the meaning of the 'I am' sayings with an image in relation to Johannine symbolism. As mentioned earlier (section 5 in Chapter 3), Koester (1995:13) suggests the twofold structure of symbolism used in the Gospel: "The primary level of meaning concerns Christ; the secondary level concerns discipleship...The clearest examples are the 'I am' sayings of Jesus." This structure, too, matches the description of these sayings as being Christological and soteriological. The interface between discipleship and a soteriological aspect in this relationship is an abundant life, which Jesus gives to his followers (who will have such life by discipleship).16

After a detailed literary study of the usage of these sayings in the text of John, Ball (1996:146-160, especially 157-160) makes several concluding remarks. I shall refer to only those remarks that appear to be relevant to this section. Firstly, he avers that literary studies of the 'I am' sayings "confirm the conclusions of Schweizer about the essential unity of the Gospel" (Ball 1996:157), despite their divergent usage in the Gospel. Secondly, "this approach has confirmed Zimmermann's view that there is a closer interaction between the predicate and the unpredicated sayings than has been granted in studies which have created a strict separation based on form" (Ball 1996:158). Lastly, he asserts that these sayings contribute considerably to the characterisation of the Johannine Jesus. In his own words, "[t]hese literary studies have shown the dominance of Jesus as the main character of the Gospel" (Ball 1996:159, 255). His other important comment, not as a conclusion, but in terms of a methodological consideration, is that literary studies of the Johannine text will guide a critic to discern a correct background for further understanding these sayings (Ball 1996:160). This is important, because the critic ought to have legitimate criteria to delimit his research on the topic, namely on the possible background of the εγώ ειμι sayings in this instance.

Burge (1992:355) considers three areas for possible background, namely non-Jewish sources, the Old Testament and Palestinian Judaism. Hermetic literature (Deissmann 1927:134-142; Burge 1992:355), Mandaean writings (Schweizer 1939:46-82; Meeks 1965:487-491; Bultmann 1971:225-226, footnote 3) and Gnosticism (MacRae 1970) chiefly represent non-Jewish sources in this instance (cf. Bernard 1928:cxvi-cxxi; Barrett 1955:242-243). However, scholars such as Brown (1966:535-538), Schnackenburg ([1968] 1980:83-86) and Smith (1995:112) agree that Palestinian Judaism and the Old Testament, in particular, should be perceived as the correct background.17 More specifically, as for the absolute use of the formula, "two Old Testament backgrounds have been proposed, in each of which God identifies himself by saying 'I am' (Septuagint: ego eimi)" (Smith 1995:112). One is Exodus 3:14 (cf. Dt 32:39), and the other is the reiterated usage of Second Isaiah (41:4; 43:10, 13, 25; 46:4; 47:10; 48:12; 51:12; 52:6; cf. 46:9; 48:17).18 With regard to the predicate sayings in John, Brown (1966:535) avers that these sayings "are adaptations of OT symbolism (bread, light, shepherd, and vine are all used symbolically in describing the relations of God to Israel)". The reason why Brown says so lies in the fact that it is difficult to trace any specific Old Testament passages as the clear-cut background (Smith 1995:112; Schnackenburg [1968] 1980:8).19

Nevertheless, if one considers these Johannine metaphors as a development of the revelation formula, numerous possible comparisons can be suggested as in the following examples (Schnackenburg [1968] 1980:84): shield (Gn 15:1), healer (Ex 15:26), keeper (Is 27:3), the first and the last (Is 41:4; 44:6; 48:12), saviour (Is 43:11), shepherd (Ezk 34:12) and helper (Hs 13:4).

The reader's perspective

I wish to clarify Jesus' expression in 9:5, in conjunction with the pure Johannine saying in 8:12, from the reader's perspective. According to Culpepper (1983:219), "the reader has extensive knowledge of the Old Testament". This suggests that the reader is able to understand adequately the meaning of the light of the world when Jesus revealed himself as such.20That is to say, the reader may be able to understand Jesus described in the 'I am' sayings in Chapters 8 and 9 as "the bringer of revelation and salvation" (Schnackenburg [1968] 1980:85).

The characters' perspective

In 9:5, there are two (groups of) characters on stage: Jesus and his disciples. Since Jesus was the speaker, Jesus should have known the meaning and significance of this saying. As examined earlier (section 4.5 in Chapter 3), the characterisation of the disciples, in this instance, can basically follow their general description established up to Chapter 9. In light of their general description, the disciples appeared to have good knowledge of the Old Testament and Jewish thought.21 This suggests that the disciples were presumably able to sufficiently understand the meaning of the light of the world. Moreover, the dialogue scene (9:1-5) gives no indication to jeopardise this assumption.

Lastly, I should point out that, when the εγώ ειμι sayings are uttered, they embody a double nature of revelation and concealment, as is the case with parables and symbolism. More precisely, the sayings will either evoke faith in the revealer or provoke unbelief against him. John 8 demonstrates the latter response in the unbelieving Jews who judged Jesus as an ultimate blaspheming offender. Conversely, John 9 depicts the former response in the faith of the blind man who believed in Jesus and thus identified Jesus as the light of the world.

I have thus discussed the mutual contextual belief of the 'I am' statements. For the sake of analysis, one should note how much of these sayings the reader and characters correctly understand.

3.1.5 Relationships between the characters

At the end of each specific set of mutual contextual beliefs in the seven dialogues (clusters), I shall discuss the knowledge of the specific speech situations and of the relations between the two parties in the narrative. In addition, I shall present this discussion in such a way that this knowledge should be valid for both the author-reader level and the character level.

With respect to cluster A, one point should be made clear. As indicated in the analysis below, this dialogue structurally comprises two interactions between the characters. One is the interaction between Jesus and his disciples, and the other is between Jesus and the blind man.22 Therefore, I shall describe this knowledge separately for these two interactions, but I shall not do so in the other clusters.

a. The knowledge held for the specific conversation between Jesus and his disciples is as follows:

  • The relationship between Jesus and his disciples was one of teacher-pupil or master-disciple. Thus Jesus was superior to them.
  • Both parties (Jesus and the disciples) knew that the man was born blind.
  • Both parties basically knew the one who sent Jesus.
  • Both parties basically knew the concept of sin.
  • It is assumed that the disciples knew Jesus' self-disclosure that he was the light of the world and his ensuing statement that anyone who follows him shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life in 8:12.

b. The knowledge held for the specific conversation between Jesus and

the blind man is as follows:

  • In terms of social status, Jesus was superior to the blind man who was a beggar.
  • Jesus and the blind man had no personal relationship prior to their encounter.
  • Because of the healing, the relationship between Jesus and the blind man became one of healer-healed, similar to that between physician and patient. Thus Jesus was also personally superior to him.

3.2 Overview and structural analysis chart

I shall make some remarks concerning the overview of cluster A (cf. also the structural analysis chart in Appendix 4):

1. There is an inclusio in this section. Both cola 1 and 10 focus on the

man who is blind from birth. Secondly, I find a certain contrast in this inclusio in terms of the man's physical conditions, that is, both his inability and ability to see.

2. Blindness and sight are two major motifs in this cluster, most likely, in the entire chapter.23

 

 

3. Grammatically, most of the verbs used in the conversation are in the present tense, whereas all the verbs used to describe the events are in the aorist tense (cf. Dockery 1988:17). This fact suggests that, when the author portrays the events, he treats them as having definitely happened in the past. However, when he records the utterances, he employs the verbs in the present tense so that the words of the characters may come alive as if they were speaking right now. Granted that the use of the present tense is a conventional way to record utterances, it does cause their conversations to be displayed very vividly, creating more fascination.

4. As Nida and others (1983:44) point out that "compactness is often combined with other rhetorical features, especially parallelism and ellipsis", the same holds for parallelism, in this instance. Phonetic parallelism is found among the main verbs of cola 4 to 10, except colon 9: êimwev, ΙπαίήΟΕν, έΊτέχρισβν (cípev), άττήλθεν and ήλθεν. Syntactic parallelism is also found between cola 4 to 6 and 8 to 10, for these cola have no explicit nominal parts and are connected by the same conjunction και.24 These cola are all linked by means of an additive-different (consequential) relationship. Another parallelism can be detected between subcolon 2.1 and 3.1. These parallelisms are structural evidence for the cohesion of this cluster.

5. Just as Jesus' healing actions were described in three parts, the reactions of the blind man were also depicted in three parts. This contrast may not be a coincidence, but the author's intentional arrangement.

6. As far as this cluster is concerned, my view does not correspond with that of Jones (1997:167) who states regarding verses 6-7 that "the primary focus of attention is on the relationship between healer and the one healed, not on the act itself". The reason for this is that, as will be noted, the work of God through Jesus' healing action should be the pivotal point in this cluster. The relationship between the two will be highlighted in more detail in cluster B' (9:35-38), when the blind man makes his commitment to Jesus.

7. Significant structural markers include the following: blind, (to) sin, (to) work, to send, day, night, light, and to see (sight).

All these aspects contribute to the cohesion of this cluster.

3.3 Microspeech acts

I shall make the following analysis according to the basic reading scheme (cf. section 3.4.2 in Chapter 2).

3.3.1 The first subcluster (9:1-5)

a) General analysis25

Colon 1 is the setting of the event in the narrative structures in which it is told that Jesus and the disciples (by an obvious induction from colon 2), who were walking together on a road somewhere in Jerusalem, saw a man who had been blind from birth. The conjunction κα'ι indicates that this story has some relationship with the previous chapter (Schnackenburg [1968] 1980:240; cf. Brown 1966:371, 376), showing the temporal progression. The present nominative masculine participle ποφάγών indicates, along with the inference from the co-text, that the subject is Jesus.

Subcolon 1.2* is the main clause of the sentence, and portrays what Jesus noticed on the way. The author introduces the blind man to the reader for the first time in this portrait. In subcolon 1.2*, the narrator, by using the prepositional phrase ck γενετής, mentions that the blind man's blindness was congenital.26 This detail 'blind from birth', not merely 'blind', is very important for the plot of the entire story. Thus, this verse 1 renders: And while he was passing by, he saw a man blind from birth.

b) Illocutionary act

The text before us begins with the narrator's voice; the narrator attempts to inform the reader of the setting of the event which is about to take place, as analysed earlier. The aorist indicative verb έίδεν expresses the subject's action with certainty. This implies that the narrator's attitude in describing the setting may be strong. In light of these points, I shall classify this utterance as an illocutionary act belonging to the category of constatives, further subclassified as an informative.27Bach and Harnish (1979:42) present the complete schema of informatives as follows:

Informatives: (advise, announce, apprise, disclose, inform, insist, notify, point out, report, reveal, tell, testify).

In uttering e, S informs H that P if S expresses:28

i. the belief that P, and

ii. the intention that H form the belief that P.

When this schema is applied to the text in this section, the following result is obtained:

In uttering that And while he was passing by, he saw a man blind from birth, the narrator informs the reader that Jesus saw a man born blind if the narrator expresses:

i. the belief that Jesus saw a man born blind, and

ii. the intention that the reader forms the belief that Jesus saw a man born blind.

As the narrator appears to express his belief and intention, as described above, the utterance would be a successful informative speech act.

c) Perlocutionary act

The perlocutionary force of this narration is to get the reader to accept the way in which the story is about to start, because this is the starting point of the event. The story cannot continue, unless the reader accepts the narrator's explanation. Even if the reader cannot determine by himself whether, as the narrator claims, the man whom Jesus saw was really a blind man or not, there is no need to doubt it at this point, because it can be assumed that the Cooperative Principle (cf. section 1.3 in Chapter 2) is now being observed between the narrator and the reader. Moreover, the narrator has no reason to want to lose the reader's confidence in him as a reliable narrator; that confidence that has been established thus far in the first eight chapters. Rather, the narrator needs to re-establish his trustworthiness when he is about to introduce a new story to the reader. In this sense, it is imperative for the narrator to uphold the Cooperative Principle, especially the Maxim of Quality (be true), in order to achieve an adequate perlocutionary act.

d) Communicative strategy

1. At first glance, the narrator seems to break the Maxim of Ambiguity under the Clarity Principle of Textual Rhetoric by not specifically identifying the subject of the sentence, which is Jesus. However, this is not the case in this instance, for the narrator already mentions Jesus' name in the last sentence in 8:59: ήραν oUv λιθους ίνα βάλώσιν επ' αυτόν ΊησαΟς δε εκρύβη και εξήλθεν εκ του ιερου.

2. Although Beasley-Murray (1987:153) suggests that there is a time gap between 8:59 and 9:1, in the narrator's eyes the story in Chapter 9 continues, without a doubt, from the story related in Chapter 8. Thus, he considers it more important to follow the Maxim of Reduction under the Economy Principle by not repeating Jesus' name. This is a basic example of what Leech (1983:67) points out, namely that "the Economy Principle is continually at war with the Clarity Principle".

3. Viewed from the perspective of the continuity from Chapter 8, the narrator further observes the Processibility Principle in the present text. He especially follows its End-Focus Maxim by putting new information, that Jesus saw a man blind from birth, at the end. Many critics29 take note of Jesus' initiative in this miracle story.30 Holleran (1993b:354) represents their opinions, stating that "from the start the emphasis is entirely on his initiative". By contrast, those who are in need usually approach Jesus for his mercy in most miracle stories in both the Synoptics and the Fourth Gospel (e.g., 2:3; 4:47; 11:3).

4. The fact that the narrator does not give an elaborate account of the setting is indicative of his intention to create suspense in the story. This can be explained in terms of the Maxim of Quantity (making your contribution as informative as is required). Is the text under consideration as informative as is required for the story's setting? Generally speaking, one can describe a setting by using the 5 W's: who, when, where, what, and why. A few questions may consequently come to the reader's mind. When did Jesus see this blind man? Which road or where was he walking? Why was he passing by? What was the blind man doing at that time? These are some of the curious questions. The narrator, however, provides hardly any information in a short sentence on the setting. From a narratological point of view, Jones (1997:162) points out that "the comment that he was 'passing by' suffices to denote a change of scene". Obviously, the narrator thinks that this is enough for the reader, at least for the moment. There is no need to doubt that the other side of the Maxim of Quantity is operative: "do not make your contribution more informative than is required" (Grice 1975:45). Because of this textual strategy, the narrator is successful not only in involving the reader in the narrative story with suspense, but also in taking the reader to the heart of the story from the beginning. This strategy enables the reader to focus, even more closely, on the disciples' question in the next verse.

5. As far as the Maxim of Quantity is concerned, the most important contribution by the narrator in verse 1 is the disclosure of the secret of the blind man. The man was blind, and his blindness occurred at his birth. His suffering is , and the theme of suffering is, therefore, introduced at the outset (cf. Boice 1977:35). The reader has no way of knowing this secret, unless the narrator relates it from his omniscient perspective. This bears considerable significance for the development of the story. Without this narration, the disciples' question in the next verse would make little sense. The same holds for the conversation between his parents and the Jews in verses 18-20. Lindars ([1972] 1981:341) is of the opinion that John "wishes to present the healing, not as an act of restoration, but as a creative act by him who is the Light of the World". The narrator enhances and contributes to the reader's understanding of the story to a great extent, while observing the Maxim of Quantity.

6. Regarding the significance of the fact that the accusative noun άνθρώπον has no article, Howard-Brook (1994:214-215) is of the opinion that the absence of the article indicates that this usage can be meant as the whole of humanity, de-emphasising the particularity of the individual - the blind man, in this instance. Duke (1982:182) and Dockery (1988:17) also point out this aspect (cf. Barrett 1955:294). Painter (1986:42) draws attention to the fact that the omission of τίς, which is used in 5:5, and John's choice of word άνθρωπος instead of άνήρ, make this interpretation most likely. If this view is combined with the fact that no name is given to the blind man, this will strengthen the argument (cf. also Koester 1995:64). As far as family life in Palestinian society is concerned, Stambaugh and Balch (1986:84) state: "Sons were named at circumcision." Thus it is logical to assume that the blind man had his own name. But the author in this chapter does not provide his personal name, unlike the chapters that record the names of the individual characters.31 The absence of his name is most likely because the author may intend, in addition to inviting "the reader's subjective identification with the unnamed characters" (Beck 1993:143), to accentuate that all humankind is spiritually blind from birth (until they receive the light which shines in the darkness) (cf. also Pink [1945] 1968:63; Morris 1971:477; Duke 1982:182).

7. Lee (1994:186) warns, however, not to "import the later doctrine of original sin into the narrative". She points out: "In v. 3, Jesus rejects the link between blindness and sin ... " (Lee 1994:186). As will become evident later, when the disciples and Jesus spoke of a possible connection between blindness and sin, they were not discussing original sin as such, but a particular, tangible sin that may have caused his blindness, just as she rightly observes that "the narrative is not concerned with original sin" (Lee 1994:186). However, in my opinion, the point that all are spiritually blind from birth is not an importation of the later doctrine, but an insight gained from both the text and Johannine thought. The author does not give any reason for the existence of darkness in the Prologue, but he presupposes its existence (John 1:5). When the Johannine Jesus stated that "the truth shall make you free" (8:32), Jesus presupposed that the Jews had been enslaved. Jesus even pointed out that they were of their father the devil (8:44). Some scholars32 suggest that, in John, the Jews may be representative of humankind or 'the world', especially of those who sit in darkness. Therefore, the above point corresponds to a prevalent theme in Johannine ideology, and is not the importation of the later doctrine of the Church. Culpepper (1983:191) also agrees, stating that all are born blind in Johannine thought (cf. also Barrett 1955:294; Du Rand 1994:26).

e) Summary

The theory of speech acts successfully determines the narrator's utterance as an informative speech act. The narrator employs the Cooperative Principle and various Maxims (Quality, Quantity, Reduction and End-Focus) to introduce this intriguing story effectively to the reader.33 The theme of suffering is also introduced. The reader should accept the way in which the story began by knowing the information provided by the narrator. The reader is expected to view the narrator as wholly reliable.

9:2 και ήρώτησαν αυτόν oi μαθηταΐ αύτού λέγοντες, Ταββί, τις ήμαρτεν, ούτος η' οι γονεις αύτού, Ινα τυφλός γεννηθή;

In this verse, the basic reading scheme concerns two different utterances: the utterance of the narrator and that of the disciples. I shall first deal with the narrator's utterance.

a) General analysis

The encounter with the blind man made the disciples curious about his blindness. Thus, colon 2 opens the first dialogue that occurred between Jesus and his disciples. In fact, this marks the starting point of both the first subcluster and the happenings of the entire chapter. Accordingly, colon 2 describes the disciples' question to their master, and 2.1 relates the content of their question, with the complementary remark of 2.1.1. Colon 2 is rendered: And his disciples asked him, saying,

b) Illocutionary act

The intention of the narrator is to tell the reader who initiated the conversation and of whom they asked the question. Thus, this utterance also constitutes an informative speech act. The narrator does not provide the detail, as in the previous verse, in order to emphasise the disciples' initiative in striking up the conversation.

c) Perlocutionary act

The reader must notice the identity of the interlocutors and their important role in this conversation (see below).

d) Communicative strategy

1. Intrigued by the miserable situation of the man born blind, the man they also noticed, the narrator introduces the disciples' question. The first matter that needs to be clarified is who were the disciples. How many disciples were walking with Jesus? As pointed out earlier, the reader has some knowledge of the disciples. He knows their characteristics as accumulated by reading the eight previous chapters thus far. This is the reason why the narrator introduces the disciples without any explanation. For an answer to the second question, however, the reader has to infer it from the immediate co-text. As a result, it can only be said that there were most likely not many disciples (Bernard 1928:324 is positive in including the Twelve), because they could hear each other speaking while walking together. However, in the narrator's eyes, these observations are not important, for the narrator also adheres to the Economy Principle in introducing the disciples. He could have furnished more information, but he chose not to do so. What is more important here then? It is agreed that one of the literary characteristics of the Fourth Gospel is that Jesus usually takes the initiative and starts the first utterance of the conversation.34 In this instance, however, the disciples, not Jesus, initiated the conversation. Although Jesus took the initiative in the healing itself, the disciples opened the actual conversation. This is important, and similar to the basic conversational form of the Synoptic Gospels (for a discussion of the dialogue form, cf. Dodd 1963:316-319). Hence, the narrator's introduction of the disciples at this point is very concise and straight to the point.

2. I should note that, from this point onward, I shall omit the reading scheme (except for the section on 'GA') concerning the narrator's introduction to the characters' conversation for the remaining analysis of Chapter 9, since the results will most likely remain similar. The illocutionary act of introduction is mainly informative, providing information such as who the speaker is, and/or to whom does the speaker address himself. The perlocutionary act is for the reader to understand such information in order to decode the speaker's utterance more correctly. The introductory narration is, therefore, important as "stage direction" (Saayman 1992:15), explaining the setting of the particular speech situation. Consequently, the introductory narration will be discussed as part of the usual analysis on each utterance, but not as a separate object of analysis. This kind of introduction can be found in verses 3, 6-12, 15-17, 19-20, 24-28, 30, 34-41.

I shall now examine the disciples' utterance.

a) General analysis

In subcolon 2.1, the vocative noun 'Ραββι is probably the conventional word for the disciples when they tried to get attention from Jesus (cf. Bernard 1928:324). The subject of the sentence is expressed by the interrogative pronoun τις, and the aorist active verb ήμαρτέν signifies the action. This important word provides a base for the formulation of the theme of sin in this chapter (cf. Brodie 1993:357). The disciples thought that the man's blindness must have come from either the blind man's own sin or his parents', because he was born blind. Rensberger (1989:44) is of the opinion that the question as to who is a sinner dominates the entire chapter (cf. also Owings 1983:74).

In 2.1.1, the subordinate conjunction Ίνα and the aorist passive subjunctive verb γεννήθή form a result clause (Barrett 1955:295; Morris 1971:477, footnote 5; Bruce [1983] 1994:209). Its content is the result of the action referred in the main clause. What the disciples really wanted to know was the reason for his blindness out of (e.g., theological) interest, assuming that there should be some relationship between sins and physical affliction. Their thoughts may have reflected the common understanding of the connection between sin and suffering among Jewish people at that time. Semantically, this assumption becomes the underlying focal point in the deep structure of this subcluster (for a discussion of deep structure, see Louw 1982:73, 77). The translation of this utterance (the propositional content) would be: Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, with the result that he might be born blind?

b) Illocutionary act

The disciples' utterance is a question as to the cause or reason for the man's blindness. In speech act theory, an utterance is evaluated not in terms of whether it is true or false, but primarily in terms of success or failure. In order to evaluate the utterance as such, I shall take into account certain felicity conditions. Searle ([1969] 1980:67) provides a scheme of the necessary and sufficient conditions for a speech act of question as follows:

Propositional content condition: Any proposition or propositional function.

Preparatory condition: S does not know 'the answer', i.e., does not know if the proposition is true, or, in the case of the propositional function, does not know the information needed to complete the proposition truly. It is obvious to neither the S nor the H that H will provide the information at that time without being asked.

Sincerity condition: S wants this information.

Essential condition: It counts as an attempt to elicit this information from H.

Since these conditions are the criteria for a successful utterance, I shall examine the disciples' question as follows:

Propositional content condition: It is obvious that the disciples' question satisfies this condition.

Preparatory condition: The disciples do not know the answer. It is obvious to neither the disciples nor Jesus that Jesus will provide the information at that time without being asked.

Sincerity condition: The disciples want this information.

Essential condition: It counts as an attempt to elicit this information from Jesus.

It is obvious from the above that the disciples' question satisfies the above conditions and that it is, therefore, a successful question speech act on the character level. Briefly, the disciples had the intention to obtain information from Jesus which they did not have at the time of inquiry. They sincerely wanted to know who was responsible for his congenital blindness. How they came to know of his condition is a mystery. The author leaves no clue. Regarding the illocutionary force on the text level, the author intends to ask the reader the same question as the disciples did in order to observe whether the reader also shares the same kind of perceptions of the relationship between sin and suffering.

c) Perlocutionary act

Since the disciples' question is a question speech act, this entails that Jesus was brought to the position where he needed to provide a successful answer, because he was legitimately asked according to the rules of language. Accordingly, Jesus should provide a sufficient answer to their question, indicating whose fault it was that caused the blind man to be blinded. The reader should also answer the question for himself, indicating whether or not he also shares the same views concerning the issue of sin and suffering.

d) Communicative strategy

When discussing a character's utterance, we would, as a rule, analyse it on two levels, namely the communication on the character (or story) level and the author-reader (or text) level (cf. section 2.2.1 in Chapter 2). I shall now discuss the communication on the character level.

1. It is noteworthy that the disciples' question may be observing the Interest Principle of Interpersonal Rhetoric. According to Gros Louis's (1982:20) suggestion that it is helpful for a literary critic to ask, "Why does the narrative have this particular character saying these particular words at this moment?", we should also ask why did the disciples ask this particular question of Jesus when they saw the blind man? Was it usual for them to ask that kind of question whenever they saw a person with any physical defect? Even if their question reflected upon the common understanding of the relationship between sin and suffering among Jewish people at that time, as examined earlier (section 3.1.1), it was probably unusual to ask the question explicitly in the way they did. I assume that, when one saw a physically disabled person whom one did not personally know, one's normal reaction would have been just to have sympathy in the first instance. When the disabled person was poor, as in the case of the blind man who was described as a beggar in verse 8, one may also have considered giving alms to the weak person. In fact, "giving alms to the poor was part of normative Jewish piety" (Karris 1990:22). This Jewish practice is reflected in the synoptic Jesus who encouraged his followers to be generous towards the poor (e.g., Mt 5:42; 6:3; 19:21; Mk 6:37; 10:21; Lk 9:13). What is even more fascinating is that "[i]t is the Johannine Jesus, on the other hand, who, along with his disciples, has money and gives alms to the poor".35 It suggests that Jesus and his group appeared to engage fairly often in this pious act (cf. Karris 1990:22-32). In this instance, the disciples only uttered this aloof question, and did not give alms to the blind beggar. This may be unusual, and their question itself could be considered rude. Accordingly, in asking such a question, the disciples may have committed what Pratt (1977:182) calls an "unintentional failure" of the Politeness Principle, especially of the Sympathy Maxim. However, or rather therefore, their question is simultaneously "unpredictable, and hence interesting" (Leech 1983:146). It is tellable and, therefore, observes the Interest Principle at the expense of the Sympathy Maxim.

2. In addition, social-scientific data may shed more light on the disciples' inquiry. "Because people in antiquity paid little attention to impersonal cause-effect relationships and therefore paid little attention to the biomedical aspects of disease, healers focused on persons in social settings rather than on malfunctioning organs in the biomedical sense. Socially rooted symptoms rather than adequate and impersonal causes bothered people" (Malina & Rohrbaugh 1992:71). This may be one explanation for the disciples in 9:2 not being concerned with their sympathy or impression of the man's blindness, but the question addresses a social (and theological) issue.

3. As far as the Cooperative Principle is concerned, the disciples' question appears to fulfill all four maxims. But, is that really the case? Of the four maxims, only the Relation Maxim (be relevant) may need some scrutiny. This Maxim demands relevance of an utterance in a verbal exchange. Is it relevant for the disciples to ask Jesus such a question, namely who has sinned? Did they really expect that Jesus could answer their question? Was Jesus the right person to provide the answer? Did Jesus really know the personal history of the man whom he had just seen on the road? If Jesus was not in the position to answer the disciples' question in any way, their question is considered, what Austin ([1962] 1976:16) calls, a "misfire". This means that their question is not an appropriate one to ask Jesus. This entails either an unintentional failure or a violation of the Relation Maxim on the part of the disciples. However, the disciples seemed to be confident of Jesus' ability to answer the question. It is reasonable to suppose that their association with him up to this event could have made them confident of their master. Since they had already witnessed or heard his signs in his impressive discourses, especially the incident where Nathanael was amazed by Jesus' knowledge (1:47-49), it would not be strange if they had a special confidence in the capacity of his knowledge and deeds. As a result, the disciples were also observing the Relation Maxim.

4. At this point, I shall discuss the communication on the author-reader level. There is one set of important issues left concerning verse 2 before scrutinising Jesus' reply in the next verse.

i. Was it really a normal perception in Jesus' days that physical affliction somehow resulted from one's sinning?

ii. Was it also true in the author's own days?

iii. Is correcting such a view one of the reasons why the author wanted to write this story?

iv. In what way is the motif of suffering employed in this verse?

5. We have already noted the answers to the first and second questions in the section on 'Blindness and sin' (section 3.1.1). Once more, the view concerning the close connection between sin and suffering was common in the days of the characters and of the author. As far as the third question is concerned, Schnackenburg ([1968] 1980:241) states: "The questioners here - and behind the disciples we can see early Christians groups with their questions (cf. 14:8, 22) - are oppressed by a problem to which they know no satisfactory answer." This could be a possible motive for the author to write this story. Schottroff (1998:176) is of the opinion that "[i]n the Johannine communities there were discussions about sexual ethics (9:2-3; 8:37-44) carried on within the framework of the corresponding Jewish discussions. The disciplining of sexual practices within marriage was rejected (9:3)."

6. The way in which the theme of suffering is employed in question iv is unique and subtle. The focus is not on the suffering of the blind man as such, but on the general perception concerning the link between sin and suffering represented by the disciples. Anyone who upheld this common belief, including the characters and the reader, may have suffered from this negative perception of affliction. Once they experienced any form of suffering such as physical deformity, illness, misfortune, disaster, broken family, and even loneliness, they would further suffer as a result of an unpleasant search for the cause. They would be mentally and spiritually tortured. Suffering brought on further suffering. After all, they were living in "a sin-infected universe" (Barclay [1955] 1975:38). This suffering beneath the surface may be even worse. Therefore, as will be noted in the next verse, the purpose of the suffering theme, in this instance, would be corrective (cf. section 6 in Chapter 3) in the sense that the dominant view needed to be challenged and reconsidered.

e) Summary

The disciples queried Jesus about the man's congenital blindness based on the common assumption of the possible relationship between sin and suffering. In order to focus on the issue described in their question, the author makes particular use of the Economy, Politeness and Interest Principles as well as the Relation Maxim. The themes of sin and suffering are still evident in their utterance. I shall now pay full attention to Jesus' answer in the next verse.

9:3 απεκριθη Ίησους, ουτε oUtoj ήμαρτεν ουτε οι γονείς αυτου, αλλ ινα φανερωθή τα εργα του θεου εν αυτφ.

As mentioned in the analysis of the previous verse, the reading scheme of the introduction to the conversation by the narrator will be omitted from this point onwards. The analysis will only be concerned with the characters' utterances.

a) General analysis

Led by the disciples' inquiry, Jesus' answer is provided in colon 3. According to the colon demarcations, colon 3 is supposed to be examined altogether as a unit of analysis. However, his answer in colon 3 can be divided into three smaller units, subcola 3.1-3.2, 3.3-3.4 and 3.5, and each smaller unit can be perceived as a microspeech act. Accordingly, the analysis will be conducted separately on each microspeech act, for it is feasible and profitable to analyse it this way. In conclusion, these microspeech acts will be mapped into a macrospeech act to indicate that colon 3 should indeed be treated as a unit of analysis.

1. Let us scrutinise the first smaller unit, subcola 3.1-3.2. Subcolon 3.1 provides the direct answer to the disciples' question, whereas subcolon 3.2 gives the ultimate spiritual answer. In 3.1, the sentence construction, utilising two of the same negative conjunction ουτε makes it clear that neither the blind man nor his parents were responsible for his blindness. Besides this conjunction, the remaining words in 3.1 are basically the same as the vocabulary employed in subcolon 2.1. Thus, this repetition in 3.1 may emphasise its meaning semantically.

2. In 3.2, the adversative conjunction άλλ' indicates a dyadic-contrastive relation between this and the last subcolon according to Nida's scheme (Nida et al. 1983:103). The subordinate conjunction ΐνβ and the aorist passive subjunctive verb φανερώθή form a purpose clause (Plummer [1882] 1981:204; Bruce [1983] 1994:209). It is also significant that there may be an ellipsis in this subcolon (Barrett 1955:295), since the ΐν« clause is a subordinate clause. Although there are other possibilities (Morris 1971:478, footnote 10; cf. below), it is likely that the Greek verb ήν can be supplied as its main clause. The syntactic ellipsis may "serve to make the text somewhat more concise" (Nida et al. 1983:34).

3. Since "the punctuation and the versification, both added centuries after the original text of the gospel was written, are a form of interpretation" (Temple 1975:173), it is also possible to read the text differently. Newman and Nida (1980:299) suggest that the ϊνβ clause can be taken as result and as purpose.36 Moreover, Temple (1975:173-175) offers an intriguing translation based on the argument that the full stop can be put at the end of subcolon 3.1, and the comma instead of the full stop at the end of subcolon 3.2. His translation reads: "Neither did this one sin, nor his parents. But in order that the works of God be shown in him we need to work the works of the one having sent me while it is day" (Temple 1975:169; Morris 1971:478, footnote 10; Poirier 1996:293-294). In that case, one does not need to account for the ellipsis.

4. My own translation would be along the lines of the customary translation: Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but (it was) in order that the works of God might be manifested in him. This interpretation is better, because it connects Jesus' act of healing more directly with God's works. It is not, as Temple (1975:175) suggests, merely an act of Jesus' compassion. Furthermore, it can provide a more satisfactory answer to the disciples' question, by offering an alternative view to human suffering. Thus, their teacher Jesus directly answered their inquiry in the first part, and a new revelation was bestowed from the perspective of God in the second part. Jesus' answer, in this instance, denied their assumption about the relation between sin and suffering in the man's congenital blindness, and perhaps satisfied their theological interest more than they expected. Jesus' answer may further imply that Jesus was teaching not to limit their minds with stereotyped perceptions. Jesus might have added, "Open your minds, or you shall become like the Pharisees." However, this new revelation (at least to the disciples) easily transcends the boundary of human understanding, yet it may simultaneously represent an eternal truth: the works of God may be manifested in human afflictions. Since this concept contains a profound implication, it could be the pivotal point that binds this cluster together in a strong cohesive manner. Briefly, Jesus' utterance renders: Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but (it was) in order that the works of God might be manifested in him.

b) Illocutionary act

Since Jesus was asked a legitimate question by the disciples, he now had the responsibility of providing a successful answer. Therefore, the illocutionary point of this utterance would be to explain or state. Based on these points, including the above analysis, the illocutionary act of this utterance becomes one of responsive. Bach and Harnish (1979:43) present the schema of responsives as follows:

Responsives: (answer, reply, respond, retort) In uttering e, S responds that P if S expresses:

i. the belief that P, which H has inquired about, and

ii. the intention that H believe that P.

When this schema is applied to the text in this instance, the following is the result:

In uttering Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but (it was) in order that the works of God might be manifested in him, Jesus responds that the man was born blind in order that the works of God might be manifested in him, if Jesus expresses:

i. the belief that the man was born blind in order that the works of God might be manifested in him, which the disciples have inquired about, and

ii. the intention that the disciples believe that the man was born blind in order that the works of God might be manifested in him.

Since Jesus appears to express his belief and intention just as described above, the utterance would be a successful responsive speech act.

c) Perlocutionary act

The perlocutionary act is for the disciples to understand and accept the answer Jesus provided. In fact, Jesus used two steps in order for them to do so. Firstly, Jesus gave them a direct answer to their question in the first clause, denying that either the blind man or his parents sinned in this case. Secondly, Jesus also needed to supply new information concerning the man's blindness in the second clause, which reveals that God would work through Jesus for the sake of the blind man.

d) Communicative strategy

1. On the character level, O'Day (1987:58) rightly observes that, although the disciples inquired about the cause of his blindness, Jesus' answer explained the purpose (cf. also Brown 1966:371). The question then arises: Is Jesus' utterance a violation of the Maxim of Relation? It is a violation, strictly speaking, in that his utterance has no direct relevance to the primary end of the question, but Jesus' answer is still within the permissive range as an answer to them and, therefore, it is still a good and satisfactory answer. In fact, none of the disciples subsequently demanded another reply from Jesus. To put it differently, since the illocutionary act of the disciples' question is to gain information as to who was responsible for his blindness, Jesus answered it by saying that God was ultimately behind it all.37 Hence, it can be mentioned that Jesus' utterance is not a violation of the Relation Maxim.

2. Moreover, as the disciples' question was asked out of theological interest, Jesus answered it from the same perspective. Jesus revealed what God's role was in human affliction. In this sense, Jesus was observing the Maxim of Relation. This is probably an example of Leech's (1983:42) gloss that the Maxim of Relation has been criticised for its vagueness. Leech (1983:42) offers a clearer definition thereof, stating that one should make "your conversational contribution one that will advance the goals either of yourself or of your addressee". In accordance with this definition, Jesus definitely succeeded in upholding the Maxim of Relation.

3. As for the other Maxims, since it is obvious that Jesus was also observing the Maxims of Quantity, Quality and Manner, his answer in this verse was a very successful utterance. Furthermore, Jesus' answer was unpredictable and interesting to the disciples who needed to learn more about spiritual matters. His answer was beyond their imagination, for their question originally demanded only an answer as to whether either the blind man or his parents had sinned. In this sense, his answer contributed towards enhancing the quality of their conversation through the operation of the Interest Principle.

4. In accordance with the three purposes of suffering (cf. section 6 in Chapter 3), the suffering of the blind man is a perfect example of the third purpose (to God's glory). Not only did Jesus verbally do so in this verse, but he also proceeds to demonstrate it in verses 6-7.

5. Regarding the communication between the author and the reader, in colon 3 the author uses Jesus' name for the first time in Chapter 9. The use of his name is delayed for the purpose of the author attempting to focus the reader's particular attention on Jesus' answer.

6. Moreover, the author is observing the Processibility Principle in order to make it easy for the reader to decode Jesus' utterance. For this purpose, the author seems to uphold all three maxims of the Processibility Principle in Jesus' first utterance. Since new information is given at the end of the utterance, the author is observing the End-Focus Maxim. As "complex constituents are placed at the end of" the utterance (Leech 1983:65), the End-Weight Maxim is also being observed. Because negative operators (ουτε...ουτε) precede the other logical elements in the utterance, the End-Scope Maxim is also being adhered to.

7. For the sake of the reader, the author may also be attempting to correct the wrong traditional view concerning the relation between sin and suffering, which the reader may still hold (cf. section 3.1.1). If so, the perlocutionary act for the reader is for him to understand and accept that the cause or reason for human suffering is not necessarily related to sin.

This may be epoch-making or, if not, at least good news for readers of all times. For instance, if a person is experiencing some kind of suffering, he certainly should not need to feel punished by God as people often do. Because such a person sometimes tries to find the reason so desperately, he unnecessarily connects his suffering to wrongs, which he thinks he may have done in the past. However, the author assures the reader through Jesus' words that this is not always the case. There are cases of suffering that God uses to good purpose. This understanding is often hidden for many years from the person concerned. The person suffering not only has to ask God why it happens to him, but also for what purpose it happened. This may cause a great paradigm shift in his perception of human suffering, and it may often reveal part of the reasons for suffering, just as the disciples were told. When one finds a positive purpose in one's suffering, it is possible that one would also find some kind of consolation. This may be the reason why many readers of all times have found encouragement in this utterance of the Johannine Jesus.

e) Summary

In his responsive speech act, Jesus intended to answer the disciples' question, and to provide new information concerning the blind man's suffering. The information comprises the purpose of his blindness. The disciples should understand and accept the answer Jesus provided, because his answer is convincing. The author may be trying to correct the wrong traditional view, which the reader may still hold, and to let the reader know that the cause of or reason for human suffering is not necessarily always related to sin. The reader may be convinced that Jesus was not an ordinary human teacher, for he surprised the disciples and the reader with his answer comprising this unique view. For effective communication, Jesus especially employed the Relation Maxim and the Interest Principle. The author, on the other hand, uses all three maxims of the Processibility Principle for the same purpose.

9:4 ήμας δέί Ιργάζεσθοα τα έργα του πέμψαντός με έώς ήμέρα έστίν έρχεται νύξ οτέ ούδέίς δύναται έργάζέσθαι.

a) General analysis

The second smaller unit made up of 3.3-3.4 (and the third smaller unit in 3.5) elaborates on the concept that the works of God may be manifested in human afflictions described in subcolon 3.2. Subcolon 3.3 mentions the necessity and urgency of doing God's works within the limitation posed by 3.3.1. It is obvious that, in John's Gospel, the one who sent Jesus was God the Father (e.g., 3:16-17, 34; 5:36-37; 7:16-18; 8:28-29, 42). In terms of a shift in grammatical structure for the sake of emphasis, 3.3 is important because only this subcolon throughout this cluster A employs the first person plural pronoun ήμΟς in Jesus' speech. Schnackenburg ([1968] 1980:241) considers it a striking feature (cf. Barrett 1955:295). But, who were 'we' here then? It is most likely that the term we refers to Jesus and his disciples, because he wished to involve them in doing the works of God (cf. 20:21).38 Verse 4 is rendered as follows: We must work the works of the one who sent me, as long as there is day, night is coming, when no one is able to work.

b) Illocutionary act

Although, structurally speaking, Jesus spoke this utterance partially in response to the disciples' question, it does not, in fact, constitute his direct answer to the question. Indeed, this utterance is Jesus' comment flowing from the words 'the works of God' in his previous utterance. Therefore, in this sense, this is not a responsive speech act, but a special instance in which two kinds of illocutionary acts are performed: one is commisive, and the other is directive. The reason will become obvious from the following analysis. The commisive act can be further analysed as a promise. Bach and Harnish (1979:50) present the following schema of promises (where A = action):

Promises (promise, swear, vow)

In uttering e, S promises H to A if S expresses:

i. the belief that his utterance obligates him to A;

ii. the intention to A, and

iii. the intention that H believes that S's utterance obligates S to A and that S intends to A.

When this schema is applied to the utterance, it reads as follows:

In uttering that We must work the works of the one who sent me, Jesus promises the disciples to do the action if Jesus expresses:

i. the belief that his utterance obligates him to do the action;

ii. the intention to do the action, and

iii. the intention that the disciples believe that Jesus' utterance obligates Jesus to do the action and that Jesus intends to do the action.

Hence, this utterance appears to be a successful speech act of promise. As Jesus was superior to the disciples, the directive illocutionary act of this utterance can be subcategorised as a requirement. The schema of requirements, proposed by Bach and Harnish (1979:47), is as follows:

Requirement: (bid, charge, command, demand, dictate, direct, enjoin, instruct, order, prescribe, require)

In uttering e, S requires H to A if S expresses:

i. the belief that his utterance, by virtue of his authority over H, constitutes sufficient reason for H to A, and

ii. the intention that H do A because of S's utterance.

When this schema is applied to the text in this instance, the following is the result:

In uttering that We must work the works of the one who sent me, Jesus requires the disciples to do the action if Jesus expresses:

i. the belief that his utterance, by virtue of his authority over the disciples, constitutes sufficient reason for the disciples to do the action, and

ii. the intention that the disciples do the action because of Jesus' utterance.

As described earlier, this utterance also appears to be a successful speech act of requirement. Howard-Brook (1994:216) comments on this verse, though his terminology is not derived from a speech act perspective, that "the call is not an option but a requirement". Briefly, Jesus had the intention that he and his disciples should do the works of the Father now, for the time was limited. The author also wants the reader to participate in God's work himself.

c) Perlocutionary act

The perlocutionary force of this utterance has two aspects coinciding with each illocutionary force performed. Firstly, as regards Jesus' promise, the disciples should believe that Jesus' utterance obligates him to do the action. Secondly, the disciples should accept the challenge issued by Jesus and carry out the actual work, understanding the urgency of the work. There is an element of warning in this challenge - Jesus tried to warn them in order to get them to work diligently. The reader is also asked to understand the nature of Jesus' mission as well as to participate in his work, by starting to believe in Jesus, if necessary.

d) Communicative strategy

1. Since the communication levels cannot be clearly differentiated in the analysis of this verse, I shall analyse the communication process without distinguishing between these two levels. Jesus' utterance in this verse observes all the Maxims of the Cooperative Principle, except the Manner Maxim. There are basically two possible ambiguous expressions: one concerning the works, and the other regarding the words day and night.

2. To begin with, the word work (both noun and verb) is one of the author's favourite expressions. Barrett ([1955] 1975:5) counts this word thirty-five times in the Fourth Gospel, while the Synoptics use it only sixteen times. The repeated usage suggests that the author has assigned some peculiar usage for the term. In order to ensure this, at least the following verses from my suggested categories should be taken into account (viewed from the author's perspective):

i. In the words of the narrator: 3:19-21.

ii. In the conversation between Jesus and the Father: 17:4.

iii. In the conversation between Jesus and the disciples: 4:34; 9:3-4; 14:10-12; 15:24.

iv. In the conversation between Jesus and the multitude: 6:27-30; 7:21.

v. In the conversation between Jesus and his brothers: 7:3, 7.

vi. In the conversation between Jesus and the Jews: 5:17, 20, 36; 8:39, 41; 10:25, 32-33, 37-38.

Most of the author's use of the word, including the usage in 9:3-4, relates to the divine work done by the Father or Jesus. In fact, out of thirty-four occurrences, only six are used to denote meanings other than the divine works, such as the human deeds. This sufficiently suggests that the author's characteristic usage of this word emphasises divine works. O'Day (1995:653) further categorises John's usage as follows: "'Works' ... has two ranges of meaning ... both of which occur in vv. 3-4. Firstly, as in v. 3, "works" describes what Jesus does as the one through whom God's works are accomplished (cf. 4:34; 10:25, 37; 14:10; 17:4). Second, the Fourth Evangelist also defines God's work as belief in Jesus ... and this is the usage in v. 4." Through Jesus' words, John summarises the definition of the latter's divine work in 6:29: This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent. From this observation, the expression 'the works of God' is not ambiguous to either the reader or the disciples to whom Jesus was speaking in 9:3-4 (cf. 4:34; 6:29). Furthermore, notice the repetition of this word, recorded four times in Jesus' answer (vv. 3-4). Needless to say, this repetition emphasises the importance of the works of God as one of the themes in this instance. Smith (1995:165) also contends that the work becomes the principal point.

3. Secondly, since the expressions day and night may be a typical Johannine contrast39 and figurative usage, the exact meaning of the expressions may not be revealed only from the syntactic structures of the text. This is undoubtedly very ambiguous because these expressions cannot be taken literally as referring to the 24-hour system. Relatively speaking, this verse is more difficult for modern readers than for people in the ancient world to comprehend, for ancient people knew that they could not do their works during the night. What are the images of day and night referring to then?

According to my calculations, the word day is used seventeen times with the general and usual meaning in John (e.g., 1:39; 2:1, 12, 19, 20; 4:30, 43; 5:9; 9:14). Regarding the various 'symbolic' meanings of day, six occurrences refer to the last day (6:39-40, 44, 54; 11:24, 48) while approximately twice to Jesus' day of crucifixion (8:56; 12:7). As opposed to Jesus' resurrection days, which are referred to three times (14:20; 16:23, 26), the days of his earthly ministry are alluded to only twice - where both day and night are used most figuratively. This is a striking usage of these words in John. In the instances in 9:3-4 and 11:9-10, the author seems to use them to link chapter 11 with Chapter 9 (Smalley 1978:183). Moreover, as far as the word night is concerned, it is utilised four times in the usual way (3:2; 13:30; 19:39; 21:3). But, as mentioned earlier, night is used figuratively in 9:4 and 11:10, implying the period in which Jesus would be physically absent from the earth. The vast majority of critics40 are satisfied with the view that night refers to Jesus' departure and death. Night "has a negative connotation throughout the Gospel of John" (Saayman 1994:7).

4. Enough has been said to indicate that the expressions day and night in 9:4 are difficult and ambiguous to understand for the reader who has only read the Gospel up to this verse. Consequently, Jesus' utterance here flouts the Manner Maxim. In other words, this flouting is an indication that the utterance should not be taken literally, because the "flouting of the ... maxims result in a number of so-called figures of speech such as metaphor, hyperbole, meiosis, irony and so on" (Botha 1991a:69). In this particular case, the expressions day and night in 9:4 are examples of symbolism (cf. also section 5.1 in Chapter 3). Culpepper (1983:192) points out that "John 9 also confirms the symbolic use of day and night as subordinate symbols which evoke the core symbols, light and darkness." It is, therefore, interesting to note that the additional meaning of the utterance can be attained not in the usual way by utilising an implicature deduced from the immediate co-text, but from, as noted erlier, an analysis of the usage of those words in the whole Gospel.

5. Why then did Jesus (for that matter, the author ultimately) use the expressions day and night? An elucidation may be required in order to justify the use of these symbols. According to my analysis, this has to do with the plot of the author concerning 'Jesus' hour'. The author has the definite plan to 'build a drama' in his Gospel, and 'Jesus' hour' is one of the devices he uses for that purpose (Culpepper 1983:92). All the references concerning 'Jesus' hour' from 2:4 to 8:20 do not explicitly tell us what kind of hour this refers to. He finally explains the meaning of the hour in 12:23: the hour is the time when the Son of Man is glorified. The author attempts to keep the reader suspended in understanding 'Jesus' hour' until 12:23 in order to have greater dramatic impact on the reader's mind. Perhaps the same kind of dramatic effect is expected when the symbols day and night are used, especially when the reader reaches 11:9-10. By using such metaphorical language, the author describes the importance and urgency of the works of God (Carson 1991:362). Von Wahlde (1995:382) points out: "The image of light becomes the symbol of Jesus' public ministry (e.g., 1:4-5, 9; 3:19-21), and such light constitutes a day of twelve hours during which Jesus will not be arrested (9:4-5). When darkness or night comes, however, he will be put to death."

6. As promised in the section on 'Johannine symbolism' (section 5 in Chapter 3), the purpose and function of the symbols of day and night will be examined according to Painter and Koester's claims. Painter (1986:52) proposes three purposes of Johannine symbols. However, the day and night imagery used, in this instane, does not directly reflect Painter's purposes. The important fact that the symbols serve to evoke faith or provoke unbelief appears to play no role, for the symbols of day and night are primarily used to depict the importance and urgency of God's works. Only the third purpose, namely that the symbols bring a new understanding about God through Jesus, can be connected with the day and night imagery in terms of God's works.

On the other hand, Koester's thesis that the theme of Christology lies at the primary level of meaning in Johannine symbolism and that of discipleship at the secondary level perfectly portrays the symbols of day and night.

Koester (1995:145) states: "Jesus was saying that he had a certain period within which to do his work on earth. A span of time - a 'day' - had been appointed for him to carry out his ministry before death came at nightfall. The same was true of the disciples, who ... would have a limited time in which to carry out the work God had given them."

7. The symbolism of day and night could provide a reference to the motif of suffering in this story. As noted earlier, Jesus' death - the severest form of suffering - was anticipated particularly in the night imagery. Michaels (1984:150) mentions that "the darkness is the hour of his Passion". Jesus himself knew his impending death at the end of his earthly ministry and its effect upon himself, even when he uttered the words in 9:4. However, it is striking that the theme of suffering in connection with Jesus' sacrificial death, portrayed in the Synoptics,41 fades into the background in John's Gospel. In fact, the hour of his death on the cross is described as the hour of his glory (12:23; 17:1; Smalley 1978:224). Even if, in 11:38, "Jesus' emotion rises again when he approaches the tomb and when he considers his own death" (Culpepper 1983:111), Jesus still controlled the situation and acted on a higher commitment to the glory of God (11:40). Even when Jesus said, "Now My soul has become troubled" (12:27), he did not indulge himself in self-pity, but immediately expressed his determination to do the work of God for 'the hour'. The author describes Jesus' death and his emotions very distinctively when compared with the synoptic portrayal. As Culpepper (1983:111) rightly observes, "this aspect of his characterization fits with John's insistence that Jesus was the incarnation of the pre-existence logos. He is 'not of this world' (8:23; 17:14)". The suffering theme is, therefore, not overly stressed in Jesus' death, as one would expect. This is how the author characterises Jesus in this Gospel.

8. Regarding the violation of the Manner Maxim in Jesus' utterance, such a violation often creates the impression that the speaker can say what is unpredictable or what has news value. The content of his utterance is new and shocking, for Jesus revealed that there was a time limit within which he and his disciples had to do the works of God. There would be a 'night' when no man could work. That would be a fearful time. For the people who would work for God, this was essential information. Hence, Jesus' utterance observes the Interest Principle to make their conversation more interesting.

e) Summary

Jesus intended to tell them that he and his disciples should do the works of the Father now, for the time was limited. His utterance, therefore, constitutes the speech acts of both promise and requirement. The author may want the reader to believe in Jesus while such an opportunity is given, because Jesus defined the work of God in such a way in 6:29. The author also wants the reader to participate in God's work himself. This utterance is, therefore, directed at both the disciples and the reader. In addition, the author may intend to produce a great dramatic effect on the reader's mind by using metaphorical language such as the supporting symbols of day and night. While this device makes the story more interesting, it necessitates the flouting of the Manner Maxim.

9:5 οταν εν τω κοσμω W, φως ειμι του κοσμου.

a) General analysis

Subcolon 3.5 discloses something important about Jesus' identity through his own words in relation to the previous statements in his answer. The main clause is 3.5.2*, which indicates Jesus' own portrayal of his identity and role. The 'I am' statement in 8:12 has an article before the noun φως, while 3.5.2* does not have one. Westcott ([1882] 1978:145) argues on the basis of the omission of this article that "Christ is 'light to the world' as well as 'the one light of the world'". However, Morris (1971:479, footnote 14) draws attention to the fact that "in the New Testament definite predicate nouns which precede the verb usually lack the article" (cf. Harner 1970:50). Nevertheless, the author does not use the famous formula εγω ειμι in this instance, unlike the similar expression in 8:12. Thus, this statement may not be classified as one of the 'I am' sayings.42 These points may imply that the connotation of 3.5.2* differs from that of 8:12, even though the meaning (translation) is the same. Plummer ([1882] 1981:205) states that there is a difference between 8:12 and 9:5 in the sense that "it is not Christ's Person, but the effect of His presence that is prominent here". Jesus' portrayal of himself includes the temporal limitation, as in 3.3.1, and the limitation is described extensively in 3.5.1. As the prepositional phrase εν τω κοσμω in 3.5.1 comes before the verb ω, the phrase may be emphatic. The temporal conjunction οταν denotes the indefinite simultaneous action. Plummer ([1882] 1981:205) points out that this conjunction "is important; it shows the comprehensiveness of the statement". Notice the repetition of the term world. Jesus' answer as a whole reveals that Jesus as the light of the world would do the works of God. This appears to be the main theme of the entire chapter.43 Carson (1991:363) is of the same opinion and states, regarding verses 4-5, that "these verses are crucial precisely because they signal to the reader how the healing of the blind man is to be understood. It is not just a miracle; it is a sign, the work of the Father, mediated through the sent one, to shed light on those who live in darkness". Briefly, Jesus portrayed himself in verse 5, which reads as follows: While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.

b) Illocutionary act

For the same reason mentioned in the analysis of the preceding utterance, this utterance is not a responsive speech act. However, it is difficult to determine the taxonomy of this utterance, as there are a few possibilities such as assertive, descriptive, informative, or even confirmative. It is difficult to find the most suitable category for this utterance viewed on its own. In these instances, it may be helpful to consider "the point of the utterance: why it is said" (Van Dijk 1980:195). This question would be best approached by examining the relationship between this and the previous utterances, as Jesus' words in verses 3-5 form a speech act sequence. Indeed, Van Dijk (1980:197) states: "We take a conversation as a sequence of speech acts, having a global pragmatic point and a schematic superstructure organizing it." In light of everyday conversation which "has a rather clear schematic superstructure" (Van Dijk 1980:196), this speech act sequence seems to pertain to the major category called topic of the conversation (Van Dijk 1980:196). There are three subcategories under this major category. Van Dijk (1980:196) explains these as follows:

i. Topic Identification: It focuses attention on the major theme and point of the conversation.

ii. Topic Discussion: It may take embedded arguments or narratives, accusations and defences, or congratulations and thanks.

iii. Topic Closing It closes the topic section with a summary, recognition, gratitude, and so on.

My analysis suggests that Jesus' utterances in verses 3-5 follow this scheme exactly. The utterance in verse 3 identifies the major theme or the main topic of Jesus' reply, stating that his blindness was for the works of God to be performed. Jesus' further comment about the works of God in verse 4 develops the topic discussion, revealing the importance and urgency of such works. The last utterance in verse 5 concludes Jesus' reply with his brief summary that he was the light of the world that would carry out the works of God. Hence, the utterance in verse 5 functions as the closure, giving an indication of the purpose of the utterance.

There is another way of scrutinising the relationship between the utterances, namely from the perspective of, what Van Dijk (1980:182) calls, conditional dependence, which signifies two major functional relations between certain speech acts. According to this concept (cf. section 1.5.3 in Chapter 2), the way in which Jesus' three sentences in verses 4-5 are connected may be functional. This means that each of the second and third utterances has an explanatory function in relation to the first utterance, explaining why they must work within the limited time. While the second utterance provides one reason (that night was coming), the third gives the other reason (that Jesus was the light of the world as long as he was in the world). Now it becomes easier to define the illocution of these explanatory speech acts. The illocution is for Jesus to substantiate or justify his previous statement in verse 4. Therefore, the speech act of Jesus' utterance in verse 5 would be confirmative.

The above conclusion is further supported by the Maxim of Relation, which also displays an aspect of the relationship between the utterances in verses 4 and 5. Although there are no common words between these utterances, they are strongly connected by the expressions "as long as there is day" in verse 4 and "while I am in the world" in verse 5. Both of these expressions point to the same time period when Jesus was physically present on earth. Accordingly, it is possible to transform the content of these two verses as follows: we must do the works of God during the daytime when Jesus is the light of the world. When the light has gone, we can no longer do the works because the darkness of the night takes over the world. Furthermore, the relationships between the symbols of day and night, and those of light and darkness, are also now more evident. Briefly, these two verses are purposefully linked by the Relation Maxim.

Bach and Harnish (1979:42-43) present the full schema of confirmatives as follows:

Confirmatives: (appraise, assess, bear witness, certify, conclude, confirm, corroborate, diagnose, find, judge, substantiate, testify, validate, verify, vouch for)

In uttering e, S confirms (the claim) that P if S expresses:

i. the belief that P, based on some truth-seeking procedure, and

ii. the intention that H believes that P because S has support for P.

When this schema is applied to this utterance, it reads as follows:

In uttering "While I am in the world, I am the light of the world", Jesus confirms that Jesus and the disciples must do the works of God within the limited time if Jesus expresses:

i. the belief that they must do the works of God within the limited time, based on some truth-seeking procedure, and

ii. the intention that the disciples believe that they must do the works of God within the limited time, because Jesus has support that they must do the works of God within the limited time.

As a result of the above schematisation, the utterance can be considered a successful speech act of confirmative.

c) Perlocutionary act

The disciples should recognise Jesus as the light of the world, perceiving the implication of Jesus' statement. They should use this statement to understand his previous remark more clearly. The reader should also accept Jesus' claim, and continue to enhance his perception of the Johannine Jesus.

d) Communicative strategy

1. In terms of its success, the utterance does not appear to violate any of the Maxims on the character level (see below, however). Rather, the utterance enhances Jesus' contribution to the present conversation by following some of the Maxims most effectively. For example, the utterance can be measured satisfactorily by means of the Maxims of Quantity and Reduction. Both Maxims deal with the economy of the utterance. This means that Jesus' utterance, in this instance, is very economical without sacrificing the quality of the message which Jesus wanted to convey to the disciples. His utterance is concise, impressive, and straight to the point. Especially when its Greek sentence is examined, the Reduction Maxim of the Economy Principle is operating in the utterance. As noted earlier, the personal pronoun έγώ and the article το are deleted in this instance when compared with the same statement by Jesus in 8:12. But the overall meaning (or the quality of the message) remains the same.

2. The communication on the author-reader level should also be highlighted. As another example of the success of the utterance, it can also be mentioned that the Maxims of End-Focus and End-Weight are utilised remarkably well, because the author places the new and 'heavy' information that Jesus was the light of the world towards the end of the utterance. Whenever these Maxims are observed, the processability of the text increases, according to Leech (1983:64).

3. The utterance which contains Jesus' own claim that he was the light of the world observes the Interest Principle in the sense of having news value and unpredictability especially for the disciples. When Jesus uttered the same statement in 8:12, it is likely that he primarily addressed it to the Pharisees. Even though it can be assumed that the disciples were there with Jesus and that they would have heard him make this claim, it was then that the disciples heard such a claim directly from their master for the first time. On the other hand, it is the fourth time that the reader is informed about Jesus as the light (1:4-9; 3:19-21; 8:12); therefore, the claim is not new to him. However, it can still be considered that Jesus' utterance as a whole possesses good news value even for the reader because of the time limit mentioned in the subordinate clause in the beginning: while Jesus was in the world ...

4. The expression of Jesus' utterance involves symbolism or metaphor, and such figures of speech always at risk of flouting the Manner Maxim. Since the elements of revelation and concealment are, as noted earlier, inherent in symbolism (and metaphor), the success of the utterance depends on that of the communication between the speaker and hearer. If the hearer fully understands the expression, the figures of speech become a powerful tool to communicate the profound meaning intended by the speaker. However, if the hearer fails to comprehend the expression, the utterance becomes not only meaningless, but often also harmful, because the failure ultimately affects the hearer's understanding of other utterances in respect of those particular figures of speech. The question is: Which is the case of Jesus' utterance? At first glance, his utterance seems to be easily understood: Jesus is the light of the world. Yet the real issue is not the overall comprehension of the utterance, but the more specific understanding of the 'meaning' contained in the expression of light. In what way does the light signify and describe Jesus?

The theme of light in the Fourth Gospel has generated numerous scholarly discussions and investigations, especially in connection with the origin of this ancient document. Perhaps no single study can adequately describe the pregnant concept of light used in this Gospel. However, as an attempt, some of the important aspects of this concept have already been explored as a guide or introduction in the section on 'Light and darkness' (section 5.1 in Chapter 3), particularly the usage of light in the Gospel and its Old Testament background. Based on these points, I shall briefly scrutinise more specific insights in relation to Jesus' utterance.

When Jesus uttered that he was the light of the world, as pointed out earlier (section 5.1 in Chapter 3), the reader is supposed to remember the Prologue that includes some important references to the light. This light imagery immediately leads to other significant ideas such as Logos, Wisdom, God's Word, Torah, creation, life, and revelation. If the reader understands these ideas correctly, he will ultimately conclude that Jesus was talking about his unique role and divine origin (Koester 1995:6). In addition, from his memory of reading the Gospel until Chapter 9, the reader can retrieve the information concerning Jesus' words and deeds, which has something to do with the light imagery. The reader must recollect the information at least in 3:19-21 and 8:12, where the light is depicted in terms of judgment and salvation. Culpepper (1983:191) contends: "Light is not only the revelation of the logos; it reveals the nature of all who come in contact with it, and the judgment upon each person is determined by his or her response to it. Light shines in darkness. It reveals. It also exposes". It is important to note, however, that the above information did not appear to be available to the disciples, for the texts do not record their presence when the information was released.

When the disciples heard that Jesus was the light of the world in this verse, they should recall the Old Testament background of the light symbol. They appeared to be very familiar with the Scripture (cf. 1:45; 2:17, 22). The book of Isaiah might have helped them understand Jesus' statement. In addition, Koester (1995:141) points out: "An important biblical text that connects the presence of God with light and the feast of Booths is Zechariah 14." He continues, stating that "according to John's Gospel, Jesus was the light of the world, the one in whom the hopes of the festival of Booths were realized. He was the light that manifested the presence of God, and he was the one in whom the nation of the world would come to know the power of God" (Koester 1995:142). In addition, drawing from other relevant Old Testament passages (cf. section 5.1 in Chapter 5), we can concur with Koester's (1995:139) remark that "by claiming the title 'light of the world', Jesus announced that he was indeed the Messiah and the prophet like Moses foretold in the Scriptures. Through Jesus, the Messiah, the righteous rule of God would extend to the nations; and, through Jesus, the prophet, the peoples of the world would come to know God's will and walk in his ways". Of course, the reader is also meant to remember this information from the Old Testament, for one cannot afford to neglect the Old Testament background of this symbolism (cf. also Brown 1966:535, 537).

5. The above observations have shown concisely the way in which the light signifies and describes Jesus. To sum up, first, when Jesus uttered this 'I am' saying, Jesus claimed his unity with the God of the Covenant in the Old Testament and to bear the divine name. Secondly, Jesus was the true light that enlightens every man (John 1:9). Jesus judges and saves the world. Thirdly, Jesus identified himself to be the long-awaited messianic Servant of the Lord prophesied in the Old Testament, particularly in Isaiah 42-43. Hence, he brought salvation and revelation. Although Jesus' earthly mission was restricted by the time frame mentioned earlier, this time limit could obviously not restrict the essence of his claim. While the disciples were short of the information from the Gospel itself, the reader is expected to know the relevant information sufficiently in order to understand the 'meaning' contained in the expression of light. Hence, the Manner Maxim in the light imagery is partially flouted in relation to the disciples, but it is kept intact with reference to the reader.

6. As a regular procedure in the analysis of Johannine symbolism in this study, the purpose and function of this symbol is also examined according to Painter and Koester's claims (cf. section 5 in Chapter 3). Unlike the day and night imagery, Painter's three purposes will be well attested by this symbol of light. As discussed earlier, this symbol displays "the judging character of the revelation" and "bring[s] a new understanding about God" (Painter 1986:52). This light imagery deals in detail with the issue of unbelief. If one meets Jesus as the light, he inevitably has to make a decision as to whether to follow him or not (Jones 1997:18). As for Koester's thesis, no reference needs to be made, for the light symbol in this verse is already employed to demonstrate his thesis (cf. section 5 in Chapter 3). Therefore, this symbol affirms their claims rigorously.

e) Summary

Jesus intended not only to tell his disciples that he was the light of the world, but also to substantiate his previous utterance by this statement. Hence, his utterance is a confirmative speech act, and the Relation Maxim helps identify it. In addition, Jesus' statement is successfully elevated by the operation of the Maxims of Quantity, Manner, Reduction, End-Focus and End-Weight as well as by that of the Interest Principle. The disciples and the reader should accept Jesus' claim. With this statement, the author tells the reader primarily of Jesus' role and implicitly of his identity. Finally, the author attempts to prepare the reader for Jesus' next healing actions, for the healing itself would be the manifestation of the work of Jesus as the light of the world.

As promised earlier, verses 3-5 (colon 3) are analysed together in terms of a macrospeech act. By the Construction Rule, the microspeech acts in verses 4 and 5 entail a new proposition that Jesus, the light of the world, should do the works of God. This new proposition is further linked to the responsive speech act in verse 3 by the same Construction Rule, and thus entails another proposition that the works of God might be manifested in human afflictions through Jesus, the light of the world. Since Jesus made the utterances in verses 3-5 in response to the disciples' question, he intended to communicate his answer to them. Thus, considering this speech situation, a macrospeech act for colon 3 as a whole would be assertive. Jesus intended to assert that the works of God might be manifested in human afflictions through Jesus, the light of the world.

3.3.2 The second subcluster (9:6-7)

Colon 4 starts the second subcluster, which ends with colon 10. This subcluster presents Jesus' healing actions upon the blind man. The section can be divided into two units. While cola 4-7 show both Jesus' physical and verbal actions, cola 8-10 tell of the reactions of the blind man to the previous actions of Jesus. The semantic relationship between these units is reason-result. In accordance with the typical categories of narrative structure suggested by Van Dijk (1980:115), cola 4-7 can be called a complication and cola 8-10 a resolution.

9:6 ταΰτα ειπών επτυσεν χαμαί καΐ εποίησεν πηλον εκ του πτΰσματος καΐ επεχρισεν αΰτοΰ τον πηλον επί τοΰς οφθαλμούς

a) General analysis

The complication (cola 4-7) describes a series of procedures surrounding Jesus' healing actions. The narrator's utterance in cola 4-6 (v. 6) particularly reports Jesus' physical actions in the healing process. These cola, therefore, form a unit of analysis. Verse 6 renders: After he had said these things, he spat on the ground, and made mud of the spittle, and anointed the mud on his eyes.

b) Illocutionary act

The utterance in question forms a speech act sequence and, in order to understand it, we should use the macrorules in our approach (cf. section 1.5 in Chapter 2). Each of the clauses that depicts Jesus' actions is an individual speech act. However, the initial speech acts are performed to establish the conditions for the subsequent ones. The order of the speech acts cannot be reversed. The last speech act, therefore, shows the goal of the utterance. In other words, the preceding auxiliary speech acts may be deleted by the Deletion Rule, and the last speech act becomes a global speech act, of which the propositional content would be that Jesus anointed the mud on the blind man's eyes. In this sense, the End-Weight Maxim can be observed in the utterance, for 'heavy' information comes at the end. However, the End-Focus Maxim is not kept intact, because all the information revealed in this utterance is new. For this reason, every individual speech act performed, in this instance, may be informative. The taxonomy of this global speech act may, therefore, also be informative under the category of Constatives, for the narrator intends to inform the reader about Jesus' healing actions. According to the schema of informatives,

In uttering that "and anointed the mud on his eyes", the narrator informs the reader that Jesus anointed the mud on the blind man's eyes if the narrator expresses:

i. the belief that Jesus anointed the mud on the blind man's eyes, and

ii. the intention that the reader forms the belief that Jesus anointed the mud on the blind man's eyes.

As the narrator appears to express his belief and intention as described earlier, the utterance is a successful informative speech act.

c) Perlocutionary act

The reader should accept the way in which the story is told by taking note of the information provided by the narrator. The compact description, in this instance, keeps the reader's interest and motivates him to continue reading.

d) Communicative strategy

1. At the start of the sentence, the narrator provides the setting for the miraculous actions of Jesus. However, the narrator intends to not only give the setting, but also show that there is a direct relationship between Jesus' actions and his previous words. In other words, the narrator contributes towards developing the story by means of the Relation Maxim. This means that the narrator relates what Jesus would do to the blind man to what Jesus' answer to the disciples in the previous verses. What would happen to the blind man from this point onwards would be proof of Jesus' words. The author and the narrator intend to demonstrate that there was strong consistency in both Jesus' words and deeds, compared to the Jewish authorities in the story who, as will be shown, displayed no integrity in their words and actions.

2. The narrator's portrayal of Jesus' actions is very brief and compact. When Jesus applied the mud on the blind man's eyes, the narrator could have added more details such as the facial expressions of Jesus, the blind man, and the disciples; the color or nature of the mud; the way in which Jesus anointed the mud; what the blind man was thinking, and so forth. The narrator could have related Jesus' meeting of the blind man face to face. Did Jesus summon the blind man to him, or did Jesus go to where the blind man was sitting? These details are missing, but it can be concluded from a speech act perspective that this is the way in which the narrator wants to describe the event. In other words, although Jesus' healing actions depicted in this verse are not an elaborate account such as a cooking recipe, the narrator does not fail to describe what was happening. Nida and others (1983:44) refer to a rhetorical feature of compactness, stating that "compactness involves packing into the fewest possible words the maximum amount of meaning". The narrator's depiction of the event, in this instance, is a good example of this compactness, and it is "a particularly important aspect of ancient rhetoric" (Nida and others 1983:23). The narrator therefore upholds the Quantity Maxim for the effectiveness of the narrative.44The portrayal by the narrator is neither too short nor too long. The narrator is good at creating suspense by not giving an elaborate account of the healing process. In terms of the effect on the reader, the compactness of this example could be compared to that of the famous inscription displayed in Caesar's Pontic triumph, "I came, I saw, I conquered". The reader's interest is caught and he is more involved in the story.

3. The following question, induced by the operation of the Interest Principle, may occur to the mind of any critical reader: Was it really necessary for Jesus to do these actions in order to heal the blind man - to spit on the ground, to make clay of the spittle, and to apply the clay to his eyes? Four out of the seven signs in the Gospel concern physical healing, including Lazarus' resurrection. In comparison with these signs Jesus performed, he generally uttered some words, such as his utterances in 11:41-43 before he raised Lazarus, when he was about to do a sign. Even if Lazarus' case is excluded from our consideration because of narrative temporality, there are still two miracle accounts to which the reader has access before Chapter 9. In these two miracles recorded in chapters 4 and 5, Jesus again healed the sick persons through his words only. But the sign, in this instance, appears to be the only incident when Jesus performed particular actions in the healing process, which can be considered a trait of this miracle. The reader cannot predict such healing actions through his knowledge of the previous miracles. Hence the actions themselves are interesting to the reader. Simultaneously, we can conclude that Jesus did not, in fact, need to do anything in order to heal the blind man. This leads to another question: Why did Jesus perform these actions? This enigma may linger in the reader's mind until it is solved (some answers have already been suggested in section 3.1.2).

4. The solution to this enigma can be scrutinised in terms of several aspects: in relation to the blind man, the medical or magical aspect, the ancient game of challenge and response, the Sabbath issue, the creation story, and miscellaneous aspects.

Firstly and perhaps most importantly, Jesus performed these actions for the sake of the blind man. As mentioned earlier, spittle was perceived as having medicinal value in ancient Palestine. Barclay ([1955] 1975:42) proposes that "Jesus took the methods and customs of his time and used them. He was a wise physician; he had to gain the confidence of his patient". The action of anointing involved the laying on of hands. "Nowhere in the New Testament has the laying on of hands a threatening character; it is always a gesture of help, radiating power ... even in the non-Christian world of antiquity the laying on of hands was regarded as a specific gesture of healing" (Theissen 1983:92). And "[t]he touch of a friendly hand would be reassuring" (Tenny 1981:101). In addition, Jesus' actions as a whole may have helped the blind man open up his heart to Jesus. Some expositors (e.g., Hendriksen [1954] 1973:75; Tenney 1981:101; Milne 1993:139) comment that Jesus' actions may prepare the blind man to accept what Jesus aimed to do for him.

5. Secondly, as far as the medicinal and magical aspects are concerned, Theissen (1983:93) affirms that spittle was a (perhaps only) medicinal remedy in New Testament times. Fasting saliva, especially, was considered to be more effective (Bernard 1928:327). Thus "[s]pecial healing powers were attributed to spittle" (Haenchen 1984:38), and Jesus' spittle "would bless rather than curse" (Culpepper 1998:175). Yet Brown (1966:372) points out that "[t]he use of spittle ... left him open to a charge of engaging in magical practice" (cf. also Barrett 1955:296). Jesus' opponents may have made the accusation that, because of his use of spittle, Jesus was "guilty of adopting the tricks of an illegal sorcerer" (Smith 1986:47).45

6. Thirdly, Theissen (1983:93-94) indicates that spittle was used not only as a means of cure, but also as "a sign of contempt". Jesus' act of spitting on the ground could, therefore, be associated with the ancient game of challenge and response, regardless of whether Jesus intended to insult somebody or not at this point. For Palestinian Jews, any bodily fluid, such as saliva, was considered ceremonially unclean (Lev 15:8; Howard-Brook 1994:217). Carson (1991:364) mentions that Jesus was challenging the social and religious values of the Jewish authorities by breaking their taboos and using unclean saliva as part of his treatment. By breaking their taboos "Jesus is making a claim to have religious authority" (Carson 1991:364). In the game of challenge and response, in light of the Jewish honour-shame society, the Jewish leaders had to take Jesus' challenge seriously.

7. Fourthly, as far as the Sabbath issue is concerned, Bultmann (1971:332) contends that "[t]he detailed description of Jesus' preparations for the healing are very likely intended to show clearly that his action constituted a breach of the Sabbath laws" (cf. also Schnackenburg [1968] 1980:242; Resseguie 1982:298; Holleran 1993b:358-359). Morris (1971:480, footnote 17) even suggests several technical breaches of the Sabbath such as the making of clay; the anointing of clay on the eyes, and the healing on the Sabbath. Incidentally, Holleran (1993b:359) maintains that "the description remains important to the narrator for establishing in the subsequent debates that the healing was due to Jesus' action, not just to washing in the Pool of Siloam'.

8. Fifthly, Jesus' action of making the clay may be a significant allusion to the creation of man. "There was an exegetical tradition among the Church fathers that the clay made of spittle and earth recalls the forming of the first human being from the dust of the earth in Gen 2:7 (Schnackenburg [1968] 1980:496; Morris 1971:480-481; Carson 1991:363). Lindars ([1972] 1981:343) regards this point very highly and is convinced that the healing was not "an act of restoration, but as a creative act". Culpepper (1998:175) reiterates that it was "an act of new creation, to create sight for him" - for the blind man.46

9. Lastly, some expositors find more significant points. As noted earlier (section 5.2 in Chapter 3), Schnackenburg ([1968] 1980:257) proposes that "[t]he putting of clay on the eyes, described in 9:6,11 ... could be a reminiscence of the baptismal anointing" (cf. also Cullmann 1953:104). This view may be confirmed by the act of washing in the pool in the next verse. This provides a clue to the Gospel's sacramental aspect. In addition, in this healing scene, Jesus and the blind man remind us of the essential relationship between God and his people. Howard-Brook (1994:217) observes the powerful scriptural overtones in the phrase from Isaiah 64:8-11 that "we are clay".

e) Summary

The narrator's utterance is an informative global speech act describing Jesus' healing actions. In determining the nature of this speech act, the Deletion Rule, the End-Weight and End-focus Maxims are employed. The communication between the author and the reader is greatly enhanced by the execution of the Relation Maxim, the Quantity Maxim and the Interest Principle. Mutual contextual beliefs such as the knowledge of the Old Testament, the usage of saliva in the ancient society, challenge and response, the Sabbath laws, baptism, and so on play an important role in understanding the significance of Jesus' actions. The reader is left with a dramatic thrill and anticipation for the next verse.

9:7a και ειπεν αυτωω "Υπαγε νιψαι εις την κολυμβήθραν του Σιλωχχμ [ο ερμήνευεται Άπεσταλμενος].

a) General analysis

Colon 7 portrays Jesus' verbal action of healing. The contents of his words is described in the smaller unit of 7.1-7.2; 7.1 only contains one word, the present imperative verb υπαγε. This is the first time the imperative mood is used in this chapter. Subcolon 7.2 also has another imperative verb νιψαι, and the mood of these verbs strongly indicates the illocutionary force of Jesus' utterance. "The asyndetic juxtaposition of two imperatives may be a sign of Semitism" (Barrett 1955:297; Bultmann 1971:329).

I wish to make three remarks concerning colon 7. Firstly, Jesus instructed the blind man exactly what to do: "Go, wash in the pool of Siloam", according to the New American Standard Bible. Since the prepositional phrase points to the place to which the motion of the imperative verb directs, this phrase should be attached to the imperative verb υπαγε rather than to νιψαι. While most English translations of this verse, however, are rendered as in the New American Standard Bible, my own translation would consequently be, "Go to the pool of Siloam, wash!" (Plummer [1882] 1981:206; Bernard 1928:328). However, this is admittedly the result of syntactic consideration only. Secondly, the washing and the pool may bear a symbolic importance to point to Jesus' healing power (cf. Culpepper 1983:195). Some scholars even suggest a deeper symbolic meaning. For instance, as Grigsby (1985:227) suggests, the washing in the pool is a symbol of the believer's salvific 'bath', and implicitly it "would thus become a universal command to all unbelievers to wash in the fountain of cleansing waters at Calvary". Although the extent of possible symbolic meanings is disputed, the symbolism, in this instance, undoubtedly indicates another mute communication between the author and the reader. Thirdly, 7.2.1 explains the meaning of the name Σιλώάμ in Greek.47 Its significance lies in the meaning itself, Sent (Cullmann 1953:104). It is obvious that the narrator makes every effort to translate this in the parenthesis in order to relate the blind man to this particular pool (the one that was sent by Jesus) as well as to relate Jesus to his identity, the one who was sent by God (Resseguie 1982:297; Carson 1991:365; Brodie 1993:347). His effort surely draws the attention of the reader. This point is also confirmed structurally in terms of shifts in sentence structure. Nida and others (1983:37) state clearly that "the interruption of a sentence structure by the intrusion of an explanatory expression is bound to carry considerable impact". Briefly, colon 7 is rendered as follows: and he said to him, "Go to the pool of Siloam (which is translated, Sent), wash."

b) Illocutionary act

It is customary to consider the imperative verbs in colon 7 to be commands. The following questions arise. Do these verbs really express Jesus' commands, in this instance? If so, how does one prove this? Or, are they not advices, exhortations or entreaties? To answer these questions, speech act theory can provide a simple and clear standard. Since the possibility of a command occurs to our mind as a result of the grammatical feature, the schema of requirement by Bach and Harnish (1979:47) used in the analysis of 9:4 will be employed again, and examined to note whether the utterance fits the schema.48

In uttering "Go to the pool of Siloam, wash", Jesus requires the blind man to do the action if Jesus expresses:

i. the belief that his utterance, by virtue of his authority over the blind man, constitutes sufficient reason for the blind man to do the action, and

ii. the intention that the blind man does the action because of Jesus' utterance.

Since Jesus appeared to express his belief and intention as described earlier, the illocutionary act of Jesus' utterance would be one of requirement. The key to this understanding is the fact that Jesus was superior to the blind man who was a beggar. Briefly, Jesus intended to command the blind man to go to the pool called Siloam and to wash his eyes there. The author may have intended to ask the reader whether he is also ready to receive such a command (or any command for that matter) from Jesus.

c) Perlocutionary act

The blind man should follow Jesus' command to go and wash his eyes, even without expecting that something wonderful would happen to him, because only Jesus' utterance should suffice for him to act upon it. The reader should also expect something to happen once the blind man obeyed Jesus' command, for the author intends to create more interest in the reader's mind concerning Jesus' healing of the man.

d) Communicative strategy

1. I shall discuss the communication on the character level. In the analysis of the previous utterance, the peculiarity of Jesus' healing actions is discussed mainly in relation to his other miracles in the Gospel. The utterance in this verse, on the other hand, provides a clue to the necessity of his actions. The fact that Jesus made the mud and applied it to the blind man's eyes became a prerequisite for the blind man to wash his eyes. It became certainly more logical and dramatic for him to wash the dirt from his eyes than to simply rinse them. Seen from this angle, the Maxim of Relation connects the two verses.

2. As far as the content of Jesus' command is concerned, Jesus adhered to the Manner Maxim, which adds to the clarity of the message in the utterance. The blind man was told exactly what he had to do, and there was no room for any misunderstanding. If the blind man did not know the place of the pool of Siloam, Jesus would, of course, have violated the Manner Maxim. In such a case, Jesus should have directed the blind man there. But this was certainly not the case, for the blind man did not find it difficult to go to the pool for cleansing.49 That is exactly why Jesus uttered the command the way he did, without adding any unnecessary explanations.

3. Another observation about this command is that this utterance may partially follow the Banter Principle, about which Leech (1983:144) mentions that "banter is an offensive way of being friendly". The use of a command often involves a certain risk that the hearer can easily be offended, even in the case where the hearer is aware of the speaker's authority over him. Jesus could have conveyed the same message in a softer way by using an advice form. However, in Jesus' utterance, in this instance, he employed the command form to order the blind man whom he had just met and with whom he had had no prior personal contact. His command could, therefore, have been experienced as rude. In the particular co-text with Jesus' compassionate intent, however, the command established a bond or intimacy between Jesus and the blind man, observed through the Banter Principle. Leech (1983:144) adds that "the more intimate the relationship, the less important it is to be polite. Hence lack of politeness in itself can become a sign of intimacy", especially since the command was uttered not for Jesus' sake, but in the blind man's own interest. Viewing Jesus' command from this perspective, the utterance became much easier for the blind man to follow because the offensive point of the utterance now changed into a sign of compassion or friendliness. The blind man probably appreciated Jesus' command specifically aimed at his need.

4. On the text level, the reader may not know the location of the pool and the translated word for Siloam,50 for the narrator deliberately translates the meaning of Siloam for the reader. However, it is likely that the reader is able to understand the significance of the name attached to the pool once the name is translated, for the narrator does not explain the symbolic role of Siloam's waters. As examined earlier (section 3.1.3), the symbolism of Siloam is pregnant with information relating to the reader's understanding of Jesus and, especially, Jesus' roles, namely to endow eternal life; to cleanse from sin, and to provide living water as the Messiah.

5. At first glance, the narrator's explanatory intrusion appears to flout the Economy Principle. The addition of his translation seems to disturb the literary style of compactness, which the narrator used for effective interaction with the reader thus far. However, if the reader's understanding of Jesus is exceedingly increased by the symbolism of Siloam, the intrusion expresses a great deal and, therefore, clearly upholds the Economy Principle.

e) Summary

Speech act theory successfully identifies Jesus' utterance as a command (a speech act of requirement), thus obliging the blind man to follow his command. Perceiving Jesus' command as the climax of his treatment of the blind man on the part of Jesus, the reader's attention to the drama now reaches a thrilling climax, filled with suspense. In order for the author to bring the reader into this stage, the author utilises the Maxims of Relation and Manner. However, it is the author's significant usage of Banter and Economy Principles that builds up the intensity of the drama most intriguingly.

9:7b απήλθεν ουν και ενιψατο και ήλθεν βλεπων.

a) General analysis

The resolution, made up of cola 8-10, portrays the reactions of the blind man in direct response to Jesus' instruction in colon 7, and this reason-result relationship is indicated by the inferential coordinate conjunction ουν in colon 8. Although this resolution consists of three individual cola, the latter are strongly connected and form a unit of analysis.

In the blind man's reactions, the author records no words from the man. There was no dialogue between Jesus and the blind man. However, this does not mean that there was no interaction between them. Rather, there was silent and affirmative communication between them. There is indeed no indication that he disliked what Jesus did nor that he showed any hesitation to carry out Jesus' instruction (cf. Bernard 1928:329). He simply agreed and followed the order. Not his mouth, but his reaction said, "Yes, Jesus, I will do it." Then, he came to see now for the first time in his life. At the same time, Jesus demonstrated his power over physical disability. These two points are the focal points of this second subcluster. However, this does not suggest that these are two totally different focal points. Rather, they simply display the different sides of the same coin. Briefly, these cola read as follows: Therefore, he went away and washed, and came to see.

b) Illocutionary act

From a speech act perspective, these three cola constitute a sequence of three microspeech acts. Therefore, this sequence can be assigned a global speech act, for the initial speech acts are performed to establish the conditions for the subsequent ones. More specifically, the first two acts specifically explain the final result. The sequence of these actions as a whole forms the preparatory conditions for the last speech act which becomes the main result or goal of the entire sequence of speech acts. In other words, these auxiliary speech acts may be deleted by the Deletion macrorule. The last speech act, therefore, becomes a global speech act by virtue of the Zero Rule. The ultimate result is that the blind man came to see. As such, the narrator describes what the blind man did after receiving Jesus' command and its result. From these observations, it can be concluded that the narrator intends to inform the reader of how the blind man gained his new sight. In this speech situation, it is only reasonable to take this utterance as informative. In fact, this observation can be tested by applying the schema of informatives to the utterance, as was the case for the analysis on 'IA' in 9:1 (Bach & Harnish 1979:42):

In uttering that Therefore, he went away and washed, and came to see, the narrator informs the reader that the blind man followed Jesus' command and received his sight if the narrator expresses:

i. the belief that the blind man followed Jesus' command and received his sight, and

ii. the intention that the reader forms the belief that the blind man followed Jesus' command and received his sight.

As the narrator appears to express his belief and intention as described earlier, the utterance would be an informative speech act.

c) Perlocutionary act

The reader should wonder at what Jesus could do. Jesus was not simply an ordinary man. This should lead the reader to think seriously of who Jesus really was, in the light of Jesus' previous statement that he was the light of the world.

d) Communicative strategy

Although an individual point of argument in the communicative strategy can be assigned to a specific level of communication, keeping the levels rigidly apart will distract the flow of the discussion. The discussion will, in this instance, not separate the communication levels.

1. As discussed earlier, one of the purposes of Jesus' healing actions in verse 6 was to induce obedience in the heart of the beneficiary. This purpose has been realized in this instance. Unless one reads the story carefully, this point may be easily overlooked because of the narrator's simple and terse portrayal of the blind man's reactions. In this miracle story, Jesus did not give any explanation as to why the blind man should follow his command, but expected him to obey (Jones 1997:166). The blind man trusted Jesus because of Jesus' appropriate actions before the command was addressed to him (cf. section 3.1.2). In addition, the blind man would have lost nothing even if something miraculous such as the healing had not happened (cf. Jones 1997:175). Dodd (1963:183) states, "the co-operation of the patient is demanded. His readiness to obey the command of Jesus is an essential element in the cure, and is in fact a measure of his faith, though John does not use the term". Gutzke (1968:105) formulates the same point differently: "the man had some part to play in getting the answer from God". Dodd (1963:183) continues: "The fact that he goes to Siloam unaccompanied ... by Jesus, supported only by his own faith and determination, makes the contribution of the patient to his own recovery more marked."

2. The narrator depicts an epoch-making event of the man born blind who receives new sight in an amazingly ordinary manner (cf. 9:32; Culpepper 1998:175). The simplicity of the narrator's portrait may leave the reader with some questions. For instance: How was the blind man able to go to the pool of Siloam (cf. Bultmann 1971:333, footnote 1)? Even if he knew where the pool was, he was still blind on the way to the pool. Did he have a helper? It is not known from the text whether he had a helper to take him there or not. However, since many of those who cannot see can go places without any help, it is not impossible that the blind man could go to the major sites by himself in the area where he had lived for a long time (cf. Bernard 1928:329).

However, the point is that this lack of information does not affect the story at all. Once again, rather, this is precisely how the author wants to describe the story. The author disregards the details of the event so that he may place more emphasis on Jesus' sign itself. He is not interested in depicting the manner in which the blind man managed to go to the pool, to find the water, and to wash his eyes. But he is interested in portraying the blind man's obedience and the miraculous power that Jesus displayed through this sign. If this observation is correct, the Quantity Maxim - being economical - is adhered to in this utterance. In addition, on the level of Textual Rhetoric, this utterance conforms to the Economy Principle when the actions of the blind man are described. For example, there is no noun or pronoun to show that the subject is the blind man in Greek, because the verbs indicate this to be the case.

3. There is a more important question concerning the utterance: Did the blind man really come to be able to see? Once more, the narrator describes such an outstanding and marvelous event using very plain words. There are neither modifiers nor catchy phrases to convey the greatness of the miracle. Editors of modern magazines and newspapers will probably disapprove of the simple way in which the narrator records this event. However, according to my analysis, this brevity rather attests to the truthfulness of the miracle. In other words, the simplicity is the result of the author's carefully calculated writing to gain maximum literary effect through the words of the narrator in order to establish the verisimilitude of the story.

4. Despite the above observation, speech act theory can provide a more logical solution to the same question. Since the narrator tries to establish his reliability before the reader in this first section of the story, there is no reason to doubt that the narrator attempts to keep the Cooperative Principle. The narrator is especially not expected to flout the Maxim of Quality at this point. As a result, the narrator is telling the truth or at least telling what he believes to be true. It is only logical to accept that the blind man did receive his sight. Concerning the manner of the healing, Bernard (1928:329) and Wright (2009) doubt that "the cure was instantaneous". However, in my opinion, it could have been instantaneous, because the text does not deny this possibility, especially taking into account the blind man's own testimony in verse 11.

5. Regarding this question, it is worth quoting Ryken's (1974:38-39) remark about the relationship between literary criticism and miracle stories.

It is a fallacy of literary criticism to regard the supernatural element in biblical literature as something to be discarded. Whether one believes or disbelieves in the supernatural and miraculous is a religious issue, but how a literary critic treats the supernatural is a literary matter. It is a critic's task to make the distinctive features of the 'world' of the given literary work come alive for the reader ...If ... the literary world of a work is conceived as one in which supernatural activity is real and constant, the critic's task is to preserve and enhance the reader's response to the miraculous.

6. When Ryken's view is admitted, the literary critic finds it easier to accept the miracle whereby the blind man received his sight at face value. This conclusion may also justify other points. The utterance of the narrator at this point upholds the Interest Principle, for it discloses something interesting or miraculous. This particular miracle had great news value, which would astonish many people later. In terms of the way in which the narrator discloses this interesting phenomenon, he places the information about the result of the man's having washed at the end of the utterance. This means that the narrator keeps the End-Focus Maxim and the End-Weight Maxim intact. As such, the narrator effectively communicates the important point of the story to the reader.

7. Is the reader able to comprehend the full significance of receiving sight? A blind Christian minister in Japan once spoke of the differences between the effect of regaining sight and the effect of receiving sight for the first time. According to him, although receiving sight may bring the same kinds of joy, happiness, and convenience to blind people, they experience the world differently for the first time. For those who lost their sight after knowing some world, regaining their sight means that they are merely returning to the world they once knew. However, for the person who comes to see for the first time in his life, receiving his sight means that the world he sees now is a whole new world which he has not experienced previously. Perhaps this would hold true for the blind man in the story. His eyes were opened for the first time. More significant is that they were opened by Jesus' miracle. What a joy! What an honour! What an experience! Therefore, the full implications of receiving sight for the blind man may be beyond the reader's perception, but the reader does understand the significance of his receiving his physical sight for the first time in his life after he had suffered long enough.

8. According to Jones (1997:166), "[i]n such a terse report, the repetition of the action of washing seems significant". This suggests the operation of the Expressivity Principle, which holds that "the emphasis of repetition has some rhetorical value such as surprising, impressing, or rousing the interest of the addressee" (Leech 1983:69). Although this repetition serves to impress the reader, the implication of washing itself is far more significant in my opinion. In what way does this washing enrich the reader's understanding of the text? At least four aspects can be explored.

9. In the act of washing, first, the author implicitly refers to the need for spiritual cleansing of all human beings (e.g., cleansing from sin). Hendriksen ([1954] 1973:76) contends that "for spiritual cleansing one must go to the true Siloam". "[T]he true 'Siloam', is Christ, 'sent' by the Father to enlighten the world. That is certainly the sense in which the evangelist wishes his readers to understand the whole episode - the narrative and the ensuing dialogue" (Dodd 1963:184). Dodd ([1953] 1968:357) explains: "As men enter the true life by birth from water, so they receive the true light by washing with water."

10. Secondly, the man's new physical sight was bestowed (immediately) by the action of washing off the dirt from his eyes (and, of course, ultimately by Jesus). Is the reader also meant to detect any reference to spiritual sight in this instance? In my opinion, the answer is 'yes' (cf. Martyn [1968] 1979:30, footnote 24). However, it was not yet full-blown spiritual sight, but it was the starting point. Just as the man's physical sight started to allow him to see things gradually, he started to see spiritual reality progressively. This can be well illustrated by his growing perception of the person of Jesus (cf. 9:11, 17, 33, 38).51 The theme of spiritual sight is very important to the author (Stibbe 1993:109).

11. Thirdly, Dodd (1963:184) points out the significance of this act of washing in all the healing stories in the four Gospels: "There is ... no other healing pericopé where washing is a part of the process of cure." Thus many expositors regard the healing of Naaman by Elisha in 2 Kings 5:1-14 the closest parallel story,52 closer than any of the other synoptic healing narratives.53 Brodie (1981), following Bostock's (1980) thesis, argues successfully in favour of John's conscious effort to parallel the healing of the blind man to that of Naaman in his essay, Jesus as the new Elisha: Cracking the code. Despite a strong resemblance between these two stories, one of the major differences is the contrast in the attitudes of the 'patients'. While Naaman protested and was unwilling to obey at first, the blind man differed in this respect (Hendriksen [1954] 1973:76; Schnackenburg [1968] 1980:243). Again Jesus' preparatory actions may have made it easier for the blind man to obey without question (cf. 2 Kgs 5:11).

12. In the same article mentioned above, Brodie (1981:41) points out that "[t]he baptismal symbolism' which is found in John 9 by church tradition and by commentators is balanced by the fact that Naaman is cured by baptizing (ebaptisato) in the Jordan". This brings us to the last yet substantial point - the issue of a sacramental baptism in the context of the water symbolism in John 9. This is part of the broader debate on Johannine sacramentalism. Since we have already discussed this issue (section 5.2 in Chapter 3), suffice it to say that the author appears to gently and quietly affirm the sacrament of baptism, appealing especially to water symbolism.

13. Hence, the repetition of washing in verse 7 has significantly enriched the reader's understanding of the text. It appears that this can be perceived not only in the adherence to the Expressivity Principle, but also to the Quantity Maxim. The Quantity Maxim is observed in the way in which the author implies much more than he actually says while keeping his contribution no more informative than is required.

14. In an evaluation of water symbolism in this passage, Painter and Koester's claims (section 5 in chapter 3) will be re-examined. As far as Painter's three purposes are concerned, since the water imagery points to spiritual cleansing from sin, the symbolism certainly deals with the problem of unbelief as the ultimate sin in Johannine terms,54 confronts those who do not believe, and brings a new understanding about God through Jesus who was the true Siloam to which a sinner must come for cleansing. Hence, Painter's claim is well attested. With regard to Koester's thesis, the symbol of water is impressively connected to the theme of both Christology and discipleship. The name of the pool was Siloam, symbolising the one who was sent by the Father. Washing in the water of Siloam signifies spiritual cleansing, which anticipates spiritual sight and growth in Jesus' disciples. His obedience to Jesus and baptism may be associated with the man's washing with Siloam's water.

e) Summary

The sequence of the narrator's utterances is an informative global speech act that depicts how the blind man gained his new sight. The intention is that the reader should be surprised by the outcome of the event as well as by the character of Jesus who brought about this miraculous healing. The verisimilitude of the story depends on the narrator's reliability, which is argued through the operation of the Quality Maxim. The Interest Principle, the Maxims of End-Focus and End-Weight, and the Expressivity Principle all contribute to the author's effective communication with the reader. But, above all, it appears that the Quantity Maxim plays a significant role in this communication.

3.4 Macrospeech acts

Firstly, I shall discuss a macrospeech act on the character level. The first matter to be noticed is that the conversation between Jesus and the disciples is described in the question-answer form used in the utterances (cf. O'Day 1987:57). The so-called turn-taking is being observed in this conversation (for turn-taking, cf. Yule 1996:72). This question-answer form is directly reflected in the speech acts employed in their utterances (vv. 2-3), which are the microspeech acts of question and responsive. What type of speech act is of greater importance and contributes more to the construction of the theme or global topic in this cluster A? The answer should be the speech acts of responsive, mainly for the following two reasons. One reason is that Jesus, the disciples' master, was the one who answered their question. The other reason, in terms of the content, is that Jesus' answer carried much more significance in theological and Christological implications than their question, and played a more crucial role in the interaction between Jesus and the blind man. In other words, the messages contained in Jesus' response (including vv. 4-5) that the works of God would be manifested in the blind man and that Jesus was the light of the world, strongly link the conversation between Jesus and the disciples to that between Jesus and the blind man. Therefore, a macrospeech act of this section could be arrived at by deleting the disciples' question using the Deletion Rule and by constructing a new proposition from the remaining microspeech acts using the Construction Rule. As a result, a macrospeech act for this entire section would be assertive, in that Jesus intended to communicate that the works of God would be manifested in human affliction, as in the case of the blind man, through Jesus, the light of the world. One should note that the theme of suffering is introduced from the outset. Viewed from this macrospeech-act angle, the communication between the characters has been very successful thus far.

In light of the discussion of the specific mutual contextual belief surrounding miracles (section 3.1.2), a few significant points can be noted concerning the miracle. To begin with, according to the definitions of miracle and miracle story, the account described in this cluster A, particularly in 9:6-7, is considered a genuine miracle story, and the supernatural event depicted in this story can be rightly called a miracle. Secondly, the miracle performed by Jesus displayed the glory of Christ, and this miracle as Jesus' sign points fundamentally to his identity as the Christ (cf. Meeks [1972] 1986:149). The focus of the miracle is thus Christological. Finally, the aim of this Christological sign is to evoke faith in Jesus. Although cluster A does not record such a result yet, it will come to light in later clusters.

Secondly, I shall discuss a macrospeech act on the author-reader level. The author, by mouth of the narrator, uses only informative speech acts in the narration. This suffices to suggest that the author wants to tell the reader a story. However, the content of the narration, in conjunction with the words of the characters, is indicative of what type of story will be presented to the reader. In this sense, a macroproposition of the macrospeech act on the author-reader level would be almost similar to that on the character level, but a macrospeech act would be informative instead of assertive. In this instance, the different speech act categories between the story and text levels can be established. In the informative macrospeech act, the author intends to make the reader believe that Jesus, who was the light of the world, could manifest the works of God in human affliction by the way he opened the blind man's eyes. Moreover, through the micro- and macrospeech acts in this section, the author immediately wants to induce the reader's interest in the story he has just begun. The author, therefore, creates suspense and thrills in the reader by means of the language he uses, evokes astonishment in the reader by portraying the unusual event, and introduces the narrator as the reliable guide for the story. As for the character Jesus, the author establishes his authority, identity, mission, and ability before the reader. Specifically for this purpose, the author makes full use of Johannine symbolism and the 'I am' statements. Some of the mutual contextual beliefs also contribute, significantly yet implicitly, to the effective communication between the author and the reader, especially in helping the text reveal its deeper meaning. As such, the perlocution of this cluster is to persuade the reader to start reading the miraculous story of Jesus, securing the reader's involvement in the narrative right from the start as well as in the next section. Vorster (1986:52) comments:

A miracle story, and likewise every single miracle story in the New Testament, is some person's narration and interpretation of the particular miracle. And whenever one tells a story, one does so from a particular perspective and for a particular purpose ... A miracle story is a speech act (linguistic action). It is not simply a physical act.

 

4. CLUSTER B: THE DIALOGUE BETWEEN THE BLIND MAN AND THE NEIGHBOURS (9:8-12)

4.1 Specific mutual contextual beliefs

4.1.1 Poverty and the patronage system

It is a common understanding among social-scientists that the terms 'poor' and 'poverty' do not exclusively refer to the economic situation in the ancient Mediterranean society (Neyrey 1995:140). Malina and Rohrbaugh (1992:251) point out: "The 'poor' are persons unable to maintain their inherited honor standing in society because of misfortune or the injustice of others. Being poor meant being defenseless, without recourse. It meant being in danger of falling below the status at which one was born." Poverty was closely linked to the honour-shame system of the day. Being powerless and susceptible to loss was thus considered 'poor'. "People who are maimed, lame, blind, and the like are 'poor', regardless of how much land they might own" (:48). It is misleading to consider 'poor' and 'poverty' only from the economic perspective in terms of ancient society (Neyrey 1995:144).

According to Neyrey (1995:139), there is a distinction between two Greek terms, both of which are commonly translated as 'the poor man'. He points out: "A ptochos ... is a person reduced to begging, that is, someone who is destitute of all resources ... One gives alms to ptochos. A penes who has little wealth yet has sufficiency, is not called 'poor'" (Neyrey 1995:140). Luz (1989:231) echoes this: "The basic rule is: The πένης has to work, the πτυχός has to beg." Although the author of the Gospel employs neither of these words in Chapter 9, from this distinction the blind man in our text belongs to the category of πτυχός. On the other hand, his parents presumably belong to the category of πίνης, for they were not begging on the streets. The neighbours perhaps saw 'this family' as a unit, and thus did not attach much honour to this family due to the blind son.

One possible way in which a person could maintain or elevate his position in Roman Palestine was to enter into a patron-client system. This may have been necessary or profitable, especially for those who were of poor status. The system "was a relationship based on a strong inequality of power in which, nevertheless, both sides gained, the client by obtaining social, economic and political resources from the patron, the patron by obtaining useful loyalty and honour" (Esler 1994:35). The ancient belief that "all goods and resources are in scarce and limited supply" (Elliott 1993:131), held especially by the peasants, may have accelerated one's consideration of affiliating oneself with a powerful patron for survival.

Since the patronage system consisted of social relations of generalised reciprocity and the patron bestowed the client's position as a favour, not everyone could acquire such a position. If a needy person, especially one with physical disabilities, could not enter into the system, he had to find another solution. In Jewish society, some people were regarded as beggars in those days. The blind man in our text was one of them. Persons in weaker positions such as the physically disabled, children without parents, and so on, tended to become beggars. Jeremias ([1969] 1975:111-112) confirms this: "It is typical of Jerusalem that a large section of the population lived chiefly or entirely on charity or relief." This was made possible by a common belief that giving of alms was an important part of Jewish piety, which supported the acts of charity by both religious and public communities and pious individuals (Jeremias [1969] 1975:126-134).

4.1.2 Relationships between the characters

The knowledge held for the specific conversation between the blind man and the neighbours is as follows: In terms of social status, the neighbours and spectators were superior to the blind man who was a beggar; both parties (the blind man and the neighbours) are assumed to have known each other on a personal level, and both parties are assumed to have known that the man called Jesus existed.

4.2 Overview and structural analysis chart

This cluster consists of three sets of conversations between the blind man and those who knew him, specifically his neighbours. As each conversation can be considered a unit, this cluster is structurally very simple. At the level of smaller units, however, the structures are more complex.

The structure of each conversation is in question-answer form (cf. Du Rand 1991:99). In terms of the number of sentences, or rather the number of words, the comparison between the utterances of the people and those of the blind man in this cluster may reveal an interesting fact. The following chart illustrates this point:

 

 

 

 

This diagram presents the author's skillful arrangement of dialogues or proportionate distribution of words.55

Several remarks need to be made concerning this cluster as a whole:

1. The three major conversations between the blind man and his neighbours in the form of question-answer sequences all begin with an opening question initiated by the neighbours. This point leads to two observations. The one observation is obvious, namely that there is a certain literary pattern of presentation designed by the skillful author. The second observation is that it is semantically that the neighbours seemed to be more excited about the miraculous incident than the blind man himself.

2. The repetition of coordinate conjunctions is noted in the first sentences of all three conversations.

3. Personal, demonstrative, possessive or relative pronouns are used frequently throughout the cluster. This may strengthen the cohesion of the text.

4. The shift of focus can be detected. While the first conversation talks of the blind man's identity, the second speaks of the healing process. The topic of the third dialogue is the present location of Jesus (cf. Holleran 1993b:360-361). In this instance, the focus is gradually shifted from the blind man to Jesus who healed him.

5. There is a strong unity between the three conversations despite the shift in focus. The first conversation tells of the beneficiary of Jesus' miracle; the second relates the process of his miracle, and the third attempts to seek Jesus' present status after his miracle. Jesus was, therefore, always the centre of the conversations, even if he was not physically present.

6. Colon 16 is basically a repetition of cola 4-10. This synonymous parallelism reinforces the other semantically, and indicates the strong link between clusters A and B.

7. This cluster also contains an inclusio. At the level of the subclusters, both the first and the third subclusters portray that the blind man was interacting with his neighbours. At the cola level, both 11 and 18 refer to the blind man.

8. There are significant structural markers such as to say, to beg (beggar), to know, to go, to wash, he, they, therefore, and.

Hence, these points may contribute to the cohesion of this cluster.

4.3 Microspeech acts

4.3.1 The first subcluster (9:8-9)

Based on the observation of the neighbours' opinions and the blind man's reply, cola 12-14 should form a unit. This unit serves as a set of answers to the question in colon 11, which, on its own, forms the other unit in the first subcluster.

I wish to make several remarks regarding the coherence of this first subcluster:

1. All the sentences have basically the same structure. The word order is subject, verb, and complement, strongly suggesting structural parallelism.

2. Their utterances are introduced syntactically by either the subordinate conjunction ότι. or the direct quotation without using any introductory word. These syntactical forms also form two pairs, as indicated in the structural chart earlier: i) 11.2 and 13.1 versus ii) 12.1 and 14.1. This fact shows the syntactical contrast.

3. Pair i) also carries a negative connotation because of the negative particles ούχ, whereas pair ii) carries an affirmative connotation. These pairs also show the semantic contrast.

4. All the main verbs in the main clauses are imperfect verbs of λέγο, which show the progressive actions portraying vividness (cf. Morris 1971:482, footnote 23). This is a remarkable repetition of the same word.

5. All the verbs in the characters' utterances use the present tense verbs of έΙμί also bringing vividness and suspense into the dialogue sequences. One should note another repetition in the use of the verbs.

6. Because of the three repetitions of the third person verb έστίν in cola 11-13, the first person verb έίμί in colon 14, may be highlighted.

7. The theme of this subcluster can be summed up in two words, namely 'his identity' (cf. Menken 1985:206). The people around the blind man were talking about who he was. The blind man simultaneously continued answering them as to who he was as well (for this aspect, cf. the analysis below).

Hence, these seven points contribute to the coherence of this section.

9:8a Οι ουν γειτονες και οι θεωρουντες αυτον το προτερον οτι προσαΐτής ήν ελεγον,

a) General analysis

Although the introductory narration for the characters' utterances has basically been omitted from the analysis since verse 3 (cf. the remark on this matter in the analysis on 'CS' in 9:2), it is important to examine the narrator's introduction in this instance. For the same reason, this narrator's utterance is analysed separately, despite the fact that verse 8 constitutes an independent colon.

Cola 11-14 make up the first conversation between the blind man and the neighbours. In colon 11, the conjunction ουν connects clusters A and B, specifically referring to the fact that the blind man received his sight. This conjunction indicates an additive-different relation between the clusters. The nominal part of the sentence is long, for the author categorises the subjects and loosely explains them. The noun γειτονες with its article and the articular participle phrase οι θεωρουντες αυτον το προτερον refer to two kinds of people.56 The function of 11.1, which is a further description of the blind man, causes some concern for translators. Bultmann (1971:333, footnote 7) mentions: "Burney (78) thinks that οτι is a mistranslation of ...οτε." "But this is unnecessary", as Bernard (1928:330) says, and he proposes to translate it as "because" (cf. also Barrett 1955:297; Morris 1971:482, footnote 22). It may also be possible to consider 11.1 a subclause which is in apposition to the pronoun αυτον, as my translation reads below (cf. Hendriksen [1954] 1973:77, footnote 57). The neighbours were very curious and were wondering whether the blind man was the one whom they knew as a beggar. They seemed to wonder about his identity. They were merely talking about him, and were not directly trying to ask him, for the verb ΙλΕγον in this colon has no indirect object such as αυτψ Nevertheless, he was the central topic of their conversations. Therefore, colon 11 with 11.1 is rendered as follows: Therefore, the neighbours and those who previously saw him that he was a beggar were saying.

b) Illocutionary act

The narrator intends to tell the reader who initiated the conversation, and thus the utterance is an informative speech act. This time, the narrator, on behalf of the author, provides limited information not only about the identity of these people, but also about their relationship to the blind man, in order to clarify the speech situation.

c) Perlocutionary act

The reader should notice the change of scene, for the author introduces new characters on stage. The author also intends to draw more attention from the reader by introducing these unusual characters in the story and to surprise the reader with the new information that the blind man was a beggar.

d) Communicative strategy

1. The narrator's sudden introduction of the neighbours (and spectators) is an indication of the change of scene. Two observations can be presented. Firstly, Morris (1971:482) avers: "The mention of the neighbors probably indicates that the man went home" (cf. Plummer [1882] 1981:206). Secondly, "[t]he neighbours and other people ... appear appropriately as the first witnesses" (Schnackenburg [1968] 1980:246). The narrator's introduction is, therefore, not so much an abrupt, but a pertinent strategy. As such, the neighbours and the blind man become the main characters in this section. The simultaneous appearance of two actors on stage is a well-known technique in constructing a dramatic episode, and the author utilises this technique called the law of stage duality throughout the story of John 9 (Martyn [1968] 1979:26; cf. also section 10.3).

2. In this introduction, the omniscient narrator identifies the characters who were about to speak on the occasion. The narrator provides hardly any information about their identity and relationship to the blind man. It is very brief because the narrator adheres to the Quantity Maxim. The narrator describes that only some were his neighbours, and that the others were those who had seen the blind man as a beggar. At this point, the narrator does not explicitly indicate whether they witnessed the miracle themselves or whether they had heard of what had happened to the blind man. Only when the reader reads verse 10, in the middle of the characters' conversation, does the neighbours' question in that verse indicate that they knew nothing of the miracle. Since they were not present in the first cluster, where did they come from? In continuing from the first section, the narrator seems to have his own strategy by leaving room for the reader to work out all these details. Iser (1974:280-281) calls this lack of information "gaps" (cf. also Patte 1988:100; Harner 1993:v; Tovey 1997:21). Indeed, the author only provides the necessary information. This stimulates the reader's imagination, and is one of the fun elements in reading a story.

3. As far as this introduction of the characters is concerned, the author enhances the reader's interest by using the Interest Principle. This is the only occurrence of the Greek word γειτονες in the entire Gospel.57 The use of this word in itself is indicative of unpredictability. Hence, mentioning the neighbours catches the reader's attention as an unusual development of the story in the Gospel.

4. The author uses an effective strategy in this utterance. One should note the repetition of information concerning the blind man in the utterances in this verse, namely that the blind man was a beggar. The question arises: Why does the author place this same information in both the narrator's and the characters' dialogue? Should the author adhere to the Morality Principle that encourages one not to "reveal information he ought not reveal" (Bach & Harnish 1979:64)? In other words, does it not suffice to reveal it only in the neighbours' utterance? Will it have more impact on the reader's mind if the neighbours rather than the narrator disclose this information? As far as this question is concerned, this seems to make no difference to the story, even if the narrator does not introduce those who saw him as a beggar. The character of the neighbours is sufficient to play the role of dialogue partner to the blind man. Then, again, why does the author need to reveal this information right before the characters' utterance? The answer should lie in the author's strategy for effective communication. The author releases this information beforehand to enable the reader to determine the neighbours' utterance from the same perspective held by the author. Through this disclosure, the reader now possesses an evidential clue to the question as to which character was telling the truth in the ensuing discussion in verses 8b-9.

5. This disclosure also provides a basis for the 'silent' communication between the author and the reader, especially regarding irony. The irony results from the gap between the author's and the reader's knowing the real identity of the blind man, unlike some of the characters. As will be noted later, one of the author's goals in using irony is to invite the reader to become one of the insiders against uninformed characters such as the neighbours as outsiders.58 The author, therefore, controls certain information in order to accomplish his communicative goal.

6. The Reduction Maxim under the Economy Principle is also at work in this utterance. The author shortens the text by means of pronominalisation. Leech (1983:67) states that "this reduces the amount of time and effort involved both in encoding and in decoding".

e) Summary

The informative speech act is used for the narrator's utterance to identify the initiators of the dialogue. However, in order to activate the reader's imagination, the narrator does not describe them in detail. In this utterance, the Maxims of Quantity and Reduction, the Principles of Interest, Morality and Economy are observed for effective communication between the author and the reader. At this point, the author also establishes a basis to create irony for later use.

9:8b ϋύχ όύτός έστ.ν ό καθήμενος καί προσαίτών;

a) General analysis

It was natural for the neighbours to wonder, because the incident was a great phenomenon. Subcolon 11.2 describes the topic of their arguments and this concise question form sums up their wondering thoughts. With the question mark, the negative particle ούχ forms a question that expects the answer 'yes' (cf. Wenham 1965:75; Morris 1971:482; Holleran 1993b:361). In 11.2.1, the present participles καθήμενος and προσα.τών may indicate the habitual actions (Fowler et al 1985:288). Hence, the people asked: Is this man not the one who used to sit and beg?

b) Illocutionary act

Although the sentence-type of the utterance of the neighbours (including the spectators) is interrogative, it aims to suggest a possibility concerning the man's identity. Levinson (1983:274-275) recognises such a function of the interrogative sentence-type, stating that "interrogatives can be used with the illocutionary forces of 'real' questions, 'exam' questions, rhetorical questions, requests, offers, suggestions, threats and for many other functions, without over-riding some 'literal force'". It is thus possible and indeed appropriate to think that the function of the utterance can, in this instance, be considered to be that of a suggestion, because the neighbours seemed to be almost certain that the man was a beggar. This is indicated by the way in which they formulated their question. As noted earlier, the question expects an affirmative answer. But they did not try to explicitly declare it in order to avoid the embarrassment, should they be wrong. Plummer ([1882] 1981:206) explains this aspect: "The opening of his eyes would greatly changed him: this added to the improbability of a cure made them doubt his identity." For these reasons, they used the interrogative sentence, which can be perceived as an indirect speech act. Indirectness would express their mixed feelings perfectly.

According to Yule's (1996:54-55) definition, an utterance can be an indirect speech act when the sentence-type of the utterance does not directly correspond to its communicative function. In this instance, as noted above, the interrogative sentence-type does not express the function of question. Searle's inferential strategy will be used to explain this indirect speech act (cf. Searle [1979] 1981:32-35). In indirect speech acts, the speaker intends to accomplish two illocutionary acts: primary (utterance meaning) and secondary (sentence meaning) (Searle [1979] 1981:33-34). From the co-text, along with the Quality Maxim, the primary illocutionary act performed in this utterance could be suggestive. This means that the neighbours suggested the man's possible identity by performing the secondary illocutionary act of asking a question (question). Consequently, the goal of this utterance is to suggest that the man whose eyes were opened by Jesus was the beggar who used to sit and beg. This would not embarrass them, even if they made an incorrect observation. The schema of suggestives by Bach and Harnish (1979:43-44) is as follows:

In uttering e, S suggests that P if S expresses:

i. the belief that there is reason, but not sufficient reason, to believe that P, and

ii. the intention that H believes that there is reason, but not sufficient reason, to believe that P.

When the schema is applied to the text, the following is the result:

In uttering "Is this man not the one who used to sit and beg?", the neighbours suggest that the blind man was a beggar if the neighbours express:

i. the belief that there is reason, but not sufficient reason, to believe that the blind man was a beggar, and

ii. the intention that the hearers believe that there is reason, but not sufficient reason, to believe that the blind man was a beggar.

As the neighbours appeared to express their belief and intention, as described above, the utterance would be a suggestive successful speech act. They intended to identify the man whom Jesus had just healed. The author wants to ask the same question of the reader to test his understanding.

c) Perlocutionary act

The hearers in the story should reply to the question, indicating their own answers. But the reader should respond with the affirmative answer based on his knowledge gained from the previous cluster. The author wants to invite the reader to become one of the insiders versus the neighbours as outsiders, because of their uncertainty about the man's identity.

d) Communicative strategy

1. I shall discuss the communication on the character level. Whenever an indirect speech act is used, the Manner Maxim always seems to be at stake, because ambiguity is inherent in the nature of an indirect speech act. It is ambiguous in the sense of deniability (cf. Saayman 1994:13). In other words, the primary illocutionary act can be deniable.59 Moreover, the major proponent of speech act theory, Searle (1969:31), himself even admits the problem posed by an indirect speech act: How is it possible for the speaker to say or for the hearer to understand such an indirect speech act? Therefore, whenever the speaker utters an indirect speech act, the Manner Maxim is always jeopardised. The same holds true for the utterance under discussion. In addition, the Clarity Principle in the domain of Textual Rhetoric is also flouted for the same reason.

2. What then is the benefit or necessity of using such a risky indirect speech act? It is interesting to note that, although the use of indirect speech acts is generally motivated by the speaker's politeness (Searle [1979] 1981:36; Leech 1983:108; Yule 1996:56), this does not seem to be the case in this instance. Leech (1983:82) points out that, in practice, "unless you are polite to your neighbour, the channel of communication between you will break down"; strictly speaking, politeness was still observed even in a casual talk exchange such as this. This was not the main reason for their employing an indirect speech act. According to my analysis, the indirect speech act performed by the neighbours, in this instance, was rather motivated by the uncertainty caused by their astonishment, that is, they could not identify the man with full conviction.

3. On the text level, the utterance of the neighbours contributes to developing the story through the Relation Maxim. In the previous cluster, especially at the end, the focus was on the blind man. At the beginning of this section, the focus is again on the blind man on account of the neighbours' remark that he is the beneficiary of the miracle. This remark initiated the entire discussion that dominates this section.

4. Regarding the above point, the reference to the blind man in this utterance (and in the narrator's previous utterance) discloses something that has news value. The blind man was a beggar. He had not only been blind from birth, but he was also poor in an economic and social sense. This fact could fascinate the reader. A few questions may arise in the reader's mind: What kind of relationship did this man have with his family?60 Did his family not take care of such a poor man? Conversely, could the blind man contribute to production as a family member, especially considering that, as Malina and Rohbaugh (1992:396) maintain, the family "was both the producing and the consuming unit of antiquity (unlike the modern industrial society, in which the family is normally a consuming unit but not a producing one)"? The answer to the question may have a negative connotation in a normal sense, if not being outright negative. He had difficulty working and being a client to a patron, which was a common practice in those days, for he was a blind person who could not serve the patron's needs well. Perhaps sitting by the roadside as a beggar was the only 'productive' means the blind man had (Cf. Morris 1971:482; Bruce 1983:211). Carson (1991:365) states that "[a] congenitally blind man was unlikely to be able to support himself by any means other than begging".

Another social datum may also illuminate his activity. "At seven or eight years of age ... boys are abruptly and harshly thrown into the hierarchical and authoritarian world of men. There they are required to repudiate every trace of femininity" (Malina & Rohbaugh 1992:300). The blind man was already of age (9:21). The harsh reality was that the blind man had to sit and beg alongside the road for, even if he was blind, he needed to contribute to the family income or support himself. This hardship is another instance of the motif of suffering in the story, and this suffering may be constructive in forming the blind man's character (cf. Rm 5:3-4). Ultimately, this would lead to the manifestation of God's glory.

Among the Jewish people in ancient Palestine, wealth was considered a sign of being blessed by God and poverty was the opposite (Davids 1992:703). However, this very poor man had received God's favour and mercy. The works of God were manifested neither in the neighbours nor in the spectators, but in this cursed man. The fact that he was a blind beggar would be one of the most interesting aspects to the reader as well as the characters in the story themselves. Thus, the utterance observes the Interest Principle to a great extent in order to advance the goal of the author in his communication with the reader.

e) Summary

The neighbours intended to identify the man whom Jesus had just healed. They used an indirect speech act to avoid embarrassment, but did so with the risk of jeopardising the Manner Maxim and the Clarity Principle. The hearers should reply to the question to the best of their knowledge. The author wants to ask the reader the same question to test his understanding. He uses the Relation Maxim and the Interest Principle to interact effectively with the reader, specifically disclosing the blind man's (past) hardship.

9:9a αλλοι ελεγον οτι OUtoj εστιν,

a) General analysis

According to my colon demarcations, colon 12 (v. 9a) is clearly distinguished from colon 13 (v. 9b). The microspeech-act analysis on these cola will, therefore, be done separately. However, this 'general analysis' examines these cola together for the sake of argument alone because of their strong αλλοι - αλλοι construction.

As pointed out earlier, the question asked by some of the neighbours was not the kind of question that demands an answer from a specific person. Rather, they were discussing the matter with one another. This is proved by the construction αλλοι - αλλοι in cola 12-13, which could be better translated as some - others. "αλλοι - αλλοι probably only makes a distinction among the last-named .... Perhaps the intention is to contrast the questioners with a second and third group with firm views" (Schnackenburg [1968] 1980:297, footnote 23). In both cola, the imperfect verb ελεγον further implies that they were having a continuing discussion (cf. Morris 1971:482). Since the main clauses of the two cola are identical, they form a syntactic parallelism. Although both 12.1 and 13.1 provide the contents of what people were saying concerning the blind man, the ways in which the contents are syntactically introduced different and are juxtaposed to each other. In these two cola, accordingly, the contrast between the people's opinions is highlighted. Thus the translation of the αλλοι - αλλοι construction should be some - others in order not to minimise this contrast. Their views were clearly divided (cf. Hoskyns 1954:355; Resseguie 1982:298). The translation of verse 9a would be as follows: Some were saying, "He is the man,"

b) Illocutionary act

In response to the suggestive speech act in the last verse, this utterance expresses some of the neighbours' agreement. Thus this utterance is an assentive speech act in the category of Constatives. The schema of assentives by Bach and Harnish (1979:43) is as follows:

Assentives: (accept, agree, assent, concur)

In uttering e, S assents to the claim that P if S expresses:

i. the belief that P, as claimed by H (or as otherwise under discussion), and

ii. the intention (perhaps already fulfilled) that H believe that P.

When this schema is applied to this utterance, it reads as follows:

In uttering, He is the man, some people assent to the claim that the blind man is the beggar if some people express:

i. the belief that the blind man is the beggar, as claimed by the neighbours, and

ii. the intention that the hearers believe that the blind man is the beggar.

As some people appeared to express their belief and intention, as described earlier, the utterance would be a successful assentive speech act. Some of the neighbours intended to express their opinion, agreeing with the previous claim that the blind man might be the beggar, because the man became the centre of their discussion. The author may intend to provide the reader with a correct answer in this utterance.

c) Perlocutionary act

The hearers (the remaining neighbours) should concur with the view expressed by this utterance, and should thus acknowledge that the blind man was indeed the beggar. The reader should also acknowledge this fact.

d) Communicative strategy

1. On the character level, all four Maxims seem to be observed in this utterance. The Manner Maxim, in particular, is kept intact because of the straightforward expression. Another significant feature in this and the next two utterances in verse 9 is that the characters adhere to the Quantity Maxim. Their utterances are very brief in that they did not make their "contribution more informative than is required" (Grice 1975:45). In the domain of Textual Rhetoric, for the same reason, the Economy Principle, especially the Reduction Maxim, is also observed well in these utterances. The characters got straight to the point they wanted to make. The lack of unnecessary elaboration in the utterances creates a sense of enthrallment and surely puts the reader at ease when reading the story.

2. On the text level, this utterance causes some of the hearers to consider the opposite opinion described in the next utterance. The author's communicative strategy is to illustrate the prominence of Jesus' miracle by creating a controversy over the blind man by means of this utterance.

e) Summary

The utterance made by some of the neighbours is an assentive speech act that asserts their opinion, agreeing with the previous claim that the blind man might be the beggar. The intended perlocution on the character level is that the hearers should concur with this opinion, but the real perlocution is, as shall be noted below, that the hearers should disagree. Concerning the communicative strategy, the Maxims of Manner and Quantity, and Reduction are used in this utterance.

9:9b αλλόί έλέγον, ϋύχί, αλλα όμοιος αύτώ έστιν.

a) General analysis

In 13.1, the particle ούχί may be emphatic, because it stands at the beginning of this utterance made by the remaining neighbours. The connotation by the phrase όμοιος αύτώ is subtle. The neighbours denied that the man was the one they knew, but admitted that he was, in fact, just like him. They found it difficult to believe that he was the same person because of the external change in him (cf. Calvin 1979:372; Tasker [1960] 1981:124; Fenton [1970] 1979:107, footnote 9). Thus, verse 9b reads: Others were saying, "No, but he is like him."

b) Illocutionary act

Despite the intended perlocution of the speakers in the previous utterance, the other characters' response was negative. They had a different assessment, and intended to oppose the previous opinion, which identified the man as the beggar. However, they admitted that the man resembled the beggar. Accordingly, the illocutionary force of this utterance is one of dissentive. The schema of dissentives by Bach and Harnish (1979:43) is as follows:

Dissentives: (differ, disagree, dissent, reject)

In uttering e, S dissents from the claim that P if S expresses:

i. the disbelief that P, contrary to what was claimed by H (or was otherwise under discussion), and

ii. the intention that H disbelieve that P.

When this schema is applied to this utterance, it appears as follows:

In uttering. that "No, but he is like him", others dissent from the claim that the blind man is the beggar if others express:

i. the disbelief that the blind man is the beggar, contrary to what was claimed by some people, and

ii. the intention that some people disbelieve that the blind man is the beggar.

As others appeared to express their disbelief and intention, as described above, the utterance would be a successful dissentive speech act. The author may also intend to describe the prominence of Jesus' miracle by means of this utterance.

c) Perlocutionary act

The hearers should accept the opposite viewpoint described in this utterance. But the story will reveal that the hearers would not need to change their opinion, for the man himself would disclose his identity in the next utterance. The perlocution on the text level is to impress upon the reader the prominence of Jesus' miracle with this utterance.

d) Communicative strategy

1. I shall discuss primarily the communication on the story level. Why did the others not claim more strongly that he was definitely not the beggar? In other words, why did they place their opinion in the present surface structure? As can be noted, their utterance is formulated with the risk of violating both the Manner Maxim of Interpersonal Rhetoric and the Maxim of Ambiguity of Textual Rhetoric. This means that the utterance contains a certain ambiguity. There could be a reason for such an ambiguous expression. To consider their reasoning, others were likely to have considered any straightforward disagreement as rude and offensive in the discussion with the people they knew, even though they tried to say what they believed to be true. That is the reason why they used a kind of euphemism. While they seemed to be upholding the Cooperative Principle, specifically Quality Maxim, they were also observing the Pollyanna Principle. They tried to avoid causing unpleasant feelings in the hearers as far as possible. This is also an indication that they endeavoured to adhere to the Agreement Maxim, in order to minimise disagreement between self and other. It is thus most logical to believe that their desire to uphold these two Maxims and the one Principle made them take the risk of violating the Maxims of Manner and Ambiguity.

2. I shall discuss the communication dominant on the text level. Firstly, the dissentive speech act is not only successful, but also interesting. The way in which their dissension is expressed may be unpredictable and subtle. The expression conveys a positive nuance despite the fact that the response itself is negative. In this sense, the Interest Principle is at work in this utterance and brilliantly captures the perplexity of these characters. The reader is meant to understand this facet. Schnackenburg ([1968] 1980:246) comments that any miraculous event "provokes scepticism (even in people of the evangelist's time!), and a division of opinion". However, I would say that this is particularly so in the case of this healing miracle (cf. John 2:11; 5:53; 6:14; cf. also 5:16; 11:45-46, 53), because it was a great miracle of which they had never heard previously (John 9:32).

3. The peculiarity of this great miracle is further enriched by the light imagery. Resseguie (1982:298) states: "The dualistic imagery of light and darkness is reflected in the divided opinions, and the tone of opposition created by the imagery becomes concrete in the contrasting opinion." This skepticism and divided opinions may point indirectly to the motif of suffering. The reason is twofold. The fact that the neighbours could not come to faith easily means, in Johannine thought, that they would remain in sin and darkness. They would continue to suffer in this state of affairs. The other reason is that the divided opinions are likely to have caused unpleasant feelings in all the neighbours who participated in the controversy. Since the author does not use the term schism, in this instance, as in the case of the Pharisees (9:16), no one knows exactly how intense or bad the division was. One can tell, however, that there were uncomfortable emotions among the neighbours to some extent. Furthermore, Martyn ([1968] 1979:30, footnote 25) points out another significance of the relationship between this miracle and the divided opinion: "The man's neighbors and acquaintances, fellow members of the synagogue, are divided in their appraisal of the situation ... The motif of divided opinion among the synagogue members is quite important." Schnackenburg ([1968] 1980:246) does not miss this point either: "The perplexity of the ordinary people continues in a different form in the Pharisees (v. 16)".

4. Secondly, concerning two responses from the neighbours (9:9a, 9b), Dockery (1988:17) suggests: "Ironically, both answers are correct. He is both the same person and a new person who is 'like him'" (cf. also Duke 1982:183). Figuratively speaking or on different levels, this statement is true (Holleran 1993b:361). He became a 'new and different' person, with a whole new world in front of him. But, strictly speaking, that is not the case, because the illocution of the suggestive speech act in verse 8 seeks an answer to the question as to whether or not the healed man was the beggar who used to sit and beg. And the answer is and should be that he was the 'same' man. Otherwise, one of the author's effective communicative strategies, especially in this second response, would be lost.

5. The important rhetorical device, in this instance, is the use of irony, which is indicated by the conflicting relationship between the text and co-text (cf. step A-ii-2) according to the analytical outline for ironic speech acts (section 1.6 in Chapter 2). Three participants and types of irony should first be identified (steps B-i and B-ii). Since the speakers of the utterance expressed what they believed to be true (in other words, the utterance adheres to the Quality Maxim), the characters did not intend to utter an ironic statement. The utterance does not constitute verbal irony on the character level, but situational irony on the text level. The ironist would be the author, the target would be those characters that made the utterance, and the observer would be both the author and the reader. This is dramatic irony perceived through the observer's knowledge of what the characters had yet to find out, namely the fact that the healed man was indeed the one who used to beg (cf. also Holleran 1993b:361). This fact is important. This is why Dockery's earlier statement jeopardises the reader's understanding of the author's important device of irony, and should therefore be evaluated with caution. This irony functions "as a way of involving readers in the communication process of the text" (O'Day 1986:30), and as a social device to increase "group cohesiveness" (Roy 1981:409) in the relationship between the author and the reader. Moreover, the author wants to place the reader on a higher level of knowledge than the characters by using irony. Incidentally, since it is intended, covert, fixed and finite, this Johannine irony is stable (cf. Culpepper 1996:194).

e) Summary

The remaining neighbours rejected the idea that the healed man was the same person whom they had known before as a beggar, by uttering a dissentive speech act. The hearers should respond to this speech act and change their view. Perhaps the reason for their formulating the utterance this way may be motivated by their politeness towards the other party. They uphold the Maxims of Quality and Agreement, and the Pollyanna Principle at the expense of the Maxims of Manner and Ambiguity. The author uses the Interest Principle and dramatic irony to enhance communication and solidarity with the reader.

9:9c έκέίνος έλέγέν ότί Έγώ έίμί.

a) General analysis

In contrast to their confusion, the blind man himself was, of course, confident about his identity. He opened his mouth for the first time in this Chapter to speak the words in colon 14 in answer to their curiosity. Needless to say, the formula έγώ έίμ. reminds the reader of the 'I am' sayings of Jesus, which have a great significance theologically. However, the question as to how significant the man's reply is in employing the same formula is debatable. This issue is taken up in the analysis on 'Communicative strategy' below. This colon would be the climax of the first subcluster. Verse 9c renders: That man was saying, "I am (the one)."

b) Illocutionary act

The neighbours clearly showed their divided opinion concerning the man's identity. Because he could not help telling the truth in this situation (cf. 'CS' below), and in order to end the division among them, the blind man finally spoke up for himself, saying only two Greek words, "Εγώ έίμ.'. The blind man's utterance also attests to the fact that the author is, as mentioned earlier, good at keeping the Maxims of Quantity and Reduction. Yet, these two words remarkably contain what the blind man should say and what the author wants to say. In these two words, the blind man revealed his identity with full conviction. The blind man's utterance is, therefore, a confirmative speech act. According to the schema of confirmatives by Bach and Harnish (1979:42-43),

In uttering that "I am (the one)", the blind man confirms that he is the same person if the blind man expresses:

i. the belief that he is the same person, based on some truth-seeking procedure, and

ii. the intention that the neighbours believe that he is the same person.

The truth-seeking procedure, in this instance, would be the man's own testimony, and this evidence is as solid as rock. As a result of these observations, the utterance is a successful confirmative speech act. The blind man intended to confirm that he was the beggar. The author also intends to reconfirm the knowledge the reader already possesses of the man's identity.

c) Perlocutionary act

The neighbours should accept the personal confirmation of the blind man. The perlocution directed to the reader is to reassure him of the blind man's identity, and that the reader should take note of the words the blind man used.

d) Communicative strategy

1. As noted earlier, the neighbours clearly showed their divided opinion concerning the man's identity. In this state of affairs, the author vividly depicts the present confusion among them. Perhaps the best thing for them to do in this situation would be to ask the man himself about his identity, but they simply did not do so. Why? Because the blind man may have been listening to their discussion. He knew that they were talking about him, and that they could not finalise the matter. Perhaps the people's eyes were now fixed on the blind man's mouth. The illocution of their staring at him and of the discussion demanded that he say something. They did not need to ask the question verbally. However, is this a violation of the Quantity Maxim on the part of the blind man, because he answered without being asked?

2. In reply to the above question, one should ask whether it was necessary for the blind man to speak up. As mentioned earlier, this is the first instance in which the blind man opened his mouth after his eyes were opened (as well as in Chapter 9 as a whole). This can be considered the first significant effect of the healing. As mentioned earlier (section 4.1.5 in Chapter 3), in terms of ancient healing accounts, it was more important that a patient's social standing be restored than restoring his malfunctioning organ(s). A man who had been voiceless in society and used to sit and beg became a person who could stand up and speak up for himself among his people in society. This should be regarded as an amazing and positive outcome of the healing event in light of the man's personal change. It may be even more important that his voice put an end to the ongoing debate as to whether or not he was the same person who used to beg. They recognised his voice. This means that his existence as a member of society was also recognised. Thus, Jesus' healing resulted not only in the blind man's physical and personal change, but also in a change in his social status. In the eyes of his neighbours, he was no longer a man without voice (cf. Staley 1991:65). If he did not speak up, especially voluntarily, he would still have been a voiceless man, and the healing would not have been completed. The author believes it necessary that the blind man should express himself at his own discretion. It was imperative for the blind man to speak up. In this sense, the blind man's utterance is not a violation of the Quantity Maxim in this co-text.

3. The blind man's expression itself may need our attention in the communicative strategy. Is there any significance in the use of Εγώ ειμι? If so, what is it?

On the character level, since the blind man's expression was a simple affirmation of his identity (Burkett 1991:149 note 2), it is likely that the words have no significant meaning attached to the utterance, unless the blind man and his neighbours were aware of Jesus' statement in verse 5 and they consciously tried to connect to it. However, from the co-text, it was most unlikely that these conditions would be met (cf. also Lee 1994:173).

4. On the text level, as examined in section 3.1.4, the reader knows a great deal about the significance of the εγώ ειμι formula spoken by the Johannine Jesus. It is quite understandable that the author takes advantage of this. However, the majority of commentators do not take this seriously and conclude that there is no significance in the man's usage.61Bernard (1928:330) remarks: "This is a simple affirmation of identity, not to be confused with the mystical use of εγώ ειμι in Jn." Barrett (1955:297) even warns: "This simple use of the words warns the reader against assuming that εγώ ειμι was necessarily to John a religious formula." Of course, these commentators correctly assert that the man's usage is not the same as that of Jesus and it has, therefore, no theological connotation. However, as the expression has the usual connotation, this does not necessarily mean that it has no significance. In my opinion, there are at least three significant points in the man's utterance designed by the author, especially from a literary perspective.

Firstly, the author may appeal to the mutual contextual beliefs shared with the reader for further implications of this utterance. The reader remembers that, in Jesus' 'I am' sayings, Jesus claims to have unity with God and to bear the divine name. Jesus also identifies himself to be the long-awaited messianic Servant of the Lord. Numerous Old Testament passages illuminate the person and work of Jesus with regard to the εγώ ειμι formula. Such rich information is stored in their mutual beliefs concerning the 'I am' sayings (cf. section 3.1.4). It is inconceivable that the author does not make use of this rich information when he deliberately puts the words εγώ ειμι in the man's mouth. What then does the author have in mind when he has the blind man speak as Jesus did? It appears that the author intends to have the blind man, who was in the process of becoming a model disciple (this aspect will be discussed in more detail later), imitate the words of Jesus, for the first level of discipleship starts with the imitation of one's master (cf. Stibbe 1993:112). By giving exactly the same vocabulary of Jesus to the man, the author encourages the man to speak up for himself. Some encouragement was probably required for the man to reveal his real identity, especially to admit that he was a beggar. Undoubtedly, some people would try to hide such a shameful past if they were in his shoes. By providing Jesus' vocabulary, the author reassures the reader that Jesus would support the man. Brodie (1993:348) contends: "It is often said that this very human Ego eimi has nothing to do with the God-related Ego eimi. But the context suggests otherwise ... from a literary point of view, the man's Ego eimi is an echo of the divine Ego eimi' (cf. Marsh 1968:380; Howard-Brook 1994:219). That is the reason why the blind man could take the initiative to speak up, even though he was not explicitly asked to answer. The man's voice would have sounded firm. As such, the imitation of Jesus' words might have given the blind man confidence in who he was. Perhaps he no longer needed to be ashamed of being a beggar. Now he could say loudly that he had been a beggar. Whether he was a beggar or not was no longer his concern. What counts is that God had found him. He could now take healthy pride in himself, maybe for the first time in his life. It is true that, when a person meets God, he begins to understand his real identity as well as the purpose of his existence. That may be the reason why the blind man confidently admitted his former identity.

5. Secondly, in relation to the above observation, the author may intend to let the reader perceive some connection between the blind man and Jesus (cf. Holleran 1993b:361). In subsequent scenes, the blind man discusses matters boldly with the Jewish authorities. In so doing, the blind man displays courage and tactics similar to Jesus'. The root of these qualities can be found right here in the man's words έγώ έίμί. His utterance was a prelude to his personal development. These two men would face the challenge of the Jewish leaders in a similar way.

6. Thirdly, critics spot a significant feature that verses 8-34 "comprise the longest absence of Jesus in John's Gospel" (Duke 1982:183; Rensberger 1988:42; Holleran 1993b:364). However, the author does not allow the reader to forget about Jesus easily. Even though Jesus was absent from the narrative for a long time, he was always the focus of the story. The author uses some devices in order to leave Jesus in the centre of the reader's mind at all times (cf. Stibbe 1993:107). The blind man's expression is most likely one of them. The expression certainly reminds one of Jesus.

7. The blind man's utterance at this point has a part to play in the deeper understanding of the story. Although it appears that historical or theological interpretation is not designed to find such significance, a literary approach can detect it. The author intentionally chooses this particular formula to create a good impact with the blind man's reply, because "the phrase on the lips of the blind man is a surprise to the reader" (Stibbe 1993:111). In this instance, the operation of the Interest Principle makes the story more fascinating.

e) Summary

Having heard the neighbours' conversation, the blind man intended to confirm that he was the beggar. The neighbours should accept the bloind man's personal confirmation. The story indicates that this was indeed the case, thus ending their controversy. The perlocution directed to the reader is to reassure him of the blind man's identity, in that the author wants to remind the reader of the significant implication of Jesus' 'I am' sayings upon the blind man's answer. In the man's utterance, the Maxims of Quantity and Reduction as well as the Interest Principle are working efficiently.

4.3.2 The second subcluster (9:10-11)

9:10 έλέγον ούν αύτώ, Πώς [ούν] ήνέΐόχθησαν σού οί οφθαλμοί;

a) General analysis

In the first subcluster, the number of words used in the neighbours' utterances is higher than that in the blind man's. By contrast, a higher number of words are used in the blind man's utterances than in those of the neighbours in this second subcluster. Viewed from a different angle, like the utterance of the blind man in subcolon 14.1, subcolon 15.1 also comprises only one sentence for the question of the neighbours. Structurally, this contrast is interesting and calculated.62 The main clause confirms that the question in subcolon 15.1 was spoken directly to the blind man. He was asked about the manner or process of gaining his sight. In 15.1, the conjunction ούν is placed in a bracket in the Greek text, perhaps because it is already used in the main clause in 15. The interrogative adverb πώς specifies the purpose of the question. Thus this verse reads as follows: They were, therefore, saying to him, 'How then were your eyes opened?'

b) Illocutionary act

Searle ([1969] 1980:31) points out that "except in yes-no questions a speaker asking a question does not express a complete proposition". Thus, the propositional content of this utterance would be that "your eyes were opened by ...?" From the interrogative sentence-type and its propositional content, the utterance of the neighbours is most likely a speech act of question. According to Searle's (1969:67) necessary and sufficient conditions for questions:

Propositional content condition: In uttering "How then were your eyes opened?", it is obvious that the neighbours' question satisfies this condition.

Preparatory condition: The neighbours do not know the answer. It is obvious to neither the neighbours nor the blind man that the blind man will provide the information at that time without being asked.

Sincerity condition: The neighbours want this information.

Essential condition: Counts as an attempt to elicit this information from the blind man.

From the above observation, I can conclude that the utterance of the neighbours would be a successful speech act of question. The neighbours had the intention to ask a question in order to obtain information that they did not have at that point as to how the blind man's eyes were opened. It is important to note that "[t]he fact that man's sight had been restored is not challenged; it is only the manner of the cure is in question" (Bernard 1928:330). There seems to be no explicit illocution directed to the reader.

c) Perlocutionary act

The blind man should give an adequate answer to their question, relating the process of how Jesus opened his eyes. The author, however, wants to impress the reader, and invite him to be one of the insiders against the neighbours (as outsiders) through the shared knowledge about the event.

d) Communicative strategy

1. The neighbours' utterance, in this instance, requires more scrutiny than is customary, because this is the utterance in which two separate accounts are especially necessary for the communication between the characters and for that between the author and the reader, respectively. This is due to the fact that the reader already knows the answer to this particular question, whereas the neighbours did not know. For the sake of convenience, the next utterance in verse 11 is also examined simultaneously, for these two utterances form a question-answer pair and can be treated simultaneously.

2. On the character level, the two utterances (in vv. 10 and 11) present no specific problem. They observe nearly every conversational principle. They are economical, sincere, relevant and clear. They are a typical textbook case of communication. However, on the author-reader level, the two utterances flout a couple of conversational principles. Since the question demands an answer that has already been provided, the repetition is unnecessary and uneconomical. In this regard, the utterances transgress both the Quantity Maxim of Interpersonal Rhetoric and the Economy Principle of TextualRhetoric.

3. The Interest Principle is also flouted, because the utterances hardly appeal to the reader. They have no unpredictability or news value for the reader. For this reason, the utterances appear to have no relevance to the reader. In this sense, flouting of the Relation Maxim is suspected. These utterances on the author-reader level are problematic.

4. Nevertheless, as mentioned in section 3.1 (Chapter 2), a speech act analysis presupposes that the author has the responsibility to make every utterance of the text somehow meaningful for the reader. All the parts of the narrative are, therefore, worthy of the reader's attention. From a speech act perspective, the more problematic an utterance, the greater the need for, and role of this approach. How should these utterances be measured? Our strategy should be to deduce the additional meaning of the utterances by using the concept of implicature (cf. section 1.3 in Chapter 2). Accordingly, what is the implicature of the flouting of the Principles and Maxims in these utterances? Since both the author and the reader know how the blind man received his sight, the aim of the utterances is obviously not to pass on new information. Rather, the repeated reference to the miracle serves to establish the reality of the healing (cf. Haenchen 1984:39). In addition, the idea is to impress the greatness of the miracle upon the reader once again.

e) Summary

After accepting the man's testimony about his identity, the neighbours' concern shifted to the miracle itself. They (first) intended to ask a question as to how his eyes were opened, and hence their utterance is a speech act of question. The blind man should provide a sufficient answer to their question, for their utterance is made according to the rules of language. On the character level, the utterance observes nearly every conversational principle. On the text level, by contrast, the utterance flouts the Maxims of Quantity and Relation as well as the Principles of Economy and Interest. Thus, the notion of implicature is used to explore the meaning of these violations.

9:11 απεκριθη εκεινος, Ό ανθρώπος ο λεγομενος Ίησοϋς πηλον ΕïïolησΕν και επίχρισίν μου τους οφθαλμούς και ειπεν μοι οτι "Υπαγε εις τον Σιλώομ και νιψαι απελθών ούν και νιψαμενος ανίβλεψα.

a) General analysis

Colon 16 does not use the imperfect of the verb λεγώ, but uses the aorist verb απεκριθη in the main clause for the first time in this cluster. This may imply the simple action that the blind man was going to provide the correct answer once to all, in contrast to the speculations in which people were constantly wondering about who he was (indicated by the imperfect verbs in cola 11 -13). This may mark an important shift in the dialogue sequences. In other words, a change of topic in the conversations is due to take place. The topic is now the past incident, namely how the blind man was healed.

The blind man's answer is recorded in subcola 16.1-16.6; 16.1 starts with his introduction of Jesus, who made the mud in the early stages of the miracle. However, the omission of Jesus' action of spitting on the ground should be noted. In this subcolon, Jesus, as the subject, is referred to by the nominative noun ανθρώπος. This describes the blind man's present understanding of Jesus - he perceived Jesus as a man (cf. Barrett 1955:297). The aorist verb Ιπίχρισιν, in subcolon 16.2, occurs only in this instance and in verse 6, and nowhere else in the New Testament (Barrett 1955:297; Lindars [1972] 1981:345; Newman & Nida 1980:304). His first answer in 16.1-16.2 related that the man who is called Jesus made mud and anointed my eyes. There is no indication in the text as to how and when the blind man acquired Jesus' name, but he knew it somehow (cf. Holleran 1993b:362). This is important in the development of the story, because he only knew his miracle worker's name. For the time being, he had to assume who had healed him until he met his benefactor again later. The unit consisting of 16.3.1 and 16.3.2 describes the blind man's quotation from Jesus' utterances in the healing miracle. As such, subcola 16.1-16.3 form a unit, describing once again both the physical and verbal healing actions of Jesus.

The blind man's reactions are again reproduced in 16.4-16.6 as a unit. As this unit is the restatement of cola 8-10, the syntactic construction of this unit remains basically the same. However, the difference lies in the change of the mode of the verb. Firstly, subcola 16.4-16.5 use the participles of the original verbs instead of the customary indicative forms. Secondly, colon 16.6 employs one indicative verb ανεβλεψα instead of ηλθεν with the complementary participle βλεπών. The aorist indicative verb ανεβλεψα shows the culminative-simple action as the result (Fowler et al. 1985:289-290).63The conjunction ούν in subcolon 16.4 connects the two units (16.1-16.3 and 16.4-16.6), referring to Jesus' instruction to go and wash in 16.3.1-16.3.2. This naturally creates strong cohesion in the blind man's answer. Briefly, verse 11 renders as follows: That man answered, "The man who is called Jesus made mud and anointed my eyes and said to me, 'Go to Siloam and wash.' So after I went away and washed, I received sight."

b) Illocutionary act

The blind man's utterance in this verse consists of a sequence of several speech acts. However, it is not difficult to assign one global speech act to this sequence of speech acts, for the entire sequence is clearly goal-directed. This means, as Van Dijk (1980:181) explains, that "the sequence is connected such that each following speech act is accomplished with the purpose and the intention to reach a sequential result or a sequential goal". This utterance is a good example. The sequential goal is to relate how the blind man received his sight. Each proposition is as follows: the man who is called Jesus made mud; Jesus anointed my eyes; Jesus said to me, "Go to Siloam and wash"; so after I went away, I washed, and I received sight. Therefore, by the Construction Rule, the joint sequence of these propositions entails a macroproposition: "this is the explanation of how I received my sight", or, "in this way I received my sight". In other words, every speech act, except the last one, functions as an explanatory speech act in order to attain the final goal of receiving sight. As a result, the global speech act of the utterance in this verse is responsive. The utterance is designed as the answer to the neighbours' question. In light of Bach and Harnish's schema of responsives (1979:43), the blind man appeared to express his belief of how his eyes were opened in his utterance, and his intention that the neighbours would believe his utterance. Therefore, it is a successful speech act. Briefly, the blind man intended to answer the neighbours' question sincerely. In his answer, except the part where Jesus spat on the ground, the blind man explained exactly what happened, just as the narrator portrayed the event. Therefore, this indicates that the narrator and the blind man share the same viewpoint. The author may intend to reconfirm the reader's knowledge of the process of the healing miracle by virtue of this utterance.

c) Perlocutionary act

The neighbours should accept the blind man's answer, even though what he described was extraordinary, because his answer was based on what really happened in the story. The perlocution directed to the reader is to confirm his knowledge of the process of the miracle by supplying the blind man's own testimony. The reader should accept the trustworthiness of the blind man because of his honest answer.

d) Communicative strategy

1. Besides the point made regarding the utterances in verses 10 and 11 in the above analysis, I should note two more points regarding the blind man's utterance: one for the story level, and one for the text level. For the communication between the characters, the goal of this utterance may be enhanced by the employment of the Interest Principle. The neighbours heard what had happened to the blind man for the first time, and it must have been fascinating to them. Although the blind man did not intend to surprise the neighbours, they would have been surprised at hearing of such a miracle. It is important to register at this point that the man's testimony concentrated chiefly on what Jesus had done rather than on who he was (cf. also Pink [1945] 1968:75). The person of Christ would emerge later.

2. For the communication between the author and the reader, it appears that the author's repetition of Jesus' utterances is not merely an exact duplication, but a calculated repetition. Holleran (1993b:362) explains that "the man's quotation of Jesus' words lacks the vividness and urgency of the narrator's double asyndetic imperatives "Υπαγε νιψαι', replacing them with the plodding, more temporally descriptive "Υπαγε εις τον ΣιλοΑμ και νιψαι'. As noted earlier, the duplication of the same information results in a number of breaches of the conversational principles. However, from a different angle, this reiteration has a positive side, namely the adherence to the Expressivity Principle. One of the concerns of this Principle is the emphasis on repetition that "has some rhetorical value such as surprising, impressing, or rousing the interest of the addressee" (Leech 1983:69). The blind man's utterance surely is of rhetorical value to the reader by virtue of the recurrence of the same content described in verses 6-7.

3. As pointed out earlier, it is unusual that the blind man disclosed Jesus' name to the interlocutors upon their demand, for the text does not record how and when the blind man acquired Jesus' name. Some expositors such as Brown (1966:377) and Schnackenburg ([1968] 1980:246) simply refer to this fact. Bultmann (1971:333-334) and Holleran (1993b:362) draw attention to the contrast with the healed paralytic in 5:13 and comment that the blind man at least knew the name of his benefactor (cf. Martyn [1968] 1979:31, footnote 26). Only a few scholars attempt to suggest some possible explanations. For example, Carson (1991:366) proposes that the blind man had learned of Jesus' name from the talk of the time (cf. also Howard-Brook 1994:219). What can a speech act approach offer to explain this strange introduction of Jesus' name by the blind man?

4. From a speech act perspective, the reader should be given sufficient information to understand some of the characters' words or deeds. If the reader is not given this information, it means that the author flouts the Maxim of Quantity. Consequently, an implicature will be required to explicate such a flouting. The following question should be asked in this regard: Why did the blind man have to mention Jesus' name at this particular moment? In other words: What does the author want to accomplish by putting Jesus' name on the blind man's lips in this second set of the question-answer sequence? The co-text, especially the Relation Maxim, will help answer this question. In the first set of the question-answer sequence (vv. 8-9), the blind man is the central topic. In the third set (v. 12), Jesus becomes the centre of the narrative topic. In order to uphold the Relation Maxim, the author needs something to connect the first and third topics in the second set of the dialogue. Putting Jesus' name on the blind man's lips is certainly a good, if not the best way. As such, the topic shifts smoothly from the blind man to Jesus. Since the reader knows who opened the blind man's eyes, the author's flouting of the Maxim of Quantity should no longer be such an issue to the reader. In addition, as observed earlier, the author uses devices to remind the reader of Jesus in his absence from the story (cf. the analysis on 'CS' in 9:9c). The use of Jesus' name, in this instance, may be another case of such a device. From these observations, the reference to Jesus' name is an indication of how the author employs language.

5. As indicated earlier, the comparison between the blind man and the paralytic in Chapter 5 often becomes a scholarly subject (e.g., Bultmann 1971:338, footnote 1, 339; Staley 1991; Brodie 1993:354-355). In fact, Carson (1991:366) avers: "The colour in the two personalities testifies not only to the Evangelist's stylistic versatility, but also to the differences in people to whom Jesus ministered." Culpepper (1983:139-140) draws interesting and extensive parallels between them. However, one of the significant differences should be noted in respect of this verse. The report of the identity of their healer is the end of Jesus' role for the lame man, but for the blind man it is only the beginning of his important role in the story (cf. Holleran 1993b:363).

6. Another aspect that deals with the Quantity Maxim is the omission of Jesus' action of spitting on the ground in the man's reply. Does this omission make a difference (cf. Gros Louis 1982:18)? Haenchen (1984:39) is of the opinion that the reader knows this omitted information and "should not be bored with the repetition". The omission may also be for the sake of compactness. However, Pink ([1945] 1968:76-78) provides a more plausible explanation. He considers the man's congenital blindness: "Being blind he could not see what the Lord did, though he could feel what He applied!" From the perspective of the blind man's condition before he was healed, the narrative displays its genuineness as designed by the author, even when considering small details such as these. In this instance the man's utterance adheres to the Quality Maxim: "Do not say that for which you lack adequate evidence" (Grice 1975:46). Silence often speaks for itself, and the Quantity Maxim is upheld in this particular sense.

e) Summary

The blind man replied sincerely to the neighbours' inquiry, using the global responsive speech act. The neighbours should accept his honest answer, and this appears to be the case. On the story level, the adherence to the Cooperative Principle and the operation of the Interest Principle are evident in his utterance. However, on the text level, as noted in the analysis on the last utterance, the utterance flouts the Cooperative Principle. Nevertheless, the Expressivity Principle is kept intact, and the Relation Maxim plays an essential role regarding the introduction of Jesus' name, in which the Quantity Maxim is suspended. The latter, in conjunction with the Quality Maxim, is observed regarding the exclusion of Jesus' action of spitting. The author admirably demonstrates his literary skill in his communicative strategy.

4.3.3 The third subcluster (9:12)

This subcluster, made up of cola 17-18, presents the third conversation between the blind man and his neighbours. In terms of the number of words, this unit has the fewest words of all the subclusters. In fact, the question-answer form, in this instance, contains only one sentence each for both question and answer.

9:12a και ειπαν αύτώ, Πού ΐστιν εκεινος;

a) General analysis

The conjunction και in colon 17 shows an additive-different relationship between this and the preceding cola. At the same time, it may also connect the third subcluster with the second one, suggesting the continuation of their conversation. 17.1 provides the content of the neighbours' question that was asked directly of the blind man, and they inquired about the present location of the wonder worker. The interrogative adverb πού signifies the purpose of their inquiry. Thus, verse 12a reads: And they said to him, "Where is that man?"

b) Illocutionary act

This inquiry of the neighbours is once again a speech act of question. The analysis of the necessary and sufficient conditions for this question (Searle 1969:67) is similar to that of the utterance in verse 10 and will, therefore, not be repeated. The analysis shows that this utterance is also a successful speech act. The neighbours intended to ask another question in order to obtain the information they did not have at that point, namely where Jesus was. The author intends to shift the focus of the story from the blind man to Jesus.

c) Perlocutionary act

The blind man should adequately answer their question, indicating the whereabouts of Jesus. The reader should move his attention from the blind man to Jesus as the author intends.

d) Communicative strategy

1. I shall discuss the communication on the character and text levels together for the sake of the argument. Since the name of Jesus is mentioned in the previous utterance, the question of the neighbours is now concerned with something about the man who opened the eyes of the blind man. Thus, their question, which adheres to the Relation Maxim, contributes towards advancing their conversation. However, the content of the question is rather unique. Immediately upon hearing of the process of the miracle, they asked about the whereabouts of Jesus. From a literary perspective, in general, and a speech act view, in particular, why did the neighbours not ask the blind man about other details or express any skepticism, such as why Jesus made the mud; why the man had to go to the pool of Siloam; why the man did not use the water from a well; whether the man actually believed, in the first instance, that Jesus could do something for him; whether the man really believed afterwards that Jesus had opened his eyes? These questions should follow logically. Of course, it would be a good question to ask where they could find Jesus at that time so that they might question Jesus himself for confirmation of the event. There is no doubt about this. However, they 'only and suddenly' asked where Jesus was, as if there were no other questions to ask. This may evoke more interest in the reader's mind through the operation of the Interest Principle.

2. The uniqueness of this question can be discussed further from a different angle. Many commentators (e.g., Schnackenburg [1968] 1980:246; Bruce 1983:211) remark that the neighbours also wanted to question Jesus personally. Others describe their inquiry as "a natural desire to meet the man who had performed such an astonishing miracle" (Carson 1991:366). Scholars who are more critically concerned with this particular question point out that "[t]he neighbors' question may be quite important to the author. Cf. 7:32-36; 13:33" (Martyn [1968] 1979:31, footnote 27). This is even more important if the question is examined in light of the Johannine community where Jesus was no longer present (Sloyan 1988:116). Holleran (1993b:363) is seeking an implicit reference in the question "to the departure of Jesus and the sending of the Spirit/Advocate in 16,5-11". Therefore, though the question appears to be simple, the significance of the question to the reader cannot be underestimated.

3. In the domain of Textual Rhetoric, the Reduction Maxim is employed to shorten the text by means of pronominalisation (using the pronoun έκέί νος). The way in which this pronoun is used in the characters' utterances in 7:11 and 9:28 may indicate that έκέίνος also comprises the derogatory sense of "that fellow" (Holleran 1993b:363; cf. Plummer [1882] 1981:206). Holleran (1993b:363) contends: "If so, then the onlookers are hardly better disposed to Jesus after hearing the man's witness than were 'the Jews' ... (7,11) or the Pharisees ... (9,28)." The text does not clearly project the clear-cut attitude of these neighbours towards Jesus and the blind man. They appeared neither hostile nor friendly (cf. v. 13).

e) Summary

The speech act of question by the neighbours intends to ask a question in order to obtain information from the blind man once more. He should answer them, indicating the whereabouts of Jesus. The author intends the reader to shift the story's focus from the blind man to Jesus. Their utterance observes the Relation Maxim, and the Interest Principle is operative for the reader.

9:12b λεγει, Ούκ οιδα.

a) General analysis

In response to their question, the blind man replied in colon 18. He again that he only knew the name of Jesus. Those who knew Jesus well (e.g., his disciples) were able to imagine when and/or where he used to go, such as the temple where he taught, the remote mountainside where he prayed, and so on. However, he did not have that kind of knowledge. This colon, therefore, marks the first reference to the motif of knowledge and ignorance in this Chapter by using a related word οιδα. What is more significant, in this instance, is the way in which the author records this response from the blind man. In colon 18, the author uses the historical present verb λεγει to portray the vividness of his reply (Fowler et al. 1985:288). The author also makes use of the intensive perfect verb οιδα in subcolon 18.1 to stress the present state of his ignorance (Fowler et al. 1985:292). Moreover, he omits the object of the verb οιδα for the sake of compactness. In this instance, the omission can easily be reconstructed from the context, as the phrase "where that man (Jesus) is". Therefore, this verse reads: He said, "I do not know."

b) Illocutionary act

This is another responsive speech act. According to Bach and Harnish's schema of responsives (1979:43), it is obvious that the blind man expressed his belief that he did not know the answer, and his intention that the neighbours would believe that he did not know the answer. Therefore, it is a successful speech act in its own right. The blind man sincerely intended to answer the neighbours' question directly. That is the reason why he honestly confessed his ignorance.

c) Perlocutionary act

The neighbours should accept the blind man's answer, even though it would not meet the purpose of their inquiry. The perlocution directed to the reader is to convince the latter that the blind man's knowledge of Jesus was still limited at this point. The reader should also acknowledge the author's endeavour to establish the trustworthiness of the blind man.

d) Communicative strategy

1. On the story level, one should note that this utterance is an unintentional failure of the Maxim of Relation, because it does not contribute towards advancing the conversational goal of the neighbours. In other words, the utterance does not meet the perlocution of the neighbours' question. The blind man was supposed to adequately answer their question as to where Jesus was. Due to his ignorance, he was not able to tell them Jesus' whereabouts, but only that he did not know. This answer is indicative of his present state, namely that he was still distant from Jesus (Schnackenburg [1968] 1980:247). Barrett (1955:297) avers: "The blind man has much to learn before he makes the confession and offers the worship of v. 38." Even though the reader may observe something from the man's utterance in line with the above comment, the utterance itself, from a speech act perspective, fails as an answer and results in it becoming the major reason for the termination of the conversation between the neighbours and the blind man. The neighbours appeared to show no more interest in the man as a source of further information. One should note that this utterance may be a good instance of Searle's ([1969] 1980:54) gloss that a speech act is defective when "a condition may indeed be intrinsic to the notion of the act in question and not satisfied in a given case, and yet the act will have been performed nonetheless".

2. In the domain of Textual Rhetoric, since the blind man omitted the object of the verb οιδα, the Reduction Maxim is employed to shorten the utterance by ellipsis (also the Quantity Maxim in the domain of Interpersonal Rhetoric). This verb is one of the key words in the Chapter, for "the theme of knowledge (οιδα 'I know') is closely related to sight (ειδον 'I saw'), both being derived from the root ιδ - [or weid-], the foundation of vision and wisdom words" (Dockery 1988:18; cf. also Duke 1982:184).

3. On the text level, there is a narrative purpose to end this section with a rather disappointing conclusion that the blind man did not know where Jesus was (Holleran 1993b:363). This disappointing impression on the reader indicates the operation of the Interest Principle, because the reader probably does not expect the blind man's answer to this effect; the utterance is, therefore, unpredictable. Holleran (1993b:363-364) suggests four ways in which the narrative develops from this man's answer. Firstly, the man's ignorance became a basis for his future knowledge about Jesus. Secondly, his self-confessed ignorance would highlight what he really knew at a later stage. Thirdly, the man's lack of knowledge at this point may be one of the author's communicative strategies aimed at the reader: "The reader must walk with the man born blind through the narrative to discover the answer. The reader is ignorant too and still has something to learn" (Holleran 1993b:364). Lastly, the reader's present discomfort that he shares the man's ignorance will be dissolved at the end of the story by Jesus' revelation (John 9:41). By terminating their conversation, the author prepares the reader for the next dialogue scene between the blind man and the Pharisees.

e) Summary

The blind man replied sincerely to the neighbours' question with a successful responsive speech act in its own right. However, the utterance is an unintentional failure with reference to the Relation Maxim, for he could not provide satisfactory information to them. This appears to lead to the end of their dialogue. The motif of knowledge versus ignorance is also introduced in this Chapter for the first time. The utterance is further characterised by the employment of the Reduction Maxim and the Interest Principle.

4.4 Macrospeech acts

Firstly, I shall discuss the communication on the story level. It is more obvious than in the previous cluster that this section is made up of utterances of the question-answer form. The speech acts employed in this section reflect this trait. While the secondary illocutionary act in verse 8b is a question speech act, the assentive, dissentive, and confirmative speech acts in verse 9 can be regarded as responsive speech acts in a broad sense. The speech acts used in the characters' utterances are either question or responsive. Hence, this section displays a typical conversational structure.

From a speech act perspective, at least one interlocutor must have a definite plan in mind in the dialogue, and steer the conversation accordingly (Saayman 1994:3). However, in contrast to the clear structure in this section, there appears to be no clear macrospeech act designed by the neighbours (and spectators) as the interrogators, except that they wanted to know what happened to the blind man. The reason for the failure to have any significant macrospeech act on the part of the interrogators may lie in the fact that they were more than two people, enough to form at least two groups. To aggravate matters, they were not always unanimous in their opinions. They certainly found it difficult to organise, plan and control the conversation together. They appeared to be motivated and united only by the curiosity caused by the visible change in the beggar. They asked their questions haphazardly. The blind man answered them spontaneously. There was no serious discussion between them. Therefore, the conversation between them was neither particularly good nor bad. It was simply casual talk. More importantly, this will highlight the seriousness of the next talk exchange between the blind man and the Pharisees in contrast.

Secondly, I shall discuss the communication between the author and the reader. If the above analysis is correct, some questions arise. If it was not an important conversation, why does the author record this dialogue in the narrative? Is it because he cannot afford to lose any present dialogue to make up the impressive seven scenes? Although this may be true, the reason should not be as simple. Lindars (1970:61) sums up a well-known literary technique employed in the Gospel: "It is characteristic of his literary technique to single out particular items from the traditions which are available to him, and to blow them up into larger units." I propose to call this technique Johannisation (cf. Moloney 1978:151). If Fortna's (1970:70-74) thesis that the signs source in Chapter 9 is identified in verses 1-8 (except a possible exclusion of vv. 4-5) is valid, this Johannisation is evident in the remainder of the Chapter. This means that the author deliberately creates the present scene, making the story more significant and interesting. As far as a speech act approach is concerned, it is better to deal with this kind of issue in terms of the Maxim of Relation. What is the relevance of this section to the previous and subsequent sections? How does this cluster contribute towards advancing the goal of the author in the narrative? What is the significance of this cluster? These are the kind of questions that need to be answered.

There are, according to the analysis, at least four significant points that relate to this issue. Firstly, by portraying the casual talk between the neighbours and the blind man, the author wants to emphasise the prominence of Jesus' miracle. This is indeed a significant role. It was a great miracle, enough to create a controversy over even the blind man's identity (in this instance not the identity of the healer). The man who was healed became the central topic of the day among the people. Secondly, by an implicature that the neighbours raised no objection to the miracle, deduced from "reading between the lines" in verses 11-12, the author establishes in the mind of the reader that there is no doubt that the miracle literally took place. This confirms the miraculous event. This is how this cluster contributes to the ultimate goal of the author in the narrative. Unlike the synoptic miracle stories, "[t]he purpose of the scenes ... is not to record people's amazement or their praise of God, but to confirm the fact of the healing and its testimony to Jesus" (Schnackenburg [1968] 1980:246). This confirmation involves the man's identity, the healing method, and the theological consequence (Jesus' divine origin) (Schnackenburg [1968] 1980:246).64Thirdly, despite the confirming purpose of the section, it is also true that the narrator portrays the neighbours' reaction in the way that "[t]hey were so astonished at such a cure that some of them refused to believe that this was the man who had been blind" (Morris 1971:482). This fact implies that "'darkness' does not easily recognize light, even when overwhelmingly confronted with its beauty" (Summers 1979:109; cf. also Pink [1945] 1968:73-74). Schnackenburg ([1968] 1980:247) may rightly observe that "the reader is meant to recognise that even so great a 'sign' cannot compel faith (cf. 12:37)". Fourthly, by depicting the divided opinions among the neighbours, the author prepares the reader for the coming division among the Pharisees in the next section (cf. Martyn [1968] 1979:30, footnote 25; Resseguie 1982:298; Bultmann 1971:333). Just as the first point links this cluster to the previous one, this fourth point connects the present cluster to the next one.

From the above observations, a macrospeech act in this cluster on the text level would be confirmative, in that the author intends to validate the great miracle by means of the plain talk exchange. The perlocution is to impress the reader with the techniques employed by the author in the confirmative macrospeech act; to reassure the reader that the miracle worker was indeed Jesus, and that the man healed was indeed the blind man who used to sit and beg. It is mainly through the past hardship of the blind man that the author again draws attention to the motif of suffering.

As a brief survey of 'Communicative strategy' in this cluster, the narrator cultivates the reader's imagination via the operation of the Maxim of Quantity (v. 8a). The neighbours use an indirect speech act to avoid embarrassment, and the author employs the Relation Maxim and the Interest Principle to interact effectively with the reader, especially in disclosing the blind man's (past) hardship (v. 8b). The neighbours' utterance in verse 9b may be motivated by their politeness to the dialogue partners. The author uses the Interest Principle and dramatic irony to enhance the communication and solidarity with the reader (v. 9b). In verse 9c, the author reminds the reader of the significant implication of Jesus' 'Iam' sayings for the blind man's answer. In this cluster too, the observance and violation of various conversational Principles and Maxims enhance the communication between the characters and the narrator, and between the author and the reader. In this regard, it is notable that, while the utterance in verse 10 observes nearly every conversational principle on the character level, the same utterance flouts the Maxims of Quantity and Relation as well as the Principles of Economy and Interest on the text level.

The notion of implicature is employed to explore the meaning of these violations. The author intends to shift the focus of the story from the blind man to Jesus by using the neighbours' question in verse 12a. In verse 12b, it appears that the termination of their dialogue is a result of the blind man's unsatisfactory answer to their question.

Briefly, the miracle performed by Jesus is clearly established in this cluster. The reader is fully suited with an unshakable veracity of the miracle and the persons involved in that miracle, before moving into the trial scenes where the Jewish authorities attempt to discredit these facts.

 

5. CLUSTER C: THE DIALOGUE BETWEEN THE BLIND MAN AND THE PHARISEES (9:13-17)

5.1 Specific mutual contextual beliefs

5.1.1 Prophet

Perhaps no one would disagree with the view that "when the word 'prophet' is used in the Gospels it most often refers to the OT prophet" (Hawthorne 1992:638). Although we should not neglect to examine in detail what exactly is meant at every occurrence, it may not be wrong to consider a general type of prophet described in the Old Testament when this term appears in John's Gospel. Hence, this section will explore a possible conceptual background for the use of the word prophet in John's Gospel, and the knowledge of the reader and the characters concerning this.

As depicted in the Old Testament, prophets worked alone (cf. the Prophetic Books) or ministered as groups or schools of prophets (1 Sm 19:20; 2 Ki 2:3-7; 4:38). Deuteronomy 18:18-22 defines the word prophet. As Hawthorne (1992:636) points out, "OT prophets were people who had a special encounter with God and who, as a result, received a message directly from God" (Is 6; cf. Nm 22:8-9; 1 Ki 22:14). They served to bring God's message mainly to the people of Israel and to their kings (Barclay [1955] 1975:51), in or without association with the priesthood (Jr 1:1). Barclay ([1955] 1975:45) further observes: "In the Old Testament a prophet was often tested by the signs he could produce" (e.g., Moses in Ex 4:1 -17; Elijah in 1 Ki 18; cf. also Brown 1966:373; Schnackenburg [1968] 1980:248). They also "had the ability to see what others could not see, especially things concerning the divine will" (Hawthorne 1992:636). The Holy Spirit bestowed these qualities upon them. Hawthorne (1992:636) endorses this, stating that "the hallmark of a prophet ... was [his] inspiration by the Holy Spirit. They were a 'Spirit-bearing people'"(2 Sm 23:2; Ezk 2:2; Mi 3:8). As a consequence, the prophets preached (or ministered) with God's authority, and "[i]t was this that gave weight and significance to their message" (Hawthorne 1992:636-637). For this reason, it was not the prophet himself who was important, but rather the message of the Lord (Mt 1:22; 2:5, 15, 23; 21:4; Lk 1:70; 18:31; 24:25; John 6:45). One should note that there were two kinds of prophets, namely true and false prophets. Jesus often warned of the danger of the false prophets, because they would lead the elect astray (Mt 7:15; 24:11, 24; Mk 13:22; Lk 6:26; Meeks 1965:75-87).

In contrast to the general description of prophet, we should investigate a more specific understanding of the term in relation to its messianic significance. When the characters used the term the prophet (John 1:21, 25; 6:14; 7:40), "they presumably had in mind the prophet like Moses, whom God would raise up from among the people and to whom the people would listen (Deut 18:15). This eschatological prophet would inaugurate the age of salvation" (Hawthorne 1992:639). The identification of this prophet, such as Moses, often raised the controversies as in the case of both John the Baptist (1:21, 25) and Jesus (6:14; 7:40-43).65

Jesus can be perceived as a prophet based on his words and deeds, and he regarded himself as a prophet (Martyn [1968] 1979:120; Hawthorne 1992:640). The aspect of Jesus as a prophet would be a significant mutual contextual belief among the characters, the author and the reader. Jesus pronounced God's message (e.g., John 3:34; 7:16/14:10; the slash indicates the narrative temporality) and prophecy (e.g., 1:51; 6:28). He exclusively used the amen formula, "Amen, I say to you" (e.g., 1:51; 3:3, 5, 11; 5:19, 24-25; 6:26, 32, 47, 53; 8:34, 51, 58), equivalent or similar to the introductory formula of the OT prophets, "Thus says the Lord" (Hawthorne 1992:640-641). He had an ability to see in terms of supernatural insight by the Spirit (e.g., 2:24-25; 6:15, 64). He performed miracles (e.g., John 2; 4; 5; 6; 9). He was designated as a prophet (4:19; cf. 6:14; 7:40-43). It is significant that, on account of the signs Jesus performed, people (6:14) and the blind man (9:17) called Jesus the or a prophet. He commented on himself as a prophet (4:44). All this proves the case. It is thus important to remember that Jesus was indeed a prophet, but more than a prophet. He was the Son of God (e.g., John 1:34, 49; 3:16, 18, 36; Hawthorne 1992:641). Jesus himself and John fully understood this (e.g., 5:19-23, 25-28/10:36; 13:31; 20:31). The reader is also aware of these significant points, for he has read most of the important passages mentioned earlier. However, in this cluster, the characters on stage, especially the Pharisees, did not appear to know or accept this aspect of Jesus' identity. Although the blind man appeared to know the concept of prophet and designated Jesus as a prophet in 9:17, he was not yet exposed to Jesus' full identity. He appeared to say that Jesus was merely one of the prophets (for further discussion, cf. the section on 'CS' in v. 17b).

With reference to the relationship between prophet and the Law, Pancaro (1975:29, footnote 64) mentions: "Some Rabbinical texts ... hold that prophets have power over the Law; other texts ... hold that no prophet can say anything that had not been written in the Torah ... and that their words and deeds have to be in conformity with the Torah." I shall point out two different views. Morris (1971:486, footnote 32) opts for the former and tenders concerning the blind man's reply in John 9:17: "If this is as early as New Testament times it will make the man's rejoinder very significant". However, I would agree with Pancaro (1975:29, footnote 64) who opposes Morris' remark, stating that the principle that "'[n]o man (not even a prophet) is above the Law' is a basic assumption for John and his whole reasoning is based upon this premise. His contention that Jesus' power over the Sabbath shows him to be the Son of God has meaning only within this context".

The meaning related to the term 'prophet' will shed some significant light on our understanding of the text.

5.1.2 Relationships between the characters

The knowledge held for the specific conversation between the blind man and the Pharisees is as follows:

In terms of social and religious status, the Pharisees were superior to and more authoritative over the blind man. This was confirmed by the fact that he was brought before them by his neighbours for interrogation.

Both parties (the blind man and the Pharisees) were assumed to know that the healing took place on a Sabbath.

Both parties knew that the man known as Jesus existed.

There was a division among the Pharisees because of Jesus who healed the blind man.

5.2 Overview and structural analysis chart

This cluster depicts the dialogue between the blind man and the Pharisees. The best option may be to sever this cluster into two subclusters, based on the following observation. The first subcluster, cola 19-22, portrays and repeats the past healing event with the setting of a new scene, while the second subcluster, cola 23-27, describes new developments subsequent to this event.

 

 

Contrast

I wish to make several remarks prior to the analysis.

1. There is an inclusio between cola 19 and 27 that both cola mention about the blind man. Since his reply in 27 is made to the Pharisees, both cola also share the presence of the Pharisees. When the first unit in the first subcluster, cola 19-20, is compared to the last unit in the second subcluster, cola 26-27, both units refer to the miracle worker, Jesus, and to the incident during which he opened the blind man's eyes.

2. The second conversation described in cola 23-24 is unique for two reasons. One reason is that this is not a conversation between the examiner and the examinee. Instead, it is the exchange of opinions among the Pharisees. The other reason is that the conversation is not made according to the question-answer format that is characteristic in the dialogues throughout the story (cf. cola 11-14). Therefore, this conversation provides a shift in dialogue form, and thus increases markedness. This markedness involves a clear contrast between the opinions.

3. There is a sense of progression in the conversations. In terms of the semantic contents, the preceding conversations provide the basis for the subsequent conversations. The first conversation in cola 21-22 shows the completed healing event. The second in cola 23-24 is built upon the reflection of the healing event. The third in cola 26-27 is attempted as a result of the confusion portrayed in the second conversation. Therefore, these conversations as a whole are recorded in a progressive manner.

4. The frequent usage of both the coordinate conjunctions and the pronouns can be found in all cola, except colon 19, which has no conjunction. Their usage strengthens the cohesion in the cluster.

5. I shall make two remarks concerning the second subcluster, in particular. Firstly, there may be another way to divide this subcluster. In the present demarcation, this subcluster comprises two units. However, it is also possible to divide this into three units, cola 23-24, colon 25, and cola 26-27. The reason for this is that colon 25 could stand independently without being part of the first unit. This means that this colon may keep equal distances from the other two units. In this alternative colon division, the first unit depicts the confusion among the Pharisees, and the second comments on the divided situation. This comment leads to the Pharisees' other inquiry in the last unit. This alternative also seems to be valid.

Secondly, the present tense verbs are used in all the conversations, except the aorist verb in 26.1.1, which describes Jesus' healing actions in the past. This is another indication that this second subcluster describes new developments. This type of verb usage provides a lively sense of vividness in the conversations.

6. Significant structural markers are as follows: to say, to see, to open, the Pharisees, Sabbath, (this) man, eyes, blind, how, again, he, they, therefore, and.

These aspects may contribute towards making this cluster cohesive.

Concerning clusters B and C as a whole, one can find a structural chiasm in these clusters. The units consist of cola 11-14 (vv. 8-9), 15-16 (vv. 10-11), 17-18 (v. 12), 19-22 (vv. 13-15) and 23-27 (vv. 16-17) that form this chiasm (cf. structural analysis charts for clusters B and C).

The chiasm in John 9:8-17

 

 

Viewing the chiasm, the centerpiece of this section is unit γ. The focus is always on Jesus. This chiasm may contribute towards establishing cohesion in these subclusters (Schnackenburg [1968] 1980:245 treats vv. 8-17 as a unit).

5.3 Microspeech acts

5.3.1 The first subcluster (9:13-15)

This subcluster can be further divided into two units. Cola 19-20 present the narratological setting, and cola 21-22 provide the blind man's new dialogue with the Pharisees.

9:13: Λγουσιν αύτον προς τούς Φαρισαιους τον ποτε τυφλον.

a) General analysis

Colon 19 tells of the people's action to take the blind man to the Pharisees after they questioned him. The historical present verb "Λγουσιν is "used ... for the sake of vividness" (Newman & Nida 1980:305) and the author has no need to provide an explicit subject now, for there is a sense of continuation from the previous cluster. The fact that there is no conjunction also suggests the same point. The previous co-text indicates that the subject was the neighbours and those who previously saw the blind man. This colon and the last cluster may be linked by means of an additive-different (consequential) relationship. The adverb πότε indicates the change that took place within him. With this colon, the new scene is set before the blind man. This colon gives the following narration: They brought him, formerly the blind man, to the Pharisees.

b) Illocutionary act

The narrator intends to introduce a new scene by describing the neighbours' action after they interrogated the blind man. This utterance is thus informative. The narrator has his belief and intention in informing the reader that the neighbours brought the blind man to the Pharisees. Thus, the utterance correctly follows the schema of informatives, and is successful.

c) Perlocutionary act

The reader should accept the change of scene and become interested in a new development of the story by the narrator's introduction of the Pharisees.

d) Communicative strategy

The narrator's utterance, in this instance, appears to indicate no significant communication between the characters, for it merely depicts a fact in the story. Thus, our attention will rather focus on the communication on the text level, which will reveal several significant points.

1. This narrator's utterance poses two questions in relation to the Maxim of Relation. Firstly, the narrator suddenly introduces the Pharisees without any details in this new section. Why would this be? One reason would be that the reader has stored the information (knowledge) about the Pharisees from the story up to Chapter 9. To the reader's mind, therefore, it may not be so sudden. The reader might find it interesting to discover mention of the Pharisees' in this pericope, because until this chapter there is more reference to the Jews as the Jewish authorities than to the Pharisees. The narrator surprises the reader by the operation of the Interest Principle (unpredictability). On the other hand, the information stored by the reader is mostly concerned with the matters derived from the interaction with Jesus. The author hardly tells of the Pharisees' identity, work, and relationship with the general public, and hardly needs to inform the reader about the Pharisees. The Maxim of Quantity with the immediate co-text, in this instance, may imply that the reader knows about them to a great extent. It can be concluded that the lack of sufficient information about the Pharisees is due to the fact that the reader is already familiar with the characters. The aim of this strategy of not providing full details of the Pharisees may be to create suspense and to attempt to involve the reader at the start of a new section.

2. The second question reads: Why did the neighbours suddenly decide to take the blind man to the Pharisees?66 Scholars suggest several answers that can be summarised as follows.

a. Holleran (1993b:365) proposes four possible reasons to obtain some official judgment about: the reality of the cure; the true identity of the man; the issue of the Sabbath, and the identity and credentials of Jesus who effected the cure.

b. O'Day (1987:62) points out that they brought the man to the Pharisees because the order of the neighbours' world was disrupted.

In addition, I wish to propose two additional reasons:

c. In adherence to the practice among pious Jews that a person who was (miraculously) healed was supposed to go to the priest and to give offering according to the Law.

d. Out of fear for the Jewish authorities.

As there is no need to explain Holleran's proposal, O'Day's and these suggestions will be further commented on before probing this issue in more detail.

O'Day's argument may be derived from the assumption that the neighbours were not happy with the wonderful change that happened to one of the less prominent members of the community (cf. also Staley 1991:66). They might have felt threatened by the emergence of a new rival in their competitive society. This seems likely on investigation of the social dimension of ancient Palestine. This fallen world contains two evils. Some people become joyful on seeing a neighbour's misfortune. On the other hand, people often become jealous when a neighbour is blessed (e.g., inherits a fortune, or receives some kind of prize). They cannot simply rejoice with the blessed. The Apostle Paul also needed to exhort Christians in Romans 12:15: "Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep." Briefly, was this the reason for the neighbours' action in this instance? O'Day replies 'Yes'.

The evidence of my first suggestion can be found in the Synoptics. Jesus recommended the healed leper to do this as a testimony to the people in Matthew 8:4 (cf. Mk 1:44; Lk 5:14). Hence, it is possible to think that the neighbours' action was according to this custom. If this was connected with ritual purity, moreover, it would be a good ground to take the blind man to the Pharisees because ritual purity was associated more with the Pharisees than with the other Jewish groups (Westerholm 1992:125). The second option is as follows: It might also be possible that the fear for the Jewish authorities compelled the neighbours to take such an action. They might have been desperate to report to them about the great miracle with tangible proof (which was the blind man himself). They would have been even more desperate if they knew that the healing took place on a Sabbath day.

As for the assessment of the issue, the reality of the cure has already been established in the last section, and the way in which the narrator describes the Pharisees' responses in verse 16 also indicates that they no longer appeared to doubt reality. The issue of the healed man's true identity is not even mentioned in this section. A certain practice according to the Law was observed in the case of the cure for leprosy (Lv 14:1-20; Edersheim 1958:356-361), but it appears that it was not observed in the case of the blind man, since the Mosaic Law makes no mention about the case of the cure for blindness.67 Therefore, these possibilities can be eliminated from the consideration.

Holleran (1993b:365) concludes that the reason would be to acquire official judgment predominantly about the issues of the Sabbath and Jesus' credentials. I would agree with this conclusion with some qualification. Firstly, I would agree with the reason for acquiring official judgment, in general. In the last cluster, the neighbours witnessed the change in the blind man, and asked how his eyes were opened and where the healer was. Although they obtained an answer to the first question, they received none to the second. At this point, they had to decide whether or not to take the healing event further. They could abandon the event because it was a great miracle. According to Bultmann (1971:334), the Pharisees "were the authorities to whom one had to turn on such occasions". They were "men of mature judgment who can examine the case" (Martyn [1968] 1979:31; Tenney 1981:103). "[T]hey, being familiar with the Torah and its interpretation, had the right to make authoritative decisions" (Schnackenburg [1968] 1980:247). After all, they "were their religious leaders, and should know about this extraordinary event" (Beasley-Murray 1987:156; Morris 1971:484). The reader may wonder, "Why not mention the Sanhedrin, or at least the scribes and Sadducees?" (Carson 1991:366). It is likely, as some critics argue,68 that the Pharisees were acting as official representatives of legalistic official Judaism (or the Sanhedrin) and that "it is unlikely that the crowds were attempting to elicit a judicial opinion from the highest court in the land. They simply wanted advise from their local synagogue leaders" (Carson 1991:366).69 Thus, the aim of the neighbours' action was to obtain official judgment about the miracle, in general. However, the reader understands this as the wrong course of action (Bultmann 1971:334; Holleran 1993b:365).

Secondly, I would agree with Holleran on the issue of Jesus' identity and credentials because of the author's communicative intention as the reason. If the most probable motive of the author to write this Gospel is to bring the reader to adequate faith in Jesus as the Son of God and the Messiah, his first task would be to reveal Jesus' real identity convincingly enough for the reader to believe in him. This miracle story is a good opportunity for the author to do that. The author should, therefore, organise the story according to this line. He plans this section in such a way that he focuses on Jesus' identity and credentials; this is especially supported by the Pharisees' question at the end of the dialogue in verse 17: "What do you say about him that he opened your eyes?"

Thirdly, official judgment about the issue of Sabbath as a reason still needs to be discussed. Lindars ([1972] 1981:345) tenders: "It is not because of the breach of the Sabbath, in spite of the next verse (v 14). We have to assume that the people want a more careful enquiry simply to establish the truth of what the man claims." It has been argued, however, that the neighbours' action was more than simply a careful inquiry (cf. also Staley 1991:68-69). One may need to seek a more satisfactory explanation. As far as the Jewish forensic process is concerned (cf. section 4.4 in Chapter 3), when people witnessed a possible violation, it was the duty of the witnesses (as required by the law) to initiate proceedings, to inflict the penalty and to see to it personally that the sentence was carried out (Harvey 1976:48-49). Otherwise, they would fail in their duty. This sufficiently justifies the neighbours' action. From this observation, my view would not agree with Beasley-Murray's opinion (1987:156): "They were not to know that bringing the healed man to the Pharisees would result in his undergoing a trial and expulsion as a sinful man" (cf. also Carson 1991:366). However, the neighbours were not so naïve (cf. O'Day 1987:62). They were fulfilling what they were supposed to do as witnesses. The text does not clearly indicate whether the blind man was taken as a witness or as the offender (cf. Pancaro 1975:19). As shall be discussed later (in 9:15), the blind man could have violated the Sabbath law himself. In case he was brought as a witness, the neighbours' action could still be vindicated because the trial could be held with or without the accused. The Sabbath issue was thus the reason for their action (cf. Newman & Nida 1980:305; Kysar 1984:49).

When people take certain action, this is often not motivated by a single cause. There could be several other reasons with different levels of importance as to why the neighbours brought the blind man. In the judgment of this study, the neighbours' action was further motivated by their fear for the Jewish authorities. Since the time when Jesus healed the paralytic in Chapter 5, the Jewish authorities' opposition to him became intense. In Chapter 7, the Jews were seeking to kill Jesus (7:1). The Pharisees (and the chief priests) sent officers to seize him (7:32), and they called him a deceiver (7:47). In Chapter 8, the Jews and Jesus had a heated debate. As the result, the Jews were sufficiently offended to attempt to stone him in the Temple (8:59). As the day when the neighbours took the man was "not on the day of the cure, but on a later day" (Bernard 1928:331; Morris 1971:484), the incident at the Temple might have reached the neighbours' ears. They may also have been aware of the aggressive attitude of the Jewish authorities towards Jesus, as described in previous chapters. In this situation, tremendous fear would have been cultivated in the minds of the general public, such as the neighbours, by any association favourable to Jesus. The narrator already portrays such fear for the Jews among the crowds in 7:13. It was even intimidating for the neighbours to know the penalty for the expulsion (9:22). Therefore, when the neighbours witnessed the miracle performed by Jesus upon the blind man, they not only considered it as their legal duty to bring the matter to the Pharisees, but also strongly felt fear for the Jewish authorities. By taking this particular action, they could display their loyalty to the authorities.

The reasons for the neighbours' action to take the blind man to the Pharisees may be concluded as follows: they did so, because (the order indicates the levels of importance), they wanted to obtain some official judgment about the issue of the Sabbath, the identity and credentials of Jesus, they were afraid of the Jewish authorities, the order of the neighbours' world was disrupted.

The suggested reasons are not verifiable with absolute certainty. Nevertheless, they would provide a likely and natural interpretation. Hence, the rules of language, specifically the Relation Maxim, demand some explanations concerning this narrator's utterance.

3. Another remark concerning this utterance is that the text is shortened by the Maxim of Reduction, which uses pronominalisation and omits the explicit subject of the sentence in Greek. In the eyes of some expositors (e.g., Hendriksen [1954] 1973:80; Morris 1971:484) this latter aspect obscures the identity of those who took the blind man to the Pharisees, and provides a basis for their arguments, as pointed out earlier.

4. The author employs a very significant communicative strategy in the next three dialogues (from clusters C to C') to portray the intense discussions among the characters, starting from this section. As noted earlier under 'Mutual forensic beliefs' (section 4.4 in Chapter 3), many scholars find this narrative to be in the form of a trial. On the other hand, some critics such as Morris (1971:484) observe that "neither the proceedings nor the sentence read like the account of formal proceedings and it may be better to think of an unofficial inquiry"; others (e.g., Temple 1975:169-177; Tenney 1981:100-106; Servotte [1992] 1994:47-50) do not even refer to this judicial form in their commentaries. Bernard (1928:331) mentions that "[t]he questioning ... had to begin all over again, for this was an official inquiry" (cf. also Boice 1977:43). Schnackenburg ([1968] 1980:247) maintains that "[t]he questioning of the cured man by the Pharisees is meant to look like a real hearing ... they are following a thought-put procedure". However, Pancaro (1975:16-17, footnote 34) warns against the interpretation of John 9 as the faithful reproduction of a court case, and contends that "[s]uch an approach to Jn 9 is doomed to failure". He avers that John uses the judicial background to make a brilliant dramatisation mainly for theological interest. According to this study, the author describes the story as the trial scene so that the author may increase the sense of thrill and suspense in the reader's mind. The reader will endeavour to listen to the characters' words more carefully, for he knows the importance of each word used by the characters. The reader will attempt to observe their actions more closely, for the way in which they act and talk often bears a considerable significance to their testimonies. It is not surprising that the court case story receives increasing enthusiastic attention from the reader. Dodd ([1953] 1968:357) sums it up: "As sheer drama, this trial scene is one of the most brilliant passages in the gospel, rich in the tragic irony of which the evangelist is master" (cf. also Kotze 1985:60).

5. When the text is read on this level, one may expect that the blind man would suffer again, this time as either the accused or as a witness in a courtroom. This may be viewed as a prelude to the man's ultimate suffering later in a dialogue scene.

e) Summary

The narrator's utterance is an informative speech act that describes the setting for the new dialogue between the blind man and the Pharisees.

This dialogue is presented as a trial scene. The reader should accept the change of scene and become interested in the new development of the story. Although there appears to be no significant communication on the character level, several important points have been explored concerning the Maxims of Relation, Quantity and Reduction, and the Interest Principle on the text level. The utterance also indicates the motif of suffering in this section.

9:14 ήν δε σάββατον en ή ημέρα τον πηλον εποίησεν ο Ίησοΰς καΐ άνεωξεν αύτοΰ τους οφθαλμούς.

a) General analysis

The unit consisting of verses 13-14 (cola 19-20) constitutes the part of the narrator's telling according to narrative criticism. Colon 19 provides the occasion of the dialogue and colon 20 is the narration that reveals the hidden information. When the narrator's voice prevails in some part of a story to portray events, that part can be called the narrator's telling, in comparison to narrator's showing (Stibbe 1993:15).

The narrator inserts an explanatory remark in colon 20, which is essential for the expansion of the story (for this impact on the reader, cf. 'CS' below). The conjunction δέ shows a loose connective, which is translated as now, rather than as and or but, because there is no direct relation to the prior sentence and this colon is a narratological insertion (not a late insertion). The aorist verb άνέωξΕν in 20.2, occurs for the first time and is employed on the level of the surface structures to designate the result of the miracle differently. Schnackenburg ([1968] 1980:247) contends: "The use of the active form άνέωξεν in this instance, is also deliberate, since it brings Jesus into prominence as healer and sabbath-breaker.: Thus, the narration in this verse renders: Now it was a Sabbath on the day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes.

b) Illocutionary act

The narrator intends to reveal important information (that the day when Jesus healed the blind man was a Sabbath day) to the reader, for excitement as well as for the development of the story. Hence, the utterance is an informative speech act.

c) Perlocutionary act

The author intends to persuade the reader that the Sabbath issue becomes a springboard for the story's development; thus, the reader should understand the implication of this important information and should appreciate the forensic tone of the narrative.

d) Communicative strategy

1. Although the narrator's utterance aims to serve the reader's understanding, it also implies at least one significant point for the characters of the Pharisees on the story level. The important information disclosed, in this instance, is very valuable to the Pharisees, as the other characters, including the blind man, Jesus, the neighbours, and Jesus' disciples, knew that the healing took place on a Sabbath. The Pharisees, representatives of the Jewish authorities and the strictest sect of Judaism (Ac 26:5; Phlp 3:5-6), would most likely find fault with someone breaking the Sabbath law. Verse 15 explicitly states that they were interested in interrogating the blind man because of this Sabbath issue. This news value for the Pharisees is indicative of the operation of the Interest Principle in the utterance. This may be the reason why the narrator did not disclose this information until now, so that the narrator could link the Sabbath issue to the Pharisees.

2. I shall discuss the communication on the text level. That very day when Jesus opened the blind man's eyes was a Sabbath. The author could have recorded this information at the moment when the blind man gained his sight, but he withheld it until this new scene, thus producing maximum impact on the reader (cf. Salier 2004:113). This information may further increase suspense in the remainder of their conversations, and it may control the tone of the remainder of the cluster. Carson (1991:367) avers: "Though some see this as a late intrusion into the narrative (e.g. Becker, p. 315), the suggestion overlooks the fact that this detail governs much of the ensuing discussion" (cf. also Lindars [1972] 1981:345; Beasley-Murray 1987:156). Regarding the narrator's report about the Sabbath, Culpepper (1990:205) points out in 5:9: "By withholding this information and supplying it just at this point, the narrator forces the reader to review the healing from a new perspective which catches the reader by surprise." This is the author's aim. Jones (1997:168) suggests another plausible explanation of this delayed information: "[T]he narrator moves the reader to celebrate the healing before mentioning this technically troublesome point ... Before the authorities have any dealings with the man, the narrator has made the reader sympathetic toward him." For the author, moreover, "[t]he introduction of the Sabbath issue marks the transition from the evangelistic use of the miracle story to a use in controversy with the synagogue" (Painter 1986:58, footnote 21) and "from the story of healing to the pronouncement of judgment" (Barrett 1955:292; cf. Staley 1991:64), and from a mere miracle story to a dramatic court case story.

3. One may suspect that withholding the important information about the Sabbath breach from the reader until now involves the author's communicative strategy, namely the technique of reader victimisation. In fact, Thatcher (1999:57) claims that this is the case in this instance and calls it specifically "the Sabbath Trick". However, I would rather conclude that this technique is not found in this case, for this incident does not fit its definition given in section 2.3 (Chapter 2). This technique aims to form a certain knowledge, perspectives or expectations about the story in the reader's mind at an initial stage, and then to correct his first perspective or expectation by supplying additional significant information. However, in this incident, no perspective or expectation to be corrected is formed beforehand in the reader's mind. As noted earlier, the author, by using this important information, aims to create suspense and impact on the reader and to control the narrative tone. Moreover, when this literary device is used in the texts, it is usually associated with other literary devices such as irony and/or misunderstanding. No such device is detected in this utterance.

4. The narrator's utterance is formulated in such a way that the adherence to some principles of Interpersonal Rhetoric makes it very dramatic and effective. Firstly, the narrator keeps the Manner Maxim in order to convey his message clearly to the reader. There is no room for misunderstanding concerning the day on which the cure took place. Secondly, more important is the fact that the narrator surprises the reader by the operation of the Interest Principle. The content of the information unquestionably had immense news value. It was unpredictable. Without this information, the story cannot maintain the high tension and suspense whereby the narrator attracts the reader to the entire story, in general, and to this section, in particular. Thirdly, the Morality Principle has a strong relationship with the Interest Principle in this utterance. As this Principle encourages the speaker not to "reveal information he ought not reveal" (Bach & Harnish 1979:64), the narrator does not tell any more than he has already told. For instance, he does not disclose the details as to which Sabbath of the month it was nor whether or not it was more significant than other Sabbath days. By contrast, the narrator introduces the Sabbath in 5:9 with respect to a feast of the Jews in 5:1, and highlights the Sabbath in 19:31 as a special Sabbath during the Passover Feast (cf. Carson 1991:622). Although there might be nothing special about the Sabbath in 9:14, the narrator does not reveal more than is, in fact, revealed in this instance. Hence, the narrator controls the important information for the communication with the reader.

5. Fourthly, as in the case of the last utterance, the Maxim of Relation sheds light on an interesting aspect of the author's language strategy. Both utterances in verses 13 and 14 can be considered the setting for the conversation that follows. For argument's sake, let us observe what happens if the utterance in verse 14 is placed before that in verse 13. When the order of these utterances is reversed, the utterance in verse 14 most likely becomes the major reason why the neighbours brought the blind man to the Pharisees, namely the Sabbath breaking. However, when the utterances are placed in the same order as in the text, the Sabbath breach becomes another reason why the Pharisees asked the question to the blind man. As a result, the utterance in verse 14 is linked to the next utterance rather than to the previous one.

As illustrated above, the way in which these two utterances are placed would make a difference regarding meaning and co-text. The present order of the text indicates that the author has his definite plan to organise the story, which suggests how the reader should read this narrative. Like Schnackenburg ([1968] 1980:92) states regarding the healing of the sick man in Chapter 5 that the author's "aim was to develop the confrontation with the Jews from the starting-point of the conflict over the Sabbath", the author, in this instance, develops the theme of Jesus' identity as well as the motif of schism among the Pharisees "from the starting-point of the conflict over the Sabbath" issue.

6. In the domain of Textual Rhetoric, I shall make one minor comment. It appears that the End-Focus Maxim (the part of a clause that contains new information should be placed at the end) is transgressed in this utterance, but this happens exactly as the conditional portion of the Maxim states, "if the rules of the language allow it" (Leech 1983:22). In Greek and English, the word Sabbath comes at the beginning of the sentence according to the rule of the emphatic sentence structure. Therefore, it does not really break the Maxim. Incidentally, the word Sabbath comes at the end of the sentence in Japanese!

7. The Quantity Maxim, with particular reference to the word Sabbath, raises some questions. From the illocution of this utterance, the reader understands that Jesus broke the Sabbath law and that this will be be the topic for a while at least. But exactly to what extent does the reader understand this breach of the Sabbath? In other words, how many individual violations is the reader able to identify? Does it really suffice to mention the word Sabbath for communicating the fact and seriousness of the breach?

As for the first (and second) question, the text indicates two violations: making clay and the act of healing (giving sight). "The mention of the 'clay" is important for the assessment of the case since the 'kneading' of clay was one of the forms of work forbidden on the Sabbath" (Schnackenburg [1968] 1980:247; cf. also Barrett 1955:298). Likewise, healing on the Sabbath was illegal, unless a life was in danger (Barclay ([1955] 1975:45; Newman & Nida 1980:305). In addition, critics found more violations. According to Lindars ([1972] 1981:346), "the carrying of 'water enough to rub off an eye-plaster' was forbidden". Carson (1991:367) mentions that anointing the eyes could be a transgression (cf. also Jones 1997:170). Beasley-Murray (1987:156) suggests that the use of fasting spittle might also be a transgression. Holleran (1993b:366, footnote 150) points out another possible violation. If the blind man's journey to the Pool was more than the legally permitted distance, Jesus' command and its fulfillment would constitute another breach. Since the reader is assumed to be familiar with the Sabbath regulations (cf. 'Mutual religious beliefs' in section 4.3 in Chapter 3), he will take note of these infractions. However, the issues as to which specific regulations were actually broken or as to which breach should receive more prominence, have been debated without reaching consensus (cf. also Holleran 1993b:365, footnote 146). The point is that Jesus broke the Sabbath law. And the punishment for Sabbath-breaking was, according to the Old Testament (Ex 31:14-15; 35:2; Nm 15:32-36), the death penalty (Harvey 1976:52; Westerholm 1992:716).

With regard to the last question, the narration does not explicitly state that Jesus violated the Sabbath law. It simply mentions that a Sabbath was the day when Jesus healed the man. If a person does not know anything about the Sabbath regulations, he would take the statement at face value. The significance of the narration cannot be recognised. It would carry no more significant value than a remark such as it was a Tuesday when John went shopping. The question as to whether it suffices to only mention the word Sabbath for communicating the fact and seriousness of the breach has a meaning only in this sense. If it suffices, the narrator's utterance observes the Quantity Maxim to a great extent. If not, the utterance flouts this Maxim. Since it is obvious that the reader understands the fact and seriousness of Jesus' Sabbath breach, the utterance observes the Quantity Maxim. It is economical in that the narrator makes his contribution as informative as is required and not more revelatory than is required. It is neither too long nor too short.

e) Summary

The narrator's utterance is again an informative speech act, which reveals very important information to the reader. The perlocution persuades the reader to view the Sabbath issue as the central topic and to understand its profound implication. Regarding the Quantity Maxim, Jesus' possible Sabbath violations have been scrutinised. The introduction of the Sabbath issue at this point is a brilliant strategy, and serves to communicate some significant points to the reader. Similarly, the author upholds various conversational principles to send his messages effectively to the reader, such as the Principles of Interest and Morality, and the Maxims of Manner and Relation.

9:15a παλιν ούν ήρώτων αύτον και οι Φαρισαιοι πώς ανεβλεψεν.

This type of introduction by the narrator can normally be omitted from my speech act analysis because its function is similar to that in verse 2. However, I shall retain my 'General analysis' on this verse 15a, because it contains a fair amount of significant information. Moreover, following on the section on 'General analysis', I wish to make a few remarks concerning this verse.

a) General analysis

The next unit, made up of cola 21-22, especially the characters' utterance part, can be called narrator's showing. This means that the narrator pulls himself from view and allows characters to speak in most parts of a given narrative. This unit introduces the dialogue between the blind man and the Pharisees. In colon 21, the adverb παλιν functions superbly in describing the interrogation (by the Pharisees this time) as a repetition. Some scholars comment that "παλιν simply refers back to v. 10" (Bultmann 1971:334, footnote 2; cf. also Newman & Nida 1980:306), "though the speakers are different" (Lindars [1972] 1981:345). I would agree with Boice (1977:44) who observes that obviously the Pharisees had already heard the story. Staley (1991:66) mentions that the neighbours had already reported the event to them. This is indicated by the way in which the Pharisees asked the question, "Again, therefore, the Pharisees also were asking him how he received his sight" (9:15). If they had not heard it yet, they should have asked, "'Why have your neighbors brought you here?'" (Staley 1991:66). However, it is doubtful that the Pharisees had also heard the details such as the particular process of healing, for they specifically asked after this aspect. One can assume that the neighbours only reported the essence of the event, not the details. The word order of this sentence may be important, because the verb and the object come before the subject. This may indicate that the words οΐ Φαρισαϊοι are in an emphatic position, stressing that this time the Pharisees questioned him. 21.2 points to the content of their question, concerning the way in which he gained his sight. Although it appears that this content is trivial repetition, this is not the case. The Pharisees asked about the process of his healing with the clear purpose to determine who the miracle worker really was. This purpose will be revealed later in the next subcluster when the topic of their conversations focuses on the identity of the miracle worker once again. Colon 21, therefore, provides the circumstance of the interrogation: Again, therefore, the Pharisees also were asking him how he received his sight.

This utterance implies that there is a gap in terms of the knowledge held by the Pharisees and that of the reader. On the character level, the author uses the conjunction ούν to link this utterance to the previous utterance (containing the information as to the basis for the Pharisees' interrogation, namely the Sabbath breaking). It was the first time that the Pharisees asked the blind man. They did not yet know how he had gained his sight. The conjunction ούν , therefore, indicates the operation of the Relation Maxim to connect these utterances (vv. 14 and 15). On the text level, however, the reader already knows what happened to the blind man. Therefore, the words πάλιν and και, are employed especially for the reader's sake.

Since the content of the Pharisees' question is simply a repetition for the reader, the author's intention with this repetition will be discussed in the next utterance.

With regard to the judicial drama of this scene, the forensic elements should be identified. "The one-time blind beggar stands before his betters, to be badgered into denying the one thing of which he is certain. But the defendant proper is Jesus Himself, judged in absentia" (Dodd [1953] 1968:357). The Pharisees acted as the judges. It appeared that the blind man, as a witness whom the Jews later called 'Jesus' disciple', would manage Jesus' defence. Pancaro (1975:17) considers this significant. The charge was Jesus' possible Sabbath violation (Bernard 1928:331), as in 5:16; this could result in capital punishment.

9:15b ο δε είπεν αύτοίς, Πηλον έπεθηκεν μου έπι τούς οφθαλμούς, και ενιψαμήν, και βλεπω.

a) General analysis

Colon 22 comprises subcola 22.1-22.3 as a unit, which functions as the blind man's answer to the Pharisees. 22.1 has two significant points. The first point is of syntactic nature. There seems to be a distinctiveness of Johannine writing style in his genitive construction. In 22.1, the word order of the prepositional phrase μου έπι τους οφθαλμούς is unusual, and the genitive μου is in an emphatic position (for this discussion, cf. the section on 'GA' in 9:6). The second point concerns the author's choice of term: this time Jesus' healing action is indicated by the aorist indicative verb έπίθήκεν, which is a substitute for the word έπέχρισεν used in verses 6 and 11. In addition, regarding the blind man's own action in 22.2, the author chose to use only one middle voice verb ένιιψίμήν, which shows the intensive use to stress the subject's role in producing action (Fowler et al. 1985:295). It can be translated as I myself washed. As the outcome of their actions, the present tense verb βλέπω in 22.3 is markedly used to accentuate the present state of the blind man's condition, namely that he can now see. This verse reads: And he said to them, "He placed mud on my eyes, and I myself washed, and I see."

b) Illocutionary act

As the blind man's utterance, in this instance, is basically a repetition of that in verse 11, the analysis will have nearly the same outcome. The striking difference between them, however, would be that, this time, the utterance retains an illocutionary force for the reader, although there are also minor differences. The utterance again consists of a sequence of some speech acts: he placed mud on my eyes; I myself washed, and I see. Like the man's earlier utterance, it has a sequential goal as to how the blind man received his sight. Therefore, by the Construction Rule, the macroproposition would be: Hence I received my sight. Every speech act, except the last, functions as an explanatory speech act in order to attain the goal. As a result, the global speech act of this utterance is responsive. According to Bach and Harnish's (1979:43) schema of responsives, it is obvious that the blind man expressed his belief as to how he came to see, and his intention that the Pharisees would believe his utterance. Therefore, it is a successful speech act of responsive, and the blind man intended to sincerely answer the Pharisees' question. However, he omitted some details and emphasised his own role in the healing process more in this utterance than in the previous answer to the neighbours. The author hereby intends the reader to become aware of the difference between the man's answers then and now.

c) Perlocutionary act

The Pharisees should accept the blind man's answer as he stated it, and not link the healing to the Sabbath regulations. The reader should notice the author's careful construction of the man's utterance, and recognise the effort by the blind man for the sake of Jesus. The author thus intends to show the blind man's effort to support or protect Jesus.

One should note that the blind man's reply, in this instance, clearly differs from that in verse 11 on one point. Although his two utterances are both responsive speech acts with the illocution to answer the question, the perlocution of each utterance differs. While the perlocution of his reply in verse 11 is to convince the neighbours that his explanation of the process of the cure was true, the intended perlocution, in this instance, is to convince the Pharisees that the miracle worker did not do anything wrong, implying and hoping that his healing would not constitute the Sabbath breach. Unfortunately, however, this intended perlocution would not be realised, irrespective of how well the blind man stated it. The cure on the Sabbath day itself was the violation, unless it was a matter of life and death, according to the Jewish interpretation of the Sabbath Law.70

d) Communicative strategy

1. On the story level, first, the appeal made by the blind man might have been valuable, if not interesting, to the Pharisees. In this sense, the blind man's reply contributed to their conversation, and drew a great deal of attention from the Pharisees by the performance of the Interest Principle. Secondly, the Maxim of Quality is adhered to in his utterance, for the blind man gave them a sincere answer. At least, what he described as the answer was true. However, thirdly, his answer falls short of the complete description, and there are some significant omissions in the blind man's reply, namely Jesus' actions to spit on the ground, to make mud, and to command him to go and wash, and Jesus' name as well as that of the pool of Siloam where he washed. Do these omissions violate the Quantity Maxim? They are indeed violations if the Pharisees knew that his information was incomplete. But the irony is that the Pharisees did not know it. They were satisfied with his reply for the time being. They asked no more questions about the miraculous event; this implies that they accepted his explanation and the reality of the miracle (cf. Holleran 1993b:366). Briefly, the blind man's utterance is no violation on the character level. Regarding these omissions, it is surprising that only ten words are used in subcola 22.1 -22.3 to describe the great miracle. Compactness as a rhetorical feature operates in this instance with the author's careful selection of the words. In this sense, this utterance also observes the Economy Principle.

2. As noted earlier, the examination of the blind man's utterance should be made in conjunction with the narrator's last utterance (v. 15a). Many fascinating observations can be drawn from this on the text level. Firstly, though the Interest Principle indicates the contribution of the blind man's reply towards the ongoing conversation on the story level, this Interest Principle might be violated on the text level due to the repetition of the content. This principle might diminish the reader's interest, because the reader already knows what the blind man would probably say. At first glance, the repetitious utterance is predictable for the reader. The same holds true for the Pharisees' question. However, when the man's utterance is closely scrutinised, it manifests different qualities. Secondly, as far as the reader is concerned, it is already the third time that he hears the explanation of the manner of the healing (cf. also 9:6-7; 9:11). This clearly flouts the Quantity Maxim and the Economy Principle. Why does the author break these Maxims? What does the author want to communicate to the reader by these floutings? According to Botha (1990:4), "[i]n a literary speech situation flouting is always valid for the communication between implicit author/narrator and reader/narratee". In other words, it is assumed from a speech act perspective that the author has something to say to the reader, even when the author transgresses the Maxims, because the author still maintains the Cooperative Principle overall. More correctly put, the author wants to communicate something especially by virtue of the transgressions.

3. It appears that there are two main reasons for the repetition. Firstly, these two utterances employ the Expressivity Principle to impress the astonishing miracle on the reader. This means that the author is concerned more with effectiveness than with efficiency in this communication. The second reason is more important. This repetition should be viewed in conjunction with the Sabbath issue. Even if the message of the blind man's reply is nearly similar, the Sabbath issue coerces the reader to review the cure from a new perspective, as mentioned earlier. The discussion now becomes an entirely new issue. In this discussion, it is profitable to take into account another flouting of the Quantity Maxim in the blind man's utterance on the text level. It is flouting because the blind man's omission of some details becomes the transgression as soon as a person such as the reader perceives it.71 However, the author demonstrates his prudence and subtlety, particularly in this transgression for the communication with the reader. Due to the risk of the Pharisees considering the cure by Jesus to constitute a Sabbath-breaking, the blind man, by the author's strategy, organised his explanation very cautiously so that they might not perceive it as the breaking of the Sabbath Law. Unlike the healed paralytic in Chapter 5, the blind man endeavoured to protect the one who gave him mercy. His omission in his reply was indicative of this protection. In this regard, the blind man's utterance uplifts the Morality Principle, in that he did not reveal information he should not reveal (Bach & Harnish 1979:64). In addition, he not only omitted some details, but also emphasised his own role in the miracle, namely the washing of his eyes by himself, in order not to endanger Jesus in any way. If these observations are right, the repetition by the author makes good sense. Briefly, the author repeats the explanation of the healing account so that the reader may appreciate the intentional change in the blind man's explanation (compare v. 11 with v. 15). This is the dynamics of the author's language strategy and demonstrates the insight that a literary approach can achieve.

4. To elaborate on the last point, Holleran (1993b:366) reaches the same conclusion, though he does not employ speech act terms, which by the compression of the details the man was attempting "to minimize or disguise the offense of the Sabbath violation involved". Even Boice (1977:44) recognises the effective function of language, in this instance, and remarks that the blind man's terse reply shows that his testimony to the Lord was improving, as indicated by his tactics to shorten the answer. However, critics who do not engage normally in literary approaches, easily overlook the power of language strategy in these details. Or worse, this may result in a superficial reading of the text. For instance, Carson (1991:367), who is respected for his excellent scholarship and critical towards "new criticism" (Carson 1991:38), comments on this verse: "Apparently the Pharisees launched a serious inquiry. Doubtless the healed man gave them a full report. John records only a condensed version" [italics mine]. This is what Carson assumes, but is not what the text indicates (cf. vv. 6-7, 11). It is usually true, as Carson (1991:66-67) points out, that "any responsible observer could draw reasonable conclusions about what Jesus knew, or his disciples did not ... from the actions they took and/or the words they spoke". However, even if one is a responsible observer, he sometimes falls short of drawing reasonable conclusions. If there is a reliable linguistic model that can alert and help an interpreter detect the author's device or strategy, it will enhance a balanced reading. As has been argued, the harmonious utilisation of both historical and literary approaches would lead to a better understanding of the text, because each approach can address the text from its own vantage point.

5. Another device used by the author in this man's utterance can be identified and described by literary approaches. A speech act approach, in particular, among other literary methods, is equipped to do this well. Another device of the author, as indicated earlier, is irony. It is interesting that no critic has yet mentioned the occurrence of irony in this instance. One reason is that, unless the blind man's tactics to condense his report are not recognised, this irony will not be identified. Another reason is that this irony is not as significant as that of the next utterance (cf. the section on 'CS' in 9:16). I shall now briefly examine this irony to elucidate it.

According to the steps for identifying ironic utterances, as outlined earlier (section 1.6 in Chapter 2), the ironist, observer(s) and victim should be clarified. Since the blind man as the speaker sincerely answered and seemed not to intend to make an ironic utterance, this appears to be situational irony. As a rule, there is no ironist in situational irony; this is the case in this instance. The observers of this irony are the author and the reader; the victims are the Pharisees. Because this irony is based on the observers' knowledge of the victim's lack of knowledge about the full description of the healing event, it is classified as dramatic irony located at the text level. The nature of pragmatic opposition is linked to the flouting of the Quantity Maxim. Verifying steps v) and vi), and the final step were already answered earlier.

6. Lastly, again one may find the motif of suffering in this verse. In this trial scene, the Pharisees were interrogating the blind man with a view to at last succeeding in arresting and condemning Jesus legally. This was at least the second time that Jesus broke the Sabbath Law. For the Pharisees as 'pious Jews', it was unforgivable and had to be condemned. Their interrogation was serious and their attitude must have been hostile first, towards Jesus and, secondly, towards the blind man who was in a witness position for Jesus. In this instance, one can note the opposition from the darkness when the light shines in darkness in Johannine terms. Any opposition is linked to suffering on the part of the oppressed or attacked. If God gives grace and faith to the oppressed and they respond properly, opposition will sharpen their testimony, as in the case of the blind man, and guide them to a deeper understanding of faith in Jesus (Boice 1977:47). This suffering has a constructive purpose in terms of the growth of faith.

e) Summary

This utterance is a global speech act of responsive, and the blind man intended to give a sincere answer to the Pharisees' question. The Pharisees should accept his answer as he described it. On the story level, this utterance adheres to the Interest and Economy Principles, and the Quality Maxim. On the text level, the utterance flouts the Principles of Interest and Economy, and the Quantity Maxim in two different ways, because the utterance is a repetition and contains the omission of some details. However, the author deploys these transgressions to communicate effectively with the reader about the blind man's strategy to protect Jesus. For this same purpose, the author also uses the Principles of Expressivity and Morality, as well as dramatic irony. In this trial scene, the motif of suffering is again noted.

5.3.2 The second subcluster (9:16-17)

This second subcluster sketches new developments since both the last conversation and the last healing event. The development of the blind man's perception about Jesus is disclosed, especially in contrast to the confusion of the Pharisees' understanding of the same person. This subcluster, therefore, can be divided into two units that describe these two items. The first unit consists of cola 23-25, which tells of the Pharisees' confusion. The second unit, made up of cola 26-27, highlights the blind man's new perception. All, except colon 25, record their conversations.

9:16a ελεγον ούν εκ των Φαρισαύον τινες, Ούκ εστιν ούτος παρα θεού ο ανθρωπος, ότι το σαββατον ού τηρει.

a) General analysis

The unit consisting of cola 23-24 and colon 25 forms a smaller unit under this subcluster. While cola 23-24 constitute a category of narrator's showing, colon 25 is that of narrator's telling. In colon 23, the conjunction ούν indicates that colon 23 is linked to the last unit by an additive-different (consequential) relationship, especially referring to the blind man's answer in colon 22. After the Pharisees themselves heard his answer, two contrasting opinions emerged as their response. The nominal part of 23, εκ των Φαρισαύων τινες, strongly implies such a division when it is contrasted to the nominal part of 24, αλλοι. The parallelism between 23 and 24 is antithetical. The appearance of other constructions is noted for the second time since cola 12-13. The Greek is a great deal clearer in this instance, for the construction is not αλλοι - αλλοι but τινες - αλλοι. One should note that the prepositional construction εκ plus a genitive case, such as εκ των Φαρισαιων is found most commonly in Johannine literature.72 This seems to be one of the author's favourite expressions.

The initial response in colon 23 represents the opinion of the skeptical group. This group concluded that Jesus did not come from God, because he did not obey God's command to keep the Sabbath holy. They did not like Jesus' violation at all, because they were blindly strict in observing their fundamental laws. Their comment, 23.1, is a direct quotation introduced by no particular word. However, it is interesting to note the word order in this sentence. The prepositional phrase παρα θεού is placed in the middle of the nominal part ούτος ο ανθρωπος. "This unusual order may be intended to emphasise "man". This is probably meant contemptuously (cf. NEB: "This fellow")" (Morris 1971:485, footnote 29; cf. also Barrett 1955:298; Schnackenburg [1968] 1980:248). They were saying that Jesus was not an agent of God (cf. Bernard 1928:331). In this instance, the topic is shifted from the process of healing to Jesus' identity. 23.1.1 explains the reason for their skepticism. This is indicated syntactically by the conjunction οτι, denoting because. The word τήρει is "a favourite verb with Jn" (Bernard 1928:332; cf. also Duke 1982:122). Briefly, this verse renders: Some of the Pharisees were, therefore, saying, "This man is not from God, because he does not keep the Sabbath."

b) Illocutionary act

From the content of their utterance and the stage setting by the narrator's introduction, its illocutionary force is very clear, in that the Pharisees intended to conclude that the miracle worker was not from God, based on their observation that the miracle worker did not keep the Sabbath.73

Because of the illocutionary force, as determined above, this utterance of the Pharisees would be confirmative. When the schema of confirmatives applies to the text in this instance (for this schema, cf. the section on 'IA' in 9:5), the following is the result:

In uttering that "This man is not from God, because he does not keep the Sabbath", some of the Pharisees confirm (the claim) that the man who healed the blind man is not from God if they express:

i. the belief that the man is not from God, based on some truth-seeking procedure, and

ii. the intention that the hearers believe that the man is not from God, because they have support for (the claim) that the man is not from God.

As Bach and Harnish (1979:46) define truth-seeking procedure "as observation, investigation, or argument", the procedure in this utterance should be the Pharisees' observation that the miracle worker did not keep the Sabbath. Accordingly, this utterance is a confirmative speech act. As a result, having heard the blind man's answer, in conjunction with their own observation, some Pharisees attempted to judge the miracle worker by referring to his origin. At the same time, they intended to defend their authority as defenders of God's laws, in that they implicitly claimed that they were from God.

c) Perlocutionary act

The perlocution of this utterance is to persuade the hearers that the miracle worker was not from God. The hearers should accept this discredit concerning him made by some of the Pharisees (Jones 1997:148), and acknowledge their authority and judgment as the defenders of God's laws. The author invites the reader, by virtue of the irony of the Pharisees' utterance (cf. the section on 'CS' below), to be a knowledgeable insider against the Pharisees as outsiders. Thus, the author wants to induce in the reader a negative attitude towards these Pharisees who practised their judgment on appearances.

d) Communicative strategy

1. From a speech act perspective, the Pharisees' utterance is a very successful speech act. Firstly, this utterance is very clear in its illocutionary force, as mentioned earlier, and thus follows the Manner Maxim to a great extent. Because of this direct and transparent relationship between the text and the message expressed in the narrative, the Transparency Maxim under the Clarity Principle would praise this utterance. Secondly, it also indicates that some of the Pharisees were very sincere in expressing their thought. They said what they really believed concerning this miracle worker. In this sense, the utterance uplifts the Quality Maxim. Thirdly, this utterance motivates the ensuing discussion, and thus enhances the characters' conversation with intensity and enthusiasm. This is made possible with the help of the narrator when he mentions the day of the cure, namely the Sabbath in verse 14. When some of the Pharisees again referred to the Sabbath issue in this verse, the Relation Maxim boosts the development of the story by virtue of the word Sabbath.

2. Thus far, this utterance was analysed mainly on the story level. When the scrutiny of this utterance on the text level is initiated, one finds more interesting, subtle, and silent communicative strategies, designed for the reader. There are three significant strategies: the characterisation of the Pharisees, the ironies, and the enigma concerning Jesus' healing action.

3. Firstly, this utterance is unique in the sense that it clearly shows the Pharisaic character in their first response immediately after listening to the blind man's explanation. Although their faces might have displayed their amazement, their very first remark was that of condemnation that the miracle worker was not from God, directly relating the miracle to the Sabbath Law. When the neighbours heard of the cure from the blind man, their first response was rather innocent; they asked where the miracle worker was, implying that they also wanted to see him. In comparison with this reaction, the Pharisees' response seemed to be unusual, and their utterance surprised the reader by means of the Interest Principle.

It would be illuminating, moreover, to characterise the Pharisees from this unusual response. They appeared to always evaluate anyone or anything in terms of the laws and regulations (cf. Tolmie 1999:18), considering the fact that they were not even informed, strictly speaking at this point, that the miracle worker was Jesus. This characterisation echoes their portraits elsewhere in the synoptics (e.g., Mt 15:1 -2; 19:3; 23:35-40; Mk 7:5; Lk 5:30; 6:2; 11:38; 18:11-12). The Jews in John 5:10-18 demonstrated the same trait. Culpepper (1990:206) comments on this pericope: "The Jews are presented here as bound to the law. Because they cannot see beyond the law, they oppose Jesus." Westerholm (1992:611) also points out that "[t]he Pharisees emerge ... as an organized party of members committed to a particular understanding of Israel's Law, maintaining its practice themselves and advocating its adoption by others".

4. Secondly, this characterisation assists in mentioning the Pharisees' self-consciousness. They were obviously sitting in the judgment seat, from which they would exercise their authority as religious leaders. When they did so, they considered themselves the defenders of God's laws, implicitly claiming that they were from God. However, the reader already knows that they were not that kind of people. Jesus' debate with the Jews, including the Pharisees in Chapter 8, evidently demonstrates it. The author, therefore, has tactically presented the Pharisees as the ones who did not know who they really were. This might be irony, which the author uses effectively to make the story more interesting. Therefore, this can be regarded as a clue for the occurrence of irony, and this utterance is worthy of detailed analysis by way of the analytical outline for ironic speech acts (cf. section 1.6 in Chapter 2).74

a. Some contradiction (section A-ii-2) and simplex reversal plot (section B-iii-1) (these section numbers correspond to those of the analytical outline):

It is, in fact, misleading to portray the Pharisees' ignorance about themselves as the content of this irony. Although their ignorance is a significant point derived from the utterance, it is not the precise description of the proposition stated in the utterance. According to the outline, there is an incongruity in the relationship between text and co-text as an indication of the presence of irony in this utterance. Strictly speaking, the Pharisees who made this utterance were convinced that the miracle worker was not from God. However, the reader knows that the miracle worker was Jesus who came from God. This contrast should be the propositional opposition in this utterance.

b. Three participants and types of irony (section B-i)

According to the outline for ironic speech acts, three participants of irony need to be identified, bearing the two levels of communication in mind. On the character level, the Pharisees, as the speakers, appeared to be sincere in their remark, and not intending to employ an ironic utterance. There is no clue to think otherwise. Therefore, this is not verbal irony; in fact, there is no ironic utterance on the character level at all. This utterance is a successful confirmative speech act, as analysed earlier.

However, on the text level, the reader, as the observer, is able to discover that the Pharisees unconsciously exhibited their ignorance about a fact in their utterance, namely that the miracle worker did come from God. In this sense, their utterance is irony of self-betrayal, and they were the victims of their own words. Of course, the utterance implies no ironist. Furthermore, there is another type of situational irony in this instance, namely dramatic irony. The victims (target) are the Pharisees and the reader is the observer, because this irony can be perceived by the reader's knowledge of what some of the Pharisees have yet to find out about the miracle worker. However, these ironies are, in essence, two sides of the same coin of this ironic utterance.

Nevertheless, the most important type of irony in this utterance is not yet fully exposed. It is verbal irony, on the lips of the Pharisees, intentionally used by the author as the ironist to achieve a certain aim on the text level. The observer would be the reader, and the target would be some of the Pharisees in the story. Since this irony is not yet established as a successful ironic utterance, I shall examine it by applying ironic speech act conditions.

c. Ironic speech act conditions (section B-iv)

According to the outline, the irony must meet two conditions regarding propositional content conditions (section B-iv-1).

"In the utterance of the ironic speech act (Ir), the speaker must successfully refer to some entity X" (Amante 1981:84).

"Propositions P and P' must both identify X as their common referent" (Amante 1981:84).

In the Pharisees' utterance, the author successfully refers to this man (the miracle worker) as entity X. The counterfactual propositions would be similar to those of the situational ironies. Thus P is that this man is not from God, and P' is that this man is from God. Indeed, these propositions both identify this man as their common referent.

Preparatory conditions also give basically two conditions, for the third condition is the modification of the second in the outline (section B-iv-2).

"The speaker believes the audience can detect the disparity between P and P' and assists them by providing lexical clues in P and P' and/or contextual clues" (Amante 1981:85).

"The speaker (ironist) takes responsibility for creating a counterfactual speech act" (Amante 1981:85).

The utterance under investigation can answer 'yes' to both conditions. The author believes that the reader can detect the disparity by the contextual (strictly speaking, co-textual) clues provided by his reading up to this chapter. Secondly, the author is definitely responsible for creating this speech act.

Sincerity conditions require the following condition to be met (section B-iv-3).

"The Speaker believes that the sincerity rule for the illocution in which P occurs does not obtain" (Amante 1981:86).

Being aware that what the Pharisees said is false, the author makes them say it nonetheless. He disbelieves the proposition predicated, and thus the sincerity rule for the illocution does not obtain.

Now the result of essential conditions applied for this utterance can be formulated as follows (section B-iv-4). The utterance of the Pharisees counts as the undertaking of deliberately creating a superficially counterfactual speech act.

d. Taxonomy and the ironist's intended meaning (sections B-v and B-vi)

The ironic utterance created by the author is an assertive speech act (on the text level), for the author has a strong belief and his intention is that the reader should continue to hold a similar belief. The belief expressed in proposition P', the opposite of what is said, is that the miracle worker was from God. This belief is the author's true intended meaning for the reader.

e. To summarise, both the author and the reader share the same truth about the miracle worker. Yet the author superficially betrays the expectation of the reader via the words of some of the Pharisees. However, because of the information obtained from the previous chapters and the co-text in this instance, the reader can easily detect that the author is flouting the Maxim of Quality, namely "Do not say what you believe to be false" (Grice 1975:46), and that the author does not abandon his belief about the truth. Therefore, the reader can infer that the Pharisees' utterance created by the author is an ironic speech act designed for the reader. It is intended, covert, fixed and finite. We can thus conclude that this Johannine irony is stable.

f. Perlocutionary act of this irony (section C)

This ironic utterance on the text level draws the reader's attention back to the language of the Pharisees once again, and expects him to focus on the message by his active involvement in the decoding process. Through this effect, the reader must perceive that the author is expressing a qualifying judgment on the Pharisees, condemning their belief as untrue. This creates a sense of detachment between the reader and the Pharisees. The reader is further asked not to make the same mistake the Pharisees made concerning the miracle worker, but to form a knowledgeable group with the author. In this instance, the irony is used very effectively to strengthen the bond between the author and the reader.

5. As the third significant strategy of the author on the text level, one enigma appears to overwhelm the reader's mind regarding this utterance. Why did Jesus put himself in this difficult position, where he could be accused of being a serious offender of the Sabbath Law, which all the Jewish people respected? Some commentators (e.g., Barrett 1955:298; Carson 1991:367) consider that the principle behind the Pharisees' judgment in this utterance could be found in Deuteronomy 13:1-5. Brown (1966:373) explains that "even a wonder worker must not be believed but be put to death if he tends to draw people aside from the way which God commanded".

As Jesus was familiar with the Law (e.g., John 8:17; 10:34; 15:25; cf. Mt 22:35-40), he no doubt also knew the Decalogue. He was aware of the prohibition of works on the Sabbath as well as the punishment that would come with its transgression (Ex 20:8-11; 31:12-17; Dt 5:12-15). Jesus already knew from the previous experience in Chapter 5 that he would face severe opposition should he heal someone on the Sabbath again. Why did Jesus again transgress the Sabbath law on this occasion? It is doubtful that he did not know that the day was a Sabbath, for it was too risky to forget that profaning the Sabbath was a capital offence. For the sake of argument, even if Jesus did not know the day, the disciples would have reminded him thereof. Hence, we can most reasonably conclude that Jesus deliberately chose that day to cure the blind man, just as he did for the man at the pool of Bethesda on the Sabbath.75 This view is further supported by the fact that Jesus was aware that the healing itself would constitute 'work', since he himself mentioned in 9:3 that the works of God might be manifested in the blind man. Therefore, being aware of the Sabbath issue, Jesus dared to perform the miracle (cf. Calvin 1979:374; Morris 1971:484).

The riddle of the cure on the Sabbath is not yet fully answered. What was the Johannine Jesus really thinking when he healed the blind man, knowing that his action might result in capital punishment? Did he already decide to give up his life in this incident, because he would die on the cross? No, this is not likely, for he could not yet die. Jesus knew that 'hour' (e.g., John 2:4; 7:6, 8; 12:23, 27; 13:1; 17:1). He still had to prepare the disciples for his coming departure (cf. Chapters 13-17). Did he attempt to challenge anyone or anything by his action? Did he want to teach an important lesson by virtue of the cure on the Sabbath? Yes, it is most likely so. What was it, then?

There could be two major lessons regarding Jesus' transgression of the Sabbath Law. Firstly, Jesus probably intended to teach the disciples about the urgency of God's works through this action. Indeed, Jesus' utterance in verse 4 creates a sense of urgency, in that "[t]he works of the day and of night can not be delayed even for a short period of time, for the night and the darkness may come at any time. For this reason the healing of the blind man cannot be postponed one day" (Resseguie 1982:296). God's works cannot always wait for the appropriate time. Jesus' disciples need to do the works, even when some influential people oppose them. In this regard, they should focus on God, and not turn to other people. They should not pay attention to what other people would say, but to what God would want them to do. In Mark 3:4, Jesus insisted "that doing 'good' can never be wrong on the Sabbath" (Westerholm 1992:719). The Johannine Jesus also indicated a similar line of thought in 7:21 -23. In Acts 5:29, Peter and the apostles appeared to learn the lesson, stating that they must obey God rather than men in doing God's works. Paul also encouraged Timothy to preach the word both in and out of season (2 Tm 4:2). Hence, Jesus' healing on the Sabbath became a good example for his disciples.

Secondly, Jesus (for that matter, the author ultimately) might intend to reveal that the Pharisees were spiritually blind by virtue of this Sabbath issue. It is noteworthy that Jesus and the Pharisees did not share the same understanding of the Sabbath Law. The Jewish religious leaders, represented by the Pharisees, followed the guidelines of the Sabbath set by legal experts (e.g., the Scribes). The goal of these legal experts was "to spell out the duties of God's people by defining the terms and limits of God's revealed commands" (Westerholm 1992:716). It is not an issue that they accept the view that they started to do their task with a good and pious intention, which was reflected in every detail.76 These legal experts were certainly honouring God and the fourth commandment. However, the religious leaders made the mistake to consider these traditions of the 'ancients' more authoritative than the Scripture itself (Mt 15:3-6; Edersheim 1958:177; Douma 1996:118). They not only tried to follow these traditions for themselves, but also taught the Jews a distorted teaching on this important issue. As a result, they became hypocritical in their walk with God. Indeed, on no fewer than three occasions, Jesus reproached their hypocritical attitudes (e.g., Mk 7:1-13; Mt 15:1-9; 23:1-35; Lk 11:37-52; 13:10-16). McKay (1994:191) summarises Justin's comment on this topic as the result of spelling out their duties: "And he reveals that what he identifies as the Jews' response to God on the sabbath is nothing other than their idleness. In his view Jews do nothing for God on the sabbath, nothing active, that is." The principle of the Jewish religious leaders was good, but their practice was not.

On the other hand, Jesus rightly interpreted the 'spirit' of the Sabbath regulation demonstrated in the Mosaic covenant. He did not distort the principle of the Sabbath rest. He promoted the essence of the Sabbath observance, by applying it to his own context. Firstly, Jesus as the Son of God had the "authority to interpret the divine will" (Westerholm 1992:719). Thus, Jesus made it clear that the Son could and should also work even on the Sabbath, because the Father was always working (John 5:17). He thus implicitly claimed to be equal with God, as the opponents rightly perceived (5:18). Pancaro (1975:29) paraphrases he author's point of view concerning the Sabbath issue as follows: "The question is not, 'Can Jesus be a man of God and notwithstanding that still work on the Sabbath?' but, 'As Son of God must Jesus not work also on the Sabbath?'". Secondly, he expressed an additional view in John 7:21-23, namely that doing good deeds or acts of mercy would be more commendable not only on weekdays but also on the Sabbath, because such an activity, according to Carson (1991:316), "is the fulfillment of the redemptive purposes of God set forth in the old covenant". Particularly as far as blind persons are concerned, as Koester (1995:145) points out, God promised to open their eyes himself (Is 29:18; 35:5; 42:16; Ps 146:8), or to send his messianic 'servant' to do the same (Is 42:6-7). Jesus' healing on the Sabbath appeared to break the Law, but his action was no doubt the action that the Messiah was supposed to perform, consistent with the expectation of the Scriptures. The Lukan Jesus in 14:1 -6 also silenced the Pharisees by using the same kind of logic over the Sabbath issue (Lk 6:6-11; 13:10-17; cf. also Mt 12:9-14; Mk 3:1-6). The synoptic Jesus stated this point on helpful deeds more explicitly than the Johannine Jesus did.77

7. Hence, "[w]hat Jesus was doing on the Sabbath was certainly in conflict with the Jewish interpretation of the law" verbalised in, for instance, the Mishnah, but not with the Sabbath Law itself (Douma 1996:113; cf. Pancaro 1975:51). It is significant in this regard that Jesus spoke of the law as 'your law' to the Pharisees and the Jews (John 8:17; 10:34). To summarise, it is apparent that the accusation made by the Pharisees in 9:16a, namely that Jesus violated the Sabbath Law, was not a breach at all (cf. Pancaro 1975:30). Even making mud and other specific breaches could be conceded. It is rather revealed that the Pharisees' interpretation was simply the hypocrisy derived from their spiritual blindness; they could not see the divine purpose of the issue nor correct their present and/or past mistakes (cf. Carson 1991:368). This inevitably leads to Jesus' statement at the end of this story in verse 41 that the Pharisees were blind and thus their sin remained. For this exposure, Jesus dared to take the opportunity to cure the blind man on the Sabbath (cf. Harvey 1976:76).

e) Summary

The utterance of some of the Pharisees is a confirmative speech act on the story level, and keeps the Maxims of Manner, Transparency, Quality and Relation. It is an assertive speech act on the text level, uplifted by the operation of the Interest Principle. Having heard the blind man's answer, in conjunction with their own observation, the Pharisees tried to judge the miracle worker, concluding that he was not from God. However, their misunderstanding about the nature or misinterpretation of the Law drew their conclusion. They were indeed overconfident about their practice concerning it. At the same time, they were ignorant about the work of God. With this information in mind, the author uses irony in order to invite the reader to come even closer to the author, and to strengthen the solidarity in a privileged group that shares the same information about the miracle worker which some of the Pharisees did not possess. It appears that the willful ignorance or blindness of these Pharisees made them say this kind of judgmental utterance.

9:16b αλλοι [δε] ελεγον, Πως δύναται ανθρωπος αμαρτωλός τοιαύ τα σημεια ποιεϊν;

a) General analysis

As far as colon 24 is concerned, it is interesting to know that the author's careful selection of the demonstrative pronoun αλλοι shows others of the same kind, not others of a different kind, which can be expressed by ετεροι (Fowler et al. 1985:326). The adversative conjunction δε in the parenthesis functions as a loose connective, but. Hence, this colon and colon 23 are connected semantically by a dyadic-contrastive relationship.

Subcolon 24.1 has no introductory word, due to its syntactical parallelism with colon 23. It might be better to translate the words ανθρωπος αμαρτωλός in subcolon 24.1 simply as a sinful man.78One should also note that "[t] he word αμαρτωλός occurs only in this chapter in John" (Bernard 1928:332; Barrett 1955:298), and then only four times (vv. 16, 24, 25, 31) (Morris 1971:485, footnote 30). Pancaro (1975:46) makes an insightful observation with reference to this: "The accusation the Pharisees move against Jesus in Jn ... is stronger and more direct than that we have in the Synoptics ... In the Synoptics Jesus is accused of associating with 'sinners' (in the strict sense of the word); he is never accused of being a αμαρτωλός, but only a φιλος αμαρτωλων." The accusative plural noun σήμεια is, needless to say, important in the author's vocabulary, and indicates that the Pharisees were already aware of other signs performed by Jesus (e.g., Chapter 5).79 Although they were aware of them, they basically "try to ignore them (John 5) or deny them (John 9)" (Pancaro 1975:23). In light of the Pharisees' responses in cola 23-24, the reader is meant to notice that they no longer doubted the reality of the miracle (Newman & Nida 1980:306; Holleran 1993b:366). Thus, this verse reads: Others were, however, saying, "How can a sinful man perform such signs?"

b) Illocutionary act

In a different context, their question could be used as a real question to obtain new information. However, this question does not meet any of the preparatory, sincerity and essential conditions (for these conditions, cf. the section on 'IA' in 9:2), because the other Pharisees already heard the blind man's answer in verse 15. Thus, it is not designed as a real question. The immediate co-text shows, however, that this utterance was uttered in the Pharisees' discussion, which aimed to determine whether or not the miracle worker was a sinner. The Relation Maxim guarantees that this utterance was especially planned to respond to the previous remark made by some of the Pharisees. Therefore, it is only logical to take this interrogative sentence as a rhetorical question, expressing an emphatic declaration that the miracle worker was not a sinner.

Since, in the rhetorical question, the sentence-type does not directly correspond to its communicative function, this utterance should be construed as an indirect speech act (cf. Yule 1996:54-55). The primary illocutionary act of this utterance is one of disputative. The speakers intended to oppose the claim which some of the Pharisees made previously, by way of performing the secondary illocutionary act of question. Because the speakers here were trying to oppose the former Pharisees, the speakers that the man who healed the blind man was from God, based on their recognition that the wonder worker performed an incredible sign. The difference between a dissentive speech act in verse 9:9b and a disputative one here lies in the point as to whether there is any reason not to believe the previous claim. When there is any tangible reason, as in the case here, that the miracle worker performed a sign, the speech act should be classified as disputative (Bach & Harnish 1979:45). The schema of disputatives by Bach and Harnish (1979:43) is as follows:

Disputatives: (demur, dispute, object, protest, question) In uttering e, S disputes the claim that P if S expresses:

i. the belief that there is reason not to believe that P, contrary to what was claimed by H (or was otherwise under discussion), and

ii. the intention that H believe that there is reason not to believe that P.

When this schema is applied to this utterance, the result is the following:

In uttering 'How can a sinful man perform such signs?,' the speakers dispute the claim that the man who healed the blind man is not from God if they express:

i. the belief that there is reason not to believe that the man is not from God, contrary to what was claimed by the hearers (or was otherwise under discussion), and

ii. the intention that the hearers believe that there is reason not to believe that the man is not from God.

As the speakers appeared to express their belief and intention as described earlier, the utterance is a successful speech act of disputative.

c) Perlocutionary act

The intended perlocution is for the hearers to change their view concerning the miracle worker. However, it appears that this intended perlocution was not realised, for the narrator reports in the next utterance the division among the Pharisees caused by these opposing views. The author, however, invites the reader to agree with the speakers' conclusion, not necessarily with their reasoning. The reader should continue to strengthen his own positive view about Jesus by (the implication of) the speakers' utterance in this instance.

d) Communicative strategy

1. On the character level, this utterance is analysed as an indirect speech act. The use of indirect speech acts is generally motivated by the speaker's politeness (Searle [1979] 1981:36; Yule 1996:56). However, in this instance, it appears that the speakers do not use it out of politeness, for their rhetorical question should be conventionally regarded as an emphatic declaration. In the utterance as such, there is no reason why they should be polite. The most likely reason for the use of the indirect speech act is that the speakers tried to employ the rhetorical question (as an indirect speech act) in order to express their emphatic declaration aimed at inducing the hearers' agreement. In other words, their motivation for its use was effectiveness in their language for the sake of persuasion. It could be the most effective way of speech under the disputative circumstance.

2. Moreover, because this utterance is not a normal question, but a rhetorical one, the Pharisees' second response seems to represent the opinion of a believing group. The rhetorical question is an important rhetorical device that reveals a shift between verbal content and intent. In this device, "the form does not match the function" (Nida et al. 1983:39), and the rhetorical question is asked not for acquiring new information nor for an answer. Rather, it is "a way of implying an audience's agreement with the declaration" (Nida et al. 1983:167). Consequently, this second group is assumed to be a believing group who knew the answer to their own question well. They were confident to say that this man was not a sinful man, because he performed such a sign. However, whether they believed or not that he came from God is a different matter, and it cannot be determined explicitly, in this instance, since the text does not say exactly. However, it is at least obvious that this Pharisaic group had a more positive attitude toward Jesus than the former one did.

3. In addition, how does the Manner Maxim relate to this rhetorical question? My observation is, as mentioned earlier (in the section on 'CS' in 9:8b), that whenever there is an indirect speech act, the Manner Maxim always seems to be at stake, because ambiguity in the sense of deniability is inherent in the nature of an indirect speech act. As far as the rhetorical question is concerned, the Manner Maxim can be kept intact. A rhetorical question should be and is conventionally used as an emphatic declaration. An emphatic declaration does not suit ambiguity. As long as it is conventionally used as an emphatic declaration, the speaker's message is very clear. Hence, the Manner Maxim in relation to the rhetorical question cannot be violated, but rather kept intact. This paradox in the concept of indirect speech acts could be investigated further.

4. There is apparently at least one violation in the domain of Interpersonal Rhetoric in this utterance. Since this utterance is a disputative speech act, it inevitably violates the Agreement Maxim of the Politeness Principle. The more the speakers transgress the Maxim, the more powerful its illocutionary force becomes. The next utterance shows that this illocutionary act was powerful enough to cause a division among the Pharisees. On the contrary, the more powerful the illocutionary force becomes, the less the perlocutionary effect becomes, especially in this instance. As pointed out earlier, its perlocution is that the speakers intended to persuade the hearers to change their view and to agree with the new claim offered by the speakers. However, the hearers already decided about the miracle worker, and there seemed to be no room for them to change their view. In such a speech situation, the more the speakers impose their opposing view on the hearers, the more the intensity of the hearers' opposition may become and the less the real perlocution may be actualised. It may be a risk that a speaker takes when he utters a disputative speech act.

5. On the text level, one should note that the second view expressed in this utterance is not biblical. "The principle that a sinner cannot work miracles is not universally attested in biblical tradition" (Brown 1966:373).80Carson (1991:368) concludes that "the second argument is worthless, even if the conclusion is sound". This means that the utterance is evaluated as false. This is a crucial point in traditional exegesis. However, in our speech act analysis, the second argument is not "worthless", for this approach addresses an utterance not in terms of true or false, but mainly in terms of success, appropriateness, or effectiveness. A new way of understanding the text is possible. This creates a different and fresh appreciation of human communication in the text (cf. section 3.1 in Chapter 2). The following discussion will serve not only as part of the text analysis, but also as illustration.

6. In the last utterance (v. 16a), one aspect of the Pharisees' characterisation suggests that they appeared to always evaluate anyone or anything in terms of the laws and regulations. If this is correct, the reader will find the others' opinion more interesting, because they did not seem to reflect this characterisation. The speakers of this utterance (v. 16b) obviously evaluated the miracle worker in terms more of the sign he performed than of the laws. Strictly speaking, they focused on the success of the miracle performed, not on the legitimacy of the performance on the Sabbath. In fact, if the miracle worker had failed to give sight to the blind man, they probably would have joined those who were condemning the miracle worker for breaking the Sabbath, seeing that making mud was considered work, according to Jewish interpretation (Resseguie 1982:298).

However, the fact that the miracle worker performed a successful sign now changed and even persuaded the other half of the Pharisees. They listened to the silent voice that whispered to them that they should reconsider the matter, which they actually did. This may invite the reader's astonishment. In this process, they adopted a different criterion that the assessment should be made on the success or failure of the sign one would perform, rather than on the one, which the former Pharisees used. As a result, they concluded that the miracle worker was not a sinner who defiled the Sabbath Law. This different criterion and contrasted conclusion surely surprise the reader, and make him more interested in the story. The author entertains the reader well by means of this utterance in relation to the implementation of the Interest Principle. Holleran (1993b:366-367) puts the same logic as follows: "... how they view the signs is crucial. To view them as works in violation of the Law is to see Jesus as a 'sinner'. To view them as miracles or signs which are works of God is to see Jesus as one who is 'from God'"(cf. Pancaro 1975:20; Lee 1994:174).

7. Irony would be another illustration derived from the second argument in connection with a fresh appreciation of textual communication. Only a few critics (e.g., Duke 1982; Culpepper 1983:175; Botha 1991b:214) have indicated or the occurrence of irony in this instance, but no one has ever attempted to describe this irony. According to the analytical outline for ironic speech acts (section 1.6 in Chapter 2), an instance of irony is suspected by a possible conflict with mutual contextual beliefs (A-ii-1), the use of rhetorical question (A-ii-3), and the existence of two illocutionary forces in the utterance (A-v). This qualifies that this case of irony should be further examined in accordance with the next verifying steps. Because of the particular nature of this irony, the order of these steps may not be followed exactly (cf. the last annotation pointed out in the analytical outline). Since there is no indication that the speakers (the other Pharisees) of this utterance broke the Quality Maxim, they did not intend to create an ironic utterance. Therefore, the irony should fall under the category of situational irony, and it can be perceived based on the speakers' lack of knowledge about biblical tradition. Being familiar with the Old Testament, the reader and the author possess the knowledge that even a sinner can perform miracles, of which the speakers as the victims were not aware. Hence, this is again dramatic irony. The observers are both the author and the reader, and the irony is located at the text level. What is striking in this irony is the way in which the author depicts these speakers: the Pharisees who claimed to be the religious leaders as well as the experts of the Law uttered such a faulty remark in the official trial! A more remarkable observation is the fact that no Pharisee appeared to detect this problematic expression later, although no one knows the exact reason. Perhaps they were so occupied with the controversy itself. Or perhaps it may be, although this is doubtful, that they simply did not know. Either way, the reader is greatly surprised by this dramatic irony.

Hence, the second argument of the Pharisees is not worthless, but effective, even phenomenal, in the communication between the author and the reader.

8. Lastly, as shall clearly be seen in the next verse, this Sabbath charge against Jesus as the central issue thus far, which was crucial in my speech act analysis, would be replaced exclusively by the issue of his identity and credentials. Brown (1966:379) remarks that "whereas in ch. v the Sabbath motif dominated the story of the healing of the paralytic, it is really only incidental in the development of ch. ix; for ... the Sabbath question fades into background. In these interrogations the real issue is whether or not Jesus has miraculous power and, if he does, who he is" (cf. also O'Day 1987:63; Carson 1991:367). Linguistically, in general, this utterance as rhetorical question functions as a hinge to turn the focus of the interrogation from the method of the miracle to the identity of the healer (cf. Martyn [1968] 1979:32). In particular, it is the word sinner that makes this transition smooth, for this word draws attention to what kind of man the miracle worker (seemingly) was. After an intensive discussion of this vocabulary (Pancaro 1975:30-51), Pancaro (1975:51) concludes: "In the OT and Judaism, to say that a man is a αμαρτωλός is more serious than to say he has committed 'sin' or is in a state of 'sin'".When Jesus appeared to violate the Law, he was regarded as a sinner, not in an immoral sense but in the most technical sense (Pancaro 1975:51, footnote 178).

e) Summary

On the story level, the utterance is an indirect speech act with the primary illocutionary force of disputative and it may keep the Manner Maxim despite the form of rhetorical question. The speakers intended to persuade the hearers to change their view concerning the miracle worker at the expense of the Agreement Maxim. Although uttering the speech act was successful, the real perlocution would not be realised due to the hearers' strong mindset. On the text level, the author surprises the reader through the operation of the Interest Principle and the use of dramatic irony, and thus continues to stimulate the reader's active involvement. Moreover, this utterance functions as a hinge to turn the narrative focus from 'how' to 'who' questions in the miracle.

9:16c καΐ σχίσμα ήν έν αύτοΐς.

a) General analysis

Colon 25 tells of the narrator's comment derived from the divided opinions among the Pharisees. The use of the conjunction καΐ is an indication for this inference, connecting this colon to the last two cola by means of an additive-different (consequential) relationship. As the subject σχίσμα has no article, it displays a possible general quality instead of a specific one. This word is used three times in this Gospel (7:43; 9:16; 10:19), denoting a division among people. Morris (1971:485, footnote 31) suggests that "σχίσμα does not denote a schism in our sense of the term, but rather a dissension. It is a division within the group not a splitting off from the group". For this particular meaning, no instance of this word is found in the synoptic Gospels. It is only employed three times in 1 Corinthians (1:10; 11:18; 12:25) outside of John's Gospel in the New Testament. In this instance, the author of this Gospel evaluates their situation and tells that the Pharisees were confused over the identity of the miracle worker. The author thus reports in his exact words: And there came a division among them.

b) Illocutionary act

As the narrator is expected to follow the Relation Maxim, he is saying something that is relevant to the present discussion among the Pharisees. Therefore, even if he uses the Reduction Maxim to uplift the Economy Principle in the domain of Textual Rhetoric, the pronoun them easily finds its referent, the Pharisees. The narrator intends to report to the reader on the outcome of the speech exchange among the Pharisees in the last two utterances. Specifically, the narrator portrays the division that existed among the Pharisees, resulting from the controversy over the Sabbath issue including the identity of the miracle worker. Accordingly, this utterance of the narrator is again informative.

c) Perlocutionary act

By using the informative speech act, the author intends to impress the reader with the greatness of the miracle and of the issue derived from it.

The reader should be aware of the division among the Pharisees as well as of the cause of such a division.

d) Communicative strategy

1. As mentioned earlier, the narrator intends to inform the reader about the result of the discussion among the Pharisees. The report states that the members of the Pharisees could not come to terms with each other, and thus caused a schism among them. This implies that the discrepancy caused by the issue over the Sabbath breach was too great to be rectified. Some scholars (e.g., Dodd [1953] 1968:80; Carson 1991:367, footnote 1) suggest that the two views manifested in this division were similar to the arguments of the two famous schools of Hillel and Shammai. Although it may be speculative, it is perhaps instructive to explore a link of this division to these schools. However, our immediate concern is how this schism relates to the textual strategy in terms of the reader. The issue of this schism was fairly complex to such a degree that a united group of people such as the Pharisees experienced division among themselves. In fact, Edersheim ([1967] 1976:213) introduces the Pharisees as "the most closely-connected religious fraternity". Jeremias ([1969] 1975:247) also reminds us of "the fact that they formed closed communities". Josephus (Jos BJ 2.166) even points out that "[t]he Pharisees are affectionate to each other and cultivate harmonious relations with the community". A division occurred among this group of people. This is worthwhile reporting and has news value. Hence, the narrator uses the Interest Principle to surprise the reader who is also assumed to know the Pharisees' solidarity trait.

2. As usual, the narrator's information is very limited. The narrator only reports that there was a division among the Pharisees. The narrator does not reveal more information, such as the nature of the division. Was it severe or negligible? Did it last long or end soon? Was the division equal with regard to the number of supporters for each viewpoint? Was the cause only the issue of Sabbath breaking and its related matters such as the identity of the miracle worker, or were there any hidden causes, such as previous or long-standing matters that were triggered by the Sabbath issue? Was there any psychological influence upon the Pharisees due to the division? What was the people's reaction to their schism? The narrator keeps silent on these affairs. The reader has to exercise his imagination if he wants to know. The reader has no clue as to whether or not the narrator is observing the Quantity Maxim. From the narrator's point of view, however, the answer is that the narrator keeps it intact, as he always does, in order to create suspense and increase the impact on the reader by virtue of such a succinct description (in this instance, the Economy Principle is also upheld). In addition, Du Rand (1991:99) rightly observes that the function of this schism "is an implicit appeal to the reader to make his own decision".

3. The story of John 9 is often compared with the healing story of the paralytic (John 5) for their extensive parallels (cf. Culpepper 1983:139-140). A relevant striking contrast would be that there is no reference to a schism among Jesus' opponents in John 5. This fact highlights the authorities' dilemma even more in this blind man's story (Bultmann 1971:334; Pancaro 1975:20). Schnackenburg ([1968] 1980:248) proposes a possible reason for this unique state of affairs: "Jesus' work of revelation drives them into greater despair and perplexity (cf. 11:47). Revelation has a critical function." If this view is correct, this revelation created an uncomfortable and critical situation among the Pharisees. It indicates that they were also suffering in their own way (cf. also Rensberger 1988:43). The fact that their suffering arose from their own religious pride and blindness enhances this tragedy. In this instance, the motif of suffering occurs again. However, this suffering differs from that identified thus far. This suffering is the result of unbelief. It resulted from sin in Johannine terms. In the case of such a suffering, unless the sufferers realise its cause and are willing to change the way in which they have lived their lives, their suffering will remain as the suffering without hope. They may need to return once more to the path that God set before them so that they may have life in abundance (John 10:10). They need to have faith in Jesus. If and only if they do so, their suffering will have a meaning, a definite corrective purpose (Boice 1977:24).

4. The authorities' schism may lead to an instance of situational irony, and there could be two ironies. One is irony of dilemma, because of the dilemma in which the Pharisees were placed. In this instance, the Pharisees are the victims, and the observers are the author and the reader. This irony of dilemma is perceived on the text level, and used as a means of expressing frustration (cf. Turner 1996:47) and as a way of involving the reader in the communication process of the text (cf. O'Day 1986:30). Another irony is the irony of event, which derives from the outcome of the event that is neither expected nor desired. The Pharisees as the victims were facing the undesired outcome, namely a schism. The author and the reader are the observers, and this irony is also located on the text level. The function or effect of this irony would be similar to that of the irony of dilemma. However, it may also be used as "a mode of revelatory language" whereby the reader judges the character of the Pharisees (cf. O'Day 1986:31).

e) Summary

The narrator intends to report the result of the discussion among the Pharisees to the reader. This informative speech act should impress the reader with Jesus' sign that caused the unusual schism among the Pharisees as a further development of the story. The author, through the narrator, creates suspense and impact on the reader by using the Principles of Interest and Economy, and the Quantity Maxim, as well as ironies of dilemma and event. Once again, the motif of suffering is present; however, it is significant that the Pharisees' suffering was different in nature.

9:17a λεγούσιν ούν τω τύφλω> παλιν, ΊΊ σύ λεγεις περι αύτού, ότι ηνεωΧεν σού τούς οφθαλμούς;

a) General analysis

The second unit of cola 26-27 presents the conversation between the blind man and the Pharisees for the second time in this cluster. The confusion caused by the issue of Jesus' identity was great enough to bring a division among the Pharisees. It was great enough for one group not to come to terms with the other. It appears that they were unable to settle the issue by themselves. They thought it a good idea to directly ask the blind man, hoping that he would provide a satisfactory answer to the problem. Colon 26 depicts this circumstance. The conjunction ούν in 26 especially indicates that the question they were about to ask the blind man was a direct reaction to the odd situation described in colon 25 (by a logical-reason-result relationship). Since they were so eager to ask, the historical present verb λεγούσιν may be used for vividness to portray such a reaction. 26.1 is the main content of their question, what do you say about him? This question is in the direct quotation form, and the interrogative pronoun τι shows the specification of their purpose of inquiry. Syntactically, it is employed as the object of the verb λεγεις, for it is the neuter accusative case. Therefore, this means what rather than who or why. 26.1.1 is somewhat difficult to analyse, especially for determining the function of the subordinate conjunction ότι.81I would prefer to consider it as the so-called epexegetical ότι. As such, it introduces a clause that is in apposition with the personal pronoun αύτού in the main clause. The author already uses it the same way in colon 11.1. This means that this usage is not foreign to him. Another reason is that this usage describes the person concerned with additional information in the most direct way. Morris (1971:484, footnote 28) writes: "Notice that John, as is his habit in repetition, describes the man in different ways." Their question concerned Jesus' identity. This is significant, because nobody thus far asked this kind of straightforward question about his identity. The questions people had asked previously concerned how his eyes were opened, or where Jesus was. At this point, finally, the Pharisees came to the crucial issue: They said, therefore, to the blind man again, "What do you say about him that he opened your eyes?"

b) Illocutionary act

Since there are a few cases in which the interrogative sentence-type expresses a function other than a question, it is necessary to discern whether or not this utterance expresses the communicative function of question. It is appropriate to put it on the test according to Searle's (1969:67) essential and sufficient conditions for question (cf. the section on 'IA' in 9:2):

Propositional content condition: It is obvious that the Pharisees' question meets this condition.

Preparatory condition: 1. The Pharisees do not know the answer. 2. It is not obvious to both the Pharisees and the blind man that the blind man will provide the information without being asked.

Sincerity condition: The Pharisees want the information.

Essential condition: Can be considered an attempt to elicit this information from the blind man.

As the utterance of the Pharisees meets all the above conditions, it can be concluded that it is a speech act of question. They were using the interrogative sentence to elicit information from the blind man. This observation suits the immediate co-text where the present concern of the characters on stage is that of the identity of the miracle worker. They were debating whether or not he was a sinner. Regarding the illocution for the reader, the author may intend to ask the reader the same question.

c) Perlocutionary act

The intended perlocution is for the blind man to give an adequate answer to the Pharisees' question, expressing his own perception about the miracle worker. The reader should also answer this question for himself, so that the answer may help strengthen his belief in Jesus.

d) Communicative strategy

1. On the story level, concerning the identity of the speakers, Newman and Nida (1980:308) suggest that "the reference is probably to the group of Pharisees who were opposed to Jesus". However, the observation based on the Relation Maxim strongly suggests that it was most likely the entire group of Pharisees (v. 15) who consisted of both sympathetic and hostile groups, because the conjunction ούν, which operates on the Relation Maxim, refers back to their division in the last utterance. It indicates that both groups were equally interested in the man's reply. Not only the hostile group, but also the sympathetic one wanted to hear the man's assessment with a view to ending their controversy. I am of the opinion that it is more logical to separate these groups after this initial interrogation (for this aspect, cf. the section on 'CS' in 9:18).

2. The Relation Maxim mentioned earlier will be examined from a slightly different viewpoint. The narrator reports the schism among the Jewish authorities caused by their differing understanding of the miracle worker in the last utterance. They were unable to settle the issue by themselves, because the issue was not simply a Sabbath breach (which was a big issue in its own right), but also a greater issue as to the identity and authority of the miracle worker, who happened to be Jesus. They knew that Jesus had been receiving a great deal of attention from the crowds, who were impressed by his mighty deeds and teachings. The multitudes were even wondering whether or not this Jesus might be the Prophet or the Messiah (7:40-43). Moreover, the Pharisees themselves had an intense debate with him about his authority (8:13). What this amounts to is that the issue became great, both in depth and in width. The issue now turns from the Sabbath breach to Jesus' identity. As noted earlier (in the section on 'CS' in 9:16b), many critics82 explain the Pharisees' question in that the central focus was no longer the Sabbath issue, but a Christological issue as to Jesus' origin, identity and authority. The issue became a problem for the Pharisees. They probably thought that it was a good idea to directly ask the blind man, who was directly involved in this issue. In this sense, the Pharisees' utterance keeps the Cooperative Principle intact on the story level, especially the Relation Maxim.

3. On the text level, however, the content of their question makes it clear that their act of inquiry was unusual for the Pharisees as the judges in this trial. In a trial in which the jury system is not employed, the judge presides over a court case, assesses relevant information given by witnesses and makes a verdict on the case. The act of passing judgment should be the most important task of the judge. It appears from the story, however, that the Pharisees could not make a judgment about Jesus' identity or credentials and that, therefore, they asked the question concerned to the blind man. In a sense, they were incompetent as the judges. According to Jewish forensic process, in which the role of witnesses was more prominent than that of judge (section 4.4 in Chapter 3), their questioning was not out of character for a judge. What is more extraordinary is the fact that, as respected, educated and honourable figures, the Pharisees were asking the opinion of a man who was an uneducated and a despised beggar in society. The neighbours brought the blind man to them, because the Pharisees were perceived as men of mature judgment. As a rule, the Pharisees would not do that, because it would bring a shame on them in the honour-shame society. Morris (1971:485) indicates: "It is a measure of their perplexity and division that they ask the man what he thinks of Jesus ... The request is the measure of their embarrassment." This peculiar move should surprise the reader; thus the Interest Principle operates in this utterance on the text level. Holleran (1993b:367) considers it "ironic". He explains very briefly how it is ironic and how it affects the reader, but does not describe the nature of this irony. I shall now do so.

4. According to the analytical outline for ironic speech acts (section 1.6 in Chapter 2), the instance of irony is suspected by a critic's suggestion (A-vii) and a potential conflict with mutual forensic belief (A-ii-1), as described earlier. In the next verifying steps, this irony would fall under the category of situational irony, because it appears that the Pharisees did not violate the Quality Maxim and thus they did not intend to make an ironic utterance. The above observation about the Pharisees' unusual move indicates that the irony most likely resulted from the victims' (the Pharisees) utterance, which unconsciously showed their own weakness. Hence, this irony can be classified as irony of self-betrayal. Because of their incompetence to assess the matter, they asked the blind man, "an am-ha-aretz, one who is ignorant of the law (cf. 7:49)" (Schnackenburg [1968] 1980:248; cf. also Carson 1991:368). However, it appears that they were not aware of the implication of their utterance, which would ultimately be apprehended by the reader. The reader would share the role of the observer of this irony with the author, and the irony is thus located at the text level. Concerning the final step (C), where the irony's function is to be examined, Holleran (1993b:368) makes an interesting observation: "The question for the reader becomes at this point: Who is really 'blind' here?" The Pharisees who did not really know the identity of the miracle worker attempted to determine it fruitlessly, but the blind man would demonstrate his competency in understanding the matter. The author, therefore, invites the reader to a more careful reading, helps the reader appreciate the depth of the story, and enhances communication through this irony.

5. For the sake of discussion, I shall examine the communication on the story and text levels together. In the domain of Textual Rhetoric, this utterance appears to transgress three maxims. Since the main point of the utterance is expressed not in the second clause, but in the first clause in Greek, the utterance jeopardises the End-Focus Maxim and the End-Weight Maxim. However, it appears that the rules of language do not allow this to be formulated in the reverse way. Hence, it is difficult to say that there is a transgression in this regard. On the other hand, it is apparent that this utterance breaks the Economy Principle, for the second clause is, in fact, a repetition of verse 15a (and of v. 10, especially for the reader). The fact remains that the message can still be communicated without the second clause. The text can at least be shortened if the speaker uses a noun such as the miracle worker instead of the present clause structure. What is the reason for the breach of the Economy Principle? Similarly, what is the reason for the flouting of the Quantity Maxim in the domain of Interpersonal Rhetoric? Of course, the first possible reason is to clarify the referent (Jesus) more explicitly. This is acceptable, but not really convincing. There are two additional reasons. One lies on the character level, and the other on the author-reader level. On the character level, the breach may be for the sake of emphasis. The characters of the Pharisees emphasise the miracle worker by adding this particular explanation. On the author-reader level, however, the fact that the Pharisees had no problem with the reality of the miracle will be reinforced in the reader's mind once again (cf. also the sections on 'GA' in v. 16b and 'CS' in v. 15b). Seen from this angle, the flouting of the Quantity Maxim communicates more than simply what the speakers said.

e) Summary

The Pharisees intended to ask the blind man a question so that they might obtain useful information, which would, it is hoped, end their controversy over the miracle worker's identity. If their speech act of question is successful, they would be able to elicit the blind man's answer. In this utterance, the transgression of the Economy Principle and the Quantity Maxim plays a minor part. Of more importance is that the author deploys the Relation Maxim, the Interest Principle and the irony of self-betrayal in order to expose the Pharisees' incompetence resulting from their blindness as their weakness.

9:17b ο δέ εΐπεν οτι Προφήτης έστίν.

a) General analysis

What was the blind man's answer to the most important question? Colon 27 discloses what he thought. Syntactically, the main clause in 27 is basically similar to that in colon 22, and this time it is without the indirect object αύτοΐς. In subcolon 27.1, the answer itself is introduced by the conjunction οτι, which shows a direct quotation. Like his previous answer in subcolon 14.1, this answer is very brief and uses only two words. The compactness increases the impact of the message. Consequently, the message was so clear that no one could miss what he wanted to say: He is a prophet. This is a new development in the plot of the story. Thus, this verse reads: And he said, "He is a prophet."

b) Illocutionary act

As the Pharisees' previous inquiry is uttered successfully according to the rules of language, it demands the blind man to respond to it. Hence, the speech act of this utterance is responsive. When Bach and Harnish's (1979:43) schema of responsives applies to this text, the following will be gained:

In uttering "He is a prophet", the blind man responds that Jesus is a prophet if the blind man expresses:

i. he belief that Jesus is a prophet, which the Pharisees have inquired about, and

ii. the intention that the Pharisees believe that Jesus is a prophet.

As the blind man appeared to express his belief and intention, as described above, the utterance is a successful speech act. The blind man intended to give a sincere answer to the Pharisees' question according to the best of his knowledge. The author intends to provide more information to the reader about the blind man's perception of Jesus' identity. This time the man said that Jesus was a prophet.

c) Perlocutionary act

The Pharisees should accept the blind man's answer just as he described it. In his answer, the blind man establishes the position of Jesus. The reader should understand the man's reply to the Pharisees and evaluate the man's level of perception about Jesus by virtue of this utterance.

d) Communicative strategy

1. The blind man's answer is very short. One may suspect the possible violation of two conversational Maxims, namely the Quantity Maxim and the Manner Maxim. In order to determine this, at least three questions need to be answered. What did the blind man precisely mean by a prophet? How much did the Pharisees understand his answer? And how much does the reader understand his answer? For the sake of discussion, the communication on the story and text levels will be examined concurrently.

2. In answering the above questions, it is helpful to note the utterances made by the characters concerning a prophet in the story so far, and to investigate the mutual religious belief between them as well as between the author and the reader. There may be six relevant verses up to Chapter 9.83

i. The passages that contain no article before the word prophet in Greek: 4:19, 7:52.

ii. The passages that contain the article before the word prophet in Greek: 1:21, 1:25, 6:14 and 7:40.

On the surface, it seems to be easy to discern the difference between two sets of references to the term prophet. The word without the article may be used to refer, in general, to a man of God who speaks God's message to his people in times of need (Bultmann 1971:89). The word with the article may point to the specific figure (cf. specific MCB on 'Prophet' in section 5.1.1). However, the fact is that this discernment is not so simple, as demonstrated by the different views of commentators. For example, Martyn ([1968] 1979:120, 130) basically considers all the references to prophet in the Fourth Gospel as a reference to a Prophet such as Moses (cf. Dt 18:15-18). In addition, leading critics84 take the view that the prophet in 7:52 refers to the Prophet Moses, based on arguments derived from the context and textual criticism, even though there is no article with the term, according to the vast majority of readings (Brown 1966:325).

With regard to 4:19, the Samaritan woman told Jesus that she realised that he had special knowledge from God. O'Day (1986:67) rightly observes: "Jesus' revelation of his knowledge of her true marital status leads the woman to declare him to be a prophet (v. 19). One could compare the woman's response to that of Nathanael in 1:45-51." O'Day's observation provides one significant point. She ponders that the Samaritan woman used the term prophet only in a general sense. O'Day further indicates that the woman's response was different from that of Nathanael who confessed that Jesus was the Son of God and the King of Israel. In her words, "[t]he woman's profession of Jesus as a prophet, while not a recognition of his full identity, is a step in the right direction" (O'Day 1986:67). Therefore, it is acceptable to take the woman's usage of the term prophet as a mere designation for special people such as prophets (cf. also Carson 1991:221). Other critics such as Brown (1966:171) and Martyn ([1968] 1979:120) suggest that, in this instance, the prophet could mean the Prophet such as Moses.

On the other hand, as far as the passages containing the article for the term prophet are concerned, the point is obvious. The reference to the prophet in 1:21, 25; 6:14; 7:40, has scholarly consensus: it points to the special eschatological prophet, most likely the Prophet such as Moses.85

3. Whether or not one agrees with the above consensus is not the issue. The issue is whether the characters and the reader understand the meanings of those utterances in the way in which the speaker intended in the story. If the issue is viewed from this angle, one important matter becomes evident. Both the characters and the reader appear to understand the exact meanings. In the cases of 4:19 and 7:52, for instance, the hearers did not deny nor oppose the speakers' utterances. If an utterance is difficult to understand, the narrator usually adds some remarks to help the reader comprehend it (2:19-21, 7:37-39, 8:25-27). However, the narrator does not attempt to do so in this instance. In 1:21, 25, and 6:14, both John the Baptist and Jesus understood the speakers' utterances. As far as the reader's familiarity with Judaism is concerned, Culpepper (1983:221) states that "[t]he expectation of the 'prophet' (1:21, 25) or 'the prophet who is to come into the world' (6:14) seems to be sufficiently clear also; no explanation is given". Finally, the way in which the hearers reacted to the utterance of 7:40 indicates that the speakers' meaning was well understood. Therefore, it is acceptable to say that the characters, the author and the reader share the same mutual religious belief concerning the prophet, and that their communications are, therefore, successful.

Similarly, the narrator gives no explanation to the blind man's reply, and there is no indication for the hearers to misunderstand his utterance. It is no exaggeration to say that the characters of the Pharisees and the blind man as well as the author and the reader still share the same mutual religious belief in the present conversation in 9:17. They can all understand what the blind man said.

4. Only one question remains: What exactly did the blind man mean by a prophet? As noted earlier, Martyn ([1968] 1979:113, 120) is inclined to say that the term prophet on the lips of the blind man is used to designate Jesus as the Mosaic Prophet.86 However, Lindars ([1972] 1981:346) contends: "There is no suggestion here that the Prophet of Dt. 18 is meant. On the other hand even to say that Jesus might be a prophet comes near to acknowledgment of him as the Messiah ... This fact comes to the surface in verse 22" (cf. also Richardson 1959:126). Although I agree with Lindars' first point (cf. also Beasley-Murray 1987:157), I doubt the reference to the Messiah. One reason is that verse 22 appears to have nothing to do with the man's confession. If the blind man meant a prophet as the Messiah and the Pharisees recognised his utterance as such, he should have been expelled at this point. But his expulsion would happen only in verse 34. Schnackenburg ([1968] 1980:248) also suggests rightly: "It is unlikely that the term 'a prophet' has a messianic significance, since the cured man is first brought to this sort of faith by Jesus himself" (cf. also Holleran 1993b:367; Moloney [1976] 1978:147, footnote 34). At this stage, his increasing faith in Jesus was not yet adequate level (cf. Meeks 1965:53). Therefore, my view echoes that of scholars such as Bultmann (1971:334), Schnackenburg ([1968] 1980:248) and Carson (1991:368) who point out that the term is employed in a general sense. One of the reasons for this is that there is no article attached to the term (cf. Menken 2001:452). The other reason is that there is no indication in the story that the blind man's usage of the term meant only a prophet, as mentioned earlier. Briefly, Holleran (1993b:367) sums up this view: "Doubtless this designation is meant in a quite general sense, without specific Messianic meaning, and perhaps by comparison with Elijah or Elisha (cf. esp. 2 Kings 5) refers simply to Jesus' extraordinary God-given power" (cf. also Bernard 1928:332; Barrett 1955:298; Temple 1975:176).

5. In light of the above analysis, the possible violation of two conversational Maxims, the Quantity Maxim and the Manner Maxim, can be finally determined. The blind man's answer is short, but it is sufficient to be able to successfully convey the meaning to the interrogators. "He has a gift for succinct statement, and puts the essence of the matter in one terse sentence" (Morris 1971:485; cf. also O'Day 1987:63). It is economical and clear for both the characters and the reader. Thus, the blind man is not violating, but observing these two Maxims in his utterance.

We have examined thus far the meaning of the blind man's utterance in relation to the Maxims of Quantity and Manner, but this does not mean that its analysis is completed. I shall thus investigate the effect and evaluation of his utterance in more detail.

6. Despite the compactness of the blind man's answer, it should have a fairly huge impact on the story level. In fact, how many Pharisees thought of hearing the word prophet from the blind man's lips? They might have expected to hear such words as a sinner, Sabbath breaker, miracle worker, or man from God. But the blind man did not use any of those words to describe Jesus. Of course, the answer was still relevant, but they might have been surprised to hear the term prophet from him. In this regard, the utterance of the blind man seems to observe the Interest Principle to enhance his communication with the other characters.

7. In addition, some expositors (e.g., Barclay [1955] 1975:45) believe that the Pharisees' last question demanded the blind man to indicate to whom he was loyal. He took Jesus' side. It was a risk for him, so why did he do it, unlike the paralytic in Chapter 5? There may be at least three possibilities:

i. The fact that Jesus gave him his sight impressed him a great deal, and he was grateful to Jesus.

ii. Jesus also opened his spiritual eyes, so that he could realise that there was a life beyond or different from what the Pharisees as the religious leaders taught.

iii. When the man was a blind beggar, he was stepped on and despised by the Pharisees because of his 'curse' and low status in society. He was, therefore, not loyal to them (Boice 1977:44). It is unlikely that he respected the Pharisees as his neighbours who brought him to them for their opinion.

In my opinion, all the above might have contributed to his position. Nevertheless, only the first explanation seems to be highly plausible, and the other two are of a speculative nature.

8. Nearly every scholar considers the evaluation of the blind man's confession to be positive. Although Schnackenburg ([1968] 1980:248) draws attention to the man's brave aspect and O'Day (1987:63) to his innocence and open-mindedness, The majority of the critics comment on this regarding the man's spiritual growth. Morris (1971:486) remarks: "[F]or him 'prophet' was probably the highest place he could assign to a man of God. His answer puts Jesus in the highest place he knew". Bultmann (1971:334) proposes that "Jesus' miraculous power has made on him the same impression as did Jesus' miraculous knowledge on the Samaritan woman (4.19); yet as in the case of the woman, so here, this confession is only the first step. Certainly, such a step is important enough" (cf. also Holleran 1993b:367). The man's confession indicates the growth in the man's faith (cf. Boice 1977:46; Witherington 1995:183).87

9. Despite the above, we need to consider how the reader can know whether it was a step in the right direction? Not many expositors demonstrate why it was the right step. Perhaps one explanation could be that scholars, especially those whose methods are not based on literary approaches, are basically not interested in such a question. Of course, they occasionally comment on the function of language in their analysis, but it is fragmentary, not systematic at all. From a literary perspective, the inquiry as to how the reader understands and evaluates the character's utterance and deed at a certain point of time in the story is very important (Gros Louis 1982:20). From a pragmatic viewpoint (e.g., a speech act angle), the question as to how the reader accounts for the process of achieving such an understanding is not without significance (Van Dijk 1980:135). Therefore, I shall elucidate the topic as to why the man's confession was a step in the right direction.

Traditionally critics, regardless of the methods they use, focus on the man's growing faith in Jesus, as depicted in 9:11, 17, 33, 38 (e.g., Plummer [1882] 1981:207; Morris 1971:486; Boice 1977:46).88 In 9:11, the blind man referred to Jesus merely as "the man who is called Jesus"; in 9:17, as "a prophet", and in 9:33, as the man who came from God. Finally, in 9:38, the blind man worshipped Jesus as the Son of Man. From this observation and the observation of its climax in verse 38, in particular, they refer back to verse 17 and explain that his confession was indeed a right step towards an adequate faith. Although this is one good way to elucidate the text, it might be problematic. When the reader reads verse 17, he has not yet read the remainder of the chapter. The movement of going forward and coming back (also perhaps skipping some material in between) is an awkward reading process. It also violates the notion of narrative temporality in the reading process (cf. section 2.3 in Chapter 2). This ultimately destroys the author's organisation of the narrative and strategy for his communication with the reader.

A speech act approach can provide a plausible solution to this problem. This approach can explain the 'mechanism' of how the reader can understand or evaluate the man's confession by virtue of the notion of mutual story belief (cf. section 4.5 in Chapter 3). The reader possesses a fair amount of knowledge about who Jesus was from his reading up to Chapter 9. The Prologue is especially helpful in this respect. From this mutual story belief, the reader already knows that Jesus was the one sent by God in the ultimate sense of the word. Indeed, Jesus was the Son of God (e.g., 1:49; 3:16). Thus, the reader has the criteria of evaluation. When the reader encounters the man's confession, he can decode the meaning and evaluate its significance. The reader can tell that the man's confession demonstrates not its final stage, but a middle stage on the way to the conclusive understanding. The reader does not need to engage in an awkward reading.

10. With respect to the above argument, the notion of mutual story belief may help strengthen the bond between the author and the reader, because the reader possesses real knowledge about Jesus' identity, which the blind man would not yet have. This means that the reader is on a higher level than the characters in the story in terms of such knowledge. Accordingly, the author wants the reader to continue to believe what he already knows about Jesus; this is more than merely that Jesus was a prophet.

11. While the author allows the blind man to utter the successful speech act, he does not plan to end the controversy nor the story. The author does not make the blind man's reply effective enough to dismiss the Pharisees' suspicion (cf. Dockery 1988:18). Thus, the story inevitably proceeds to the next important stage.

e) Summary

The blind man intended to give a sincere answer to the Pharisees' question concerning the identity of the miracle worker. His simple utterance is not a violation of any of the Cooperative Principles, but proves that it is a sufficient and successful speech act in this specific speech situation. In addition, the content of this responsive speech act might have surprised the Pharisees by the Interest Principle. The notion of mutual story belief plays a significant role in the reader's evaluation of the man's utterance containing the term prophet. While his reply was successful, it was not effective enough to end the controversy.

5.4 Macrospeech acts

Firstly, I shall discuss a macrospeech act on the character level. Since it seems to be difficult to find a global topic of this cluster, I wish to propose a hypothesis, for the sake of argument. The hypothesis is that the global topic of this section would be that the characters, especially the Pharisees, were attempting to determine the identity of the miracle worker in the trial. To verify this, I shall use macrorules. The informative speech acts in 9:13 and 16c are to be eliminated by the Deletion Rule, for they do not directly contribute to the construction of the topic. The Generalization Rule constructs a new proposition that the Pharisees asked a question to the blind man, from the informative speech act in 9:15a and the question speech act in 17a. In addition, the same rule constructs a new proposition, from the disputative speech act in 9:16b, that the miracle worker was not a sinner. The Selection Rule retains the informative speech act in 9:14 and the responsive speech act in 17b as the important propositions that contribute to the construction of the topic. Finally, by means of the Construction Rule, the responsive speech act in 9:15b makes a new proposition that the man was the miracle worker, and the confirmative speech act in 16a entails that the man was a sinner. These observations show that the hypothesis, namely that the characters were attempting to determine the identity of the miracle worker, can indeed be adopted as the global topic of this cluster. Accordingly, the macrospeech act of this cluster would be descriptive. This means that the dialogue took place in the forensic process for identifying the man who healed the blind man. In light of the macrospeech act, however, the communication between the characters has not been so successful in this scene. The reason for this is that the identity of the miracle worker was not fully exposed, and that some of the Pharisees were apparently not satisfied with the blind man's answer in the very last utterance in this section, taking the narration at the beginning of the next cluster (9:18) into consideration. Moreover, the division in 9:16c indicates that there was a communication breakdown between the characters.

Secondly, I shall discuss a macrospeech act on the author-reader level. The author, via the narrator, uses only the informative speech acts in the narration part of this cluster. Therefore, the same conclusion that is observed in the first cluster can be drawn in this instance, namely that the author intends to tell a certain story to the reader. In this story, the author demonstrates that the identity of the miracle worker was such a big issue that it caused a schism among the most united religious fraternity known as the Pharisees. Furthermore, the author intends to disclose the positive perception of the blind man about the miracle worker who, the blind man confessed, was a prophet. This confession was a step in the right direction, even if it was a primitive one. Therefore, the macrospeech act on the text level would be informative. The perlocution of this cluster is thus to astonish the reader by the new and fascinating information, particularly about the day when the miracle took place, the schism and the blind man's confession. In addition, this is to convince the reader that the identity and credentials of Jesus were the central concern, especially towards the end of this scene. The man's confession serves to align the reader more with the blind man, and to reassure the reader that the mutual story belief, which the reader holds concerning Jesus, is valid and helpful. Hence, the author maintains the reader's interest and secures the reader's further involvement in the story.

Incidentally, a speech act approach has proved its usefulness in the text analysis, especially in how language functions. This is demonstrated especially in the analysis of irony; of the Pharisees' utterance in 9:16b; of the evaluation of the man's confession, and of the significance of the Sabbath issue in this narrative, for which the traditional approaches could not adequately account.

 

6. CLUSTER D: THE DIALOGUE BETWEEN THE JEWS AND THE BLIND MAN'S PARENTS (9:18-23)

6.1 Specific mutual contextual beliefs

6.1.1 The synagogue

Stambaugh and Balch (1986:48) point out the following:

The Greek term synagoge ("assemblage") generally referred to a group of people, a community, or a congregation. Meetings were often held in private houses while the group was small, but normally ... the local Jews would eventually acquire a house or other site for their communal activities. This was called a synagogue or a proseuche ("place of prayer").

In New Testament times, the Jewish synagogue had various functions (cf. Olsson 2005). As mentioned earlier, it was a place of Jewish religious life where the assembly gathered on the Sabbath and holy days for worship and prayer (Yamauchi 1992:781).89 It also functioned as an educational school for studying the Torah and as a community centre for their social life. They often met there for "specific reasons like baking unleavened bread or for more general purposes of conviviality" (Stambaugh & Balch 1986:49). Some disciplinary actions may also have taken place in the synagogue (Mt 10:17; Mk 13:9; Yamauchi 1992:783). The most important activity was "the reading and interpretation of scripture" (Stambaugh & Balch 1986:85). As for the number of Jewish synagogues, Edersheim ([1967] 1976:253-254) states that "at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem, that city had not fewer than 480, or at least 460, synagogues" (cf. also Yamauchi 1992:782).

There was a hierarchical organisation in the synagogue communities: from spiritual leaders and chief teacher, to elders (executive committee members), secretary, and attendant (similar to deacon) (Stambaugh & Balch 1986:49; cf. Yamauchi 1992:782). When the Johannine community had a controversy with the synagogue, it is most likely that these leaders would represent the synagogue.

However, one should note that the Jewish synagogue provided a primal basis for the first missionaries and Christian leaders to spread the Christian message as well as to gain a livelihood for themselves through contacts within the synagogue. An "important social function of the synagogue was to provide a sense of belonging and to facilitate contacts" (Stambaugh & Balch 1986:49). In other words, their message was, first, addressed to the Jews and the Gentiles attached to such a Jewish community (Stambaugh & Balch 1986:54-55). Secondly, in the synagogue, specific seats were assigned to merchants and craftsmen such as goldsmiths, tentmakers, and so on, enabling newcomers to contact those who practised the same kind of work to their benefit. On the other hand, it is not difficult to understand how, when these Christian leaders mentioned that Jesus was the promised Messiah (e.g., Ac 2:36; 3:20; 5:42; 9:22; 17:1-3; 18:4-5; 18:26-28), they received bitter opposition from the synagogue leaders who ultimately realised the threatening nature of their message against the unity of the synagogue communities.

The above information clearly shows that life around the synagogue represented Jewish community life. Although it was not altogether impossible to live physically without any association with the synagogue, as some were forced to live in that way, it was extremely difficult to make a meaningful life religiously, socially, and economically without it.

6.1.2 Jewish expulsion

The Jews' decision depicted in John 9:22 (cf. also 12:42; 16:2) is one of the most debated issues in Johannine studies, especially since the publication of Martyn's ([1968] 1979) excellent work History and theology in the Fourth Gospel. Hence, this has led to one of the most heated discussions in the scholarly exploration concerning the origin and history of early Christianity. Martyn ([1968] 1979:24-36, especially 30) proposes that John's Gospel, especially John 9, indicates the two-level drama: the 'back there' level, which was the time of Jesus' ministry, and the contemporary level, which was the time of the Sitz im Leben of the Johannine community. As strong evidence, Martyn ([1968] 1979:38) appeals to the expressions of a) the Jews, b) had already agreed, c) the messianic confession of Jesus, and d) the expulsion from the synagogue, which are all found in 9:22 (for more evidence, cf. Martyn's book). In addition, Martyn concludes, as Okure (1988:13) sums up, that "the present Gospel was written to console and strengthen the faith of the Johannine community after the trauma of its ejection from the synagogue following the promulgation of the Birkat ha-Minim ... introduced by R. Gamaliel II at the Council of Jamnia (ca. A.D. 90)". However, many critics no longer adhere to this Jamnia hypothesis.90 Nevertheless, Martyn's significant and overall insight that the Gospel speaks of the historical circumstances of the Evangelist's time remains the fundamental understanding of the text. Carson (1991:361) remarks that "most scholars discount the details, yet still hail the work as a valuable support of the received tradition".91

This section focuses on the knowledge which the characters and the reader are supposed to have concerning the expulsion from the synagogue. The following question may help us understand the issue: Does the text of John 9 refer to the situations of both Jesus' earthly ministry and John's own day?

Scholars who advocate the view that the text only refers to the historical situation of the Johannine community contend, as Koester (1995:64) states, that

[t]he statement as it stands seems to be a creative anachronism. There is little evidence that a group of Jewish authorities made a formal agreement to expel Christian Jews from the synagogue during Jesus' own lifetime, but the farewell discourses do say that expulsion from the synagogue would be a threat for Jesus' disciples after his return to the Father (16:2).92

Accordingly, this is naturally followed by the conclusion that the Johannine community's conflict with the synagogue shaped this Gospel.93

In contrast to this dominant opinion, there are scholars who express other views. Firstly, critics who express skepticism or hesitancy towards the suggestion to refer to the later day situation are Dodd ([1953] 1968:80), Morris (1971:488, footnote 35) and Reinhartz (1998a:134), because no definite information concerning the details is available. Secondly, others hold that the Gospel speaks not only of the situation of the Johannine community's struggle, but also of the oppositions experienced in Jesus' own time.94Thirdly, although there are few scholars, I shall also refer to their view which is worth noting. These scholars95 promote the view that the Jews' decision may not need to be anachronistic at all. Hengel (1989:117) demonstrates that the fact that Jesus had an intense debate with the Jewish leaders and was crucified by them is a sure indication of the existence of such a critical situation in Jesus' own time. Carson (1991:372) is of the opinion that Messianic fever "might well have been enough for some authorities to invoke bans and threats of excommunication in various local synagogues" (cf. also Michaels 1984:153). Fourthly, Davies (1992:299-301) argues that the story of John 9 should be taken as an illustration or example for biblical texts such as John 10 and Luke 6:22, and that believers were encouraged to build a strong Christian community. She states that "the structure of a narrative takes on a dynamic of its own, irrespective of historical veracity" (Davies 1992:301). On another front, "With humility and good humor", Reinhartz (2008:72, 76) recently proposed that the expulsion passages might function only as a graphic warning against synagogue participation.96

The issue as to whether or not the Jews' decision is anachronistic depends, to a large extent, on one's understanding of this expulsion, especially regarding its nature, duration and scope. There could basically be three possibilities for this expulsion: "(a) ... the minor ban of about a week's duration; b) ... a more formal banishment lasting thirty days ... (c) ... the solemn curse or excommunication imposed by Jewish authorities, permanently excluding one from Israel" (Brown 1966:374).97 Those who follow the anachronistic mention that this was formal, permanent and nationwide, or even worldwide, as long as the synagogues existed.98Conversely, those who consider it less anachronistic maintain that the decision was informal and local, and not necessarily permanent.99

Let us again examine Martyn's evidence derived from the expressions in 9:22. The term Jews could refer to the opponents of both Jesus and the Johannine community. The messianic confession of Jesus, in connection with the wording had already agreed, most likely points to the situation of John's day only. Available evidence before us concerning the expulsion from the synagogue cannot determine the details. But, in light of the content of the story in John 9, the Jews' decision appeared to be formal, because of the forensic tone and setting of the narrative, and permanent, because of the utmost fear of excommunication. It is uncertain whether or not the scope of this exclusion was local, for the narrative leaves no clue to resolve it. As a result of these brief observations, both situations of Jesus' time and John's day could involve the action of expulsion in some way or another. Nevertheless, admittedly, the separation between Christians and 'the Jews' becomes ever clearer and deeper towards the end of the first century CE (Wenham 1997:149; Reinhartz 1998a:135; Klink 2008:117).

Taking into account the above arguments (of course, the above discussions can by no means be exhaustive) and the qualification that the details cannot be reproduced with absolute certainty (Rensberger 1988:26; Stibbe 1992:61), I would agree with the view that the text refers to the situations of both Jesus' earthly ministry and John's own day. In other words, the author relates to and deals with the Sitz im Leben of the Johannine community by depicting an account during the time of Jesus' ministry,100 and this account does not necessarily need to represent every detail of what exactly happened then. Therefore, I would consider John 9 as a two-level drama in the sense that it aims to describe the life of both Jesus including his immediate followers, and the Johannine community concurrently in an artistic narrative. In my opinion, the language of the text points in this direction (for more on this point, cf. the section on 'CS' in 9:22).

Finally, the reference to the Jews' agreement in 9:22 presupposes that the characters such as the Jewish authorities and the parents knew of the existence, nature, duration and scope of such an agreement. If the parents as ordinary people knew it, the neighbours and others should also have known it. However, the narrator's way of presenting this information in the text suggests that the reader does not know this decision, which is said to have been agreed upon in Jesus' time.

6.1.3 Relationships between the characters

The knowledge for the specific conversation between the Jews and the blind man's parents is as follows:

In terms of social and religious status, the Jews were superior to and more authoritative over the parents, because the parents were summoned by the Jews for interrogation.

Both parties are assumed to have known that the man was of age.

Both parties are assumed to have known that the man called Jesus existed.

Both parties are assumed to have known the Jews' agreement expulsion.

This cluster presents the dialogue between the Jews and the blind man's parents. Only one conversation between them is recorded. The remainder of the cluster explains the circumstances under which the dialogue took place, in a way that the narration is provided before and after their conversation. Structurally, this cluster can be divided into three subclusters. The first subcluster is colon 28, which shows the setting for their dialogue. The second subcluster is made up of cola 29-30 and presents their exact dialogue, which appears to be the centre of this cluster both structurally and semantically. The last subcluster, composed of cola 31-33, is the explanation by the narrator of the reasons why the parents answered in the way they did. The important dialogue is, therefore, structurally sandwiched or wrapped by the narrator's telling both at the beginning and in the end (cf. Menken 1985:208).

6.2 Overview and structural analysis chart

 

 

I shall make seven initial remarks for this cluster D.

1. The frequent usage of both the coordinate conjunctions and the pronouns can be observed throughout the cluster. In this sense, the author seems to be conscious about cohesion. Regarding this trait, the author uses a coordinate conjunction in every main clause in this cluster, except colon 31.101 Colon 31 may, therefore, indicate an important change in the story, as will be noted below.

2. The question-answer form in the dialogue brings a dramatic element to this cluster, even though the cluster is made up of both the dialogue and the narration.

3. The reference to the healing miracle may continue to remind the reader of the works of God.

4. The references to the identity of the miracle worker in the parents' answers and to the Jews' decision concerning Christ also remind the reader that Jesus' identity was still the centre of the whole issue.

5. There is an inclusio between the first and the last cola (cf. section 6.3.3).

6. Du Rand (1991:100) points out that "[t]he build-up in verses 18-21 is arranged in a parallel". The repetitions (e.g., son, to see, born blind) and the frequent reference to the blind man are remarkable and emphasise the sign by Jesus (Du Rand 1991:100).

7. There are significant structural markers such as the Jews, not to believe, parents, to know, to see, son, born blind, he, his, him, and therefore.

Hence, these aspects may contribute towards making this cluster cohesive.

6.3 Microspeech acts

6.3.1 The first subcluster (9:18)

The complex sentence in colon 28 forms this first subcluster on its own. In 28, the main clause basically has three subclauses forming two units. While the first two subclauses, 28.1 and 28.2, form one unit, the next subcolon 28.3 forms the other unit. In terms of their relationships to the main clause, the first unit is the object of the main verb Ιπίσκυσβν, and the second displays a qualificational-setting (time) relationship. The first unit consists of 28.1, and 28.2 discloses the contents of what the Jews did not believe, namely that he had been blind and had received his sight.

9:18 Ουκ έπίστευσαν ουν oi Ιουδαίοι irepl αύτοΰ οτι ήν τυφλός καΐ ανέβλεψέν έως οτου έφώνησαν τους γονέις αυτου του αναβλέψαντος

a) General analysis

The conjunction ουν in 28 indicates the continuation from the last cluster, especially referring to the blind man's answer in colon 27, by means of a logical-reason-result relationship. This conjunction and the negative attitude of the Jews towards him, indicated by the content of 28, may imply that his answer was not acceptable to them. Thus, the main clause tells of their unbelief concerning the blind man. Although the importance of the antithesis of belief and unbelief is gradually disclosed as the story develops, this is the first time in this Chapter that the explicit word for this theme is mentioned. The thematic word is the aorist verb έπίστευσαν.

Subcolon 28.3, the second unit, is the temporal adverbial subclause that limits the action of the main verb by introducing its relation to time. In other words, the beginning of the action in this subclause becomes the point at which the main verb's action ends.102 The addition of οτου, which sometimes follows the conjunction έως, makes no difference to the meaning. In terms of the author's choice of sentence structure, Louw (1982:77) points out that, "if the author wishes to say something (deep structure) he will choose a specific form (surface structure) in which to say it". This statement may help us note the significance of why the author chooses this particular sentence form for colon 28. In fact, he could have expressed the same semantic content in a different form, such as that the Jews believed him when they called his parents. He has other choices, but chooses the form he used in this instance. Why? It is most likely that the author has a clear picture of what he wants to convey to the reader. The author may intend to stress the unbelieving attitudes of the Jews.

Another point I wish to note is the use of the articular participle του αινφλίψαντος in 28.3.1. Since this may modify the preceding word αυτου as an adjective more comprehensively than a simple adjective, it is best translated by a relative pronoun clause. Thus, the entire subclause 28.3 is rendered as until they called the parents of him who had received his sight. Barrett (1955:299) points out that "αύτού του άνοφλεψάντος may be an Aramaism", but the phrase is, as Brown (1966:373) comments, "repetitious and awkward". Lastly, I should mention the following regarding this subcluster. Semantically, why did the Jews summon his parents in particular?103 Why did they not call one of the neighbours or his relatives for more investigation? As the Jews were not satisfied at all with the blind man's answer, they were anxious to find anything that might minimise or even destroy his testimony (cf. Pink [1945] 1968:82; Morris 1971:486; Boice 1977:49). Under these circumstances, his parents were the best choice for the Jews, because they were the ones who really knew him the best, especially concerning his congenital blindness.104 The Jews may have expected that the parents would reveal some secrets about their son, which nobody else knew. This expectation may be disclosed in their dialogue in the next subcluster. In the meantime, this verse renders: The Jews, therefore, did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind and had received his sight, until they called the parents of him who had received his sight.

b) Illocutionary act

The narrator intends to inform the reader of the circumstances of the next dialogue between the Jews and the blind man's parents. The narrator's utterance is, therefore, a speech act of informative.

c) Perlocutionary act

The reader should accept the way in which the narrator introduces the new dialogue, which logically follows the previous scene. The narrator intends to create suspense by not giving any detailed introductions of either the Jews or the parents. Thus, the reader is supposed to understand the basic characteristics of the Jews from his reading up to this Chapter.

d) Communicative strategy

Since the narrator's utterance describes the event in the story world for the sake of the reader's understanding, I shall discuss the communication on the character and text levels simultaneously. The introduction of new characters such as the Jews and the blind man's parents indicates that this dialogue constitutes a new scene. The author continues to deploy the principle of stage duality to focus on the dialogue between these characters in this scene. The author lets the narrator play a significant role in this utterance, specifically in the following ways.

1. Firstly, is this new scene totally independent from the previous one? Or is there any relevance between this dialogue and the previous one? The answer is: the narrator connects this new and the previous dialogues by upholding the Relation Maxim. Upon hearing the blind man's reply that the miracle worker was a prophet, the Jewish authorities (represented by the Jews) did not believe his answer, perhaps became even more hostile, and suspected collusion between Jesus and the patient (Bernard 1928:332). Mainly because of their unbelief, though they may also seek a solution to the dilemma (Carson 1991:368; Culpepper 1998:176), the Jews decided to summon the parents of the blind man for more information about the healed person. Hence, the narrator establishes a smooth transfer between these two scenes. One should not forget, however, that two aspects of the narrator's point of view make this possible. One aspect is omniscience, his psychological point of view (Culpepper 1983:21). The narrator provides the Jews' internal view that they did not believe the blind man. Without this inside information, the Relation Maxim cannot function properly in this utterance. The other is reliability, an ideological point of view (Culpepper 1983:32). However, the meaning of the term should be, as Culpepper (1983:32) notes, distinguished "from both the historical accuracy of the narrator's account and the 'truth' of his ideological point of view". In this reliability, the narrator's "function is to facilitate communication of the author's ideological or evaluative system to the reader" (Culpepper 1983:32). In other words, the narrator presents the correct value system whereby the reader can evaluate the characters' speeches and actions. The narrator shows in verse 18 that the blind man's perception of the miracle worker was correct, and that the Jewish authorities were supposed to believe the blind man's reply. The reader should, therefore, welcome this narrator's reliability, for the narrator bestows his instructions on how the reader should read this particular narrative story. It is a 'lamp' to the feet of the reader. In order for the reader to accept the narrator's reliability, the narrator is assumed to be observing the Quality Maxim.

2. Secondly, the narrator repeats the same description of the blind man (who had received his sight). Is the narrator flouting the Quantity Maxim? To answer this question, it would be helpful to view this aspect in the domain of Textual Rhetoric. It seems that the narrator makes an effort to clarify the person (signified by the pronoun αυτου) by means of the repetition at the beginning of this new section. In this sense, the narrator appears to uphold the Clarity Principle at the expense of the Economy Principle. However, there are two objections to such an interpretation. In the Greek text, why does the narrator use the pronoun άύτού in the first instance (notice that the narrator upholds the Reduction Maxim) if he wants to clearly identify the person concerned? The narrator could have simply used the designation, the blind man. Similarly, why does the narrator need to clarify the blind man despite the fact that the reader knows the blind man from his reading up to this point? Based on these objections, one can conclude that the narrator is not trying to clarify the person. The narrator is, therefore, not upholding the Clarity Principle. Rather, he is observing the Expressivity Principle in order to emphasise the blind man's state of affairs before and after the miracle, prior to the start of the interrogation by the Jews. If this is correct, the answer to the original question as to whether or not the narrator is flouting the Quantity Maxim should be affirmative. The narrator prefers expressivity to quantity in this depiction.

3. Thirdly, the narrator's utterance in the domain of Textual Rhetoric also observes the End-Focus Maxim of the Processibility Principle by placing new information, namely that the Jews ultimately summoned the parents (although the fact that they did not believe the blind man in the beginning is also new information to the reader). Moreover, this utterance adheres to the End-Scope Maxim, for the negative particle ούκ appears in the first part of the utterance (in fact, at the very beginning of the Greek sentence). On the other hand, there could be another possible violation of the Clarity Principle. The utterance would have been clearer or would have shown a direct relationship between message and text if the narrator had expressed the same semantic content in different surface structures: the Jews believed the blind man's reply (to a certain extent?) when they called his parents. It is easier for the reader to decode the message this way, for the utterance can be formed in a way that is not negative, but in affirmative. In this sense, the narrator's original utterance flouts the Sub-Maxim of Negative Uninformativeness. This Sub-Maxim "implies that a negative sentence will be avoided if a positive one can be used in its place. Moreover, it will imply that when negative sentences ARE used, it will be for a special purpose" (Leech 1983:101). This special purpose would be that the narrator chooses expressivity over clarity, in this instance.

4. The fourth contribution of the narrator to this utterance has something to do with the Manner Maxim of the Interpersonal Rhetoric domain. In this verse, the author's use of the word 'Jews' is striking. While this term is frequently used in the Fourth Gospel, this is the first time it is employed in this Chapter. Thus far, only the word 'Pharisees' is used to denote the Jewish authorities (in Chapter 9). The following questions arise. Why does the author suddenly use the word 'Jews' in this instance? Is there any significance in his employing this term instead of the term 'Pharisees'? Is the author introducing a new group of characters in the scene? Or does he want to distinguish between the roles of the Jews and those of the Pharisees?

Generally speaking, the term 'Jews' designates the people of Israel or the Jewish people, as opposed to non-Jewish people. Obviously, this is not the case in this instance, for all the characters in the scene appear to be Jewish. One must, therefore, find the meaning in a narrower sense. Some may answer 'yes' to the fourth question, stating that, while the Pharisees may represent the group of people that play the role of the Jewish religious authorities, the Jews may denote the group of people that perform the role of the Jewish political authorities. However, it is known that the Jewish religious authorities were almost identical to the political figures in those days. In fact, the high priest acted as the head of the Sanhedrin, the supreme judicial and administrative council of Israel. Hence, it makes no sense to distinguish their roles in this way.

Although the term 'Jews' in this Gospel is used in various ways, in the majority of cases it refers to the Jews that are hostile towards Jesus, especially the Jewish leaders, according to Von Wahlde (1982:45, 47-49, 54; cf. Bratcher 1975:404). This also seems to be the case, in this instance. It is certainly ambiguous and confuses the reader when the characters' designation changed from the Pharisees to the Jews without any warning, while the narrator seems to let them play the same kind of role. Even if Schnackenburg's (1980:249) view that by making the change "the evangelist certainly intends to indicate the official character of the interrogation" is accepted, the narrator is surely transgressing the Manner Maxim in this instance (cf. also Holleran 1993b:368; O'Day 1995:656). With this kind of transgression, an implicature is essential to determine what is being communicated.

5. According to Leech's (1983:41-42) Heuristic Analysis as a means to arrive at an implicature, the first step is to form a hypothesis about the aim or intention of an utterance with the help of background information regarding the context and background assumptions that the speaker is adhering to the usual conversational principles. To apply this step to this utterance, particularly to this term, I propose a hypothesis that the Jews, in this instance, were one of the Pharisaic groups who were present when the division arose in the last cluster. This hypothesis can be formed for the following reason: in the last cluster, it is reported that there was a division among the Pharisees. They were mainly divided into two groups:

the skeptical and the believing groups. If this observation is correct, one can assume that the people who summoned the parents of the blind man in verse 18 may be this skeptical group, because the conjunction and the content of the main clause indicate their unbelieving attitudes towards the blind man's claim. The probability is that the author may try to maintain this division and identify the people who summoned the parents by providing a terminology especially for them. In this particular co-text, the Jews may, therefore, not denote a new group, but rather the group of people who were the skeptical Pharisees portrayed in the last cluster.

The second step is to check the hypothesis against available evidence. As the narrator is assumed to be observing the Quality Maxim, the use of the term 'Jews' is no mistake; it is intentional. As the narrator is assumed to be observing the Quantity Maxim in the sense that the narrator has no need to add extra information, the utterance itself is complete. As the narrator is assumed to be observing the Relation Maxim, the utterance reflects the content of the previous section as the immediate co-text (background). This means that there is some connection between these Jews and the characters in the previous cluster, as strongly indicated by the inferential conjunction ούν. The main characters on stage in the previous section were the Pharisees and the blind man. It is logical to assume that the Jews had something to do with the Pharisees, not with the blind man. The last question arises. In what way did the Jews relate to the Pharisees?

The original hypothesis tells us that the Jews were one of the Pharisaic groups present at the time of the schism. The division most likely occurred between two groups who were skeptical and believing. Because of the Jews' unbelieving attitude, one can assume that only the skeptical and hostile Pharisaic group was referred to as the Jews in this new section. This is an implicature derived from the narrator's flouting of the Manner Maxim, and this can suit the present co-text without posing any huge problems. Therefore, this can be, what Leech (1983:42) calls, the default interpretation, which may not be the perfect but the most likely interpretation. Holleran (1993:368) states that "from this point on the narrator speaks no more of 'sympathetic Pharisees'". In addition, some scholars (e.g., Morris 1971:485; Duke 1982:185; Dockery 1988:18) support this kind of conclusion.

6. The above observation also conforms to the larger co-text. It may be helpful to remember some insights about the Jews from the sections on 'Mutual story beliefs' (section 4.5 in Chapter 3). The open attack of the Jewish authorities, especially the Jews, on Jesus started with his healing on the Sabbath in John 5. Therefore, the Sabbath controversy became one of the serious reasons that made them hostile towards Jesus. The intense conflict between Jesus and the Jewish authorities gradually developed. The Jews were even determined to kill him. Jesus severely criticised the Jewish authorities, especially the Jews, for their unbelieving attitudes. The Jews showed their hostility towards Jesus more than the Pharisees did.

7. Traditionally, the majority of the critics believe that the term 'Jews', in this instance, is interchangeable with 'Pharisees'.105 Brown (1966:373) maintains: "The variation is not sufficient indication that the descriptions of the interrogations come from different hands" (cf. also Schnackenburg [1968] 1980:248; Bultmann 1971:334, footnote 5; Carson 1991:368). My own observation does not go beyond this traditional view, but clarifies the term further. However, my observation differs from a more rigid view such as Tolmie's (2005:388) remark that Ιουδαίοι refers exactly to the same group of characters that are portrayed in 9:13-17". Tolmie (2005:388) comes to this conclusion based on "the fact that it is rather difficult to find a convincing argument" for changing the term. He divides past suggested explanations into seven groups (Tolmie 2005:388):

i. The author likes to vary his terms.

ii. It indicates that the author addresses contemporary issues in the Johannine church.

iii. It is the result of the editorial process.

iv. It is an attempt to indicate the official character of the interrogation.

v. 9:18-23 comes from a different source.

vi. The emphasis on the quality of unbelief evokes this identification.

vii. It may be an indication of the radical hardening of attitudes.

The fact that there has been no convincing argument may be because no satisfactory explanation has been explicitly offered for this phenomenon. Within this present state of affairs, I propose the following:

The author intends to identify the Jews who interrogated the parents as the unbelieving group among the Pharisees.

As argued earlier, as far as the story of John 9 is concerned, the last view would make most sense to me for this change of title in terms of the author's (narrator's) language strategy. I shall indicate, at a later stage, that this view would be in harmony with another change of title in 9:40. One may object to my method to restrict this conclusion only to John 9, for these terms are used throughout the Fourth Gospel. However, such a method should not be considered invalid when dealing with terms that are employed differently depending on the context (cf. Von Wahlde 1982:33, 47; Davies 1992:290). For instance, Bratcher (1975:404) contends that the expression of the Jews should be analysed and translated in each occurrence, and, according to his method, he summarises four different meanings for the term in the Gospel.106

e) Summary

By way of the informative speech act, the narrator intends to report the circumstances of the new dialogue between the Jews and the blind man's parents to the reader. The author allows the narrator to contribute to the aim of the utterance both by adhering to the Maxims of Relation, Quality, End-Focus and End-Scope, and the Expressivity Principle and by flouting the Quantity and Manner Maxims, the Clarity and Economy Principles and the Sub-Maxim of Negative Uninformativeness. The Manner Maxim plays a significant and covert role in the author's change of the term Jews. By using these communicative strategies, the author again draws the reader's attention and interest at the beginning of this new scene.

6.3.2 The second subcluster (9:19-21)

This second subcluster records the conversation between the Jews and the blind man's parents in the question-answer form. According to this form, this subcluster can be divided into two units. The first unit, colon 29, records the Jews' question to the parents, and the second, colon 30, gives the parents' answer to them. Remember that this subcluster is the centre of the cluster. It shows a new development in the story.

9:19 και ηρώτησαν αύτούς λέγοντες, Ούτος εστιν ο ύίος ύμών, ο ν ύμείς λέγετε οτι τύφλος έγεννηθη; πώς ούν βλέπει άρτι;

a) General analysis

In colon 29, the conjunction και links this and the previous sentences by means of an additive-different (consequential) relationship, indicating that the Jews' inquiry is a natural course of events derived from their summons. The aorist verb ηρώτησαν in conjunction with another aorist verb εφώνησαν in 28.3 suggests that this interrogation of the blind man's parents happened once as a simple action, not as a repeated action.

Subcola 29.1 and 29.2 form a unit, which describes the contents of their inquiry. In 29.1, the Jews inquired about the issue of the identity of the blind man, in which they asked two items. While one is a simple question as to whether or not he was their son, the other is whether or not he was born blind. These are 'confirmative' questions and appear to be introductory inquisitions. Although they are introductory, the impression is that the way in which they are asked seems to be complex. As mentioned earlier, the Jews may have expected strange, if not outright contradictory information against the blind man's testimony from the parents' answers to their elementary questions. When the Jews asked about his blindness, they added the words ον υμής λέγετε in 29.1.1 to suggest that the parents only claim that their son was born blind. This implies that he had perhaps not been blind from birth. The emphatic υμείς particularly implies that the Jews did not believe it (Plummer [1882] 1981:208). They seemed to be trying to dig into the details by asking basic questions. Barrett (1955:299) remarks that the phrase "ον υμείς λέγετε οτι τυφλος έγεννηθη is a mixed construction".

Before the parents answered the question in 29.1, the Jews asked another question in 29.2. When a question is asked, the answer usually follows immediately. Thus, in reality, it could be that these questions were not asked simultaneously, but on two separate occasions or in sequence. For the sake of compactness, however, the author may have combined them. At any rate, in our present text, the Jews asked these questions on one occasion. The content of the second inquisition once again concerns the way in which the blind man gained his sight. Holleran (1993b:366) avers how "is the typical question of unbelief" (cf. also 9:15, 21, 26; 9:10). The present indicative verb βλέπει serves to emphasise the present state of the blind man, namely that he can see. The adverb αρτι further increases such a notion, denoting now. This means that the author lets the interrogators ask the same kind of question three times (9:10, 9:15, 9:19). These appeared in a row since cluster B. This question is, therefore, important and strengthens the cohesion between the clusters. By now, the reader knows the process of his gaining sight, while the Jews in the story did not appear to know the details of this. As mentioned earlier, if these Jews were the skeptical and unbelieving group, they should have known this, because they were also present when the Pharisees interrogated the blind man. Another problem must thus be solved. Why did they ask the same kind of question again? Maybe they had a hidden agenda and wanted to obtain a different answer to that of the blind man (cf. Schnackenburg [1968] 1980:249). Hence, they tried to ask his parents the same question. Therefore, the questions the Jews asked in colon 29 displayed their desperateness to find some information prejudicial to both the blind man, and ultimately Jesus. This verse thus reads: And they asked them, saying, "Is this your son, about whom you say that he was born blind? How then is he able to see now?"

b) Illocutionary act

The Jews basically asked the blind man's parents two different kinds of questions. The first is a real question, in which the speaker wants to know the answer (Searle [1969] 1980:66). The second question is an examination question, in which the speaker wants to find out whether the hearer knows the answer (Searle [1969] 1980:66). These Jews had already asked the blind man the same question in verse 15 and they, therefore, knew the answer from the blind man's perspective. Yet, they wanted to find out whether the parents knew, and if so, to hear their answer. Accordingly, these utterances are successful speech acts of question.

However, these utterances have an additional illocutionary force. The Jews had a hidden agenda as their primary aim in asking these questions, namely to deny the miracle. The possible reasons for the Jews' interrogation of the parents have been mentioned in the course of the analysis in the last utterance. What about the purpose of their interrogation? The focus is on what was the Jews' specific intention in summoning the parents. Since the Jews had already heard the miracle event from the man directly involved, one can assume that they were not simply interested in obtaining further information. The fact that they did not believe in the man's answer suggests that their action appeared negative or hostile. Hence, it is most likely that they intended to deny the miracle by discrediting the blind man's testimony in the trial (cf. Pink [1945] 1968:82; Boice 1977:49; Morris 1971:486). "Probably they want to hear divergent views and play them [the blind man and the parents] off against each other" (Schnackenburg [1968] 1980:249). They may want to discover some mistakes in the previous witnesses, including the neighbours (Carson 1991:368-369). They "now cross-examine the parents, in strict fashion" (Bernard 1928:333) by asking "three questions in legal form" (Plummer [1882] 1981:208). If this observation is correct, the additional speech act of these utterances would be assertive. The schema of assertives by Bach and Harnish (1979:42) is as follows:

Assertives: (affirm, allege, assert, aver, avow, claim, declare, deny (assert ... not), indicate, maintain, propound, say, state, submit) In uttering e, S asserts that P if S expresses:

i. the belief that P, and

ii. the intention that H believe that P.

When this schema is applied to these utterances, the following is obtained:

In uttering "Is this your son, about whom you say that he was born blind? How then is he able to see now?", the Jews deny that the miracle happened if the Jews express:

i. the disbelief that the miracle happened, and

ii. the intention that the parents do not believe that the miracle happened.

As the speakers appeared to express their disbelief and intention, as described earlier, the additional speech act of these utterances is assertive. However, the two illocutionary forces do not imply that this utterance is an indirect speech act, because it does not need to be "repaired" (cf. Levinson 1983:270; section 1.1 in Chapter 2). Briefly, in these utterances, the Jews intended to ask the parents about three legally relevant questions: the identity of the blind man, the state of his blindness at birth, and the process of his healing (cf. Holleran 1993b:369). In asking these questions, the Jews intended to deny the miracle, as deduced and inferred from what was said in their utterances.

c) Perlocutionary act

The parents should answer the Jews' questions adequately, explaining truthfully that their son was born blind and relating what happened to him when he met the miracle worker. The additional intended perlocution of the Jews on a different level is not so much concerned with changing the parents' belief about the miracle event, but more with procuring some evidence from the parents to support what the Jews wanted to believe or do, namely the denial of the miracle.

d) Communicative strategy

1. I shall discuss the communication on the character level. From a speech act perspective, the Jews' second question poses somewhat of a problem, for they already knew the answer to the question regardless of how they obtained it. Even though their question can be regarded as an examination question, it still violates the sincerity condition in one sense and violates the Quality Maxim. Our speech act analysis needs to explain this violation by implicature. It would be better to examine it by taking their first question into account.

It was indicated in the previous cluster (cf. the section on 'CS' in 9:17a), from the way in which the Pharisees formulated their question to the blind man, that those Pharisees seemed to admit the reality of the healing. This indication is significant to some extent, because it allows two possible options concerning the interpretation of these utterances. If the Pharisees admitted the fact of the miracle, why did the Jews ask the blind man's parents questions that would lead to their further doubting the reality of the miracle? Concerning their second question, why did they need to ask such a question that violates the sincerity condition?

Firstly, one possible explanation would be that the Jews were not yet fully convinced of the reality. They still found it difficult to accept the occurrence of the miracle. From a different angle, the Jews may have changed their approach in order to deal with the issue, for the approach to appeal to the Sabbath-breaking in the previous scene had failed, even in their eyes (cf. Duke 1982:185). They now tried to deny the miracle itself by asking about the identity of the blind man as well as his blindness from birth. Was he really their son, and was he born blind? They may have felt the need to confirm what they had heard. One way of doing so would be to find out whether the parents would give an answer compatible with their son's reply.

Secondly, the other explanation would be that, while they conceded to the fact of the healing, they asked these questions mainly because they wanted to discredit the testimony of the son (cf. Sanders & Mastin 1968:241; Fenton [1970] 1979:108; Michaels 1984:152). They had to achieve a certain aim in their utterances. In their opinion, they admitted the reality of the miracle, but did not want to accept this fact. Hence, they may have hoped that the parents would reveal something that could be used against his testimony.

These two explanations are particularised conversational implicatures carried by the saying of what was said. It is obvious that there can be more than one explanation. I would favour the latter implicature on account of the Jews' repetition of their second question. However, there is more to it than simply choosing the better explanation of the two. Although the two explanations indicate a difference in the Jews' attitude towards how they saw the reality of the miracle, there is hardly any significant distinction in terms of the aim of their utterances. Both explanations propose the negative purpose of their wanting to deny the miracle. Nevertheless, their aim was clear. However, the parents may have found it difficult to recognise this aim, because this was their first interrogation by the Jews. This means that the parents could not suspect any violation of Conversational Maxims. The violation of the Quality Maxim can only be perceived on the text level, and the implicatures are only meant for the communication between the author and the reader of the text (cf. Botha 1991a:69).

2. In the field of Textual Rhetoric, the Jews' utterances reduce the number of words used by virtue of the Reduction Maxim, through pronominalisation.

3. On the text level, the above analysis can reveal more about the communicative strategy, namely that, as a result, the reader is more drawn to the story's development, because the story becomes increasingly unpredictable and interesting by operation of the Interest Principle. As far as the above two explanations are concerned, it is important to notice that the Relation Maxim is assumed to be observed in the previous and present scenes in order to arrive at such implicatures.

e) Summary

The Jews asked the blind man's parents two questions with the aim of denying the miracle or discrediting the blind man's testimony. This aim is implicated by the violation of the conversational rules, especially the Quality Maxim. However, this illocutionary act with its associated perlocution was not realised by the parents, for the implicatures are meant for the reader. The author also deploys the Relation Maxim and the Interest Principle to create more interest in the reader.

9:20 απεκριθησαν ουν οι γονεις αυτου και ειπαν, Οιδαμεν οτι ουτος έστιν ο υιος ημων κα'ι οτι τυφλος έγεννηθη

a) General analysis

Colon 30 is the other unit under this subcluster. It discloses the parents' answers. One of the parents took the initiative to provide their answers. The structure of this colon is slightly complex. It can be further divided into two units. 30.1-30.3, containing the direct answers to the Jews' questions, whereas the second, 30.4-30.6, provides the parents' suggestion to the Jews. The former can be further divided into two smaller units, 30.1 and 30.2-30.3, according to what the parents knew and did not know about their son. Therefore, the analysis will be conducted according to these smaller units: 30.1 (v. 20); 30.2-30.3 (v. 21ab), and 30.4-30.6 (v. 21cd).

The conjunction ουν in 30 indicates the continuation from the last colon by means of a logical-reason-result relationship. Newman and Nida (1980:310) remark that this conjunction is "characteristic of John's style". In this colon, there are two main verbs, απεκριθησαν and ειπαν. Although, in such a case, the sentence should have two colons instead of one, this particular case is an exception. Louw (1982:110) explains this, stating that this is a case of referring to fundamentally the same and single activity by two verbal means. He adds that this can be justified based on the common Semitic usage of such expressions. The subject of these verbs, οι γονεις αυτου, is recorded for identification with emphasis.

What the parents knew about their son is contained in 30.1. The perfect tense verb οιδαμεν shows the intensive use to stress the present state of their knowledge (Fowler et al. 1985:292). They were certain that the blind man was their son, and that he was born blind. Their certainty is indicated by the indicative mood of the two verbs εσύν and εγεννηθη. Concerning the latter verb, this aorist passive verb of γενναώ is used, in this instance, with the meaning of being born, but the only difference of the verb's usage in comparison with that of 2.1.1 is the mood. While the verb, in this instance, is in the indicative showing certainty (Fowler et al. 1985:297), the same verb in 2.1.1 is in the subjunctive, showing probability (Fowler et al. 1985:298). The predicate nominative noun ύ'ιός with its article is modified by the genitive pronoun ημών, which emphasises their relationship. Therefore, the narrator records the parent's answer in this verse as follows: Then his parents answered and said, "We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind."

b) Illocutionary act

It is obvious that the speech act of this utterance is responsive, because of its content and function, as indicated under 'General analysis'. When Bach and Harnish's (1979:43) schema of responsives is applied to the text, the following is obtained:

In uttering " We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind", the parents respond that the blind man is their son and was born blind if they express:

i. the belief that the blind man is their son and was born blind, which the Jews have inquired about, and

ii. the intention that the Jews believe that the blind man is their son and was born blind.

Therefore, the parents intended to give a sincere answer to the Jews' question, in accordance with the conversational rules. However, there seems to be no illocution for the reader in this utterance, for the reader already knows this information.

c) Perlocutionary act

The intended perlocution of this utterance is to confirm the facts concerning the blind man by responding to their questions. The Jews should, therefore, accept the parents' answer. The perlocution for the reader is to impress him by reconfirming the blind man's identity and his birth defect.

d) Communicative strategy

1. On the character level, the parents' utterance does not violate any of the Conversational Principles nor Maxims in the domain of Interpersonal Rhetoric. In the domain of Textual Rhetoric, this utterance keeps all four Principles intact. As it retains a direct and transparent relationship between the message and the text, and as it is easy to decode, it observes both the Clarity and the Processibility Principles. The Economy Principle is adhered to because the text is shortened by virtue of pronominalisation without impairing the message. Although the parents' utterance was a simple answer, its implication was profound. They confirmed that the blind man was their son and had been born blind. The Jews could no longer deny the reality of the miracle, despite the intended perlocution of their last utterance. This is ironic, and the fact of healing was now fully established as a result of this parents' reply (cf. Sanders & Mastin 1968:241; Bruce [1983] 1994:214; Carson 1991:369). However, in the story, the Jews' unbelief appeared to prevent the Jews from overtly accepting this reality of the healing despite the parents' solid testimony (cf. also the analysis of this in the section on 'CS' in 9:26).

2. On the text level, the author seems to have a textual strategy to reconfirm the blind man's identity and his birth defect for the reader via the parents, so as to highlight the certainty and power of the healing miracle once again. Because of the repeated information, the utterance has some rhetorical value in impressing the reader. Hence, it adheres to the Expressivity Principle, and the reader will again be surprised at Jesus' healing power. Since the parents' answer contains the same information as that which the reader already heard, it has no news value for the reader. In this sense, the utterance flouts the Interest Principle, and discourages the reader's interest. The tone of tension in the interrogation scene for the reader will be relieved for a while.

3. As pointed out earlier, irony can be detected from a speech act perspective. According to my knowledge, no critics have mentioned the occurrence of irony in this instance. According to the analytical outline for ironic speech acts (section 1.6 in Chapter 2), the irony may be indicated by the conflicting relationship between the text and co-text (cf. step A-ii-2). Since the parents' utterance upholds the Quality Maxim, they did not intend to use irony. Therefore, the utterance does not constitute verbal irony on the character level, but it does constitute situational irony on the text level. This is an instance of irony of event derived from the outcome of the interrogation that the Jews did not want (step B-ii-2-2). The Jews wanted to deny the miracle, but the parents' utterance has, ironically enough, established its reality. Hence, the Jews were the victims, and the observers would be both the author and the reader (there is no ironist). This irony functions as a means of portraying the Jews' frustration (cf. Turner 1996:47) and as a heuristic device to clarify the reader's interpretation of matters that were not so simple to the Jews (cf. Muecke [1969] 1980:232). As this is not intended, it may not be stable irony.

e) Summary

The parents' utterance is a straight answer to the Jews, thus a typical speech act of responsive. It appears to uphold all the conversational rules, except the Interest Principle, on the text level. With their answer, the fact of the miracle was now fully acknowledged (not necessarily by the Jews). Its implication was immense, and leads to an instance of irony of event. The author, however, does not use any other elaborate literary technique to produce such an effect, but simply allows the parents to confirm the facts about their son.

9:21ab πως δέ νυν βλέπει ουκ οιδαμεν, η τις ηνοιξεν αυτου τους οφθαλμους ημεις ουκ οιδαμεν

a) General analysis

In 30.2 and 30.3, we are informed of what the parents did not know. Therefore, these subcola form a smaller unit. 30.2.1 contains the content of their ignorance. They did not know how he gained his sight. The focus is again on their son's present status.

A repetition between 29.1-29.2 and 30.1-30.2 is structurally important. This repetition is a synonymous parallelism. Although there are some minor omissions and changes of certain words and punctuation, the basic contents, the word order, and the use of words are markedly identical in these sentences. Regarding the parallelism between 29.2 and 30.2.1, the author changes the adverb from αρτι to νυν. Bernard (1928:333) indicates that "αρτι is a favourite word in Jn., and signifies 'at this moment', as distinct from the vaguer νυν, 'at the present time'". The author may also have a clear purpose for changing the coordinate conjunction from inferential, ουν, to adversative, δε. The latter conjunction in 30.2.1 is used to contrast their ignorance with their knowledge in 30.1. As a result, the author places more emphasis on a sharp antithetical parallelism between 30.1 -30.1.2 and 30.2.1-30.3.2.

The sentence structure of 30.3 merely repeats that of 30.2, so that these subcola may form a strong unit. In these structures, the objects of the verbs are placed at the beginning of the sentences, and the word order suggests that the contents of the parents' ignorance may be emphasised. Their ignorance was recorded in 30.3.1, namely that they did not know who had opened their son's eyes. This is a striking point in their ignorance, for the parents voluntarily added this remark, which the Jews did not even ask for. The author specifically identifies the referents who made such a remark in 30.3.2* for the sake of emphasis, by adding the nominative personal pronoun ημεις for the first time in the parents' answers. Bernard (1928:333) also points out that "[t]he parents repudiate with special emphasis any knowledge of the healer". Therefore, this verse reads: But how he now sees, we do not know; or who opened his eyes, we do not know.

b) Illocutionary act

Although it cannot be denied that all utterances in verse 21 fall into the category of responsives, due to their syntactical structures in this co-text, it is more analytical to probe from a semantic point of view. If the parents really did not know what had happened to their son, according to their utterances' literal meaning, they would merely be asserting their ignorance of the details of the healing event. The additional illocution of their utterances would be assertive. However, these utterances are not indirect speech acts, because there is no indication that the literal meanings expressed in them are inadequate in this co-text. There is no need for these to be rectified by some inference (cf. Levinson 1983:270). Since the Jews as the hearers accepted the parents' literal answer (indicated by v. 24) on the character level, the utterances can be concluded as (responsive) assertive. The following is the application of Bach and Harnish's (1979:43) schema of assertives on this text:

In uttering "how he now sees, we do not know; or who opened his eyes, we do not know", the parents assert that they do not know about the process of the miracle and the miracle worker if the parents express:

i. the belief that they do not know about the process of the miracle and the miracle worker, and

ii. the intention that the Jews believe that the parents do not know about the process of the miracle and the miracle worker.

However, on the author-reader level, the other side of Presumption of Literalness should perhaps be applied to the utterances. If it is obvious to the hearer (in this instance, the reader) that the speaker could not be speaking literally, the hearer must seek the non-literal meaning of that utterance. Strictly speaking, the parents did not try very hard to answer the Jews' second question in verse 19. It is my contention that the parents appeared to be avoiding giving a specific account of the son's recovery, even though they were fully aware of how their son gained his sight. They should have known this, because they were his parents! Besides, the larger co-text tells us that the miracle was a hot issue among the neighbours and the spectators as well as among the religious authorities. In this situation, the parents of the son, who was the sole beneficiary of the miracle, could not have been totally ignorant about the issue. Most expositors concur that the parents knew that the healer was Jesus.107 At the same time, one could consider the matter in this way, since the narrator in verse 22 strongly implies such a notion by reporting: "His parents said this, because they were afraid of the Jews". It is possible that, if they were not afraid of the Jews, they may have been honest about what they knew. However, it is a fact that they feared the Jews. Therefore, in this situation, it was clever to say, in a sense, that they knew nothing about the healing event so that they might be dismissed as unreliable witnesses (cf. Martyn [1968] 1979:33). Currently, politicians who are interrogated during investigations into supposed corruption still use this strategy of 'ignorance'. This could make them appear stupid, but it may perhaps be the best way to avoid any accusations, for then no clues are left for further interrogations. If the parents used this kind of strategy (it would not matter whether they did so unconsciously or intentionally), it means that they would have voluntarily admitted or confessed that they were totally ignorant, despite the fact that they possibly knew. When the reader perceives this aspect, it is most likely that the speech act of their utterances on the text level becomes concessive. This is a special case in that an additional illocution is identified separately on the text level. Bach and Harnish (1979:43) give the schema of concessives as follows:

Concessives: (acknowledge, admit, agree, allow, assent, concede, concur, confess, grant, own)

In uttering e, S concedes that P if S expresses:

i. the belief that P, contrary to what he would like to believe or contrary to what he previously believed or avowed, and

ii. the intention that H believe that P.

When this schema is applied to this text, the following is gained:

In uttering "how he now sees, we do not know; or who opened his eyes, we do not know", the parents admit that they do not know about the process of the miracle and the miracle worker if they express:

i. the belief that they do not know about the process of the miracle and the miracle worker, contrary to what the parents previously believed, and

ii. the intention that the Jews believe that the parents do not know about the process of the miracle and the miracle worker.

To summarise, the parents intended to let the Jews know that they did not know the details of the healing event. Their utterances have three illocutions: responsive, assertive (on the story level) and concessive (on the text level).

c) Perlocutionary act

The Jews should accept the parents' response. However, the author invites the reader to question the parents' answer, suggesting that there is something wrong with their reaction. In other words, the author intends to annoy the reader with the concessive speech act. In doing so, the author lets the reader wonder why the parents deliberately replied that they did not know the details, despite the fact that they as the parents of the healed man were supposed to know. The reader is thus compelled to read the story further.

d) Communicative strategy

1. In these utterances, there are many violations and adherences of the conversational rules, making these utterances complex and significant. I shall discuss the communication on the character level. Firstly, these utterances violate the Quantity Maxim in two ways. If the parents knew the details of the miracle, as strongly suggested above, they uttered less than they were required to say by this principle. The other way of violation is that the parents voluntarily told the Jews that they did not know who opened their son's eyes, information for which the Jews did not even ask. The parents said more than they were required to say. Why, then, did the parents include such a remark? Was it really necessary for them to add it? For the level of surface structures, the answers to these questions would be as follows. It could be difficult and nearly impossible to exaplin the first question. As for the second question, it was unnecessary. However, regarding the level of deep structures, the answer to the latter would be 'yes'. Providing the reason for this would also answer the previous question. That is, one can assume that the parents would become very aware of the change in their son's visual condition as well as of the reactions of the neighbours and the Pharisees to him at least from the scenes in which those people questioned their son. In these scenes, their questions also concerned the identity of the miracle worker, especially in colon 26 in the last cluster. Accordingly, the parents should also have known what the central issue was in this whole incident. They were, therefore, fully aware of what the Jews really wanted to know. They thus felt the need to express their ignorance about the wonder worker, even before being asked. At any rate, this identity question cannot be avoided. It is likely that the Jews would have asked such an identity question afterwards if it did not emerge at that time.

2. Secondly, these utterances were very clear in the expression. No one can misinterpret them, and thus the Manner Maxim is kept intact. Thirdly, if the parents knew the details of the miracle, their response was insincere. These utterances may result in the violation of the Quality Maxim. The most likely scenario deduced from this co-text is that, despite the fact that they knew the details of the miracle, they were so afraid of the Jews that they could not tell the truth. In addition to the critics mentioned earlier (in the section on 'IA'), Hendriksen ([1954] 1973:86), Michaels (1984:153) and Witherington (1995:184) also observed this. However, the fact that, technically, the parents could not testify about the miracle in the proceedings cannot be dismissed, for they were not eye-witnesses and had no first-hand knowledge (cf. Morris 1971:487; Lindars [1972] 1981:346; Beasley-Murray 1987:157).

3. Fourthly, these utterances demonstrate that the parents tried their best to deal with the Jews whom they feared, because they attempted to avoid silence in the interrogation. Strong fear often discourages a person to speak up and forces him to be quiet. Yet, the parents, in this instance, did not stop talking, and their utterances therefore observe the Phatic Maxim under the Politeness Principle. Fifthly, there is another way of viewing the parents' answer. It is possible, but not likely, that the parents may have answered for the sake of not only themselves but also their son. For the sake of their son, the parents did not give any information that might connect their son and Jesus. The parents did not reveal the information they should not reveal, by feigning their ignorance about the event. If we can suppose this, it means that the parents took the side of their son, protecting him from the Jews. In this case, these utterances adhere to the Morality Principle.

4. On the text level, from the point of view of the relationship between the parents and the son, it appears that the Interest Principle comes into play. Although parents are generally supposed to be aware of important changes in their child's life or development (if not everything about the child), the parents, in this instance) expressed that they did not know important information about their son. Their ignorance shows unpredictability, and hence their utterances are interesting to the reader. However, when the text is closely examined, their ignorance was, in fact, due not to ignorance, but to fear. They pretended to know nothing.

To understand the parents' utterances, an aspect of secrecy in the honour-shame world of the Mediterranean may shed some light on the subject. As introduced in the section on 'Secrecy' (section 4.1.4 in Chapter 3), secrecy was regarded as an internal family necessity to protect a family's reputation in the community. Perhaps the status of the blind man's family was very low in their community, for they "were so poor that their son had to make his living by begging!" (Hendriksen [1954] 1973:87). Moreover, 'poverty' in ancient society was not only related to the economy but also to power and honour. Thus, it is understandable that the parents would not want to lower their position further by being expelled from the synagogue and the community. The association of their son to Jesus became a secret that had to be preserved at all costs. Malina and Rohrbaugh (1992:204) report: "Secrets that might damage reputation are thus guarded by lying, deception, or whatever strategy is necessary to protect it."

5. In the domain of Textual Rhetoric, all the principles in my list are operative in these utterances (for the Diagram of Interpersonal and Textual Rhetorics, see Appendix 2). Firstly, on account of the clear message, these utterances adhere to the Clarity Principle and the Processibility Principle remain intact. Secondly, in both utterances, the new and heavy information (we do not know) is placed at the end (in the Greek text), the End-Focus and End-Weight Maxims are observed to enhance the quality of the utterances. Thirdly, through the use of pronomimalisation, the Reduction Maxim is also adhered to in these utterances. Fourthly, because of expressive repetition of information (we do not know) the Expressivity Principle is operating in the set of these utterances. This repetition leaves a strong rhetorical impression of the message on the hearers at the expense of the Economy Principle. Moreover, from the vantage point of Greek grammar, the use of ημεις violates the Economy Principle for the sake of emphasis.

6. Dockery (1988:20) remarks on this verse: "The humor and irony is overwhelming, for again the parents' stammering fear has boxed in the Jews." It is also because the "dilemma of the authorities is brought out by the double ούκ οιδαμεν of the parents, who mercilessly leave the authorities with the responsibility for their own judgment" (Bultmann 1971:335; Barrett 1955:299; Carson 1991:368). Since Dockery's remark qualifies a criterion for identifying a possible instance of irony (step A-vii), the parents' utterances are scrutinised according to the analytical outline for ironic speech acts (section 1.6 in Chapter 2). One should note that the utterances meet more qualifications for analysis (step A-ii-3, A-iii, A-iv and A-v). There may be at least two ironies: one concerns the parents, and the other relates to the Jews.

7. As far as the first irony is concerned, although the parents' utterances violate the Quality Maxim (step B-iv-2-c), it appeared that they did not take responsibility for creating a counterfactual speech act (step B-iv-2-3). In other words, it is logical that the parents, who so feared the Jewish authorities, were not in a position to employ irony in talking to them. Thus the utterances do not pass the test when the ironic speech act conditions (step B-iv) are applied. This entails that the irony should not be verbal irony, but situational irony, which could possibly be an instance of irony of self-betrayal (resulting from their weakness) or of dilemma (step B-ii-2). I would opt for the latter if a choice had to be made between the two, because the situation of dilemma in which the parents were placed was affecting them strongly in the way they said their utterances. Hence, the parents are the victims and the observers are the author and the reader. This irony of dilemma is perceived on the text level, and is used as a means both of expressing fear (cf. Turner 1996:47) and of involving the reader in the communication process of the text (cf. O'Day 1986:30).

8. As far as the second irony is concerned, this would be another instance of situational irony for the same reason mentioned earlier. This time, the victims are the Jews as Bultmann (1971:335) identifies them in the dilemma. The author and the reader are the observers; this irony is also located on the text level. As in the case of the first irony, there are two possibilities: irony of dilemma or of events (the Jews did not expect this outcome; they thought that the parents knew something about the healing). I would also opt for irony of dilemma, in this instance, for my view coincides with the above critics' remarks. This irony may be used as a means to express the Jews' frustration (cf. Turner 1996:47) and as "a mode of revelatory language" whereby the reader passes judgment on the character of the Jews (cf. O'Day 1986:31). It may also function "as a social device for group cohesiveness" regarding the author and the reader (Roy 1981:409).

9. These ironies of dilemma indicate the occurrence of the motif of suffering in the present text. The suffering experienced by the parents and the Jews may have a corrective purpose in order for them to return to "correct faith" in the God of Israel (cf. Boice 1977:24).

Various adherences and violations of the conversational rules are certainly indicative of the importance of these utterances in this text. In particular, the violation of the Quality Maxim and the fulfillment of the Morality Maxim lead to the suspicion of some hidden agenda or unspoken difficulty on the part of the parents. However, this implication should be explored further in the analysis of the next utterances, for the parents' utterances are closely connected with the ensuing ones. Their treatment as such gives a clearer picture of the events.

e) Summary

The parents' utterances are classified as a speech act of responsive and assertive on the story level and as a concessive speech act on the text level. The parents intended to provide some kind of superficial answer to the Jews' question, but they did not seem to reveal the whole truth. This leads the reader to doubt the sincerity of the parents in responding to the Jews. As far as the Jews are concerned, they were to accept the parents' answer at face value. The reader should notice the significance of these utterances due to the observation and violation of a number of conversational rules. Their significance can also be observed by virtue of the irony and the motif of suffering. Hence, the author deploys diverse communicative strategies to make the story more exciting for the reader.

9:21cd αύτον ερώτησατε, ηλικιαν εχει, αύτος περι εαύτού λαλησει.

a) General analysis

Subcola 30.4-30.6 tell of the parents' suggestion to the Jews (cf. the exact illocution of their utterances below). Subcolon 30.4 summarises the parents' suggestion that the Jews themselves should ask their son what they did not know. The word ερώτησατε is an aorist imperative verb, and thus usually denotes a command. This verb is one of Illocutionary Force Indicating Devices. In this case, however, is it really a command? Or is it perhaps a suggestion? Or is it a petition? This is an area where speech act analysis typically plays a significant role in understanding the text, because simple grammatical analysis cannot provide an adequate answer. Pratt (1977:86) also confirms this point:

Speech act theory provides a way of talking about utterances not only in terms of their surface grammatical properties but also in terms of the context in which they are made, the intentions, attitudes, and expectations of the participants, the relationships existing between participants, and generally, the unspoken rules and conventions that are understood to be in play when an utterances is made and received.

Therefore, I shall scrutinise the illocutionary force of their utterances more extensively in the following subsection.

Subcola 30.5-30.6 explain the reasons why the Jews should ask their son directly. While 30.5 mentions that the blind man was mature enough to relate his own story, 30.6 conveys the parents' confidence that he would speak for himself. Or, at least, the parents hoped to assure the Jews that he would speak. The noun ηλικιαν denotes years or span of life by itself. However, the words ηλικιαν έχει in 30.5 form an idiom meaning to be of age. Bernard (1928:333) reports that "ηλικιαν έχει is a good classical phrase". ηλικιαν έχει is often followed by an infinitive expressing what the person in question is of fit age to do. In this instance, the infinitive is provided: either "to respond rationally to inquiry" or "to make legal response" (Barrett 1955:299). In 30.6, the future tense verb λαλησει predicts an indefinite simple action (Fowler et al. 1985:290). The author may intend to make this action more definite by using the indicative future tense for the parents' words, because the author does not use a verb with the present subjunctive mood (the mood of probability or indefiniteness) (Fowler et al. 1985:298). The mood of the verb is also one of the Illocutionary Force Indicating Devices (Searle [1969] 1980:30; Yule 1996:49-50). Thus the parents said: "Ask him; he is of age, he shall speak for himself."

b) Illocutionary act

Traditionally, the general communicative function of the imperative sentence is a command or a request (Levinson 1983:263; Yule 1996:54). However, strictly speaking, this level of information does not at all help us analyse the intended meaning of the utterances spoken by the parents. In order to find it, we need to determine the illocutionary force of their utterances. When one reads the text, it is not difficult to tell that the utterances are not meant as a command, because, in order to classify an utterance as a command, the preparatory condition requires the speaker to have some kind of authority over the hearer. However, since it is obvious that the parents did not possess any superior authority over the Jews, these utterances cannot be a command. It suits our analysis better to change one of the previous questions as follows: What is the nature of their utterances, advice or petition? Holleran (1993b:370) takes it as a suggestion.

In the case of suggestions or advice, "what the speaker expresses is not the desire that H do a certain action but the belief that doing it is a good idea, that it is in H's interest" (Bach & Harnish 1979:49). According to Searle ([1969] 1980:67), "[a]dvising is more like telling you what is best for you". It is not likely that the parents meant the words to the Jews to be advice, because the alternative action which the parents 'suggested' was not in the Jews' interest, but in the parents' own interest. As they did not want to answer the questions themselves, they were trying to find a way of escape, because of their fear of the Jews. Indeed, they were in no position to give advice.

Why did the parents speak to the Jews in the way described in the text? The most likely scenario is that the parents were asking or begging the Jews to release them from the unpleasant situation. They were put in the position of responsibility to answer any questions the Jews may ask in their interrogation. The parents were afraid of saying something that would make the Jews believe that they were also followers of the wonder worker, Jesus. The immediate co-text, especially verses 22-23, supports this scenario. In addition, the majority of critics who comment on verse 21cd attribute the parents' utterances to their fear of the Jews.108Accordingly, their utterances should be considered a request or petition, and thus the speech act would be requestive under the general category of directives according to Bach and Harnish's (1979:47) taxonomy. Searle ([1969] 1980:66) lists felicity (necessary and sufficient) conditions for a speech act of request as follows:

Propositional content condition: Future act A of H.

Preparatory conditions: 1. H is able to do A. S believes H is able to do A. 2. It is not obvious to both S and H that H will do A in the normal course of events of his own accord.

Sincerity condition: S wants H to do A.

Essential condition: Count as an attempt to get H to do A.

When the utterances are analysed according to these conditions:

Propositional content condition: The Jews' future act of asking the blind man.

Preparatory conditions: 1. The Jews are able to ask the blind man. The parents believe the Jews are able to ask the blind man. 2. It is not obvious to both the parents and the Jews that the Jews will ask the blind man in the normal course of events of their own accord.

Sincerity condition: The parents want the Jews to ask the blind man.

Essential condition: Count as an attempt to get the Jews to ask the blind man.

Hence, the parents' utterances meet these conditions, and are thus a successful speech act. In order to validate the conclusion that the illocutionary force of their utterances is requestive, another issue must be solved. Strictly speaking, verse 21cd contains three Greek sentences. Since each sentence, being an utterance, is assumed to have its own speech act, how can we arrive at such a conclusion? In this instance, the concept of macrospeech acts should be used.

When we examine the three sentences, the first utterance, "Ask him", would be requestive, as analysed earlier. The second utterance, "he is of age", could be descriptive, and the last, "he shall speak for himself", should be a predictive speech act. However, these utterances constitute a sequence of speech acts that can be assigned one global speech act with one major purpose. Since the second and third utterances are explanatory speech acts regarding the first, they can be deleted in accordance with the Deletion macrorule. Consequently, the global speech act of these utterances may be said to have one major intention, namely requesting. Thus they should be classified as a requestive.

Briefly, the parents intended to beg the Jews to release them from the interrogation, implying that they no longer wanted to have anything to do with this matter (Neyrey 1998:93). The parents intended to opt out of the conversation. However, the author intends to shift the reader's attention from the parents to the blind man once again.

c) Perlocutionary act

The Jews should accept the parents' request to let them go. The reader should understand the parents' situation and await the story's development in the next section with a sense of thrill and suspense.

In the next dialogue scene, the Jews interrogated the blind man once again, at the parents' request. The Jews seemed to take no offence from the parents and simply accepted their utterances as a petition.

d) Communicative strategy

1. On the character level, the parents were responding to the Jews in the interrogation. As for the Cooperative Principle, all four Maxims seem to be observed in the parents' utterances. However, a further scrutiny of the Relation Maxim may be necessary. One of the aspects of this Maxim (be relevant) is kept intact. Because the parents said that they did not know the information the Jews required, it was logical for them to think that the Jews should ask the person who knew the information. In addition, this maxim states: "Make your conversational contribution one that will advance the goals either of yourself or of your addressee" (Leech 1983:42). In terms of the goal of the parents to opt out of the conversation, this Maxim is upheld in their utterances. The Jews aimed to obtain the necessary information from the parents. However, this is not likely to be accomplished, for the parents begged them to talk to their son.

2. As far as the Politeness Principle is concerned, the parents' utterances do not observe the Tact Maxim and the Generosity Maxim. Their petition did not minimise the cost to the Jews despite the fact that the Tact Maxim tells the speaker to minimise the cost to the hearer (Leech 1983:132). When the parents could not answer as required, the Jews had to make an effort to interrogate the son again. Although the Generosity Maxim tells the speaker to minimise the benefit to self (Leech 1983:132), the parents were to receive the greatest benefit from the action of the Jews. In this sense, they were not polite. However, the parents adhered to the Phatic Maxim, which encourages the speaker to avoid silence or keep talking (Leech 1983:141). When one understands the parents' extremely difficult position in relation to the Jews, one could accept the fact that the parents would keep their silence in order to save themselves and their son. This could be one tactic in such a dilemma. However, the parents did not prefer silence, and explicitly begged the Jews in their utterances.

3. The parents' utterances also indirectly violate the Tact Maxim in relation to their son. His cost and trouble were surely increased by their request to the Jews. Concerning his ability to be interrogated, the majority of the commentators agree that the expression "he is of age" indicates that the blind man was at least thirteen and was able to give legal testimony according to Jewish law.109 However, one wonders exactly how old he was. Was he thirteen or older?

In my opinion, he was older than thirteen. Stated boldly, he was perhaps in his twenties. This is speculation, but the available evidence strongly suggests this. Firstly, the use of the term ανθρωπον in 9:1 is one indication. If the author refers to a child of thirteen years or less, he should have used the term παις as it signifies "a boy between 7 and 14 years" (Brown 1975:283). Although this word (4:51), and its related words παιδιον (4:49; 16:21) and παιδΟριον (6:9) are found in this Gospel, he uses the term ανθρωπον to refer to the blind man.

Secondly, the term son in 9:19-20 does not necessarily signify a young boy, for adult males could be called sons in New Testament times. In fact, Malina and Rohbaugh (1992:349) indirectly endorse this: "Men were to some degree under the authority of their mothers throughout life, and any man who disobeyed his mother, even in adulthood, was considered dishonorable". And "[t]he emotional bond between mothers and sons ... remains the strongest such tie in Mediterranean life" (Malina & Rohbaugh 1992:300). Thus, the use of the word son does not refute the notion that the blind man was grown-up.

Thirdly, the most important factor under discussion may be the ability of the blind man to argue with the Jewish authorities in the next dialogue scene (9:24-34). The way in which he conversed with them displays his wit, courage, knowledge and eloquence. It is unreasonable to think that a thirteen-year-old boy had such qualities, even in a society in which adulthood began in the early stages of male life. According to Malina and Rohbaugh (1992:27, 300), at the age of seven or eight, adulthood was considered to begin in New Testament times because it was the time when a boy would enter the world of men: "But the movement was social rather than psychological" (Malina & Rohbaugh 1992:27). Adulthood was perceived in terms of social structure, not in terms of personal or psychological development. In order to have an intense discussion with authorities in the way the blind man did, one needs to be mature enough as a person. Attaining adulthood in Palestinian society does not guarantee that a person could reason well with others. Thus, the notion of early adulthood does not favour the notion that the blind man was approximately thirteen. Rather, his ability shows that he was older than that.

Furthermore, Osiek and Balch (1997:64) report that the gap was generally recognised between a young man's physical and social maturity in the Roman world: "he assumed an adult toga about sixteen but had to wait well into his twenties before being taken seriously". They also state that "in the Roman republic and early empire, there had been laws prohibiting young men from assuming offices before their twenties" (Osiek and Balch 1997:64). It is conceivable that the essence of the above information can apply to Palestinian society. The fact that the Jews took the issue concerning the blind man seriously strongly suggests that he was treated as a full-grown adult. Hence, the blind man could have been in his twenties.

As a result, although the uncertainty about his age still remains, he could have been a great deal older than thirteen. In this sense, I would agree with Morris (1971:487) who states that the expression "he is of age" probably refers to the age of being able to reason rather than that of legal responsibility.

4. In keeping with real-life stories, this story also contains complex aspects of human life. We can point out, for example, that the parents' behaviour was not costless to themselves, despite all the benefits they may have gained from their request. Malina and Rohbaugh (1992:118) state that children in Palestinian society were supposed to provide security and protection for their elderly parents. If the blind man had not regained his sight, it might have been unrealistic for the parents to expect any security and protection from him in their old age. However, after the healing he might have been able to take care of his parents. Nonetheless, the parents chose to opt out of the interrogative situation at the expense of their son, instead of acquiring security and protection in the future. This ultimately means that they would abandon their own son. They judged that the present predicament was much harsher than the future problem. Nevertheless, their judgment also cost them a great deal. This shows the complexity of human life, and is indeed indicative of how the parents' situation was disastrous for them.

5. I shall now discuss the communication on the author-reader level. Duke (1982:186) finds irony in the parents' utterances, as far as their fear of the Jews is concerned. However, he does not provide any details as to the kind of irony involved, nor how it functions in the story. At first glance, one may find sarcasm, a form of irony, in these utterances. The parents would then be saying sarcastically, "Do not ask us about this. You are wrong to come to us anyway. Instead, why don't you ask our son yourselves?" This is improbable. The parents did not share equal status with the Jews of whom they were too afraid. Thus, according to my analysis, the irony, in this instance, is not verbal irony but irony of dilemma. This is inferred from the dilemma in which the parents, as the victims of this irony, were compelled to answer the Jews' questions, on the one hand, and not to answer, on the other. Since the observer of the irony is the reader, the irony is located at the text level (the author-reader level). It is not as significant as verbal irony. However, it helps the reader understand the parents' difficult position and interpret their utterances accordingly. The reader should sympathise with the parents and should do so with all those who experience the same kind of predicament, if the story of John 9 is a two-level drama, as Martyn ([1968] 1979) suggests. Nevertheless, in the narrator's comment in verse 22, the author indicates that the parents' action is not recommended for the reader.

Another irony may be identified regarding the use of reader victimization. I shall discuss this later. It can be dramatic irony, in which the irony can be perceived by the author's knowledge, as both the ironist and observer, of what the reader as the victim has yet to find out.

6. In the field of Textual Rhetoric, the parents' utterances uphold the Economy Principle by using the Reduction Maxim (pronominalisation). The parents designated their blind son as he or him. Morris (1971:487) comments on the significance of these pronouns: "In avowing their ignorance of the identity of the Healer they use the emphatic pronoun" (cf. also Plummer [1882] 1981:208). Although the utterances also seem to observe the Transparency Maxim, due to a direct and transparent relationship between the message and the text, they seem to transgress the End-Weight Maxim, because more important information is not placed at the end, but at the beginning of the utterances.

7. In the field of Interpersonal Rhetoric, the parents' utterances surprise the reader. This constitutes an instance of the operation of the Interest Principle. Firstly, Malina and Rohbaugh (1992:179) point out: "Socially and psychologically, all family members were embedded in the family unit. Modern individualism simply did not exit. The public role was played by the males on behalf of the whole unit, while females played the private, internal role." If what they describe of the respective roles of males and females in New Testament times is correct, the author's use of the term parents surprises the reader, because the husband and wife were fulfilling a public role together in this interrogation. In "a patriarchal social structure in which the male household head held precedence" (Barton 1992:100), the head of the household was supposed to come to the fore and act as the representative for the whole family. It is thus logical to assume that the blind man's father articulated the utterances, even though the author attributes the utterances to the parents.

Secondly, although the parents' answers in subcola 30.1-30.3 may be what the reader is able to anticipate from the previous events, their petition is probably not what the reader can expect by simply following the story. The reasons for this are twofold. One reason is that the reader does not know of the Jews' shocking agreement that is about to be exposed. The other reason is that the reader does not really know what kind of parents they were. The reader cannot, therefore, predict their (re-)actions and thoughts (for this aspect, cf. the next paragraph). In this sense, the author breathes 'fresh air' into the ongoing drama and creates more suspense. Subcola 30.4-30.6, especially subcolon 30.4, can be considered as the highest focal point of this entire cluster D. The parents who were being focused on on stage tried to get the interrogators to focus on their son.

Furthermore, it is more interesting, in this instance, that the parents' message betrays the reader's expectation. The parents are supposed to be protective towards their children. According to social scientific data relating to Palestinian society in New Testament times, "[c]hildren were the weakest, most vulnerable members of society. Infant mortality rates sometimes reached 30 percent. Another 30 percent of live births were dead by age six, and 60 percent were gone by age sixteen" (Malina & Rohbaugh 1992:117; Osiek & Balch 1997:67). It is amazing that a physically disabled person such as the blind man could have survived thus far in a society of this nature. Hence, the fact that the blind man was still alive may be indicative of his parents' love and protection. Yet they handed the responsibility to answer the Jews over to their own son. As pointed out earlier, they tried to get out of the troublesome situation at his expense. This cold attitude is extremely surprising. However, the author will inform the reader of the reason for their cold attitude in the next verse. Nevertheless, the author tactically discloses the reason only after surprising the reader first.

One should note that some critics make severe comments on the parents' cold attitude in their request. Rensberger (1988:47) criticises the parents:

The terrible perfidy of this remark is perhaps the most shocking thing in the entire story. The parents have not only tried to shield themselves from scrutiny, they have deliberately turned the inquisitors' attention back upon their own son, knowing full well that he will be subject to the very sentence that they themselves are afraid to face.

Howard-Brook (1994:224) even considers their attitude a sin: "It is not just their denial of knowledge, but their passing the buck to their son that is their 'sin'". However, Hendriksen ([1954] 1973:86) offers an opposite opinion: "It is possible that the intimate knowledge which these parents had with respect to the talents and character of their son - his ability to defend himself, ready wit, and courage - had something to do with their desire to let him speak for himself." In my opinion, this may be possible, but unlikely, because, if this were the case, the parents could have provided their own answers to the interrogators' questions. In this case, the parents' feelings of fear would have nothing more to do with their reply, for the basis of Hendriksen's opinion lies not in the parents' situation, but in their son's potential capacity. The narrator's explanation in the next verse will not make a great deal of sense. Therefore, it is more likely that the parents' request manifests their cold attitude, as analysed thus far. To this, Morris (1971:487) adds: "Their reply is characterized by timidity and a complete readiness to submit to the authority of their questioners." Rhetorically, the parents "serve as a foil for their son in the following scene, who will show himself to be of sterner stuff" (Holleran 1993b:371).

8. In relation to the above observation concerning the Interest Principle, we should pay attention to an important communicative strategy of the author. The starting point of this strategy is the fact that the parents, by uttering their request, attempted to disengage themselves from the dialogue with the Jews. They were unwilling to cooperate, as is required by the Cooperative Principle. Of course, this jeopardises the Cooperative Principle. However, the reader's position at this point, brought about by the parents' (sudden and unusual) request, is of more significance. Since the beginning of this Chapter, the reader has shared privileged information with the author which the characters in the story often did not have. However, for the first time in this narrative, the author entraps the reader or manipulates him by not providing information about the reason for the parents' petition. Both the author and the parents (and, of course, the Jews) know of the astonishing agreement by the Jewish authorities mentioned in verse 22. Only the reader does not know this (dramatic irony). The profound effect is that the parents' request surprises the reader. The intended perlocution of this reader 'victimization', to use Staley's (1988:95) term, is to make the reader re-examine the way in which he should read the story; force him to explore any possibilities of deeper meaning in the text; make him understand how severely the Jewish opposition against Christ affects ordinary people such as the parents; make him grasp how difficult it is to obey God rather than to obey (authoritative) men, and, most of all, make him realise how significant this fourth scene is in the entire narrative of Chapter 9, as this special technique of reader victimisation is used only in this fourth scene. The author thus designs the whole structure of his narrative in order to have the maximum rhetorical impact on the reader. On account of this, it is worth noting that my speech act analysis also supports the view that this fourth scene is central in the structure of Chapter 9.110

e) Summary

The theory of speech acts successfully determines and describes the parents' utterances in John 9:21cd as a requestive global speech act: petition. The parents wanted to escape from the burdensome situation by begging the Jews to interrogate their son and not them. In their utterances, while the Politeness Principle plays a significant role in the characters' organisation of their speech act, the important factor that enhances the communication between the author and the reader is not irony, but the observation of the Interest Principle and the technique of reader victimisation. The author thus effectively increases the reader's interest in the story.

Because colon 30 constitutes an independent colon, a global speech act should be determined for verses 20-21. From the above analysis, their utterances in verses 20 and 21ab can be considered responsive speech acts. Their utterances in verse 21cd are a requestive global speech act. In this sense, it is difficult to find a global speech act that embraces these two speech acts, for the reply and the petition are two different acts. However, considering that their petition was articulated in the process of replying to the Jews, the sequence of these different speech acts can be mapped into a responsive global speech act by the Construction Rule. This means that the parents replied to the Jews with direct answers as well as their petition.

After hearing their request in the dialogue, it may be natural for the reader to have a negative or awkward impression of the parents. Some questions would arise in his mind. How could the parents react like that? They should have taken action in order to protect their own son. Instead, they seemed to abandon their responsibility as parents. What kind of parents were they? The narrator will answer these questions in the next subcluster.

6.3.3 The third subcluster (9:22-23)

The power of the omniscient narrator is demonstrated throughout this third subcluster, in which he explains the reason behind the parents' strange behaviour. In his explanation, this subcluster can be divided into two units. The first unit is cola 31-32 and exposes the shocking information shared among the characters. The second unit is colon 33, which can be regarded as an appendix. However, this colon is structurally important for two reasons: it functions as the closure of this cluster and it forms an inclusio in this cluster with colon 28. The contacting points (or parallels) between cola 28 and 33 in this inclusio can be the words his parents and him who is identified as the blind man. The inclusio increases cohesion within a given unit.

9:22 ταϋτα ειπαν οι γονεις αύτοϋ οτι έφοβοΰντο τους Ιουδαίους· ηδη γαρ συνετεθέιντο οι Ίουδαιοι Ίνα έαν τις αυτον ομολογηση Χριστον, αποσυναγωγος γένηται.

a) General analysis

Although each colon of the first unit, namely colon 31and 32, is an independent colon, these cola are so closely connected that they will be treated as a unit of analysis.111 Colon 31 mention the direct reason for the parents' strange response: they were afraid of the Jews. The object of the main verb ειπαν is the accusative plural pronoun ταύτα, and it may be conventionally translated as this, despite the plural form. This pronoun may summarise what precedes in subcola 30.4-30.6; thus colon 31 is linked to them by means of a logical-reason-result relationship. The conjunction οτι in 31.1 introduces the parents' reason, denoting because. The key word is the imperfect verb εφοβούντο which demonstrates a continuous action of fearing (Fowler et al. 1985:288-289).

The above reason certainly does not provide an adequate explanation, because the riddle of why they feared should also be solved. The conjunction γαρ, in colon 32, indicates a logical-reason-result relationship between colon 32 and colon 31, introducing an explanation sentence. The pluperfect middle indicative verb σύνετεθειντο suggests that the action of the verb is already completed with certainty, emphasising the subject of the action. This verb is again one of Illocutionary Force Indicating Devices. The subject οΠούδαιοι and the verb with the adverb ηδη add considerable significance to the Jews' decision (cf. 'The Jewish expulsion' in section 6.1.2).

The embedded clause, 32.1, basically mentions the content of their agreement. One should note that the εαν clause in 32.1.1 is the subordinate clause of the ινα clause in 32.1 and is placed in the middle of the same clause in the Greek text. The structural analysis chart of colon 32 displays this syntactic relationship. Regarding the nature of the subclause in 32.1, the majority of English translations of this clause do not hint at a purpose force and simply translate it only as the object of the main verb σύνετεθειντο (e.g., KJV; NASB; RSV). However, the subordinate conjunction Ίνα plus the subjunctive mood verb γενηται should form a purpose clause, in this instance (Fowler et al. 1985:285). Consequently, this clause may indicate not only the content, but also the purpose, and should be rendered as such. The co-text is also inclined favourably to this view. This purpose clause is also indicative of the illocutionary force of this utterance. The use of the word αποσύναγώγος which occurs only in this Gospel in the entire New Testament, is salient (Bernard 1928:334; Nicol 1972:144; Lindars [1981] 1992:132). In this Gospel, it is used only three times (12:42; 16:2). Does the author's choice of this word reflect any particular (historical) situation at the time of his composition of this Gospel? As this historical question is a fundamental issue in understanding John's Gospel, it was already discussed in the section on 'The Jewish expulsion' (section 6.1.2). In addition, since a speech act approach will also address this, I wish to discuss it in more detail in the section on 'Communicative strategy' below. In 32.1.1, the conditional conjunction εαν plus the aorist subjunctive verb ομολογηση , forms a conditional clause.112

Hence, colon 32 reveals the shocking information against those who tried to publicly confess Jesus as the Messiah. In this sense, this colon should be regarded as a pivotal point in the cluster, because it is assumed that this information had a tremendous influence on the characters.

For those who opposed Jesus, it was a pleasant and assuring decision that should have been explained to the people of Israel. For the blind man's parents, it was a real and present threat that might endanger their existence, because it was common knowledge that anyone, who would be expelled from the synagogue, would also be excluded from society. He was not allowed to have any social or family life. He would be socially dead. This adequately explains the parents' strange response.

From these observations, this verse is rendered as follows: His parents said this, because they were afraid of the Jews; for the Jews had already agreed so that, if anyone would confess him to be Christ, he might be put out of the synagogue.

b) Illocutionary act

The narrator intends to reveal to the reader important information that makes sense of the parents' abrupt petition in the last utterances. However, this information was kept secret up to this point in order to have a strong effect on the reader. This information is given in such a way that the subsequent speech act (the second utterance) explains the former speech act (the first utterance). Although the second utterance is also an indispensable piece of information for the story, it may be deleted by the Deletion macrorule to assign one global speech act to this sequence of speech acts in this instance. Or, as each of the utterances is an informative speech act, the sequence of these speech acts can form a new informative speech act by virtue of the Construction macrorule (e.g., the parents stated this, because they were afraid of the Jews' agreement). In my opinion, this second approach is more acceptable, and the important proposition of the second utterance need not be deleted. However, be that as it may, the narrator's utterances in this verse can be considered a speech act of informative; it correctly follows the schema of informatives and is thus successful (cf. this schema in the section on 'IA' in 9:1).

c) Perlocutionary act

The reader should be surprised and enlightened by the narrator's information about the Jews' threatening situation which Jesus' followers were facing. In other words, the reader should understand the reason for the parents' strange response and sympathise with them in their efforts to escape from this difficult position by begging the Jews to interrogate their own son.

d) Communicative strategy

1. The narrator's comment, in this instance, is "a most interesting commentary" (Schnackenburg [1968] 1980:248), and is aimed at making the reader understand the story. The author's communicative strategy will be discussed mainly on the text level. In the field of Textual Rhetoric, the utterances uplift the End-Focus Maxim and End-Weight Maxim, because the new information is placed towards the end of the text. The Greek clause αποσύναγώγος γενηται is, in fact, has a strong meaning. Moreover, these utterances adhere to the Reduction Maxim by virtue of pronominalisation.

2. In the field of Interpersonal Rhetoric, the informative global speech act of the narrator is a successful example of how the Relation Maxim enhances the communicative goal of the speaker. By the unexpected response of the parents in the last utterances, the reader is completely lost in the narrative, wondering what is happening in the story. This betrays the reader's expectation that the parents should protect their child from any trouble. He has no clue as to where the story is heading. To him, the story now becomes unpredictable. He is no longer walking with the author. Reader 'victimization' degrades him to a lower level. However, the author prepares to do something about the gap between himself and the reader. The author allows the narrator to fill the gap with his narration (cf. Holleran 1993b:370). The Relation Maxim rigidly operates in this narration. The narrator explains the exact reason for the parents' unusual request. When the reason is unfolded to the reader, he should be simultaneously astonished and relieved by the information supplied. He can now grasp the situation. His uneasiness regarding his position in the communication process with the author will fade away. The author once again lifts the reader to his former position in terms of knowledge about the story. Thus, the author excites the reader's emotions, and deepens his interest in the present story. This is much more effective in the communication process than to merely disclose the important information plainly. In this particular way, the author observes the Relation Maxim (be relevant): "Make your conversational contribution one that will advance the goals either of yourself or of your addressee" (Leech 1983:42).

3. As briefly explained earlier in the section on 'Pratt's display text' (section 1.4 in Chapter 2), Pratt (1977:132-151) strongly argues for the notion of display texts to describe the characteristics of literary works. Pratt (1977:140) states that we "expect narrative literary works to deal with people in situations of unusual conflict and stress, unusual for the characters if not for us". It is one of my contentions that this seems to be exactly what is happening in the story of John 9, in general, and in this verse, in particular, and that this narrative can thus be classified as display texts. In order to substantiate this assumption, I shall examine the narrator's utterances in this verse according to the following two characteristics of display texts: assertibility and tellability. Generally speaking, Pratt (1977:138) mentions that assertibility and tellability mean that information contained in an utterance is new and interesting. In this sense, these characteristics are in accordance with the Interest Principle.

As for assertibility, Pratt (1977:134) further clarifies it, saying that "for an assertion to be appropriate, it must not be obvious to both speaker and hearer that what is being asserted is true. Or, put another way, an assertion will be inappropriate unless there is a real or supposed chance of its being false". As far as tellability is concerned, "information does not have to be new to be tellable; it only has to be unusual or problematic: (Pratt 1977:137).113 If it is unusual or problematic, it has news value. Therefore, it can be displayed. In my opinion, this trait is also manifested in our text.

In verse 22, the narrator interrupts the progress of the story with the statement concerning the Jews' shocking decision, which displays the characteristics of both assertibility and tellability. In the mind of the reader who has been encouraged by the author thus far to have strong faith in Jesus, what the author is saying, in this instance, via the narrator is not likely to be true. It should be false. If it is true, it discourages the reader. In other words, such an agreement may not have taken place, and it is more likely that there would not have been any problems. However, the narrator, who has been reliable and trustworthy, claims that there was. Thus, the information is assertible and tellable. This information vividly portrays the characters' difficult and problematic situation. With this tellability, the author is exactly aiming at, what Pratt (1977:136) describes as, the goal of the speaker (cited here again for the sake of clarity):

In making an assertion whose relevance is tellability, a speaker is not only reporting, but also verbally displaying a state of affairs, inviting his addressee(s) to join him in contemplating, evaluating, and responding to it. His point is to produce in his hearers not only belief, but also an imaginative and affective involvement in the state of affairs he is representing. He intends them to share his wonder, amusement, terror, or admiration of the event.

It is , from the beginning of Chapter 1 up to this point, that any action against the belief in Christ is not the behaviour that the author expects. This is one of the essential viewpoints of the author. In our text, the author, by displaying the astonishing state of affairs, intends the reader to adopt the same viewpoint. He is trying to share his wonder and terror about the decision with the reader, and invites the reader to contemplate, evaluate, and respond to it positively. Although the recommended behaviour for the reader is not verbally expressed yet (this will be revealed later in the sixth scene), the author probably wants the reader to stay calm and be faithful to his faith in Christ, even if there is severe persecution. By using the display text in this manner, the author communicates more than what the narrator says.

With regard to the earlier discussion of the display text, the text suggests that the motif of suffering is attached to the Jews' decision. For Jesus' followers, this was considered a severe persecution against them. According to Boice's (1977:23-26) three purposes of suffering (cf. section 6 in Chapter 3), their suffering, in this instance, is constructive in that they were encouraged to attain a more adequate faith. In addition, the Jews' decision indicates that they were also suffering, because they found it necessary to make such an agreement against their once fellow synagogue members. For the Jews, if Jesus did not lead their people astray (John 7:47; 11:47-48), the Jews would not have had to impose such a decision on their own people. From the Gospel's perspective, the Jews' suffering is corrective in that they might come back to 'correct faith' in the God of Israel.

4. As far as the Manner Maxim is concerned, the narrator's utterances have two aspects. The utterances flout it, due to the usage of the term Jews, for all the characters in this story were Jewish people. Yet the narrator uses this collective word, thus confusing the reader. However, as analysed earlier (the section on 'CS' in 9:18), this term points to the Jewish authorities (the same term in v. 18 signifies a more specific group within the Jewish authorities). Lee (1994:175) comments on these authorities: "The parents' fear and the threat of expulsion in 9:22 form the negative characterisation of the Jews." On the other hand, the same utterances keep this Maxim intact in a different aspect, as the message expressed is very explicit. No one could miss it. Similarly, the Clarity Principle in the field of Textual Rhetoric also operates in the storyteller's utterances.

5. In connection with the Quantity Maxim, the author's strategy of secrecy and information control is highly effective in his communication with the reader. The author controls the information in the narrative in order to surprise the reader, to fill the gap in the reader's knowledge, to leave a clue to the reader's understanding of the story, to provide an ideological perspective from which the reader can interpret the story correctly, and so on. To maximise the impact on the reader, the author chooses the time, the place, and the amount of information given according to his plan and organisation. The reader has already been exposed to this kind of information control in verses 1 (a man blind from birth), 3-5 (Jesus' statements), 8 (a beggar), 14 (Sabbath), 16 (schism), 17 (prophet) and 22 (the Jews' decision) thus far (cf. 9:29, 31-33, 35-37, 39, 41). It is striking that John's Gospel is fully organised with a high level of secrecy and information control (cf. Neyrey 1998:87-105). When the author and the reader share the controlled information, the reader becomes an insider with the author. However, when the information is tightly controlled and is not revealed to the reader, the reader becomes an outsider, except in the case of reader entrapment (cf. Neyrey 1998:92). Undoubtedly, one of the author's most controlled pieces of information in this Gospel is the Jews' decision described in this verse.

6. Johannine scholars have used the present text extensively in order to examine and understand the background of the composition of the Gospel and the formation of the community for which the Gospel was written (cf. 'The Jewish expulsion' in section 6.1.2). It is my contention that any scholarly work that studies John 9, particularly 9:22, will be inadequate unless it deals with this issue regardless of what kind of method is used. However, this has been the area in which historical approaches play the dominant and significant role, because this issue is fundamentally a historical question. Literary approaches simply do not have an adequate tool to address such an issue. More precisely, literary approaches are designed to explore the text's aesthetic aspects and meaning "which lies on this side of it, between mirror and observer, text and reader" (Culpepper 1983:4). Thus, literary critics are not concerned with historical issues. As noted in Resseguie's (1982:299) comment on John 9:22, "the narrative intrusion serves to identify the Sitz-im-Leben of the Fourth Evangelist, but it does not fit into the present narrative. However, if the intrusion is seen as a rhetorical device on the part of the narrator, it does fit smoothly into its context. The parents are a foil for the action of the healed man in the subsequent scene."

It is very useful to examine a text from literary approaches that identify and describe how a story is told, for this aspect has been neglected by historical criticism (cf. Stibbe 1992:5). The object of literary critics' endeavour is biblical narrative which, as Stibbe (1992:12-13) points out, is "a report in story-form of past history". In my opinion, it will be incomplete if a critic completely disregards the historical issues in biblical narratives, especially regarding a text such as John 9:22, 12:42 and 16:2; yet if he deals with it only from a literary perspective and without discussing historical issues, which the text seems to raise, it makes one wonder whether that does justice to such texts.

It is one of my theses that a speech act approach has something to offer to this problematic situation. Since speech act analysis emphasises the importance of context, it inevitably has to deal with historical context in order to better understand such a biblical text. This is obviously an advantage (cf. section 3.1 in Chapter 2), and differs from previous literary approaches that do not have an inherent relevant tool to address the problem. At least a speech act approach does not need to restrict itself to historical issues as other text-immanent approaches do on account of "an art-for-art's-sake mentality" (Stibbe 1992:12). This speech act approach may shed new light on the issue in this present text, by either confirming or calling into question previously held views (cf. Culpepper 1983:11).

Nevertheless, my analysis has to follow the methods that are permitted within this speech act approach, and cannot freely investigate historical issues as historical approaches do. Therefore, in my speech act analysis, the historical issue in this present text can be reformulated into the following question: Do the narrator's utterances, in this instance, observe the Quality Maxim (be sincere)? That is, does the narrator say what he believes to be true? In order to scrutinise this question, the rhetorical level of the real author-reader needs to be analysed, as the context, especially the historical context, plays a crucial role in determining this specific question concerning verse 22. However, one should remember that this is the only exceptional case in taking this level into consideration in my speech act analysis of John 9. I wish to provide some notes to control our discussion.114

As is obvious from the definition, a text-immanent approach does not engage in the so-called historical issues. As mentioned earlier, one of the advantages of speech act analysis is that, while being a text-immanent method, it can utilise social and even historical context for a better understanding of the text because of the importance of felicity conditions in the speech event. In other words, it can employ historical and social data as aids to interpretation here (Culpepper 1983:11).

The above question relating to the Quality Maxim has two rhetorical levels to consider. One is the author-reader level, and the other is the real author-reader level. So far, when the terms author and reader are mentioned, they have simply meant the author and the reader. In this particular analysis of this verse, for the sake of clarity, I shall not abbreviate these terms.

I shall address the issue in the following order: i) Discuss the issue from the author's perspective; ii) Discuss the issue from the real (historical) author's perspective by utilising the insights (historical reconstruction) gained from the historical investigation, and iii) Compare the results and arrive at some conclusion.

Firstly, the issue is discussed from the author's perspective. Since the narrator is the voice of the author (cf. section 2.2 in Chapter 2), the narrator observes the Quality Maxim if the author keeps it intact. Thus, the issue can be examined and discussed from the author's perspective.

The author constantly depicted the conflict between Jesus, including his followers, and the Jewish authorities in the story until now, especially from Chapter 5. The author will continue to do so in the coming chapters. The author even uses the same Greek word αποσύναγώγος which is employed in 12:42 as well as in 16:2. These two texts also describe the opposition to those who believed in Jesus. Therefore, the conflict between Jesus (and Christians) and the Jews is one of the author's important themes in this Gospel. Moreover, all the co-texts of three instances of this Greek word give no clue as that the author is not telling what he believes to be true. Therefore, the author is observing the Quality Maxim in the narrator's utterances.

Secondly, the issue is discussed from the perspective of the real author, who is thought to be the flesh-and-blood author responsible for writing this particular narrative account. As discussed earlier in the section on 'The Jewish expulsion' (section 6.1.2), our main attention, in this instance, will be paid to the dominant view among the Johannine scholars, despite the current consensus that rejects the Jamnia hypothesis. Martyn ([1968] 1979)115 remains the prominent advocate for this view. According to him, the Jews' agreement of expulsion from the synagogue refers to the conflict between the Johannine community and the Jewish synagogue at the time when the Gospel was written. This historical view provides a definite basis to deal with the issue in question. In light of this, the real author blatantly fails to fulfill the Quality Maxim in the narrator's utterances (which tell of the Jews' decision), because the real author makes the author tell something that did not, in fact, happen in the story time. The question arises: What is the reason for this serious rule-breaking on the part of the real author? Speech act theory believes that this rule-breaking communicates more than simply what is mentioned in the utterances.

In this instance, the flouting of the Quality Maxim indicates that the real author had something to say to the real reader, particularly as he was considered to be the original-historical reader for whom the real author wrote the Gospel. A few points can be suggested for this 'something'. The real author may intend:

  • to tell his understanding of the seriousness of the Sitz im Leben in which the real reader was placed.
  • to show his sympathy with the real reader in the conflict.
  • to give encouragement by telling that such a life situation was peculiar not only to the real reader, but also to anyone who would wish to truly believe in Jesus, as indicated in the story.
  • to give assurance that such a life situation could strengthen the real reader and lead him to a more adequate faith.
  • to exhort one to confess one's faith openly despite persecution or difficulties.

All of these points indicate that the real author wished to relate strongly to the real reader. The last three points, in particular, may express the real author's perlocution in the narrator's utterances. With this real author's strong wish, the story strikes the heart of the real reader, and becomes relevant, to the greatest extent, to the real reader. Accordingly, the narrator's utterances uphold the Relation Maxim. In addition, the real author would observe the Sympathy Maxim (maximise sympathy between them) of the Politeness Principle. The real author was very sensitive to the needs of the real reader, and knew how to secure and enhance the real reader's active participation in the story. For this reason, the real author dared to flout the Quality Maxim.

Thirdly, our task is to evaluate the above two observations concerning the perspectives of the and real authors. The vast majority of scholars consider that this text reflects the time when the Johannine community had finally separated from the synagogue (cf. Bauckham 1998). Even if one accepts the different view, which coincides with my view, that the text aims to describe not only the life-situation of the Johannine community, but also that of Jesus, including his immediate followers. Concurrently, the narrator's utterances analysed from both the real and the author's perspectives can yield the same result, namely that the authors intend to acknowledge the difficult life situation of the readers and to encourage them to endure the affliction. Whether the real author flouts the Quality Maxim or the author observes the same Maxim, does not change this result. Either way, the narrator's utterances make the meaning of the text plausible and deeper.

Incidentally, to discuss this issue with reference to my earlier view, the real author seems more concerned with the application that could be derived from history's implication (or with the relevance of Jesus' historical ministry) to the reader's life situation than with the history itself. Like modern preachers who often make a relevant application (and meaning) for their congregations from the elucidation of biblical texts, it is highly probable that the real author would have had the same purpose for his own community. These community members, who are considered a constituent part of the group of the real reader (for this aspect, cf. section 2 in Chapter 5), did not appear to know the Jews' decision imposed in Jesus' time, if the knowledge of the reader is taken as an index to that of the real reader. In light of this, the real author encourages the real reader by informing the difficult life situation in Jesus' time. The problem experienced by the real reader is not new, but something that Christians in the first generation also endured. Thus, the real reader should also be courageous and persistent. Even if the real author uses some anachronistic expressions in the process of giving a message to the real reader, this does not necessarily indicate that the real author would distort the 'history'. He may have had a different level of understanding of history in that he does not write every detail of the event faithfully, but only the core or essence of that particular event boldly (cf. Schnackenburg [1968] 1980:250).116 For instance, Nicol (1972:145) suggests that, in John's theology, "the historical Jesus and the exalted Christ living in the Church are identical, and therefore, he is concerned about the essential unity of the persecution of Jesus and of the Church. He writes history as a two-level drama, at the same time alluding to the present" (cf. Martyn [1968] 1979:30, 150-151; Hagerland 2003).

Although there is general consensus as to the relationship between the Sitz im Leben of the Johannine community and the composition of the Gospel, historical investigation seems to reach a dead end in identifying the exact historical event described in this verse (cf. Reinhartz 2008:76). This is indicated by the diverse interpretations proposed by various scholars thus far. Unless new evidence is produced, any attempt to reconstruct and interpret it historically does not go beyond the speculation. Thus, the historical issue around this verse will remain unsettled at least for now.117However, literary appreciation combined with the historical issue in this verse does not seem to be exhausted yet, as my analysis shows. In this instane, I wish to state that a speech act approach still has something to offer, something that is a different and fresh appreciation of the text.

e) Summary

The narrator intends to provide the reader with the important information about the reason why the parents spoke their previous utterances. The author may attempt to induce the reader's sympathy towards the parents, but may not necessarily attempt to justify their behaviour. Rather, the author wants to tell his understanding about the difficulty dealing with the serious opposition, and may intend to identify himself with any reader who is experiencing a similar kind of difficult situation. The reader should realise that any open commitment to Jesus will result in this state of affairs. The author employs various conversational Principles and Maxims, the notion of display text and the motif of suffering in order to communicate effectively with the reader. In addition, through the argument by the Quality Maxim, speech act analysis proves its usefulness even in the interpretation of the text that necessitates consideration from the historical context. The real author intends to acknowledge the difficult life situation of the real reader and encourages him to endure the affliction by flouting the Quality Maxim.

9:23 δώ τουτο οι γονεις αυτου ειπαν οτι Ήλικιαν έχει, αυτον έπέρωτησατέ.

a) General analysis

In Colon 33, the narrator gives another explanation concerning the parents' strange answers. The prepositional phrase δια τουτο in the main clause, is a type of idiom, like an inferential conjunction, that denotes for this reason. This reason refers to cola 31-32 (cf. Bernard 1928:334). The recitative subordinate conjunction οτι in 33.1, introduces a direct quotation of the parents' words. In 33.2, this conjunction may be omitted as an ellipsis. The content of the quotation is similar to that in subcola 30.4-30.5. In fact, subcola 33.1 -33.2 are a reminder or appendix for the reader;118 without this colon, the reader can still understand the content of the story. Therefore, this verse reads: For this reason his parents said, "He is of age; ask him."

b) Illocutionary act

The narrator's introduction regarding the parents' words differs, in this instance, from an introduction described in my analysis of verse 2. The aim of this introduction is more than simply to introduce the speaker, for the prepositional phrase δια τούτο has a distinctive role in expressing a reason-result relationship between verses 22 and 23, as analysed earlier. In this utterance, the narrator confirms the reason for the parents' seemingly strange response in verse 21. Therefore, the speech act of the narrator's utterance would be confirmative. The application of Bach and Harnish's (1979:42-43) schema of confirmatives to this is as follows:

In uttering "For this reason his parents said, 'He is of age; ask him'", the narrator confirms (the claim) that, for this reason, the parents said so if the narrator expresses:

i. the belief that, for this reason, the parents said so, based on some truth-seeking procedure, and

ii. the intention that the reader believes that, for this reason, the parents said so because the narrator has support for (the claim) that, for this reason, the parents said so.

As truth-seeking procedure, in this instance, refers to the Jews' agreement in the last verse, this utterance is a successful speech act of confirmative.

c) Perlocutionary act

The reader should appreciate that the narrator confirms the reason for the parents' answer in verse 21. Due to the repetition of their answer, the reader should perceive the importance of the information about the Jews' decision in the plot of the story and should recognise the closure of the dialogue between the parents and the Jews.

d) Communicative strategy

As the narrator's comment, in this instance, aims to help the reader understand the story, I shall mainly discuss the communication on the text level.

1. Firstly, the most notable communicative strategy employed in this utterance is the repetition of the parents' utterances in verse 21: "Ask him; he is of age." The reproduction of the same information jeopardises both the Quantity Maxim in the domain of Interpersonal Rhetoric and the Economy Principle in the domain of Textual Rhetoric. This is a very serious offence if the beginning of the narrator's utterance in verse 22 is also taken into consideration: "His parents said this because ..." Accordingly, the utterance in verse 23 is nearly entirely made up of the vocabulary used in the previous utterances. In the surface structure, it appears that the narrator merely reverses the order of the phrases to make this utterance. At first glance, the reader may be disappointed by this replication. The reader may even find it unnecessary, because he can still understand the story without this utterance. In this sense, the Interest Principle is also flouted, for the repeated information has no news value.

Why does the narrator make such a repetition? The reason may be that he has a higher motive for this. At the expense of the Quantity Maxim, the Economy Principle and the Interest Principle, the narrator highlights the Expressivity Principle. This means that the narrator is more concerned with effectiveness in terms of the expressive and aesthetic aspects of communication. By means of this duplication, the narrator may attempt to leave a great impression on the reader that the Jews' agreement was so important in the plot of the story. This point can be strengthened by the structural repetition found between colon 33 and colon 30, in particular subcola 30.4-30.5 in the second subcluster. This repetition is a synonymous parallelism. As far as subcola 33.1-33.2 are concerned, Plummer ([1882] 1981:209) suggests that "[t]his is the right order here". Bernard (1928:334) comments: "Note that the order of the words has been changed .... Jn. is not punctilious in his narrative about reproducing the exact words or the order of words." More precisely, however, this change in word order is due to another rhetorical feature, chiasm, which is also involved in this repetition.

John 9:21 30.4 αυτον ερωτήσατε, : a

30.5 ήλικιαν έχει, : b

John 9:22 31 ταύτα ειπαν οι γονεις αυτου : c

John 9:23 33 δια τουτο οι γονεις αυτου ειπαν : c

33.1 οτι Ήλικιαν έχει, : b'

33.2 αυτον επερωτήσατε. : a'

These features not only contribute to the cohesion in this cluster, but also impress the message that the author wants to convey to the reader. Hence, the author does not merely organise the utterance without thinking. Rather, he consciously and carefully places these words on the narrator's lips for the aesthetic achievement. Of course, the repeated message remains clearer and stronger in the reader's mind. Furthermore, in this repetition, the author wants to find the end for the present forensic dialogue between the parents and the Jews.

2. Secondly, this utterance observes the Manner Maxim, as the message expressed is very perspicuous. Thus, the Ambiguity Maxim (avoid ambiguity) of the Clarity Principle in the field of Textual Rhetoric is also adhered to. The perfect fulfillment of these Maxims is secured by the narrator's omniscient knowledge of the parents' inside information. Otherwise, the narrator must add an obscure expression such as perhaps or probably to the utterance. The fact that the narrator is confident in unfolding this information teaches the reader how to evaluate the Jews' agreement in relation to the parents. The author uses this engaging communicative strategy for the reader.

3. Thirdly, due to the reason-result relationship between verse 22 and this verse, the Relation Maxim also operates in this utterance. However, if the utterances in verses 21 to 23 are examined together, they reveal that this Relation Maxim is kept not only between verses 22 and 23, but also between verses 21 and 23. This observation gives rise to an interesting question. Why did the parents themselves not reveal the reason for their request: ask their son? In other words, why does the author use the narrator instead of the parents to reveal this important information of the Jews' decision? Inferred from the parents' difficult position, a likely explanation would be that they themselves could not tell the Jews their reason. Stambaugh and Balch (1986:49-50) point out: "In several ways ... the synagogue strengthened the Jews' sense of themselves as special and separate. The community offered a place where the rules of the Torah - circumcision, the Sabbath, the festivals, the dietary laws - were respected and enforced. The commitment of the individual to the group was strengthened by the sense of special separateness in a place that was cut off from the world outside but was open to its influence."

The parents' life was deeply rooted in the Jewish way of living. It is conceivable that they found it difficult to deny their own identity and heritage. For practical reasons, they were unwilling to be separated from the synagogue (cf. the topic on synagogue in section 6.1.1). They could not even imply this situation to the Jewish authorities because, if they did so, the Jews might have given them more trouble. In other words, the weakness, limitation and selfishness of the parents as human beings made them react in the the way described in the text. They gave their best answer. This is the reason why the author must place that particular reason on the narrator's lips.

4. The above observation regarding the parents' weakness leads to another significant point. A Japanese proverb, originating in an ancient Chinese story, "Ningen banji Saiou ga uma" means that whatever happens to a person resembles the experience of the horse of Saiou (the name of a character in the story). The proverb means that no one knows what happes to a person next. A bad event or matter sometimes turns out to be good, and vice versa.119 What is described in this proverb did, in fact, happen to the blind man. His parents' answer, caused by their weakness, was bad news for the blind man. In fact, he was abandoned by his own parents (Stibbe 1993:112). However, the parents' weakness ultimately revealed a way for their son to establish his own self-identity and self-confidence (Matsumoto 1997). The reader will notice his change in the next dialogue scene between the blind man and the Jews. Yet the reader will know the ultimate outcome in the sixth scene. After the Jews' interrogation of the blind man, he would expelled from both the community and his parents' home. This sad event would lead to his personal and real encounter with Jesus. The blind man would finally find real peace in his heart when he meets Jesus. The worst tragedy turned out to be the best encounter in his life.

5. Lastly, despite the flouting of the Economy Principle in this utterance, the Reduction Maxim is still observed by virtue of pronominalisation.

e) Summary

With this utterance, the omniscient narrator intends to confirm the reason for the parents' unexpected attitude in verse 21. Since the utterance of this storyteller appears to be simply a replication of the previous utterances, it gives an initial impression that the utterance is not important. However, the message contained in this utterance remains firmly in the reader's mind due to its repetition. The Expressivity Principle, the Manner and Relation Maxims are used for this purpose. As a result, the reader's mind is thus prepared for the next intriguing dialogue between the Jews and the blind man.

6.4 Macrospeech acts

1. Firstly, I shall discuss a macrospeech act on the character level. The forensic conversation between the Jews and the blind man's parents in this cluster is also a typical dialogue structure, the question-answer form. Accordingly, this fact reflects on the speech acts used for the characters in this instance. The speech act of the Jews' utterances in verse 19 is question, and that of the parents' utterances in verses 20 and 21 is basically responsive. The Jews asked the parents about the identity of the blind man, the state of his blindness at birth, and the process of his healing.

Therefore, the global topic of this section would be the blind man who was healed by the miracle. Although they answered half of the Jews' questions, the parents refused to answer the remaining questions. The parents were unwilling to continue to talk with the Jews, because they feared them. Thus, the Jews' aim for this interrogation could not be achieved. Since the characters on the scene failed to have a meaningful conversation, it is difficult to determine a macrospeech act in this section on the character level.

However, it is important to remember that a narrative must be coherent. In other words, a story must make sense. In order to make sense of the story, the narration part often plays a significant role. This is true of this present cluster.120 When the narrator intrudes and explains a certain speech situation for the character's utterance, the reader understands the story and finds coherence in it. This further indicates that sometimes no macroproposition nor macrospeech act can be found on the story level.

2. Secondly, I wish to discuss a macrospeech act on the text level. The narrator's utterance should also be considered. The Construction Rule constructs a new proposition from the utterances in verses 18 and 19 that the Jews wanted to ask the parents about the reality of the miracle. In addition, the Construction Rule creates another new proposition from the parents' utterances in verses 20 and 21 that the parents partially answered the Jews' questions. The Construction Rule makes a new proposition from the narrator's utterances in verses 22 and 23 that the Jews' shocking decision was the reason for the parents' inadequate answer. One should note that this narration is very important in building up coherence in this section. These three propositions are located at a higher level above the lowest level within the framework of macrostructures. A macroproposition needs to be constructed from these propositions at the highest level. By using the Construction Rule, a macroproposition could be formulated as follows: the Jews' agreement led to the parents' inadequate answer to the Jews' question about the miracle event. This defines a global topic that coherently organises this section on the text level. Consequently, a macrospeech act of this section would be informative: the author reveals the important information about the Jews' agreement to the reader and explains how this information affected the characters' behaviour (cf. 'Macrospeech acts in John 9' in section 1.3 in Chapter 5).

3. As a brief survey of communicative strategy in this cluster, the observations and violations of various conversational Principles and Maxims enhance the communication between the characters, the narrator, the author and the reader. This point is discussed with other literary techniques. In verse 18, the author allows the narrator to contribute to the aim of the utterance by both keeping and flouting various conversational rules. Among them, the Manner Maxim, in particular, plays a significant role in the author's change of the term Jews. In verse 19, the author deploys the Relation Maxim and the Interest Principle to create more interest for the story in the reader. With the parents' answer in verse 20, the fact of the miracle was fully acknowledged. Its implication leads to an instance of irony of event. In verse 21ab, the reader should notice the significance of the parents' utterances due to the observations and violations of many conversational rules. Their significance can also be perceived by the ironies and the motif of suffering. While the Politeness Principle plays a significant role in the characters' organisation of their speech act in verse 21cd, the important factor that enhances the communication between the author and the reader is not irony, but the observation of the Interest Principle and the technique of reader victimisation. In verse 22, the author again employs various conversational Principles and Maxims, the notion of display text and the motif of suffering in order to communicate effectively with the reader. Furthermore, by virtue of the Quality Maxim, speech act analysis proves its usefulness even in the interpretation of the text that requires one to consider the historical context. The message contained in the narrator's utterance in verse 23 remains firmly in the reader's mind by virtue of the repetition, which uses, in particular, the Expressivity Principle, as well as the Manner and Relation Maxims for this purpose. As such, the author effectively increases the reader's interest in the story.

4. On the text level, there are a few significant insights regarding this cluster as a whole. Firstly, how should one account for the failure of the communication between the characters on the text level? Although the Jews tried to increase their knowledge about the miracle event by interrogating the blind man's parents at the beginning of this section, they failed to achieve their goal. Their knowledge remained as it was, for the parents simply confirmed what the Jews already appeared to know. There is hardly any significant change in terms of the Jews' knowledge between the beginning and the end of the section. The question is: How does this failure enhance the communication between the author and the reader. The fact that the Cooperative Principle is not adhered to on the character level does not necessarily mean that the same Principle is flouted on the text level. Rather, in literature as in this story, it is imperative to assume that the Cooperative Principle is, in general, always adhered to on this text level. If not, it may result in a situation where the reader quits reading and closes the book. Based on this assumption, therefore, the answer is as follows: the failed communication between the characters requires the author to provide an adequate reason for this failure. If not, the author would be accused of flouting the Quantity Maxim. The author in our text does not fail to provide the reason. More precisely, the author makes use of this opportunity to provide the reader with the information about the Jews' agreement, because it is the most important information in this cluster. This affects, moreover, the development of the remainder of the narrative. The author undoubtedly uses the characters' failed conversation for achieving his goal in the communication with the reader.

5. Secondly, in order to find more significant points, one should ask the question as to how the Relation Maxim functions in this instance. In other words, what is the significance of the informative macrospeech act of this cluster in relation to the other sections of the story? The observation in the last paragraph is one way to put it, for the revealed information adds more tension and thrill to the rest of this entire narrative. Another way is to view this cluster as the centerpiece of the whole narrative structure in John 9. One can argue the centrality of this section based on the observation that this section contains a significance that the parents were the most reliable source, besides their son, to testify to their son's state of affairs prior to and after the miracle. This bears considerable weight and importance in the story as proof of the success of Jesus' miracle. As mentioned earlier (in the section on 'CS' in 9:20), the reality of the miracle is fully established with the parents' testimony in this central section, even before the eyes of the Jews (cf. Duke 1982:186). Moreover, Stibbe (1993a:106) points out that this section "is the only point in the chapter where the narrator's voice becomes intrusive, where the narrative turns for a moment from 'showing' to 'telling'". Stibbe intends this to explain the centrality of this section (for further discussion, cf. section 1.1 in Chapter 5). This is a different way of describing a significance of this informative macrospeech act in this cluster.

6. Thirdly, the macrospeech act in this cluster enhances the communication between the author and the reader by observing the Interest Principle. The reader who reads this section for the first time can never anticipate the outcome in the way in which it is described in the text. No one can imagine that the Jews' questions in verse 19 become the starting point for revealing the shocking and crucial information of the Jews' decision. This is unpredictable, and hence interesting.

7. Lastly, the perlocution of this section is similar to that of verse 22. The author intends the reader to understand and sympathise with the characters in difficult times. In turn, the author intends to encourage and exhort the reader by means of the story. Since the story in this section does not develop so much on the character level, the reader is more drawn into the story in the next section, due to the preservation of this status quo. On this point, Staley (1991:67) states that "the reader must also wait in suspense before hearing the Pharisees' reaction to the healed man's declaration, 'He is a prophet'".

 

7. CLUSTER C': THE DIALOGUE BETWEEN THE JEWS AND THE BLIND MAN (9:24-34)

7.1 Specific mutual contextual beliefs

7.1.1 Relationships between the characters

The knowledge held for the specific conversation between the blind man and the Jews is as follows:

  • In terms of social and religious status, the Jews were superior to, and more authoritative over the blind man. This was confirmed by the fact that they summoned him for interrogation.
  • Both parties (the Jews and the blind man) knew that this was the second interrogation.
  • Both parties knew that the man born blind gained new sight on a Sabbath.
  • Both parties are assumed to have known that Jesus was the one who had brought about this change in the man.
  • Both parties are assumed to have had a basic religious understanding about God, Moses, and God's dealing with sinners and righteous men.
  • Both parties are assumed to have known that nobody could have opened the eyes of a person born blind.

7.2 Overview and structural analysis chart

Among the scenes of John 9, which critics (e.g., Dodd [1953] 1985:357; Duke 1982:180; Culpepper 1983:73) praise for its skilful usage of rich irony, this forensic dialogue scene between the blind man and the Jewish authorities undoubtedly represents the best of its kind. Scholars applaud this section in terms not only of irony but also of its literary quality as a whole. For instance, Brown (1966:377) states: "The blind man's confutation of the Pharisees in vss. 24-34 is one of the most cleverly written dialogues in the NT." Morris (1971:490) comments: "This is the most spirited part of the chapter." Pancaro (1975:47) suggests: "Jn 9,14-34 presents Rabbinical reasoning in its purest form (especially vv. 24-34)." Holleran (1993b:371) draws attention to a more specific reference to a motif: "The motif of knowledge ... and ignorance ... now becomes basic to the structure of this scene. What the authorities claim to know or not know is contrasted with what the former blind man claims to know or not know" (cf. also Culpepper 1983:175; section 4.1 in Chapter 3). Under these circumstances, this scene dramatises the rising of a believer and the falling of unbelieving authorities (Duke 1982:187). The story succeeds in portraying the lively account of intense and dangerous interaction between them, and in attracting the full attention of the reader. This fierce debate scene is the heart of the ongoing trial.

More specifically speaking, in the previous dialogue scene, the Jews could not obtain any useful information concerning the healing event. This was expected to emerge from the dialogue with the blind man's parents. However, the parents asked the Jews to question their son directly. The Jews thus decided to interrogate him for the second time. This cluster portrays such interactions between the Jews and the blind man. This longest cluster includes eleven verses. Structurally, this cluster contains three major interactions between the parties, as well as the introduction and the conclusion for this section. In accordance with this structure, three subclusters can be formed in this cluster. Some initial observations can be made for cluster C'.

1. There could be an inclusio in this section. Cola 34 and 42 refer to both the Jews and the blind man. In addition, when comparing the first (9:24) and the last (9:34) verses, the utterances in these verses belong to the Jews. These utterances also include the related words of sin (άμαρτώλός and άμαρτιαις). Moreover, the phrase και είπαν αύτώ appears in both verses. Based on this evidence, this inclusio is strong.

2. There is an antithesis between in and out in this inclusio. While in colon 34 the blind man was brought in before the Jews, in 42 he was thrown out of their presence.

3. The dialogue between them as a whole is not merely a juxtaposition of questions and answers. There is a sense of progression from one utterance to another in the dialogue. The author seems to control the flow of the discussion so that he may lead it towards revealing a sharp contrast between them. In fact, it becomes evident that the fundamental difference between the two parties manifested in the end.

4. The author often makes use of effective rhetorical devices such as repetition and contrast in this cluster. Although all instances of these devices may be referred to in the related cola, one weak repetition concerning the reference that someone opened the eyes of the blind person between subcola 40.1.2 and 40.3.1 should be pointed out. In terms of repetition, the Jews' claim that they had God's authority to conduct this interrogation is indicated by the reiterated οιδαμεν (vv. 24, 29), stressed by the recurrent pronoun ήμεις (vv. 24, 28, 29), and by their appealing to their ancestral teacher, Moses (vv. 28-29) (Schnackenburg [1968] 1980:250).

5. The grammatical analysis indicates that all verbs used for the narration are in the aorist tense. Of course, the narrator is reporting the story in the past. On the other hand, the verbs in the dialogue appear in different tenses such as present, imperfect, aorist and perfect. This means that the contents of the dialogue became increasingly complex as the story developed. This fact also provides fascination and adds to the dramatic impression.

6. The remarks up to the fourth point mentioned in cluster D (in section 6.2) can also be applied to this cluster. These four points pertain to the frequent usage of both the coordinate conjunctions and the pronouns; the dialogue formed by the question-answer form; the reference to the miracle, and Jesus' identity as the central issue.

7. Significant structural markers include: to say, to know, to answer, to do or make, to open, to hear, we, you, he, they, therefore, and, Moses, God, Jesus' origin (where he is from), man, this or that fellow, disciples, sinner, eyes, blind and sin.

These all contribute to the strong cohesion of the cluster.

 

 

7.3 Microspeech acts

7.3.1 The first subcluster (9:24-25)

9:24 Έψωνησαν ουν τον ανθρωπον έκ δευτέρου ος ήν τυφλος και ειπαν αυτω, Δος δοξαν τω θεω ήμεις οιδαμεν οτι ουτος ο ανθρωπος αμαρτωλος έστιν.

a) General analysis

The conjunction ουν in colon 34 indicates that this subcluster is a continuation of the last cluster D, specifically referring to the parents' suggestion in colon 33 by means of a logical-reason-result relationship. Since the Jews were not satisfied with the outcome of the parents' interrogation, they summoned the blind man once again. The prepositional phrase έκ δευτέρου, helps denote this repeated action. Therefore, colon 34 as a whole provides the setting for both the first dialogue and the remainder of their interaction in this cluster.

The Jews once again initiated the first dialogue, but they did not approach him with an interrogative sentence. Instead, they used a command form in an effort to open their mouths. The conjunction και in colon 35, links this to colon 34 by means of an additive-different (consequential) relationship. In fact, colon 35 follows 34 chronologically, and refers to the content of their first utterance in the interrogation. 35.1, a sentence in the imperative mood, introduces the content. It is a direct quotation. The embedded sentence in 35.2 provides another possible content as to what the Jews said to the blind man. It is interesting to note that the Jews did not ask him a question this time, but rather made use of a simple statement of what, they thought, they knew: "We know that this man is a sinner". Of course, "this man" refers to Jesus, because he was still the centre of the issue. The conjunction οτι in 35.2.1, introduces the object of the main verb οιδαμεν in 35.2. This verb is emphatic (Morris 1971:491; Lindars [1972] 1981:347) and expresses a "confident assertion" (Resseguie 1982:299). In addition, the verb to know is one of the key terms in this cluster because of its repetition (cf. vv. 25, 29, 30, 31). In 35.2.1, the word αμαρτωλος is the predicate nominative noun. Like Isaiah 53:12 portrays the Suffering Servant, namely that "he was numbered with transgressors", Jesus is indeed counted among sinners, in this instance. Based on these observations, this verse reads: Therefore, they called the man who had been blind for the second time, and said to him, "Give glory to God; we know that this man is a sinner."

b) Illocutionary act

When the reader reads the first utterances by the Jews, he may initially be puzzled by them. One should remember that this was the blind man's judicial interrogation conducted by the Jews. In such a situation, the inquisitors' first utterance usually starts with a question regarding the issue concerned. But their utterances were not of this nature. This was also the second interrogation, as they had already questioned him in the first session. Therefore, there was no need for any introduction, and their tactic, in this instance, was to focus on the issue. They may have thought it a good idea to pressurise him from the start of this session. Accordingly, they started with the first utterance: Give glory to God.

The first utterance, in general, "was an oath formula used before taking testimony or a confession of guilt (Josh vii 19: I Esdras ix 8)" (Brown 1966:374; Newman & Nida 1980:312). With respect to the usage in this instance, it is not meant to be "[g]ive the praise for your cure to God, not to Jesus" (Barrett 1955:300; Morris 1971:490; Lindars [1972] 1981:347). Moreover, since "[t]he Pharisees did not admit the reality of the cure yet, they could not urge him to praise God for the cure" (Dodd [1953] 1968:81). Therefore, "[t]he formula seems to be an exhortation to full and frank confession of the truth" (Dodd [1953] 1968:81).121 More precisely, it would be "a command to the man to confess his sin, i.e. the sin of lying as to his blindness and subsequent healing by Jesus, and to admit that the authorities are right and that Jesus is a sinner" (Beasley-Murray 1987:158; Bultmann 1971:336, footnote 1; Carson 1991:372-373). One should note the word command in Beasley-Murray's comment, and the fact that he is the only scholar cited above who uses this exact word, besides Duke (1982:187). Nevertheless, the other scholars express a similar kind of idea. This is the traditional exposition of this verse. A speech act approach will draw the same conclusion, but in a very distinctive way (cf. below).

Each of the Jews' utterances, in this instance, has its own speech act. These utterances can be assigned to one global speech act by the Generalization Rule, which constructs a new proposition. The first utterance, a command, is a speech act of requirement with the purpose of ordering the blind man to testify that Jesus was a sinner, for the Jews had the necessary authority over the blind man. The second utterance is a pure assertion of what the Jews claimed to know (assertive), and forms an explanatory speech act in answer to the first utterance. Thus, this explanatory speech act can be deleted by the Deletion macrorule. Hence, these utterances pertain to one global speech act of requirement and a new proposition can be formed as follows: the blind man should tell the Jews that Jesus was a sinner.

In this instance, one should note that these utterances are, in fact, indirect speech acts. To cite Searle (1979:115), in indirect speech acts, a speaker "means what he says, but he means something more as well. Thus utterance meaning includes sentence meaning but extends beyond it". Moreover, in indirect speech acts, as mentioned earlier, a speaker intends to accomplish two illocutionary acts: a primary illocutionary act (utterance meaning) and a secondary illocutionary act (sentence meaning). In the first utterance, the secondary illocutionary act is literally to give glory to God, containing the original implication that the hearer should speak truthfully (cf. Jos 7:19). However, the Jews' primary meaning was that the blind man should state that Jesus was a sinner - the primary illocutionary act. In the second utterance, while the secondary illocutionary act is that the Jews claimed that they knew that Jesus was a sinner, the primary illocutionary act is similar to that of the first utterance. Briefly, the Jews primarily intended to order the blind man to testify that Jesus was a sinner, and the blind man seemed to understand this illocution from the way in which he answered them in the next verse. Hence, a speech act approach is unique in the process of analysis, but does not necessarily contradict the traditional exposition. It can elucidate the text with a new and fresh appreciation.

c) Perlocutionary act

The blind man should obey the Jews' command to testify as they wished. The author intends to provide the reader with the correct knowledge concerning Jesus by means of irony (cf. the section on 'CS' below), so that the reader may continue to strengthen his faith in Jesus. Thus, the reader should avoid the same kind of mistake the Jews made. The reader should also bear in mind that sound faith requires true knowledge of the one whom the reader trusts.

d) Communicative strategy

1. I shall discuss the communication on the character level. The fact that the Jews did not start with a question and that they employed an Old Testament formula for their opening statement is very significant. In indirect speech acts, the Manner Maxim (avoid ambiguity) is usually at risk (cf. the section on 'CS' in 9:8b). This also holds true for the Jews' utterances in this instance. This violation would make the hearer (the blind man) wonder why they violated it. In Jewish forensic proceedings, this must have been very serious not only for those on trial, but also for those involved in the trial, regardless of whether they participated as judges or witnesses, to call God as witness. If they failed in their duty, this would invite grave consequences (Harvey 1976:57). This would be a great strategy to put enormous pressure on the blind man when the Jews appealed to this formula by forcing him to speak the truth in the name of God. This was most likely the reason for their violation and for using indirect speech acts. It is interesting to note that the motivation for their employment of indirect speech acts is once again not politeness,122 but their strategy to exert some pressure on the blind man.

2. On the other hand, viewed from another angle, this violation is the exact reason for their fulfilment of the Relation Maxim. In that sense, their utterances are relevant to the present interrogation. In addition, they uphold the Quality Maxim, because the Jews appeared to be saying what they believed to be true. From their point of view, "[t]hey speak with the responsibility and authority of Judaism, and correctly. There is no doubt ... that Jesus had transgressed the Law, and therefore was in the technical sense a άμαρτώλος" (Barrett 1955:300; Schnackenburg [1968] 1980:251). The fact that this is not entirely true (cf. the section on 'CS' in v 16a), and that the reader knows otherwise (cf. this aspect below) has already been discussed.

3. Regarding the communication on the text level, the violation of the Manner Maxim on the character level is linked to the transgressions of the Processibility Principle and of the Maxims of Transparency and Ambiguity under the Clarity Principle on the text level. The Jews' utterances are ambiguous; therefore, the reader takes more time to decode the message. It is easier to grasp the message in the alternative phrases that "speak the truth" or "confess your sin" than in the original expressions that "give glory to God" or "we know that he was a sinner". However, as examined earlier, the latter expressions are effective in that they have a greater impact on the hearer. In this regard, the Jews' utterances uphold the Expressivity Principle. By using pronominalisation, the Reduction Maxim is also upheld in the same utterances.

4. Furthermore, the original expressions are unpredictable to the reader and, hence, the utterances uphold the Interest Principle. This observance of the Interest Principle is strengthened further when the reader perceives more literary devices in the utterances. Brown (1966:374) and Holleran (1993b:371) point out a possible play on words. Holleran (1993b:371) states that "the author may well mean the reader to grasp the irony of how the man in the end does 'give glory to God' by witnessing to the very opposite of what is asked of him here. Indeed ... it is impossible to ask the man to glorify God and discredit God's Son at the same time". The subsequent scene reveals that the blind man would indeed give glory to God through his confession of faith in Jesus (Duke 1982:123). The author wishes to teach the reader what it really means to give glory to God.

5. Because the reader knows the identity of Jesus better than the Jews, this gap in their knowledge creates fascination in the reading process. In connection with Holleran's remark above, some critics (e.g., Duke 1982:122; Culpepper 1983:175; Stibbe 1993:111) regard the Jews' utterances as Johannine irony. According to the analytical outline for ironic speech acts (section 1.6 in Chapter 2), this irony may be identified by the following indications: a conflicting relationship between the text and co-text (step A-ii-2); the use of words with double meaning and textual ambiguity (step A-ii-3); the violation of some Maxims (step A-iv); two illocutionary forces (step A-v), and some critics' notice (step A-vii). Since the Jews' utterances uphold the Quality Maxim, they did not intend to employ irony. Thus, these utterances do not constitute verbal irony on the character level, but situational irony on the text level. More precisely, this is a case of dramatic irony perceived as a result of the reader's knowledge of what the Jews have yet to discover (step B-ii-2-a). Based on their false knowledge, the Jews as the character in question related that they knew that Jesus was a sinner. They uttered their belief sincerely according to the best of their knowledge. The present indicative verb έστιν in their second utterance, indicates the Jews' certainty of their knowledge about Jesus. But human certainty is not always perfect. This is the core of the irony. As the observers, the author and the reader know the truth, namely that Jesus was not a sinner, but he was the Son of God sent by the Father; this fact is made clear to the reader from the beginning of this Gospel, the Prologue. This knowledge by the author and the reader makes the Jews' utterances ironic, for the Jews as the victims did not know Jesus' true identity, and yet they claimed to know everything about Jesus. For them, the utterances were not ironic. But when the reader notices such Johannine irony, Culpepper (1983:180) observes that it is "more like a net in which readers are caught and drawn to the evangelist's theology and faith", especially to the evangelist's Christology, in this instance.

6. Another irony involved in the Jews' utterances is irony of self-betrayal; this unconsciously displays their own ignorance of God's business. In this irony, the Jews in their unconscious minds, as Duke (1982:187) points out, "invoke the name of God to deny the work of God". While there is no ironist, the Jews are again the victims. The author and the reader observe this irony. O'Day's (1986:31) suggestion seems true for this irony, that it is "a mode of revelatory language. It reveals by asking the reader to make judgments and decisions", and in this instance the reader is meant to pass judgment on the Jews' unbelief. In this sense, Duke (1982:232) rightly observes that "unbelief is the greater antagonist of the drama and so the primary object of the irony". This judgment would contribute to strengthening and deepening the reader's faith.

e) Summary

The Jews' utterances constitute indirect speech acts with the primary illocutionary force of requirement. In the utterances, for effective communication, the Maxims of Quality and Relation are upheld, but the violation of the Manner Maxim in relation to the indirect speech acts is significant on the story level. While the Processibility Principle and the Maxims of Transparency and Ambiguity are flouted, the Principles of Expressivity and Interest as well as the Reduction Maxim are kept intact on the text level. The dramatic irony and irony of self-betrayal serve their purpose for the reader's enjoyment and understanding (of the author's perspective of Jesus). However, in the interrogation, the blind man appears to be under enormous pressure from the Jewish authorities. The reader's attention is now drawn to the man's next reaction.

9:25 απέκριθη ούν έκέινος, Ει αμαρτώλος έστιν ούκ οιδα εν οιδα οτι τύφλος ών αρτι βλέπώ.

a) General analysis

Structurally, subcola 35.1 and 35.2 form a unit and express the contents of what the Jews said. Cola 34 and 35 form another unit on a higher level. At the same level, colon 36 tells of the blind man's reply to the Jews; it contains a smaller unit consisting of subcola 36.1-36.2* and 36.3, which describe the contents of his answer.

The conjunction ούν, in colon 36, connects the Jews' words in 35 to the man's reply in 36 by means of an additive-different (consequential) relationship. His answer in subcola 36.1-36.2* and 36.3 is basically divided into two parts according to his knowledge. While the former speaks of what he did not know, the second tells of what he knew. In this instance, a semantic contrast may be intended. In addition, the blind man was able to distinguish between speculation and fact. In this sense, his answer was very objective. In 36.1, we should discern whether this subclause is a conditional clause or something else. Usually, the subordinate conjunction έι plus the present indicative verb, as in this subclause, form a conditional protasis. However, the lack of apodosis (main clause), which usually comes with its protasis in conditional sentences, suggests that this subclause may not be a conditional clause (Wenham 1965:166). As the verb οιδα of the main clause in 36.2* usually requires its object, the ει clause should be the object, in his instance, which may be emphatic. The conjunction ει may function like the conjunction ειτε, denoting whether (Wenham 1965:224). There is a negative particle ουκ before the main verb. Thus, 36.1 and 36.2* verbalise the content of the blind man's ignorance.

There may be two possible explanations for the use of the subordinate conjunction οτι in 36.3.1. One is that it introduces the object of the main verb οιδα in 36.3. The other is that it may introduce the subclause that is in apposition with the previous noun έν. The latter is preferred, for the main verb οιδα usually takes only one object; in this case, it is the accusative neuter noun έν in 36.3. This noun may be emphasised. 36.3.1 and 36.3.2* together stress the present state that the blind man can see now. Therefore, this verse is rendered as follows: So that man answered, "Whether he is a sinner, I do not know. One thing I know that, although I was blind, now I see."

b) Illocutionary act

Although the narrator introduces the blind man's utterances as his answer to the Jews, these would be a global dissentive speech act rather than a responsive, because the illocution of the Jews' previous utterances is not a question, but a requirement. In this instance, the blind man was unwilling to meet their requirement, for he did not believe personally that Jesus was a sinner. Thus, the blind man expressed his disagreement. In his first utterance, the blind man refused to give his view as to whether or not Jesus was a sinner, despite his previous reply that he was a prophet (v. 17). In this sense, the first utterance would be a retractive speech act. In my opinion, the blind man's logic is exactly what Carson (1991:373) observes: "At least to this point in the discussion, he is prepared to leave that question to the theological experts. But one thing he does know, and this point he will not relinquish: he was blind, and now sees." In his second utterance, the blind man that Jesus could not be a sinner. More precisely, the man expressed his disagreement (the primary illocutionary act of dissentive) by stating his knowledge (the secondary act of assertive). Therefore, the second utterance would be an indirect dissentive speech act. Since these two utterances constitute a sequence of speech acts, we can assign one global speech act to this sequence by applying the Strong Deletion macrorule to the first utterance, because this utterance is a locally relevant detail (cf. section 1.5 in Chapter 2). The first utterance can be deleted, because it is a preparatory speech act for the second. Hence, these utterances are considered to be a dissentive global speech act.

When the schema of dissentives by Bach and Harnish (1979:43) is applied to the utterances in this instance, the following is the result:

In uttering "Whether he is a sinner, I do not know. One thing I know that, although I was blind, now I see", the blind man dissents from the claim that Jesus is a sinner if the blind man expresses:

i. the disbelief that Jesus is a sinner, contrary to what the Jews claimed (or was otherwise under discussion), and

ii. the intention that the Jews disbelieve that Jesus is a sinner.

To sum up, the blind man's utterances are a successful dissentive global speech act. The blind man very politely intended to oppose the Jews' claim that Jesus was a sinner by means of an indirect speech act. The author intends to portray the blind man as a normal and intelligent human being who was able to converse reasonably with educated people such as the Jewish leaders.

c) Perlocutionary act

The Jews should accept the meaning of the blind man's utterances, namely that Jesus was not a sinner. It is expected that the polite and intelligent remarks the blind man made to the Jewish authorities should impress the reader.

d) Communicative strategy

1. On the character level, the blind man's first utterance may partially violate the Quality Maxim. As inferred from the man's statement in verse 17, the man did not appear to believe that Jesus was a sinner. His utterance, namely that he did not know, is obviously doubtful. However, he may have tried to prevent himself from saying that for which he lacked adequate evidence, because he did not yet have full perception of Jesus at this point. In this respect, he may be right when he said that he did not know. These observations point to a partial breach of the Quality Maxim.

2. The man's second utterance is a complete violation of the Manner Maxim. As in the case of the last utterances (v. 24), the blind man also used an indirect speech act and violated the Maxim. However, the motivation behind their use indicates a significant difference between these indirect speech acts. The Jews deployed their indirect speech acts to serve an aggressive motive, namely to exert some pressure on him. Still, the man seems to use an indirect speech act for the sake of politeness. As noted earlier, he intended to express his disagreement to the Jews. However, he did so in an intelligent manner. Bernard (1928:334) comments: "The shrewdness and obstinacy of the man reveal themselves in his answer".

Since the blind man sensed that the Jews had already made up their minds concerning Jesus, the man tried to be as polite as possible so as not to offend them too much. In this sense, the Agreement Maxim of the Politeness Principle operates in this utterance (minimise disagreement between self and other). He tried to distinguish between fact and speculation. Whereas he could have objected and testified that Jesus was not a sinner, but a prophet, as he said in verse 17, the man avoided making a clear statement by indicating his uncertainty regarding Jesus' identity as an expression of 'speech' despite his own belief concerning Jesus. At the same time, the blind man did not want to forget to mention the grace of the healing brought by Jesus. In this instance, he experienced a dilemma between his belief and politeness. In order to solve this dilemma (and perhaps in order to prevent the Jews from detecting his dilemma), he uttered a euphemism.123 In this euphemism, the man's second utterance adheres to both the Pollyanna Principle and the Relation Maxim.

3. One should remember that the Jews did not ask the blind man any specific questions; they merely expressed an elusive command and statement. What was the purpose of their utterances? As a rule, it is not easy to understand the purpose behind these ambiguous utterances. But the blind man was ready to answer them without missing their point. This implies that he was sufficiently wise to understand their language and the meaning of their utterances. This fact is remarkable, considering that he had been blind from birth in the society of the first century CE. Unlike the modern society, there were perhaps no institutions or organisations that helped disadvantaged people such as this blind man, in gaining an education. The fact that he used to sit and beg indicates that he was not able to do a regular job. He may not have had any special job skill(s). Considering these factors, it is surprising that he could engage in such an intelligent dialogue with the Jews who probably had some kind of formal education. Even more surprising is that, in their subsequent dialogues, he would embarrass or vex these Jews with his arguments. The author starts the blind man's characterisation with a low profile, gradually revealing the quality of the blind man, for example his intelligent personality, particularly from this scene. Resseguie (1982:300) remarks on this: "The narrative development of the healed man's character is actually the development of his personhood."

4. It appears that the communication on the text level in this verse is similar to that in the Jews' utterances (v. 24). While the blind man's first utterance upholds the Reduction Maxim by virtue of pronominalisation, the transgression of the Manner Maxim on the story level is again linked to the breaches of the Processibility Principle and of the Maxims of Transparency and Ambiguity on the text level. The man's second utterance is obscured by its indirect speech act. Moreover, as this utterance has no news value, because the reader already knows the content, the Interest Principle may be flouted.

5. On the other hand, if the blind man's dilemma is perceived as irony, this means that the same Principle is uplifted in this sense. It can be suspected that the word dilemma may, in fact, be an instance of irony of dilemma. As examined earlier, the blind man was placed in a dilemma in which he was torn between his belief and politeness. His apparent desire not to offend the Jews made it difficult for him to relate what he believed concerning Jesus. In addition, it is conceivable that he may have thought that he did not want to fight openly with the authorities because of the Jews' decision (v. 22). This situation is a good example of irony of dilemma (step B-ii-4) in accordance with the analytical outline for ironic speech acts (section 1.6 in Chapter 2). While no ironist is involved in this irony, the author and the reader, as observers, comprehend the fact that the blind man was the victim. This irony can be considered a means of expressing frustration (Turner 1996:47). It will help the reader note the man's difficulty in the judicial proceedings. Even as a witness, it was not a pleasant to be interrogated by the authorities. The motif of suffering also occurs in this instance. The perlocution of this irony may be to invite the reader to align himself with the blind man and to teach him how to deal with similar situations, should they befall him.

6. Lastly, the blind man's second utterance regarding Jesus' healing opens a way for the reader to ponder an important issue relating to the Law. Barrett (1955:300) states that "the Law itself was now superseded" by Jesus because of the two given facts - a healing act and breaking the Sabbath (cf. also Brown 1966:374). This means that "Jesus abrogates sabbath law precisely because he is from God" (Duke 1982:132). Of course, this also indicates that Jesus was not a Sabbath-breaker (cf. this relevance to the Jews' last utterances in v. 24). Barrett (1955:300) contends that "[t]he Law in condemning Jesus had condemned itself (Gal. 3:10-14); this theme forms the theological basis of the present chapter. The Law condemns itself, and so do its exponents, when they try and condemn Jesus". Even if the reader still does not fully understand this aspect, he will do so as the story develops. This adds more knowledge to the reader's understanding of the story.

e) Summary

The blind man intended to oppose the Jews' claim that Jesus was a sinner by uttering a dissentive global speech act. In his utterances, the man tried to maintain his politeness towards the Jewish authorities by using an indirect speech act, the Agreement Maxim and the Pollyanna Principle, while upholding the Relation Maxim. However, for that purpose, his utterances inevitably violate the Maxims of Manner and Quality. This invites the flouting of the Processibility Principle and the Maxims of Transparency and Ambiguity on the text level. The Interest Principle is both jeopardised and upheld in different ways. The irony of dilemma and the motif of suffering help the reader understand more of the blind man's speech situation. Whether or not the intended perlocution of the man's utterances was realised by the hearers will be disclosed in the next utterances of the Jews.

7.3.2 The second subcluster (9:26-27)

Even from the first dialogue in this second interrogation, the Jews could not find any falsehood in the blind man's statements. Yet they were stubborn and could not accept his answer; they had to continue their interrogation. They asked a few questions. The second subcluster, therefore, provides another dialogue with the question-answer form: the Jews asked questions and the blind man answered them. Accordingly, there are two units: cola 37 and 38.

9:26 ειπον ουν αυτω, Τι έποιήσέν σοι; πως ήνοιξέν σου τους οφθαλμους;

a) General analysis

The conjunction ουν in colon 37 indicates the continuity from the last subcluster. The relationship between cola 36 and 37 is logical-reason-result. The contents of their questions are expressed in subcola 37.1 and 37.2. The first question in 37.1 focuses on Jesus' activity. The second question in 37.2 is a similar question as in 37.1. Although the surface structures, the specific sentence forms in which the author chooses to express, are different, the semantic content in the deep structures of the expressions is nearly similar in both questions. Nevertheless, the second question may focus more on the procedures of the healing miracle. Incidentally, this second question is a synonymous repetition of subcolon 15.1. To compare and generalise, while the question is formed in a passive voice sentence in 15.1, the question in this instance is formed in an active voice sentence, with more emphasis on the subject of the action. However, the real meaning is almost exactly similar in the repetitious relationship between them. By this time, the question of the process of healing is being narrated three times in all (9:10, 15). This suggests that the narrative emphasises the healing event, which lends greater cohesion to the story as a whole. Hence, this verse renders: Then they said to him, "What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?"

b) Illocutionary act

As the Jews could not obtain what they really wanted, namely the blind man's own testimony that Jesus was a sinner, and could no longer openly deny the reality of the miracle, they appeared to change their strategy in their interrogation of the blind man. They were still in control of the dialogue. The Jews asked the blind man two questions directly this time, perhaps with the hope that some illegitimate procedure of the miracle, such as breaking the Sabbath law, would emerge again. Hence, the Jews' utterances, in this instance, are obviously question speech acts. This was meant to be the first step in their new interrogation strategy.

However, their utterances constitute another indirect speech act. This means that the illocutionary force of questions should be regarded as the secondary illocutionary act of the utterances. Unlike the speech situation in which the Jews asked the blind man's parents the same kind of question (v. 19), in this present dialogue both the speakers and the hearer knew that the speakers had already heard the answer to the questions. This inference trigger would immediately lead the hearer to suspect inadequacy of the literal meaning or force of the speakers' utterances. The meaning or force must, therefore, be rectified (cf. Levinson 1983:270). The inference strategy will be used to rectify the meaning or force (section 1.1 in Chapter 2). In indirect speech acts, the speaker intends to accomplish two illocutionary acts: a primary illocutionary act (utterance meaning) and a secondary illocutionary act (sentence meaning) (Searle [1979] 1981:33-34). From the co-text along with the Relation Maxim (the Jews were obliged to use the utterances relevant to this speech situation), the primary illocutionary act performed in the Jews' utterance, in this instance, could be that of requestive. This means that the Jews intended to ask the blind man to tell them who Jesus was. By questioning the manner of 'how', the Jews were, in fact, asking the identity of 'who'. Brown (1966:379) endorses this view: "In these interrogations the real issue is whether or not Jesus has miraculous power and, if he does, who he is." The schema of requestives by Bach and Harnish (1979:47) is as follows:

Requestives: (ask, beg, beseech, implore, insist, invite, petition, plead, pray, request, solicit, summon, supplicate, tell, urge)

In uttering e, S requests H to A if S expresses:

i. the desire that H do A, and

ii. the intention that H do A because (at least partly) of S's desire.

When this schema is applied to these utterances, the following is the result:

In uttering "What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?", the Jews request the blind man to tell who Jesus is if the Jews express:

i. the desire that the blind man should tell them who Jesus is, and

ii. the intention that the blind man should tell them who Jesus is because (at least partly) of the Jews' desire.

As it is possible that the Jews expressed their desire and intention, as described above, these utterances can be assigned a requestive speech act. According to this, the Jews had the intention to ask the blind man to tell them who Jesus was by asking him the same kind of questions again. The author invites the reader to note the wrong motive of the Jews in their utterances.

c) Perlocutionary act

The blind man should answer the Jews' questions in a way that would provide sufficient information to satisfy their intention. The author may try to test the reader on how he should react to such questions if he were in the blind man's position. Therefore, the reader should observe the Jews' subtle strategy and consider how the reader himself should react to the questions. Hence, the author may induce more interest in the reader's mind, thus encouraging him to continue reading.

d) Communicative strategy

1. I shall discuss the communication on the character and text levels together. The two questions in the Jews' utterances basically belong to the same semantic realm, and denote only one point, namely the process or manner of the healing. This point is, in fact, a repetition of their earlier question (v. 15). Schnackenburg's ([1968] 1980:251) comment that the repeated 'tests' were the Jewish way of hearing evidence may be right. However, this repetition seems to provide more insight. From a speech act perspective, this duplication establishes the transgressions of the Quantity Maxim in the domain of Interpersonal Rhetoric and the Economy Principle in the domain of Textual Rhetoric. As usual, these transgressions will tell us more than what is said in the utterances.

2. When the Jews listened to the blind man's answer (v. 25), they may have been frustrated, as pointed out earlier, because they could not draw the wanted information from him and seemed unable to find any weakness in his reply. At the same time, "the authorities suspect that something has been kept hidden from them" (Carson 1991:372; cf. also Bultmann 1971:336). Staley (1991:68) elaborates on this: "It is precisely because he didn't tell them the whole truth earlier that the Pharisees are becoming more and more exasperated and are still asking him the same questions!" And "the very repetition of their question is an index of their desperation" (Holleran 1993b:373). The above transgressions inform the present emotional state of the Jews, namely desperation.

3. In this emotional state, the Jews were trying to find a way to achieve their aim with this interrogation. However, perhaps due to their desperation and closed minds (cf. below), they did not appear to be able to produce an excellent strategy. They simply restated the same question. This was not entirely wrong; a return to the basics is one way of breaking through the status quo. Yet, there is a certain risk attached to this, because it inevitably invites a repetitious expression in the procedures. Unless it is perceived as a means to impress, it leaves the interlocutors with a negative impression and causes them to beware of the speakers. This is what happened in the present story. Therefore, although the message of the Jews' questions was successfully communicated to the blind man on the surface, they failed to gain the necessary information, as will be observed in the next verse. Why? Because the blind man simply would not provide it, precisely and partly for the above reason. The analysis of this failure is not that simple. The reason for this failure is also due to the problematic nature of their utterances (cf. below).

4. Firstly, the utterances meet neither the preparatory condition pertaining to questions, namely that the speaker does not know 'the answer', but the Jews had already heard it before, nor the sincerity condition that the speaker does, in fact, want this information (for these conditions, cf. the section on 'IA' in 9:2). Thus, the Jews really had to accept any kind of information from the blind man, but they were not open to what he had to say. They had already made up their minds to the extent that they would only accept a certain kind of information, the information that would enable them to achieve their purpose. They were not really listening to him. They were not open-minded towards, but closed to the truth (Duke 1982:187). They were insincere in questioning him, and therefore their utterances violate the Quality Maxim. Their speech act of question thus fails, and is classified as abuses in Austin's ([1962] 1976:16) term. This was an 'abuse' on the part of the Jews derived from their authoritative position. They misused the questions. Therefore, their utterances become defective. In the next verse, the Jews face the counter attack of the blind man who was sufficiently intelligent to detect their wrongful intentions.

5. Secondly, their utterances are indirect speech acts. As in the case of the last two verses, this leads to the breach of the Manner Maxim on the character level and the flouting of the Processibility Principle and of the Maxims of Transparency and Ambiguity on the text level. Thirdly, as the reader already knows these questions and their answers, they are boring him, thereby causing the Interest Principle to be flouted. Conversely, if the reader notices some rule-breaking in the Jews' utterances and their implications, the reader may find more amusement in the communication process. This could be an example of the same Interest Principle at work. Fourthly, a specific function of the Relation Maxim needs to be scrutinised as to whether it is upheld or flouted, for it is slightly ambiguous. Since it was assumed earlier that one aspect of this Maxim (to be relevant) is operative in their utterances in determining the primary illocutionary act, I wish to deal with the other aspect of this Maxim, namely conversational contributions to the goals of either the speaker or the hearer (Leech 1983:42). I shall examine this conversational contribution in terms of the purpose of their utterances below.

6. When expositors comment on this verse, the majority of the critics focus on elucidating the purpose of the Jews' utterances. A typical example is that their questions "may have been to confuse him [the blind man], and to see if he contradicted his first statement, which would discredit his evidence" (Beasley-Murray 1987:158).124 Even if the formulation differs, the basic arguments held by these scholars reveal the same point. The Jews "were trying to trip him up in his testimony" (Carson 1991:373). Their aim was "to get the man's withdrawal from his earlier support for Jesus and come out against him" (Schnackenburg [1968] 1980:251) and "to get the man to repudiate Jesus" (Witherington 1995:184). Smith (1986:47) suggests more specifically: "Their apparent attempt to get at the facts may betray a suspicion that because Jesus has used spittle in the act of healing he is therefore guilty of adopting the tricks of an illegal sorcerer." All these remarks seem to point to the same conclusion: the Jews "were trying to deny the miracle" (Plummer [1882] 1981:209). Consequently, they were not seeking to acquire new information (Morris 1971:491), but their questions were meant to entrap the blind man. This line of reading is not highly likely. But, in this new scene, they could no longer deny the reality of the miracle, because the parents had guaranteed it in the previous scene. That is the reason why the Jews appeared to change their strategy from focusing on the miracle itself to stressing the sinfulness of the miracle worker (v. 24). In this instance, the utterances were most likely made in conjunction with this strategy. This is strongly indicated by the emphasis placed on the subject of the sentences - Jesus, the miracle worker. Their utterances are formulated in the active (the active verb is used) in comparison with the question in verse 10. Therefore, as the analysis on 'Illocutionary act' above shows, it makes most sense to consider that the main purpose of the Jews' utterances would be to elicit information as to who Jesus was. It does not necessarily have to be viewed as a trap. If my reading is correct, the Relation Maxim would then be observed because their utterances contribute to the goal of the Jews as the speakers. Incidentally, it is most likely that this purpose also coincides with the main purpose of the trial in this scene.

As indicated earlier, traditional expositions do not comment a great deal on this verse. Some critics even omit their explications, due to the repetitious content of the Jews' questions (e.g., Brown 1966:374; Lindars [1972] 1981:347-348). However, a speech act approach could have a great deal to say in terms of communication rules, for the more problematic an utterance is, the more significant it becomes.

e) Summary

The Jews intended, in indirect speech acts (with the primary force of requestive), to elicit information as to who Jesus was by repeating the questions they had already asked previously. Numerous violations of conversational rules demonstrate the problematic nature of their utterances (e.g., the Principles of Economy, Processibility and Interest, and the Maxims of Quantity, Quality, Manner, Transparency, Ambiguity and an abuse). However, these violations alert the reader to read more carefully. As compared with these violations, the adherence to the Relation Maxim is significant in determining the purpose of their utterances.

9:27a απεκριθη αυτοις, Ειπον υμιν ήδη και ουκ ήκουσατε τι παλιν θέλετε ακουειν;

a) General analysis

How did the blind man respond to the same questions the Jews had already asked previously? Did he reply to them with the same kind of answers he had already given? The answer is found in colon 38. This colon can be divided into two units: 38.1-38.3 and 38.4. The first unit tells of his direct answer to their questions, while the second unit describes his question derived from the impression he received from their questions.

Semantically, the conjunction και in 38.2 indicates a dyadic-contrastive relationship between the two subcola, despite the use of the word and in the translation. Thus, he continued to say, "and you did not listen". His words in this subcolon 38.2 suggest the Jews' unbelieving attitudes and their stubbornness. The man himself who had been healed testified to what had really happened; yet they would not accept it. Perhaps, it would be in vain for the man to testify before these people. As a result, the blind man decided to answer them by means of an interrogative sentence. In subcolon 38.3, the interrogative adverb τι may mean not what, but why, based on the context. Hence, his first question for the Jews is: Why do you want to hear again?125The blind man was puzzled, because the Jews continued to ask, but never tried to listen. Their minds were closed due to their prejudice. His perplexed feeling made him ask such a question of them. In the light of these points, verse 27a is rendered as follows: He answered them, "I told you already, and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear again?"

b) Illocutionary act

This verse is another good example of an indirect speech act. The Jews' question in the last verse apparently annoyed the blind man, because they continued to ask the same kind of question, one that he had already answered in verse 15. Therefore, the blind man began to suspect the purpose or motive behind their question. Otherwise, he would have answered normally, that is, explaining how Jesus opened his eyes. He did not do so. Since the author, as argued earlier (in the section on 'CS' in 9:25), depicts the blind man as an intelligent person in this dialogue scene, one can say that the blind man somehow detected the wrongful intention in the Jews' question. The blind man thus became defensive. He thought twice, and decided not to answer them this time. However, he did not openly reject their inquiry in order not to jeopardise the Cooperative Principle, and rather pointed out plainly that, although they did not see to listen, he had already given them the answer. Along the same line of argument, he uttered an interrogative sentence to tone down his negative reply in order to maintain his politeness towards the Jews. At the same time, in this particular speech situation, the blind man's question appears natural, and caused no problem in the minds of ordinary people, whereas the Jews did not listen nor believe the blind man's answer before, why did they still want to hear it from him again? Accordingly, while the secondary illocutionary acts of his utterances are assertive and question, the primary illocutionary acts are responsive. This helps us consider that these utterances can be treated as a unit or as one global speech act. This global speech act can be formulated by the Construction macrorule, which creates a new proposition (in connection with the primary illocutionary act) out of the joint sequence of propositions (in connection with the secondary illocutionary acts). The following could be examples of the new proposition: you cannot expect me to answer the same question twice, or I do not want to answer that question again. When the schema of responsives (Bach & Harnish 1979:43) is applied to this text, the following will be gained:

In uttering " I told you already, and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear again?", the blind man responds that he does not want to answer it again if the blind man expresses:

i. the belief that he does not want to answer it again, which the Jews have inquired about, and

ii. the intention that the Jews believe that he does not want to answer it again.

As the blind man appeared to express his belief and intention, as described above, the utterances would be a successful global speech act of responsive. In brief, the blind man intended not to answer the same question twice, suspecting that the interrogators' attitude was wrong. The author wants the reader to understand why the blind man used the indirect speech acts in his response, and wants him to form a positive attitude towards the blind man accordingly.

c) Perlocutionary act

The Jews should accept the response that the blind man did not want to answer the question again, but should simultaneously appreciate the way in which he expressed his intention. The reader should not criticise the blind man for not providing the Jews with a straight answer by perceiving his feelings and the politeness he still maintained towards them. Rather, the reader should sympathise with the blind man's position, and form a positive attitude towards him.

d) Communicative strategy

1. On the story level, some scholars assume that the blind man became angry after he was asked the repeated question by the Jews. For example, Bernard (1928:335) contends that the blind man 'now becomes irritable, and turns on his questioners'. Duke (1982:187) avers: 'Weary of this pointless repetition, the man born blind accuses them of being deaf.' Then, it is most likely that the blind man's question to the Jews here can be taken only as his irony: (he would say) 'you are not willing to listen to me, but, then, why do you want to hear again?' However, according to my reading, he was not aggressive yet at this point. His utterance is frank and merely means that the Jews did not pay attention before (Brown 1966:374; also Newman & Nida 1980:313). He was still calm and was making every effort to engage in a reasonable conversation with them. As analysed above, he even employed indirect speech acts to remain polite towards them, and thus upheld the Approbation Maxim (minimise dispraise of others) under the Politeness Principle at the expense of the Manner Maxim. He specifically used a question form in order not to accuse the Jews but simply to indicate his annoyance to them. And his question was partly uttered to honestly ask the Jews' intention with their reiterated question because he suspected a hidden agenda. Here, his utterance upholds the Relation Maxim.

2. On the text level, the man's utterances flout the Processibility Principle as well as the Maxims of Transparency and Ambiguity again because of the indirect speech acts. Moreover, since the Jews asked the same question as in the last verse, the reader becomes interested in the blind man's reply. His response does not appear to betray the reader's expectation. It was realistic, reasonable and even comical. Perhaps the reader would find it agreeable and amusing. In this sense, the Interest Principle is operating well in these utterances.

e) Summary

The blind man primarily intended to respond to the previous question by the Jews, implying that he did not want to answer it again, while remaining polite (the fulfillment of the Approbation Maxim). He also wanted to query the intention behind their question (the adherence to the Relation Maxim). For these reasons, he deployed the indirect speech acts, thus adding to the interest value of the story (the Interest Principle). However, this results in the violations of the Maxims of Manner, Transparency and Ambiguity, as well as the Processibility Principle. The blind man still continued to speak to the Jews.

9:27b μή και ΰμείς θέλετε αΰτοΰ μαθηταί γενέσθαι;

a) General analysis

The blind man's next question in subcolon 38.4 appears to be a sarcastic remark. It starts with the negative particle μή. This particle is, as a rule, used in hesitant questions or questions expecting the answer 'no' (Morris 1971:491; Newman & Nida 1980:313; Holleran 1993b:373). Barrett (1955:300) contends that this particle makes a "cautious assertion". The conjunction καί may be the adjunctive use in this case, denoting also (Fowler et al. 1985:267). The infinitive γενέσθαι completes the verbal idea. It appears that the blind man is asking them with extreme irony (for this irony, see the section on 'CS' below): "Vou do not wish to become his disciples too, do you?"

b) Illocutionary act

1. From the observation that the tag question of the blind man expects the answer 'no' from the hearer, I wish to address two points. Firstly, the illocutionary act of this utterance is question. Secondly, by the nature of this tag question, this utterance violates the sincerity condition, which maintains that the speaker wants information from the hearer unconditionally. But the blind man did not want the Jews' real answer, because he expected only a negative one. Therefore, one can logically assume that he must have had a more important and different reason for asking this tag question. In other words, the meaning or force of this utterance must be rectified (cf. Levinson 1983:270). Therefore, this utterance is another example of an indirect speech act, and the illocutionary act of question is now perceived as the secondary illocutionary act whereby the primary illocutionary act can be performed. What is the primary illocutionary act of this utterance? There are two possible choices: suppositive and requestive.

2. I can suggest two reasons for considering the primary illocutionary act to be suppositive. Firstly, in suppositives "S is likely to have the perlocutionary intention that H is to expect S to take up a discussion of P or its consequences" (Bach & Harnish 1979:46). The possible observation that the blind man, in this instance, appeared to discuss with the Jews their motive for the repeated question in verse 26 corresponds with the above explanation concerning suppositives. From a general impression of his utterances in verse 27, he could have thought that they had asked the same question again, because the Jews wanted to become Jesus' disciples, thus placing more emphasis on what Jesus could do. Secondly, suppositives do not need a sufficient reason to suppose something. In this regard, a distinction should be drawn between suppositives and suggestives, for there is a similarity between them. Both belong to the same subcategory in taxonomy, which expresses a weaker belief than assertives do. However, the distinction lies in the fact that suppositives express an even weaker belief than suggestives, which require a sufficient reason for belief. Suppositives do not require a sufficient reason, but that the consequence of the belief should be worth considering. For this reason, the blind man's utterance is a great deal closer to suppositives than to suggestives, because his question is uttered, based not on any apparent reason, but solely on his supposition. From the above observations, the primary illocutionary act may be suppositive. Nevertheless, this supposition, used as a strong point in conclusion, is ironically a weakness of the hypothesis, because this supposition is simply one possible way in which to examine the utterance. I shall indicate later that there are other ways of scrutinising the utterance from different angles. The schema of suppositives by Bach and Harnish (1979:44) is as follows:

Suppositives: (assume, hypothesise, postulate, stipulate, suppose, theorise)

In uttering e, S supposes that P if S expresses:

i. the belief that it is worth considering the consequences of P, and

ii. the intention that H believes that it is worth considering the consequences of P.

When this schema is applied to this text, the following will be gained:

In uttering "Vou do not wish to become his disciples too, do you?", the blind man supposes that the Jews wish to become Jesus' disciples if the blind man expresses:

i. the belief that it is worth considering the consequences of the supposition that the Jews wish to become Jesus' disciples, and

ii. the intention that the Jews believe that it is worth considering the consequences of the supposition that the Jews wish to become Jesus' disciples.

3. Another option regarding the primary illocutionary act of the blind man's utterance would be requestive. Requestives are one of the subcategories of Directives that express "the speaker's attitude toward some prospective action by the hearer and his intention that his utterance, or the attitude it expresses, be taken as a reason for the hearer's action" (Bach & Harnish 1979:41). If this utterance is a requestive speech act, what would the blind man's attitude be towards some prospective action by the Jews? By uttering this speech act, the blind man may have tried to challenge the Jews to a debate. He invited them to engage in his argument. In other words, he requested them to argue with him. In order to verify this claim, I shall deal with two issues. One is whether or not the idea of challenge corresponds with that of requestives. The other is that one may wonder whether this view is unjustified. Was the blind man such a strong person that he may dare challenge the powerful authorities of that time?

Regarding the first issue, the speaker who requests the hearer to do something should be in a lower position than the hearer. Indeed, the blind man was in such a position (cf. section 7.1.1). Can such a person challenge the people who are superior to him? Theoretically speaking, he should not do that, for he definitely creates a problem and/or endangers his own existence. However, this often happens in a complex real-life situation. Some people dare to challenge their (political and religious) superiors; history abounds with such examples. The bottom line of this issue would be that there is no perfectly suitable category to describe this specific kind of speech act. In my opinion, the category of requestives is the best possibility at present, according to Bach and Harnish's taxonomy.

In order to answer the second issue, I shall scrutinise it in more detail. Although the first part of the man's utterances in the same verse, as discussed in the last utterances, still reserves some politeness, this particular utterance sounds harsher to the Jews. He became aggressive. The more the blind man interacted with the Jews, the more he realised their unbelieving and stubborn attitudes. As analysed earlier (in the section on 'GA' in 9:27a), the man himself who had been healed testified to what had really happened; yet the Jews did not accept it. This man must have felt hopeless in testifying before these authorities. As a result, he would finally have decided to make some sarcastic remark (cf. also Koester 1995:64), as irony, including sarcasm, is often used as a means to express one's frustration (Turner 1996:47). Duke (1982:232) comments: "Irony is precisely the appropriate instrument when reasoned argument has been set aside". This, and the breaking of the sincerity condition, constitutes sufficient evidence to suspect that this utterance may be ironic (there are more indications thereof by following steps A-ii-3, A-iv, A-v and A-vi). If this is indeed an ironic utterance, considering its primary illocutionary act to be requestive would not be unjustified. Consequently, the ironic aspect of this utterance should be identified and described, bearing in mind the issue at hand, namely to determine the primary illocutionary act.

4. According to the analytical outline for ironic speech acts (cf. section 1.6 in Chapter 2), three participants and types of irony should be identified (steps B-i and B-ii). Since the blind man spoke this utterance to the Jews, he is the ironist and the Jews are the target. The irony is located on the character level. The observer would be both the author and the reader. As it appears that the ironist intentionally uses the irony in his speech, this should be an instance of verbal irony.

There are some contradictions in the relationship between text and co-text in this utterance (step A-ii-2). Since the Jews explicitly stated to the blind man that the miracle worker was a sinner (v. 24), none of the Jewish authorities would even have considered becoming a disciple of that sinner (cf. John 3:1). The blind man was aware of this implication of their statement. Yet, he asked them whether they wished to become his disciples. This fact was a signal to the Jews that his question was not sincere and should not be taken literally. In this instance, pragmatic opposition determines the ironic effect (step B-iii-2). The blind man violated the Quality Maxim and possibly also the Relation Maxim, because he changed the topic of the conversation. He started a new phase of conversation with the completely different topic of discipleship. Schnackenburg ([1968] 1980:251) also points out: "The evangelist wants to bring back the idea of discipleship (cf. 8:31)" (cf. also Duke 1982:128).

The next analytical step involves ironic speech act conditions (step B-iv). As this verbal irony does not operate by virtue of neither propositional nor lexical opposition, propositional content conditions and the first preparatory condition do not apply to this case (steps B-iv-1 and B-iv-2-a). The second preparatory condition states (step B-iv-2-c): "The speaker takes responsibility for creating a counterfactual speech act" (Amante 1981:85), and the blind man's utterance meets this condition. The Quantity Maxim helps explain this. The blind man's utterances in verse 27 constitute his response to the Jews' question in verse 26. If he did not wish to argue with them, he would have omitted the last ironic speech act from his response. His first two utterances in verse 27 adequately convey the message that he no longer wanted to answer their questions. If he only wanted to say that, the Quantity Maxim compels him to remain silent. Communication breakdown would have occurred. However, he wished to start arguing with them by adding his ironic speech act, thus breaking the Quantity Maxim. It is thus logical to consider that the blind man's ironic remark was intentionally aimed at them.

As for the sincerity condition (step B-iv-3), I indicated earlier that his utterance adheres to the ironic speech act condition. As the conclusion by essential conditions (step B-iv-4), the utterance of the blind man amounts to deliberately creating a superficially counterfactual speech act. In addition, in light of the above scrutiny, this irony is intended, covert, fixed and finite. This would be a stable Johannine irony.

5. The blind man's utterance has now been established as verbal irony. The ironic aspect of this utterance will contribute to determining its primary illocutionary act and his true intended message. My view would be that its primary illocutionary act is requestive, not suppositive, for the following reasons. Firstly, irony can be used as a satiric device to attack (Muecke [1969] 1980) or as an apparently friendly way of being offensive (Leech 1983:144). This function of irony corresponds with the notion of requestives, in which the blind man was challenging the Jews. This could be the true message which the blind man was intentionally but indirectly conveying to them. He now became a strong man who could stand up to an argument, if necessary. According to Resseguie (1982:300), "No longer is he that nameless blind man ... now he is confident of his own identity, and he confronts the religious authorities." Although, secondly, the general impression of his utterances (or the way in which the blind man formulated his speech) in verse 27 can form the basis of the blind man's supposition that the Jews may have wanted to become Jesus' disciples, this supposition cannot be justified when the remainder of the co-text is taken into account. The Jews would not have expressed such a wish, for they were convinced that the miracle worker was a sinner. This eliminates a potential suppositive speech act.

When the schema of requestives is applied to this text, the following will be gained:

In uttering "Vou do not wish to become his disciples too, do you?", the blind man requests the Jews to engage in his argument if the blind man expresses:

i. the desire that the Jews engage in his argument, and

ii. the intention that the Jews engage in his argument because (at least partly) of the blind man's desire.

6. Before drawing a conclusion on the primary illocutionary act, I should point out another issue. One may suspect that the blind man's utterance could be his rebuff, namely a sarcastic comment in which he merely wanted to exact retribution. In this instance, his utterance could be assertive, emphasising it more as a strong sarcasm. Reading this utterance as such is perhaps unlikely on account of the following observation from the author's perspective. If the author allows the blind man to opt out of the conversation at this point, the climax of the intense debate scene between the man and the Jews would be lost. From this point onward, their debate becomes fierce and dramatic (vv. 28-34). The man's argument in the debate is worth reading. That is the 'juicy' part of this cluster. There is no way that the author could allow the man to utter this sarcasm without further intention, because the man's challenge and the Jews' response are integral to the story's development.

7. Hence, the primary illocutionary act of this utterance is indeed requestive, in that the blind man wished to argue with the Jews about the motive behind their repeated question, knowing that the Jewish authorities would take his verbal irony as a challenge. The author wants the reader to understand why the blind man made such an utterance in his response to the Jews, and to notice, once again, the blind man's intelligence and strength in his ironic expression and strategy.

c) Perlocutionary act

Since the blind man's utterance has two illocutionary forces, the Jews should first answer his question adequately and then accept the blind man's challenge to debate by recognising the irony in his utterance. The reader should note the changes in the blind man's self-consciousness and in his attitude towards the Jews, and should evaluate his ability to start arguing by using his verbal irony. In addition, for the reader's faith, the author may wish to warn the reader to re-examine his own position in relation to Jesus by asking two questions: Are you really Jesus' disciple, too? Can you show the same courage as that of the blind man?

d) Communicative strategy

1. On the character level, first, the blind man's utterance is an expression of irony, and this irony is one of the important shifts between content and intent. Nida and others (1983:41) state that in irony "one does not mean precisely what is said, but the content indicates the shift in intent". As it was obvious to the blind man that the Jews were so occupied with their own religion and with keeping their positions, he never dreamed that they would abandon their own faith and become Jesus' disciples. For the Jews, to become Jesus' disciples was an unthinkable idea and something to be abhorred. Yet the fact that he asked them such a question clearly indicates that he intended to make an ironic comment.126 This fact now heats up their conversation, thus making the story increasingly interesting by upholding the Interest Principle.

2. Secondly, the author portrays the development and strength of the blind man in terms of his character by virtue of his utterance (the entire utterance in v. 27). Thus far, the blind man has been portrayed as a passive figure who only utters his words when he is questioned. He now takes the initiative in the conversation and steers the direction of the dialogue (cf. Jones 1997:169). This marks a significant change in the communicative strategy.

3. Thirdly, as examined earlier, the blind man's verbal irony can be regarded as his challenge to the Jewish authorities. Bultmann (1971:336) states that he treats the insincerity of their inquiry with "the greatest possible irony". Bernard (1928:335) contends: "He could not refrain from this ironical gibe, which he must have known would irritate the Pharisees". He was now challenging the leaders openly. In ancient Mediterranean society, the social competition of challenge and response was regarded as a matter of life and death (cf. section 4.1.2 in Chapter 3). Equals usually competed with one another. However, in this instance, a man of low status in the community challenged the authorities, in one of the highest positions. He did so during the official legal proceedings. These facts make this competition even more serious. The reader can hardly wait to read the Jews' response.

4. On the text level, first, some scholars have raised an issue as to whether or not the blind man counted himself among Jesus' disciples. Morris (1971:491) takes the man's word 'too' as evidence for the positive view. Plummer ([1882] 1981:209) states that his word means not "as well as I" but "as well as His well-known disciples", and maintains that "the man has not advanced so far in faith as to count himself a disciple of Jesus". Lindars ([1972] 1981:347) shares the same view with Plummer, as far as his faith is concerned. Regardless of whether or not the man himself was conscious of this, the Jews deemed him as Jesus' disciple (v. 28). The character of the blind man is depicted and functioned as "his disciple" to represent Jesus in this controversy with the Jews. As far as the blind man is concerned, however, there is no indication that he agreed to the Jews' dichotomy of discipleship (v. 28). He could have conceived that a genuine disciple of Moses can concurrently be Jesus' disciple. In fact, the author wants to share this view with the reader (John 1:45; 3:14; 5:46; 7:23). Bultmann (1971:337) avers that the man was indeed a genuine disciple of Moses.

5. Secondly, the blind man's utterance observes the Manner Maxim in the sense that there is no ambiguity in the proposition stated. The content of the utterance is very clear, and there is no room for the hearers to miss the point of the question. It is, however, very interesting if one takes into account that this utterance is an indirect speech act, because ambiguity is usually inherent in indirect speech acts. The reason for this unusual observation lies in the fact that this particular indirect speech act is formulated at the level, not of the proposition, but of illocutionary force. This fact further indicates that, at the illocutionary level, on the contrary, this Manner Maxim is violated as a result of this indirect speech act, which, in this instance, is his ironic expression. Accoding to the Irony Principle adhered to in this utterance, "If you must cause offense, at least do so in a way which doesn't overtly conflict with the Politeness Principle. Allow the hearer to grasp your offensive point by implicature" (Leech 1983:82). One criterion of irony in relation to this utterance is to mean "something different from what you say" (Haverkate 1990:97). Therefore, the use of irony must involve ambiguity. The same holds true for the domain of Textual Rhetoric. In the blind man's utterance, the Clarity Principle with its two maxims, namely the Transparency Maxim and the Ambiguity Maxim, is observed between message and text at the propositional level. However the same principle, now in conjunction with the Processibility Principle, is flouted at the illocutionary level, due to his ironic expression. In addition, for reference sake only, the utterance upholds the Economy Principle by virtue of the Reduction Maxim, which makes use of pronominalisation in the expression 'his' disciples.

e) Summary

The primary illocutionary act of the blind man's utterance is, by way of performing the secondary illocutionary act of questioning, that the blind man wished to start arguing with the Jewish authorities. This bold utterance is verbal irony and another instance of stable Johannine irony. From a speech act perspective, this irony is an indirect speech act in which the author utilises various conversational principles and maxims to establish it as an effective literary device for his communication with the reader. It is also noteworthy that the analysis of irony in the utterance can contribute to determining its illocutionary force. In addition, the author hides a signal in this irony concerning the personal development of the blind man; this hidden signal, in conjunction with the utterance itself, makes the story even more interesting. To my knowledge, no scholar has studied the irony in this instance as thoroughly as in this study.

7.3.3 The third subcluster (9:28-34)

After the second conversation, both parties became increasingly excited. They gradually realised the difference in the positions held by each party and what each party tried to accomplish through the interaction. The Jews, in particular, appeared to become emotional upon the blind man's remarks and appeared to rapidly judge him. This third subcluster depicts the intense conversations between the Jews and the blind man, and portrays the Jews' harsh treatment of him as the outcome of their discordant arguments. This subcluster is the last of their conversations in this cluster and therefore climactic. It can be divided into three units, cola 39, 40, and 41-42.

9:28 και έλοιδορησαν αυτον και ειπον, Συ μαθητής ει έκέινου, ήμεις δέ του Μωϋσέως έσμέν μαθηται

a) General analysis

The Jews apparently understood the blind man's sarcasm and became furious. In colon 39, the author delineates their furious emotions by using the extraordinary word έλοιδορησαν, meaning to revile, the only place in the four Gospels where it appears (Plummer [1882] 1981:209). The Jews' aim was to finally embarrass and destroy him. While the first conjunction και in 39 links the Jews' reaction to his last remarks in 38 by means of a logical reason-result relationship, the second one simply connects the two verbs in the sentence. The contents of their abuse are recorded in the subsequent subcola. The contents in the direct quotations form two units, subcola 39.1-39.2 and 39.3-39.4. The first unit tells of their direct answer to his last question and the second is an explanation of their answer. Thus, colon 39 is examined according to each unit.

The Jews did not answer his question with a mere 'yes' or 'no', but with statements. In subcola 39.1-39.2, they said, "Vou are that man's disciple, but we are Moses' disciples". Their critical notion is evident from the present indicative verb ει in 39.1, for they seemed to be certain in their judging the blind man as Jesus' disciple, even though they did not know him very well. People manifest, generally speaking, this kind of tendency of being quick to pass judgment on others when they are extremely angry. It was at least true in this instance. More importantly for our purposes at present is that "Jesus and Moses, with their disciples, are intentionally thrown into sharp contrast" (Barrett 1955:300).127 The genitive adjective έκέινου, referring to Jesus, "conveys a suggestion of contempt" (Bernard 1928:335).128 In contrast to the first statement (39.1), subcolon 39.2 depicts their proud statement of being Moses' disciples. This was the position they wished to hold. The present indicative verb έσμέν helps convey their proud notion that they certainly were Moses' disciples. The contrast they wanted to effect is further highlighted by the nominative pronoun ημεις and by the adversative conjunction δέ. One should note that the genitive noun Μωΰσέως has the article τοΰ, probably adding emphasis or distinction. Based on these observations, this verse reads: And they reviled him, and said, "You are that man's disciple, but we are Moses' disciples."

b) Illocutionary act

The last utterance of the blind man in an interrogative sentence is a very successful speech act, for the utterance is aimed at eliciting the Jews' response. In other words, this is a good instance of the intended perlocution being realised in the real perlocution. Therefore, as the blind man expected or even more than he expected, the Jews accepted his challenge and retorted by reviling him. They were ready to argue with this man. The narrator's choice of the word to revile, which describes the furious reaction of the Jews, is indicative of the Jews' state of mind. They meant by their words: "No, we do not want to become Jesus' disciples. We are totally happy with the present situation that we are Moses' disciples. You can just go ahead and follow that sinful man!" Hence, the illocutionary force of the Jews' utterance is both responsive and disputative. However, it is not an indirect speech act, for the meaning does not need to be rectified. It has two illocutionary forces. Briefly, the Jews intended to answer the blind man's question furiously; thus the Jews' utterance keeps the Relation Maxim intact. However, the author wants the reader to judge the issue as to which party was the real disciple(s) of God and why. The author invites the reader to make the right decision.

c) Perlocutionary act

The verb revile indicates that the perlocution of the Jews is to finally embarrass and destroy the blind man. He should be surprised and discouraged about, or even afraid of both the manner and content of the Jews' response. The reader should understand their response and their state of mind as well as the sense of parody displayed in situational irony (for this irony, cf. below).

d) Communicative strategy

1. I shall discuss the communication on the character level. In 'General analysis', I pointed out that the word his (disciple) conveys a sign of contempt. This, in conjunction with the narration, suggests that the Jews' utterance denotes a strong nuance. Carson (1991:373) remarks that "they respond by hurling insults", possibly with the aim of intimidating the blind man. The utterance then violates the Politeness Principle, particularly the Approbation Maxim (minimise dispraise of other).

2. Next, I shall discuss the communication on both the character and the text levels simultaneously. Firstly, the contrast which the Jews' utterance highlights between Jesus' disciples and Moses' disciples also adds more intensity to its meaning. In this sense, the utterance deliberately breaks the Agreement Maxim (minimise disagreement between self and other). The Jews wanted to distance themselves from the blind man and thus intended to create a dichotomy of discipleship and to demonstrate two points: i) only Moses' disciples were authentic and could acquire God's approval, and ii) Jesus' disciples were a sinner's group and nobody before God and the Jews. In this instance, "Moses and the Law are set over against Jesus and his teaching; the authority of Moses is indisputable, the authority of Jesus is spurious" (Beasley-Murray 1987:158). Of course, Jesus' disciples, including the blind man, understood it differently. However, since the Jews formulated the argument in this way, "[m]en must now ally themselves with either the new Moses or the old" (Barrett 1955:300; cf, also Lindars [1972] 1981:348). This dichotomy increases the reader's fascination, and may draw the reader deeper into the story; thus, the Interest Principle is operative. Moreover, as for the reader, "[w]hat is at stake ... is a profoundly hermeneutical question: How is the antecedent revelation to be understood with reference to the new revelation in the person and teaching of Jesus the Messiah?" (Carson 1991:374). As far as this question is concerned, the author has already indicated some of his views on Moses to the reader (1:17-18, 45; 3:14; 5:45; 7:23).

3. Secondly, the Jews' self-designation, Moses' disciples, should be examined according to the Manner Maxim. Is this expression perspicuous to the blind man and the reader? As mentioned in the section on 'Mutual religious beliefs' (section 4.3 in Chapter 3), the characters and the reader know Moses well. The reader has already been exposed several times to the figure of Moses.129 In this sense, the Manner Maxim is adhered to.

4. On the text level, first, when the utterance is examined as it is, it is a very appropriate or successful speech act. It observes four Principles with their five Maxims. Because of the clear relationship between the message and the text, the utterance upholds the Clarity Principle with its Transparency and Ambiguity Maxims. Because the reader finds it easy to decode the utterance, and new and strong information (we are Moses' disciples) is placed at the end of the text, it upholds the Processibility Principle with its End-Focus and End-Weight Maxims intact. Because of the use of the pronoun, the Economy Principle with its Reduction Maxim is upheld. Moreover, because of the contrast, the Expressivity Principle is operative within the aesthetic aspect of the text. Note that this utterance does not appear to flout any rule in the domain of Textual Rhetoric.

5. Secondly, if the Jews' utterance is isolated from the co-text and examined independently, its illocutionary force is most likely assertive. However, the speech situation in this instance indicates that its force is more than assertive. In fact, it cannot be assertive. Because of the co-text, the utterance should be perceived as responsive. It is designed to be the answer to the blind man's last utterance. Because of the narrator's comment, it conveys a nuance of strong aggressiveness and hostility directed at the blind man. Why? Because the Jews detected the expression of irony in his last utterance and accepted his challenge. The debate between them was inevitably heated up, because the Jews' honour was at stake in the honour-shame society. Thus the force of disputative is present in the Jews' utterance. This is how the author leaves significant clues, guiding the reader to understand the utterance (and the story) in a specific way as planned by the author.

6. Thirdly, Botha (1991d:214) indicates a possible occurrence of irony in this instance. Why? The reader who has been provided with some information about Moses by the author thus far may suspect a contradiction in the Jews' self-designation, Moses' disciples. These constitute indications for an instance of irony (steps A-ii-2 and A-vii; steps A-iv and A-v), according to the analytical outline for ironic speech acts (section 1.6 in Chapter 2). However, since the Jews' utterance does not transgress the Quality Maxim, the Jews did not intend to employ irony. Therefore, their utterance would be an occurrence of situational irony on the text level. If the reader's suspicion is correct, this utterance could be dramatic irony and/or irony of self-betrayal. Before pursuing this further, the reader's knowledge needs to be ascertained.

According to the reader's knowledge about Moses thus far (cf. also 'Mutual story beliefs on Jesus' in section 4.1 in Chapter 3), there is no evidence to justify the Jews' dichotomy of discipleship. In fact, Moses wrote of Jesus, and Jesus indicated that to believe Moses means to believe Jesus (5:46). Jesus was fulfilling the Law of Moses (7:22-23). Moses was the one who would accuse the Jews (5:45), for they did not carry out the law of Moses (7:19). The Jews themselves should have borne these insights in mind, because they were told to them directly. Beasley-Murray (1987:158) contends that "the reader of this Gospel knows ... Moses is not an opponent of Jesus but a witness to him, and therefore a witness against the Jews who reject Moses' testimony to Jesus in the Law" (cf. also Schnackenburg [1968] 1980:251; Culpepper 1983:175). Van der Watt (1985:81) also suggests: '"John's Gospel, Old Testament figures like Moses, Abraham, and the prophets are held in high esteem. Although Jesus is contrasted with Moses, it is never that Moses belongs to the darkness ... The contrast between Moses and Jesus is therefore not negative ... it is rather a contrast of intensity."

In light of the reader's beliefs, we can conclude that the irony, in this instance, is not dramatic irony, but irony of self-betrayal, for this is not perceived through the reader's knowledge of what the Jews had yet to find out (step B-ii-2-a). The Jews also had this information, but were not willing to accept it, preferring to adhere to their own understanding of Moses. This was an error due to their unbelief. Therefore, this irony of self-betrayal results from the victims' (the Jews) utterance, which unconsciously shows their own error (step B-ii-2-c). There is no ironist, and the observers are the author and the reader. The Jews did not grasp the truth about Moses correctly, yet they proudly claimed that they were his disciples. This is comical and interesting. Thus this irony perhaps serves "as a way of involving readers in the communication process of the text" (O'Day 1986:30) and as "an individual, or psychological, strategy of control, and as a social device for group cohesiveness" (Roy 1981:409). In addition, it invites the reader to approach the author's theology and faith (Culpepper 1983:180). Some scholars take this expression of disciples of Moses and Jesus as another reference to the conflict between the synagogue and the Johannine community.130

e) Summary

The striking aspect of the Jews' utterance, in this instance, is its violations of the Approbation and Agreement Maxims. This is their open attack on the blind man in the debate. That is the reason why the speech act is mainly disputative. The majority of conversational rules are kept intact in the utterance, as noted earlier, and the message becomes clear as a result. Furthermore, the irony of self-betrayal adds a sense of parody and suggests more implications in the utterance, deepening the implicit communication between the author and the reader.

9:29 ημείς οίδαμεν οτι Μωΰσεί λελαληκεν 0 θεός, τοΰτον δε οΰκ οίδαμεν ποθεν εστίν.

a) General analysis

Subcola 39.3-39.4 provide the reason for the Jews' statements. The author presents two contrasting reasons. These contrasts (in 39.1-39.4) not only add emphasis, but also increase cohesion in the unit. The author seems to excel at employing this kind of rhetorical device in order to achieve deeper meaning, while using plain words to describe a conversation or event. The first reason is written down in 39.3, and tells of what the Jews knew: we know that God has spoken to Moses. God's direct address to Moses is frequently mentioned in the Pentateuch (Barrett 1955:301; Lindars [1972] 1981:348; Ex 33:11). In subcolon 39.4, the other reason reveals what they did not know in contrast to their existing knowledge. The pronoun τοΰτον occurs at the beginning of the sentence, suggesting that it may be in an emphatic position.131 The meaning of 39.4 is: but as for this man, we do not know where he is from.

The issue at stake regarding the reasons mentioned by the Jews is the authenticity of the figures. They claimed that Moses was an agent of God, because God had spoken to him. But they disqualified Jesus by saying that he was nobody. Nobody knew his origin or identity. They even counted him among the sinners, not among decent Jews (cf. colon 35). Therefore, they also imply that the blind man who tried to defend Jesus should also be regarded as one of the sinners, because he was, according to them, Jesus' disciple. Their assertion was a harsh insult both to Jesus and to the blind man.

Before proceeding to colon 40, one should note that the author may use another rhetorical device in colon 39. There may be a chiasm in 39.1 -39.4:

John 9:28 39.1 Συ μαθητης ει έκέινου, : a

39.2 ημεις δέ του Μωϋσέως έσμέν μαθηται : b

John 9:29 39.3 ημεις οιδαμεν οτι Μωυσει λέλαληκεν ο θεος, : b'

39.4 τουτον δέ ουκ οιδαμεν ποθεν έστιν : a'

The chiastic pattern emerges around the lexical (and semantic) parallels between the related subcola. The sentences b and b' share the same words ημεις and Μωυσέως. The sentences a and a' share the same referent, Jesus, because both pronouns έκέινου and τουτον refer to him. As mentioned earlier, there are also two sets of contrasts between a and b, and between b' and a' in this chiasm.

To summarise, this verse is rendered as follows: "We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he is from."

b) Illocutionary act

As in the last utterance of the Jews, this utterance also contains contrastive statements that emphasise the distinction they wanted to make. The distinction concerns the credibility or authenticity of the contrastive figures, namely Moses and Jesus. To the Jews, Moses came from God because God spoke to him, but Jesus came from nowhere, definitely not from God, because no one knew Jesus' origin nor identity. They were certain of this, for the speech act of their utterance, in this instance, is both assertive and disputative. Constatives, in general, including these two, express a belief (Bach & Harnish 1979:44). The Jews sincerely believed Jesus' unknown origin. Thus, the utterance adheres to the Quality Maxim. The illocutionary force of responsive is depreciated, for this utterance serves as an explanation (or reason) for their last utterance (v. 28). In the explanatory utterance, the force of assertive gains more strength.

Because of the contrastive relationship, these two statements express antithetical meanings on the surface. These should be treated as a unit from a speech act perspective, because their sequence may be goal-directed and entail one global speech act in terms of the Construction Rule (this constructs a new proposition). Accordingly, what the Jews truly wanted to convey was their claim that they were disciples of Moses, not of Jesus. They elaborated on the same point described in their last utterance. They may intend to offer their counter-opinion to the blind man regarding his previous claim that Jesus was also a prophet (who came from God) (v. 17). Therefore, in this instance, one global speech act of the Jews' utterance is disputative. Briefly, the Jews intended to argue with the blind man by stating Jesus' origin and identity. However, their point of dispute was rather weak, due to their lack of true knowledge. The author intends to teach the reader how to interpret the Jews' utterance by virtue of irony, and to bring the reader closer to his viewpoint again.

c) Perlocutionary act

The blind man should take the Jews' utterance as a counter-challenge to his understanding of Jesus. The reader should recognise the use of irony in the Jews' utterance, and consider it to be the author's device to help him understand the Jews' utterance and to draw him closer to the author's viewpoint.

d) Communicative strategy

1. On the story level, the Jews used the same strategy as in the last utterance, which highlighted the contrast between Moses and Jesus. Again, they elevated the status of Moses, but dishonoured that of Jesus. Therefore, their utterance also violates the Approbation and Agreement Maxims. These violations strengthen the intensity of the utterance.

2. The observations of the four Maxims (Quantity, Quality, Relation, and Manner) under the Cooperative Principle enhance the effectiveness of the utterance in conveying the message to the hearer, the blind man. The utterance is concise, but straight to the point. It expresses what the Jews believed to be true. It is relevant and perspicuous. It is thus an appropriate speech act.

3. On the text level, the quality of this text can also be attested by the adherence to the Clarity Principle with its Transparency and Ambiguity Maxims, the Processibility Principle, and the Reduction Maxim. The relationship between the message and the text is clear.

4. However, in this instance, the most significant communicative strategy would be another Johannine irony that can be identified on the text level. Both the author and the reader know that Jesus came from God, the Father. Yet the Jews asserted that they did not know it. This is indicative of an occurrence of irony (cf. steps A-ii-2; A-iv, A-v and A-vii.). Since it appears that the Jews uttered what they believed to be true and had no intention to use irony, this would again be a case of situational irony. Concerning Jesus' origin, the author has already told the truth to the reader on many occasions.132 In 7:27, some of the people of Jerusalem said that they also knew where Jesus was from (but they did not know where the Christ was from). The fact that the people who were not the rulers knew Jesus' origin strongly indicates that the Jewish leaders also knew it. But this inference will not be required. The Jewish authorities themselves were also supposed to know this truth by the information that was told directly to them (e.g., 5:24, 36-38; 7:16; 8:23, 26, 29, 42; cf. 5:17-18). Therefore, in this instance, their utterance reveals another instance of irony of self-betrayal (step B-ii-3). This is perceived from the victims' utterance, which unconsciously demonstrates their own error. The observers are again the author and the reader, and this irony is located at the text level.

5. This irony has various implications. It may be designed as "a means of expressing antagonism" (Turner 1996:47) and may further highlight the contrast depicted in the utterance. It serves as "an heuristic device to make one's interpretation clearer" (Muecke [1969] 1980:232). A clearer interpretation would be that the irony exposes the Jews' ignorance, which drew them even more into a state of spiritual blindness. Bultmann (1971:336) remarks that their ignorance "confirms Jesus' saying that his origin is hidden from them (8.14; 7:28)". Beasley-Murray (1987:158) avers: "Ignorance as to the origin of Jesus is the fount of their misguided opposition to Jesus: He comes from God with a revelation from God, and so with God-given authority." However, the Jews did not comprehend God's revelation or his works (Schnackenburg [1968] 1980:251). Yet, they were so proud of being the disciples of Moses to whom God spoke face to face (Ex 33:11; Nm 12:2-8; cf. also Bernard 1928:335). Therefore, this irony further invites the reader to judge the Jews' unbelief, displayed by their ignorance. Through this judgment, the reader is drawn more to the author's side. In this sense, the irony is also used as a social device for group cohesiveness (Roy 1981:409).

6. Lastly, in light of the above observations, it is significant and interesting to note that "both 7:27 and 9:29 are simultaneously false and ironically true" (Carson 1991:373; cf. Barrett 1955:301; Holleran 1993b:375). Witherington (1995:184) concludes that "with irony, speaking more truth than they realize, they say that they do not know" Jesus' origin (cf. also Duke 1982:188). Certainly, this irony says more than what the utterance says. On this point, the reader can observe the operation of the Interest Principle in this utterance.

e) Summary

By using the same line of argument as in the last utterance (comparison between Moses and Jesus), the Jews intended to argue with the blind man. They continued to argue due to his breaking the Maxims of Agreement and Approbation. To get the message across to him, however, their utterance keeps the Cooperative Principle intact. The reader is meant to have a deep understanding of their utterance by virtue of their irony, which means more than what it says. The author's communicative strategy works perfectly.

9:30 απεκρίθη ο ανθρωπος καί είπεν αΰτοίς, Έν τοΰτω γαρ το θαΰμαστον εστίν, οτί ΰμείς οΰκ οίδατε ποθεν εστίν, καί ήνοίξεν μοΰ τοΰς οφθαλμοΰς.

a) General analysis

Upon receiving the Jews' harsh insult, the blind man answered them in colon 40. His answer can be divided into four independent semantic points in the following four units: subcola 40.1, 40.2, 40.3 and 40.4. The blind man's most important set of statements is thus described in these four units. I shall now proceed with the analysis, according to these units.

The main clause in this colon can be considered to be one colon, because the aorist verbs απεκρίθη and είπεν basically portray the same activity. Subcolon 40.1 depicts his sarcastic astonishment after hearing the Jews' answer in colon 39, in conjunction with his first response to it. The prepositional phrase εν τοΰτω in 40.1 may be emphatic, as prepositional phrases usually follow the verb; in this instance, it starts the sentence. This phrase is a Johannine phrase (Barrett 1955:301), and indicates the sphere of his astonishment, referring to the Jews' previous comment, especially in 39.4. This sphere is further delineated by the embedded sentence 40.1.1. The adjective θαΰμαστον in 40.1 is a strong word.133

His amazement basically consisted of two items, as displayed in 40.1.1 and 40.1.2. The conjunction οτί in 40.1.1 introduces two clauses that are in apposition with the articular adjective το θαΰμαστον, explaining these two items. Regarding the first item, his complete surprise stemmed from the Jews' ignorance about Jesus. As usual, the perfect verb οίδατε serves to stress this present state of their ignorance, along with the particle οΰκ. The blind man identified the people who were ignorant by adding the second person plural pronoun ΰμείς (cf. Morris 1971:492; Plummer [1882] 1981:210). In addition, 40.1.1.1 describes the specific content of their ignorance, and thus the blind man said, "you do not know where he is from". Basically, 40.1.1 is a synonymous repetition of 39.4. He mimicked them and duplicated their exact words, except for the subject that was added in his sentence. This is one of the reasons that his amazement is considered sarcastic. Concerning the second item, he tried to remind them of what Jesus had accomplished, as if he were saying that it was an amazing thing for the Jews not to remember that Jesus had opened his eyes. He pointed out that there was a big gap between their ignorance and the facts of the miracle. This point leads to two rhetorical features, namely contrast and irony (for this irony, see the section on 'CS' below). The contrast is indicated by the semantic contents and the conjunction και in 40.1.2, which functions in an adversative rather than an additive manner (cf. Barrett 1955:301). One should note that 40.1.2 is basically a synonymous repetition of 26.1.1, which is an utterance from the Pharisees (these Jews included). His astonishment, therefore, also emerged from their typical stubborn and unbelieving attitudes. For this reason, his amazement would sound sarcastic. Therefore, the entire verse is translated as follows: The man answered and said to them, "In this, indeed, here is the astonishing thing, that you do not know where he is from, and yet he opened my eyes."

b) Illocutionary act

Like the perlocutionary act of the Jews' last utterance points out, the blind man took their utterance as a challenge and responded to them with his sarcastic remark; this was, in fact, an expression of astonishment. In this astonishment, the man's utterance performs a few different illocutionary acts. This is not an indirect speech act, for its meaning does not need to be fixed. One of the illocutionary acts would be descriptive, for the blind man described the contradiction in the Jews' perception of Jesus. Despite the fact that Jesus opened his eyes, the Jews did not accept that Jesus came from God. "The 'amazing thing' is not faith, but unbelief!" (Beasley-Murray 1987:158; cf. also Morris 1971:490; Carson 1991:374). The man's astonishment captures this unbelief. The schema of descriptives by Bach and Harnish (1979:42) is as follows:

Descriptives: (appraise, assess, call, categorize, characterize, classify, date, describe, diagnose, evaluate, grade, identify, portray, rank)

In uttering e, S describes o as F if S expresses:

i. the belief that o is F, and

ii. the intention that H believe that o is F.

When this schema is applied to this utterance, the following is the result:

In uttering "In this, indeed, here is the astonishing thing, that you do not know where he is from, and yet he opened my eyes", the blind man describes the Jews' perception as amazing if the blind man expresses:

i. the belief that the Jews' perception is amazing, and

ii. the intention that the Jews believe that the Jews' perception is amazing.

As the blind man appeared to express his belief and intention, as described above, the utterance would be a successful speech act of descriptive. Another illocutionary act would be assertive. The man's astonishment denotes a very strong assertion that the Jews should definitely know Jesus better. In addition, there is at least one more illocutionary act. Many scholars notice that "the ironical surprise is similar to that of Jesus in 3.10" (Lindars [1972] 1981:348).134

Even though the speech situation in 9:30 is obviously different from that in 3:10, the speech act performed in these two utterances is similar. In 3:10, Jesus, superior to Nicodemus, taught him about spiritual rebirth. In 9:30, the blind man, inferior to the Jewish authorities, voiced his astonishment to them directly in the dispute. But these utterances have a disputative illocutionary force. The blind man was advocating his point in the argument in the form of astonishment. His utterance, therefore, causes a comical and ironic twist. Dockery (1988:21) states that "the man sarcastically and humorously responds". Culpepper (1983:175) considers the man's utterance "the dull blade of sarcasm". I shall return to this irony. We have observed that the speech situation suggests that another illocutionary act of this man's utterance is again disputative.

To summarise, the blind man intended to express his amazement to the Jews, pointing out the contradictory nature of their perception of Jesus. The blind man regards it as funny and shocking that, although Jesus opened his eyes, the religious leaders did not know where Jesus was from. The author wants the reader to agree with the blind man's amazement and support the blind man in their dispute.

c) Perlocutionary act

The Jews should note the point of the blind man's astonishment and start asking themselves what was wrong with their perception. In other words, his intended perlocution is that they should feel shamed by his descriptive speech act. They should reconsider their position and opinion as a result of his assertive speech act. He further intended to persuade them to comply with his understanding through his disputative illocution. In addition, the reader should take the blind man's side in their debate by sharing his amazement. Hence, the author intends to convince the reader to continue reading.

d) Communicative strategy

1. On the character level, the blind man's utterance observes the Maxims of Relation and Manner very closely. It takes the reference to Jesus' origin as the point of contact to link to the Jews' previous utterance. It forms his counter-argument well. The blind man did not hesitate to talk to them about the unpleasant subject at all. The message is very explicit.

2. Bernard (1928:335) remarks that the blind man 'is now thoroughly angry, and he goes on to argue in his turn, shrewdly enough, beginning with a mocking retort". Although the man may have been very angry because of their revilement, the text does not indicate this explicitly. Even if he was thoroughly angry, he did not appear to lose his temper. His argument was very 'cool'. His response seemed to be calculated, and is in fact magnificent and climactic irony (Holleran 1993b:375). In fact, his utterance still upholds the Irony Principle, encouraging the speaker, if he must cause offence, to do so at least "in a way which doesn't overtly conflict with the PP [Politeness Principle]" (Leech 1983:82). Leech (1983:144) explains this aspect that irony "is an apparently friendly way of being offensive". Evidently this is exactly what the man did.

According to the verifying steps in the analytical outline for ironic speech acts (section 1.6 in Chapter 2), three participants should be identified (step B-i). It is obvious from the above observation that the blind man is the ironist and that this irony is located on the story level. The victims are the Jews and the observers are both the author and the reader. Most importantly, this is an instance of verbal irony, which is intentionally employed by the ironist (step B-ii-1). The nature of opposition in this irony would be counterfactual propositional opposition (step B-iii-1), in that the projected expectation that the Jews claimed that Jesus was not from God, is negated at some point. Thus the proposition that Jesus was not from God becomes that Jesus was from God. This opposition will further be tested by applying ironic speech act conditions (step B-iv): (proposition P = that Jesus was not from God, proposition P' = that Jesus was from God)

Propositional content conditions (step B-iv-1): In the man's utterance, propositions P and P' identify Jesus as their common referent.

Preparatory conditions (step B-iv-2): i) The blind man believes the Jews can detect the disparity between P and P' and assists them by providing lexical clues ('not') in P and P' and contextual clues (Jesus opened his eyes). ii) The blind man takes responsibility for creating a counterfactual speech act.

Sincerity conditions (step B-iv-3): The blind man believes that the sincerity rule for the illocution in which P occurs does not obtain.

Essential conditions (step B-iv-4): The man's utterance counts as the undertaking of deliberately creating a superficially counterfactual speech act.

Thus the man's utterance under consideration is now established as verbal irony. It is intended, covert, fixed and finite. This can also be called stable Johannine irony. Holleran (1993b:375) avers: "The emphatic ΰμείς not only throws their ignorance into bold relief, but implies with subtle irony that he may know more than they". Steps B-v and C are already indicated in the analysis on 'Illocutionary and perlocutionary act' above. However, if we add more, this irony serves as "a satiric device to attack" (Muecke [1969] 1980:232; cf, also Turner 1996:47) and similarly as "appeal and weapon'" (Duke 1982:56-65). The blind man was now full of courage to face the vicious authorities.

3. On the text level, the operation of the Expressivity Principle prevails for the sake of impression in the repetitious expressions, "where he is from" and 'he opened my eyes", than that of the flouting of the Economy Principle. However, in the man's utterance, the Reduction Maxim under this Economy Principle is upheld through pronominalisation. The problematic nature of the conjunction γαρ, in terms of its function, partially transgresses both the Processibility and the Clarity Principles (cf. the section on 'GA' above).

4. The blind man's counter-attack on the Jews in his verbal irony may be anticipated by the reader based on the latter's observation in v. 27, but it surely surprises the reader that the man did in fact respond with courage and wit. The reader will find this to be a fascinating difference between the man and his parents in the last scene. In this sense, the Interest Principle is actively at work.

5. Significant in the narration is the author's usage of the noun ανθρωπος to refer to the blind man. The author does so seven times in Chapter 9.

It is used in someone's utterance whenever the author wishes to refer to Jesus (9:11, 9:16, 9:24, 9:35). It is, however, used in the narrator's voice whenever the author wishes to refer to the blind man (9:1, 9:24, 9:30). When the author uses it as such, he always does so markedly, trying to draw the reader's attention. No scholar seems to have previously mentioned this insight. For example, in 9:1, the author introduces the blind man using this word for the first time, because it is crucial to the story. As 9:24 also marks a significant point in the plot of the story, the author reintroduces the blind man using the same word in the second interrogation by the Jews. In 9:30, the blind man is about to make his most important set of statements in the dialogues with the Jews. This is the reason why the author makes use of this word once again, not simply a pronoun, to warn the reader not to miss what the blind man had to say.

e) Summary

The blind man intended to fight back against the Jews by uttering the disputative speech act. However, his utterance also displays other illocutions, namely descriptive and assertive. Although each illocution has its own distinctive perlocution, the general perlocution would be to persuade the Jews to comply with the man's view. In addition, the blind man effectively used verbal irony in attempting to achieve this goal. Among the conversational rules, the adherence to the Irony Principle would be most significant in this utterance.

9:31 οιδαμεν οτι αμαρτωλών ο θεος ουκ ακουει, αλλ' έαν τις θεοσεβης η και το θέλημα αυτου ποιη τουτου ακουει.

a) General analysis

The blind man's second statement in subcolon 40.2 is based on the consensus among the Jewish people, assuming that the group consisted of the priests, the leaders and the community at large (cf. Morris 1971:492), concerning a truth regarding the relationship between God and his people. According to Schnackenburg ([1968] 1980:252), this may also refer to the future Christian community (cf. also Brown 1966:380). This assumption is derived from the perfect first person plural verb οιδαμεν. The substance of this statement primarily includes two points. The conjunction οτι in 40.2.1 introduces these two points. The first point in 40.2.1 describes God's first principle in dealing with sinners, namely that God does not hear sinners. As for the second point, 40.2.4* is the main clause and the apodosis of the afore-mentioned conditional clauses. Based on the observation that there is an adversative relationship between 40.2.4* and 40.2.1 and that they form a unit, in this instance, there may be an ellipsis in 40.2.4*. The subject, God, and his action in 40.2.4* are indicated by the present verb ακουει. The person heard is signified by the pronoun τουτου, referring to the godly person in the conditional clauses. The sentence may focus on this man, because the pronoun is in an emphatic position. Briefly, the blind man expressed: We know that God does not hear sinners, but if anyone is devout and does his will, he hears this man.

b) Illocutionary act

As noted earlier, there are two propositions in the blind man's utterance. One is that God does not hear sinners. The other is that God hears godly people. Although these propositions are in contrast to each other, they can, for the sake of analysis, be transformed into one macroproposition by the Construction macrorule: God hears and helps not a sinner, but a godly person. As in the case of the last utterance, when the debate becomes intense and probes the topic increasingly deeper, the force of an individual utterance seems to become complex. It is not unusual to have various illocutionary acts in one utterance. This is the nature of the man's utterance in this verse.

Firstly, the blind man continued to build his case against the Jews by appealing to the common religious beliefs shared by Jewish people. It is striking that the man used the verb οιδαμεν, 'we know'. He did not say, 'I know'. Through an implicature, the blind man may mean that his statement was not only his conviction, but also a timeless truth every decent Jew may share regarding God. Thus, the above macroproposition constitutes a norm. Therefore, its illocution would be descriptive: the blind man described the beliefs as a norm. Secondly, by virtue of another implicature, the man's utterance is meant as a strong assertion that the Jews should also know this. Hence, the illocution would be assertive. Thirdly, the blind man intended to teach the Jews about (or, at least, remind them of) the basic principles of God's attributes, because the macroproposition constitutes a norm and the Jews should know this; yet they did not appear to know this. In this case, his utterance would be an informative speech act. Fourthly, his utterance was nonetheless made in the speech situation of the intense debate. The force of disputative cannot be ignored. Hence, the man's utterance exhibits at least four illocutionary acts (but not an indirect speech act). Relatively speaking, the force of disputative seems to be dominant in the utterance.

Briefly, the blind man intended to remind the Jews of the basic principles of God's attributes in case they forgot such principles. The author also intends to teach or inform the reader of the relationships between God and his people in the blind man's utterance.

c) Perlocutionary act

The Jews should accept God's principles as expressed by the blind man, and apply them to the present issue concerning Jesus. The reader should learn or be reminded of how God deals with his people. The reader should also understand that these were commonly held principles among Jewish people.

d) Communicative strategy

1. On the story level, the blind man's utterance appears to break no conversational rules. Instead, all four Maxims of the Cooperative Principle seem to be kept intact in the utterance. This utterance, regarding the Relation Maxim, continues to talk of the work of God through which God's people know that God hears them. This is also a reference to Jesus' work in the blind man. Moreover, by virtue of the phrase "we know", the man endeavoured to relate to the Jews' arguments in verse 29 (cf. also Brown 1966:375; Newman & Nida 1980:314). The phrase also introduces "a maxim which no one will dispute" (Bernard 1928:336; cf. 3:2; 1 John 5:18). As far as the Manner Maxim is concerned, the message will not be misconstrued if the phrase "God does not hear sinners" is understood correctly. Barrett (1955:301) explains: "It is of course not denied that the penitent prayer of a repenting sinner is heard; it is the hypothetical prayer of one who has no intention of offering obedience that is disregarded" (cf. also Newman & Nida 1980:314-315). "'Sinners' refers to those unwilling to reform" (Brown 1966:375). The concept in this phrase appears to be a major religious belief among Jewish people (e.g., Job 27:8-9; 35:12-13; Ps 66:18; 109:7; Is 1:15). Schnackenburg ([1968] 1980:251 -252) also points out that this is "an idea which occurs frequently in Jewish writings". There is no indication in the text that the characters on stage wrongly understood this concept. Hence, the Manner Maxim remains intact.

2. What of the other proposition that God hears the righteous? This concept also appears to be a major mutual religious belief among Jewish people (e.g., 1 Chr 5:20; Ezr 8:23; Ps 6:9; 65:2; 66:19-20; Pr 15:29; John 16:23-27; 1 John 3:21-22). Again, Schnackenburg ([1968] 1980:252) indicates that, in this instance, the blind man's words were similar to a rabbinic saying. More importantly, perhaps the man had Jesus on his mind when he uttered this. The reader knows that the man was right about Jesus, for "Jesus 'did the will of God' is a frequent thought in Jn .... For the answer always given to His prayers" (Bernard 1928:336).

3. As far as the blind man's phrase mimicking the authorities is concerned, Holleran (1993b:375) comments that "his adoption of οίδαμεν, which has served as a leitmotif of the authorities' pronouncements (vv. 24, 29), is triply ironic". Stibbe (1993:106-107) also finds parody in the phrase and regards the man's utterance as heavily ironic. Their remarks suspect an occurrence of irony in this instance (step A-vii of 'The analytical outline' in section 1.6 in Chapter 2). Other factors are also indicative of its occurrence (e.g., step A-ii-2, A-ii-3, A-v and A-vi). According to the verifying steps, if the blind man intended his utterance to be ironic, it would be verbal irony in which the ironist is the man and the victims are once again the Jews (steps B-i and B-ii-1). This irony would be located on the story level. The observers are the author and the reader. The nature of opposition in this irony would be counterfactual propositional opposition (step B-iii-1). The projected expectation that the Jews should know where Jesus is from is negated at some point: the proposition that everyone knows that God hears and helps not a sinner but a godly person, becomes that everyone does not know that God hears and helps not a sinner, but a godly person. I will further test this opposition by applying the ironic speech act conditions (step B-iv): (proposition P = that everyone knows that God hears and helps not a sinner, but a godly person, proposition P' = that everyone does not know that God hears and helps not a sinner, but a godly person).

Propositional content conditions (step B-iv-1): In the man's utterance, propositions P and P' identify the belief that God hears and helps not a sinner, but a godly person, as their common referent.

Preparatory conditions (step B-iv-2): i) The blind man believes the Jews can the disparity between P and P' and assists them by providing lexical clues ('not') in P and P' and contextual clues (God heard Jesus). ii) The blind man takes responsibility for creating a counterfactual speech act.

Sincerity conditions (step B-iv-3): The blind man believes that the sincerity rule for the illocution in which P occurs does not obtain.

Essential conditions (step B-iv-4): The man's utterance counts as the undertaking of deliberately creating a superficially counterfactual speech act.

Thus the man's utterance under consideration is now established as verbal irony; it is also intended, covert, fixed and finite. This means that the utterance is another stable Johannine irony. It further indicates that the utterance upholds the Irony Principle: the blind man overtly caused offence to the Jews. Holleran (1993b:375) again remarks: "The man has moved from οΰκ οίδα (v. 12), to εν οίδα (v. 25), to οίδαμεν (v. 31)!". But the Jews did not appear to have knowledge of even the basic principles of God. "So the final irony of the man's οιδαμεν serves to contrast the authorities' 'lack of knowledge with the knowledge of believing Jews'" (Holleran 1993b:376). By virtue of this irony, the blind man was mocking either their ignorance or their unbelief. They were either stupid or stubborn in that they did not want to recognise Jesus' miracle according to the principles of God.

4. In addition, there is another irony in this utterance on the text level. This would be irony of events derived from the outcome of an event that is neither expected nor desired. From the religious leaders' perspective, the fact that an uneducated person such as the blind man was teaching (or reminding) them of basic theology was neither expected nor desired. Therefore, the victims are the Jews, but there is no ironist. This irony is located on the text level and is observed by both the author and the reader. It serves as a device for involving the reader more deeply in the communication process of the text (O'Day 1986:30), because this amuses the reader. The Interest Principle is operative in this sense.

5. One should note that the blind man's utterance does not seem to flout any of the textual rules. Instead, the majority of the Principles are kept intact. Firstly, because of the contrast portrayed in God's dealings with his people, the Expressivity Principle is working for the sake of the aesthetic aspect of the text. Secondly, as usual, the Reduction Maxim is kept by virtue of pronominalisation. Thirdly, because of a direct and transparent relationship between the message and the text, the utterance adheres to both the Processibility and Clarity Principles, especially the Maxims of Transparency and Ambiguity. As for the Processibility Principle, its two Maxims (End-Weight and End-Scope) are also upheld because of the way in which the text is presented. From a speech act perspective, this utterance appears to follow the rules thoroughly in order to achieve the communicative aim.

e) Summary

The blind man appealed to the common Jewish religious beliefs to argue with the Jewish authorities about their misperception of Jesus. Although his utterance exhibits different illocutionary forces, the disputative force would, therefore, be the strongest. His use of the phrase 'we know' is very significant, and causes an occurrence of verbal irony that is a mute yet powerful communication device to convince the Jews. The observation of various conversational rules in the utterance and the use of irony, in particular, increase the level of the reader's attention.

9:32 έκ του αιώνος ουκ ηκουσθη οτι ηνέωξέν τις οφθαλμους τυφλου γέγέννημένου

a) General analysis

The blind man's other comment is described in 40.3. In this main clause, the prepositional phrase έκ του αιώνος is problematic. In fact, this phrase is a rare expression (Plummer [1882] 1981:210; Bernard 1928:336).135 The original phrase, in this instance, contains three words, yet its meaning is not so clear from simply adding the linear elements. If done so, the following will result: from the age. However, the syntactical relationship suggests that the preposition έκ and the genitive noun together often describe time, specifying the point of time from which departure is taken, as in the case of έκ γενετης in colon 1.2*. This explanation helps us arrive at its proper meaning, since the beginning of time. Bernard (1928:336) presents another solution, namely that the author sometimes uses έκ and Ορο, interchangeably. He suggests that the phrase έκ του αιώνος should be similar to the phrase Ορο του αιώνος. After the negative particle, the main verb hvkou,sqh, aorist passive indicative, may be dramatic aorist which may be used to state the present reality with the certitude of a past event for emphasis (Fowler et al. 1985:290; cf. also John 13:31). In light of the above information, the blind man was making a very strong statement by saying that since the beginning of time it has never been heard. He emphasised the significance or rarity of Jesus' miracle, namely that nothing like it had ever happened previously. The content of whatever has never been heard of previously is elaborated upon in subclause 40.3.1 as the object of the main verb, and is introduced by the conjunction οτι. The object of the aorist verb ηνέώξέν in the subclause, οφθαλμους does not have an article. This is noteworthy because, whenever this word is used in this Chapter, it is always accompanied by the article. Without the article, this word adds indefiniteness to the content of his comment and therefore does not refer to any historical person's eyes. In addition, the word is modified by the participle phrase τυφλου γέγέννημένου. The phrase may, therefore, be translated like a relative pronoun clause, the one who was born blind. Based on these observations, the blind man made the following statement: "Since the beginning of time it has never been heard that anyone opened the eyes of the one born blind."

b) Illocutionary act

The blind man proceeded to present his arguments in the trial before the Jews, and did so in the form of statements. The illocutionary force of this utterance would, therefore, still be disputative. However, there is a stronger illocutionary force in his utterance in which he endeavoured to make only one point: he bore witness to the observation that no one in the history of humankind but Jesus could have opened the eyes of anyone born blind. Lindars ([1972] 1981:349) states: "There is perhaps here again a hint of the creation of light, the first act in the creation of the world (Gen. 1.3). Thus Jesus' act 'manifests the works of God' (verse 3)." Hence, his utterance would be a confirmative speech act. The blind man expressed not only his belief, but also that he believed it as a result of his observation by virtue of some truth-seeking procedure. In this case, it would be the man's own testimony and knowledge. According to the schema of confirmatives by Bach and Harnish (1979:42-43),

In uttering that "Since the beginning of time it has never been heard that anyone opened the eyes of the one born blind", the blind man confirms that only Jesus could open the eyes of the one born blind if the blind man expresses:

i. the belief that only Jesus could open the eyes of the one born blind, based on some truth-seeking procedure, and

ii. the intention that the Jews believe that only Jesus could open the eyes of anyone born blind.

As the blind man appeared to express his belief and intention exactly as described above, this utterance is a successful confirmative speech act. He intended to bear witness to the observation that no one but Jesus could have opened the eyes of the person born blind. As will become evident, he uttered this testimony to provide a direct basis for his conclusion in the next utterance. The author intends the reader to accept the blind man's testimony and tries to prepare the reader for the final conclusion, which the blind man was about to bring.

c) Perlocutionary act

The Jews should acknowledge the blind man's observation, and consider its implication: Jesus performed a phenomenal miracle. The reader should also acknowledge the blind man's observation at face value, or at least understand the point the blind man wanted to make by virtue of this utterance.

d) Communicative strategy

1. On the story level, perhaps the most important aspect of the blind man's utterance is the verisimilitude of its content. He claimed that no one had ever opened the eyes of anyone born blind until now. Was his claim true? The answer to this question will indeed influence his credibility. And if this was not true, rhetorically his statement may become hyperbole, which involves a shift between communicative intent and verbal content. The Scriptures promised "that God would send his prophetic or messianic 'servant', who would be the 'light of the nations, to open the eyes of the blind' (Isa 42:6-7)" (Koester 1995:145; cf. also Is 29:18; 35:5; 42:16; 61:1-2; Ps 146:8). The Old Testament does not record any miracles of giving sight to persons born blind.136 From this perspective, the blind man uttered the truth. Therefore, his utterance upholds the Quality Maxim. As a result, the Jews would be forced to acknowledge his claim, regardless of whether or not they would do so.

However, although the Old Testament does not contain such a record, other ancient documents somewhere in the world could tell a similar story. As long as this possibility is not denied with full certainty, historical approaches may need to investigate the matter further. In this case, the issue will remain open. But, to the advantage of the speech act approach followed in this study, the approach does not deal with the issue in that way, for the Quality Maxim can settle the matter adequately. If the blind man testified to what he claimed to the best of his knowledge, his utterance is successful and the issue can be closed, because the communicative aspect, namely that he had said what he believed to be true is what counts. There is no evidence that he said so falsely. Indeed, as for the blind man, the two indicative verbs in this sentence imply that he was at least relating something that, to the best of his knowledge, he firmly believed. Therefore, his argument was very convincing.

2. Furthermore, his utterance keeps the Relation and Manner Maxims intact. His logic displays a consistent flow of arguments (for this aspect, see the section on 'IA' in 9:33). The message is very clear. There is no ambiguity in his dialectic. In addition, the Approbation Maxim is also adhered to in his utterance. It maximises praise of the other, in this case, of Jesus. The blind man placed Jesus at the top of the list of miracle workers.

3. On the text level, just as his utterance keeps the Manner Maxim on the story level, it also observes the Clarity Principle with its two Maxims of Transparency and Ambiguity. However, because of the problematic nature of the prepositional phrase έκ του αιώνος, this utterance may partially transgress the Processibility Principle.

4. The blind man's claim to the rare and extraordinary phenomenon of Jesus' miracle, may have news value for the reader. If so, the Interest Principle is operative. Perhaps the reader is once again impressed by the blind man's clever claim.

e) Summary

As his communicative strategy, the blind man drew attention to the incredible nature of Jesus' miracle in this utterance. The main illocutionary act is, therefore, confirmative, and the intended perlocution is that the Jews should acknowledge his claim and reconsider their view of this miracle event. The Old Testament could attest to the truthfulness of his claim. Accordingly, the Quality Maxim is upheld, increasing the value of his argument. The reader is pleased to observe the blind man's cleverness and expects his conclusion with a sense of excitement.

9:33 ει μη ην ουτος παρα θεου, ουκ ηδυνατο ποιειν ουδέν.

a) General analysis

In subcolon 40.4, the blind man drew his conclusion based on his previous statements. Therefore, this conclusion would be the focal point of the cluster. He made his closing argument like a defending attorney in the final scene of a court case. It was very concise and short, but it was sufficiently significant to impact on those who heard it. In 40.4.1, the conjunction ει plus the imperfect indicative verb ην form a past conditional clause (Wenham 1965:167). However, one should note that there are two unusual sentence constructions in 40.4. Firstly, if this protasis is a condition that is contrary to fact, the apodosis usually contains the particle 0v. However, this apodosis does not contain such a particle. Bultmann (1971:337, footnote 4) observes that it has been omitted. Despite this, the proposition stated in the sentence is obviously false (cf. Newman & Nida 1980:315). Secondly, an unusual negative particle μη is used in 40.4.1. This particle is, as a rule, used in all moods except the indicative (Wenham 1965:208), but the usage, in this instance, deviates from the usual. Nevertheless, this undoubtedly negates the original content.

The apodosis of the last conditional clause is recorded in 40.4.2*. The imperfect indicative third person singular verb ηδυνατο expresses the subject's ability to perform an action, and indicates that the subject refers to Jesus. "Note the emphatic double negative" in this main clause (Morris 1971:492, footnote 45). This is partly because the object is the numeral οΰδεν, and there are consequently two negatives. In Greek, however, two negatives do not cancel each other out as in English, but rather form the strongest negative possible. In light of the above observations, the blind man concluded: "If this man were not from God, he could do nothing."

b) Illocutionary act

1. Since all his previous utterances are essentially building up to the point the blind man tried to make in his last utterance, this last utterance entails the conclusion of his argument. To use a forensic term, he was now making his closing argument. It is striking that he used a conditional sentence form for this purpose. From this fact, the illocutionary act would be suggestive, as he expressed his point hypothetically (for suggestives, cf. the section on 'IA' in 9:8b). For this reason, the meaning of the utterance needs to be rectified, whereafter it is possible to arrive at his conclusion which demonstrates that Jesus came from God. This is another instance of an indirect speech act. The suggestive speech act, therefore, becomes its secondary illocutionary act. Lindars' ([1972] 1981:349) comment indicates the occurrence of an indirect speech act: "The conclusion, that Jesus is from God, is put in negative form; cf. 5.30. It is the affirmation to which all the dialogue has been leading" (cf. also Bultmann 1971:337; Carson 1991:375).

What is the primary illocutionary act? The conditional sentence under consideration conveys a very powerful assertion, which is, of course, similar to the conclusion mentioned earlier. In this sense, the primary illocutionary act is assertive. However, it could be confirmative, and this then functions as an extension of the assertive, as the blind man had support for his conclusion in addition to his belief and intention (cf. Bach & Harnish 1979:46). This support or truth-seeking procedure refers to his own testimony: the blind man was proof of Jesus' ability to do something incredible. This confirmative speech act follows the schema of confirmatives by Bach and Harnish (:42-43) and is, therefore, successful. Briefly, the blind man intended to conclude his arguments by saying that Jesus came from God by virtue of his confirmative speech act. The author invites the reader to assent to the blind man's view and to have greater conviction in believing in Jesus.

2. Since the blind man's answer has been scrutinised according to the four units, I shall discuss its global speech act, because verses 30-33 structurally constitute one colon.

As noted earlier, each unit in the blind man's answer demonstrates his penetrating insight. The first unit (a disputative speech act) reports his sarcastic astonishment that seems to be mocking the Jews' ignorance. The second (a disputative speech act) discloses his ability to cite a certain religious maxim most effectively for his argument, and at the same time proves his correct understanding of who God is. Although he may not know the details of the Law, unlike the Pharisees (Jews) to whom he is talking, he did understand the most important concepts of God. The fact that the person, who used to sit and beg, was now reminding the religious leaders of something within their specialty is comic and ironic. Since the first two units may be somewhat argumentative, the third (a confirmative speech act) emphasises practical evidence derived from his memory to strengthen his argument. Finally, the last unit (a confirmative speech act) draws the conclusion that all three units lead and attest to one and only verdict: Jesus was sent from God to do his will. His statements are semantically coherent and structurally cohesive. This is equivalent to a macroproposition of this colon, which can also be determined by virtue of the Construction Rule. From this macroproposition and the speech situation of debate, a global speech act of the man's answer would be confirmative. Like his fourth utterance, his own testimony supports this global speech act. Resseguie (1982:300) observes: "This scene ... marks the development of the healed man as a person in his own right. His irony leads to sarcasm, and his sarcasm opens the way for him to lecture the religious authorities on some basic theological principles".137 Hence, these four units are closely connected and developed for one purpose, namely to show Jesus' origin and identity.

c) Perlocutionary act

Although the blind man used the conditional sentence to express his point hypothetically, he intended, as the perlocutionary act of his utterance, to persuade the Jews to agree to his view concerning Jesus, and to renounce their negative and hostile attitude towards both Jesus and himself. The author also records the blind man's conclusion, in conjunction with his extended arguments in verses 30-32, in order to encourage the reader to stand up for his belief against any difficulties or persecution that may threaten him, just as the blind man displayed his courage before these hostile Jews.

d) Communicative strategy

1. On the character level, since the blind man's utterance is an indirect speech act, it violates the Manner Maxim in terms of ambiguity. However, the utterance is formulated in such a way that the Relation Maxim is upheld. An aspect of this Maxim (contribute to advancing your communicative goal) is evident in the way in which the blind man formulated this utterance in concluding his arguments. His implicit reference to the miracle healing specifically links the utterance to his previous utterance (v. 32) by virtue of another aspect of the Maxim (be relevant).

2. The perlocution of the blind man's utterance is to convince the Jews that Jesus came from God. Lieu (1988:83) comments that the blind man is "the only person in the Gospel other than Jesus himself to describe Jesus as 'from God'". Although the message of his utterance was successfully communicated, he failed to convince them with his confirmative speech act. Instead of accepting his conclusion, as will be noted in the next verse, they rejected him completely and cast him out. This failure was attributed not to any deficiency in satisfying any felicity conditions of the illocutionary act at this point, but to the perlocutionary act. He failed to evoke the perlocutionary effect on them. This simply means that he could effect no change in the Jews' attitude or view. But the root of this failure is more serious. It was obvious, since the start of their conversation (v. 24), that these two parties neglected to observe the Cooperative Principle, which encourages "participants [to] recognise a common purpose, or at least a mutually accepted direction in conversation" (Grice 1975:45). Because both parties aimed to change the other party's view, they did not share any common purpose or direction in their dialogue. For this reason, they constantly violated the Politeness Principle, especially the Maxim of Agreement which aims to minimise disagreement and maximise agreement (Leech 1983:132). In this type of conversation, communication is doomed to disappointment and failure. However, the reader is meant to detect the following: "Faith in Jesus is tied to the recognition that he has been sent by God, and unbelief is simply the refusal of that recognition. The former blind man shows himself ready for the final step of faith to follow, while the authorities, persisting in their ignorance of Jesus' origin, are ready only for the verdict Jesus will pronounce upon their blindness" (Holleran 1993b:376).

3. On the text level, in terms of ambiguity caused by an indirect speech act, the man's utterance flouts the Principles of Processibility and Clarity with its Maxims of Transparency and Ambiguity. The utterance could have been clearer or shown a direct relationship between message and text if the blind man uttered the same semantic content in different surface structures such as the following: surely I believe that Jesus came from God. It is easier for the reader to decode the message, for it is possible to frame the utterance in an affirmative and straightforward way, rather than using the negative and conditional sentence form. In this sense, the man's original utterance also flouts the Sub-Maxim of Negative Uninformativeness. This Sub-Maxim "implies that a negative sentence will be avoided if a positive one can be used in its place. Moreover, it will imply that when negative sentences ARE used, it will be for a special purpose" (Leech 1983:101). This special purpose would be that, in this case, the blind man chose expressivity over clarity. In other words, his motive for using the indirect speech act was "effectiveness in a broad sense which includes expressive and aesthetic aspects of communication, rather than simply with efficiency" (Leech 1983:68). This expression again displays the author's rhetorical technique. His utterance upholds the Expressivity Principle. Hence, the speech strategy, which the blind man used for this utterance and his argument as a whole, was a very intelligent and effective one, and showed that he possessed the capacity to do so. The author characterises the blind man very highly in this dialogue scene.

4. This use of negative and conditional sentence forms for the blind man's conclusion is perhaps surprising to the reader. In this sense, this man's speech strategy may effectively betray the reader's expectation of him, and attracts the reader's attention by operation of the Interest Principle. As part of his strategy, the utterance also upholds the Reduction Maxim by virtue of pronominalisation.

e) Summary

The blind man intended to conclude his arguments by telling the Jews that Jesus came from God by virtue of his confirmative speech act. For effectiveness, the man deploys an indirect speech act in his utterance, and observes the Expressivity Principle and the Relation Maxim at the expense of several other conversational rules such as the Processibility Principle, the Maxims of Manner, Transparency and Ambiguity, and the Sub-Maxim of Negative Uninformativeness. The reader may find the man's closing argument convincing, but the intended perlocution is not realised due to the Jews' stubborn unbelief.

9:34a απεκρίθησαν καί είπαν αΰτώ, Έν αμαρτίαίς σΰ εγεννήθης οίος καί σΰ δίδασκείς ήμας;

a) General analysis

The blind man's arguments were very logical and convincing, without any weakness, with the result that the Jews did not seem to be able to even attempt any counter-argument. They avoided addressing the exact issue, and tried to focus on, so to speak, a character attack on him (cf. Tenney 1981:105). This is portrayed in colon 41 and 42, in conjunction with the outcome of their interaction.

Colon 41 is the Jews' reaction to the blind man's statements in colon 40. Although the author does not use a strong word such as the term ελοίδορησαν in colon 39, they were probably furious when they answered him. This is indicated not by the narration, but by the content of their reply. The content includes two components that are depicted in subcola 41.1 and 41.2. Syntactically, the adjective ολος in 41.1 is awkward. This nominative adjective should modify a nominative noun (Fowler et al. 1985:333); yet there is no suitable noun in this sentence. Hence, there is no option to consider that this adjective modifies either the pronoun or the verb. The latter is smoother for translation. Some English translations such as the NASB and the NRSV accordingly treat it as an adverb to modify the verb. Grammatically, however, it is more acceptable that it modifies the pronoun, denoting all of you or the whole person of you (cf. Wenham 1965:58). There is hardly any semantic difference between the two views; it may be a matter of preference. One should also remember that this construction is not so unusual in Greek syntax. The use of the word ολος can be similar to that of the demonstratives, and it is placed in the predicate position (Barrett 1955:302). After all, the Jews attacked the blind man in their first response by saying "you were born entirely in sins". Unlike Jesus' view, they assumed convincingly that his blindness resulted from his own sins or those of his parents. They tried to dismiss his legitimate argument with their illegitimate insult.

The second response of the Jews is recorded in subcolon 41.2. The conjunction καί indicates an additive-different relation between 41.1 and 41.2. These two subcola form a unit. Again, the pronoun σΰ in 41.2 is used for emphasis, as the verb δίδασκείς follows it. Bernard (1928:337) observes: "Every word is scornfully emphatic" (cf. also Plummer [1882] 1981:210). Although Newman and Nida (1980:316) comment that "trying to teach is the real meaning of the verb", the present verb δίδασκείς seems to imply that the action is progressive-continuous (Fowler et al. 1985:288). This may well explain one of the reasons for the Jews' subsequent violent action in colon 42. This may be speculation, but they may have believed that, if the blind man remained with them, he may have continued to teach them. If so, they did not need his teaching; they needed to get rid of him. From these observations, verse 34a is rendered as follows: They answered and said to him, "You were born entirely in sins, and are you teaching us?"

b) Illocutionary act

Despite the fact that the blind man was sufficiently intelligent to be able to effectively present his arguments before the Jews, the perlocution of his arguments did not effect any change in the Jews' attitudes towards either Jesus or himself. In the analysis of the previous utterance, the reason for this is examined by virtue of the breach of the Cooperative Principle in their specific speech situation. However, the Jews' utterance at this point reveals that this was due to the blind man's fault. He was a complete sinner, yet he tried to teach 'righteous' religious leaders such as themselves (of course, the reader knows that this is not the real reason). Perhaps they might have reasoned, "No one, especially a sinner like him, can persuade or change us! And he certainly crossed the line this time." From their perspective, they undoubtedly found him guilty of everything. He was guilty of defending Jesus, of lecturing them, and of being himself (a sinner). Hence, in the first utterance, the Jews passed judgment on the blind man for the fact that he was born blind, because he and/or his parents had sinned. Of course, this differs completely from Jesus' view in verse 3.

With reference to the second utterance, in a different context, their question could be used for real questions in order to obtain new information. However, the question does not meet the sincerity and essential conditions relating to a question speech act (for these conditions, cf. the section on 'IA' in 9:2), because they did not care whether or not the man would answer. Perhaps they did not even intend to listen to his answer. This is demonstrated by the fact that they did not wait for the man to respond, but threw him out immediately (cf. v. 34b). It is not designed as a real question. Therefore, it is only logical to take this interrogative sentence as a rhetorical question, expressing an emphatic declaration that is used to both warn the blind man and end the dialogue. Since the sentence-type does not directly correspond to its communicative function in the rhetorical question, the utterance should be classified as an indirect speech act (cf. Yule 1996:54-55). The primary illocutionary act of this utterance would then be assertive, in that the Jews alleged, "You do not teach us!". They succeeded in conveying this message to the man by performing the secondary illocutionary act of question. A new proposition can be created from both their first and second utterances by virtue of the Construction Rule: "you who were born in sin do not teach us!" Therefore, these utterances could be considered one global speech act with an assertive illocutionary force.

However, it appears that more predominant illocutionary force(s) exist(s) in this global speech act than the assertive. There are two further possibilities. One is that the illocutionary force could be disputative, for the two utterances formed part of the intense discussion. The Jews were still disputing the blind man's claim. When the schema of disputatives by Bach and Harnish (1979:43) is applied to these utterances, the following will occur:

In uttering "You were born entirely in sins, and are you teaching us?", the Jews dispute the claim that Jesus came from God if the Jews express:

i. the belief that there is reason not to believe that Jesus came from God, contrary to what was claimed by the blind man (or was otherwise under discussion), and

ii. the intention that the blind man believes that there is reason not to believe that Jesus came from God.

As far as the content of this schema is concerned, when it is said that there is reason not to believe that Jesus came from God, what would this reason be? The reason the Jews pointed out in their utterances is that the blind man was not worth being heard. It further indicates that his testimony or arguments would thus have been false. This observation may substantiate the possibility that the Jews' utterances are a global speech act of disputative. The other possibility is that of dissentive. The Jews rejected the man's claim that Jesus came from God (for the schema of dissentives, see the section on 'IA' in 9:9b). Of the two, I would opt for the dissentive speech act, because the co-text, in this instance, suggests that the Jews were also concluding the argument at this point and intended to disengage from the dialogue. The dissentive force seems to suit this particular speech situation better. In my opinion, the disputative force implies having a continued discussion. Therefore, the Jews intended to reject the blind man's previous claim about Jesus' origin and identity. Since they seemed to realise that they were not able to refute his arguments with their logic, they changed their strategy in dealing with him. They decided to no longer accept him as a witness and conversational partner. Rather, they wanted to dismiss him as a sinner who did not deserve fair treatment. With this, the author may intend the reader to notice and condemn the Jews' unfair treatment of the blind man.

c) Perlocutionary act

As in verse 28, the blind man should be surprised and discouraged, or even intimidated by the harsh tone and content of the Jew's utterances. The blind man should become silent before them. The reader should disagree with the Jews' authoritarian treatment of other people and learn how to deal with other people in conversation by virtue of the Jews' mistake. The reader should also sympathise with him and fully support the position of the blind man.

d) Communicative strategy

It is characteristic of the Jews' utterances that they violate most of the normal conversational rules. This makes these utterances very significant. For the sake of discussion, the communication on the character and text levels is examined simultaneously.

1. Firstly, their utterances transgress all four Maxims of the Cooperative Principle. As far as the Quality Maxim is concerned, when the Jews said that the blind man was born entirely in sin, they uttered something for which they lacked adequate evidence. They probably said this because he did not concur with their view and even had the audacity to lecture them. The reader knows that the Jews' claim was false, because Jesus explicitly denied this possibility (v. 3).

2. As far as the Relation Maxim is concerned, they violate it in two ways. In the blind man's arguments, the central focus was on whether or not Jesus was from God. In this line of discussion, the Jews should have responded directly to this particular issue. Yet, they avoided or abandoned the issue and proceeded with the credibility of the blind man as their new focus in the conversation. At this point, they transgressed this Maxim. Furthermore, one should remember that the Jews' purpose or goal with this interrogation was to elicit the information as to who Jesus was (cf. the sections on 'IA' and 'CS' in 9:26). Viewed from this broader perspective, their utterances do not at all contribute to this goal. The way in which they uttered these words indicates that they had relinquished this goal. It appears that they no longer cared for it. All they cared about at this point was to get rid of this man who dared to teach them something within their field of expertise. They would even do so by taking up a topic irrelevant to their goal, being fully aware that it was not going to help them achieve it. In this instance, they violated the Relation Maxim. Even if their goal was to deny the miracle or to trip the blind man, as other critics suggest, this violation inevitably occurs. One should note that, when they consciously or unconsciously decided to violate this Maxim, they also most likely decided to opt out of the dialogue. When they were about to do so, "the Jews find it convenient to believe that the man's blindness was due to sin" (Barrett 1955:302; cf. also Brown 1966:375; Schnackenburg [1968] 1980:252; cf. v. 2). This idea appealed to them because they could dismiss the blind man as an unreliable witness.138 They could close this case as they wished. At least, they would have thought so. However, they did not realise that, in order to conclude the cause of his blindness, this would lead them to have to admit his congenital blindness and therefore also Jesus' miracle.139

3. The above observation leads to another instance of irony, because they reopened the court and interrogated the man once again in order to avoid this kind of conclusion in the first place (cf. Salier 2004:113). Therefore, this is both irony of events and irony of self-betrayal. The former irony is derived from the outcome of the event, which is neither expected nor desired. The latter results from the victims' (Jews') utterances, which unconsciously reveal their own error. These are both situational ironies; there is no ironist. The observers are the author and the reader in both cases and these ironies are located on the text level. It is likely that these serve to clarify the reader's interpretation (Muecke [1969] 1980:232) as well as to require the reader to pass judgment on the unbelieving Jews (O'Day 1986:31). Schnackenburg ([1968] 1980:252) points out: "It is the blindness of people who insist on their own cleverness and authority."

4. I already discussed two possible reasons that could explain why the intended perlocution of the blind man's previous arguments was not realised (although the second reason was false; cf. the section on 'IA' above). Another probable reason could be suggested from the reader's perspective. The reader who reads this Chapter up to this verse knows that the real reason is the Jews' stubborn nature and unbelief. The man's perlocution was legitimate; their reaction was illegitimate. Hence, the examination of the violation of the Relation Maxim discloses interesting communication in the story.

5. The Jews' utterances in the question form, which aim to make an assertion, cause some ambiguity that jeopardises the Manner Maxim. On the other hand, the message of the utterances appears to be conveyed unmistakably to the blind man. In this respect, the same Maxim is upheld to some extent. With reference to the Quantity Maxim, the last point which the Jews wished to make is not explicitly stated, but in their second utterance. It disguises the phrase to the effect that, "You should not teach us!". Strictly speaking, according to this Maxim, such a phrase should be spelled out. Their utterances therefore violate this Maxim.

6. Secondly, it is obvious that the Jews transgressed the Approbation Maxim. The content of the first utterance is open dispraise of the blind man. It is a strong statement and a barometer of their anger and desperation. In addition, the Jews' rejection of the man's claim suggests another violation of the Agreement Maxim. The level of their disagreement appears to be the ultimate.

7. Thirdly, the Pollyanna Principle, which advocates that participants prefer a pleasant topic to an unpleasant one in a conversation (Leech 1983:147), is flouted in their first utterance. To be born in sin was not a pleasant topic. This same Principle even encourages one to use terms such as a bit, a little or rather in order to tone down the level of unpleasantness (Leech 1983:147). However, their first utterance uses the term entirely to increase the unpleasantness.

8. Fourthly, the violations of the Approbation Maxim and the Pollyanna Principle, in conjunction with the Jews' anger, are indicative of their attitude to insult the blind man. By this strong insult, some kind of emotional damage could be expected in the man. In this sense, perhaps the man experienced suffering. If any motif of suffering can be perceived in this instance, this suffering would have a constructive purpose, in that the man's character could be strengthened by virtue of this suffering.

9. On the text level alone, fifthly, in connection with the partial violation of the Manner Maxim, their second utterance further transgresses the Principles of Processibility and Clarity, and the Transparency Maxim because of the indirect and opaque relationship between message and text (assertion via question).

10. As scrutinised earlier, their utterances are problematic and break various rules. Nevertheless, at least the Expressivity Principle is observed for aesthetic and rhetorical value in the second utterance. In other words, the question form is employed for the sake of impact on the hearer. It is more effective in terms of impression than a mere assertion form. In addition, their utterances include pronouns and, therefore, appear to uphold the Reduction Maxim. However, strictly speaking, this Maxim is not adhered, because the pronouns are only conventionally used for the speakers and the hearer in direct speech.

e) Summary

The primary illocutionary force of the Jews' indirect speech act is most likely dissentive, in that they intended to reject the man's claim that Jesus came from God. In addition, the analysis of the problematic nature of their utterances, by checking against various conversational rules, reveals that their intention was to no longer continue interrogating the blind man. They had decided on a way to end this trial, namely by dismissing him as an unreliable witness and by insulting him. The motif of suffering can be detected in this insult. By virtue of their utterances, the author intends to highlight their stubborn unbelief and unfairness. This will explain their action in the next verse.

9:34b και έξέβαλον αυτον έξώ.

a) General analysis

Colon 42 is the narrator's voice, and tells of the final conclusion of this cluster as well as of the immediate outcome of the ongoing conversation between the Jews and the blind man. The conjunction και displays an additive-different relationship between cola 41 and 42. The aorist active verb έξέβαλον implies that the subject, which refers to the Jews, is actively involved in the action. This compound verb and the adverb έξώ reinforce one another semantically. Bernard (1928:337) suggests that this phrase is typically Johannine. The result is, accordingly: And they cast him out.

b) Illocutionary act

Based on the fact that the Jews violated the Cooperative Principle in the conversation in order to retain their authority as the Jewish religious leaders, the blind man should no longer continue the dialogue with them. There was no room left for reasonable conversation. In fact, the Jews' determination was so strong that they physically cast the blind man out at once, the way they did verbally in their previous speech act. They did not even give him an opportunity to respond. Lindars ([1972] 1981:349) explicates that the man's exclusion brought "the examination to an abrupt end ... indicating the final refusal of the Pharisees to believe". In this utterance, the narrator intends to report such an action and to tell the reader that the entire dialogue between the Jews and the blind man had failed, indicating how the Jews ended the dialogue by their authoritarian action. Thus, this short utterance by the narrator can be categorised as an informative speech act. The latter correctly follows the schema of informatives by Bach and Harnish (1979:42) and is thus successful.

c) Perlocutionary act

The reader should acknowledge that the conversation between the Jews and the blind man failed, and he should be surprised at their harsh treatment of him. The reader should also sympathise with the blind man in his dismissal.

d) Communicative strategy

Since the narrator's utterance aims to achieve the reader's understanding of the story, I shall discuss the communicative strategy primarily on the text level.

1. The Jews acted upon their intention displayed in their last utterances, namely to terminate the interrogation and to pass a final verdict on the present judicial case. In accordance with their last utterances, their actual verdict was that the blind man was found guilty of the charge of creating a grave controversy and providing false testimony as a witness. The punishment was expulsion. The first step was the physical removal of the guilty from their court. Dodd ([1953] 1968:359) comments: "The Pharisees have expelled from God's flock the man whom Christ Himself enlightened. They are scattering the sheep whom Christ came to gather." As Neyrey (1987:537) points out, the "judgment is described as an act of separation". However, the reader will find this verdict to be a one-sided and partial sentence. However, it was completely acceptable and appropriate to the Jews, for the man had been a sinner from birth. They may have thought that, if they settled the issue this way, they could maintain their honour as the religious leaders in the community, a position strongly challenged by the blind man. It was essential for them to win the case by any means. As long as they proceeded with the matter according to 'their procedures', arguments in the trial did not matter a great deal because they were the judges. This further indicates that anything was allowed as long as their status and the established order were safely preserved. Nobody could 'mess' with them. If somebody tried to do so, he would be hurt. This is exactly what happened in the story.

2. At least three implications can be derived from their action to cast the man out. Firstly, the blind man had a better understanding of the event than the Jews and was better at putting religious knowledge into practice, because the Jews' attitude appeared to be emotional and short-tempered. Secondly, with respect to the evaluation of their arguments, it is obvious that the victory was his. Nobody among the Jews was able to openly refute his logic. Lastly, the Jews had no choice but to cling to their authority as the final resolution in order to end this embarrassing discussion.

3. In contrast to the Jews' last utterances, the narrator's utterance follows the normal conversational rules. In the field of Interpersonal Rhetoric, first, it observes the Maxims of Quantity, Quality, and Relation. It is economical, sincere and relevant. It also adheres to the Manner Maxim on the story level. It is sufficiently perspicuous to describe what the Jews decided to do to the blind man. On the text level, this same Maxim appears to be flouted in the utterance. Commentators differ in determining the exact meaning of the expression, 'they cast him out'. Generally speaking, scholars' opinions are divided into two categories: this expression refers either to the (formal) expulsion from the local synagogue, or to an informal exclusion, perhaps from the Jews' presence. Those who take the former view to the extreme consider that "the man's affirmation in verse 33 is equivalent to a confession of faith in Jesus as the Messiah" (Lindars [1972] 1981:349; Ashton [1991] 1993:227). Many critics agree that the man born blind "was eventually expelled from the local synagogue",140 even if they do not explicitly mention how verse 33 should be viewed in relation to the confession in verse 22. Conversely, those expositors who take the latter view object to the former because of either of the following two reasons or a combination thereof. One is that if it were a formal expulsion, it would have required a decision of the Sanhedrin (Bernard 1928:336). The other is that the expression is too vague, and the man had not confessed Jesus as Christ (Plummer [1882] 1981:211). Either way, it "is not a formal excommunication but simply ejection from their presence" (Brown 1966:375; cf. also Resseguie 1982:300; Witherington 1995:389, footnote 51). However, the majority of those critics who do not regard it as formal still maintain that this expression is used with a double meaning and is symbolic of the later excommunication from the Jewish religious community (Schnackenburg [1968] 1980:252).

4. As far as the above issue is concerned, an important question to literary critics is perhaps: Why does the author (via the narrator) not use the word αποσΰναγωγος if he means it as a formal expulsion from the synagogue? The word is already available to him in verse 22. If the author uses this word in considering the formal expulsion, the utterance under consideration would not have flouted the Manner Maxim. If it can be assumed that the author is upholding this Maxim and still uses the word εξεβαλον, the meaning would point to the second view above. However, there is another alternative to consider: if the author opines that the word εξεβαλον also embraces, as Bultmann (1971:336, footnote 4) considers, the meaning of the word ΟποσυνΟγώγος, the first view is possible without necessarily transgressing the Manner Maxim. This coincides with my own understanding. In this case, the narrator's utterance still keeps this Maxim, while it refers to the blind man's expulsion from the local synagogue.

5. Secondly, the reader may be surprised at the Jews' action of expelling the blind man, not only the action itself, but also its impulsive tone. This may also surprise the blind man. As mentioned earlier, they did not even give him an opportunity to say anything. As far as the man was concerned, he may have thought that this trial would continue for at least some time, because he had just completed his arguments. In the natural course of events, the Jews should have responded to him. In this respect, their action was unpredictable and the narrator's utterance, therefore, indicates the operation of the Interest Principle. The author may have thought to remind the reader of a complex reality of life in which a situation may get worse even if one does the right thing such as standing up for one's own beliefs. Lindars ([1972] 1981:347) states: "John speaks of the cost of discipleship in terms of the conditions with which his readers were familiar." The fact that the blind man was treated badly indicates the motif of suffering. In addition, the author invites the reader, through depicting their action, to form an even more negative attitude towards the Jews.

6. Thirdly, in the field of Textual Rhetoric, the utterance can be praised, because it seemingly transgresses no rules. Rather, it upholds the Principles of Processibility, Clarity and Economy. It is easy to decode, clear to comprehend and short to describe. The Maxims of Transparency and Reduction (by virtue of pronominalisation) are also likewise observed.

e) Summary

In this informative speech act, the narrator intends to inform the reader on how the Jews put an end to this interrogation scene, and how their conversation with the blind man failed. In reporting their action, this speech act upholds most of the conversational rules. Moreover, my analysis concludes that the utterance, in this instance, refers not only to the blind man's physical exclusion from their presence, but also to his expulsion from the local synagogue. The intended perlocution is to surprise the reader with the outcome of the event and for the reader to sympathise with this brave man who had been treated so badly by the Jews.

7.4 Macrospeech acts

1. Firstly, I shall discuss a macrospeech act on the character level. This cluster portrays the fierce debate between the Jews and the blind man concerning the miracle worker, Jesus, in the judicial proceedings. As observed earlier (in the section on 'CS' in 9:33), they, in fact, did not share any common purpose or direction in their exchange. From the outset (vv. 24-25), their conversation was not amicable. The Jews changed their strategy and asked him the repeated question. Again, their dialogue failed and they reviled him (vv. 26-29). The blind man then presented his brilliant argument, but in vain. Their dialogue was abruptly terminated (vv. 30-34). Hence, their discussion demonstrated that each party had a different interest and understanding of Jesus. The characters were unable to come to a unanimous conclusion on the issue. This resulted in failed communication between the Jews and the blind man.

From the above observation, we should conclude that there is no macrospeech act on the character level (cf. 'Macrospeech acts in John 9' in section 1.3 in Chapter 5). However, this does not mean that their failed communication is worthless. Rather, this failure will highlight more significant and implicit communication between the author and the reader.

2. Secondly, I shall discuss a macrospeech act on the text level. In a story, one can assume that the author wishes to achieve a certain aim. Even in failed communication on the story level, the author assigns a certain role to each character in order to achieve this aim. In this present story, this aim appears to be to discover Jesus' identity by determining Jesus' origin. Let us consider this for a moment as the hypothesis for a possible macrospeech act on the text level and examine the characters' utterances from this angle.

Among the Jews' utterances, the requirement speech act in verse 24, which talks of Jesus' identity as a sinner, and the disputative speech act in verse 29, which deals with Jesus' origin, move up to the next macro level by virtue of the Selection Rule, because they contribute to the construction of the global (or main) topic in this instance. The remaining utterances (vv. 26, 28, 34) will be eliminated by virtue of the Deletion Rule, as they do not directly contribute to the construction of the topic. Among the blind man's utterances, the disputative speech act in verse 30 and the confirmative speech act in verse 33 directly refer to Jesus' origin and, hence, indicate Jesus' identity. His dissentive speech act in verse 25 also implies Jesus' identity based on what Jesus did for the man. These are placed on the next macro level by means of the Selection Rule, because they also contribute to the construction of the topic. His remaining utterances (vv. 27, 31, 32) will be eliminated by means of the Deletion Rule. By virtue of the Generalization Rule, the retained Jews' utterances (vv. 24, 29) propose, in general, that Jesus must be a sinner. This macroproposition moves up to the next higher level. The Construction Rule creates a new proposition from the blind man's retained utterances, namely that Jesus must have come from God. This also goes up to the next higher level. However, as these two macropropositions contradict each other semantically, no new macroproposition can be formulated. One should note at this point that the suggested hypothesis embraces and describes both macropropositions, which address Jesus' identity and origin. Since the main purpose of the trial had something to do with Jesus' identity, as analysed in the utterance of 9:26, the communicative goal could most likely be to discover (or identify) Jesus' identity by determining Jesus' origin. The author intends to confirm to the reader that the blind man's perception of Jesus is correct: Jesus was not a sinner, but the one who came from God. The reader will also notice that this corresponds with his understanding thus far, gained from the present co-text and his reading up to this scene in the Gospel. As a result, a macrospeech act of this cluster would be confirmative, based on the blind man's testimony (argument) as a truth-seeking procedure (Bach & Harnish 1979:46).

3. Still on the text level, the author deploys some significant communicative strategies for the reader. Most importantly, the literary device of irony is admirably used throughout this cluster. A significant point from a speech act perspective is that there is hardly any violation of the conversational rules in the blind man's utterances. Even when he used verbal irony, he did not violate the Politeness Principle, because he observed the Irony Principle. By contrast, the Jews constantly transgressed the Politeness Principle, as they overtly and verbally abused him in their argument. This implies that they did not use irony. The reason for this would be that they perhaps did not need to be polite to the blind man. A more plausible reason would be that the author characterises the blind man as being more intelligent than the Jews, because the use of irony requires intelligence. This observation corresponds with the description of their debate scene where the man's argument was far better and more convincing than that of the Jews.

4. The use of irony requires separate comments. In this dialogue scene, we have identified at least eight instances of situational irony (cf. 'Chart of irony in John 9' in Appendix 6). The victims of these ironies throughout were always the Jews, except on one occasion when the blind man was the victim of the irony of dilemma (v. 25). This indicates that situational irony is most often used to expose either the Jews' lack of knowledge or their unbelief. An intriguing insight will emerge from this when it is combined with the analysis of verbal irony in this scene. Duke (1982:243) confidently states that, "if we do not grasp the Irony we do not grasp the Gospel. Yet it is precisely here that it must be recalled, irony is by its very nature beyond grasp". Therefore, Duke (1982:243) concludes that John uses irony in order to capture Jesus who is beyond our understanding. It is best to describe the infinite with an infinite literary device. I would agree that his remark captures the most significant use of irony in this Gospel.

In comparison with this use, however, the author's use of irony in this scene leaves a distinctive imprint. All three verbal ironies used by the blind man served as a satiric device to criticise the Jews, especially their ignorance of the truth. It is most likely that the author uses both a verbal irony and situational ironies in this cluster to reveal the Jews' unbelief and inadequacy to grasp the true knowledge.

5. The effect of such use of irony on the reader is perhaps limitless. Culpepper (1983:179) avers: "Never is the reader the victim of irony. On the contrary, inclusion is the strongest effect of John's irony." He goes on to state that "John's irony is calculated ... primarily to include readers among the circle of believers committed to the evangelist's theology" (Culpepper 1983:180). In addition, Duke (1982:241) suggests: "Although irony chooses us, so to speak, it also demands our active involvement .... Part of the power of the Johannine irony, then, is that it so forcefully engages us in what we read." The analysis on this cluster has also repeatedly pointed out these same points. Furthermore, the author uses irony to vividly depict the characters' frustration, dilemma and antagonism, to clarify the reader's interpretation, and to invite the reader to pass judgment on the characters' utterances and actions. This is secret communication designed for the reader. The author's use of irony is, therefore, rich and rewarding.

6. The personal development of the blind man described in this scene may be beyond the reader's expectation. In the first cluster A, he was simply a poor figure sitting along the roadside greatly disadvantaged by blindness. He did not utter a single word. In this present cluster, he not only conversed with the Jewish authorities with his eyes open, but also with courage and intelligence. In a sense, his experience of suffering in this trial may contribute to his personal development (for further discussion, cf. section 1.4.5 in Chapter 5). Even if the observation made in cluster D that the parents' weakness ultimately opened a way for their son to establish his own self-identity and self-confidence is accounted for, his development in such a short period of time is incredible. This is unpredictable and thus interesting. This surprises the reader by virtue of the operation of the Interest Principle. As Stibbe (1993:107) points out, the blind man cannot be described fully by means of the theory of characterisation, and is beyond the categories of "flat" and "round".

7. Lastly, what message does the author primarily intend to convey to the reader with this dialogue scene? The perlocution of this cluster would be similar to that of verse 33. The author intends to ask the reader to continue in adhering to the truth about Jesus, which the reader already knows, and to encourage the reader to fight for this belief against any difficulties or persecution that may threaten the reader, by depicting the courage of the blind man before the hostile Jewish authorities in the trial. The author's invitation to the reader to share the same perspective of the blind man concerning Jesus should also constitute good advice, namely that the reader should not make the same mistake as the Jews did.

 

8. CLUSTER B': THE DIALOGUE BETWEEN JESUS AND THE BLIND MAN (9:35-38)

8.1 Specific mutual contextual beliefs

8.1.1 The Son of Man

It is often pointed out that John's Gospel dramatically differs from the Synoptics. As Culpepper (1998:13) states, this Gospel "has its own language and idioms, its own chronology of the ministry of Jesus, its own view of Jesus' identity and works, and its own theology". The famous term Son of Man is not an exception to this trait. Although the author's use of this term is, of course, not totally alien to synoptic usage, some of the issues debated in Synoptic scholarship do not enter into Johannine scholarship.141For instance, the author regards the Son of Man basically as a title and an expression of Jesus' self-designation (Smith 1986:48; Burkett 1991:16). According to Burkett (1991:16), two most important issues regarding this title in Johannine studies are its possible background and Christological significance. These two issues suit the present topic of this section. Of course, the focus has to be narrowed down in order to examine the mutual contextual beliefs concerning this term both between the characters and between the author and the reader in John 9. The Gospel explicitly refers to this phrase in the following passages: i) 1:51; 3:13, 14; 5:27; 6:27, 53, 62; 8:28; ii) 9:35, and iii) 12:23, 34c, 34d; 13:31.142

Firstly, I shall discuss the Son of Man from the author's perspective. What does the author mean by this expression? How does the author use this phrase in his communication with the reader? In other words, for our understanding of the specific text of John 9, the identity and role (or function) of the Son of Man in the Gospel should be explored. To begin with, the role will be scrutinised in order to determine the identity. Based on theme, I propose to classify the 13 references into four groups:

a. The descent/ascent motif - incarnation, crucifixion, exaltation and glorification: 1:51; 3:13, 14; 6:62; 8:28/12:23, 34c; 13:31. In this group, I shall further subdivide the passages into three categories (the list is not mutually exclusive): a-i) those references that specifically indicate the Son of Man's glorification: 12:23; 13:31; a-ii) those references that address only the ascent motif: 3:14; 6:62; 8:28; 12:34c, and a-iii) those references that express the descent/ascent motif in general: 1:51; 3:13. The passages in category (a-i) tell of the glorification of the Son of Man and God the Father. They are connected to the specific hour indicating the time when Jesus would complete his work on the cross. This glory was shared by Jesus and the Father before the world existed (17:5; Schnackenburg [1968] 1980:403), and Jesus manifested the Father's name and revealed God by performing the works of God, especially through his signs (e.g., 2:11; 9:3-7; 11:4, 40; 17:1-6). The Johannine portrayal of the Son of Man in relation to his glory differs from that of the Synoptics. The synoptic writers emphasise Jesus as an apocalyptic 'Son of Man' who is to receive future glory (Ladd 1974:157). In other words, Jesus will come again with great power and glory as the Son of Man (e.g., Mt 16:27; 19:28; Mk 8:38; 14:26; Lk 9:26; 21:27; cf. also Marshall 1992:776). According to Burkett (1991:7), "[t]he Johannine 'Son of (the) Man' is not an apocalyptic figure" (for this comparison, cf. below).

All the references in group (a-ii) describe the Son of Man's journey to the heavenly world by employing the expression lifting up, except for 6:62 which uses the word ascend. Although scholars debate the issue as to which facet of his journey is referred to in the expression lifting up, they generally agree that it has a double meaning (Stibbe 1993:57, 137). For instance, it refers to "both the crucifixion and exaltation of Jesus" (Smalley 1969:291; cf. also Carson 1991:201; Moloney 2005:186). According to Ashton ([1991] 1993:364-366), it implies crucifixion and specifically resurrection. Saayman (1995:44) comments on 3:14: "There is ... no indication that the reference is to the ascension of Jesus. If a double meaning is intended, it concerns the glorification on the cross" (cf. also Moloney 1978:62; Bruce 1982:51). "For John the 'lifting up' of the Son of Man is the visible aspect of his 'ascent' into the heavenly world and ... also of his installation in power and saving authority" (Schnackenburg [1968] 1980:400). At least they all perceive the starting point of this lifting up in Jesus' death on the cross (cf. also Lindars 1983:146). However, one should note that the Johannine Son of Man does not bear the motif of suffering of the title as is evident in the synoptic portrayal.143 As far as this synoptic emphasis is concerned, Marshall (1992:776) states that "Jesus speaks of the impending suffering, death and resurrection of the Son of man ... The sufferings of Jesus are clearly linked to his role as the Son of man; they are not mentioned explicitly without some reference to him as the Son of man". It may be important for the text of John 9 to note Moloney's (1978:140) remark on 8:28: "The title appears to be deliberately chosen by John for use in this context of revelation and judgment. It is Jesus, the man who lived, preached and was lifted up upon a cross, who is the unique revelation of God among men."

The general descent/ascent motif is contained in the passages of group (a-iii), but these references also pose some interpretational problems. For example, 1:51 mentions ascending before descending concerning the angels' activity (Brown 1966:84). In 3:13, the use of the perfect tense is problematic (Brown 1966:132), and the stories of the saints who went up to Heaven raise another issue.144 Saayman (1995:39) states that "as far as v 13 is concerned, the usual interpretation was that it asserts that Jesus is the only one qualified to reveal the realities referred to in v 12". In addition, "it refers to the pre-existence, incarnation and ascension of the Son of man" (Smalley 1969:290). Brown (1966:133) contends that "only in John is the Son of Man portrayed as descending ... The whole purpose of vs. 13 ... is to stress the heavenly origin of the Son of Man". Burkett (1991:175) provides possible background for the descent/ascent motif associated with the title: i) Jacob's dream (Gn 28:12; cf. also Dodd [1953] 1968:245; Pamment 1985:59); ii) what is attributed to God in Proverbs 30:4 is attributed to the Son of Man in John 3:13, and iii) the Word of Yahweh (Is 55:1-3, 10-11) in connection with John 6:26-62.

b. The authority given by the Father to execute judgment: 5:27. This category is unique among the Johannine Son of Man sayings. This uniqueness generates scholarly controversy as to whether or not one of the traits of this title in John is apocalyptic. In terms of the Son of Man as a figure of heaven, judgment and the future, Martyn ([1968] 1979:139) proposes that "John 5:27 appears to be the most 'traditional' Son of Man saying in the whole of the New Testament". In this sense, many scholars find the apocalyptic Son of Man described in the Old Testament as a plausible source. "The background to the Son of man tradition in the Fourth Gospel is probably to be located primarily in Daniel 7 (cf. especially verses 13f.) and Psalm 80 (cf. verse 17); in both of these passages the figure of the Son of man represents the community of Israel, vindicated after suffering" (Smalley 1978:94).145 As far as Daniel 7 is concerned, the title "came to be used as a title of dignity of Jesus" (Marshall 1992:781). This kind of understanding is similar to that of the synoptic Son of Man.

On the other hand, while this eschatological background remains, some critics understand John's strong emphasis on the present aspect of the Son of Man (cf. Barrett 1955:302-303). Smith (1986:48) indicates: "Although in John it has lost much of its apocalyptic coloration (cf. Daniel 7), it is still a term of dignity, not of humiliation" (cf. also Harris 1994:119). Rhea (1990:69) and Burkett (1991:173-174) also conclude that John has no knowledge of an apocalyptic 'Son of Man' title or concept in relation to Daniel 7:13. As Schnackenburg ([1968] 1980:112) rightly observes, the judgment in 5:27, in connection with the notion of judgment in both 5:22 and 24, denotes "the present judgment that is passed on all men who reject faith and close themselves to the Son's call (cf 3:18)".146 The author's emphasis on this present judgment by the Son of Man seems to be more strongly linked to Jesus' judgment of the Pharisees in 9:41.

c. The power to grant eternal life: 6:27, 53. The role of the Son of Man is apparent. These verses (6:27, 53) refer "to the personal bearer of the divine life, also to the saving gift of life which he conveys, and also to the Eucharist in which this shared life and personal link with the mediator of salvation are established in a special way" (Schnackenburg [1968] 1980:38).

d. The object of inquiry: 9:35/12:34d. The Son of Man sayings do not provide any additional meaning to our understanding of the title. In 12:34d, the multitude simply asked the identity of the Son of Man. In 9:35, Jesus inquired from the blind man whether he would believe in the Son of Man. At this point, this question only suggests that the Son of Man could be the object of one's faith.

Based on the above observations, what kind of picture does the author present of the identity of the Son of Man in the Gospel? The Johannine Son of Man would be the one who comes down from heaven with absolute authority and reveals and glorifies the Father by performing the works of God. Upon his return, the Son of Man will share in this glory again. His most important work is to lay down his life on the cross as the Father planned so that those who look up to him may have eternal life. However, even before he completes this final work on earth, the Son of Man brings judgment to the world in his present revelatory mission.

Secondly, I shall discuss the Son of Man from the reader's perspective. From his reading up to Chapter 9, the reader is assumed to have knowledge of most of the identity and role of the Son of Man, as examined earlie. The reader does not know the explicit reference to the glorification in 12:23 and 13:31. Hence, the reader is not aware of the exact time of this glorification. He has information regarding the Son of Man's heavenly origin, his signs and judgment as revelations and his authority to judge which is granted by the Father. It is through the Son of Man that a believer may obtain eternal life. In addition, the reader can infer the Son of Man's pre-existence, incarnation and crucifixion implicitly. Therefore, when the reader reads Jesus' question in 9:35, the reader will most likely grasp the overall meaning of the title used by Jesus.

Lastly, I shall examine the character's knowledge. In 9:35, there are two characters on stage: Jesus and the blind man. Since Jesus is the speaker, Jesus should know what he is talking about. However, we do not know how much the blind man knows about the Son of Man from the surface structure of verse 35. To determine the man's knowledge seems to be guess work, but it is not impossible to measure it to some extent. However, this has to be done in the text analysis where the co-text supplies more information.

8.1.2 Relationships between the characters

The knowledge for the specific conversation between Jesus and the blind man is as follows:

In this cluster, the blind man encountered Jesus for the first time with his eyes now open, but it was, in fact, their second encounter.

The text does not mention clearly whether or not the blind man recognised the person who came to talk to him as being the same person who had healed him.

To start with, Jesus was the healer and the blind man the healed in the relationship between the characters. Ultimately, it became a relationship between the Lord and his believer/worshipper. In either case, Jesus was superior to the blind man.

Both parties are assumed to have known a suitable action after believing the Lord was to worship him, because it appeared to be natural for the blind man to worship Jesus and Jesus did not reject the man's worship.

8.2 Overview and structural analysis chart

Jesus heard the news that the Jews had ended the second interrogation of the blind man by casting him out. As if Jesus was waiting for this opportunity, he tried to contact the blind man for the man's own sake. It is, of course, extremely important for the plot of the story that Jesus finally comes back on stage to be in the spotlight again (cf. also Lindars [1972] 1981:350). This cluster describes the dialogue between Jesus and the blind man in two subclusters, cola 43-45 and 46-48. The first subcluster portrays the first part of their conversation, and the second subcluster represents the second part.

 

 

I shall note several points regarding this cluster.

1. The cluster can be divided structurally into two subclusters, but it is also possible to divide the cluster into three parts from a semantic point of view. The three parts are an introduction (setting), a main dialogue, and a conclusion, corresponding to cola 43-44.1, 44.2*-47, and 48. This is possible because the semantic contents in the main dialogue are strongly connected inwardly.

2. There is a possible chiastic arrangement in the main dialogue.

9:35 44.2.1 Σΰ πιστίΰίΐς etc τον ΰιον τοΰ ανθρωττοΰ; : a

9:36 45.1.1 Και τΙς έστιν, κΰρΐ€, Ίνα ττιστεΰσω εις αΰτον; : b

9:37 46.1 -46.2 Κα'ι έωρακας αΰτον και ο λαλων μετα σοΰ έκεινος έστιν. : b'

9:38 47.1 Πιστεΰω, κΰριε : a'

The chiastic pattern emerges around the semantic (and lexical) parallels between the related subcola. Sentences a and a' share the same root words ττιστεΰω. The phrase τον ΰιον τοΰ ανθρωποΰ and the word κΰριε share the same referent, Jesus. Sentences b and b' also share the same referent, Jesus, by virtue of the words κΰριε and αΰτον in b, and αΰτον and έκεινος in b'. The conjunction και occurs in both sentences. In addition, there are two sets of question-answer forms in this chiasm: between a and a', and between b and b'.

3. The cluster also has an inclusio. Both cola 43 and 48 mention the characters on stage, namely Jesus and the blind man.

4. The cluster serves as the conclusion and climax of the miracle story

in which Jesus and the blind man were the two main characters throughout. Dockery (1988:22) states: "The affirmation by the man in verse 38 ... is both the peak of the discourse and the pinnacle of the man's gradually developing faith" (Duke 1982:190 holds the same view on the second part). Moreover, when the miracle story is viewed from this angle, there is a delightful inclusio between the beginning and the end of the story. In cluster A, Jesus healed and physically opened the blind man's eyes. In cluster B', Jesus also opened the blind man's spiritual eyes so that he might perceive the spiritual truth. In this sense, Jesus was the light of the world who illumined the world by doing God's work in this way. As mentioned in 'Introduction' (section 1), this perfectly illustrates his statement in 8:12. Jesus said, "I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life".

5. The frequent use of both the coordinate conjunctions and the pronouns can be observed once again throughout the cluster. The author is notably fond of using καί in this cluster. He uses it six times out of the seven occurrences of coordinate conjunctions.

6. Regarding the tenses of the verbs, the fifth remark, pointed out in cluster C' (section 7.2), can also be applied to this cluster. It infers that the author is consistent in his style of writing.

7. Significant structural markers include: to say, to believe, you, he, and, the Son of Man, Jesus and Lord (sir).

Considering all these aspects, the cluster also displays strong cohesion.

8.3 Microspeech acts

8.3.1 The first subcluster (9:35-36)

The first subcluster can be divided into two units: subcola 43-44 and colon 45. The unit of subcola 43-44 depicts Jesus' question and its setting, thus forming a unit of analysis. Colon 45 describes the blind man's reply to Jesus' question.

9:35 Ήκουσεν ΊησοΟς οτί έξέβαλον αυτόν εξω καί εύρων αυτόν είπεν, Σύ πίστευείς είς τον υίόν τού Ονθρωπου;

a) General analysis

Although no detail is provided as to how Jesus heard the news of the blind man, the narrator simply records that fact and uses it as the setting of their conversation. The content of the news is elaborated on in 43.1. This is an exact duplication of colon 42. This synonymous parallelism plays a role in establishing the link between the current and the previous clusters. However, the relationship between colon 42 and 43 is logical-reason-result. The author usually supplies a conjunction to establish such a link between clusters at the beginning of each cluster, but there is no such conjunction in this instance - a striking fact (cf. 9:1, 8, 18, 24, 39; 9:13). Briefly, colon 43 narrates that Jesus heard that they had cast him out.

When Jesus heard the news, he apparently tried to find the blind man. Hoskyns (1954:359) indicates that the author uses the word ευρίσκω to describe Jesus' conscious effort to meet the man. The meeting was not accidental. The aorist participle ευρίόν in 44.1 also shows the temporal-adverbial use describing the circumstances for Jesus' first utterance to the man (Fowler et al. 1985:307). The conjunction καί links cola 43 and 44 by means of an additive-different relation. The main verb of colon 44 is the aorist active verb είπεν, suggesting that Jesus was taking the initiative and started the first utterance of the conversation in this instance (cf. Barrett 1955:302; Moloney 1978:150; Holleran 1993b:377). One should bear in mind that this could be one of the literary characteristics of the author in the dialogue form (for more on this trait, cf. the section on 'CS' for the narration in 9:2). In the Synoptics, it is not Jesus, but an interlocutor who initiates a dialogue in most instances (Dodd 1963:317).

The content of Jesus' utterance is described in 44.2.1, and his utterance signifies a crucial personal question. This question is directed to the blind man, and it is emphasised by the nominative pronoun συ (cf. also Westcott [1882] 1978:149; Morris 1971:494; Holleran 1993b:377-378). Barrett (1955:302) rephrases: "Do you, over against those who have expelled you, believe?" And "[t]he form of the question presupposes an affirmative reply" (Bernard 1928:337; cf. also Morris 1971:494, footnote 48). The verb πίστευείς is the keyword in this question. It should even be perceived as a keyword in the entire chapter as soon as one of the major themes in the story is recognised as belief/unbelief.147 Equally significant is the expression the Son of Man, a special term referring to Jesus in the Gospel (cf. section 8.1.1). According to Van der Watt (1985:73), the verb ττιστεΰω is used 98 times in John. However, 9:35 is the only place where this verb is used explicitly with the Son of Man (cf. Barrett 1955:302; cf. 3:15). Holleran (1993b:377, footnote 219) phrases a similar point differently: "The only two New Testament passages where the Son of Man is made the object of faith are here and in Jn 3,14-16." Therefore, in this instance, the use of this term is striking. Briefly, this verse can now be translated as follows: Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and when he found him, he said, "Do you believe in the Son of Man?"

b) Illocutionary act

Cluster C' depicted the blind man's victory over the Jewish authorities in the fierce debate on the issue of Jesus who had healed the man. However, on the surface, the blind man - the winner - was cast out as if he were the loser. Barrett (1955:302) describes this situation: "he has not yet understood what has taken place, or come to faith to Jesus. Jesus, therefore, taking the initiative (cf 5.14), as he must, finds the man" (cf. also Moloney 1978:150). When he found the man, Jesus asked him a simple yet crucial question. The interrogative sentence type of Jesus' utterance corresponds to its communicative function of question, that is, to elicit information from the hearer (Yule 1996:54-55). In other words, Jesus was sincere in wanting to know the blind man's answer to his question. Therefore, Jesus' inquiry would be a speech act of question. Bach and Harnish (1979:47) sketch the schema of questions as follows:

Questions: (ask, inquire, interrogate, query, question, quiz)

In uttering e, S questions H as to whether or not P if S expresses:

i. the desire that H tell S whether or not P, and

ii. the intention that H tell S whether or not P because of S's desire.

When the schema is applied to this utterance, the result is as follows:

In uttering 'Do you believe in the Son of Man?', Jesus questions the blind man as to whether the blind man believes in the Son of Man or not if Jesus expresses:

i. the desire that the blind man tell Jesus whether he believes in the Son of Man or not, and

ii. the intention that the blind man tell Jesus whether or not he believes in the Son of Man because of Jesus' desire.

Since Jesus appeared to express his desire and intention, as described above, the utterance can be considered a successful speech act of question. Incidentally, should this utterance be examined using Searle's ([1969] 1980:67) essential and sufficient conditions for a speech act of question (cf. the section on 'IA' in 9:2), those conditions would also be met. Briefly, Jesus intended to ask the man, whom Jesus had healed previously, a simple yet profound question as to whether or not the man would believe in some significant figure. The author also intends to ask the reader the same kind of question as to whether or not the reader really believes in Jesus.

c) Perlocutionary act

The blind man should respond adequately to Jesus' question, by indicating whether or not he was willing to believe in the Son of Man. The reader should also answer in a similar manner so that he may strengthen his existing faith.

d) Communicative strategy

1. For the sake of argument, I shall discuss the communication on both the character and the text levels simultaneously. Schnackenburg ([1968] 1980:253) comments on this verse: "Jesus' question ... also contains a promise: if he believes in Jesus as the Son of man, Jesus will take him with him into his glory. Of course, the man cannot yet understand this - and so he asks again - but the reader is meant to understand that Jesus intends to give the man not just sight, but also "the light of life".

I would not object to this remark, but intend to draw attention to the part that the blind man would not grasp Jesus' promise in his question. Schnackenburg perhaps assumes, from the fact that the man asked Jesus again, that the man could not understand the promise. As will be examined below, the main reason why the man asked Jesus again in verse 36 is that the man did not understand the identity of the Son of Man, not the promise as such (cf. also Hare 1990:106). Therefore, Schnackenburg's explanation is inadequate. However, a speech act approach has an advantage, in this instance, and is able to elucidate the matter more adequately. This speech act approach provides a far better tool than mere guessing. From a speech act perspective, the reason why the man did not understand is simply that the promise described by Schnackenburg is contained neither in the illocution nor in the perlocution of Jesus' utterance. Obviously, the hearer cannot detect an element that is not present in the speaker's utterance. As far as the reader is concerned, however, the reader is able to detect this promise, or more precisely, to deduce such an implication from all the information stored up to this moment. The reader has the ability to utilise this information in order to understand the character's utterance more adequately. But the blind man simply did not possess such information and could, therefore, not understand it.

2. Jesus' utterance is a simple and clear question, and, in this sense, his utterance observes the Manner Maxim. Simultaneously, the phrase Son of Man, which Jesus used in his question, appears to violate the Manner Maxim, particularly because Jesus did not use a clearer term that was available to him, such as 'me' or the Son of God. One should note, in this instance, that the Quantity Maxim is also involved in this issue. If Jesus had said more than he, in fact, did in this utterance, this issue would possibly not have existed. For instance, if he said, "I am the Son of Man. And do you believe in the Son of Man?", the blind man would not have had to ask Jesus another question for clarification. Hence, even when this issue is scrutinised in terms of the Manner Maxim, the Quantity Maxim should not be ignored. The latter is not an issue raised only by a speech act approach. From a literary-critical perspective, Burkett (1991:166) raises the issue in the following two questions: "Why is it introduced in the middle of a story portraying Jesus as the Light?" and "Why, as nowhere else, is it the object of a confession of faith?" For the sake of contrast, the same issue is raised in a more simple form from a historical point of view. Why not the Christ, the Lord, or the Son of God (Moloney 1978:150; Carson 1991:376)? This question becomes even more striking with the observation that not the phrase the Son of God, but rather the term the Son of Man should be the original reading in the text (Brown 1966:375; Bultmann 1971:338, footnote 3; Moloney 1978:149). But the heart of the matter remains the same. The question as to why Jesus (for that matter, the author) uses this particular title is scrutinised in order to account for the issue relating to the Manner Maxim. Many scholars have offered various answers to this question. I intend to outline their proposals and briefly examine each one of them, including my responses in some instances. I shall then present my concluding remarks.

a. The use of this title was a customary way of confessing faith. Hare (1990:106) indicates that this is unlikely: "As we have seen (1:49), the Messiah was popularly designated 'the Son of God', but 'the Son of Man' was not a recognized Messianic title ... The man to whom Jesus spoke was evidently puzzled" (Bernard 1928:338). In John's Gospel, a more common expression in the use of confession would be the Son of God (e.g., 1:34, 49; 3:18; 11:27; 20:31).

b. There is no significant difference between the Son of Man and the Son of God. Some expositors (e.g., Richardson 1959:128; Marsh 1968:388-389) claim that there is no important difference in meaning in this context between the use of the Son of Man and that of the Son of God. Marsh (1968:388-389) considers the matter as such, because of his understanding of the Son of Man as "the heavenly, the archetypal man". In his case, both phrases refer to Jesus' divine Sonship. Moloney (1978:150) criticises this view, stating that "[t]his is hardly a satisfactory solution". Burkett (1991:167) provides a more convincing reason for the view that the Son of Man, in this instance, means the Son of God, because "as the Son of God, the Son of the Man is the Light begotten from the light of God" (cf. also Dodd [1953] 1968:244; Martyn [1968]1979:134, footnote 193). While other people designated Jesus as the Son of God, Jesus preferred to call himself the Son of Man (Burkett 1991:167). This view contradicts the passages in which Jesus designated himself as the Son of God (e.g., 5:25; 10:36; 11:4).

c. The Son of God is reserved especially for the other passage (10:36). "John is probably saving up 'Son of God' for the climax in 10.36" (Lindars [1972] 1981:350). Even if this view, namely that the author carefully selects the expression, is credible, it still does not explain why the author chooses the Son of Man.

d. The Son of Man is meant to be Christ. Other critics (e.g., Hoskyns 1954:359; Morris 1971:494; Du Rand 1985:30) contend that the Son of Man is supposed to mean Christ, especially to the blind man and to a group of disciples to whom the man would belong as a result of his confession. If the author then intends to refer as such to the figure expressed in the Son of Man, why does he not use the term Christ? He already used this term in 9:22.

e. The use of this title is designed for use in puns. This proposal is one of my suggestions. There may be a pun on the word man. The blind man was introduced at the beginning of this Chapter as "a man" born blind (v. 1). This man with his eyes open was now meeting the Son of Man face to face. It may be one of the author's ideas to use this title in this instance. This possibility cannot be dismissed, since Stibbe (1993a:54) describes a contrast between Jesus and Nicodemus in much the same way (John 3:1, 13-14). Duke (1982:191) also suggests: "In view of the man's remark in v. 11 ... and the Pharisees' contemptuous use of 'man' for Jesus in vv. 16, 24, 'Son of Man' in v. 35 serves a crucial ironic