Puns in John's Gospel: Receive / Take (1:11, Part 2)

Puns in John’s Gospel

John 1:11 “Receive / Take” (Part 2)  

Review of Part 1:

In our first article on the use of paralambanŨ in John 1:11, we first looked at where this word is used elsewhere in John’s Gospel. We saw it was used only two other times: once at 14:3 and once at 19:16. After observing the three nuances listed in BDAG (an esteemed lexicon of biblical and ancient Greek), we concluded that the use in 14:3 fits nuance #1 (an endearing term connoting an affectionate disposition) and that the use in 19:16 fits nuance #2 (an adversarial term connoting a legal and jurisdictional sense). There is no indication that this term is used as a pun in either of these references. But can we say that of its first usage in the Prologue at 1:11?

We are considering the third instance of paralambanŨ in John’s Gospel, which is actually the first occurrence found in the opening Prologue at 1:11.

He came to his own and his own did not receive him. (ESV)

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Puns in John's Gospel: Receive / Take (1:11, Part 1)

Puns in John’s Gospel

John 1:11 “Receive / Take” (Part 1)

Before I introduce and explain the second installment of what I’m calling “Puns in John’s Gospel,” perhaps I should entertain the question, “How do we know when something is a pun or not?” That is, how do we know if the author is actually punning instead of simply employing a different nuance of a fairly well-known word? After all, we have many words in English that in one context we’ll use with one particular meaning in mind, but then in a different context—or sometimes even in the same context—we’ll use that same word, except we intend a different nuance. Moreover, the shift in meanings is seldom lost on anyone, unless, of course, someone is deliberately using riddles to entertain his audience.

            Take, for example, the word “entertain” in the previous paragraph. I used...

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