Καὶ παράγων εἶδεν ἄνθρωπον τυφλὸν ἐκ γενετῆς.  καὶ ἠρώτησαν αὐτὸν οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ λέγοντες Ῥαββεί, τίς ἥμαρτεν, οὗτος ἢ οἱ γονεῖς αὐτοῦ, ἵνα τυφλὸς γεννηθῇ;  ἀπεκρίθη Ἰησοῦς Οὔτε οὗτος ἥμαρτεν οὔτε οἱ γονεῖς αὐτοῦ, ἀλλ᾽ ἵνα φανερωθῇ τὰ ἔργα τοῦ θεοῦ ἐν αὐτῷ.  ἡμᾶς δεῖ ἐργάζεσθαι τὰ ἔργα τοῦ πέμψαντός με ἕως ἡμέρα ἐστίν: ἔρχεται νὺξ ὅτε οὐδεὶς δύναται ἐργάζεσθαι.  ὅταν ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ ὦ, φῶς εἰμὶ τοῦ κόσμου.  ταῦτα εἰπὼν ἔπτυσεν χαμαὶ καὶ ἐποίησεν πηλὸν ἐκ τοῦ πτύσματος, καὶ ἐπέθηκεν αὐτοῦ τὸν πηλὸν ἐπὶ τοὺς ὀφθαλμούς,  καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ Ὕπαγε νίψαι εἰς τὴν κολυμβήθραν τοῦ Σιλωάμ ὃ ἑρμηνεύεται Ἀπεσταλμένος᾿. ἀπῆλθεν οὖν καὶ ἐνίψατο, καὶ ἦλθεν βλέπων.  Οἱ οὖν γείτονες καὶ οἱ θεωροῦντες αὐτὸν τὸ πρότερον ὅτι προσαίτης ἦν ἔλεγον Οὐχ οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ καθήμενος καὶ προσαιτῶν;  ἄλλοι ἔλεγον ὅτι Οὗτός ἐστιν: ἄλλοι ἔλεγον Οὐχί, ἀλλὰ ὅμοιος αὐτῷ ἐστίν. ἐκεῖνος ἔλεγεν ὅτι Ἐγώ εἰμι.  ἔλεγον οὖν αὐτῷ Πῶς [οὖν] ἠνεῴχθησάν σου οἱ ὀφθαλμοί;  ἀπεκρίθη ἐκεῖνος Ὁ ἄνθρωπος ὁ λεγόμενος Ἰησοῦς πηλὸν ἐποίησεν καὶ ἐπέχρισέν μου τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς καὶ εἶπέν μοι ὅτι Ὕπαγε εἰς τὸν Σιλωὰμ καὶ νίψαι: ἀπελθὼν οὖν καὶ νιψάμενος ἀνέβλεψα.  καὶ εἶπαν αὐτῷ Ποῦ ἐστὶν ἐκεῖνος; λέγει Οὐκ οἶδα.  Ἄγουσιν αὐτὸν πρὸς τοὺς Φαρισαίους τόν ποτε τυφλόν.  ἦν δὲ σάββατον ἐν ᾗ ἡμέρᾳ τὸν πηλὸν ἐποίησεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς καὶ ἀνέῳξεν αὐτοῦ τοὺς ὀφθαλμούς.  πάλιν οὖν ἠρώτων αὐτὸν καὶ οἱ Φαρισαῖοι πῶς ἀνέβλεψεν. ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Πηλὸν ἐπέθηκέν μου ἐπὶ τοὺς ὀφθαλμούς, καὶ ἐνιψάμην, καὶ βλέπω.  ἔλεγον οὖν ἐκ τῶν Φαρισαίων τινές Οὐκ ἔστιν οὗτος παρὰ θεοῦ ὁ ἄνθρωπος, ὅτι τὸ σάββατον οὐ τηρεῖ. ἄλλοι [δὲ] ἔλεγον Πῶς δύναται ἄνθρωπος ἁμαρτωλὸς τοιαῦτα σημεῖα ποιεῖν; καὶ σχίσμα ἦν ἐν αὐτοῖς.  λέγουσιν οὖν τῷ τυφλῷ πάλιν Τί σὺ λέγεις περὶ αὐτοῦ, ὅτι ἠνέῳξέν σου τοὺς ὀφθαλμούς; ὁ δὲ εἶπεν ὅτι Προφήτης ἐστίν.  Οὐκ ἐπίστευσαν οὖν οἱ Ἰουδαῖοι περὶ αὐτοῦ ὅτι ἦν τυφλὸς καὶ ἀνέβλεψεν, ἕως ὅτου ἐφώνησαν τοὺς γονεῖς αὐτοῦ τοῦ ἀναβλέψαντος  καὶ ἠρώτησαν αὐτοὺς λέγοντες Οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ υἱὸς ὑμῶν, ὃν ὑμεῖς λέγετε ὅτι τυφλὸς ἐγεννήθη; πῶς οὖν βλέπει ἄρτι;  ἀπεκρίθησαν οὖν οἱ γονεῖς αὐτοῦ καὶ εἶπαν Οἴδαμεν ὅτι οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ υἱὸς ἡμῶν καὶ ὅτι τυφλὸς ἐγεννήθη:  πῶς δὲ νῦν βλέπει οὐκ οἴδαμεν, ἢ τίς ἤνοιξεν αὐτοῦ τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς ἡμεῖς οὐκ οἴδαμεν: αὐτὸν ἐρωτήσατε, ἡλικίαν ἔχει, αὐτὸς περὶ ἑαυτοῦ λαλήσει.  ταῦτα εἶπαν οἱ γονεῖς αὐτοῦ ὅτι ἐφοβοῦντο τοὺς Ἰουδαίους, ἤδη γὰρ συνετέθειντο οἱ Ἰουδαῖοι ἵνα ἐάν τις αὐτὸν ὁμολογήσῃ Χριστόν, ἀποσυνάγωγος γένηται.  διὰ τοῦτο οἱ γονεῖς αὐτοῦ εἶπαν ὅτι Ἡλικίαν ἔχει, αὐτὸν ἐπερωτήσατε.  Ἐφώνησαν οὖν τὸν ἄνθρωπον ἐκ δευτέρου ὃς ἦν τυφλὸς καὶ εἶπαν αὐτῷ Δὸς δόξαν τῷ θεῷ: ἡμεῖς οἴδαμεν ὅτι οὗτος ὁ ἄνθρωπος ἁμαρτωλός ἐστιν.  ἀπεκρίθη οὖν ἐκεῖνος Εἰ ἁμαρτωλός ἐστιν οὐκ οἶδα: ἓν οἶδα ὅτι τυφλὸς ὢν ἄρτι βλέπω.  εἶπαν οὖν αὐτῷ Τί ἐποίησέν σοι; πῶς ἤνοιξέν σου τοὺς ὀφθαλμούς;  ἀπεκρίθη αὐτοῖς Εἶπον ὑμῖν ἤδη καὶ οὐκ ἠκούσατε: τί πάλιν θέλετε ἀκούειν; μὴ καὶ ὑμεῖς θέλετε αὐτοῦ μαθηταὶ γενέσθαι;  καὶ ἐλοιδόρησαν αὐτὸν καὶ εἶπαν Σὺ μαθητὴς εἶ ἐκείνου, ἡμεῖς δὲ τοῦ Μωυσέως ἐσμὲν μαθηταί:  ἡμεῖς οἴδαμεν ὅτι Μωυσεῖ λελάληκεν ὁ θεός, τοῦτον δὲ οὐκ οἴδαμεν πόθεν ἐστίν.  ἀπεκρίθη ὁ ἄνθρωπος καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Ἐν τούτῳ γὰρ τὸ θαυμαστόν ἐστιν ὅτι ὑμεῖς οὐκ οἴδατε πόθεν ἐστίν, καὶ ἤνοιξέν μου τοὺς ὀφθαλμούς.  οἴδαμεν ὅτι ὁ θεὸς ἁμαρτωλῶν οὐκ ἀκούει, ἀλλ᾽ ἐάν τις θεοσεβὴς ᾖ καὶ τὸ θέλημα αὐτοῦ ποιῇ τούτου ἀκούει.  ἐκ τοῦ αἰῶνος οὐκ ἠκούσθη ὅτι ἠνέῳξέν τις ὀφθαλμοὺς τυφλοῦ γεγεννημένου:  εἰ μὴ ἦν οὗτος παρὰ θεοῦ, οὐκ ἠδύνατο ποιεῖν οὐδέν.  ἀπεκρίθησαν καὶ εἶπαν αὐτῷ Ἐν ἁμαρτίαις σὺ ἐγεννήθης ὅλος, καὶ σὺ διδάσκεις ἡμᾶς; καὶ ἐξέβαλον αὐτὸν ἔξω.  Ἤκουσεν Ἰησοῦς ὅτι ἐξέβαλον αὐτὸν ἔξω, καὶ εὑρὼν αὐτὸν εἶπεν. Σὺ πιστεύεις εἰς τὸν υἱὸν τοῦ ἀνθρώ που;  ἀπεκρίθη ἐκεῖνος [καὶ εἶπεν] Καὶ τίς ἐστιν, κύριε, ἵνα πιστεύσω εἰς αὐτόν;  εἶπεν αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς Καὶ ἑώρακας αὐτὸν καὶ ὁ λαλῶν μετὰ σοῦ ἐκεῖνός ἐστιν.  ὁ δὲ ἔφη Πιστεύω, κύριε: καὶ προσεκύνησεν αὐτῷ.  καὶ εἶπεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς Εἰς κρίμα ἐγὼ εἰς τὸν κόσμον τοῦτον ἦλθον, ἵνα οἱ μὴ βλέποντες βλέπωσιν  καὶ οἱ βλέποντες τυφλοὶ γένωνται. Ἤκουσαν ἐκ τῶν Φαρισαίων ταῦτα οἱ μετ᾽ αὐτοῦ ὄντες, καὶ  εἶπαν αὐτῷ Μὴ καὶ ἡμεῖς τυφλοί ἐσμεν; εἶπεν αὐτοῖς [ὁ] Ἰησοῦς Εἰ τυφλοὶ ἦτε, οὐκ ἂν εἴχετε ἁμαρτίαν: νῦν δὲ λέγετε ὅτι Βλέπομεν: ἡ ἁμαρτία ὑμῶν μένει.
The Primordial Situation:
An Interview with the MBB
Sin and the Temptation of Theodicy
The setting therefore for the gift of sight is striking. Sight cuts into a world governed by sin. The disciples attempt to locate the cause of the man's blindness in the sin of either the man or his parents. The first choice is patently absurd, but Jesus denies the other as well. Blindness simply is and is without cause or why. The so-called theodical element of the pericope is an artifact of the Tradition, and not of the substance of the language. Properly translated, the passage is exonerated from theodicy: 'It is neither because of the man's or his parents' sin that he is blind. Regardless, through him the works of God will become manifest: we must do the work of the one who sent me in daylight' (9:3-4). Jesus has introduced a newness in the world for the MBB to see.
Only 'sin' can leverage the Pharisees' hold over the MBB, whose sense of sight has yielded common sense as part of his experience of gaining sight. His speech to the Pharisees comes directly from the MBB's experience of sight structured by 'not seeing:' it is a rhetorical expression of the phenomenon of gaining sight in this world in which the MBB moves, engages, and critiques. So, does the MBB ever experience his blindness as a consequence of sin? He has tried that mode of experience 'on for size', and has rejected it out of hand with the sharp tongue of rhetoric, a far more effective and aggressive way of experiencing a new found sight and vision. The last time a beggar offered such a critique, he shot a very sharp, bronze-tipped arrow through the bodies of other usurpers of another lifeworld. The MBB now navigates a new lifeworld, where sin need not hold sway, need not find its way into the hands of the power brokers who yield it to control, humiliate and maintain the status quo.*
*I try hard to avoid Binswanger's 'error' (I wonder if Merleau-Ponty makes a similar 'error' in The Phenomenology of Perception) as delineated in Heidegger's The Zollikon Seminars--- failing to distinguish regional from fundamental ontologies, or even the ontic from the ontological. When I say 'new lifeworld,' I refer to the novelty of gained sight, and renewal of the person and his being-in-the-world, and I remain mindful of lifeworld as co-constituted by homeworld and alienworld. I deploy these terms as Husserl has done so, but mainly through Anthony Steinbock's appropriation and explication of them in his Home and Beyond. How might these terms work in Jn. 9, or for the MBB? The MBB's homeworld is his 'comfort zone' as one who sits and begs in blindness; the alienworld, for him, is both everything excluded by blindness, and also the passerby who comes crashing into his homeworld, disrupting it of its very constitution, by visiting gained sight upon his homeworld. His lifeworld is forever changed. The experience of gained sight is the creative imposition of the alienworld upon his homeworld, co-constituting the lifeworld in which he is now someone who sees. The lifeworld evolves through ever emerging encounters of the homeworld and the alienworld.
**John's genius gives us a MBB with gained sight who navigates his world as one crying in the wilderness, prophet-like, discovering his call from the divine by taking on the being of the divine (by appropriating the divine signature). Does that 'save' him? There is a distance between re-enacting the Christ event in microcosm and coming before God and saying 'I believe, Lord.' Unless, of course, we consider the instance when the human touches the divine, as response to the call. This is the place where ego eimi means 'I believe, Lord.' It is the place where, in response to 'where are you' one says hineni, here I AM. Interestingly, LXX declines translating hineni as ego eimi, and instead uses all kinds of circumlocutions.
***Verticality is tricky here, except for the information provided by the Pharisees: 'give glory to God.' The verticality involves identifying the yet to be named Jesus as 'of God.' The Pharisees attempt to 'delimit' what the MBB has 'de-limited', and that 'delimitation' is 'idolatry'. I probably would have couched the larger point here in language other that 'breeding' and 'generativity,' were it not for Steinbock's analysis of static/genetic/generative phenomenologies, and how complex phenomena breed a complex phenomenology to cope with them ('generative' phenomenology); and after Heidegger has opened his analysis to the 'phenomenon of proclamation' in Phenomenology of Religious Life, I felt myself on surer 'breeding' ground.