Question: If we translate 'lambanō', λαμβάνω, consistently with the last phrase, "This commandment have I received [lambanō] of my Father," then shouldn't we also allow 'receive' instead of 'take' in 'I have power to take it again'?
There are several reasons why this word should not be rendered the same.
First, λαμβάνω describes a mutual action where another participates in the process; they "make a choice."
1Thus, neither "receive" or "take" will always convey the meaning in context:
The one who rejects me and does not receive (λαμβάνων) my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day. (John 12:48 ESV)
Since one may choose not to receive, perhaps "take" would be better. Regardless, unless it is actively apprehended by another, there is no reception or possession.
The Immediate Context
Second, the word was used with three different inflections:
17 `Because of this doth the Father love me, because I lay down my life, that again I may receive (λάβω) it 18 no one doth take it from me, but I lay it down of myself; authority I have to lay it down, and authority I have again to receive (λαβεῖν) it; this command I received (ἔλαβον) from my Father.' (OP suggestion)
All are in the aorist active but the mood, which "is the morphological feature of a verb that a speaker uses to portray his or her affirmation as to the certainty of the verbal action or state"
2is different with each use. The first is subjunctive which describes "that which is probable or desirable;" the last is indicative "that which is certain or asserted."
3The second use is infinitive which corresponds to the English subjunctive and most often expresses purpose "to, in order to, for the purpose of."
Additionally, there are two different topics in the passage: authority and the commandment. "Received" (past tense) is proper with the last use because when Jesus is speaking, He is already in possession of the commandment from His Father.
Likewise the ability to lay down and take up His life again rests on the authority He has in His possession (past tense) from His Father. Yet, the exercise of authority, however desirable (the first use), is still future and conditional:
Jesus must first lay down His life (the protasis); only then may He take/receive it again (the apodosis). If He fails to do the first, which is voluntary, the second will not happen. The authority in the first action is not only voluntary, it is absolute: no one takes it from Me. None may take His life and none may stop Him from laying it down. This absolute authority is best expressed by "take."
As illustrated above, "received" shifts the complexion to suggest Jesus has no part in the process. Not only is this contrary to what is described, it obscures the reality Jesus in and of Himself, with no interference of, or from another, has the authority to lay down His life.
This voluntary act of obedience is a foundation of the New Covenant:
even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28 ESV, also Mark 10:45)
Jesus' sacrifice was acceptable because it was both voluntary and without sin. Since Jesus must initiate the process before He can have His life again, "take" not only follows the lexicon and mood, it best fits the immediate context.
New Testament Context
Citing the REV Commentary, the OP states there are over 30 verses that "God, the Father" raised Jesus from the dead. Here are three examples from those the Commentary offers:
and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day.” And they were greatly distressed. (Matthew 17:23)
Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.” (Matthew 28:7)
But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.” (Mark 14:28)
As is the case with almost every passage in the Gospels (see below), there is no explicit mention of God or Father. The REV commentary is driven by doctrine, not the actual texts; it assumes the passive voice of the verbs ἐγείρω and ἀνίστημι in the third person refers to God the Father.
There are significant difficulties with this assumption.
First, some statements are made by an angelic being or the narrator, not Jesus. For example, Matthew 28:7 (and 28:6) are spoken by the angel: Jesus cannot be ruled out.
Second, the passive voice may be used in a deponent sense:
230 On account of this Hellenistic tendency to use passive forms in «deponent» sense, one must beware of insisting on a passive sense for them. Thus e.g. where Paul writes to the Thessalonians (I, 1.5) οἴδατε οἷοι ἐγενήθημεν ἐν ὑμῖν δι᾽ ὑμᾶς the Vulgate is right in rendering
«quales fuerimus», however much the context may suggest the passive sense (Paul's «being made» such as he was by the action of God); ἐγενήθη occurs three times in the same chapter. In 1 Cor 1.30 however, (ὃς ἐγενήθη ἡμῖν σοφία ἀπὸ θεοῦ) one may render, instead of the deponent «become», the passive «be made».
231 For the same reason one must not insist too much on the difference between ἠγέρθη ἐκ νεκρῶν and ἀναστῇ, as if the passive form ἠγέρθη always and necessarily connoted the action of God the Father, for it may simply mean «arose» and is rightly so rendered («surrexit») by the Vulgate in e.g. Mk 14.28; 16.6; Mt 27.64 etc. This may perhaps account partly for the remarkable fact that while the substantive ἀνάστασις (νεκρῶν, Ἰησοῦ) occurs frequently, the verb ἀναστῆναι is found for Christ's resurrection only once in the epistles (1 Thes 4.14; but it occurs seven times in the gospels and twice in Acts) as against thirteen cases where Christ is said ἐγερθῆναι. (Note however that the resuscitation [ἐγείρειν] of Christ is in many places explicitly attributed to the Father).
So too σταθεὶς and ἐστάθη often mean simply στὰς and ἔστη;thus where Paul speaks σταθεὶς ἐν μέσῳ τοῦ Ἀρείου the passive form does not imply that someone had «set» him there (Acts 17:22). Cf. also Mt 18.16; Lk 18:11; Acts 5:20; Rom 14.4; Col 4.12
Setting aside the two verses in question, over 60% of New Testament passages
6have no direct reference to means of the resurrection:
In addition to the paucity of direct references to the Father, it is striking the only explicit reference in the Gospels are Jesus raising Himself (Matthew 27:63, John 2:19, 20, 22). These four all come from the Temple clearing incident recorded by John.
John, as narrator, gives the chronology and answer to the question, "Who raised Jesus from the dead?" and explains the meaning of something greater than the temple is here (Matthew 12:6):
Before the Crucifixion:
19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” 21 But he was speaking about the temple of his body. (John 2)
After the Crucifixion, before the Resurrection:
62 The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate 63 and said, “Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise.’ (Matthew 27)
After the Resurrection:
22 When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken. (John 2)
Finally, John also provides, without ambiguity, Jesus making a claim, before His death, to be the sole means of resurrection:
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” 27 She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.” (John 11)
This passage states the resurrection was the result of a mutual action of Jesus and His Father, just as Jesus had previously stated:
17 For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.” (John 10)
19 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel. 21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will...25 “Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. 26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. (John 5)
The only explanation for how the resurrection of Jesus is described in the New Testament which is consistent with the means by which it is described, is "God" has a triune nature: Father, Son, Spirit. For instance, in the letter to the Romans, only the triune nature of God allows Paul to make separate statements attributing the resurrection to God (10:9), the Holy Spirit (1;4, 8:11), the glory of the Father (6:4), or with none specific (4:24, 25, 6:9, 7:4, 8:34, 14:9). Even here, based upon John's Gospel, Jesus cannot be excluded, since the Son is the glory of the Father.
1. Fredrick William Danker, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, The University Chicago Press, 2000, pp. 583-584
2. Daniel B. Wallace, Greek Grammar: Beyond the Basics An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament, Zondervan, 1996, p. 445
3. Ibid., p. 446
4. Ibid., p. 590
5. Maximilian Zerwick, Biblical Greek: Illustrated by Examples, Editrice Pontificio Istituto Biblico, 2001, pp. 74-75
6. Other NT Verses: Matthew 16:21, 17:9, 23, 20:19, 26:32, 27:63, 64, 28:6, 7; Mark 8:31, 9:9, 31, 10:34, 14:28, 16:6, 14; Luke 9:22, 18:33, 24:6, 7, 34, 46; John 2:19, 20, 22, 20:9, 21:14; Acts 2:24, 32, 3:15, 26, 4:10, 5:30, 10:40, 41, 13:30, 33, 34, 37, 17:3; Romans 1:4, 4:24, 25, 6:4, 9, 7:4, 8:11, 34, 10:9, 14:9; 1 Corinthians 6:14, 15:4, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 20; 2 Corinthians 4:14, 5:15; Galatians 1:1; Ephesians 1:20; Colossians 2:12; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 2 Timothy 2:8; 1 Peter 1:21