“Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you make yourself out to be?”” (John 8:53, ESV)
The Jewish opponents of Christ use what those who love! [and I’m talking really love] grammar call overspecification. What, pray tell, is over overspecification? I’m glad you
didn’t asked. It is using more information than you actually need for purposes of emphasizing something. Take the verse above. It would make perfect sense if they had said, “Are you greater than Abraham who died?” Why did they add more information than they actually needed? They add it to emphasize that Abraham is their father!
Notice how Jesus turns the table on their overspecification in just a few verses:
“Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.”” (John 8:56, ESV)
Jesus could have said, “Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day.” Nope. He says in essence, “do you want to emphasize that Abraham is your father, here is an interesting thing, your father rejoiced to see that my day was coming.” Thereby implying that they too should be rejoicing. They were not rejoicing.
Whose father was[n’t] Abraham exactly? I think its pretty clear.