Re: hOUTWS in John

David Housholder (
Mon, 02 Dec 1996 23:47:32 -0500

>And give up right now the
>notion that there's a one-to-one correspondence between Greek and English

Consider it given up. Actually I am aware that we can't force a one to one
equivalence on words from one language to another. If, however, a word
seems to be used consistently in one particular area of meaning and more
rarely in another, then I want to have good reason for using the less
common significance in a particular setting -- especially if the more
common meaning fits the context better.

>You might do well to look up hOUTWS in a dictionary . . . .

Agreed. But I am in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, and my BAGD is at home in
Marietta, Georgia. So I'm stuck for a few days without it.

>So hOUTWS does, in fact,
>basically mean "in this way"--but it will also mean "so," "in that way,"
>and "so much" or "that much"--particularly in a typical result construction
>such as John 3:16 where we have the combination hOUTWS ... hWSTE ...

I think, by that statement, you are agreeing with my understanding that "so
much" is *not* an appropriate translation of hOUTWS in John 3:16 (though
some modern translations use it in that sense).

You go on to say, regarding 1 John 4:11:
>The translators are not being inconsistent here but accurate. They could
>achieve perfect consistency in this matter only by rendering the Greek
>inaccurately or in a way that is misrepresented by English idiom.

That brings us back to my original question: How is "so much" a more
accurate translation of hOUTWS here? Note the context.

1 John 4:9 (NRSV) God's love was revealed among us in this way: God sent
his only Son into the world so that we might live through him.
["in this way" is hOUTOS]
10 In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent
his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.
[Note that God's love for us consisted in or resulted in His act of sending]
11 Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another.
[Why not, "Beloved, since God loved us in such a manner, we also ought to
love one another {implied: in a similar manner}]

John exhorts his readers to love in practical ministering, caring, giving,
dying for one another (1 John 3:16) ways because that is the manner in
which God loved us. He is saying that again here in 4:9-11. So why switch
to "so much" in this context?

--David Housholder--