Re: Understanding John 3:16
Carlton Winbery (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Thu, 19 Dec 1996 14:28:28 +0400
Jim Beale wrote;
>I'd be grateful if someone would comment on the following analysis:
> hOUTWS GAR HGAPHSEN hO QEOS TON KOSMON hWSTE TON hUION
> TON MONOGENH EDWKEN hINA PAS hO PISTEUWN EIS AUTON MH
> APOLHTAI ALL' EXH ZWHN AIWNION
> (John 3:16)
>hWSTE in this case introduces a results clause, a clause that is a
>consequent of the the main verb, HGAPHSEN (cf. Dana and Mantey,
>270). "As a result of God's great love for the world, He sent His
>hINA introduces a purpose clause, expresses the aim of the action
>in the main verb. It means "in order that" or "for the purpose of."
>"He sent His only-begotten Son for the purpose of X."
>PISTEUWN is a present active participle, a substantive, indicating
>those who continue in believing. Thus, PAS ho PISTEUWN means "all
>the believing," or "all who believe."
>EXH is present active subjunctive. The subjunctive mood follows from
>the purposive conjunction, hINA, introducing this clause. The final
>aspect of the purpose clause is contingent on the verb in the
>results clause, the relative main to this purpose clause (cf. Dana
>and Mantey, 267). Thus, having everlasting life as a present
>possession is made contingent on the Father sending the Son.
>And so, I affirm that this verse means,
> God loved the world so much that He gave His only begotten
> Son in order to save all the ones believing in Him.
>It is important to note that the saving is not made contingent on
>believing here, but, as it turns out, the saving is contingent on
>the sending. He came to save His people from their sins (Mt. 1:21).
>Have I gone astray in any particular? Thanks for any correction
>(even for rebuke!:) in advance.
Jim, I would first note that the word MONOGENHS means "unique," "only one
of its kind," etc. Note the entry in LSJ.
>>>>>mono-gen=EAs, es, Ep. and Ion. mouno-, (genos) the only member of a kin
>>>>>or kind: hence, generally, only, single, pais Hes. WD 376, Hdt. 7.221,
>>>>>cf. Ev.Jo.1.14, Ant.Lib.32.1; of Hecate, Hes. Th. 426.
2. unique, of to on, Parm. 8.4; heis hode m. ouranos gegon=F4s Plat. Tim.
31b, cf. Procl.Inst.22; theos ho m. Sammelb.4324.15.
3. m. haima one and the same blood, dub. l. in Eur. Hel. 1685. <<<<
Secondly, I would ask if the Participle hO PISTEUWN is not the subject of
the active subjunctive verb ECHi. If it is, the question must be asked if
that means that only the one believes who will "have eternal life." In
John's sense "believing" seems to be a precondition of being united with
Christ or abiding in Christ as Christ abides in God.
Carlton L. Winbery
=46ogleman Professor of Religion
=46ax (318) 442-4996
Phone (318) 487-7241