Re: Understanding John 3:16
Somi Chuhon (email@example.com)
Sun, 22 Dec 1996 00:03:47 -0800
At 02:36 PM 19/12/96 -0500, you 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.
This is an analysis that makes me smile. So often I find that the focus of
John 3:16 is always placed on the "believing" when it is God's love and His
"sending" that is mentioned first and is, as you ahve stated, the
contingency of salvation. This is also a great affirmation of the Old
Testament upon which this verse stands. This is not new theology belonging
just to the NT but a statement of God's plan from day one but fulfilled in
his sending of Jesus!
What a message for this Christmas season! Thanks for the reminder! :)
ACTS Graduate Student
Old Testament Studies