Re: Help! On 1 John 3:9

Carlton Winbery (
Mon, 23 Dec 1996 09:22:05 +0400

Carl Conrad in answer to wrote:

>>(2) In that regard, I would like recommendations as to literature on
>>Diagramming the GNT. I only have Richard P. Belcher; if that's enough,
>>then just confirm it for me.
>I don't know of any such work, but there probably is one somewhere.

Someone at Southwestern (I think maybe Curtis Vaughn or one of his
students) diagramed all of Philippians (or was that Ephesians). I saw it
in a prepublication form. It was used in several classes there I think.

>>(3) If any out-there has done work on the text, whether the sin mentioned
>>is sin in general, or whether is the sin of apostasy, or the sin of not
>>loving the brethren, I would appreciate any input you may have.
>I think there is an almost simplistic logic in the arguments here, akin to,
>although hardly derived from, the Socratic proposition that all wrongdoing
>arises out of the agent's ignorance of what is in his/her own best interest
>and the agent will never knowingly or deliberately violate what is in
>his/her own best interest. I think the sin is generic and absolute. Sin is
>understood as a consequence of being out-of-touch with God, and to the
>extent that one is in-touch with God, or "abides" in Him, one does not sin;
>inversely, one sins to the extent that one is out-of-touch with God ("His
>seed does not abide in him."). The efficacy of the "vision" of Christ
>crucified/exalted/glorified/raised is to "remove sin" and regenerate the
>believer so that now he/she is in-touch with God ("abides").
>I've always thought that the clearest of all expositions of Johannine
>"anthropology" is in Rudolf Bultmann's _Theology of the New Testament_.
Bultmann's commentary on I John in Hermeneia deals with this. In one place
he defines the concept of knowing God in I John (same as abiding in him) as
a personal experience of God in which the knower is determined in his ethic
by God himself. You would expect Bultmann to emphasize experiencial
knowledge, but this would fit well with Carl's perception of the concept of
sin in I John.

Carlton L. Winbery
Fogleman Professor of Religion
Louisiana College
Fax (318) 442-4996
Phone (318) 487-7241