Re: John 3:16

From: David Housholder (
Date: Sat Nov 25 1995 - 18:10:05 EST

Paul Watkins wrote:
>>What are the implications of the first aorist active indicative of AGAPAW
>>as used in John 3:16? How does this function toward TON KOSMON? If we
>>assume that God loves this present kosmos then why didn't He use the
>>present tense?

It is probably an oversimplification of the significance of AGAPAW to state that
it refers to love in action rather than as an emotional or attitudinal state,
but that may be key to understanding what is happening here. The other key to
the passage is the hOUTWS which begins the sentence. hOUTWS is "in this manner"
or "thus." It is a misleading translation (I'm sure I'll be corrected here if I
am wrong <g>) to translate it as "so," and is mistranslation to translate it as
"so much." This is not a statement of degree but of method.

So the passage says, "God expressed his love [acted in love] toward the world in
the following manner: He gave . . . ." The "loved" is aorist because the "gave"
is aorist.

Incidentally, there is a Hindi translation of John 3:16 that translates EDWKEN
as "arpit de diya," which is "made an offering" or "offered." The delight in the
translation is that an "arpit" is an offering people make to God (or "the
gods"). Here expectation is turned upside down; God is presenting the arpit
needed to establish a good relationship.

David Housholder
writing at 6:05 PM on Saturday, November 25, 1995

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