John's prologue

From: Mike Phillips (
Date: Mon Jun 24 1996 - 20:26:18 EDT

In John's prologue, I am confronted with verse 7
...`ina pantes pisteusosin di' autou.
(please forgive the transliteration if not accurate, I am
referring to the final clause of verse 7).

Is there any grammatical reason that di' autou does not
refer to John? One might construe "through him" as
"through John" or "through it" as "through the light."
Clearly, there are theological reasons for making
either choice -- is there a grammatical reason that
supports one choice against the other?

In my own translation (I am not a Greek scholar, and hope
to grow up some day (I am 37, but age has nothing to do with
anything except calendars, so far as I am able to discern)), I
*assumed* di' autou refered to John, while my compatriots
(who I respect enormously) preferred "tou photos." I accept
their distinction, recognizing it as valid in context but also
recognizing the theological implications -- which leads to my
enlisting (not for the purpose of argument with them, as I am
happy to concede and allow their viewpoint to rule and reign
in our midst in this instance) the scholastic wisdom of b-greek.

Please take this opportunity to instruct me. I am still in the stage of
studying Greek grammar (1 year studying Effird's grammar and now
a summer smoking through Machen's NTGFB with supplementary
readings from John headed for Septuagint readings and (in the fall)
Attic grammar and prose. Your collective insight/wisdom/spur is


Mike Phillips
Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis, Indiana USA (
Hebrew Union College - JIR, Cincinnati, Ohio USA (a grad student)

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