Re: John's prologue

From: Theresa J List (
Date: Sun Jun 30 1996 - 21:52:36 EDT

On Mon, 24 Jun 1996 17:26:18 -0700 Mike Phillips <>
>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
>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)
Greetings, fellow Hoosier! (although I am now a Minnesotan, at least for
this season of life). I have gotten as far as getting my MA in NT Greek,
and no, I would say there is no GRAMMATICAL distinction. The question is
not one of grammar nor of meaning, but one of the details or entailments
of the context. Contextually speaking, what could AUTOU mean in 1:7?
ONOMA AUTOU both a) specifically refer to TO FOS (cf. v 9) b) therefore
suggest by context that v 7 as well refers to TOU FOTOS .

God's Peace and Godspeed!
Deaconess Theresa List
Hispanic Missionary at large

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