Re: 1 John 4:13ff

From: Micheal Palmer (
Date: Tue Apr 08 1997 - 20:57:21 EDT

At 7:23 AM -0600 4/5/97, Carl W. Conrad wrote:

>Secondly, while it is certainly true, as Jonathan has said and as Micheal
>Palmer has said in a different way, that PNEUMATOS is genitive because EK
>must be construed with a genitive, I think it should be added that EK +
>genitive may function in Koine in the same way that a partitive genitive
>itself functioned as a complement to a verb in earlier phases of Greek. Let
>me use a simplistic but not unuseful (I think) example: PINW TOU OINOU is
>classical Greek expressing the sense "I'm sipping some wine" while PINW TON
>OINON (which one is far less likely to see) would mean something like "I'm
>gulping down (whatever) wine (is available). Now it seems to me that the
>gospel and the first letter of John in the passage you have cited are
>indicating that PNEUMA or the PLHRWMA or the hUDWR ZWON provided to
>believers by Jesus are inexhaustible sources from which the believer draws
>to sustain ZWHN AIWNION. One partakes of it, i.e, one takes part of it--one
>does not take it all nor could one possibly do so. In that sense, then, I
>think it is valid to understand the expression EK TOU PNEUMATOS AUTOU in 1
>Jn 4:13 as a partitive one.

Carl's point is born out excellently by an appearance in the New Testament
of exactly the same example example he cites from Attic, and it appears
exactly as he suggested it would: with the preposition EK followed by the
genitive. In Matthew 26:27 (in the Lord's Supper scene) Jesus takes the cup
and after giving thanks says

        All of you drink of/from it
        *NOT* Each one of you drink it all.

PANTES is nominative. It is the subject of the clause ("All of you"), not
the object ("all of it"). The KJV reads something like (I don't have it
with me, so I'm going on memory here...) "Drink ye all of it." This is not
wrong; it's just Elizabethan English. "Ye all" is the subject. [Those of us
who are Southerners have always known this :-> ]. "All of it" is NOT the

Well, this has taken us a long way from 1 John 4:13. There we can
understand the *phrase* EK TOU PNEUMATOS as functioning like a simple
partative genitive would have in earlier forms of Greek as Carl said. The
example from Matthew 26:27 simply confirms Carl's point.

Micheal W. Palmer
Religion & Philosophy
Meredith College

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