Re: KAI in 1 Jn 1:3

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Thu Sep 04 1997 - 06:48:27 EDT

At 9:17 PM -0500 9/3/97, Trevor M Peterson wrote:
>On Thu, 04 Sep 1997 07:00:06 -0800 Paul Zellmer
><> writes:
>>We've been copying the mail through the digests, and see that all is
>>still going strong. It almost makes me feel at home again.
>>A question came up as we were reviewing the draft of 1 John in our
>>translation project. In the phrase APAGGELLOMEN KAI HUMIN in 1 Jn 1:3,
>>with which part of the clause does the KAI go?
>I would take it as "we also declare unto you that which we have seen and
>heard," using KAI to connect the ideas of having seen and heard with that
>of declaring. The context establishes John as an eyewitness of the
>things he is declaring: "hO AKHKOAMEN, hO hEWRAKAMEN . . . hO EQEASAMEQA
>seems to be indicating that he intends to declare the things that he has
>experienced in these various ways--to go beyond simply having experienced
>them and add to the experiencing a sharing of the experience with his
>readers. I don't see any grammatical indications that would get us any
>closer to an answer than this, but I'll defer to the experts on that.

Just briefly on this matter, I think that Carlton is right to affirm that
in the phrase APAGGELLOMEN KAI hUMIN in 1 Jn 1:3 the KAI is certainly the
emphatic adverb that we'll translate "also" or "even" rather than the
conjunction linking clauses. While I would agree that there may often be
ambiguity as to which usage of KAI is involved in some instances,
nevertheless I think there's no ambiguity here. The one point that has not
been enunciated about the emphatic KAI regards the word order: emphatic KAI
regularly precedes the word adverbially qualified by it in much the same
way that the negating particles OU and MH immediately precede the word that
they negate. I think therefore that in this instance, the KAI must surely
underscore the hUMIN that follows.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649 OR

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