Re: KAI in 1 Jn 1:3

From: John Kendall (
Date: Wed Sep 10 1997 - 16:28:14 EDT

Roland Milanese wrote:
>Did this kind of ambiguity also exist for those Greek speakers reading
>KAI in the Greek of the NT? I don't know.

Roland, you may have missed some earlier contributions to this thread. I
tentatively pointed out in an earlier post (and Carl Conrad, I think,
confirmed) that there is a word-order rule operating here and therefore no
ambiguity. Adverbial KAI modifies the word or phrase that follows it.

As far as I understand things, adverbial KAI is emphatic, spotlighting or
intensifying the item that follows it. Though it is often the case, there is no
necessary implication that there is another person/thing/action to be
considered (what you called "semantic duplication" - conveyed by the English
gloss 'also'). As an interesting example consider John 17:25:


I seem to remember that many of the older commentaries find this KAI difficult,
taking it as a conjunction. But in view of its position in the clause, surely
it must be adverbial? I think that here the KAI needs to be glossed with some
emphatic word like "indeed". I'm not sure whether the whole clause here is
modified by KAI or simply hO KOSMOS. In either case, in context, the contrast
between the world's ignorance of the Father and Jesus' knowledge of him is
underlined. (Perhaps there is also some implication of contraexpectation given
the allusion to God's creation of the world in the previous verse? Something
like - God created the world and therefore it should rightly be expected to
recognise him, yet *indeed* - in it's rebellion - it did/does not. Maybe, but I
wouldn't press it.)

In my earlier post I mentioned K. Titrud's essay. He commends J. B. Phillips'
attempt, in view of the context, to convey the emphatic force of KAI in Luke
13:7 ---

Why should it use up *valuable* ground?

The word order is misconstrued or the emphatic force is neglected in all other
translations I've come across.

Hope this helps

John Kendall

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