RE:hINA, this time in 1 John 1:9

From: Clayton Bartholomew (
Date: Mon Sep 08 1997 - 09:58:29 EDT

RE:hINA, this time in 1 John 1:9

After sending my two posts on the hINA clause issue I then received the
digest with Carl's post and his follow up post to my *tirade* and I agree
with Carl that Wallace's treatment has much to commend it in by way of

After some more reflection, I think it is quite possible that my seeing
purpose/result as a binary opposition was reading something into
Wallace's discussion that was not there at all. I am not sure that Wallace
or the other grammarians that I use even think in terms of this concept.
So my tirade may have been attacking a straw horse.

My thinking about language has been profoundly shaped by structuralism
where binary oppositions are a kind of first principle.

Now returning to Paul's original question, I spent an hour mulling over
Zerwick's treatment of hINA clauses and then took another look at 1 John
1:9. Zerwick's discussion of hINA clauses used like infinitives (Zerwick
406-411) helped to clarify the issue. I now understand Carl's treatment of
the subject much better and it seems that his solution is best:

Carl Wrote:
I think that this hINA clause also (1Jn 1:9 hINA AFHi ... KAI KAQARISHi
...) is a noun or substantive clause like those I've discussed previously.
I'd call this clause "epexegetical" and I'd translate it, as I've
suggested previously as the easiest idiomatic English for many of these
hINA substantive clauses, with an infinitive in English; the clause does,
in fact, function exactly as would an epexegetical infinitive with an
adjective, and so here with PISTOS KAI DIKAIOS.

Carl's first statement (quoted above) answers the structural question:
What syntactical function does the hINA clause perform?
Answer: It performs as a noun or substantive.

The second quoted statement answers the question:
What is the semantic function of the hINA clause?
Answer: it is epexegetical.

A final comment: I think those who find the *theology* of this text
difficult are overloading the sense of the hINA construction. They are
seeing some kind of causal link between EAN hOMOLOGWMEN ... and hINA
AFHi. I don't think this causal link is there and I don't think the hINA
construction demands a causal sense.

Clay Bartholomew
Three Tree Point

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:38:28 EDT