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

From: Paul S. Dixon (
Date: Thu Sep 11 1997 - 00:56:28 EDT

On Wed, 10 Sep 1997 15:38:23 +0000 "John M. Moe"
<> writes:
>Micheal Palmer wrote:
>> Thanks to Paul Dixon for a clear coverage of the contextual factors
>> leading to verse 9. I will mention the one point of slight
disagreement if
>> have, but not without stating first that I find much to agree with in
>> post.
>> At 12:09 AM -0400 9/7/97, Paul S. Dixon wrote:
>> >Likewise, in v. 9 if we customarily confess our sins, then the
>>>necessary result is: God is faithful and righteous, and if God is
>>>and righteous, the necessary result (hINA) is that He will forgive us
>>>of all unrighteousness.
>> ??? God's faithfulness and righteousness are the necessary result of
>> our confession?
>> Even if we don't infer the negation ('If we don't confess, God won't
>> be faithful...'), as you correctly say we cannot, your statement still

>> looks problematic. Surely it is the following clause ("He will
>> which is the result, not God's faithfulness and righteousness.

MIcheal, even though I responded separately to this, I can't resist
amplifying that response. If you recall, I argued that if we posit an
ellipted GINWSKOMEN just before PISTOS KAI DIKAIOS in 1:9, then it makes
good sense. I selected GINWSKOMEN because it is a favorite of John's in
this epistle (26 occurrences; plus 16 of OIDA), because it ties in with
his purpose (5:13), and because of the contrast with the immediately
preceding, hEAUTOUS PLANWMEN (v. 8). If we opt more literally for the
negation of the latter, then the ellipsis would be something like, OU
hEATOUS PLANWMEN. It would then become, "If we customarily confess our
sins, then we do not deceive ourselves - God is faithful and righteous
(coming back to the governing doctrinal statement of the epistle; cf
1:5), the necessary result being that He will forgive our sins and
cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

This kind of thinking is so common in the book. John argues similarly in
the summary statement, 1:7 (note the striking parallelism). Likewise,
compare the similarity with 2:3, and 2:5, 2:29, 3:24, 4:13, 5:2.

>Do we really need to try to improve on the Biblical Greek here? It
>seems to me that the problem you lay out so clearly above (thanks for
>doing that by the way, I have tried the same thing many times for
>Bible classes dealing with this passage but never got it so well stated)

>Isn't the problem that we are simply missing the point when we take
>EAN to be setting up an "if A then B" type of conditional sentence? I
>don't know the accepted term for the sort of "circumstantial" use of EAN
>take this to be but there is a clear example of what I mean just a
>short distance from our verse at 1John 3:2 where I can find no English
>translations which read "If he appears we shall be like him." There
>Ean is almost always renderd "when." In one 1:9 I think I might
>for "whenever."
>I was going to quote from an exellent (as always) post from Carl
>Conrad on this use of EAN dated May 19 of this year where he answers a
>question about the tranlation of EAN as 'when" at 1John 2:28. For the
sake of
>room I won't do that, but those who are interisted will find his good
>stuff in the arcives.
>John M. Moe

John, I don't see how we can take the EANs in chapter 1 as "whenever."
Certainly we must take the EAN in 1:9 the same way as in 1:6,7,8, and 10.
 Such a rendering suggests that the same "we" is the subject in all the
verses, i.e., in 1:6,7,8,9, and 10, as though it is possible for all of
these verses to be describing the Children of God. It seems much for
likely that he is contrasting the children of light and the children of
darkness, thus two separate groups. If so, then "if"

Paul Dixon

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