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

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Thu Sep 11 1997 - 07:21:43 EDT

At 11:56 PM -0500 9/10/97, Paul S. Dixon wrote:
>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"

I sort of thought we'd seen the end of this thread, but here comes an
interesting question. I really don't see any contrast between children of
light and children of darkness in these clauses in 1 Jn 1:6-10. Surely all
of these conditional clauses are present general and it doesn't really
matter whether we translate the EAN as "if ever" or "whenever"; in each
instance the result clause indicates what is true every time that the
conditional clause enters into effect. And it is his TEKNIA that the author
is addressing here, i.e. believers--even if elsewhere in the letter he
seems to be talking about the schismatics who left the Johannine community
and about whom it is said that they "hate their brothers" (Raymond Brown
suggests that they became Gnostics in the full second-century sense).
Surely it won't be argued that we who believe NEVER walk in darkness, NEVER
fail to "do the truth, NEVER deceive ourselves and NEVER fail to have the
truth in us, NEVER try to claim that we haven't sinned. It seems to me that
what is being offered here is pastoral advice about overcoming our petty
exercises in self-deception and our petty claims to be perfectly righteous.
This is a call to confession and hence to acceptance of God's forgiveness
and cleansing. Or maybe I'm missing something here.

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

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