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

From: Jonathan Robie (
Date: Thu Sep 11 1997 - 11:08:52 EDT

At 06:21 AM 9/11/97 -0500, Carl W. Conrad wrote:
>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...

I agree with Carl here. If the point were to contrast the children of light
from the children of darkness, why the emphasis on confessing sin and
turning to Jesus for forgiveness in those lines Paul sees as describing the
children of light? And the use of the first person plural ("we") means that
the author is applying these general truths to himself as well. If any of
us, including the author of 1 John, walk in darkness, fail to do the truth,
claim to have no sin...we deceive ourselves, the truth is not in us, etc.
And the alternating sentences tell us what to do when we find ourselves in
that position: turn to Jesus, who is faithful and righteous, and will
forgive our sin, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.


Jonathan Robie
POET Software, 3207 Gibson Road, Durham, N.C., 27703

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