Re: hUPAGEI in 1 John 2:11

From: Jonathan Robie (
Date: Tue Sep 23 1997 - 07:17:02 EDT

At 08:02 AM 9/22/97 -0800, Paul Zellmer wrote:
>Let me stick my neck out again! In 1 John 2:11, the word many times
>translated as, "he goes," is hUPAGEI. Yet, in looking at the usages of
>the word in the Gospels, in James, and in Revelation, it seems to allow
>an almost unanimous translation of "depart," even though this is not
>the translation normally used in the English.
>In this case in 1 John, if it were translated, "he departs," I would
>see a reference back to the concept in 1 John 2:9, where the man thinks
>he is in the light, but is not. He doesn't know where he is departing,
>since his eyes are blinded and he thinks he's ok. What do you all
>think? Is this translation permissable? Or should I be hesitant to
>use it for some reason I do not see?

BAGD gives three primary senses for hUPAGW: (1) go away or depart, (2) go in
a certain direction, (3) used of Christ and his going to the Father. When
hUPAGEI is used to mean "depart", there is no need to talk about where
someone is departing. But here, the person is walking around (PERIPATEI) in
the darkness, and doesn't know where he is going. The point is that the
person has no sense of direction, and is completely clueless.

>BTW, Jonathan, it appears to me that verses 7 & 8 of chapter 2 support
>your notes in the past concerning conflicting statements in the book.
>We have to continually fight the tendency to soften these statements so
>that the points that he is making can continue to have their "shock
>effect." Of course, we note as you have that these statements do not
>make John undecided in the points that he is making.

Yes, that really is a good example. I was really tickled to see this in your
message, Paul. Paradox is an important part of the style of John, and if you
miss that, it is kind of like not getting a joke, IMHO.



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

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