John 1:3, hO GEGONEN

From: Paul S. Dixon (
Date: Wed Oct 01 1997 - 00:13:15 EDT

Where should the punctuation period go in Jn 1:3, after hO GEGONEN, or
after OUDE hEN?

Wescott says, " It would be difficult to find a more complete consent of
ancient authorites in favor of any reading, than that which supports the
second punctuation; Without Him was not anything made. That which hath
been made in Him was life" (Wescott commentary).

Most modern translations (8 of 10, so far) favor, rather, the former

Westcott adds, "The difficulty in either case centres in the use of the
imperfect ("was life ..." "was the light ...") ... It is indeed by no
means clear in what sense it can be said: Life was in the Word, and the
Life [thus spoken of as in the Word] was the Light of men; or again: That
which hath been made was Life in the Word, and the Life [thus enjoyed by
creation in the Word] was the Light of men."

It seems to me the problem Westcott addresses is solved if we take EN
AUTWi as a dative of means or agency, paralleling the preceding DI' AUTOU
of v. 3. This would then make excellent sense, "What has come into being
through him was life, and the life was the light of men." Life, then, is
life that came into existence at the time of creation, life resulting
from creation. This life (hH ZWH; anaphoric article), in all its
glorious form, was the light of men, that is, this life was (and still
is, FAINEI, v. 5) the natural revelation testifying to all men of God's
glory (cf Rom 1:19ff).

I would appreciate feedback on this. Am leaving in the morning and will
be gone for five days. Will certainly look forward to the responses when
I return.


Paul Dixon

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:38:35 EDT