Re: John 1:1

Date: Thu Feb 12 1998 - 18:09:33 EST

Jeffery Gibson wrote:

<<With this in mind, I think that even assuming that John 1:1 has Gen. 1:1
in mind, the discussion of what John meant by EN ARCH will not be properly
grounded until we take into account, not what the original author of Gen.
1:1 meant, or even what the Hebrew or LXX syntax within that verse means
or implies, but how that passage was exegeted by Rabbis and others in
John's time. As we all know, 1st cent Biblical interpretation and exegesis
could and frequently did conveniently ignore the niceties of grammar and
syntax of a passage, relying on other methods to establish and get to what
was thought to be the meaning of a given text.

If Jn 1:1 *was* meant by the author of the Prologue (and presumably the
final editor of GJohn) to recall Gen. 1:1, then the real question that
should be asked is not so much (a) what does the grammar and syntax of
the contextualizing verse seem to imply about that which it contextualizes",
but (b) how was Gen. 1:1 understood in John's time, and how does *that*
understanding help illuminate Jn 1:1?

Jeffrey Gibson >>

Well, aside from Genesis/John 1:1, references in the Hebrew and Greek
Scriptures where ARKHi is used in relation to the act of creation always seem
to refer to the creation of the physcial universe. We have yet to be given any
evidence that would support the view that sees "in the beginning," as used in
both Genesis and John 1:1, as a reference to the "absolute beginning of time."
When that evidence is presented, then we can comment on it.

Greg Stafford
University of Wisconsin

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