From: Wes Williams (WesWilliams@usa.net)
Date: Fri Feb 13 1998 - 00:20:56 EST
Paul S. Dixon wrote:
> Does EN ARCHi in Jn 1:1 refer to an absolute beginning, or to some other
> beginning? While the parallel with Gen 1:1 may not answer the question,
> Micah 5:2 does appear to do so.
> KAI SU BHQLEEM OIKOS EFRAQA ... EK SOU MOI EXELEUSETAI, TOU EINAI EIS
> ARCONTA TOU ISRAHL, KAI EXODOU AUTOU AP' ARCHS EX hHMERWN AIWNOS.
> "and thou, Bethlehem, house of Ephratha ... out of you shall come forth
> to me, to be a ruler of Israel, and his goings forth are from the
> beginning, from the days of eternity."
I read Micah 5:2 (5:1 LXX) EX AIWNOS as "from of old," as in Prov 8:21,
don't you? Whether one does or does not, the point is that caution needs to
be exercised in laying stress on one side of an ambiguous expression.
EX AIWNOS is similar to the usage of Wisdom personified saying in Prov 8:21
LXX "TA EX AIWNOS ARIQMHSAI" = "to recount the things of old" (Brenton's).
This is unlikely "eternity" here since Wisdom personified speaks of having a
beginning in the next verse "KURIOS EKTISEN ME ARCHN hODWN AUTOU EIS ERGA
AUTOU" (The Lord created me the beginning of his ways for his works).
I suggest that Prov 8:22 is a better scriptural example of an "absolute"
beginning rather than Gen 1:1, wouldn't you? This beginning is before the
creation of heavens and earth.
> There is no question that this one whose "goings forth are from the
> beginning, from the days of eternity" (AP' ARCHS EX hHMERWN AIWNOS) is
> none other than the LOGOS of Jn 1:1, later identified as Christ. John
> even makes a specific reference to this OT passage in Jn 7:42 where he
> identifies this eternal one of Micah 5:2 as the Christ, hO CRISTOS.
Agreed that it applies to the one who became Christ. The LOGOS is certainly
"from of old."
> Let's put a lid on this, pack our bags, and go home.
Please stay for a tea chat. I also was hoping you could comment on Rolf's
post with respect to a substantive losing its substantival force. This is a
question I too have long pondered since the last John 1:1 exchange.
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