From: Benjamin Raymond (email@example.com)
Date: Sat Feb 21 1998 - 17:23:50 EST
At 07:09 AM 2/20/98 -0500, Carl Conrad wrote:
>At 9:20 PM -0500 2/15/98, WmHBoyd@aol.com wrote:
>>Does the Greek help me know whether it is FWS or PANTA ANQRWPON that is
>>ERXOMENON EIS TOV KOSMON in John 1:9?
>While the word-order is strained (HN FWS ... ERCOMENON), it seems far
>preferable to understand HN ERCOMENON as a periphrastic imperfect than to
>attempt to supply a different subject for HN and take ERCOMENON with
>ANQRWPON. Here's my reasoning:
>(1) Without an article ERCOMENON construed with ANQRWPON ought to be
>circumstantial rather than attributive. If attributive it would be more
>reasonable to translate it as a relative clause (TON ERCOMENON = "who
>comes"); as circumstantial it would have to relate somehow to FWTIZEI
>("enlightens when he comes/because he comes/if he comes,etc.").
>(2) KJV and others understand the sentence as "That was the true light,
>that illuminates every man who comes into the world." But this makes FWS a
>predicate noun to a subject left unstated in the Greek though implicit in
>the 3d person form of HN. The English version with a demonstrative ("that")
>would seem to me to require a much more definite and explicit subject for
I translated it with a demonstrative for class last week. Doh! I just
looked up this construction in Wallace's grammar and found a good, albeit
short, discussion on it. Thanks for bringing this question up! I wouldn't
have even thought twice about it. I did, however, puzzle over the subject
of HN for quite some time. I take it that TO FWS [TO ALHQINON] would be
the subject? Something like, "The true light, which enlightens all men,
was coming into the world?"
>(3) The periphrastic imperfect is attested elsewhere in John's gospel (e.g.
>3:23 HN DE KAI hO IWANNHS BAPTIZWN EN AINWN EGGUS TOU SALEIM ..., there are
>others too, I'm pretty sure).
>(4) The wide separation of elements that must be construed together in the
>same manner as HN ... ERCOMENON in 1:9 can be found elsewhere at least once
>in John just a few verses later in 1:14, where PLHRHS CARITOS KAI ALHQEIAS
>can be construed grammatically only with hO LOGOS way back at the beginning
>of the verse.
Given this separation, I would never have thought to put the elements
together. Something to watch for in the future...
>For these reasons then I think that it is better to understand the
>structure as a main clause HN TO FWS TO ALHQINON ERCOMENON EIS TON KOSMON
>as one interrupted by the parenthetical little relative clause hO FWTIZEI
>PANTA ANQRWPON. This seems to me not inconsistent with Johannine idiom and
>word-order seen elsewhere in the gospel.
Makes sense to me.
senior, Harding University School of Biblical Studies
HU Box 11871, 900 E Center
Searcy, AR 72149-0001
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