From: Benjamin Raymond (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Sun Feb 22 1998 - 18:12:18 EST
Rereading John 1:9 again while reviewing for class, I stumbled over another
If TO FWS is the subject of this periphrastic imperfect, why does the
author use the masculine object AUTON in 10c? Is the author ascribing some
masculine sense to TO FWS, or does this refer back to hO LOGOS somehow?
At 04:23 PM 2/21/98 -0600, I wrote:
>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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