Re: John 1:13 ~ The 3 "nots"

From: clayton stirling bartholomew (
Date: Thu Mar 26 1998 - 18:08:58 EST wrote:
> When I first read this passage I immediately thought of the three
> respective Synoptic Gospels, mostly because of the congruence of
> 'bloods' with the opening genealogy of Christ in Matthew. The much
> later writing of John also supports the idea that these three 'not
> borns' refer to the synoptics. I have seen nothing in the literature
> [very limited] that I have read, and local pastors have not heard of
> it. Does this idea have any history? Has it been ruled out?


You have asked several questions here. I will only attempt to answer one of
them. You ask: " Does this idea have any history"? Well based on the way you
formulated the question I would expect to find an interpretation like this in
Origen or someone with a similar approach.

Because this is an intriguing verse I decided to pull down a few commentaries
(H. Alford, H.A.W. Meyer, F. Godet, B.F. Westcott, Marcus Dodds, Leon Morris,
Raymond Brown) and see what they had to say. None of these fine fellows had
even the shadow of a hint of any connection between Jn 1:13 and the three

There was, however, a fair amount of discussion of the structure of Jn 1:13,
particularly the significance of the sequence:

OUK . . .OUDE . . . OUDE . . . ALL' . . .

It might be worth hearing some comments on this sequence. Certainly this
pattern is significant to the meaning of the verse. Does anyone want to take a
stab at this?

Clayton Stirling Bartholomew
Three Tree Point
P.O. Box 255 Seahurst WA 98062

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