From: GregStffrd (GregStffrd@aol.com)
Date: Fri May 08 1998 - 20:11:47 EDT
Jonathan quoting Greg:
>There are two very significant observations to keep in mind when
>considering 1John 5:20, and for some reason Wallace does not consider either
one of them.
>The first has to do with the immediate context. In the first part of 1 John
>5:20, we are told that the Son of God has come and given us the ability to
>know TON ALHTHINON. This creates a distinction between the two, for one gives
>us a knowledge of the other, but TON ALHTHINON also provides what I perceive
>as that most natural antecedent for hO ALHTHINOS THEOS, who is distinguished
>from Jesus (ZWH AIWNIOS [?]-cf. 1 John 1:2) hO hUIOS AUTOU.
>Here's the verse:
John 5:20 OIDAMEN hOTI hO hUIOS TOU QEOU hHKEI, KAI DEDWKEN hHMIN DIANOIAN
hINA GINWSKWMEN TON ALHQINON; KAI ESMEN EN TWi ALHQINWi, EN TWi hUIWi AUTOU
IHSOU CRISTWi. hOUTOS ESTIN hO ALHQINOS QEOS KAI ZWH AIWNIOS.
For the sake of clarity, let me number some critical referents in the passage:
GINWSKWMEN (1) TON ALHQINON; KAI ESMEN EN (2) TWi ALHQINWi, EN (3) TWi hUIWi
(4) AUTOU IHSOU CRISTWi. (5) hOUTOS ESTIN hO ALHQINOS QEOS KAI ZWH AIWNIOS.
To me, the most important questions involve the antecedents of (4) AUTOU
and (5) hOUTOS.
John seems to use hOUTOS and EKEINOS with great care. In John, when either
hOUTOS or EKEINOS does not have a clear referent from the context, it
generally refers to Jesus. >>>
The referent for hOUTOS is always gathered from the context. When it refers to
Jesus, this, too, is clear from the context.
>But often what John does is precisely what we
see here: he brings a subject into near view, then refers to it with
hOUTOS, which generally refers backward to what is being discussed, in this
case IHSOU CRISTWi. I find it difficult to believe that it would refer to
(1) TON ALHQINON because the predominant subject at this point is Jesus,
not God the Father: Jesus has come, Jesus has given us to know the one who
is true (the father), we are in Jesus, and hOUTOS - Jesus - is the true God
and eternal life. If it referred to (1) TON ALHQINON, then it would be a
sloppy use of hOUTOS, which is not typical for John.>>>
Without any examples, it is difficult to evaluate what you say. There is
nothing to establish who the "predominant subject" is in this verse, as it
could legitimately be Jesus or "the true one." To me, the emphasis seems to be
on the One Jesus came to tell us about, TON ALHTHINON. There is hardly a
sloppy use of hOUTOS when the referent is clear, not because of the grammar
(which could go either way), but because of the clear correlation between TON
ALHTHINON and hO ALHTHINOS THEOS (and TWi ALHTHINWi, I might add, in view of
AUTOU). More important, though, is the fact that John knew his readers
recognized only One as hO ALHTHINOS THEOS, this because of what Jesus said to
the Father in John 17:3.
>The thing that makes this a little hard to read is John's playing with (1)
TON ALHQINON, referring to God, the one who is true, and (2) EN TWi
ALHQINWi "in him who is true". At first blush, this looks like it refers to
God, not to Jesus, but to me, the repeated EN in (2) and (3) strongly imply
that they refer to the same thing: "we are in him who is true, in his son
Jesus Christ". >>>
That is an interesting view, but how is it that the repetition of EN equates
"the true one" with hO hUIOS AUTOU? When John says "the Son AUTOU" that seems
to break the connection that follows from your view. We are in the true one by
being in "the Son OF HIM." HOUTOS, then, may legitimately refer to AUTOS or hO
ALHTHINOS. Grammatically it may apply to hO hUIOS or IHSOU CHRISTWi, but the
correlation between hO ALHTHINOS and hO ALTHINOS THEOS is practically
unavoidable, and the restriction of this title to the Father in John 17:3 is
of considerable importance in this grammatically ambiguous text.
As I read it, (1) TON ALHQINON refers to God - "the Son of God has come
and given us understanding so that we may know (1) him who is
true (God the father)". So this verse takes a description of God and
transfers it to Jesus.
Obviously, AUTOU refers to (1) TON ALHQINON if you read the passage the
way I do.
It seems reasonable enough to read TWi ALHTHINWi as referring back to TON
ALHTHINON. There is no reason to separate the two, and thus AUTOU refers back
to TW ALHTHINW, who is also TON ALHTHINON, and hO ALHTHINOS THEOS. It is this
One that Jesus came to tell us about, PATHRhO MONOS ALHTHINOS.-John 17:1, 3.
University of Wisconsin
This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:39:43 EDT