Re: hO GEGONEN in John 1:3

From: Paul S. Dixon (
Date: Mon Nov 16 1998 - 17:41:12 EST

On Mon, 16 Nov 1998 12:14:47 -0800 (Kyle Dillon)

>In the miniscule manuscripts of John 1:3, a period is placed before
>the phrase hO GEGONEN, thus making it the subject of the sentence in
>But the original uncials had no punctuation. So what is more likely,
>that hO GEGONEN modifies hEN in verse 3, or that it is the subject of
>verse 4b? In other words, which of the following is a better
>...(3) and without him was made not one thing that has been made. (4)
>In him was life..
>...(3) and without him was made not one thing. That which has been
>made (4) in him was life...
>Personally, it seems to me that the first translation is more
>accurate, so hO GEGONEN is being used for redundant emphasis (whereas
>the second translation seems to create some confusion in meaning). But I
>would like to know if there are other matters of syntax involved.
>Kyle Dillon

1:3b hO GEGONEN. Does this go with the preceding, or the following

If it goes with the preceding, then it does seem redundant. Furthermore,
the following EN AUTWi ZWHN HN would suggest that life was already
existing in him when creation took place. This life, then, would not be
physical life but spiritual life, since physical life did not exist until
it was
created. But, if it is spiritual life, then this spiritual life was the
light of
men (KAI hH ZWN HN TO QWS TWN ANQRWPWN). In what sense
is spiritual life to be understood to be the light of men? Shouldn't we
expect ANQRWPWN to be an objective genitive, so that this light
shines upon men? If so, then the life is not spiritual, but physical,
and this physical life should not be viewed as existing in God before
creation, but as coming into existence at creation.

If, on the other hand, hO GEGONEN goes with the following (so,
Westcott's contention that the early Greek scholars often started
sentences like this), then we would have "what has come into being
by him (dative of means) was life." This life, then, would refer to life
that came into existence at creation. The following hH ZWHN TO
FWS TWN ANQRWPWN, then, would make good sense. Life, in
its broadest sense, is the light of men. That is, life reveals the
Creator God, inasmuch as the effect implies the Cause.

So, yes, I would disagree. It makes better sense to understand a major
break before hO GEGONEN and taking the same as the subject of the
following verse.

Paul Dixon

You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet e-mail.
Get completely free e-mail from Juno at
or call Juno at (800) 654-JUNO [654-5866]

B-Greek home page:
You are currently subscribed to b-greek as: []
To unsubscribe, forward this message to
To subscribe, send a message to

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:40:07 EDT