From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Sat Oct 23 1999 - 18:49:26 EDT

At 5:43 PM -0500 10/23/99, Dmitriy Reznik wrote:
>Dear friends,
>I wonder if the word OMOLOGEW should be translated as "confess". This
>English word seems to me to be too religious. Maybe it is enough to
>translate it as "acknowledge"? Was it used with this meaning in common
>(secular) life?
>Just couple of examples I am specially interested in:
>1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive
>us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
>1 John 4:2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesseth
>that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God.
>1 John 4:15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God
>abideth in him, and he in God.
>2 John 1:7 For many deceivers are gone forth into the world, even they that
>confess not that Jesus Christ cometh in the flesh. This is the deceiver and
>the antichrist.

There's very little that could possibly be added to what Maurice has
already said on this subject. I just want to reiterate in my own way that
this (hOMOLOGEW) was quite fundamentally a non-religious verb and indeed a
FORENSIC one--and it plays a considerable role in what I would call the
"forensic" theme in John's gospel, namely, that Jesus' epiphany as God's
Word Spoken and as God's Light Shining puts the World (KOSMOS) on trial
even though it appears to the world that it is Jesus who is on trial; the
appearance of Jesus in the world is the KRISIS of the world: the "Judging"
wherein the world judges Jesus and Jesus judges the world. hOMOLOGEW plays
a role in this theme in the forensic sense that one who hOMOLOGEI is
'admitting' the truth. You might note that John the Baptist is different in
John's gospel to some extent from what he is in other gospels also: he is
not so much the returning Elijah, the FWNH BOWNTOS EN ERHMWi as he is hO
MARTUROS, the one who bears witness in the courtroom to what he knows about
the identity of Jesus.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649

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