Re: 1 John 3:9
From: Steven Craig Miller (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Tue Dec 21 1999 - 22:21:03 EST
To: Grant Polle,
Maximilian Zerwick, in his grammar "Biblical Greek"
<< In the latter place [1Jn 3:9] John seems to suppose that
Christians cannot sin, but in 2:1 he admonishes them not to sin. Here
however he says GRAFW hUMIN hINA MH hAMARTHTE (aorist: not to commit
sin), whereas in 3:9 he says that he who is born of God OU DUNATAI
hARMARTANEIN (present: be -- habitually -- a sinner) because he is born
of God, i.e. cannot continue the sinful life that was his before his
regeneration >> (sec. 251).
Buist M. Fanning, in his "Verbal Aspect in New Testament Greek"
(1990), investigates this problem at some length (pp. 211-216) and
<< ... the habitual interpretation of 1 John 3:4-10 is certainly
'possible,' based on NT usage >> (216).
I personally have my doubts. I have doubts as to the possibility of a
"habitual present" with the negative particle "OU"
where the resulting meaning clearly means that one only occasionally does
this thing, but one does not do it on a habitual bases. It just doesn't
make sense to me.
-Steven Craig Miller
Alton, Illinois (USA)
Disclaimer: "I'm just a simple house-husband (with no post-grad
degree), what do I know?"
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