Re: John 1:5 - aspect

From: Joe A. Friberg (
Date: Tue Jan 11 2000 - 13:54:33 EST

----- Original Message -----
From: "Steve Long" <>
Sent: Tuesday, January 11, 2000 11:17 AM

> I don't have a problem adding words to make both meanings clear: 'the
> darkness couldn't understand it or turn it off' (for those of us who grew
> up with light switches). ;-)
> If a koine audience would read a double entendre, we shouldn't deprive
> english audience just because we don't have an english equivalent.

Several options have now been offered. The question becomes, which is
best--and I understand this last question to be evaluated in terms of which
best matches the meaning of the Gk?

For any given case of double entendre, which of the 2 meanings is most
prominent, or should I say *obvious*? In the current case, Carl Conrad has
identified the 'overcome' meaning as the primary, or obvious meaning, and
'understand' as the second meaning lurking in the background for
contemplation. That seems reasonable, since the light keeps shining in
spite of the darkness: comprehension of the light by the darkness would tend
to extinguish the darkness rather than the light!

I will suggest the following cline, arranging the options between the two
poles, as to which meaning they incline towards most readily. The option of
translating both meanings explicitly as Steve Long gave above is sqarely in
the middle, giving both poles equal prominence:

master BAGD
seize JAF
understand it or put it out/turn it off SL
apprehend CWC
comprehend KJV

Of course, which pole a person first grasps when they hear a double entendre
depends significantly on them, and not just the text! There may well be
different opinions on the proper order of the English alternatives in the
above cline!

God Bless!
Joe A. Friberg

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