Re: John 1.5 - try again

From: Dale M. Wheeler (
Date: Thu Jan 13 2000 - 20:39:36 EST

<x-flowed>At 06:17 PM 1/13/00 -0600, Joe Friberg wrote:
>Re: the EGENETO in v6, I have asserted: "v6 starts a new paragraph with a
>new participant introduced, and constitutes a change in genre to narrative.
>This is frequently the funciton of EGENETO: to start a new narrative,
>introducing new participants, etc."
>Seeing EGENETO in this light, I would suggest that it probably is not
>extremely relevant to delve deeper into the inner workings of the verb
>(lexeme and form) itself. Like etymologies, while the possible inner
>nuances of the verb may form a plausible substantiation as to *why* it came
>to be used in a particular way, the more important consideration is simply
>*how* it is used within the discourse structure of Gk.


In general I would agree with you, as the examples you gave seem to
demonstrate the discourse force of this use of EGENETO. But I wonder
whether in this case there is more going on than "...a new time frame is
being established." This use is somewhat unique in the sense that it is
set in contrast to, as I take it, a generic statement about "the light"
continuing to shine even though the darkness has repeatedly, albeit
unsuccessfully, tried to extinguish it. Against this generic, historically
over-arching picture is presented the singular and pointed intrusion of one
sent from God, which is part of the "feel" of the aorist here, as I read
it. Thus EGENETO doesn't set a new time frame for another event per se,
but rather establishes a contrast between the eternal struggle between
light and dark, by injecting at a point one person who did not succumb to
the darkness, but rather was an example of the light continuing to shine.

I sort of suspect that this is what Pete was asking about...but I was
trying to limit my response to just the issue of aspect, which is what he
asked about.


Dale M. Wheeler, Ph.D.
Research Professor in Biblical Languages Multnomah Bible College
8435 NE Glisan Street Portland, OR 97220
Voice: 503-251-6416 FAX:503-254-1268 E-Mail:

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