Re: John 1.5 - try again

From: Joe A. Friberg (
Date: Mon Jan 17 2000 - 03:30:24 EST

Dr. Wheeler:

I believe our stated positions are extremely close!

I will insert one comment below to clarify my point of a new time frame
being established, which serves to bring our statements closer together, and
one comment where I see some difference between our positions.

I would also like to address the tense-aspects of v5 one more time
around--separate post to follow.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Dale M. Wheeler" <>
To: "Biblical Greek" <>
Cc: <>
Sent: Thursday, January 13, 2000 7:39 PM
Subject: Re: John 1.5 - try again

> 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
> >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
> >to be used in a particular way, the more important consideration is
> >*how* it is used within the discourse structure of Gk.
> Joe:
> 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,
> over-arching picture is presented the singular and pointed intrusion of
> 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

For clarification: by "a new time frame" I do not mean a *different* time
frame, but the initiation of *a* time frame. Where there is Narrative
discourse preceding, the time frame is 'new' in the sense of 'different'
time frame, but where Expository discourse precedes as here, the 'new' time
frame is in fact the first such timre frame established. It does switch
from an eternal perspective and inject an historic time frame of a
particular person at a particular point in time, initiating the Narrative
genre and time frame.

> who did not succumb to
> the darkness, but rather was an example of the light continuing to shine.

Here, I am not sure that all this is intended by the text. I would suggest
that the focus remains singly on the one true light; the man named John is
introduced here to: 1) inject an initial historical bearing to his
presentation of the light, 2) introduce the testimony of Jn concerning the
light, and 3) initiate the narrative time line, which is maintained in
vv6-7, and into which the light himself finally enters in v14.

God Bless!
Joe A. Friberg

> 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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