Re: 1John 3:19-20

From: clayton stirling bartholomew (
Date: Sun Jan 23 2000 - 14:47:49 EST

>From: "Dmitriy Reznik" <>
>To: Biblical Greek <>
>Subject: 1John 3:19-20
>Date: Sun, Jan 23, 2000, 10:41 AM

> I have a question about 1John 3:19-20:
> Here hOTI seems to me to be a relative pronoun (which), that in connection
> with EAN would mean "whatever":
> Hereby shall we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our heart
> before him, whereinsoever our heart condemn us; because God is greater than
> our heart, and knoweth all things.
> Is it correct?


This is similar to what B.F. Westcott and J.R.W. Stott conclude. They
break it down as hO TI EAN and render it as "whenever" or
"whereinsoever" which is a word that looks like German to me :-)).
Anyway, this is not a text without difficulties and the "because"
rendering of the first hOTI in verse 20 is one of the options. If we
accept this then the second hOTI can be seen as resumptive with the
first hOTI introducing a parenthetical clause. Stott and others argue
against this as an "awkward" construction and also because the second
hOTI would not be required to resume a thought after such a short
parenthetical interruption.

> Am I right that in this case the sentence would be incomplete, having only
> a conditional clause without any complition?
> ... and shall assure our heart before him because if our heart condemn us,
> because God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things...(?)

I don't think so, not if the second hOTI is resumptive. Just remove the
last "because" from the above and your problem goes away.

There is a lot more to say about this but I will leave it to the


Clayton Stirling Bartholomew
Three Tree Point
P.O. Box 255 Seahurst WA 98062

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