From: Carl W. Conrad (email@example.com)
Date: Mon Sep 25 2000 - 06:35:50 EDT
At 4:37 AM +0000 9/25/00, Mark Wilson wrote:
>I John 1:7
>EAN DE EN TWi FWTI PERIPATWMEN hWS AUTOS ESTIN EN TWi FWTI,
>KOINWNIAN ECOMEN MET ALLHLWN KAI TO hAIMA IHSOU TOU hUIOU AUTOU
>KAQARIZEI hHMAS APO PASHS hAMARTIAS
>I have two questions here:
>1. MET ALLHLWN
>Would this MET ALLHLWN refer to:
>a) believer with God
>b) believer with believer.
>c) grammatically, it could be either
>d) grammatically, it could be both
(b) believer with other believers; although technically I suppose it would
be conceivable to understand the KOINWNIA as one shared with God and
although the Johannine conception of what I'd call "mutual indwelling"
involves shared life of believers with each other and with God in Christ,
nevertheless this sentence is making assertions about believers: how
believers walk vis-a-vis Him determines their KOINWNIA with each other and
the plural hHMAS is a second inference from the proposition that believers
(the "we" of PERIPATWMEN and of ECOMEN) "walk in the light."
>The Present tense seems to relate this cleansing as occurring simultaneous
>with EAN DE EN TWi FWTI PERIPATWMEN.
>Is this correct? As we walk in the light, we are being cleansed from sin?
>What I am having a hard time understanding is later (Chapter 3) when John
>indicates that we can not sin (presumably while we are walking in the
>Assuming this correct, are there any grammatical/syntactical indicators that
>would resolve this "apparent" contradiction?
I think I'd understand the KAQARIZEI here as bearing the sense "continues
to keep us clean." Actually I think that's consistent with Bultmann termed
"Johannine determinism": as we walk in the light--and I might add (although
this is not specifically asserted) TO THE EXTENT that we walk in the light,
we are kept clean from sinning and so cannot sin. The flip side of that in
Johannine phrasing is that sinful behavior--particularly failure to love
one's brother--is an indicator that one is not walking in the light.
>I should make my standard disclaimer here. If you feel it necessary to get
>overly theological on this question, please respond OFFLIST.
Right. Part of the problem here is that the Johannine perspective on the
life of faith seems different from the Pauline in this respect: John
doesn't seem to conceive of the believer's existence as a conflicted one
between this world-age and the next--as Paul does--but rather John seems to
conceive of the believer's existence as EITHER within OR outside of the
realm of Light and all that is entailed in being within or outside of the
realm of Light. This is really not the place to discuss larger theological
issues either within the Johannine conception or in the NT or Bible as a
whole. I have said what I've said here solely with a view to showing that
there is consistency between the proposition in 1 John 2 and 1 John 3. BUT
it's worth noting that we have been over much of this ground several times
on B-Greek, endeavoring to demonstrate to the satisfaction of one another
how and why what is said in one part of 1 John is consistent or
inconsistent with what is said in another. And that sort of discussion has
often tended to be fruitless and mutually upsetting.
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649
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