From: Carl W. Conrad (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Mon Oct 02 2000 - 06:41:19 EDT
At 4:42 AM +0000 10/2/00, Mark Wilson wrote:
>My apologies upfront for having a difficult time reducing this question to
>its simplest form.
>1 John 1:6
>EAN EIPWMEN hOTI KOINWNIAN ECOMEN MET AUTOU KAI EN TWi SKOTEI PERIPATWMEN,
>YEUDOMEQA KAI OU POIOUMEN THN ALHQEIAN
>Can someone help me understand the word POIEW as it is used in conjunction
>I am trying to distinguish in my mind how one can "do the truth."
>Everyone seems to understand this word POIEW as "do" or "practice." And the
>definition that comes to my mind is some kind of "public action that others
>If this is even partly true, then would we not have to limit ALHQEIA to a
>few commands in Scripture that one can observe another performing? (In other
>words, how would we know whether or not someone is walking in darkness, if
>"doing" is not open to public scrutiny?)
>For example, I can physically observe another believer "going to church."
>And since some might contend that Scripture admonishes us to go to church, I
>can now determine whether or not another believer is "doing the truth."
>Please do not disregard this question as "making fun." I am actually having
>a hard time understanding this.
>Let me clarify myself one more way.
>For example, let me quote Ephesians 1:7:
>"In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our
>trespasses, according to the riches of his grace"
>Now, there is nothing for me to POIEW here. Although this statement would
>fall within the scope of ALHQEIA, I cannot actually "do" this truth, since
>it does not ask for me to perform some public, external act. So, is this
>"truth" not under consideration when John talks about "doing" the truth?"
>I am only using this example to clarify my question.
>How can I explain that we are to POIEW truth, if a particular truth is
>I realize, after re-reading my question, that this sounds silly, but I do
>not mean it to be. I think I am just having a hard time understanding POIEW
>with ALHQEIA. And I am actually not looking for any theological response,
>not even OFFLIST.
>If I do not limit ALHQEIA in any way, such that Eph. 1:7 falls within its
>confines, then I think that the idea of POIEW is similar to PERIPATEW. That
>is, "doing" has to do with how one lives his or her life in general. I can
>live my life in gratitude for the truth of Eph. 1:7, but it would seem
>awkward to say that I am doing (POIEW) the truth by so living. But, that may
>very well include the lexical reach of POIEW. Does it? (After all this
>writing, I think this last paragraph may have been sufficient!)
In response to this I'm appending a reply I sent to a question about 1 Cor
13:;6 last month. What I said about ALHQEIA there is what I would apply
here as well:
At 7:11 AM -0500 9/17/00, Carl W. Conrad wrote:
>At 9:36 PM -0400 9/16/00, Dmitriy Reznik wrote:
>>Will you please help me with understanding of 1Cor 13:6:
>>[Love] OUK CAIREI EPI THi ADIKIAi SUGCAIREI DE THi ALHQHIAi?
>>I would like to get meaning of SUGCAIREI DE THi ALHQHIAi. Is it "rejoices
>>with the truth"? Or "rejoices in the truth"? Or something else?
>Admittedly this verse is puzzling, and one hasn't gone very far toward
>understanding it if one doesn't get beyond, "doesn't rejoice at injustice
>but shares joy in truth." In the paraphrase that I did for my daughter's
>wedding several years ago I converted the Greek text of this verse as:
> "Loving-kindness isn't pleased
> when someone gets hurt;
> what really thrills it
> is integrity winning out."
>That might seem hard to justify, but it does seem to me that ALHQEIA here
>must be intended as an antithesis of ADIKIA. Moreover I've always been
>inclined to think that the real sense of the phrase ALHQEUEIN EN AGAPHi in
>Eph 4:15 must mean not simply "speak the truth," as it's commonly turned,
>but rather, "be honest, be honorable, display integrity." For that reason I
>would like to understand verse 6 of 1 Cor 13 in terms of the perspective
>that AGAPH or (more properly speaking) hO AGAPWN holds regarding ADIKIA and
>ALHQEIA. Once having reached that point, the antithesis involved seems
>rather that between "wrongdoing" and "acting with integrity."
Since your question is about ALHQEIA in a particular text of 1 John, I
think you'd do well to look at all of them to assist you in achieving a
sense of what is implicit: 1:6, 8; 2:4, 21; 3:18; 4:;6; 5:6--particularly
2:4 hO LEGWN hOTI EGNWKA AUTON KAI TAS ENTOLAS AUTOU MH THRWN, YEUSTHS
ESTIN KAIN EN TOUTWi hH ALHQEIA OUK ESTIN (the text you ask about in your
other current message)
and 3:18-19 TEKNIA, MH AGAPWMEN LOGWi MHDE THi GLWSSHi ALLA EN ERGWi KAI
ALHQEIAi. [KAI] EN TOUTWi GNWSOMEQA hOTI EK THS ALHQEIAS ESMEN, KAI
EMPROSQEN AUTOU PEISOMEN THN KARDIAN hHMWN.
It seems to me that the author is pretty consistent and insistent: that
ALHQEIA is integrity, that POIEIN ALHQEIAN is to act with integrity in
accordance with what He commands, and in this author that is always and
ever again ALLHLOUS AGAPAN. Or so I understand it.
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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