Hello everyone! John 1:3b

Forum rules
Please quote the Greek text you are discussing directly in your post if it is reasonably short - do not ask people to look it up. This is not a beginner's forum, competence in Greek is assumed.
Post Reply
Posts: 1
Joined: September 8th, 2020, 12:01 am

Hello everyone! John 1:3b

Post by Fukuoka » September 8th, 2020, 12:12 am

Hello everyone! I am new to this group. I just joined today. I have a question about John 1:3b. The text reads as....

John 1:3 (SBLGNT): καὶ χωρὶς αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο οὐδὲ ἕν. ὃ γέγονεν

My question is why is there a period after ἕν. ? Am I asked to assume this is the end of the sentence? I’m pretty sure there is a reason.

Thank you all so much in advance!
0 x

Stephen Carlson
Posts: 3043
Joined: May 11th, 2011, 10:51 am
Location: Melbourne

Re: Hello everyone! John 1:3b

Post by Stephen Carlson » September 8th, 2020, 1:40 am

A good place to answer these kinds of questions is the notes section of the NET bible. Here's what it says:
3 tc There is a major punctuation problem here: Should this relative clause go with v. 3 or v. 4? The earliest mss have no punctuation (P66,75* א* A B Δ al). Many of the later mss which do have punctuation place it before the phrase, thus putting it with v. 4 (P75c C D L Ws 050* pc). NA25 placed the phrase in v. 3; NA26 moved the words to the beginning of v. 4. In a detailed article K. Aland defended the change (“Eine Untersuchung zu Johannes 1, 3-4. Über die Bedeutung eines Punktes,” ZNW 59 [1968]: 174-209). He sought to prove that the attribution of ὃ γέγονεν (}o gegonen) to v. 3 began to be carried out in the 4th century in the Greek church. This came out of the Arian controversy, and was intended as a safeguard for doctrine. The change was unknown in the West. Aland is probably correct in affirming that the phrase was attached to v. 4 by the Gnostics and the Eastern Church; only when the Arians began to use the phrase was it attached to v. 3. But this does not rule out the possibility that, by moving the words from v. 4 to v. 3, one is restoring the original reading. Understanding the words as part of v. 3 is natural and adds to the emphasis which is built up there, while it also gives a terse, forceful statement in v. 4. On the other hand, taking the phrase ὃ γέγονεν with v. 4 gives a complicated expression: C. K. Barrett says that both ways of understanding v. 4 with ὃ γέγονεν included “are almost impossibly clumsy” (St. John, 157): “That which came into being – in it the Word was life”; “That which came into being – in the Word was its life.” The following stylistic points should be noted in the solution of this problem: (1) John frequently starts sentences with ἐν (en); (2) he repeats frequently (“nothing was created that has been created”); (3) 5:26 and 6:53 both give a sense similar to v. 4 if it is understood without the phrase; (4) it makes far better Johannine sense to say that in the Word was life than to say that the created universe (what was made, ὃ γέγονεν) was life in him. In conclusion, the phrase is best taken with v. 3. Schnackenburg, Barrett, Carson, Haenchen, Morris, KJV, and NIV concur (against Brown, Beasley-Murray, and NEB). The arguments of R. Schnackenburg, St. John, 1:239-40, are particularly persuasive.
1 x
Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia

Jonathan Robie
Posts: 3743
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:34 pm
Location: Durham, NC

Re: Hello everyone! John 1:3b

Post by Jonathan Robie » September 8th, 2020, 6:06 pm

The 1904 Patriarchal Text of the Orthodox Church uses this punctuation:

πάντα δι’ αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο,
καὶ χωρὶς αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο οὐδὲ ἓν ὃ γέγονεν.
ἐν αὐτῷ ζωὴ ἦν,
καὶ ἡ ζωὴ ἦν τὸ φῶς τῶν ἀνθρώπων.

UBS 5th has this:

πάντα δι᾽ αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο,
καὶ χωρὶς αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο οὐδὲ ἕν.
ὃ γέγονεν ἐν αὐτῷ ζωὴ ἦν,
καὶ ἡ ζωὴ ἦν τὸ φῶς τῶν ἀνθρώπων·

Nestle 1904 has this - Robinson-Pierpoint uses the same punctuation here:

πάντα δι’ αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο,
καὶ χωρὶς αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο οὐδὲ ἕν ὃ γέγονεν.
ἐν αὐτῷ ζωὴ ἦν,
καὶ ἡ ζωὴ ἦν τὸ φῶς τῶν ἀνθρώπων.

Each of these has its logic, but they have different meanings. Since there was no punctuation in the original manuscripts ... there's more than one possibility. And these possibilities are reflected in different translations.

Are there other major variations on punctuation for this verse?
1 x
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;

Post Reply

Return to “New Testament”