mwh wrote:I'm sorry, I misjudged your level of knowledge. But I don't see any reason to think that this en autw is any kind of semiticism.
The preposition ἐν is often used in this way in the New Testament, just compare its use with such hebrew constructions as "bemelek" (by a king) etc. See also the Manual Greek Lexicon of the New Testament by Abbott-Smith.
I don't quite understand your point about autw having to be dative of agent because gegonen is perfect. The particular tense used shouldn't make any difference; and dative of agent with any form of gignomai (active not passive in meaning) would be unusual.
According to Greek grammar books, normally, the only case when dative of agent can be used is when the predicate is in the perfect tense, otherwise one should use ὑπό + genetive of agent (genetivus auctoris). E.g. Ὡς καὶ πρώτερόν μοι εἴρηται (Herodotus) - "just as I said before" (litt. "just as it was said by me before"). In my opinion, the only grammatical difference between this phrase and John 1, 3-4 is the use of ἐν in the NT passage. Besides, dativus auctoris is simultaneously dativus commodi (it must be dative of interest in English). E.g. Τί πέπρακται τοῖς ἄλλοις; What has been done by others (for themselves)? So John 1, 3-4 without a point before εν αυτω rather means: what has come into being by him (and for him) was life. This is why it is not surprising to read in Col. 1, 16 that everything was made by him and εἰς αὐτòν - for him.
I take it that with the alternative punctuation you'd accept "in."
Yes, I would because in this case the sense of the passage is quite clear with "in": the Logos was a source of life. And what does it mean "to be made in him"? Could you explain it?
and en autw in the next verse can only mean "in him."
Why do you think so? Let us see, for example, the King James Version: "For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist". There are also modern translations suggesting similar variants.
At Mt.9.34, casting out devils "in" Beelzebul (or whoever) is rather specialized usage, Hebrew and/or aramaic I expect but also Greek.
I haven't understood you well. So do you agree that the use of ἐν here is a hebraism?
In any case, I think en autw in John's prologue has to be taken at face value, and not as dat. of agent.
Yes, but rather with the traditional punctuation.