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Inspecting 1 John 1:1

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Re: Inspecting 1 John 1:1

Postby Andrew Chapman » Wed Sep 03, 2014 2:11 pm

Would you agree that verse 1 in the NASB:

What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life—

is incomplete as it stands, and that it needs something else to complete it? If so, what do you think that something is?

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Re: Inspecting 1 John 1:1

Postby Isaac Newton » Wed Sep 03, 2014 8:56 pm

Andrew Chapman wrote:Would you agree that verse 1 in the NASB:

What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life—

is incomplete as it stands, and that it needs something else to complete it? If so, what do you think that something is?

Andrew


No. Why would John pen an incomplete verse , at the beginning of his epistle at that ?
καὶ ὑμεῖς τὸ χρῖσμα ὃ ἐλάβετε ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ μένει ἐν ὑμῖν, καὶ οὐ χρείαν ἔχετε ἵνα τις διδάσκῃ ὑμᾶς·
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Re: Inspecting 1 John 1:1

Postby Isaac Newton » Thu Sep 04, 2014 8:55 am

It seems rather obvious that the relative pronoun ὃ in 1 John 1:1 is a reference to the λόγος in John 1:1. During apostle John's final years on earth, the 1st century Gnostics (or proto-trinitarians) already had turned his gospel's prologue on it's head, preaching the notion of an eternally existing personal Divine logos side by side with the Father by it. To counter this , the apostle penned this epistle, the prologue of which intended to be a commentary on his gospel's prologue, and by which, through the route of Greek grammar ( constructio ad sensum), he meant to demolish the emerging Gnostic reading of his text, for the elect's sake. The apostle uses the neuter form of the pronoun ὃ to refer to the masculine λόγος multiple times in the first sentence to send a striking grammatical message.

In this regard the connection between John 1:14 vis a vis 1 John 1:1-4 is also undeniable, to all but perhaps the spiritually blind :

Καὶ ὁ λόγος σὰρξ ἐγένετο καὶ ἐσκήνωσεν ἐν ἡμῖν, καὶ ἐθεασάμεθα τὴν δόξαν αὐτοῦ, δόξαν ὡς μονογενοῦς παρὰ πατρός, πλήρης χάριτος καὶ ἀληθείας·


--

Ὃ ἦν ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς, ὃ ἀκηκόαμεν, ὃ ἑωράκαμεν τοῖς ὀφθαλμοῖς ἡμῶν, ὃ ἐθεασάμεθα, καὶ αἱ χεῖρες ἡμῶν ἐψηλάφησαν περὶ τοῦ λόγου τῆς ζωῆς.




Peace to all,
καὶ ὑμεῖς τὸ χρῖσμα ὃ ἐλάβετε ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ μένει ἐν ὑμῖν, καὶ οὐ χρείαν ἔχετε ἵνα τις διδάσκῃ ὑμᾶς·
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Re: Inspecting 1 John 1:1

Postby Shenoute » Thu Sep 04, 2014 9:34 am

Isaac Newton wrote: (...)
No. Why would John pen an incomplete verse , at the beginning of his epistle at that ?

Aren't verses as we have them now a modern creation?
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Re: Inspecting 1 John 1:1

Postby Andrew Chapman » Thu Sep 04, 2014 11:46 am

Isaac Newton wrote:
Andrew Chapman wrote:Would you agree that verse 1 in the NASB:

What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life—

is incomplete as it stands, and that it needs something else to complete it? If so, what do you think that something is?

Andrew


No. Why would John pen an incomplete verse , at the beginning of his epistle at that ?

That's surprising. Did you appreciate that I was asking about the verse in English as translated in the NASB? If I said to you 'What I saw.' would you not think that was strange and ask me what I meant by it?

A relative pronoun marks a relative clause, and a relative clause is a form of subordinate clause. See eg http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relative_pronoun; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relative_clause. Verse 1 is a relative clause (or perhaps one should say a series of relative clauses, combined into one in effect), and it needs a main clause to complete it. I say that the main clause in the NASB is 'we proclaim to you also', or perhaps it would be more precise to add the object: 'we proclaim to you what..'. (I hope the grammarians here will correct me if this isn't right).

[NA 28]:
1Ὃ ἦν ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς, ὃ ἀκηκόαμεν, ὃ ἑωράκαμεν τοῖς ὀφθαλμοῖς ἡμῶν, ὃ ἐθεασάμεθα καὶ αἱ χεῖρες ἡμῶν ἐψηλάφησαν περὶ τοῦ λόγου τῆς ζωῆς–

2καὶ ἡ ζωὴ ἐφανερώθη, καὶ ἑωράκαμεν καὶ μαρτυροῦμεν καὶ ἀπαγγέλλομεν ὑμῖν τὴν ζωὴν τὴν αἰώνιον ἥτις ἦν πρὸς τὸν πατέρα καὶ ἐφανερώθη ἡμῖν–

3ὃ ἑωράκαμεν καὶ ἀκηκόαμεν, ἀπαγγέλλομεν καὶ ὑμῖν,...

Likewise in the Greek, verse one contains several relative clauses, combined into one in some way, which I am not quite sure how to define, and it/they needs a main clause to complete it. This is really by definition of a relative clause - it needs a main clause to be relative to, so to say.
Again, I say that the main clause is ἀπαγγέλλομεν καὶ ὑμῖν or more precisely perhaps ἀπαγγέλλομεν καὶ ὑμῖν (ὅ). From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relative_clause:
A relative clause is a kind of subordinate clause, one of whose arguments shares a referent with a main clause element on which the subordinate clause is grammatically dependent.

The 'argument' is like the complement, and here is the subject or object of the clauses. Basically, and this may be imprecise, the relative term - here the pronoun - has a position in both clauses - here it is the object of the main clause, and it is the subject of the first relative clause: 1Ὃ ἦν ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς, and the object of the other relative clauses: ὃ ἑωράκαμεν τοῖς ὀφθαλμοῖς ἡμῶν κ.τ.λ.

From the wikipedia article, it looks like this is what is called a 'free relative clause'. Actually this is helpful:
A free relative clause, on the other hand, does not have an explicit antecedent external to itself. Instead, the relative clause itself takes the place of an argument in the matrix clause. For example, in the English sentence "I like what I see", the clause what I see is a free relative clause, because it has no antecedent, but itself serves as the object of the verb like in the main clause.


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Re: Inspecting 1 John 1:1

Postby Markos » Thu Sep 04, 2014 1:55 pm

Isaac Newton wrote:
1The Word of life existed from the beginning. We have heard it. We have seen it. We observed and touched it. 2This life was revealed to us. We have seen it, and we testify about it. We are reporting to you about this eternal life that was in the presence of the Father and was revealed to us. 3This is the life we have seen and heard. We are reporting about it to you also so that you, too, can have a relationship with us. Our relationship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. 4We are writing this so that we can be completely filled with joy.


God's Word Translation

This translation arbitrarily adds a second main verb ("existed") and does not really follow the Greek. If this translation was done with the intent to separate "life" from "word," with the implication that only the life was seen and touched and reported, not the word, then I think the translation is intentionally misleading. I still don't understand, though, what Isaac is getting at.
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Re: Inspecting 1 John 1:1

Postby Isaac Newton » Thu Sep 04, 2014 5:03 pm

Andrew Chapman,

I'm not sure what exactly you're trying to do here but this is what your own source asserts:

Typically, a relative clause modifies a noun or noun phrase, and uses some grammatical device to indicate that one of the arguments within the relative clause has the same referent as that noun or noun phrase. For example, in the sentence I met a man who wasn't there, the subordinate clause who wasn't there is a relative clause, since it modifies the noun man, and uses the pronoun who to indicate that the same "man" is referred to within the subordinate clause (in this case, as its subject).


This is about what we have at 1 John 1:1. I cannot stress this enough, but that 1 John 1:1 is a complete sentence, and nothing is amiss from it. It is not "complicated" or "poor" Greek, at least not to me. Let's print out the Greek again before dissecting it:

Ὃ ἦν ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς, ὃ ἀκηκόαμεν, ὃ ἑωράκαμεν τοῖς ὀφθαλμοῖς ἡμῶν, ὃ ἐθεασάμεθα, καὶ αἱ χεῖρες ἡμῶν ἐψηλάφησαν περὶ τοῦ λόγου τῆς ζωῆς.


It is rather a straightforward sentence, and in fact the epistle 1 of John possesses arguably the simplest Greek in the entire New Testament. That is why it often boggles my mind when certain orthodox "scholars" castigate the opening verses of this epistle as being enigmatic, or worse . For instance C. H. Dodd ,who spoke Greek with an Erasmian pronunciation (most do) and who probably couldn't conduct a conversation in Koine at the level of a five year old (most can't), had the audacity to go on record to assert that “the sentence is not good Greek, and it is only by paraphrase that it can be rendered into good English.” (C. H. Dodd, The Johannine Epistles, p. 2) . J. L. Houlden , another Greek "specialist" proclaimed with unabashed gumption that the first few verses of 1 John “can only be described as, formally at least, bordering upon incoherence..lapsing into grammatical impossibilities.” (J. L. Houlden, A Commentary on the Johannine Epistles p 45). Yet another "expert", R. Brown thinks that “the initial four verses of I John have a good claim to being the most complicated Greek in the Johannine corpus." (Brown, The Epistles of John, p. 152)

The fact of the matter is that like the rest of the epistle, the opening verse is very elementary and pure Greek, designed as it were for the lay person . The relative pronoun Ὃ here refers to τοῦ λόγου which is in apposition to τῆς ζωῆς. That is all. So a good English translation would be as follows:

"I'm writing about the Word , that is, the Life which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our own eyes, which we gazed upon and which our hands touched."
Last edited by Isaac Newton on Thu Sep 04, 2014 7:30 pm, edited 7 times in total.
καὶ ὑμεῖς τὸ χρῖσμα ὃ ἐλάβετε ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ μένει ἐν ὑμῖν, καὶ οὐ χρείαν ἔχετε ἵνα τις διδάσκῃ ὑμᾶς·
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Re: Inspecting 1 John 1:1

Postby Isaac Newton » Thu Sep 04, 2014 5:08 pm

Markos wrote:
Isaac Newton wrote:
1The Word of life existed from the beginning. We have heard it. We have seen it. We observed and touched it. 2This life was revealed to us. We have seen it, and we testify about it. We are reporting to you about this eternal life that was in the presence of the Father and was revealed to us. 3This is the life we have seen and heard. We are reporting about it to you also so that you, too, can have a relationship with us. Our relationship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. 4We are writing this so that we can be completely filled with joy.


God's Word Translation

This translation arbitrarily adds a second main verb ("existed") and does not really follow the Greek. If this translation was done with the intent to separate "life" from "word," with the implication that only the life was seen and touched and reported, not the word, then I think the translation is intentionally misleading. I still don't understand, though, what Isaac is getting at.


The problems associated with this translation are mild in comparison to Wallace's rendition; the latter quite literally invents an entire phrase and adds it into the original text, by his own admission , "The phrase 'This is what we proclaim to you' is not in the Greek text, but has been supplied to clarify the English."
καὶ ὑμεῖς τὸ χρῖσμα ὃ ἐλάβετε ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ μένει ἐν ὑμῖν, καὶ οὐ χρείαν ἔχετε ἵνα τις διδάσκῃ ὑμᾶς·
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Re: Inspecting 1 John 1:1

Postby John W. » Sun Sep 07, 2014 1:36 pm

As someone who is neither a scholar, nor interested in theology, may I be permitted to comment?

To recap, the text (as per Westcott and Hort) is as follows:

Ο ΗΝ ΑΠ᾽ ΑΡΧΗΣ, ὃ ἀκηκόαμεν, ὃ ἑωράκαμεν τοῖς ὀφθαλμοῖς ἡμῶν, ὃ ἐθεασάμεθα καὶ αἱ χεῖρες ἡμῶν ἐψηλάφησαν, περὶ τοῦ λόγου τῆς ζωῆς,— καὶ ἡ ζωὴ ἐφανερώθη, καὶ ἑωράκαμεν καὶ μαρτυροῦμεν καὶ ἀπαγγέλλομενὑμῖν τὴν ζωὴν τὴν αἰώνιον ἥτις ἦν πρὸς τὸν πατέρα καὶἐφανερώθη ἡμῖν,— ὃ ἑωράκαμεν καὶ ἀκηκόαμεν ἀπαγγέλλομεν καὶ ὑμῖν, ἵνα καὶ ὑμεῖς κοινωνίαν ἔχητε μεθ᾽ ἡμῶν ...

I have ignored verse breaks as being much later and potentially unhelpful (as in some other ancient texts).

To me the likeliest explanation seem to be that the various earlier instances of ὃ are finally brought together as the (resumptive) ὃ in ἑωράκαμεν καὶ ἀκηκόαμεν ἀπαγγέλλομεν καὶ ὑμῖν. I'm not sure whether (as has been said) this should be regarded as 'ungrammatical'; even if it is, that doesn't necessarily invalidate this interpretation. Thucydides (who certainly pushes, if not exceeds, the bounds of grammar) sometimes does something similar, in that, after the start of a sentence, he has incorporated so many subordinate clauses (explaining circumstance and context), that, when he is ready to resume the main thrust of the sentence, he adds an additional pronoun before the main verb.

The 'God's Word' translation simply breaks the whole thing up into short, staccato sentences by inserting an extra main verb; it reads like a rather (too) free paraphrase. From what has been quoted of the Wallace translation, it looks as if that is not really inserting an extra verb in the same way, but is merely repeating 'This is what we proclaim to you' at the start to clarify the structure, which is less common in English than in Greek.

Anyway, that is just my own view at this stage. Opinions will - as with many other ancient texts - no doubt continue to differ.

Best wishes,

John
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Re: Inspecting 1 John 1:1

Postby Qimmik » Sun Sep 07, 2014 5:59 pm

I agree with your reading, John, which is what mwh said, too.

The somewhat disjointed sentence, with its long parenthetical and recapitulation of the first words after it, reflects the author's brimming and palpable enthusiasm for what he has to say.
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Re: Inspecting 1 John 1:1

Postby Isaac Newton » Sun Sep 07, 2014 6:15 pm

John W.,

John W. wrote:As someone who is neither a scholar, nor interested in theology, may I be permitted to comment?

To recap, the text (as per Westcott and Hort) is as follows:

Ο ΗΝ ΑΠ᾽ ΑΡΧΗΣ, ὃ ἀκηκόαμεν, ὃ ἑωράκαμεν τοῖς ὀφθαλμοῖς ἡμῶν, ὃ ἐθεασάμεθα καὶ αἱ χεῖρες ἡμῶν ἐψηλάφησαν, περὶ τοῦ λόγου τῆς ζωῆς,— καὶ ἡ ζωὴ ἐφανερώθη, καὶ ἑωράκαμεν καὶ μαρτυροῦμεν καὶ ἀπαγγέλλομενὑμῖν τὴν ζωὴν τὴν αἰώνιον ἥτις ἦν πρὸς τὸν πατέρα καὶἐφανερώθη ἡμῖν,— ὃ ἑωράκαμεν καὶ ἀκηκόαμεν ἀπαγγέλλομεν καὶ ὑμῖν, ἵνα καὶ ὑμεῖς κοινωνίαν ἔχητε μεθ᾽ ἡμῶν ...

I have ignored verse breaks as being much later and potentially unhelpful (as in some other ancient texts).



Experience has taught me that whether or not we have an theological ax to grind becomes rather apparent by the content of our posts, sometimes over time, and not by a summary proclamation.




To me the likeliest explanation seem to be that the various earlier instances of ὃ are finally brought together as the (resumptive) ὃ in ἑωράκαμεν καὶ ἀκηκόαμεν ἀπαγγέλλομεν καὶ ὑμῖν. I'm not sure whether (as has been said) this should be regarded as 'ungrammatical'; even if it is, that doesn't necessarily invalidate this interpretation. Thucydides (who certainly pushes, if not exceeds, the bounds of grammar) sometimes does something similar, in that, after the start of a sentence, he has incorporated so many subordinate clauses (explaining circumstance and context), that, when he is ready to resume the main thrust of the sentence, he adds an additional pronoun before the main verb.


An ungrammatical translation is for me a non-starter.

The 'God's Word' translation simply breaks the whole thing up into short, staccato sentences by inserting an extra main verb;


What is that extra "main" verb which has been added ?

it reads like a rather (too) free paraphrase. From what has been quoted of the Wallace translation, it looks as if that is not really inserting an extra verb in the same way, but is merely repeating 'This is what we proclaim to you' at the start to clarify the structure, which is less common in English than in Greek.


Actually, by his own admission Wallace says that he "supplies" a sentence not in the original Greek text for "clarification." -- "1tn The phrase 'This is what we proclaim to you' is not in the Greek text, but has been supplied to clarify the English." I find that quite alarming. ἀπαγγέλλομεν only occurs once in 1 John 1:1-4 but Wallace literally invents another one . This is very serious tampering and distortion of the text. Wallace has a tendency to do that when it comes to the "Christologically significant" texts, for example, in 1 John 1:1c he adds the verb "fully" into the original text out of thin air. -- "and the Word was fully God." This is unjustifiable.


Anyway, that is just my own view at this stage. Opinions will - as with many other ancient texts - no doubt continue to differ.

Best wishes,

John


What do you think of the translation offered by Carl W. Conrad (Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus) ) :

"What was in existence from the outset, what we have heard, what we have
seen with our own eyes, what we gazed upon and our hands have felt-to-touch
-- (I'm talking) of the WORD which is LIFE"

Which echoes mine quite well:


"I'm writing about the Word , that is, the Life which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our own eyes, which we gazed upon and which our hands touched."
καὶ ὑμεῖς τὸ χρῖσμα ὃ ἐλάβετε ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ μένει ἐν ὑμῖν, καὶ οὐ χρείαν ἔχετε ἵνα τις διδάσκῃ ὑμᾶς·
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Re: Inspecting 1 John 1:1

Postby Qimmik » Sun Sep 07, 2014 6:33 pm

An ungrammatical translation is for me a non-starter.


I don't think John W. is asserting that the sentence is not grammatical--it's perfectly natural Greek. You have only to read some of the Attic orators (this is a plug for Demosthenes) to encounter sentences like this that are broken up with parentheticals--it's rhetorically effective.

And I think mwh is right that περὶ τοῦ λόγου τῆς ζωῆς reads more naturally as a genitive dependent on a genitive, not as two genitives in apposition. It wouldn't be impossible in Pindar: ὁ δὲ χρυσὸς αἰθόμενον πῦρ . . . But this isn't Pindar--it's supposed to be prose. If the two nouns were in apposition, I would expect what mwh suggested or perhaps περὶ τοῦ λόγου, περὶ τῆς ζωῆς--something to make the point clear.

Again, I think the disjointed character of the sentence reflects the enthusiasm of the author and conveys it to the reader.

I, too, disclaim any interest in theology, and I have every right to do so. I'm not from a Christian background myself, but I do find this sentence engaging--I feel like this author is communicating his enthusiasm to me.
Last edited by Qimmik on Sun Sep 07, 2014 6:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Inspecting 1 John 1:1

Postby Isaac Newton » Sun Sep 07, 2014 6:37 pm

Qimmik wrote:
An ungrammatical translation is for me a non-starter.


I don't think John W. is asserting that the sentence is not grammatical--it's perfectly natural Greek. You have only to read some of the Attic orators (this is a plug for Demosthenes) to encounter sentences like this that are broken up with parentheticals--it's rhetorically effective.

And I think mwh is right that περὶ τοῦ λόγου τῆς ζωῆς reads more naturally as a genitive dependent on a genitive, not as two genitives in apposition. It wouldn't be impossible in Pindar: ὁ δὲ χρυσὸς αἰθόμενον πῦρ . . . But this isn't Pindar--it's supposed to be prose. If the two nouns were in apposition, I would expect what mwh suggested or perhaps περὶ τοῦ λόγου, περὶ τῆς ζωῆς to make the point clear.

Again, I think the disjointed character of the sentence reflects the enthusiasm of the author and conveys it to the reader.


I said an ungrammatical translation (which is what Wallace proffers) is a non-starter for me.
καὶ ὑμεῖς τὸ χρῖσμα ὃ ἐλάβετε ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ μένει ἐν ὑμῖν, καὶ οὐ χρείαν ἔχετε ἵνα τις διδάσκῃ ὑμᾶς·
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Re: Inspecting 1 John 1:1

Postby John W. » Mon Sep 08, 2014 9:38 am

Isaac Newton wrote:(1) Experience has taught me that whether or not we have an theological ax to grind becomes rather apparent by the content of our posts, sometimes over time, and not by a summary proclamation.


(2) What is that extra "main" verb which has been added ?


(3) Actually, by his own admission Wallace says that he "supplies" a sentence not in the original Greek text for "clarification." -- "1tn The phrase 'This is what we proclaim to you' is not in the Greek text, but has been supplied to clarify the English." I find that quite alarming. ἀπαγγέλλομεν only occurs once in 1 John 1:1-4 but Wallace literally invents another one . This is very serious tampering and distortion of the text. Wallace has a tendency to do that when it comes to the "Christologically significant" texts, for example, in 1 John 1:1c he adds the verb "fully" into the original text out of thin air. -- "and the Word was fully God." This is unjustifiable.


(4) What do you think of the translation offered by Carl W. Conrad (Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus) ) :

"What was in existence from the outset, what we have heard, what we have
seen with our own eyes, what we gazed upon and our hands have felt-to-touch
-- (I'm talking) of the WORD which is LIFE"

Which echoes mine quite well:


"I'm writing about the Word , that is, the Life which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our own eyes, which we gazed upon and which our hands touched."


Thank you for your response. With regard to your points above:

(1) Pesonally, I regard it as both more courteous and more charitable to assume good faith in the absence of any evidence to the contrary, but we'll have to agree to differ on that.

(2) 'existed' - where is that found in the Greek?

(3) Why is this 'quite alarming'? The structures of Greek and English sentences can be very different, and in translating it is sometimes helpful to repeat a verb, especially as English lacks many of the features (e.g. inflections) which in the Greek help to signal the relationship between the verb and the various other parts of the sentence. To return to my favourite Thucydides, for example, in translating a lengthy sentence I occasionally repeat phrases such as 'you must' which occur just once in the Greek, governing a whole series of infinitives; this relationship may be clear in the Greek, but would be much less so in English. The repetition of 'you must' merely aids the English reader; it is not falsifying or distorting the sense of the Greek, but actually bringing it out. It seems to me that Wallace is essentially doing the same thing, in recognition of the fact that the structure of the Greek, with the main verb appearing after a long series of relative clauses, is more difficult to achieve in English. Where I think he may perhaps fail is in reproducing what Qimmik has aptly termed the sense of urgency and excitement achieved by beginning the sentence with a succession of relative clauses; I think it would be good to preserve that effect in translation.

(4) I'm unclear where you get 'I'm writing about' from - could you please clarify?

One further point occurs to me. The punctuation in the Westcott and Hort edition of the Greek text, which I quoted in my previous post, parenthesises verse 2, and appears to support the interpretation for which I and others have argued; a similar punctuation appears in the United Bible Societies edition, edited by Aland et al. (my copy dates from 1968 - I don't know if it has been revised since then). Do you know of any edition of the Greek New Testament which is punctuated in a way which would support your view?


Best wishes,

John
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Re: Inspecting 1 John 1:1

Postby Markos » Mon Sep 08, 2014 12:35 pm

Isaac Newton wrote:
John W. wrote:As someone who is neither a scholar, nor interested in theology, may I be permitted to comment?...

Experience has taught me that whether or not we have an theological ax to grind becomes rather apparent by the content of our posts, sometimes over time, and not by a summary proclamation.

Not that this has anything to do with the question at hand, (does anyone know what IS the question at hand?) but I have read enough of John W.'s posts to know that he routinely avoids the irrational pressing of a position, on matters of theology, Greek, or anything else. I could learn a thing or two from him myself.
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Re: Inspecting 1 John 1:1

Postby Isaac Newton » Mon Sep 08, 2014 4:06 pm

Hi john W,

John W. wrote:
Isaac Newton wrote:(2) 'existed' - where is that found in the Greek?


I can only speculate why GWT used "existed" (my own translation doesn't, and I even commented in an earlier post that it should have used "was" instead), but I think the translation is simply substituting "existed" for "was," -- ἦν. After all, "to be" (εἰμί) is "to exist," isn't it ? So I think it's a stretch to say that the translation adds an "extra main verb."



(3) Why is this 'quite alarming'? The structures of Greek and English sentences can be very different, and in translating it is sometimes helpful to repeat a verb, especially as English lacks many of the features (e.g. inflections) which in the Greek help to signal the relationship between the verb and the various other parts of the sentence. To return to my favourite Thucydides, for example, in translating a lengthy sentence I occasionally repeat phrases such as 'you must' which occur just once in the Greek, governing a whole series of infinitives; this relationship may be clear in the Greek, but would be much less so in English. The repetition of 'you must' merely aids the English reader; it is not falsifying or distorting the sense of the Greek, but actually bringing it out. It seems to me that Wallace is essentially doing the same thing, in recognition of the fact that the structure of the Greek, with the main verb appearing after a long series of relative clauses, is more difficult to achieve in English. Where I think he may perhaps fail is in reproducing what Qimmik has aptly termed the sense of urgency and excitement achieved by beginning the sentence with a succession of relative clauses; I think it would be good to preserve that effect in translation.

(4) I'm unclear where you get 'I'm writing about' from - could you please clarify?

One further point occurs to me. The punctuation in the Westcott and Hort edition of the Greek text, which I quoted in my previous post, parenthesises verse 2, and appears to support the interpretation for which I and others have argued; a similar punctuation appears in the United Bible Societies edition, edited by Aland et al. (my copy dates from 1968 - I don't know if it has been revised since then). Do you know of any edition of the Greek New Testament which is punctuated in a way which would support your view?


Best wishes,



I'm averse to Wallace's translation, as I pointed out earlier, because I do not think it is grammatically legitimate to pick on a verb that governs a relative clause and argue that it governs another set of four relative clauses detached from it. At the very least there is no such precedent in the entire bible. Why go to such lengths, when there is a perfectly sensible, straightforward translation and interpretation available to us ?
καὶ ὑμεῖς τὸ χρῖσμα ὃ ἐλάβετε ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ μένει ἐν ὑμῖν, καὶ οὐ χρείαν ἔχετε ἵνα τις διδάσκῃ ὑμᾶς·
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Re: Inspecting 1 John 1:1

Postby jaihare » Mon Sep 08, 2014 4:14 pm

John W. wrote:(2) 'existed' - where is that found in the Greek?


Is there a Greek word for existence over and beyond simply εἰμί (in this case the imperfect ἦν)?

ὃ ἦν ἀπ᾿ ἀρχῆς - what existed ("has been existing, been in existence") from/since [the] beginning

The question is, though, what ἀρχή the author has in mind. Does he mean ἡ τοῦ κτίσεως ἀρχὴ the beginning of creation, as Matthew 19.4 has ὁ κτίσας ἀπ᾿ ἀρχῆς he who created from the beginning [of the world] and 2 Peter 3.4 has ἀπ᾿ ἀρχῆς κτίσεως since the beginning of creation? Or, does he mean ἡ τοῦ εὐαγγελίου ἀρχή the beginning of the gospel message, as John 15.27 has Jesus saying that the disciples were with him ἀπ᾿ ἀρχῆς from the beginning. It doesn't mean "from the beginning of the world," but rather something like "from the beginning of my ministry" or simply "you have been with me all along." Acts 11.15 uses ἐν ἀρχῇ in the beginning to refer to the beginning of the church, the day of Pentecost as found in Acts 3.

When it says "what was from the beginning," does it mean "we are announcing to you the message about what has happened since the beginning of the period of the gospel"? Or, does he mean "we are announcing to you what existed in eternity, from the very beginning of existence itself"? I would assume that he means something closer to the former and doesn't have pre-existence in mind, but that might just my own reading of the text.

Either way, I'm sure that the relative clauses are all tied to ἀπαγγέλλομεν as the verb in the independent clause.

As it is, I think that the second verse is turned into a parenthetical in all modern critical editions of the GNT. You can find it in the UBS5, the NA 28 and the SBL GNT (all linked here). I don't think you'll find a Greek scholar that would suggest that it's anything but parenthetical.

Regards,
Jason
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Re: Inspecting 1 John 1:1

Postby jaihare » Mon Sep 08, 2014 4:18 pm

Isaac Newton wrote:I'm averse to Wallace's translation, as I pointed out earlier, because I do not think it is grammatically legitimate to pick on a verb that governs a relative clause and argue that it governs another set of four relative clauses detached from it. At the very least there is no such precedent in the entire bible. Why go to such lengths, when there is a perfectly sensible, straightforward translation and interpretation available to us ?

You're "averse" to Wallace because he's a Trinitarian. Let's be honest. You don't have a base from which to determine what is grammatical and what is ungrammatical in Greek. As it is, you're simply arguing that because something is ἅπαξ λεγόμενον, then it cannot be what everyone agrees that it is.
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Re: Inspecting 1 John 1:1

Postby mwh » Mon Sep 08, 2014 5:01 pm

The pattern of this discussion has a certain consistency. Many of us have offered explanation of how the Greek works, while Isaac is committed to a certain theological understanding of its meaning, rendering our grammatical explanations futile (as I discovered at the outset). No-one is getting anywhere. Seems to me the discussion has run its course.
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Re: Inspecting 1 John 1:1

Postby Isaac Newton » Mon Sep 08, 2014 5:09 pm

Hi jaihare,

jaihare wrote:
Isaac Newton wrote:I'm averse to Wallace's translation, as I pointed out earlier, because I do not think it is grammatically legitimate to pick on a verb that governs a relative clause and argue that it governs another set of four relative clauses detached from it. At the very least there is no such precedent in the entire bible. Why go to such lengths, when there is a perfectly sensible, straightforward translation and interpretation available to us ?

You're "averse" to Wallace because he's a Trinitarian. Let's be honest. You don't have a base from which to determine what is grammatical and what is ungrammatical in Greek. As it is, you're simply arguing that because something is ἅπαξ λεγόμενον, then it cannot be what everyone agrees that it is.


Thanks for your post, and I hope this day finds your well.

The clause ὃ ἑωράκαμεν καὶ ἀκηκόαμεν in verse 3 is the object of ἀπαγγέλλομεν . Ὃ ἦν ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς in verse 1 (for starters) is not the object of this verb. You need another such verb (in it's immediate vicinity) if you want to argue that Ὃ ἦν ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς has an object . But unfortunately there is none. So you sort of will it at 1 John 1:1 by inventing it in your English translation, or else you're making an ungrammatical argument. So this finds you between a rock and a hard place. This isn't difficult. You seem to be making it more difficult than it is, I'm afraid.

In the peace which is in Christ's Father, who is the only true God,
καὶ ὑμεῖς τὸ χρῖσμα ὃ ἐλάβετε ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ μένει ἐν ὑμῖν, καὶ οὐ χρείαν ἔχετε ἵνα τις διδάσκῃ ὑμᾶς·
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Re: Inspecting 1 John 1:1

Postby Markos » Mon Sep 08, 2014 5:10 pm

mwh wrote:The pattern of this discussion has a certain consistency...No-one is getting anywhere.

It's not that I necessarily disagree with Isaac's theology (I mean, I do, but that's besides the point,) nor that I necessarily disagree with the analysis of his Greek (I don't, as far as it goes,) but I cannot see any connection between the two.
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Re: Inspecting 1 John 1:1

Postby Isaac Newton » Mon Sep 08, 2014 5:21 pm

Hi mwh,

mwh wrote:The pattern of this discussion has a certain consistency. Many of us have offered explanation of how the Greek works, while Isaac is committed to a certain theological understanding of its meaning, rendering our grammatical explanations futile (as I discovered at the outset). No-one is getting anywhere. Seems to me the discussion has run its course.


But what grammatical "explanation" has been offered for the rather [strange] argument that the relative clauses in 1 John 1:1 are the objects of a verb distantly removed, and which verb itself governs it's own relative clause in verse 3 ?

Also you said that "many" of you have offered explanations of "how the Greek works." Could you please point to these "many," because I don't see "many;" nor do I see any rational explanation of how "the Greek" apparently "works" (concerning the translation you're championing).

I like to see the facts, and good grammar. I'm not intimidated by appeals to numbers or to authority when it comes to the sacred scripture. I say this with the best of intentions.
καὶ ὑμεῖς τὸ χρῖσμα ὃ ἐλάβετε ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ μένει ἐν ὑμῖν, καὶ οὐ χρείαν ἔχετε ἵνα τις διδάσκῃ ὑμᾶς·
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Re: Inspecting 1 John 1:1

Postby John W. » Mon Sep 08, 2014 5:42 pm

With thanks to Markos, Jason and Isaac for their responses, I think it is time for me to bow out of this discussion, which seems to be entering theological waters upon which I'm ill equipped to sail. I fear, however, that Isaac's 'perfectly sensible, straightforward translation' is feasible only at the price of excessive violence to the Greek, the actual run of which suggests to me (and evidently to others) something rather more complex, and stylistically engaging, than a series of separate, short statements.

With that, and with good wishes to all, I'll return to the equally challenging (but perhaps less fraught) text of Thucydides.

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Re: Inspecting 1 John 1:1

Postby Isaac Newton » Mon Sep 08, 2014 6:03 pm

John W. wrote:With thanks to Markos, Jason and Isaac for their responses, I think it is time for me to bow out of this discussion, which seems to be entering theological waters upon which I'm ill equipped to sail. I fear, however, that Isaac's 'perfectly sensible, straightforward translation' is feasible only at the price of excessive violence to the Greek, the actual run of which suggests to me (and evidently to others) something rather more complex, and stylistically engaging, than a series of separate, short statements.

With that, and with good wishes to all, I'll return to the equally challenging (but perhaps less fraught) text of Thucydides.

John


But I have not seen sensible grammatical arguments to undermine that translation , although I've seen much appeal to authority against it.

IMHO those who take the relative clauses in verse 1 to be the objects of ἀπαγγέλλομεν in verse 3 are guilty of "excessive violence" to the text. There seems to be a certain level of psychological projection doing the rounds in this thread, I think, though I sincerely hope not.
καὶ ὑμεῖς τὸ χρῖσμα ὃ ἐλάβετε ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ μένει ἐν ὑμῖν, καὶ οὐ χρείαν ἔχετε ἵνα τις διδάσκῃ ὑμᾶς·
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Re: Inspecting 1 John 1:1

Postby Isaac Newton » Mon Sep 08, 2014 6:19 pm

jaihare wrote:
John W. wrote:(2) 'existed' - where is that found in the Greek?


Is there a Greek word for existence over and beyond simply εἰμί (in this case the imperfect ἦν)?

ὃ ἦν ἀπ᾿ ἀρχῆς - what existed ("has been existing, been in existence") from/since [the] beginning

The question is, though, what ἀρχή the author has in mind. Does he mean ἡ τοῦ κτίσεως ἀρχὴ the beginning of creation, as Matthew 19.4 has ὁ κτίσας ἀπ᾿ ἀρχῆς he who created from the beginning [of the world] and 2 Peter 3.4 has ἀπ᾿ ἀρχῆς κτίσεως since the beginning of creation? Or, does he mean ἡ τοῦ εὐαγγελίου ἀρχή the beginning of the gospel message, as John 15.27 has Jesus saying that the disciples were with him ἀπ᾿ ἀρχῆς from the beginning. It doesn't mean "from the beginning of the world," but rather something like "from the beginning of my ministry" or simply "you have been with me all along." Acts 11.15 uses ἐν ἀρχῇ in the beginning to refer to the beginning of the church, the day of Pentecost as found in Acts 3.

When it says "what was from the beginning," does it mean "we are announcing to you the message about what has happened since the beginning of the period of the gospel"? Or, does he mean "we are announcing to you what existed in eternity, from the very beginning of existence itself"? I would assume that he means something closer to the former and doesn't have pre-existence in mind, but that might just my own reading of the text.

Either way, I'm sure that the relative clauses are all tied to ἀπαγγέλλομεν as the verb in the independent clause.

As it is, I think that the second verse is turned into a parenthetical in all modern critical editions of the GNT. You can find it in the UBS5, the NA 28 and the SBL GNT (all linked here). I don't think you'll find a Greek scholar that would suggest that it's anything but parenthetical.

Regards,
Jason


The problem with this is that it adds the verb "we are announcing " into the original text of 1 John 1:1.
καὶ ὑμεῖς τὸ χρῖσμα ὃ ἐλάβετε ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ μένει ἐν ὑμῖν, καὶ οὐ χρείαν ἔχετε ἵνα τις διδάσκῃ ὑμᾶς·
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Re: Inspecting 1 John 1:1

Postby mwh » Mon Sep 08, 2014 6:35 pm

Markos wrote:
mwh wrote:The pattern of this discussion has a certain consistency...No-one is getting anywhere.

It's not that I necessarily disagree with Isaac's theology (I mean, I do, but that's besides the point,) nor that I necessarily disagree with the analysis of his Greek (I don't, as far as it goes,) but I cannot see any connection between the two.

Well I for my part have no difficulty seeing a connection between Isaac’s theology and his analysis of the Greek. But that aside, the fundamental disconnect here, as my post suggested, is between Isaac’s entrenched position and the position of those explaining the grammar. Or so I see it.
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Re: Inspecting 1 John 1:1

Postby mwh » Mon Sep 08, 2014 6:39 pm

Isaac Newton wrote:Hi mwh,

mwh wrote:The pattern of this discussion has a certain consistency. Many of us have offered explanation of how the Greek works, while Isaac is committed to a certain theological understanding of its meaning, rendering our grammatical explanations futile (as I discovered at the outset). No-one is getting anywhere. Seems to me the discussion has run its course.


But what grammatical "explanation" has been offered for the rather [strange] argument that the relative clauses in 1 John 1:1 are the objects of a verb distantly removed, and which verb itself governs it's own relative clause in verse 3 ?

Also you said that "many" of you have offered explanations of "how the Greek works." Could you please point to these "many," because I don't see "many;" nor do I see any rational explanation of how "the Greek" apparently "works" (concerning the translation you're championing).

I like to see the facts, and good grammar. I'm not intimidated by appeals to numbers or to authority when it comes to the sacred scripture. I say this with the best of intentions.


I too like facts and good grammar. I tried to offer both in our series of exchanges at the outset of this thread in November of last year, but you were not receptive. I don’t really expect you to be receptive now either, but let me make a good-faith effort to get at the heart of the problem with your reading, which has become clearer from your posts over the course of this thread. Here goes:

You have got hung up on the notion that those initial relative clauses can somehow be independent, and don’t need a verb to govern them. But they do: any relative clause does. (Your failure to recognize that is what makes your reading ungrammatical.) The verb in question is necessarily απαγγελλομεν, there’s just no getting round it. (Even translations which break the sentence up into a more digestible segments recognize this, they’re just trying to respect the order in which the bits of it come.) You resist this on grounds of the distance separating the relative clauses from the verb, without biblical parallel. The distance is undeniable, but also readily explicable, for the sentence is interrupted—put on hold, as it were—by the parenthesis triggered by τῆς ζωῆς, at the end of which the resumption of the initial sentence is signalled by the partial repeat of the opening clauses, removing all uncertainty as to the structure of the sentence overall.

That’s it.
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Re: Inspecting 1 John 1:1

Postby Isaac Newton » Mon Sep 08, 2014 7:09 pm

mwh wrote:
Markos wrote:
mwh wrote:The pattern of this discussion has a certain consistency...No-one is getting anywhere.

It's not that I necessarily disagree with Isaac's theology (I mean, I do, but that's besides the point,) nor that I necessarily disagree with the analysis of his Greek (I don't, as far as it goes,) but I cannot see any connection between the two.

Well I for my part have no difficulty seeing a connection between Isaac’s theology and his analysis of the Greek. But that aside, the fundamental disconnect here, as my post suggested, is between Isaac’s entrenched position and the position of those explaining the grammar. Or so I see it.


Again, could you please tell us exactly how many posters here are "explaining the grammar" to me , who exactly they are, and maybe summarize their teachings ? Vague statements do not contribute at all to the discussion, nor help anyone positively IMHO with anything.
Last edited by Isaac Newton on Mon Sep 08, 2014 9:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
καὶ ὑμεῖς τὸ χρῖσμα ὃ ἐλάβετε ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ μένει ἐν ὑμῖν, καὶ οὐ χρείαν ἔχετε ἵνα τις διδάσκῃ ὑμᾶς·
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Re: Inspecting 1 John 1:1

Postby mwh » Mon Sep 08, 2014 7:43 pm

I'm sorry Isaac I just don't have time for all this. Do please study my last post, which is a sincere attempt to get at the heart of the matter, and I think is an adequate analysis of the whole thing.
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Re: Inspecting 1 John 1:1

Postby Isaac Newton » Mon Sep 08, 2014 7:45 pm

Hi mvh,

mwh wrote:
Isaac Newton wrote:Hi mwh,

mwh wrote:The pattern of this discussion has a certain consistency. Many of us have offered explanation of how the Greek works, while Isaac is committed to a certain theological understanding of its meaning, rendering our grammatical explanations futile (as I discovered at the outset). No-one is getting anywhere. Seems to me the discussion has run its course.


But what grammatical "explanation" has been offered for the rather [strange] argument that the relative clauses in 1 John 1:1 are the objects of a verb distantly removed, and which verb itself governs it's own relative clause in verse 3 ?

Also you said that "many" of you have offered explanations of "how the Greek works." Could you please point to these "many," because I don't see "many;" nor do I see any rational explanation of how "the Greek" apparently "works" (concerning the translation you're championing).

I like to see the facts, and good grammar. I'm not intimidated by appeals to numbers or to authority when it comes to the sacred scripture. I say this with the best of intentions.


I too like facts and good grammar. I tried to offer both in our series of exchanges at the outset of this thread in November of last year, but you were not receptive. I don’t really expect you to be receptive now either, but let me make a good-faith effort to get at the heart of the problem with your reading, which has become clearer from your posts over the course of this thread. Here goes:

You have got hung up on the notion that those initial relative clauses can somehow be independent, and don’t need a verb to govern them.But they do: any relative clause does. (Your failure to recognize that is what makes your reading ungrammatical.) .


That's not my position though, in fact it is quite a distortion of it. Would you please take another look at my translation. Do you really not discern that the relative clauses are not "independent," not see what "governs" them ?

""I am writing about the Word , that is, the Life which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our own eyes, which we gazed upon and which our hands touched."




The verb in question is necessarily απαγγελλομεν, there’s just no getting round it. (Even translations which break the sentence up into a more digestible segments recognize this, they’re just trying to respect the order in which the bits of it come.) You resist this on grounds of the distance separating the relative clauses from the verb, without biblical parallel. The distance is undeniable, but also readily explicable, for the sentence is interrupted—put on hold, as it were—by the parenthesis triggered by τῆς ζωῆς, at the end of which the resumption of the initial sentence is signalled by the partial repeat of the opening clauses, removing all uncertainty as to the structure of the sentence overall.

That’s it


Unfortunately, this is an argument by "because I say so" . With all due respect, once again, you did not address the fatal flaw inherent in this understanding, which I've already pointed out numerous times . I hope to see some substance in the next post concerning that.
Last edited by Isaac Newton on Mon Sep 08, 2014 8:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Inspecting 1 John 1:1

Postby Isaac Newton » Mon Sep 08, 2014 7:57 pm

Hi mvh,

mwh wrote:I'm sorry Isaac I just don't have time for all this.


It's not good form to make confident sounding claims, and then not invest the time to support them.

Do please study my last post, which is a sincere attempt to get at the heart of the matter, and I think is an adequate analysis of the whole thing.


I've "studied" your post. It may be sincere , it certainly is passionate and willful, but unfortunately I didn't learn much from it.
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Re: Inspecting 1 John 1:1

Postby mwh » Mon Sep 08, 2014 8:11 pm

No comment needed.
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Re: Inspecting 1 John 1:1

Postby Isaac Newton » Mon Sep 08, 2014 9:47 pm

mwh wrote:No comment needed.

Then why comment ? I sense a certain level of disingenuousness, and a great deal of fear .
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Re: Inspecting 1 John 1:1

Postby jaihare » Mon Sep 08, 2014 10:11 pm

Isaac Newton wrote:
mwh wrote:No comment needed.

Then why comment ? I sense a certain level of disingenuousness, and a great deal of fear .

And I fail to be surprised that everyone but you in this thread, all who have labored to get beyond your ineptitude with the language in order to explain what's going on in the simplest of terms so that anyone without the most rudimentary of skills in Greek would understand the difficulty (and essential structure) of this passage, comes out as disingenuous and fearful.

Wait a minute, the subject of that embedded clause (everyone but you in this thread) is separated at great lengths from its predicate (comes out as disingenuous and fearful). This is a stretch of the syntactic restraints of English. I'm fearful that you will fail to understand that everything from "all who" to "this passage" is parenthetical and that the subject and predicate of the sentence which I'm trying to get across to you is actually before and after that parenthetical. Will my intention be lost because of your lack of trust in me as a user of English when I tell you that this type of sentence is acceptable?

Yes, 1 John opens with a relative clause. Every relative clause is a dependent or embedded clause and must hang on a finite verb form. In this case, the finite verb to which every single one of these relative clauses (introduced by ὅ) is connected is ἀπαγγέλλομεν. We can move this verb to the beginning of the sentence and clarify the intention perfectly and without destroying the essential syntactic relationship between the subordinate/dependent/embedded clauses and the independent/main clause, which we find in verse 3. It is the insertion of the parenthetical that drove the author to repeat part of the relative clause string before finally overtly revealing the main verb.

This is perfectly sound grammatical and syntactic analysis of the passage. You disagree because of your assumptions and theological commitments (though they really couldn't matter one way or another with this text, and I have a hard time understanding why you are committed to something so clearly misguided), but we have all done far more to explain this than is reasonably necessary. If you don't understand how we are handling the issue of the grammar, that doesn't mean that we are not handling the issue. It just means that it's over your head, which is understandable.

If I didn't couldn't swim, I wouldn't get in the pool and deride those who successfully use the breast stroke, even if they were merely novices and not professional swimmers. Yet, this is what you do.
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Re: Inspecting 1 John 1:1

Postby Isaac Newton » Mon Sep 08, 2014 11:24 pm

Hi jaihare,

jaihare wrote:
Isaac Newton wrote:
mwh wrote:No comment needed.

Then why comment ? I sense a certain level of disingenuousness, and a great deal of fear .

And I fail to be surprised that everyone but you in this thread, all who have labored to get beyond your ineptitude with the language in order to explain what's going on in the simplest of terms so that anyone without the most rudimentary of skills in Greek would understand the difficulty (and essential structure) of this passage, comes out as disingenuous and fearful.

Wait a minute, the subject of that embedded clause (everyone but you in this thread) is separated at great lengths from its predicate (comes out as disingenuous and fearful). This is a stretch of the syntactic restraints of English. I'm fearful that you will fail to understand that everything from "all who" to "this passage" is parenthetical and that the subject and predicate of the sentence which I'm trying to get across to you is actually before and after that parenthetical. Will my intention be lost because of your lack of trust in me as a user of English when I tell you that this type of sentence is acceptable?

Yes, 1 John opens with a relative clause. Every relative clause is a dependent or embedded clause and must hang on a finite verb form. In this case, the finite verb to which every single one of these relative clauses (introduced by ὅ) is connected is ἀπαγγέλλομεν. We can move this verb to the beginning of the sentence and clarify the intention perfectly and without destroying the essential syntactic relationship between the subordinate/dependent/embedded clauses and the independent/main clause, which we find in verse 3. It is the insertion of the parenthetical that drove the author to repeat part of the relative clause string before finally overtly revealing the main verb.

This is perfectly sound grammatical and syntactic analysis of the passage. You disagree because of your assumptions and theological commitments (though they really couldn't matter one way or another with this text, and I have a hard time understanding why you are committed to something so clearly misguided), but we have all done far more to explain this than is reasonably necessary. If you don't understand how we are handling the issue of the grammar, that doesn't mean that we are not handling the issue. It just means that it's over your head, which is understandable.

If I didn't couldn't swim, I wouldn't get in the pool and deride those who successfully use the breast stroke, even if they were merely novices and not professional swimmers. Yet, this is what you do.


Thanks for your post. I hope all is well with you, and from time to time I do pray for you , and shall continue to do so by God's will .

Unfortunately, you spent most of your post and time bickering instead of grabbing the proverbial bull by the horns, as it were and proving your case.

In this regard then, can you perhaps show us an example from the GNT of your grammar ? That is, of a verb which governs a relative clause, and then governs more relative clauses separated from it ? It is quite a remarkable thing that you're suggesting here, IMHO.

In the peace of Christ, which comes from the Father,
Last edited by Isaac Newton on Tue Sep 09, 2014 1:34 am, edited 4 times in total.
καὶ ὑμεῖς τὸ χρῖσμα ὃ ἐλάβετε ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ μένει ἐν ὑμῖν, καὶ οὐ χρείαν ἔχετε ἵνα τις διδάσκῃ ὑμᾶς·
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Re: Inspecting 1 John 1:1

Postby mwh » Mon Sep 08, 2014 11:35 pm

Two points to close my contributions to this thread.
(1) I misspoke when I said that every relative clause needs a verb to govern it. Relative clauses can directly depend on all sorts of things. That doesn’t alter the fact (or “willful assertion”) that these particular relative clauses are governed directly by the verb.
(2) I posted when and as I did in hopes of nipping in the bud a piously disguised flame-war between Isaac Newton and jaihare that I saw threatening to develop (it has happened before), as well as in hopes of terminating a thread that seemed trapped in a potentially endless loop and was of no profit to anyone. Despite everything I still nurture some hope on that front.
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Re: Inspecting 1 John 1:1

Postby Isaac Newton » Mon Sep 08, 2014 11:42 pm

mwh wrote:Two points to close my contributions to this thread.
(1) I misspoke when I said that every relative clause needs a verb to govern it. Relative clauses can directly depend on all sorts of things. .


I'm glad you have realized this.


That doesn’t alter the fact (or “willful assertion”) that these particular relative clauses are governed directly by the verb.
(2) I posted when and as I did in hopes of nipping in the bud a piously disguised flame-war between Isaac Newton and jaihare that I saw threatening to develop (it has happened before), as well as in hopes of terminating a thread that seemed trapped in a potentially endless loop and was of no profit to anyone. Despite everything I still nurture some hope on that front


See, this is an assertion by will, but nothing more.
καὶ ὑμεῖς τὸ χρῖσμα ὃ ἐλάβετε ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ μένει ἐν ὑμῖν, καὶ οὐ χρείαν ἔχετε ἵνα τις διδάσκῃ ὑμᾶς·
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Re: Inspecting 1 John 1:1

Postby Isaac Newton » Tue Sep 09, 2014 3:47 am

I think earlier Jaihare hit upon an important note when he asked the following question:

The question is, though, what ἀρχή the author has in mind. Does he mean ἡ τοῦ κτίσεως ἀρχὴ the beginning of creation, as Matthew 19.4 has ὁ κτίσας ἀπ᾿ ἀρχῆς he who created from the beginning [of the world] and 2 Peter 3.4 has ἀπ᾿ ἀρχῆς κτίσεως since the beginning of creation? Or, does he mean ἡ τοῦ εὐαγγελίου ἀρχή the beginning of the gospel message, as John 15.27 has Jesus saying that the disciples were with him ἀπ᾿ ἀρχῆς from the beginning.


Indeed, what ἀρχή does the author have in mind ? Actually the author tells us, in 1 John 2:13,

γράφω ὑμῖν, πατέρες, ὅτι ἐγνώκατε τὸν ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς· γράφω ὑμῖν, νεανίσκοι, ὅτι νενικήκατε τὸν πονηρόν.


This is an anaphoric reference to ὁ λόγος , to Ὃ ἦν ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς. ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς is the unmistakable clue tying together 1 John 1:1 and 1 John 2:13 . Notice that in 1 John 2:13 where the author is speaking of λόγος already become flesh he uses the masculine form to refer to him, but when he's thinking of λόγος prior to becoming flesh, he uses the neuter ὁ to refer to ὁ λόγος, betraying the fact (by ad sensum construction) that he did not consider λόγος to be a "person" at this time.

So those, like Wallace in Net bible who think that the "beginning" so alluded to at 1 John 1:1 is "the Gospel message" and so forth , are contextually and grammatically mistaken IMHO. The allusion rather is to the beginning pictured at John 1:1, such that the relative pronoun refers to pre-flesh logos.

I don't agree with trinitarian Gill on most issues not surprisingly, but I think he's on the right track when he takes the relative pronoun at 1 John 1 to be a reference to pre-flesh logos, and not to "the Gospel." Though how he plans to conform the neuter form of the pronoun in verse 1, of 1 John with a literally existing Divine personal logos is quite beyond me:

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

That which was from the beginning,.... By which is meant not the Gospel, as if the apostle's design was to assert the antiquity of that, and clear it from the charge of novelty; for though that is called the word, and the word of life, and is the Spirit which gives life, and is the means of quickening dead sinners, and brings the report of eternal life and salvation by Christ, yet the seeing of it with bodily eyes, and handling it with corporeal hands, do not agree with that; but Jesus Christ is here intended, who in his divine nature was, really existed as a divine person, as the everlasting Jehovah, the eternal I AM, which is, and was, and is to come, and existed "from the beginning"; not from the beginning of the preaching of the Gospel by John only, for he was before the Gospel was preached, being the first preacher of it himself, and before John was; yea, before the prophets, before Abraham, and before Adam, and before all creatures, from the beginning of time, and of the creation of the world, being the Maker of all things, even from everlasting; for otherwise he could not have been set up in an office capacity so early, or God's elect be chosen in him before the foundation of the world, and they have grace and blessings given them in him before the world began, or an everlasting covenant be made with him; see John 1:1
καὶ ὑμεῖς τὸ χρῖσμα ὃ ἐλάβετε ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ μένει ἐν ὑμῖν, καὶ οὐ χρείαν ἔχετε ἵνα τις διδάσκῃ ὑμᾶς·
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Re: Inspecting 1 John 1:1

Postby jaihare » Tue Sep 09, 2014 6:55 am

Isaac Newton wrote:In this regard then, can you perhaps show us an example from the GNT of your grammar ? That is, of a verb which governs a relative clause, and then governs more relative clauses separated from it ? It is quite a remarkable thing that you're suggesting here, IMHO.

One would just as aptly say that stating that finite verbs must agree with their subjects in person and number (with the exception of neuter plurals in Greek, of course) is remarkable and requires justification. Just because you say that it’s “quite a remarkable thing” doesn’t mean that it is.

Relative clauses do not stand on their own – and I never used the word “govern” with regard to this relationship (I only use the word “govern” with regard to how many arguments a verb can take or with regard to the case that a specific preposition calls for). Relative clauses can replace regular nouns in most constructions. They can be subjects: “whoever lives in this house (= this person) has a lot of money.” They can be direct objects objects: “I hope you remember what I said to you (= my words to you).” They can be indirect objects: “I gave money to whomever I came across (= everyone).” In every case, the relative clause is embedded within an independent clause.

In this case, “we announce even to you what we have seen (= our own experience), etc.” The relative clauses are dependent on the main verb ἀπαγγέλλομεν. This is obvious and true. Your refusal to open up your mind and consider this doesn’t negate its simplicity or its obviousness.
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ὁ μὲν Παῦλος τοὺς ἐν ταῖς ἐκκλησίαις μαθητὰς τὴν χωρὶς νόμου δικαιοσύνην τὴν ἐν Χριστῷ ἐδίδασκεν, οἱ δ᾿ ἄλλοι ἀπόστολοι τοὺς ἀνθρώπους ἐδίδασκον τηρεῖν τὸν θεῖον νόμον τὸν χειρὶ Μωϋσέως δοθέντα.
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Re: Inspecting 1 John 1:1

Postby John W. » Tue Sep 09, 2014 11:02 am

Isaac Newton wrote:
Andrew Chapman wrote:Would you agree that verse 1 in the NASB:

What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life—

is incomplete as it stands, and that it needs something else to complete it? If so, what do you think that something is?

Andrew


No. Why would John pen an incomplete verse , at the beginning of his epistle at that ?


I really was going to stay away from this traincrash of a thread, but its grisly fascination has once again drawn me like a moth to a flame - and I'll probably end up experiencing the same fate as the unfortunate creature ...

Isaac seems to be labouring under the impression that John wrote 'verses'; in fact, as Shenoute pointed out, he did no such thing - as with Classical texts, the division into verses dates from many centuries later. I wonder whether this misapprehension - viz. that John wrote verses, and specifically that he wrote verse 1 as a standalone piece of text - hasn't contributed to Isaac's (it seems to me and others) erroneous analysis of this passage.

Isaac wishes to print a full stop at the end of verse 1, as follows:

Ὃ ἦν ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς, ὃ ἀκηκόαμεν, ὃ ἑωράκαμεν τοῖς ὀφθαλμοῖς ἡμῶν, ὃ ἐθεασάμεθα, καὶ αἱ χεῖρες ἡμῶν ἐψηλάφησαν περὶ τοῦ λόγου τῆς ζωῆς.

As per the version quoted by Andrew above (but not translating the concluding words, to avoid getting drawn into the sub-debate about them), this would have to mean something like:

'What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning τοῦ λόγου τῆς ζωῆς.'

In view of Isaac's apparent fondness for grammatical correctness, can he tell us how this constitutes a complete sentence? He makes it so in his own translation by adding a main verb ('I'm writing about ...'), which is a curious strategy for someone who so strenuously objects to Wallace's simply repeating at the start a verb which does at least (unlike Isaac's) appear later in the sentence. Conrad (whom Isaac cites) also interpolates a main verb, in his case 'I'm talking'; again, one would expect Isaac - as the sworn enemy of verbs which are not in the Greek text - to object to this. The 'God's Word Translation', which Isaac also cites with approval, circumvents the problem in another way, by ignoring the relative pronouns ('The Word of Life existed ...' etc.). In accepting such stratagems only when it suits him, Isaac seems to apply double standards.

Finally, since Isaac is so keen on requiring others to adduce Biblical parallels, presumably he himself can offer us one of a 'sentence' consisting solely of a series of relative clauses - unless here too he is setting the bar differently for himself and others.

Best wishes,

John
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