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study a NT book

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Re: study a NT book

Postby jaihare » Sun May 17, 2009 12:04 pm

modus.irrealis wrote:Why preexistance, though? I don't see why that's implied.

I agree with you. The entire section needs to be taken together, not understood in small phrases.

Ὃ ἦν ἀπ' ἀρχῆς, 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 ἀπαγγέλλομεν ὑμῖν τὴν ζωὴν τὴν αἰώνιον ἥτις ἦν πρὸς τὸν πατέρα καὶ ἐφανερώθη ἡμῖν -- ὃ ἑωράκαμεν καὶ ἀκηκόαμεν ἀπαγγέλλομεν καὶ ὑμῖν, ἵνα καὶ ὑμεῖς κοινωνίαν ἔχητε μεθ' ἡμῶν.

"What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our {own} eyes, what we have beheld and our {own} hands have grasped, concerning the word of life -- and life was manifest, and we have seen (notice the connection to the beginning) and we are testifying and are proclaiming to you the eternal life which was with the father and was manifest to us -- what we have seen and heard we are proclaiming also to you, so that you might have fellowship with us."

The writer is saying that he isn't passing on his own message. He is passing on the message that is the same message that has been with Christians since the beginning {of their gospel}. It has nothing to do with "from the beginning of the world." I think pre-existence is being read into this where it isn't implied. It is implied, rather, in the phrase ἥτις ἦν πρὸς τὸν πατέρα καὶ ἐφανερώθη ἡμῖν. It is the "life" that was with the Father and made manifest. It doesn't say anything directly about Jesus being there and then being made manifest. It is the message that is in mind here, the thing that John is trying to convey to his audience. Context really rules here. Jesus may be included in the life that was made manifest to the disciples, but that's not the totality of what he's conveying.

The entire message about life and about how to attain life, John says, was hidden with God but has been made known to the disciples "from the beginning" and only later was it given to those to whom John is writing.

That's how I take the passage anyway (reading as an outsider).

Jason
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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: study a NT book

Postby jaihare » Sun May 17, 2009 12:07 pm

GTM wrote:I agree! I kicked the dust off of some of my old books and Wuest and several others seem to think this way also.

But, I could be wrong and I am very interested in what the scholarson this forum understand this text to mean.

GTM

Wuest? I don't think I've ever come across a more complete set of eisegetical nonsense in all my reading. Wuest believed a lot of things that didn't come from Greek grammar but rather from his own fancies. He's definitely not the best person to pull off your shelf if you're looking for an unbiased treatment of the meaning and implications of the grammar and syntax of the GNT.
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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: study a NT book

Postby jaihare » Sun May 17, 2009 12:09 pm

modus.irrealis wrote:I associate this use of ἀπ' ἀρχῆς with its use in 2:7, 2:24, and 3:11, where ἀρχή seems to refer to some recent period, perhaps the start of the ministry to the group the letter is addressed to. ἀρχή can of course refer to the beginning, but I don't see anything in 1:1 that forces such an interpretation.

My own understanding is that he's proclaiming what was from the start in the sense that nothing is changed, what he's proclaiming is the same as the original message. I can see other ways of interpreting it, but I was convinced by the idea that the emphasis here is on establishing the authenticity of what is being proclaimed. It would be nice to know more about the external context of the letter -- I get the feeling that it's a response of sorts but we don't have the points that are being responded to, which may have made interpreting the letter easier.

I get the same meaning from the text. I couldn't agree more.

Regards,
Jason
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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: study a NT book

Postby GTM » Sun May 17, 2009 1:00 pm

jaihare

Thanks for the heads up on Weust. Unfortunately my Kittel's doesn't offer a very detailed treatment of eimi. It seems to have more on the LXX than the New Testament ideas. Of course Exodus 3:14 seems to be the origin of this idea. Marshall doesn't offer much on eimi either.

Who would you recommend for a good treatment of eimi?

You seem to suggest that the context must be considered here which I agree with fully. I believe that clear understanding of word usage helps one in the development of context.

After reviewing 413 verses using this form of eimi I see that the use of en can be understood from a point in time and doesn't necessarily have to be an eternal concept.

Matthew 7:27 καὶ κατέβη ἡ βροχὴ καὶ ἦλθον οἱ ποταμοὶ καὶ ἔπνευσαν οἱ ἄνεμοι καὶ προσέκοψαν τῇ οἰκίᾳ ἐκείνῃ, καὶ ἔπεσεν καὶ ἦν ἡ πτῶσις αὐτῆς μεγάλη.
The rain came down, the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat on that house; and it fell--and great was its fall."

Matthew 8:30 ἦν δὲ μακρὰν ἀπ' αὐτῶν ἀγέλη χοίρων πολλῶν βοσκομένη.
Now there was a herd of many pigs feeding far away from them.

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Re: study a NT book

Postby Bert » Mon May 18, 2009 6:50 pm

jaihare wrote:
modus.irrealis wrote:Why preexistance, though? I don't see why that's implied.

I agree with you. The entire section needs to be taken together, not understood in small phrases.

Ὃ ἦν ἀπ' ἀρχῆς, 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 ἀπαγγέλλομεν ὑμῖν τὴν ζωὴν τὴν αἰώνιον ἥτις ἦν πρὸς τὸν πατέρα καὶ ἐφανερώθη ἡμῖν -- ὃ ἑωράκαμεν καὶ ἀκηκόαμεν ἀπαγγέλλομεν καὶ ὑμῖν, ἵνα καὶ ὑμεῖς κοινωνίαν ἔχητε μεθ' ἡμῶν.

"What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our {own} eyes, what we have beheld and our {own} hands have grasped, concerning the word of life -- and life was manifest, and we have seen (notice the connection to the beginning) and we are testifying and are proclaiming to you the eternal life which was with the father and was manifest to us -- what we have seen and heard we are proclaiming also to you, so that you might have fellowship with us."

The writer is saying that he isn't passing on his own message. He is passing on the message that is the same message that has been with Christians since the beginning {of their gospel}. It has nothing to do with "from the beginning of the world." I think pre-existence is being read into this where it isn't implied. It is implied, rather, in the phrase ἥτις ἦν πρὸς τὸν πατέρα καὶ ἐφανερώθη ἡμῖν. It is the "life" that was with the Father and made manifest. It doesn't say anything directly about Jesus being there and then being made manifest. It is the message that is in mind here, the thing that John is trying to convey to his audience. Context really rules here. Jesus may be included in the life that was made manifest to the disciples, but that's not the totality of what he's conveying.

The entire message about life and about how to attain life, John says, was hidden with God but has been made known to the disciples "from the beginning" and only later was it given to those to whom John is writing.

That's how I take the passage anyway (reading as an outsider).

Jason

That makes good sense. Thank you. I do think that verse 2 has a stronger reference to Jesus than you are saying but that doesn't take away from the rest of your reasoning.
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Re: study a NT book

Postby jaihare » Tue May 19, 2009 10:31 am

Bert wrote:That makes good sense. Thank you. I do think that verse 2 has a stronger reference to Jesus than you are saying but that doesn't take away from the rest of your reasoning.

Well, I certainly didn't intend to kill the discussion. By all means, pick it back up. :)
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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: study a NT book

Postby GTM » Tue May 19, 2009 12:01 pm

The claim has been made that Johns letter was written to fend off the Gnostic doctrines.

1.) I was wondering if there was any literature other than Johns letter to support this idea?

2.) I would also like to hear some of the ideas all of have on this position.

Would the gnostic idea be accurate?

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Re: study a NT book

Postby jaihare » Tue May 19, 2009 12:17 pm

GTM wrote:The claim has been made that Johns letter was written to fend off the Gnostic doctrines.

1.) I was wondering if there was any literature other than Johns letter to support this idea?

2.) I would also like to hear some of the ideas all of have on this position.

Would the gnostic idea be accurate?

GTM

:: SHRUG ::

I know like nothing about Gnosticism from the first Century.
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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: study a NT book

Postby Bert » Wed May 20, 2009 12:59 am

GTM wrote:The claim has been made that Johns letter was written to fend off the Gnostic doctrines.

1.) I was wondering if there was any literature other than Johns letter to support this idea?



GTM
I don't think I understand what you mean. Are you looking for an ancient document that says 1John is written against Gnostics?

The heresies of gnosticism are varied but mostly they stem from their dualistic views.
-The "Old Testament God" created the material, imperfect world. The "New Testament God" is superior and completely divine (more divine than the OT God?)
-The commandments don't belong to the "new" gospel but are part of the imperfect OT. 1Jn 2:7 speaks against that. No new commandment but the same age old commandment.
-Commandments in general were part of the unnecessary old testament writings. Jesus did not give commandments but the apostles added them to Jesus' teachings. The first verses speak against this already. The apostle speaks what he has heard and seen etc. He didn't make it up.
-A special knowledge was necessary for salvation and commandments are not part of this. Not just everybody had this knowledge but only the most spiritual people. 1Jn 2:3-5 speaks wonderfully against this.
-Only these most elite, most spiritual people are sanctified. 1Jn 3:7 clearly opposes this.
There are other similar heresies that are refuted.
Clearly John also opposes other heretics; those who claim that Christ was not divine and human for instance.

I'm not sure if this is an answer to your question.
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Re: study a NT book

Postby GTM » Wed May 20, 2009 12:33 pm

Bert,

I don't think I understand what you mean. Are you looking for an ancient document that says 1John is written against Gnostics?


It seems as if most commentators and scholars believe that Johns Epistle was written in response to the gnostic threat in the Church. We may find it helpful in our attempt to grasp the meaning of this letter if we had a basic understanding of the gnostic community.

Since my last post, I have discovered that the Gospel according to Judas was filled with this gnostic idea.I am contemplating picking up a copy. In the meantime I will do some research and post it here if it fits the profile of this letter.

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Re: study a NT book

Postby GTM » Wed May 27, 2009 1:42 am

περὶ τοῦ λόγου τῆς ζωῆς

I guess there was little interest in the possibility of a gnostic problem.

MAybe we should take a look at "περὶ τοῦ λόγου τῆς ζωῆς". In light of the idea that the text deals more with the things about Christ how are we to understand "concerning the word of life"?

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Re: study a NT book

Postby sid4greek » Sat May 30, 2009 6:34 pm

GTM wrote:περὶ τοῦ λόγου τῆς ζωῆς

I guess there was little interest in the possibility of a gnostic problem.

MAybe we should take a look at "περὶ τοῦ λόγου τῆς ζωῆς". In light of the idea that the text deals more with the things about Christ how are we to understand "concerning the word of life"?

GTM


I have a copy of the Gospel of Judas and I have done some research on gnosticism:

1) the main idea of gnsoticism according to Bart D. Ehrman is that salvation is through some "secret knowledge" and not thorugh Christ or by works. Such secret knowledge is namely that of "our origins", "how we ended up here" and "how we can get to heaven", so to speak.

2) for Christians, salvation is through Christ=the Word of Life/the living Word

3) for gnostic christians, "secret knowledege" comes from "Christ, who reveals such knowledge to those chosen by him"

so having said all this, I guess I could say that the expression used by John "the word of life" refers to Christ and it could be formulated similarly to what a gnostic would say (message, word, and so on), but I think that as you read on, the meaning of the word of life is not that of a gnostic, but of Christ himself.

I guess that the fact that John may use some language similarly to the gnostic writers is what has brought some to say that this gospel/the writer of the gospel is a gnostic.
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Re: study a NT book

Postby sid4greek » Sun Jun 07, 2009 6:44 pm

picking up a previous topic which is that of the meaning of "from the beginning" (v.1), I'd like to say that it is interesting to see that a similar expression is used in 2:7,13,14,24; 3: 8,11; 2Jn 5,6...some of which may not be referring to pre-existence (see Jason's comments), but the christian community


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Re: study a NT book

Postby sid4greek » Sun Jun 14, 2009 9:14 am

hey...where's everybody??? have I said anything wrong....?

:?

:lol:
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Re: study a NT book

Postby jaihare » Tue Jun 16, 2009 2:32 am

sid4greek wrote:hey...where's everybody??? have I said anything wrong....?

:?

:lol:


???
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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: study a NT book

Postby GTM » Tue Jun 16, 2009 3:44 am

Sorry folks I thought this thread was dead.

Will be back in the A.M.

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Re: study a NT book

Postby GTM » Wed Jun 17, 2009 6:10 pm

sid4greek

you said:

having said all this, I guess I could say that the expression used by John "the word of life" refers to Christ and it could be formulated similarly to what a gnostic would say (message, word, and so on), but I think that as you read on, the meaning of the word of life is not that of a gnostic, but of Christ himself.

I guess that the fact that John may use some language similarly to the gnostic writers is what has brought some to say that this gospel/the writer of the gospel is a gnostic.


As I study 1 John, I am inclined towards the idea that this wasn't a letter or a sermon but it was more likely an address. In other words I believe that the writer was addressing a specific group. I believe that the reason for this address was because this group of people(Christians) were being attacked by a gnostic group or groups. Since the gnostic idea was that Jesus wasn't real seems to make sense here. We see three relative clauses in this introduction which could be understood as a refutation of that gnostic idea.

What do you think?

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Re: study a NT book

Postby sid4greek » Wed Jun 17, 2009 8:10 pm

it does make sense to think that gnosticism is in the background of the whole discourse in the letter...do you think that perhaps there were even members of the christian community who were adopting so¡uch teachings? is there any evidence??
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Re: study a NT book

Postby GTM » Wed Jun 17, 2009 9:29 pm

sid4greek

You asked:

it does make sense to think that gnosticism is in the background of the whole discourse in the letter...do you think that perhaps there were even members of the Christian community who were adopting such teachings? is there any evidence??


Excellent Question. I haven't run into that in any of my studies of 1 John but I am sure that we might stumble upon it as we move forward..

Just a quick question on a different idea. In verse 3 we see that the writer reversed the order of the events from verse 1.

Verse 1 we see "what we have heard and what we have seen"
Verse 3 we see "what we have seen and what we have heard"

Probably a trivial question. Just wonder why he might have done that and if it had any possible significance.

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Re: study a NT book

Postby GTM » Thu Jul 16, 2009 9:54 pm

Must be this thread died.

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Re: study a NT book

Postby modus.irrealis » Fri Jul 17, 2009 1:25 am

It seems that way -- maybe a better approach would be to regularly post some verses and discuss them, and that way we can keep some momentum going. So here's 1:1-4:

1 Ὃ ἦν ἀπ' ἀρχῆς, ὃ ἀκηκόαμεν, ὃ ἑωράκαμεν τοῖς ὀφθαλμοῖς ἡμῶν, ὃ ἐθεασάμεθα καὶ αἱ χεῖρες ἡμῶν ἐψηλάφησαν, περὶ τοῦ λόγου τῆς ζωῆς —
2 καὶ ἡ ζωὴ ἐφανερώθη, καὶ ἑωράκαμεν καὶ μαρτυροῦμεν καὶ ἀπαγγέλλομεν ὑμῖν τὴν ζωὴν τὴν αἰώνιον ἥτις ἧν πρὸς τὸν πατέρα καὶ ἐφανερώθη ἡμῖν —
3 ὃ ἑωράκαμεν καὶ ἀκηκόαμεν ἀπαγγέλλομεν καὶ ὑμῖν, ἵνα καὶ ὑμεῖς κοινωνίαν ἔχητε μεθ' ἡμῶν. καὶ ἡ κοινωνία δὲ ἡ ἡμετέρα μετὰ τοῦ πατρὸς καὶ μετὰ τοῦ υἱοῦ αὐτοῦ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ.
4 καὶ ταῦτα γράφομεν ἡμεῖς ἵνα ἡ χαρὰ ὑμῶν ᾖ πεπληρωμένη.

I can't see anything in the different orders -- if there is something, it's too subtle for me. I think we've discussed most aspects of these verses, so here's also 1:5-10:

5 Καὶ ἔστιν αὕτη ἡ ἀγγελία ἣν ἀκηκόαμεν απ' αὐτοῦ καὶ ἀναγγέλλομεν ὑμῖν, ὅτι ὁ θεὸς φῶς ἐστιν καὶ σκοτία ἐν αὐτῷ οὐκ ἔστιν οὐδεμία.
6 Ἐὰν εἴπωμεν ὅτι κοινωνίαν ἔχομεν μετ' αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐν τῷ σκότει περιπατῶμεν, ψευδόμεθα καὶ οὐ ποιοῦμεν τὴν ἀλήθειαν·
7 ἐὰν δὲ ἐν τῷ φωτὶ περιπατῶμεν ὡς αὐτός ἐστιν ἐν τῷ φωτί, κοινωνίαν ἔχομεν μετ' ἀλλήλων καὶ τὸ αἷμα Ἰησοῦ τοῦ υἱοῦ αὐτοῦ καθαρίζει ἡμᾶς ἀπὸ πάσης ἁμαρτίας.
8 ἐὰν εἴπωμεν ὅτι ἁμαρτίαν οὐκ ἔχομεν, ἑαυτοὺς πλανῶμεν καὶ ἡ ἀλήθεια οὐκ ἔστιν ἐν ἡμῖν.
9 ἐὰν ὁμολογῶμεν τὰς ἁμαρτίας ἡμῶν, πιστός ἐστιν καὶ δίκαιος ἵνα ἀφῇ ἡμῖν τὰς ἁμαρτίας καὶ καθαρίσῃ ἡμᾶς ἀπὸ πάσης ἀδικίας.
10 ἐὰν εἴπωμεν ὅτι οὐχ ἡμαρτήκαμεν, ψεύστην ποιοῦμεν αὐτὸν καὶ ὁ λόγος αὐτοῦ οὐκ ἔστιν ἐν ἡμῖν.

Are φῶς ἐστιν and ἐν τῷ φωτί ἐστιν synonymous here? They both seem to be used of God, but I would normally think that there's a difference between "is light" and "is in the light", but I can't see what difference could be meant here. And also, does anyone know what φῶς and σκοτία would have meant to the author? There are a lot of things that I can see as being described metaphorically as light vs. darkness, but are there any hints to what is meant here in particular?

I guess ἵνα in 9 is an example where it is used without any overtones of purpose -- at least, I can't see any and I can't see it as meaning anything other than "with the result that".
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Re: study a NT book

Postby GTM » Sat Jul 18, 2009 2:44 am

modus.irrealis

You asked:

Are φῶς ἐστιν and ἐν τῷ φωτί ἐστιν synonymous here? They both seem to be used of God, but I would normally think that there's a difference between "is light" and "is in the light", but I can't see what difference could be meant here.


Excellent question.

Here is a thought just to get started. This is in no way a conviction, just an idea I have.

φῶς ἐστιν seems to suggest the absolute light that is God or that is in God and belongs to Him only. I simply assume this idea based upon the rest of this particular text "καὶ σκοτία ἐν αὐτῷ οὐκ ἔστιν οὐδεμία". (and in Him is no darkness at all).

The next text seems to suggest something different if we assume that verse 6 speaks of the absolute light that belongs to God only. Verse 7 speaks of a light that we walk in as He is in it. Of course we know that we cannot walk as God walks so it seems as if the writer was trying to say something else.

As I have already mentioned, ἐν τῷ φωτί ἐστιν (verse 7) refers to us walking in the light as He Himself is in the light. If this is the reference in question are we to understand it as meaning that in us is no darkness at all? Maybe in light of Dikaiosune but that isn't mentioned here but it might be implied or understood by the reader.

So here is my thought. Is it possible that the writer is speaking of God's revelation to humanity and when we experience the revelation of God that we should walk in it? That leads me to a question though. "Who is the writer speaking to in this text" That might help here.

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Re: study a NT book

Postby IreneY » Sat Jul 18, 2009 6:26 am

Could it be that, since He is all light then, by default so to speak, he is in light?
Not wishing to diminish God in any way with the following by the way:
Let us say that the sun is all light (well no sun is but bear with me). So the sun IS light but, at the same time, the sun as an "entity" is within the light that is it.
Much more so for God I suppose. I mean since he IS the light, He, as an "entity" (again no blasphemy intended) is "in" his own light.

It's a very nice turn of phrase if you ask me and maybe that's what prompted the author to go with this phrasing.


I haven't read the text past what you posted but could the "light" be the Truth? Justice can work as well though.
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Re: study a NT book

Postby GTM » Sat Jul 18, 2009 12:53 pm

IreneY

You asked:
Could it be that, since He is all light then, by default so to speak, he is in light?


That would seem to make sense. But the question I might ask is light something that He does or is light something that He is?

You asked:

Let us say that the sun is all light (well no sun is but bear with me). So the sun Is light but, at the same time, the sun as an "entity" is within the light that is it.
Much more so for God I suppose. I mean since he Is the light, He, as an "entity" (again no blasphemy intended) is "in" his own light.


I think that this is a good possibility and also a good place to start. Maybe we should do a word study on φῶς. An understanding of its semantic range and how John used it in his writings might aid us in this study.

Further thoughts on verse 7

The clause in Verse 7 seems to be a third class condition. Since this is probably the case then there is a wide variety of nuances in the protasis.

I am thinking that this idea could be understood as a present reality since we have a third class condition plus the fact that we have a present general reality which is seen in (ἐὰν περιπατῶμεν) which is subjunctive.

If this idea is incorrect then the other possibility could be a hypothetical situation since we see the use of ἐὰν (if).

The one thing that I am certain of is that we cannot walk in absolute light since it is preserved for God only.


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Re: study a NT book

Postby modus.irrealis » Sun Jul 19, 2009 12:38 am

GTM wrote:As I have already mentioned, ἐν τῷ φωτί ἐστιν (verse 7) refers to us walking in the light as He Himself is in the light. If this is the reference in question are we to understand it as meaning that in us is no darkness at all? Maybe in light of Dikaiosune but that isn't mentioned here but it might be implied or understood by the reader.

That's a good question -- I see it as there being a difference between "walking in the light" and "being in the light", but I think this is somewhere where's it's hard not to read in ideas. But I can see the light as being God's revelation, and I think this goes well with Irene's idea. There are a lot of things where God is both the source and the thing itself, so light can also fit in here, God being both the light and the source of the light in which he then necessarily is. I think it's similar to the issue we had before where it seems clear that things in some sense referred to Christ but not necessarily in a direct way.

So here is my thought. Is it possible that the writer is speaking of God's revelation to humanity and when we experience the revelation of God that we should walk in it? That leads me to a question though. "Who is the writer speaking to in this text" That might help here.

That questions always on my mind as I read this letter -- more external context would be very beneficial.
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Re: study a NT book

Postby modus.irrealis » Sun Jul 19, 2009 12:44 am

IreneY wrote:I haven't read the text past what you posted but could the "light" be the Truth? Justice can work as well though.

Those are two of the obvious candidates. For truth, in the verses I posted, truth is something that we do and something that is in us, and in 6, it would be redundant if light = truth, "if .. walk in darkness=falsehood, we lie." So I'm not sure. But on second thought, saying light = revelation, might also bring up problems. What does it mean to walk in God's revelation? If it's means to follow God's commandments, then you have the same sort of redundancy. Or is redundancy the point and these are really definitions?

Another thing I came across was that 8-9 echo 6-7 so that would mean that walking in light/darkness is related to confessing/not-confessing one's sins.
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Re: study a NT book

Postby GTM » Sun Jul 19, 2009 2:29 am

modus.irrealis

you said:

There are a lot of things where God is both the source and the thing itself, so light can also fit in here, God being both the light and the source of the light in which he then necessarily is.


That is a lot of idea to get my head around. God is the source and the thing itself. I have to agree. But I must also take some time to digest the idea.

You and IreneY have offered some good thought.

Thank You

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Re: study a NT book

Postby modus.irrealis » Tue Jul 21, 2009 2:17 am

Just to keep up a good pace, I thought I'd post verses 2:1-6, but I'm not trying to hinder any discussion of issues from previous (or later) verses. I'm just trying to keep any momentum going.

2:1 Τεκνία μου, ταῦτα γράφω ὑμῖν ἵνα μὴ ἁμάρτητε καὶ ἐάν τις ἁμάρτῃ, παράκλητον ἔχομεν πρὸς τὸν πατέρα, Ἰησοῦν Χριστὸν δίκαιον·
2 καὶ αὐτὸς ἱλασμός ἐστίν περὶ τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν ἡμῶν, οὐ περὶ τῶν ἡμετέρων δὲ μόνον ἀλλὰ καὶ περὶ ὅλου τοῦ κόσμου.
3 Καὶ ἐν τούτῳ γινώσκομεν ὅτι ἐγνώκαμεν αὐτόν, ἐὰν τὰς ἐντολὰς αὐτοῦ τηρῶμεν.
4 ὁ λέγων ὅτι Ἔγνωκα αὐτόν, καὶ τὰς ἐντολὰς αὐτοῦ μὴ τηρῶν, ψεύστης ἐστίν, καὶ ἐν τούτῳ ἡ ἀλήθεια οὐκ ἔστιν·
5 ὃς δ' ἂν τηρῇ αὐτοῦ τὸν λόγον, ἀληθῶς ἐν τούτῳ ἡ ἀγάπη τοῦ θεοῦ τετελείωται. ἐν τούτῳ γινώσκομεν ὅτι ἐν αὐτῷ ἐσμεν·
6 ὁ λέγων ἐν αὐτῷ μένειν ὀφείλει καθὼς ἐκεῖνος περιεπάτησεν καὶ αὐτὸς περιπατεῖν.

My question has to with τούτῳ in 5 and whether it refers to what precedes or to what follows. I think it makes the most sense to refer to what precedes, since it's odd to say that we will know that we are in him because he who says that he remains in him must walk as he walked. But most of the translations I looked at (and also the punctuation of the GNT I'm using) do take it to refer to what follows, so my question is, how does that work?
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Re: study a NT book

Postby GTM » Tue Jul 21, 2009 3:32 am

modus.irrealis

My question has to with τούτῳ in 5 and whether it refers to what precedes or to what follows. I think it makes the most sense to refer to what precedes, since it's odd to say that we will know that we are in him because he who says that he remains in him must walk as he walked. But most of the translations I looked at (and also the punctuation of the GNT I'm using) do take it to refer to what follows, so my question is, how does that work?


You seem to have the ability to ask the difficult ones. :D

The Translators of the NIV seems to think that it refers to the things after words but I lean more towards the idea that it reaches back into verse 4. Will post more on Wednesday Night. Have a Greek study I attend on Tuesday nights. Great stuff.

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Re: study a NT book

Postby IreneY » Tue Jul 21, 2009 6:04 pm

I will have to read a bit more of the actual text to contribute anything else in the discussion about the previous question but as for the latest, well, for an "outsider" like me it does seem like a clear case of it referring to the previous. The following in fact (verse 6) also refers to the previous. A sort of putting what he said in verse 5 (and before) another way I would say. A usual techinque in the Epistles I remember and most certainly a very usual technique used by teachers throughout the ages :)
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Re: study a NT book

Postby modus.irrealis » Wed Jul 22, 2009 9:40 pm

Alright, then it seems settled that it's backward referring.
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Re: study a NT book

Postby modus.irrealis » Thu Jul 23, 2009 3:22 pm

I needed something to do to avoid what I should have been doing, so I read some more verse and came up with a few questions. So here are 2:7-11:

7 Ἀγαπητοί, οὐκ ἐντολὴν καινὴν γράφω ὑμῖν, ἀλλ' ἐντολὴν παλαιὰν ἣν εἴχετε ἀπ' ἀρχῆς· ἡ ἐντολὴ ἡ παλαιά ἐστιν ὁ λόγος ὃν ἠκούσατε.
8 πάλιν ἐντολὴν καινὴν γράφω ὑμῖν, ὅ ἐστιν ἀληθὲς ἐν αὐτῷ καὶ ἐν ὑμῖν, ὅτι ἡ σκοτία παράγεται καὶ τὸ φῶς τὸ ἀληθινὸν ἤδη φαίνει.
9 ὁ λέγων ἐν τῷ φωτὶ εἶναι καὶ τὸν ἀδελφὸν αὐτοῦ μισῶν ἐν τῇ σκοτία ἐστὶν ἕως ἄρτι.
10 ὁ ἀγαπῶν τὸν ἀδελφὸν αὐτοῦ ἐν τῷ φωτὶ μένει, καὶ σκάνδαλον ἐν αὐτῷ οὐκ ἔστιν·
11 ὁ δὲ μισῶν τὸν ἀδελφὸν αὐτοῦ ἐν τῇ σκοτίᾳ ἐστὶν καὶ ἐν τῇ σκοτίᾳ περιπατεῖ, καὶ οὐκ οἶδεν ποῦ ὑπάγει, ὅτι ἡ σκοτία ἐτύφλωσεν τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς αὐτοῦ.

I don't get 7-8, since it seems to be saying "I'm not writing a new commandment ... I'm writing a new commandment". I guess πάλιν here means something like "and yet" or "on the other hand" and marks a contradiction (?), but it seems odd. Is there something grammatical I'm missing or is this just some rhetorical usage whose point I can't see.

For the grammar, I thought maybe it's possible to understand οὐκ ... γράφω as "I have not been writing", even though there's nothing to suggest that meaning, which is what I would expect in general. In this case πάλιν ... γράφω could mean something like "on the other hand, I now write"). But besides being unlikely, the actual commandment he seems to be discussing (although he frustratingly never explicitly says what it is) seems to be "love your brother", but that's not a new commandment.

I found some places online that claim that what's being said is that it's one commandment that's both old and new, but in different senses. But it would be fine if John had said παλαιὰ ἐντολή and then also καινὴ ἐντολή, but he says οὐκ καινή and καινή, which confuses me. But I'm not even sure that the old and new commandments are the same. Just the way it's written and the use of the articles, I can't see how the ἑντολή of 8 can be the same as the one in 7.

Other questions resolved themselves as I was typing them out, but the above is I think a difficult one so I'd really like to hear people's opinions.
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Re: study a NT book

Postby GTM » Sat Jul 25, 2009 1:22 am

modus.irrealis

You said:

I needed something to do to avoid what I should have been doing, so I read some more verse and came up with a few questions. So here are 2:7-11:


I do that all the time.

This is how I understand this text. But am open to suggestions.

1 John 2:3

3 καὶ ἐν τούτῳ γινώσκομεν ὅτι ἐγνώκαμεν αὐτόν ἐὰν τὰς ἐντολὰς αὐτοῦ τηρῶμεν

ἐντολὰς Is a plural form in verse 3. I believe this carries the idea of the Old Commandments.

1 John 2:7

7 ἀγαπητοί, οὐκ ἐντολὴν καινὴν γράφω ὑμῖν ἀλλ' ἐντολὴν παλαιὰν ἣν εἴχετε ἀπ' ἀρχῆς· ἡ ἐντολὴ ἡ παλαιά ἐστιν ὁ λόγος ὃν ἠκούσατε.

ἐντολὴ is a singular form. I believe that this carries a new idea that encompasses the Old idea.

It seems to me that verse 3 speaks of all the commandments and in verse 7 we see John putting them together and calling them the the singular commandment. Could that possibly suggest a shift from the old idea of the commandments (plural) to a new idea of the commandment(singular)?

While the Old Commandments are of critical importance the Idea that Jesus taught which is the fulfillment of the commandments is summed up John 13:34.

34"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another,even as I have loved you, that you also love one another

Maybe a place to star as we unravel this.

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Re: study a NT book

Postby sid4greek » Sat Jul 25, 2009 6:16 pm

I have also read chapter 2: 1-8, more specifically v. 7 and 8, and here is what I think:

verse 7> John is not writing about anything new since it is already in the "Law"; I am referring to the "Law" because the adjective used in Latin is "vetus", which strikes me as something really really old, I suppose. Since my Greek is pretty rusty, I can't really say much about this adjective. However, I have looked it up and the adjective is "palaián", which refers to "antiquity"...

as for verse 8> it seems that the old command is has been "updated" with Jesus Christ....
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Re: study a NT book

Postby IreneY » Sat Jul 25, 2009 9:26 pm

Could it be a case of "and then again"?

I mean something like : "What I am writing to you is not new and then again it is". It's old because you already know about it but it's also new because of its "new" importance (I mean it was there before but it was Jesus' teachings that really focused on love" because now we are know more details about what this commandment really means and how important it is etc.

I could be way off obviously
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Re: study a NT book

Postby GTM » Sat Jul 25, 2009 9:45 pm

IreneY

You said"

I mean something like : "What I am writing to you is not new and then again it is"


I believe that you hit the nail right on the head. But I have a question, " is there any Greek language construction that can be used to confirm that idea"?

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Re: study a NT book

Postby IreneY » Sat Jul 25, 2009 10:16 pm

Modern Greek yes :D (και πάλι) but I don't remember if it works in Koine Greek.
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Re: study a NT book

Postby GTM » Sun Jul 26, 2009 1:43 am

sid4greek

you quoted:

verse 7 John is not writing about anything new since it is already in the "Law"; I am referring to the "Law" because the adjective used in Latin is "vetus", which strikes me as something really really old, I suppose. Since my Greek is pretty rusty, I can't really say much about this adjective. However, I have looked it up and the adjective is "palaián", which refers to "antiquity"...


Do you think that it is possible that his reference to the old commandments was a reference to the Ten Commandments or is there something else here that we need to understand?

Here is a thought. in the Gospel of John we see Jesus giving a new commandment that is to love your brothers. I am not sure that this would be right since we see the plural form of commandments earlier in the text which is a reference to the old commandments and then later we see a singular form..

What do you think?

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Re: study a NT book

Postby modus.irrealis » Mon Jul 27, 2009 2:28 am

I need to mull over your responses a bit more, because they're reasonable about what could have been said, but I don't yet see that that's what the author did say. Does the ὅτι ἡ σκοτία παράγεται καὶ τὸ φῶς τὸ ἀληθινὸν ἤδη φαίνει have a role to play here? I took it to go with the ὅ ἐστιν ἀληθὲς ἐν αὐτῷ καὶ ἐν ὑμῖν but perhaps it really goes with καινήν and explains the newness, and ὄτι might here be rendered "in that"? Could also the fact that εἴχετε be imperfect mean something? I notice that a lot of translations render this as "have had" but that's not quite accurate. Could the idea be that this commandment is not new but old in that it's the original commandment that "you had in the beginning" but may have subsequently lost? I took ἀπ' ἀρχῆς to refer to the beginning of the addressee's conversion but perhaps it refers to an earlier time?

I like the idea that ἐντολή is different from ἐντολαί. I think I was misled into thinking that he was talking about an additional commandment among others, but it does seem to make more sense to see him using ἐντολή to refer to the totality of what he thinks people ought to do, and that this commandment that he's giving is both old (it reminds me of the emphasis we saw in the opening verses about the author claiming his message was the authentic, original message), and yet new in some different sense.
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Re: study a NT book

Postby modus.irrealis » Sat Aug 01, 2009 6:51 pm

Almost a week without any posts, so I guess we can move on to 2:12-14:

12 Γράφω ὑμῖν, τεκνία, ὅτι ἀφέωνται ὑμῖν αἱ ἁμαρτίαι διὰ τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ.
13 Γράφω ὑμῖν, πατέρες, ὅτι ἐγνώκατε τὸν ἀπ' ἀρχῆς.
Γράφω ὑμῖν, νεανίσκοι, ὅτι νενικήκατε τὸν πονηρόν.
14 ἔγραψα ὑμῖν, παιδία, ὅτι ἐγνώκατε τὸν πατέρα.
ἔγραψα ὑμῖν, πατέρες, ὅτι ἐγνώκατε τὸν ἀπ' ἀρχῆς.
ἔγραψα ὑμῖν, νεανίσκοι, ὅτι ἰσχυροί ἐστε καὶ ὁ λόγος τοῦ θεοῦ ἐν ὑμῖν μένει καὶ νενικήκατε τὸν πονηρόν.

There are so many things, I don't even know where to begin. I think the most confusing things is how it almost has a parallel structure, but it's off.

1) Are the ὅτι here "because" (which seems the popular choice) or "that"? Either way, I don't quite see the point of what he's saying.

2) Do τεκνία (= παιδία?), πατέρες and νεανίσκοι refer to different people or to the same people but in different functions? In either case, the three labels aren't ordered by age, so why this ordering? I thought that you maybe have τεκνία ~ sins forgiven (~ baptized) >>> πατέρες ~ knowledge of God (~ chrism?) >>> νεανίσκοι ~ victorious over Satan (~ ?) as sort of a progression in faith. But what do the labels mean?

3) Why the switch from γράφω to ἔγραψα? He might be referring to a previous letter but wouldn't the past tense naturally come first? Does ἔγραψα refer then to what he just wrote? That doesn't seem natural either, although I assume letter-writing conventions can vary widely between cultures, so maybe this was natural. Is it just an emphatic quasi-repetition?

4) Is there any significance to the switch from τεκνία ~ sins forgiven to παιδία ~ knowledge of the Father?
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