study a NT book

Are you learning Koine Greek, the Greek of the New Testament and most other post-classical Greek texts? Whatever your level, use this forum to discuss all things Koine, Biblical or otherwise, including grammar, textbook talk, difficult passages, and more.
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jaihare
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Re: study a NT book

Post by 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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Re: study a NT book

Post by 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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Re: study a NT book

Post by 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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Re: study a NT book

Post by 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.

GTM

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Re: study a NT book

Post by 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

Post by 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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Re: study a NT book

Post by 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?

GTM

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Re: study a NT book

Post by 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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Re: study a NT book

Post by 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

Post by 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.

GTM

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