John 1.3

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at
Mon Jul 19 11:57:09 EDT 1999

At 3:06 PM +0100 7/19/99, Pete Phillips wrote:
>OK, don't let this be the start of all out orthodoxical warfare nor the
>definitive argument on Christology nor the basis to rant about HJ
>I was just wondering about the Greek of John 1.3 and especially the role
>LSJ and Louw-Nida point to DIA being instrumental - 'through him/it' but
>Louw-Nida seem to suggest that in other places there is an element of
>agency with DIA so that it would = hYPO.
>GINESQAI - usually means something coming into being - i.e. used for
>process phrases whereas EINAI is used for stasis phrases.  Would you
>agree?  That would mean either 'happened' or 'came into being' - because
>the previous verses have set the paradigmatic/intertextual context to be
>the Hebrew creation narrative - therefore PANTA EGENETO = "everything was
>created" in most commentaries but Lamarche/Ashton = "everything that has
>happened (in history ever since, and so including, creation)".
>OK - any comments?

(1) I would understand DI' AUTOU as of "mediate" agency (rather than as
instrumental, which I think would better be expressed with an instrumental
dative or with DIA + accusative--just as in the Hokhma/Sophia tradition of
God's Wisdom being that whereby He creates.
(2) I would understand EGENETO of "coming into being", but, for my part, I
think every phrase here is loaded with (deliberate) wide-ranging ambivalent
applicability--so that I wouldn't rule out the OT conception of history as
the efficacy of the DABAR-YHWH. Yet there is still another (i.e. AT LEAST
one other) alternative way of reading the GENESIS sequence of the Johannine
Prologue: that the coming-into-being effected by the LOGOS that is the
author's central concern is the rebirth/regeneration of those who are to
believe through Him (DI' AUTOU).

I mention this last notion strictly as a way of interpreting the Greek
phrase DI' AUTOU EGENETO--NOT as an invitation to theological discussion on

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
Summer: 1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad at

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