[B-Greek] use of EK in 1 John 4.13 & EN in v16
iver_larsen at sil.org
Mon Feb 24 00:26:18 EST 2003
> Personally, I think that it means "among" in cases
> like this. I don't think it's an individualistic idea,
> but the concept is that God's love is expressed among
> us as a group (humanity or "the saved").
The text was
KAI hHMEIS EGNWKAMEN KAI PEPISTEUKAMEN THN AGAPHN hHN ECEI hO QEOS EN hHMIN
When you say "in cases like this" what do you mean? Do you mean in this kind
of context? I doubt it, since you apparently don't consider the context.
Compare, for instance, 3:1 "the love the Father has given us" which in
context must mean the love the Father has shown towards us. You would find
it helpful to read through the whole of 1 John several times.
Would you translate the sentence above as "and we have experienced and
believe in the love that God has *among* us"?
I forgot to mention another helpful way of determining whether an
interpretation is likely to be correct: Translate the text into meaningful
English (not Biblish - Greekish English).
I cannot see that "among" could make sense in this context. In English, we
would need to say "the love God has for us" or "the love God has shown to
us" or more restructured as in "believe that God loves us".
You are welcome to disagree will all English Bible translations and the
majority of commentators. But if you do, you need some very strong
arguments, more than "I think it means". Your comment about it not being
individualistic is fine, since the text says "we" and "us" rather than "I"
and "me", but it is irrelevant to the question we are looking at, unless you
are trying to decide between "in" and "among" in English as the only
Maybe one of the difficulties is to accept that EN in Greek has many other
meanings than "in" and "among". Look at the list I quoted from L&N or go
through the entry on EN in BDAG. I am reminded of the following footnote in
the NET Bible from a different passage:
"Although EN plus a personal dative does not indicate agency [in this
passage], in collocation with words of perception, EN plus dative personal
nouns are often used to show the recipients."
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