[B-Greek] 1Jn 5:13 hOTI ZWHN ECETE AIWNION syntax
Carl W. Conrad
cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Thu Jun 1 12:03:33 EDT 2006
On Jun 1, 2006, at 10:21 AM, Oun Kwon wrote:
> 1Jn 5:13
> TAUTA EGRAYA hUMIN
> hINA EIDHTE hOTI ZWHN ECETE AIWNION
> TOIS PISTEUOUSIN
> EIS TO ONOMA TOU hUIOU TOU QEOU
> ZWHN and AIWNION are separated by the verb. Is it the way Gk
> writes? Is it
> possible to write hOTI ZWHN AIWNION ECETE or hOTI ECETE ZWHN AIWNION?
> Can I see ZWHN in the text is emphatic because it is in the front
> Can hOTI clause be understood as 'that life you have (is) eternal'
> than a plain expression 'that you have eternal life'?
There's certainly nothing problematic about the AIWNION separated by
the verb ECETE from the noun ZWHN. It's possible that ZWHN is
emphatic in fronted position, but I rather doubt it. I'd say that
AIWNION has something of the force of an adjectival clause here: "so
that you may realize that you have life that is everlasting ... "
What I, for my part, find far more puzzling is the positioning of the
participial phrase TOIS PISTEUOUSIN ... TOU QEOU. Certainly it's
intelligible and must be construced with the hUMIN -- but it's almost
as if the participial phrase is intended to be explanatory of the
proposition hOTI ZWHN ECETE AIWNION: "I write this to you so that you
may realize that you have life that is everlasting, inasmuch as you
put trust in the Son of God." It is an adjectival/substantival
clause, but it seems to have more of an adverbial force; if that's
the case, it would at least help to explain the word order.
On the other hand, the placement of that participial phrase is
reminiscent of one in the Johannine prologue (Jn 1:12): hOSOI DE
ELABON AUTON, EDWKEN AUTOIS EXOUSIAN TEKNA QEOU GENESQAI, TOIS
PISTEUOUSIN EIS TO ONOMA AUTOU.
I'm wondering whether 1 Jn 5:13 may be intended to echo Jn 1:12.
I might just add that there are two or three places in chapter 5 of 1
John where I find the syntax troublesome or questionable. While there
doesn't seem to be much reason to question the tradition of the MSS,
the Greek seems extraordinary here and there in this chapter. But on
the other hand, that reaction may be just result from my own
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)
1989 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad2 at mac.com
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