[B-Greek] Beginning question: 1 John 4:2/3

Carl Conrad cwconrad2 at mac.com
Tue Nov 18 19:36:49 EST 2008

On Nov 18, 2008, at 6:13 PM, si wrote:

> Hi,
> I hope this question isn't too basic for this list (it looks like it  
> may be
> compared to some archives, so please forgive that).
> Basically I'm stuck on some grammar.  In 1 John 4:2 there is this:
> I can see how that would generally be translated, "Every spirit which
> confesses Jesus Christ as having come in the flesh is from God."
> My question is why couldn't that read "Every spirit which confesses  
> Jesus
> Christ as having come in the flesh from God, is."

That would be the existential usage of ESTIN, "exists"; one might want  
to ask whether other spirits that don't confess JX do not also exist.  
In fact EK TOU QEOU ESTIN is the predicate of the main clause: "is  
from God" or "derives from God."
> I realise word order doesn't have that same function as it does in  
> English.
> I think just the fact that the "is" was at the end of the sentence  
> made me
> ask the question.
> Would attaching the second proposition, the EK one, to Jesus Christ,  
> as in
> my second reading (as opposed to it being the second half the a  
> prediacate
> proposition) be valid grammatically?  If not, how would you render  
> that
> second reading if you wanted to say it in Greek?

The EK cannot be attached to IHSOUN CRISTON because EK is always used  
with a genitive case form (which usually follows directly upon EK),  
whereas IHSOUN CRISTON is accusative.

> Thanks
> Si

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Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

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