[B-Greek] 1 John 4:2 and 2 John 7

Barry H. nebarry at verizon.net
Mon Dec 27 08:43:45 EST 2010


?
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Leonard Jayawardena" <leonardj at live.com>
To: <b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Monday, December 27, 2010 3:26 AM
Subject: [B-Greek] 1 John 4:2 and 2 John 7


>
> 1 John 4:2: KAI PAN PNEUMA hO hOMOLEGEI IHSOUN CRISTON EN SARKI ELHLUTOTA 
> EK TOU QEOU ESTIN.
>
> 2 John 7: hOTI POLLOI PLANOI EXHLQON EIS TON KOSMON, hOI MH hOMOLOGOUNTES 
> IHSOUN CRISTON ERCOMENON EN SARKI ....
>
> All the translations I have been able to check except Moffat take  IHSOUN 
> CRISTON EN SARKI ELHLUTOTA as the object of hOMOLOGEW in 1 John 4:2 and 
> IHSOUN CRISTON ERCOMENON EN SARKI as the object of hMOLOGEW in 2 John 7, 
> resulting in the following translations:

These are simply indirect statements.

> In commentaries that adopt the above interpretations of these two verses, 
> it is customary to call such denial an error of "docetic Gnosticism." But 
> the actual issue involved is simply the denial on the part of some that 
> Jesus is the  Christ (cf. 1 John 2:22; 5:1); therefore it is best to 
> translate these verses as follows, taking IHSOUN CRISTON in both cases as 
> an object-complement double accusative.

I have trouble with this category understood with participles. 
"Object-complement double accusatives" are normally taken of substantives. 
Do you want to argue here that the particples are used substantively rather 
than as predicates?  There are different ways of conceptualizing, of 
grammaticalizing (neologism?) the syntax at this point, but it pretty much 
amounts to what all the translations have.

> 1 John 4:2: And every spirit that confesses that Jesus is Christ come in 
> the flesh is of God.
>
> 2 John 7: For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who deny 
> that Jesus is Christ coming in the flesh ....

The difference in English between what you have rendered and the KJV above 
is minimal.

> In both verses the idea is that the flesh and blood human being known to 
> the world as Jesus is the Christ.

This strikes me as a theological conclusion that ignores the verbal idea in 
ERCOMAI.

> In John 9:22, we have the same verb hOMOLOGEW used with an 
> object-complement construction: EAN TIS AUTON hOMOLOGHSHi CRISTON--"if any 
> one confessed him [Jesus] to be Christ."

If you examine the 26 uses of hOMOLOGEW in the NT, you'll see it used with a 
variety of constructions, depending on the precise meaning of the word in 
that context.

> Moffat, the only exception I have noted, translates 1 John 4:2 as "every 
> spirit that confesses Jesus as Christ incarnate comes from God."

In the Greek text as it stands, this is not possible, since the participle 
is ELHLUQOTA, masculine singular to agree with CRISTON.  You would need 
ELHLUQOS here.  In NA, the only significant variant listed is the 
infinitive, ELHLUQENAI, which would mean the same thing as     ELHLUQOTA.


> I checked with Wallace and was happy to see that he agrees with me on the 
> translation of the subject verses (see note 41 on p. 188).

With all due respect to Wallace, I don't think that "object complement" is 
the best way of conceptualizing the grammar at these verses.  The variant 
listed above shows that at least one ancient scribe saw the construction as 
equivalent to the accusative-infinitive.  But then again, Wallace sometimes 
does odd things with grammatical categories.

N.E. Barry Hofstetter, semper melius Latine sonat...
Classics and Bible Instructor, TAA
http://www.theamericanacademy.net
(2010 Salvatori Excellence in Education Winner)
V-P of Academic Affairs, TNARS
bhofstetter at tnars.net
http://www.tnars.net

http://my.opera.com/barryhofstetter/blog
http://mysite.verizon.net/nebarry




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