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

Oun Kwon kwonbbl at gmail.com
Wed Dec 29 23:04:02 EST 2010

Thanks for Leonard. This text has vexed me quite a while - the way it
usually read (as if docetism was the problem they faced in the first
century) didn't ring at all. When I had a chance to come across NET fn
before, I have settled it. So naturally I  got surprised that we have strong
voices of the contrary opinion!

See below for comments to Iver's posting.

Oun Kwon

On Wed, Dec 29, 2010 at 8:21 AM, Iver Larsen <iver_larsen at sil.org> wrote:

Of NET fn options,

> (3) does not fit the context of 1 John. Chapter 4 talks about evaluating
> false
> teaching. None of the intended audience would be duped if someone claimed
> that
> Jesus was not the Christ. Those who say that are the non-Christians, and
> they
> are clearly liars (2:22). Every Christian knew and would confess that
> was
> both the Messiah and the Son of God (4:15 and 5:5). The Christians only
> needed
> to "test the spirit" if it was not obviously false what the person was
> saying.
> The idea that Christ somehow entered the man Jesus after his birth and
> before his death, was promoted by certain false teachers within the
> John
> counters this idea in 4:2, 2 John 7, but also in 5:6 where the phrase
> through water" refers to his physical birth as a human being. The phrase
> "through blood" refers to his death as a real human being of flesh and
> blood.
> The false teachers would say that this was not the Christ, only the man
> Jesus.

OJK: Sounds great Iver. But hold for a moment. Exactly what kind spirit John
was warning against? That it should be the spirit of docetism is only a
scholars' conjecture.  Doesn't John say explicitly RIGHT HERE in 4:3b that
it's the spirit of anti-Messiah he was dealing with? Admittedly, docetism as
such is considered to be anti-Messiah but it's a tiny part of it. On the
other hand, the text which is read as if it's about docetism makes it
totally irrelevant for the readers like us here and now.

As for the 1Jn 5:6, I don't think it should be read as an anti-docetic
rhetoric, but an explanatory statement of who the Messiah is. Why, just in
the preceding verse, John does write that 'Jesus is the Son of God' - this
means none other than 'Jesus is the Messiah' - the recurrent theme in this
epistle (1Jn 2:22; 5:1; 2Jn 7).  For me, I can not read anything out of this
5:5 to show John meant it to be a waring against docetism.

> Concerning (2), NET comments: "option (2) makes “Jesus Christ” the name of
> the
> preincarnate second Person of the Trinity, and this would be the only
> in
> the Johannine literature where such a designation for the preincarnate
> (Logos) occurs".
> That kind of comment makes no sense to me. The text does not talk about
> preincarnate Jesus, but Jesus Christ as he has already come into this
> The
> participle is a perfect participle.

OJK: I agree on this one. NET seems to have made a goof here.

> IL: I could not find such a NET note at 4:3. It is not "the author's
> to
> repeat". It is simply a common Greek ellipsis. Let us look again at the
> here:

OJK: I agree on this. The presence of different mss would not sway one way
or the other.

> Iver Larsen

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