[B-Greek] 1 John 4:2 and 2 John 7
leonardj at live.com
Fri Dec 31 07:55:06 EST 2010
I made an inadvertent error towards the last part of my reply, which is reproduced below with the correction incorporated. I have also taken the opportunity to make a few additional comments.
> > You can see from this that TON IHSOUN must have been the original reading that
> > gave rise to the others. As the NET Bible note I reproduced in my last post
> > says, "The author's failure to repeat ... [CRISTON EN SARKI ELHLUQOTA] in the
> > negative repetition in 4:3a actually suggests that the stress is on Jesus as
> > the confession the opponents could not or would not take." The shorter reading
> > TON IHSOUN does not make any sense in 4:3 if 4:2 is understood as saying that
> > "Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh, is of
> > God," which is why some scribes felt it necessary to add the words EN SARKI
> > ELHLUQOTA to make 4:3 harmonise with their (erroneous) understanding of 4:2,
> > with some wishing to further "improve" upon it by adding ELHLUQENAI, not
> > content with just EN SARKI ELHLUQOTA. It must have been these same "culprits"
> > who introduced ELHLUQENAI in 4:2 in the first place. One can imagine a time
> > when docetism became a concern for these scribes, who saw in 4:2, as
> > traditionally translated, an effective scriptural counter to that heresy.
> IL: I could not find such a NET note at 4:3.
LJ: You may have "overshot" here. The note is only "The author's failure to repeat ... [CRISTON EN SARKI ELHLUQOTA] in the negative repetition in 4:3a actually suggests that the stress is on Jesus as the confession the opponents could not or would not take," the material following being my own writing.
>It is not "the author's failure to
LJ: Yes, the words "the author's failure to repeat" are somewhat unfortunate. The "author's omission of the words ..." would have been better.
>It is simply a common Greek ellipsis.
>Let us look again at the text here:
> ἐν τούτῳ γινώσκετε τὸ πνεῦμα τοῦ θεοῦ· πᾶν πνεῦμα ὃ ὁμολογεῖ Ἰησοῦν Χριστὸν ἐν
> σαρκὶ ἐληλυθότα ἐκ τοῦ θεοῦ ἐστιν, 3 καὶ πᾶν πνεῦμα ὃ μὴ ὁμολογεῖ τὸν Ἰησοῦν ἐκ
> τοῦ θεοῦ οὐκ ἔστιν·
> EN TOUTWi GINWSKETE TO PNEUMA TOU QEOU: PAN PNEUMA hO hOMOLOGEI IHSOUN CRISTON
> EN SARKI ELHLUQOTA EK TOU QEOU ESTIN, KAI PAN PNEUMA hO MH hOMOLOGEI TON IHSOUN
> EK TOU QEOU OUK ESTIN.
> The first sentence has the full statement: "Every spirit who acknowledges that
> Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God." It would be bad Greek to repeat
> everything in the next statement. The contrast is between every spirit who does
> A and every spirit who does not do A. For the second A, the author could have
> simply said TOUTO, but he chose to be more specific and repeat Jesus. That the
> rest is left unstated to be supplied from context does not tell you anything
> about the intended meaning of verse 2. I have no problem with accepting the UBS
> text as original, since it has the best mss support and makes perfect sense in
> context, once you understand how the Greek language employs ellipsis: Every
> spirit who does not acknowledge Jesus (in this way/as I have just said/as a
> human being of flesh and blood) is not of God.
> Iver Larsen
LJ: I don't know what you mean by a "common Greek ellipsis." Perhaps you could explain with an example or two and show us how what you say applies to the present case.
TOUTO certainly would have helped your case, but not TON IHSOUN, the original reading. How hOMOLEGEI TON IHSOUN can be an ellipsis for "confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh" only you can understand. To "confess Jesus" most naturally means to confess Jesus in some capacity or office, i.e., as the Messiah, not that "Jesus Christ came in the flesh." Compare this with 2:23, hO hOMOLOGWN TON hUION (see below for my comment).
Perhaps an illustration with a few English sentences might help us here. We can say that "The UN has recognized Alassane Ouattara as the legitimate president of Sierra Leone. The African Union, too, has recognized Quattara." However, if the first sentence was something like "The UN has recognized that Alassane Quattara is exempt from complying with international law" (a ridiculous sentence of course), then the second sentence cannot be in the form "The African Union, too, has recognized Alassan Quattara." With words like "confess," "recognize," ellipsis is possible only if the office of the person concerned is in view. Similarly, "to confess Jesus" can only mean, in the context of John and indeed the rest of the NT, to confess Jesus to be what he claimed to be, the Messiah. It can never be an ellipsis for "Jesus Christ has come in the flesh."
I hope that John 2:22-23 helps you see that "to confess Jesus" means to "confess that Jesus is the Christ," though the word involved in that passage is "son" rather than "Jesus."
TIS ESTIN hO YEUSTHS EI MH hO ARNOUMENOS hOTI IHSOUS OUK ESTIN hO CRISTOS; hOUTOS ESTIN hO ANTICRISTOS, hO ARNOUMENOS TON PATERA KAI TON hUION. PAS hO ARNOUMENOS TON hUION OUDE TON PATERA ECEI. hO hOMOLWN TON hUION KAI TON PATERA ECEI.
One who denies that Jesus is the son of God does not have the father too. This is because the father was in Jesus (and vice versa). Note that, as the preceding context shows, to deny "the son" here means to deny that Jesus is the Christ. Conversely, to confess "the son" is to confess that Jesus is the Christ.
Finally, I mentioned in my last post that 1 John 4:3 speaks of "the spirit of Antichrist," not "the spirit of docetism." The expression "Antichrist" first occurs in this epistle in 2:22 and it is significant that the context there is the denial of Jesus as the Christ.
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