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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Note (14.) to "DEFinite John 1:1c - DEF"

14.  All Examples of a participial phrase used by John as a subject in an otherwise proper example of a construction parallel to Jn 1:1c:

(1)  Jn 3:29 - "The having the bride bridegroom is" [literal NT Greek]. Here the complete subject is "the having the bride" which must be understood as "the man (or 'person,' 'one,' etc.) having the bride." So the subject here is not a single, unmodified noun (as in Jn 1:1c), but a modifying participial phrase with the actual simple subject ['man,' 'person,' etc.] actually missing and uncertain!

["Bridegroom" in this example is most often translated "the bridegroom." This is probably because of the use of the article with 'bride.' (Notice, though, that 'the tomb' in John 11:38 is 'a cave.' - Cf. 9:24) However, the eminent trinitarian scholar Dr. Alfred Marshall has, instead, translated it literally as "a bridegroom" in his The Zondervan Parallel New Testament in Greek and English, Zondervan Bible Publishers, 1980 (also see the interlinear portion of The Emphatic Diaglott, "a bridegroom"; Young and Rotherham have "is bridegroom"). This is significant because Dr. Marshall does not use the indefinite article ("a") with anarthrous nouns unless he actually considers them indefinite. For example, he inserts "[the]" before "beginning" at Jn 1:1, 2 and before "will" at Jn 1:13 even though they are anarthrous. So when he inserts "a" before "bridegroom" at Jn 3:29, he is saying it should be rendered as an indefinite noun!]

(2) 1 Jn 2:4 - "The saying [participle] that I have known him and not observing [participle] the commandments of him liar is." The participial phrases, then, take the place of a noun (or nouns) as the subject: "The saying that I have known him and not observing his commandments" and has to be understood as "The man [or 'person,' 'one,' etc.] saying 'I know him,' but is not observing his commandments is a liar." The subject is actually missing and is even somewhat uncertain.

(3) 1 Jn 3:15a - "Every the (ho) ['man,' or 'brother,' etc. must be understood] hating [participle] the brother of him murderer is." The participial phrase, then, including an understood noun serves as a subject: "Every the hating his brother"!

I believe John 3:29 may be mistranslated in most Bibles. It seems probable to me that the anarthrous 'bridegroom' here is to be understood as 'a bridegroom.' (However, the effect of an "abbreviated" or "shorthand" subject could also allow for an "abbreviated" predicate noun. That is, since the subject had the noun left out, the predicate noun could have the article left out also. In that case "the bridegroom would be correct, but not because of word order.) The facts that the only other comparable examples in John's writings are properly translated with indefinite predicate nouns ("a liar;" "a murderer") in all Bibles and that the eminent trinitarian NT Greek scholar Dr. Marshall renders "a bridegroom" at Jn 3:29 (as does The Emphatic Diaglott, interlinear section) make this understanding a distinct probability. But, even so, it is not truly comparable to Jn 1:1c and probably should be excluded as a proper example on that ground alone.

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