John 1:4 ὃ γέγονεν ἐν αὐτῷ ζωὴ ἦν,

Roger Thornhill

Well-known member
Roger, what would that mean ? I’m not sold on this yet, but willing to inspect.
I'll go ahead and take a leap. I've not applied it this way before and this may need tweaked. But I cannot turn down a request to elucidate like someone else we know. If I did that you cool rightfully disregard my analysis. :)

Athanasius considered αρχή to be the Father and saw Him as the beginning and I never understood it. I think I might now.

You see, both Jesus and God are called αρχή by John but in a different sense.

God is "the Beginning and the End" in Revelation. Jesus is "the beginning of creation of God" in Revelation just like Proverbs 8:22.
 

The Real John Milton

Well-known member
Like I said, you continue to make a fool of yourself. Keep up the good work!
At least he knows the concept of subject-verb inversion in English sentences. For instance:

(1) Jack and Jill are the problem.

(2) The problem is Jack and Jill.

——

(1) Bill is our representative.

(2) Our representative is Bill.

——-

(1) Life is/was that which came into existence in it/him.

(2) That which came into existence in it/him is/was life.


Most native English speakers do not even have to think twice to intuitively understand that above sentences are saying the same thing.
 

The Real John Milton

Well-known member
Roger,

What is the meaning of “By means of the Beginning was the Word” ?

Are “the Beginning” and “the Word” two separate identities , in this conception?
 

The Real John Milton

Well-known member
Yes, beginning here is a reference to the Father. The Word is His Word.

I’m not sure ἐν is the proper preposition to connote that the Word was by / from the Father . The apostle would have used ἀπό with genitive or even ὑπὸ with genitive.And he would have used the articular ἀρχή. I’m not sure I can go along with your suggestion.
 

The Real John Milton

Well-known member
On another note, I smile when Trinitarian commentators say things like this concerning the meaning of “life” in verse 4:

Life” has here no limitation, and is to be understood in its widest sense; the life of the body, even of organisms which we commonly think of as inanimate, the life of the soul, the life of the spirit; life in the present, so far as there is communion with the eternal source of life; life in the future, when the idea shall be realised and the communion be complete.

Ellicott Commentary.

Yep, I agree.
 

Roger Thornhill

Well-known member
I’m not sure ἐν is the proper preposition to connote that the Word was by / from the Father . The apostle would have used ἀπό with genitive or even ὑπὸ with genitive.And he would have used the articular ἀρχή. I’m not sure I can go along with your suggestion.
I take it as parallel to εν + dative at 1:4.
 

Roger Thornhill

Well-known member
Yes, but in neither verse does εν + dative mean “by means of.” Rather in each the meaning of the preposition is “in,” denoting position/location.
Grammatically it can mean either or even both at the same time.

When God created life in Adam by breathing into him the breath of life the location was in Adam but he was also the crucible or instrument used for the creation.

If a Baker makes a cake in a pan he is also making a cake by means of a pan.

Locative and instrumental go hand and hand.

The time period αρχή might even be considered the instrument as well as the means instead of the Father, contra Athanasius.

Or, αρχή could refer to the crucible where life was created like Adam's body right before life was breathed into it and he became a living soul.
 
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Gryllus Maior

Active member
Grammatically it can mean either or even both at the same time.

When God created life in Adam by breathing into him the breath of life the location was in Adam but he was also the crucible or instrument used for the creation.

If a Baker makes a cake in a pan he is also making a cake by means of a pan.

Locative and instrumental go hand and hand.

The time period αρχή might even be considered the instrument as well as the means instead of the Father, contra Athanasius.
I've been staying out of this "share the ignorance" exchange mainly for time reasons but also because it's absurd. This however, is too much.

No, "grammatically" it cannot mean both. ἐν ἀρχῇ is a simple temporal reference and a clear allusion to Gen 1:1. The "omission" of the definite article is common in such phrases. The rest of what you write is close to pure nonsense. I have no idea exactly what you mean by your Adam example. Adam was not a means of creation but the result of God's creative activity. As for your second example, it's really ambiguous, but could be disambiguated easily both in English and Greek, but it can't be both at the same time, context would really clarify. Between you and Athanasius, I'll take the big A anytime.

I wish you guys would stop hurting yourself like this. But it does prove that for the most part you both can be safely ignored the second you begin quoting the original languages.
 

Roger Thornhill

Well-known member
I've been staying out of this "share the ignorance" exchange mainly for time reasons but also because it's absurd. This however, is too much.

No, "grammatically" it cannot mean both. ἐν ἀρχῇ is a simple temporal reference and a clear allusion to Gen 1:1. The "omission" of the definite article is common in such phrases. The rest of what you write is close to pure nonsense. I have no idea exactly what you mean by your Adam example. Adam was not a means of creation but the result of God's creative activity. As for your second example, it's really ambiguous, but could be disambiguated easily both in English and Greek, but it can't be both at the same time, context would really clarify. Between you and Athanasius, I'll take the big A anytime.

I wish you guys would stop hurting yourself like this. But it does prove that for the most part you both can be safely ignored the second you begin quoting the original languages.
Thanks for your opinion. Did you happen to read how I introduced this speculation?

I said:
I'll go ahead and take a leap. I've not applied it this way before and this may need tweaked.

I'd be interested in any documented reason why a phrase cannot be considered both instrumental and locative.

It's my understanding that John is known for double meanings and that some commentators see a double sense at John 3:3.
 

The Real John Milton

Well-known member
I wish you guys would stop hurting yourself like this. But it does prove that for the most part you both can be safely ignored the second you begin quoting the original languages.
I notice that you did not address the OP question but only Roger’s unique take of John 1:1a (which is off topic ) and with which I disagree after having inspected it, but which you nonetheless misleadingly attribute to both of us.

I counsel you to put your rational hat back on ( I know you are occasionally capable of it) and answer the following on-topic questions:

(A) Is “That which came into existence in it/him was life” an accurate translation of ὃ γέγονεν ἐν αὐτῷ ζωὴ ἦν ?

(B) Does the statement “That which came into existence in it/him was life” mean the same thing as “Life is that which came into existence in it/him” ?
 

John Milton

Well-known member
Thanks for your opinion. Did you happen to read how I introduced this speculation?

I said:
I'll go ahead and take a leap. I've not applied it this way before and this may need tweaked.

I'd be interested in any documented reason why a phrase cannot be considered both instrumental and locative.

It's my understanding that John is known for double meanings and that some commentators see a double sense at John 3:3.
I've told you, my poor fellow, that you can't tell the difference between "facts" and "opinions." You think that by giving the former the latter label it somehow makes it true. It doesn't. Just like you asserting something doesn't mean that it is possible.
 

Roger Thornhill

Well-known member
I've told you, my poor fellow, that you can't tell the difference between "facts" and "opinions." You think that by giving the former the latter label it somehow makes it true. It doesn't. Just like you asserting something doesn't mean that it is possible.
You should try floating something yourself some time, but your responses seem limited to criticism without ever actually exegeting the text yourself and defending a position.

I don't know for sure how to get the Arhanasius view that the Father was the beginning who brought forth the Son except by making αρχή the agent as instrumental dative.

So for me it's worth considering.
 

John Milton

Well-known member
You should try floating something yourself some time, but your responses seem limited to criticism without ever actually exegeting the text yourself and defending a position. I don't know for sure how to get the Arhanasius view that the Father was the beginning who brought forth the Son except by making αρχή the agent as instrumental dative.

So for me it's worth considering.
Oh, poor baby. Don't make stupid claims, and I won't bat them down.
 

Roger Thornhill

Well-known member
.

No, "grammatically" it cannot mean both. ἐν ἀρχῇ is a simple temporal reference and a clear allusion to Gen 1:1.

According to Wallace that depends on whether one advocates the 8 case or 5 case system. His example is exactly what I was proposing at John 1:1b and speculating for 1:1a.

(3) Such a difference in definition can affect, to some degree, one’s hermeneutics. In both systems, with reference to a given noun in a given passage of scripture, only one case will be noted. In the eight-case system, since case is defined as much by function as by form, seeing only one case for a noun usually means seeing only one function. But in the five-case system, since case is defined more by form than by function, the case of a particular word may, on occasion, have more than one function. (A good example of the hermeneutical difference between these two can be seen in Mark 1:8—ejgw© ejbavptisa uJmaçß ud{ ati, aujto©ß de© baptisei u v maJ ß e ç n pneu j mati a v giJ vw/[“I baptized you in water, but he will baptize you in the Holy Spirit”]. Following the eight-case system, one must see u{dati aseither instrumental or locative, but not both. In the five-case system, it is possible to see u{dati as both the means and the sphere in which John carried out his baptism. [Thus, his baptism would have been done both by means of water and in the sphere of water.] The same principle applies to Christ’s baptism ejn pneumati , which addresses some of the theological issues in 1 Cor 12:13).

@John Milton, you said before that it cannot be both. Does Wallace change your view?
 
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