Simple Question for Gryllus

The Real John Milton

Well-known member
Is ἥτις in 1 John 1:1 someone (namely "the pre-incarnate Jesus") or something ?

καὶ ἡ ζωὴ ἐφανερώθη, καὶ ἑωράκαμεν καὶ μαρτυροῦμεν καὶ ἀπαγγέλλομεν ὑμῖν τὴν ζωὴν τὴν αἰώνιον, ἥτις ἦν πρὸς τὸν Πατέρα καὶ ἐφανερώθη ἡμῖν,
 

The Real John Milton

Well-known member
It's no one.

You're wrong. It's referring to τὴν ζωὴν τὴν αἰώνιον immediately preceding it. So it has to be something or someone.


It's relative pronoun referring back to τὴν ζωὴν τὴν αἰώνιον.

No kidding. Who or what is τὴν ζωὴν τὴν αἰώνιον in 1 John 1:2. Ref.

καὶ ἡ ζωὴ ἐφανερώθη, καὶ ἑωράκαμεν καὶ μαρτυροῦμεν καὶ ἀπαγγέλλομεν ὑμῖν τὴν ζωὴν τὴν αἰώνιον ἥτις ἦν πρὸς τὸν πατέρα καὶ ἐφανερώθη ἡμῖν,
 

The Real John Milton

Well-known member
ἥτις ἦν πρὸς τὸν Πατέρα means the same thing as τὴν ζωὴν τὴν αἰώνιον ἦν πρὸς τὸν Πατέρα

So when I ask who or what ἥτις is in 1 John 1:2 I'm asking who or what τὴν ζωὴν τὴν αἰώνιον is . Only someone up to no good will try to obfuscate over this clear and straightforward question.
 

The Real John Milton

Well-known member
By the way, when I wrote τὴν ζωὴν τὴν αἰώνιον ἦν πρὸς τὸν Πατέρα in an earlier post I of course meant ἡ ζωή ἡ αἰώνιος ἦν πρὸς τὸν Πατέρα. I used the accusative form because that's how it appears in the text, to facilitate for easy identification by the readers.
 

Gryllus Maior

Active member
ἥτις ἦν πρὸς τὸν Πατέρα means the same thing as τὴν ζωὴν τὴν αἰώνιον ἦν πρὸς τὸν Πατέρα

So when I ask who or what ἥτις is in 1 John 1:2 I'm asking who or what τὴν ζωὴν τὴν αἰώνιον is . Only someone up to no good will try to obfuscate over this clear and straightforward question.
Yep, that's me, always up to no good. At any rate, its simply a metaphor for Christ himself, as the context makes abundantly clear.
 

Gryllus Maior

Active member
By the way, when I wrote τὴν ζωὴν τὴν αἰώνιον ἦν πρὸς τὸν Πατέρα in an earlier post I of course meant ἡ ζωή ἡ αἰώνιος ἦν πρὸς τὸν Πατέρα. I used the accusative form because that's how it appears in the text, to facilitate for easy identification by the readers.
The normal convention is that if you are discussing a particular phrase in the context in which the author wrote it, you use the form as it appears in the text. If you are discussing it more broadly, than throw it back into the lexical form.
 

The Real John Milton

Well-known member
Yep, that's me, always up to no good. At any rate, its simply a metaphor for Christ himself, as the context makes abundantly clear.

More precisely, what you mean by that is that it is a metaphor for Logos before it became flesh, i.e. the Logos which was with God in the beginning. True or False ?
 

The Real John Milton

Well-known member
Here is Meyer's NT Commentary:


πρὸς τὸν πατέρα] comp. Gospel of John 1:1 : πρὸς τὸν Θεόν. The preposition πρός is often combined with the accusative in the N. T. in the sense of “with:” comp. Matthew 13:56; Matthew 26:55; but πρός with the accusative differs from πρός with the dative in this, that it describes being with one another not as a mere being beside one another, but as a living connection, a being in intercourse with one another (so also Braune); but we put too much into it, if we find the relationship of love directly expressed by πρός.[42] John does not mean to bring out that the ΖΩΉ (Christ) was connected with the Father in love, but that Christ already was, before He appeared (ἐφανερώθη); before He was ἘΝ Τῷ ΚΌΣΜῼ with men, He was therefore in heaven with God, and indeed in lively union with God as He afterwards entered into a lively communion with men. Quite erroneously, Socin, Grotius, and others understand the expression of the concealment of the ΖΩῊ ΑἸΏΝ. in the decree of God.

Gryllus, why can't you agree with your fellow Trinitarians that πρὸς τὸν πατέρα in 1 John 1:2 and πρὸς τὸν Θεόν John 1:1b are saying the same thing ?
 

Roger Thornhill

Well-known member
Here is Meyer's NT Commentary:




Gryllus, why can't you agree with your fellow Trinitarians that πρὸς τὸν πατέρα in 1 John 1:2 and πρὸς τὸν Θεόν John 1:1b are saying the same thing ?

it has been my feeling all along that you and @Gryllus Maior may disagree with "in company with" at John 1:1 for different reasons.

In the BDAG entry τινα is a person, someone. But he sees τον θεον as some sort of general concept of the OT God without limiting it to a particular person.

The reason is, how can the pre-incarnate (Trinitarian term, not mine) Word be in literal presence with the Trinity or a general concept in which he also participates.

I cannot say for sure or be accused of misrepresentation as he has not articulated this yet.
 

The Real John Milton

Well-known member
it has been my feeling all along that you and @Gryllus Maior may disagree with "in company with" at John 1:1 for different reasons.

In the BDAG entry τινα is a person, someone. But he sees τον θεον as some sort of general concept of the OT God without limiting it to a particular person.

The reason is, how can the pre-incarnate (Trinitarian term, not mine) Word be in literal presence with the Trinity or a general concept in which he also participates.

I cannot say for sure or be accused of misrepresentation as he has not articulated this yet.

More pressingly, how can he deny that the Logos was with the Father (preferring a so-called "undifferentiated sense" to τον θεον in John 1:1b) when the apostle's own commentary at 1 John 1:2 specifically mitigates against such an understanding, and asserts clearly that the Logos was with the Father, and not with "God" in general in the apparently so-called "unspecific sense" without distinction apparently to the "persons" ?
 

Roger Thornhill

Well-known member
More pressingly, how can he deny that the Logos was with the Father (preferring a so-called "undifferentiated sense" to τον θεον in John 1:1b) when the apostle's own commentary at 1 John 1:2 specifically mitigates against such an understanding, and asserts clearly that the Logos was with the Father, and not with "God" in general in the apparently so-called "unspecific sense" without distinction apparently to the "persons" ?

I don't know. BTW, I have just added some references and reorganize my John 1:1 paper.

If you read it, could you provide feedback on coherence and readability?

I don't expect you to agree with any theological implications.
 

The Real John Milton

Well-known member
I don't know. BTW, I have just added some references and reorganize my John 1:1 paper.

If you read it, could you provide feedback on coherence and readability?

I don't expect you to agree with any theological implications.

Hi Roger, congratulations on a well written and researched article. Two points:

(1) I do not agree with you that και "depicts three sequential states that lead to or are subsequent to one another." For instance , in what sense can the idea presented in clause b possibly be said to be antecedent to the one in clause c in time ? It seems to me that each of the και's at John 1:1 function primarily to link three different ideas in order of importance. The author first wanted to tell his readers that in the ["a"] beginning was the Word, then to reveal to us that this Word was with the Father and finally to tell us that this Word was a divine something (you would say someone). Three thoughts arranged in order of priority, according to the author's thinking.

(2) As for the other point, you give it too much significance. It is not a serious notion at all. Gryllus is, as far as I can tell, the only "apologist" who really argues for the position that the only reason for the anarthrous θεος at John 1:1c is to distinguish it from the subject. No one who knows biblical Koine grammar well could possibly argue for such a thing. For starters there are S-PN constructions where both substantives are articular. Such constructions should not exist if Gryllus's rule was really true. The fact that we have to determine the S from the PN from the context in some constructions (like where both substantives are articular) proves that context is the gold standard in determining S from PN in all such constructions. Also if one substantive is anarthrous (but articular) and the other definite the same holds true, that is, context determines the S. And finally, the real reason why most S-PN constructions have one anarthrous substantive is NOT because the anarthrous substantive serves to distinguish the PN from the S, but because most S-PN constructions have one indefinite substantive, and indefinite substantives cannot be the S when paired with definite or articular substantives..
 
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Roger Thornhill

Well-known member
Hi Roger, congratulations on a well written and researched article. Two points:

(1) I do not agree with you that και "depicts three sequential states that lead to or are subsequent to one another." For instance , in what sense can the idea presented in clause b possibly be said to be antecedent to the one in clause c in time ? It seems to me that each of the και's at John 1:1 function primarily to link three different ideas in order of importance. The author first wanted to tell his readers that in the ["a"] beginning was the Word, then to reveal to us that this Word was with the Father and finally to tell us that this Word was a divine something (you would say someone). Three thoughts arranged in order of priority, according to the author's thinking.

(2) As for the other point, you give it too much significance. It is not a serious notion at all. Gryllus is, as far as I can tell, the only "apologist" who really argues for the position that the only reason for the anarthrous θεος at John 1:1c is to distinguish it from the subject. No one who knows biblical Koine grammar well could possibly argue for such a thing. For starters there are S-PN constructions where both substantives are articular. Such constructions should not exist if Gryllus's rule was really true. The fact that we have to determine the S from the PN from the context in some constructions (like where both substantives are articular) proves that context is the gold standard in determining S from PN in all such constructions. Also if one substantive is anarthrous (but articular) and the other definite the same holds true, that is, context determines the S. And finally, the real reason why most S-PN constructions have one anarthrous substantive is NOT because the anarthrous substantive serves to distinguish the PN from the S, but because most S-PN constructions have one indefinite substantive, and indefinite substantives cannot be the S when paired with definite or articular substantives..

Thank you for the feedback. I don't argue that the three clauses must be sequential temporally but that the grammar allows it.

As for the reason for the anarthrous noun Wallace makes this point in his grammar and so perhaps my experience is influenced by those who quote his grammar. But you are correct in that the other reason given is to prevent modalism. I will check and adjust my wording.

At this point in my research I do agree that whether the three ideas are added without temporal sequence (or with) comes from ones view of the context.

Athanasius who I cited from a comment in the ANF did view it as such. I believe Origen said something about the Word attracting divinity to himself by being with God.

As for 1:1, Athanasius saw it as the Word being "in" the Father as an eternal property and then becoming a person with God. This is called the two-stage generation of the Son and he was not the only ECF who believed it.

You appear to hold a similar view with a different time frame (J 1:14).

I can agree with Athanasius except for his view of time. He escaped having a created Word by saying it happened before time was created which is rhetorical nonsense.
 

The Real John Milton

Well-known member
As for the reason for the anarthrous noun Wallace makes this point in his grammar and so perhaps my experience is influenced by those who quote his grammar. But you are correct in that the other reason given is to prevent modalism. I will check and adjust my wording......
I can agree with Athanasius except for his view of time. He escaped having a created Word by saying it happened before time was created which is rhetorical nonsense.

Yes. On another note, I just realized that I made an error in the following sentence from my last post:

. Also if one substantive is anarthrous (but articular) and the other definite the same holds true, that is, context determines the S.

I meant to actually write the following:

. Also if one substantive is anarthrous (but definite) and the other articular the same holds true, that is, context determines the S.
 

Gryllus Maior

Active member
More precisely, what you mean by that is that it is a metaphor for Logos before it became flesh, i.e. the Logos which was with God in the beginning. True or False ?
Well, I meant Christ. Notice the verbs used in verse 1. Of course, what John says is perfectly compatible with his view of the pre-existent Logos in John 1.
 

Gryllus Maior

Active member
More pressingly, how can he deny that the Logos was with the Father (preferring a so-called "undifferentiated sense" to τον θεον in John 1:1b) when the apostle's own commentary at 1 John 1:2 specifically mitigates against such an understanding, and asserts clearly that the Logos was with the Father, and not with "God" in general in the apparently so-called "unspecific sense" without distinction apparently to the "persons" ?
He can do so for the reason stated elsewhere, that it's a different context and that 1 John is not doing quite the same thing as John 1. Similar and a lot of overlap, but not quite the same thing. Of course, as John develops his discourse at from John 1, the distinction in person between the Father and the Son becomes evident.
 

Gryllus Maior

Active member
Here is Meyer's NT Commentary:




Gryllus, why can't you agree with your fellow Trinitarians that πρὸς τὸν πατέρα in 1 John 1:2 and πρὸς τὸν Θεόν John 1:1b are saying the same thing ?
I don't remember saying that they didn't mean the same thing. I said that John was doing something different in 1 John, but that refers to his overall strategy in writing, not the meanings of individual phrases or words.
 

The Real John Milton

Well-known member
I don't remember saying that they didn't mean the same thing.
Didn’t you say that τὸν θεον in John 1:1b is not τὸν πατέρα?

Are you admitting that πρὸς τὸν πατέρα in 1 John 1:2 means the same thing as πρὸς τὸν θεον in John 1:1b ?

I said that John was doing something different in 1 John, but that refers to his overall strategy in writing, not the meanings of individual phrases or words.
I’m only talking about the two phrases ..πρὸς τὸν πατέρα in 1 John 1:2 and ..πρὸς τὸν θεον in John 1:1b. In other words ἥτις (ἡ ζωή ἡ αἰώνιος) ἦν πρὸς τὸν Πατέρα in 1 John 1:2 is a rephrasing /paraphrasing of John 1:1b. True or False?
 
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