Bob Nyberg wrote:I have a question about ὅτι in John 15:27.
καὶ ὑμεῖς δὲ μαρτυρεῖτε, ὅτι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς μετ’ ἐμοῦ ἐστε.
Every translation I checked renders ὅτι in this verse as "because" or "for." For example:
And you will testify also, because you have been with Me from the beginning. (NASB)
Is there a reason why most translators prefer "because" rather than "that"?
Context is the reason. Jesus is saying that not only will the spirit of the truth, which proceeds out from the father, testify about him, but that his disciples also testify about him. Thus naturally "from [the] beginning you are with me" becomes the reason for their testimony and not the content of their testimony. Note also that "μαρτυρησει" is future and "μαρτυρειτε" is present, thus it suggests that Jesus is making a distinction, between the spirit of the truth testifying in the future and his disciples testifying at present. If this is so, it is natural that there is some reason that they can testify now, because they have been with him for so long, just as there is some reason the spirit can testify later, because the spirit will proceed from the father.