1 John 5:20 and the Granville Sharp Rule

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Rob Campanaro
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1 John 5:20 and the Granville Sharp Rule

Post by Rob Campanaro » February 27th, 2019, 3:50 pm

1 John 5:20 reads:

οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ ἀληθινὸς θεὸς καὶ ζωὴ αἰώνιος

Is this not a valid Granville Sharp construction? The reason I ask is that in an article "Sharp Redivivus? - A Reexamination of the Granville Sharp Rule”, Danial Wallace provides a complete list of every GS construction in the New Testament in which 1 John 5:20 does not appear. While it’s true that θεὸς and ζωὴ have modifiers, this doesn’t seem to disqualify a number of other passages. Here are a few in which either one or both substantives are modified in some way and yet conform to the rule:

Mark 6:3 ὁ υἱὸς τῆς Μαρίας καὶ ἀδελφὸς ᾿Ιακώβου

John 20:17 τὸν πατέρα μου καὶ πατέρα ὑμῶν καὶ θεόν μου καὶ θεὸν ὑμῶν

Ephesians 6:21 and Colossians 4:7 ὁ ἀγαπητὸς ἀδελφὸς καὶ πιστὸς διάκονος

2 Corithians 1:3 ὁ πατὴρ τῶν οἰκτιρμῶν καὶ θεὸς πάσης παρακλήσεως

1 Tim 6:15 ὁ βασιλεὺς τῶν βασιλευόντων καὶ κύριος τῶν κυριευόντων

Additional passages can be cited but I think these should suffice. Based on the above citations, it seems to me that 1 John 5:20 is a valid GS construction. Am I overlooking something?

Many thanks!
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Robert Campanaro
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Stephen Carlson
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Re: 1 John 5:20 and the Granville Sharp Rule

Post by Stephen Carlson » February 27th, 2019, 6:09 pm

Rob Campanaro wrote:
February 27th, 2019, 3:50 pm
Based on the above citations, it seems to me that 1 John 5:20 is a valid GS construction. Am I overlooking something?
IIRC, Wallace requires both noun to denote a person, but in 1 John 5:20 the second noun is ζωή "life."
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Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
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MAubrey
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Re: 1 John 5:20 and the Granville Sharp Rule

Post by MAubrey » February 27th, 2019, 8:57 pm

Stephen Carlson wrote:
February 27th, 2019, 6:09 pm
Rob Campanaro wrote:
February 27th, 2019, 3:50 pm
Based on the above citations, it seems to me that 1 John 5:20 is a valid GS construction. Am I overlooking something?
IIRC, Wallace requires both noun to denote a person, but in 1 John 5:20 the second noun is ζωή "life."
Since it's a predicating construction, ζωή would have a person has a referent.
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Stephen Carlson
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Re: 1 John 5:20 and the Granville Sharp Rule

Post by Stephen Carlson » February 27th, 2019, 11:04 pm

MAubrey wrote:
February 27th, 2019, 8:57 pm
Stephen Carlson wrote:
February 27th, 2019, 6:09 pm
Rob Campanaro wrote:
February 27th, 2019, 3:50 pm
Based on the above citations, it seems to me that 1 John 5:20 is a valid GS construction. Am I overlooking something?
IIRC, Wallace requires both noun to denote a person, but in 1 John 5:20 the second noun is ζωή "life."
Since it's a predicating construction, ζωή would have a person has a referent.
Is that how Wallace reasons?
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Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
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Daniel Semler
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Re: 1 John 5:20 and the Granville Sharp Rule

Post by Daniel Semler » February 28th, 2019, 3:04 am

Wallace has written a lot on this and allied constructions. His grammar (Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics) has some 20 pages on them. He has written other things besides. I've only read the grammar on this, and not all of it. In his grammar he favours a very strict definition of GS. As a consequence he excludes things others include. In GGBB he states that his reading of Sharp's original work leads him to the conclusion it should be tightly scoped, though he concedes the rule itself isn't so strictly worded. Others dispute him on this it seems.

On the 'person' thing. Wallace in GGBB (I've not read his other stuff on this) he says the nouns must be 'personal nouns' (and clarifies in a footnote that he takes noun to mean substantive adjective, substantive participle or noun, as Sharp does). He does not define this term - personal noun. Nor really do any of my other grammars. It seems it's taken for granted what that might mean. Would 'life' qualify ?

There is a lot of material from Wallace to read if you want to try to figure out why he excludes this one from his list. And I don't know if he says anywhere. The alternative would be to go back Sharp and see what you think. google books has a scan.

Thx
D
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Rob Campanaro
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Re: 1 John 5:20 and the Granville Sharp Rule

Post by Rob Campanaro » February 28th, 2019, 12:31 pm

Thank you to everyone for your input. Further research reveals that the exact number of GS constructions in the New Testament is not universally agreed upon. In his grammar, Wallace indicates this in a footnote* citing the inclusion of impersonal nouns as a factor. It may be the case that at the end of the day, the issue must be left to the individual grammarian to decide. As for me, if I understand MAubrey correctly, I'm in agreement with him. Since ζωή has a personal referent, it should be taken as personal and the passage admitted. But I'm always open to correction.

Thank you again.

* "This number is disputed by some, either due to textual variants, inclusion of impersonal nouns and/or plural nouns, or a different interpretation on certain participles..." [Danial Wallace GGBB p. 276]
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Robert Campanaro
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Stephen Carlson
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Re: 1 John 5:20 and the Granville Sharp Rule

Post by Stephen Carlson » February 28th, 2019, 4:01 pm

Now that I've had the opportunity to consult Wallace's 2009 book on the Granville-Sharp construction, it turns out that he has an entire chapter on 1 John 5:20, which concludes as follows:
Wallace 2009:277 wrote:In conclusion, 1 John 5:20 apparently contains a legitimate TSKS construction. This construction conforms both to the requirements of Sharp’s rule and evidently has the same semantic force, viz., referential identity. Further, it seems that the antecedent of οὗτος is Ἰησοῦ Χριστῷ. Our conclusion is, then, that 1 John ends with an affirmation of Jesus Christ as the true God and eternal life. Nevertheless, in light of the scarcity of syntactical parallels to 1 John 5:20, this conclusion is much more tentative than the conclusion for Titus 2:13 or 2 Pet 1:1.
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Rob Campanaro
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Re: 1 John 5:20 and the Granville Sharp Rule

Post by Rob Campanaro » February 28th, 2019, 4:47 pm

Excellent! Thank you, Steven. I was almost certain that ζωή should be taken as a personal noun given its referent. I'm curious as to why Wallace omitted the passage from the list in his article. Perhaps it was a simple oversight as I suggested earlier. And if I'm not transgressing forum policy, I would just add that I believe his conclusion is correct in regards to the antecedent of οὗτος, not on the basis of syntax but rather the inclusio 5:20 forms with 1:2.

Best regards.
Last edited by Rob Campanaro on February 28th, 2019, 5:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Robert Campanaro
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Re: 1 John 5:20 and the Granville Sharp Rule

Post by MAubrey » February 28th, 2019, 5:00 pm

Stephen Carlson wrote:
February 27th, 2019, 11:04 pm
MAubrey wrote:
February 27th, 2019, 8:57 pm
Stephen Carlson wrote:
February 27th, 2019, 6:09 pm

IIRC, Wallace requires both noun to denote a person, but in 1 John 5:20 the second noun is ζωή "life."
Since it's a predicating construction, ζωή would have a person has a referent.
Is that how Wallace reasons?
I can't remember. I haven't looked at the book in at least five years. It's how I would reason though.

Since you've now looked at it, does he talk about referentiality or...?
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Mike Aubrey, Linguist
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Stephen Carlson
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Re: 1 John 5:20 and the Granville Sharp Rule

Post by Stephen Carlson » February 28th, 2019, 5:13 pm

MAubrey wrote:
February 28th, 2019, 5:00 pm
Since you've now looked at it, does he talk about referentiality or...?
He does, kind of. He's a lot more interested in the effect of the adjective, which was a surprise to me.
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Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia

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