Constructio ad Sensum in the prologue of John

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Re: Constructio ad Sensum in the prologue of John

Postby Mike Baber » December 9th, 2012, 8:42 pm

John Brainard wrote:In John 1:5 φαινει is present tense therefore it seems to include a present idea. Also κατελαβεν seems to suggest a present apprehension or understanding from a present revelation.

I am not sure that I agree with John Milton's position on this.

Is φαινει a timeless present? I do not think so. I believes that there is a close association between verse 5 and verse9-10.

To note, Barnes says that κατελαβεν in v. 5 should not be translated with the sense of "understand, comprehend" because it is not in the middle voice. Rather, it has a sense similar to its other Johannine usage in John 12:35, thus meaning "darkness did not overcome the light and eclipse it."
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Re: Constructio ad Sensum in the prologue of John

Postby Mike Baber » December 11th, 2012, 5:45 pm

I'd also like to respond to John Milton.

It seems to be his assertion that the author of the Gospel did not see the λόγος and/ or φῶς prior to vv. 9-10 as "personal," hence the usage of the neuter pronoun αὐτὸ ("it") in v. 5 ("And, the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it").

Then, in v. 10, we see the author definitely using a masculine pronoun, viz. αὐτὸν ("He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world did not know him").

However, I'd like to bring Milton's attention to vv. 6-8:

6 There was a man sent from God. His name was Yochanan. 7 This [man] came for a testimony so that he may testify about the light, so that everyone may believe by him. 8 That [man] was not the light, but [he came] so that he may testify about the light.


In v. 8, the author states, «οὐκ ἦν ἐκεῖνος τὸ φῶς» ("that [man] (or "he") was not the light").

Now, if indeed the author believed that neither the λόγος nor the φῶς were personal prior to vv. 9-10, why then did the author need to tell us that οὐκ ἦν ἐκεῖνος τὸ φῶς? ἐκεῖνος is referring to John, a person. Why would the author tell his audience that a particular man (John) was not the φῶς if indeed no person at all was the φῶς prior to vv. 9-10?

Does anyone agree with this observation?
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