Pronoun demands a referent 1 John 1

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Pronoun demands a referent 1 John 1

Postby John Brainard » February 4th, 2013, 6:20 pm

In 1 John 1 we see the Neuter Pronouns. The first is Is nominative and the next 3 are accusative.

Identifying the referent is the next thought in my study.

How does one identify the referent in 1 John 1:1-4.

1 ἦν ἀπ' ἀρχῆς, ἀκηκόαμεν, ἑωράκαμεν τοῖς ὀφθαλμοῖς ἡμῶν, ἐθεασάμεθα καὶ αἱ χεῖρες ἡμῶν ἐψηλάφησαν περὶ τοῦ λόγου τῆς ζωῆς

2καὶ ἡ ζωὴ ἐφανερώθη, καὶ ἑωράκαμεν καὶ μαρτυροῦμεν καὶ ἀπαγγέλλομεν ὑμῖν τὴν ζωὴν τὴν αἰώνιον ἥτις ἦν πρὸς τὸν πατέρα καὶ ἐφανερώθη ἡμῖν

3ὃ— ἑωράκαμεν καὶ ἀκηκόαμεν, ἀπαγγέλλομεν καὶ ὑμῖν, ἵνα καὶ ὑμεῖς κοινωνίαν ἔχητε μεθ' ἡμῶν. καὶ ἡ κοινωνία δὲ ἡ ἡμετέρα μετὰ τοῦ πατρὸς καὶ μετὰ τοῦ υἱοῦ αὐτοῦ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ.

4καὶ ταῦτα γράφομεν ἡμεῖς, ἵνα ἡ χαρὰ ἡμῶν ᾖ πεπληρωμένη.

Would the referent be τοῦ λόγου τῆς ζωῆς or would it be something else?

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Re: Pronoun demands a referent 1 John 1

Postby GlennDean » February 5th, 2013, 12:28 am

The referent (antecedant) of ὅ (which is neuter pronoun) can't be τοῦ λόγου (which is masc noun), since the antecedant of a pronoun must match in number-gender
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Re: Pronoun demands a referent 1 John 1

Postby David Lim » February 5th, 2013, 2:21 am

GlennDean wrote:The referent (antecedant) of ὅ (which is neuter pronoun) can't be τοῦ λόγου (which is masc noun), since the antecedant of a pronoun must match in number-gender

That's not true. As many have pointed out in previous forum posts, the neuter article (as here) and the neuter pronoun can be used to refer to anything, especially if it is "logically" neuter (such as a group of things or something not defined yet).

John Brainard wrote:Would the referent be τοῦ λόγου τῆς ζωῆς or would it be something else?

However, I would say that the referent is grammatically not the "λογου της ζωης" in verse 1, but rather the "ζωη" in verse 2, which was "from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen ...", which "was manifested, and we have seen and we testify and announce to you".
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Re: Pronoun demands a referent 1 John 1

Postby John Brainard » February 5th, 2013, 9:12 am

David Lim

However, I would say that the referent is grammatically not the "λογου της ζωης" in verse 1, but rather the "ζωη" in verse 2, which was "from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen ...", which "was manifested, and we have seen and we testify and announce to you".


What if λογου της ζωης was understood as a genitive apposition? "The Word which is Life"

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Re: Pronoun demands a referent 1 John 1

Postby Stephen Carlson » February 5th, 2013, 11:02 am

John Brainard wrote:Would the referent be τοῦ λόγου τῆς ζωῆς or would it be something else?


Relative pronouns without an apparent antecedent can be understood to suppress a demonstrative. Think of it these ὅ as equivalent to τοῦτο ὅ, "that which."
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Re: Pronoun demands a referent 1 John 1

Postby Stephen Carlson » February 5th, 2013, 11:04 am

David Lim wrote:
GlennDean wrote:The referent (antecedant) of ὅ (which is neuter pronoun) can't be τοῦ λόγου (which is masc noun), since the antecedant of a pronoun must match in number-gender

That's not true. As many have pointed out in previous forum posts, the neuter article (as here) and the neuter pronoun can be used to refer to anything, especially if it is "logically" neuter (such as a group of things or something not defined yet).


ὅ is not a neuter article. It is a relative pronoun. Accentuation is your friend.

Stephen
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Re: Pronoun demands a referent 1 John 1

Postby David Lim » February 6th, 2013, 12:28 am

Stephen Carlson wrote:
David Lim wrote:
GlennDean wrote:The referent (antecedant) of ὅ (which is neuter pronoun) can't be τοῦ λόγου (which is masc noun), since the antecedant of a pronoun must match in number-gender

That's not true. As many have pointed out in previous forum posts, the neuter article (as here) and the neuter pronoun can be used to refer to anything, especially if it is "logically" neuter (such as a group of things or something not defined yet).


ὅ is not a neuter article. It is a relative pronoun. Accentuation is your friend.

Stephen

Oops sorry I said "the neuter article and ..." instead of "the neuter article and the relative pronoun". I meant to refer to all neuter references.
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Re: Pronoun demands a referent 1 John 1

Postby Alan Patterson » February 6th, 2013, 7:21 am

John, I think your instincts are correct.

1ὃ ἦν ἀπ' ἀρχῆς, ὃ ἀκηκόαμεν, ὃ ἑωράκαμεν τοῖς ὀφθαλμοῖς ἡμῶν, ὃ ἐθεασάμεθα καὶ αἱ χεῖρες ἡμῶν ἐψηλάφησαν περὶ τοῦ λόγου τῆς ζωῆς
2καὶ ἡ ζωὴ ἐφανερώθη, καὶ ἑωράκαμεν καὶ μαρτυροῦμεν καὶ ἀπαγγέλλομεν ὑμῖν τὴν ζωὴν τὴν αἰώνιον ἥτις ἦν πρὸς τὸν πατέρα καὶ ἐφανερώθη ἡμῖν
3ὃ— ἑωράκαμεν καὶ ἀκηκόαμεν, ἀπαγγέλλομεν καὶ ὑμῖν, ἵνα καὶ ὑμεῖς κοινωνίαν ἔχητε μεθ' ἡμῶν. καὶ ἡ κοινωνία δὲ ἡ ἡμετέρα μετὰ τοῦ πατρὸς καὶ μετὰ τοῦ υἱοῦ αὐτοῦ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ.

ὃ functions as a conceptual (it references the topic to be discussed, the big picture) antecedent or "postcedent," as here. Indeed, it could be cogently argued that it refers to περὶ τοῦ λόγου τῆς ζωῆς. And the subsequent verses expand upon this concept.


1 ὃ ... περὶ τοῦ λόγου τῆς ζωῆς (topic under discussion, this is the main idea in focus)
2 καὶ ἡ ζωὴ ἐφανερώθη... (already stated in vs 1 ... ὃ ἑωράκαμεν τοῖς ὀφθαλμοῖς ἡμῶν)
3 ὃ— ἑωράκαμεν καὶ ἀκηκόαμεν (already stated in vs 1 ... ὃ ἦν ἀπ' ἀρχῆς, ὃ ἀκηκόαμεν, ὃ ἑωράκαμεν τοῖς ὀφθαλμοῖς ἡμῶν...)

I would suggest you consider περὶ τοῦ λόγου τῆς ζωῆς as the topic under discussion, the referent to ὃ.
χαρις υμιν και ειρηνη,
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Re: Pronoun demands a referent 1 John 1

Postby Stephen Carlson » February 6th, 2013, 11:52 am

Alan Patterson wrote:ὃ functions as a conceptual (it references the topic to be discussed, the big picture) antecedent or "postcedent," as here. Indeed, it could be cogently argued that it refers to περὶ τοῦ λόγου τῆς ζωῆς. And the subsequent verses expand upon this concept.


I agree that we can consider what the conceptual referent of ὅ is. But a referent is an entity that's part of the common ground shared between the speaker and listener--not a linguistic expression. Nobody actually heard, saw, beheld or touched the prepositional phrase, περὶ τοῦ λόγου τῆς ζωῆς. Rather, they heard, saw, beheld, and touched some entity. So, instead of saying that ὅ refers to a particular linguistic expression, why not just state what entity it refers to (presumably characterized as the Word of Life or, equivalently, Jesus Christ)?
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Re: Pronoun demands a referent 1 John 1

Postby Alan Patterson » March 7th, 2013, 7:10 pm

I agree that we can consider what the conceptual referent of ὅ is. But a referent is an entity that's part of the common ground shared between the speaker and listener--not a linguistic expression. Nobody actually heard, saw, beheld or touched the prepositional phrase, περὶ τοῦ λόγου τῆς ζωῆς . Rather, they heard, saw, beheld, and touched some entity. So, instead of saying that ὅ refers to a particular linguistic expression, why not just state what entity it refers to (presumably characterized as the Word of Life or, equivalently, Jesus Christ)?


Stephen, I contend that the Topic/Concept/Subject at hand is περὶ τοῦ λόγου τῆς ζωῆς, concerning/with reference to the word of life. And, as you suggested, the Word of Life or, equivalently, Jesus Christ. The clue is in the antecedent neuter relative pronouns. John is not referencing Jesus Christ directly, a person, an entity, rather he is describing characteristics with reference to Jesus Christ.

Finally, you wrote:

Rather, they heard, saw, beheld, and touched some entity


I agree as long as you include τῆς ζωῆς, which John does in the following verses.

Thank you always for challenging me. It is good.
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