Discourse considerations in John 3:14-17

Thanks to everyone for the very interesting debate on the meaning of the word of “so” in John 3:16 and the attending discussion of HOUTOS in the Greek. The conversation was a bit of a free-for-all but I learned a lot and appreciate the civil tone on this hot topic! 😉

Now, I’d like to step up a level and look at HOUTOS from a discourse perspective. This is the difference between watching the game from the sidelines and watching it from a blimp flying overhead. I want to hopefully show how all the bits and pieces of this narrative are working together and see if we can recognize any patterns.

I’ve put together a chart of the Greek for John 3:14-17 in order to hopefully help us look more objectively at the structure of this passage. (Please note the Greek font is rough in a few places)

A DISCOURSE CHART OF JOHN 3:14-17 (PDF 47K)

Looking at this chart, I’d like to invite you to comment on the overall structure of the passage. How does seeing the different connecting words like HINA and HOUTOS in a chart like this bring out the cohesive nature of John’s text?

Specifically looking at HOUTOS, I don’t want to know the meaning of the word as much as its function in the discourse. Is the contested instance in verse 16 (line 4 in the chart) used differently from the other instance in line 2?

If you don’t know any, or very much Greek, there is an English interlinear that should help you follow along.

In your comments, please reference the line rather than the verse number.

All the posts in this series:

55 thoughts on “Discourse considerations in John 3:14-17

  1. Mike Sangrey says:

    Very good David. 🙂

    The entry from the LSJ lexicon for ὥστε might prove interesting to the discussion, too. Here is an abbreviated summary. See Perseus for more.

    A. as Adv., bearing the same relation to ὡς as ὅστε to ὅς
    I. Sentences containing various tenses [details give occurrences, but no English definitional information.]
    II. to mark the power or virtue by which one does a thing, as being, inasmuch as
    B. as Conj. to express the actual or intended result of the action in the principal clause
    I. mostly containing. inf., so as or for to do a thing
    II. containing. Indic., to express the actual or possible result with emphasis,
    III., IV., and V. I’ve left off.

    I like your encouragement to look at this text in a discourse way. I think we need to think of how ὥστε fits into the overall flow.

    It seems to me it would be easy to think of the οὕτως clause as a restatement of the main action shown in clause 1 and 2 of your chart. And I bring up ‘easy‘ since I think the result arrived at with the least amount of cognitive processing effort will be the best exegetical choice.

    In other words, here’s a too wordy way of expressing what I’m pondering:
    For it’s in this lifting up way that God loved the world, in as much as God gave his only son.

    One other thought I have about this is that ἠγάπησεν (loved), being aorist is assumed to be past tense in our English language. I think that is why we think this is John speaking as narrator. However, I suggest the aorist is used to carry the narrative forward since it is the unmarked “tense”. That is, the tense really isn’t in focus here. The aorist simply states the action, or perhaps I should say it states the action simply. In English it would be better handled by a present tense.

  2. David Ker says:

    @John, thanks for that link. That’s a pretty powerful chart. I like the way it uses Predicate and Complement (http://www.opentext.org/model/guidelines/clause/0-2.html).

    @Mike, after looking at the chart and going to bed thinking about it I can see better what Iver was talking about with regard to HOSTE. Excellent comment on ἠγάπησεν, by the way.

    Another thing that stands out for me is that although we keep calling HOUTOS an adverb it is acting very much like a conjunction. “Conjunction” might not be the right word but something like “connector” or “thing that signals relationship between clauses.” You see if it were an adverb, you could take it out and the syntax would still hold together. But here if you take it out, the structure falls apart (showing me that HOUTOS and HOSTE are working together).

  3. Iver Larsen says:

    Well, I had no idea that this was a hot topic or that it would result in so much (hOUTWS) debate.

    But I can see why some people are telling me: Don’t confuse the issue with referring to the Greek text. I am tempted to shut up and constrain myself to discussions on the b-Greek, where this issue has also been discussed, see http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/b-greek/2009-December/051612.html and related posts.

    On the other hand, I do believe that some people who read this blog have an interest in studying what the Greek words actually mean.

    Mike has quoted the classical Greek lexicion LSJ, which clearly states that hWSTE with indicative indicates the actual result or possible result with emphasis. I referred to A. T. Robertson (p. 1000) – who knows Greek so much better than any one here – to show that this Classical Greek construction is rare in the NT, but it DOES occur in two place, and John 3:16 is one of them. You will find the same explanation of hWSTE in other dictionaries and grammars.

    hOUTWS is a deictic, comparative adverb. Deictic is a linguistic term used for demonstratives. It means that the word can refer to and compare with something outside the text itself. It does not have to refer to something INSIDE the text, either before or after.

    It is easier and more free-for-all to discuss English translations than what the Greek text means, and most people do exegesis by first translating the Greek words into English, or using an interlinear to give them a gloss, and then do their exegesis based on those English translations. I can see that this is happening with this issue.

    People translate hOUTWS as “in this way” and go from there. They translate hWSTE as “that” and go from there. David did the same in his chart.

    One problem is that the English “that” is much more ambiguous that the Greek hWSTE, which actually means “with the (amazing) result that” – as the dictionaries and grammars say.

    The other problem is that hOUTWS here does not mean “in this way” but “in such a way”. It cannot be cataphoric because of the hWSTE, and it is highly unlikely to be anaphoric because of the context and grammar.

    The “veryrarelystable” person gave a nice example (http://betterbibles.com/share/#comment-19692) from Acts 14:1 where we also have the two crucial Greek words together.

    In this verse NET got it correct (although it loses a bit of the nuance of hWSTE) and said: The same thing happened in Iconium when Paul and Barnabas went into the Jewish synagogue and spoke in such a way that a large group of both Jews and Greeks believed.” NIV has: “There they spoke so effectively that a great number of Jews and Gentiles believed.” RSV has “Now at Iconium they entered together into the Jewish synagogue, and so spoke that a great company believed, both of Jews and of Greeks.” I hope the readers can see that “that” here indicates a (surprising) result of their way of speaking.

    So, IF we base our understanding of John 3:16 on the Greek text rather than English interlinears or misleading translations like the NET we get the meaning more easily and accurately: “For God loved the world in such a way that he gave his…”

    The justification for explicating “so much” to “such a way” is the research by Fedukowski I referred to, where she shows that hWSTE in the NT indicates a surprising and unexpected result (from a normal human standpoint and experience.)

  4. David Ker says:

    Iver, I thank you for your gentle rebuke. The problem arose with me trying to discuss naturalness of “so” and then switching in mid-stride to the function of HOUTOS. That’s why I hope to atone for my sins by backing up and in this post looking at the Greek structure. As I said above, seeing the chart has helped me get a better handle on the connection between HOUTOS and HOSTE.

  5. David Ker says:

    I’ve looked a bit at the discussion you mentioned. It seems that Greek scholars are just as subject to foggy thinking as we are. For example, “What I have so far not seen entering into the discussion is John’s use of hWSTE. Whereas hWSTE was commonly used as a regular result connector in Classical Greek, this has changed in the times of the NT and especially in John.”

    “Especially in John” is really overstating the case since hWSTE (I’ll start using your transliteration forms) only occurs one time.

    I need to spend some time looking at hWSTE. It would be nice if Fedukowski’s article were available online: http://www.ethnologue.com/show_work.asp?id=34663

  6. David Ker says:

    I mentioned in the comment thread on the last post that nailing down a propositional relation of “manner” can be something like trying to prove the existence of irony or sarcasm in speech. That’s part of my reluctance to attribute qualities like “surprising result” to a conjunction like hWSTE (John H is arguing for this as well). I’ve only reviewed Matthew and Mark and they’re all showing RESULT. An occurrence like Mark 2:12 could be called “surprising result” but that seems to have more to do with the semantics of the second clause rather than anything inherent in the propositional relation.

    As an aside let me say I have really limited access to Greek tools at the moment. Essentially I’m having to use Strong’s to bring up a list of occurrences. So please forgive me if I miss something obvious. I’m getting 83 occurrences for hWSTE, is that correct?

  7. Scripture Zealot says:

    Thank you John H for interacting with me on the other thread.

    I think I’m more confused than ever, but maybe not.

    In any case I can have confidence that my new favorite REB might not have gotten it wrong after all. 🙂

    One reason I was convinced that the HCSB got it right was that Mr. Mounce Jr. told Ed Blum that they got John 3:16 right in the HCSB:
    http://xrl.in/6uw1

    I have nothing else to contribute except thank you.

    I will add these posts and the other two posts mentioned to my original post so that people can read further (and see that I’m not as smart as I look).
    Jeff

  8. David Ker says:

    @Jeff, maybe part of the conflict for you is that you’re trying to decide which translation is right and which one is wrong. There are many (many, many, many…) cases in the Bible where either we’re unsure of the exact meaning of a word or passage, or it can have more than one meaning. The Gospel of John is famous for “double meanings.” Another thing to consider is that different translations are made with different purposes. HCSB is correct for the kind of translation it was intended to be. So is NET.

  9. Iver Larsen says:

    David,

    Thanks for reading my post on b-Greek. I accept that we sometimes express ourselves in a way that can be misunderstood, especially in brief comments. What I meant by saying “Whereas hWSTE was commonly used as a regular result connector in Classical
    Greek, this has changed in the times of the NT and especially in John” was clarified in the next sentence that you did not quote: “The normal result connector for John is hINA (which can also have other meanings.) John only uses hWSTE in 3:16.”
    So, what I meant to say in that context was that the normal result connector in Classical Greek is hWSTE, but this has changed in the NT, and especially in John, since his normal result connector is hINA. He only once used hWSTE – but it is still a result connector. And yes, there are 83 instances of hWSTE in the NT, but only one in John. Most are followed by the infinitive, and only two by an indicative, one of which is John 3:16. That is another change from Classical Greek to Koine Greek.

    If you or others are interested in studying the Fedukowski article, I could send it. I agree that it is a pity that so many useful articles published by SIL over the years are not available on the Internet.

    I am wondering why Bill Mounce thinks that the HCSB rendering is correct. Does he give his reasonings anywhere?

  10. John Hobbins says:

    The most important comment on this thread is where David notes that B-Greekers are just as prone to foggy thinking as other Joes.

    You can say that again. For a ton of reasons. Like everyone else, scholars sometimes resemble the farmer who drew bulls-eyes around the arrows he transfixed in the walls of his barn in order to create the illusion that he was a good shot.

    Another reason: we are talking about translation, and translation is an art. It is not a science; beware of those who suggest otherwise.

    We can argue all day about what is the best translation of the Greek in John 3:14-17. But there is no best translation. There are various translations which are suitable if not ideal for specific purposes.

    One thing we can do is to be honest and clear about our purposes.

  11. David Ker says:

    I’d love to receive a copy of Fedukowski’s article. Send me a copy please and I’ll try to summarize for the public. Is she still active in translation?

  12. iverlarsen says:

    David,

    To answer your questions, there is no textual evidence cited in NA 27 for anything but hWSTE. Chrysostom wanted to change it to a hOTI and this would allow hOUTWS to be cataphoric. However, there is no textual evidence for it.

    Would it work with hINA? hINA is extremely common in John with three basic meanings, including result. So why did John use hWSTE rather than hINA? My guess is that he wanted to be clear on the actual (and possibly amazing) result of God’s love: That he gave his one and only Son…

    Had John used hINA, I would have no case left, since hINA can easily introduce a content clause.

  13. David Ker says:

    OK, I’ve started going through the Fedukowski article. She cites Matt. 13:54 as an example of “unexpected result.”

    What about the sentence, “He began teaching them ὥστε they were astonished” (Matt. 13.54: )? ὥστε here is not indicating an ordinary cause-effect relationship. Astonishment is not the expected result of teaching Beekman, Callow, and Kopesec (1981) suggest that in this case ὥστε is implying manner, that is, “he began teaching them (in such a way) that they became astonished”.

    This seems wrong-headed to me. The context is Jesus teaching in the synagogue. They are astonished, true. But the next verse explains why: He is just a hometown boy and the son of a laborer. This seems similar to the example I cited of Mark 2:12 where the “surprise” is signaled by the context itself.

    I’ll post more reactions as I go through the article in more detail. But now I have to run to the library.

  14. John Radcliffe says:

    David,

    I’m sorry to come so late to my own party. My thanks to you for expanding my question into not one but two posts, and to everyone else who has contributed.

    So far I find myself agreeing with anything that Iver has said. I originally questioned the NET/HCSB rendering because it seemed to require hWSTE to have a non-result meaning, for which I could find no examples elsewhere. (Unfortunately, the notes in the NET Bible don’t address this point. I also see that the father-and-son Mounces’ interlinear also has the NET/HCSB rendering – the English simply omits any rendering for hWSTE.)

    My guess as to why John uses hWSTE here is that I take all the hINA clauses in the context (your #3 #6 #9 and #10) as “purpose” clauses (what might otherwise be called “intended result”), so he felt the need of a different word to introduce this “(actual) result” clause.

    Although taking hOUTWS to point back and translating it as something like “in that way” is attractive, I don’t think it works as well in that regard as the previous hOUTWS in v14 (your #2) did (Moses lifted up a snake / God will lift up Jesus), although I’m open to further persuasion.

    So far I’ve read nothing that seems to justify translating hWSTE as a colon (“:”), as though it meant something like “namely”.

    As regards hOUTWS having an “intensive” meaning, David, what do you think of Danker’s examples (Gal 1:6; Heb 12:21; Rev 16:18)?

  15. JKG says:

    It’s great to see John Radcliffe here at his party!

    With apologies to everyone, here’s an attempt to read his insights into my further try at rendering the evangelist’s Greek. Let’s call it the Ker-Radcliffe-Simmons Version, the KRSV (Simmons, because Gary suggested changing my “well” in a previous trial translation to “So then”). What follows the KRSV, in contrast, is the HCSB.

    KRSV

    So then, just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert,
    in this same way the Son of Man has to be lifted up,
    the intentional result being that everyone who believes in him is going to have eternal life.

    In this same way, in fact, God loved the world,
    the actual result being that he gave his Only Son,
    the intentional result being that everyone who believes in him isn’t going to be destroyed,
    but is going to have eternal life.

    HCSB

    Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness,
    so the Son of Man must be lifted up,
    so that everyone who believes in Him will have eternal life.

    For God loved the world in this way [colon]:
    He gave His One and Only Son,
    so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish
    but have eternal life.

  16. JKG says:

    ps – KRSV translator’s notes: 1) So then, I intended to express John Radcliffe’s ideas into explicit phrases of result; and, intentionally, I was not going for any natural or smooth English with those phrases. 2) Yes, John R. didn’t say “intentional” but “intended“; but I wanted something that half-way rhymed with “actual” to emphasize the difference between his “purpose clauses” of “intended result” and “result.” 3) Moreover, although John R. confessed that “‘in that way’ is attractive” but that he didn’t “think it works” in both places in the English paragraph here, I kept the English repetition in because David K. seemed to suggest that he liked my play with his English that way. (And, as a would-be-invisible translator, I confess my own opinion in these notes that the English repetition does serve its meaningful purpose of discourse beyond anything simply attractive.)

  17. David Ker says:

    Welcome, John! I can never resist talking about John 3:16 so it was my pleasure. Forgive my colorful language but I think most Greek grammars are full of hogwash when it comes to identifying the semantic nuances of conjunctions. It’s more alchemy than analysis in my book. I think there’s really only one way to determine what a word means and that is by looking at lots of examples of how it is used. If “dog” is used to refer to four-legged fluffy man’s-best-friends in 98% of occurrences in a corpus, then that’s what it means, i.e. the default meaning or use. But if I say I’ve been working like a dog, or that that girl is a dog, or that my boss is a dirty dog, well then I’ve got all sorts of marked usages that may bleed back into the default usage or might not. Same thing with mundane things like conjunctions. They generally just tell you how to relate two clauses to each other, subordinating, coordinating, etc. Beyond that, again I say: hogwash!

    @JKG, it was mentioned somewhere that GAR could be used to introduce authorial asides (thus the lack of red ink in John 3:16). I like that you’ve made the relations between propositions as explicit as possible since that’s what we’re talking about here. I do admit it has sacrificed the terseness of the original.

  18. iverlarsen says:

    JKG is not the only one to suggest an anaphoric use of hOUTWS in v. 16, but I must admit that it does not make sense to me, and it is not reflected in any published translation as far as I can see. The NET and HCSB assumes a kataphoric reference.

    There is a simple comparison between “just as Moses lifted up” and “in the same way the Son of Man shall be lifted up” in v. 14. But the second “in the same way” has nothing to refer back to or be compared to in the discourse. Are you suggesting that “in the same way as Jesus is to be lifted up, God loved the world”? V. 14 refers to a future event from the time of Jesus speaking. John’s comment in v. 16 is from a different time perspective. He uses past tense, because from the time of writing, the death of Jesus is a past event. I assume here that we agree that v. 16 begins John’s comment and starts a new paragraph, so that there is a break in the discourse. If not, that should probably go to another post.

    This suggestion is so (hOUTWS) complicated that it is unlikely to be correct when there is a simple way of taking the statement that makes perfect sense and is similar to other places like the Acts 14:1 passage where both hOUTWS and hWSTE occur together and where hOUTWS qualifies a verb (he loved/spoke in such a way that… or as RSV puts it: He so spoke/loved that…)

  19. JKG says:

    Are you suggesting that “in the same way as Jesus is to be lifted up, God loved the world”?

    Yes, Iver. This is the suggestion. What shouldn’t be suggested, however, is that the repetitions have to smooth out John’s language. In other words, if he’s first quoting Jesus (albeit in a Greek translation), up through David Ker’s line 3, and then switches to commentary, as David suggests (even with the GAR) in line 4, then John is working with lots of Greek material here. Things are not smooth: in comparison/ contrast, with the old introducing the new. What John Radcliffe suggests is quite likely: that John the evangelist is taking care with different conjunctions to show the contrasts.

    Beyond the NT, there are examples of similar sorts of moves by writers. Plato, for example, in the Protagoras (345d) is doing something very similar to what John is doing, I think. At the BBB Share page, I gave some of the Greek with an English translation, when Plato/Socrates gives the GAR. What I didn’t show was a saying by or quotation of Simonides that Socrates is commenting on. There are parallels between Socrates’ quotation of Simonides and Socrates’ subsequent commentary. The repetitions don’t make for smoothness of speech but rather a show of the difference, of the new ideas introduced.

    In English, don’t writers do similar things all the time when moving from written orality (i.e., a quotation) to a literary comment?

  20. John Hobbins says:

    If “so … that” constructions in contemporary English have the ability to fuse intensity/degree/manner with kataphoric reference – I think they do – it’s possible to tweak NLT ever so slightly at John 3:15-16 to come up with a translation in that sense. Thus:

    As Moses lifted up the bronze snake
    on a pole in the wilderness,
    so the Son of Man must be lifted up,
    so that everyone who believes
    will have eternal life in him.

    For God so loved the world
    that he gave his one and only Son,
    so that everyone who believes in him
    will not perish but have eternal life.

    I would guess that (even) Mike Sangrey will concur: NLT rocks in this passage. It is smooth, a rolling stone.

    However, since I have trouble with simplifying translation technique, to my mind NLT goes off the rails in translating 1 John 4:9-11, whereas ESV (RSV with small improvements) gets it right. Here is ESV:

    In this the love of God was made manifest among us,
    that God sent his only Son into the world,
    so that we might live through him.

    In this is love,
    not that we have loved God
    but that he loved us
    and sent his Son
    to be the propitiation of our sins.

    Beloved, if God so loved us,
    we also ought to love one another.

    Advantages of this paired set include: concision in diction; concordance, such that structural and logical parallels between the parts and across the passages are laid bare; resonance with the larger English Bible translation tradition, and thus with inter-texts scattered throughout English literature, song, and other media.

  21. Rich Rhodes says:

    Moving to a discourse view is the right direction. The construction is:

    οὕτως X, ὥστε Y.
    so (much) X, that Y.

    There are dozens, if not hundreds, of examples in the classical literature (over 600, on the dumb search in Perseus — for οὕτως and ὥστε near one another — and the hit rate for the construction in the fifty or so I looked at was about 1 in 3).

    Demosthenes Speches 2.26

    εἶθ’ οὕτως ἀγνωμόνως ἔχετ’, ὦ ἄνδρες Ἀθηναῖοι, ὥστε δι’ ὧν ἐκ χρηστῶν φαῦλα τὰ πράγματα τῆς πόλεως γέγονεν, διὰ τούτων ἐλπίζετε τῶν αὐτῶν πράξεων ἐκ φαύλων αὐτὰ χρηστὰ γενήσεσθαι;

    And are you so unintelligent, men of Athens, as to hope that the same policy that has brought our state from success to failure will raise us from failure to success?

    Aeschines Speeches 1.84.

    ἀλλ’ οὕτως ἰσχυρόν ἐστιν ἡ ἀλήθεια, ὥστε πάντων ἐπικρατεῖν τῶν ἀνθρωπίνων λογισμῶν

    “but so strong is the truth that it prevails — over all the calculations of men.”

    Epictetus, Discourses 2.23

    εἰκῇ πνεῦμα ἐνεκέρασεν αὐτοῖς οὕτως ἰσχυρὸν καὶ φιλότεχνον, ὥστε μακρὰν ἐξικνούμενον ἀναμάσσεσθαι τοὺς τύπους τῶν ὁρωμένων;

    Is it in vain that he has infused into [eyes] such a strong and active spirit as to be able to represent the forms of distant objects?

    Even in cases where it isn’t immediately obvious (especially with questionable published translations).

    Aristotle Economics 1344a. 1

    ἀλλ’ οὕτως ἐθίζειν ὥστε ἱκανῶς ἔχειν παρόντος καὶ μὴ παρόντος.

    but [a man] should accustom [his wife] to be content whether he is at home or away.

    Better: … but [a man] should so accustom [his wife to things] that she will be content whether he is at home or away.

    All of this points to John’s one time use of ὥστε being due to his use of this construction and nothing about its purported emphatic meaning. And οὕτως here means ‘so much’, not ‘in this way’.

  22. JKG says:

    Rich,
    David Ker’s suggestion that οὕτως is within a quotation (i.e., the red ink letters of Jesus, if you will) and that ὥστε is beyond it (i.e., in the gospel writer’s further commentary in black ink letters). This suggestion argues against John’s employing the “construction… οὕτως X, ὥστε Y.”

    What John is doing may be more like what Paul does when writing to the Corinthians:

    And our hope for you is firm,
    because we know that as you share in the sufferings,
    so [οὕτως] you will share in the comfort.
    For we don’t want you to be unaware, brothers,
    of our affliction that took place in the province of Asia:
    we were completely overwhelmed—beyond our strength
    —so that [ὥστε] we even despaired of life.

    2 Corinthians 1:7-8 (HCSB)

    and below’s a Radcliffean reading:

    And our hope for you is firm,
    because we know that as you share in the sufferings,
    the intentional result being that [οὕτως] you will share in the comfort.
    For we don’t want you to be unaware, brothers,
    of our affliction that took place in the province of Asia:
    we were completely overwhelmed—beyond our strength
    —the actual result being that [ὥστε] we even despaired of life.

    (Yes, I’ve reversed John R.’s emphases here in the paragraph by Paul but am myself trying to emphasize a definite emic contrast between the two particles and not the usual frozen formula you point to; for, after all, as you yourself point out, for John the evangelist, ὥστε is not at all usual.)

  23. Rich Rhodes says:

    Kurk,
    Yes, I understand, but I don’t buy it.

    The constructional analysis accounts for the hapax ὥστε in John. And, as you not doubt know, the οὕτως X, ὥστε Y construction is common enough, especially when the X includes a stative, like ‘love’.

    If it looks like a duck and walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, don’t go looking for reasons to call it an eagle.

  24. David Ker says:

    Well, thanks Rich, for overturning my whole thesis. 🙂 But seeing these examples is pretty compelling. Again it’s calling a duck a duck or a dog a dog based not on dictionaries or grammars but on lots of examples from real texts. Lacking more examples from the New Testament we’re forced to rely on Classical Greek examples which isn’t ideal but also doesn’t invalidate the evidence.

    I need to go play with Perseus for a while…

  25. iverlarsen says:

    Thanks, Rich, for explaining so clearly that one needs to look at hOUTWS and hWSTE together. I assume it is this togetherness that leads you to include the (much) parenthesis after “so”. If that is the case, I agree.

    Any language is in a certain state of flux. It changes over time. In classical Greek hWSTE was the normal and common conjunction indicating result, but it could be used for purpose if followed by a subjunctive, according to LSJ. If followed by an indicative, LSJ says: “II. c. Indic., to express the actual or possible result with emphasis…” In Classical Greek hINA was a consecutive conjunction that normally expressed purpose rather than result.

    This situation has changed at the time of the NT. hINA has taken over much of the usage of hWSTE, so that hINA includes the sense of result. This is particulary noted in John’s gospel, possibly because his writings are later than the others. However, it appears that hWSTE has been retained in those contexts where the result is somewhat unexpected. This would then be a slight difference in usage between Classical and Hellenistic Greek.

    To me, that is the justification for including (much) rather than, say, (little) to supplement hOUTWS. hOUTWS in and by itself basically means “in such a way” or in many contexts “in this way”. So, I believe it is the two together that result in the meaning “in such a big way” or “so much”.

  26. Rich Rhodes says:

    David,
    I don’t think this is just a Classical construction. Notice I included an example from Epictetus (55AD-135AD), which is known to have been written by Arrian. Sure, it’s not basilectal Koine, but it’s Attic in the same time frame as the NT. It may not be ideal, but it’s pretty good. The construction is also attested in Josephus.

  27. Rich Rhodes says:

    Here’s an nice example from Josephus, The Jewish War 6.317-18:

    ταῖς δὲ ἁρπαγαῖς οὕτως ἐνεπλήσθησαν οἱ στρατιῶται πάντες, ὥστε κατὰ τὴν Συρίαν πρὸς ἥμισυ τῆς πάλαι τιμῆς τὸν σταθμὸν τοῦ χρυσίου πιπράσκεσθαι.

    And now all the soldiers had such vast quantities of the spoils which they had gotten by plunder, that in Syria a pound weight of gold was sold for half its former value.

  28. JKG says:

    Gary, It’s all about royalties. 😉

    Rich,
    Yes, I hear the loud quacking but also still see the soaring above. In other words, Greek literature is full of ducks (i.e., “οὕτως X, ὥστε Y construction”). However, it’s also got quite a few eagles as well: there’s the construct of “οὕτως X, ἵνα Y.” And John 3:14-15 has the eagle; while John 3:16 either has a duck or an eagle. (See David Ker’s lines 2 and 3 for the first eagle; see lines 4 and 6 for the second eagle).

    The eagle (“οὕτως X, ἵνα Y”) is also in LXX Genesis 25:22, for starters:

    ἐσκίρτων δὲ τὰ παιδία ἐν αὐτῇ, εἶπεν δέ
    εἰ οὕτως μοι μέλλει γίνεσθαι
    ἵνα τί μοι τοῦτο

    And the babes leaped within her; and she said:
    If it is going be this [same] way to me,
    so then what is this to me?

    It’s in Xenophon “On Hunting” 13.7:

    καίτοι γέγραπταί γε οὕτως,
    ἵνα ὀρθῶς ἔχῃ

    And so [my] writing has been this way,
    in order to have things straight.

    The eagle’s in Plato’s “Crito” 47c, where Socrates says:

    οὐκοῦν καὶ τἆλλα, ὦ Κρίτων, οὕτως,
    ἵνα μὴ πάντα διΐωμεν

    and is not this true, Crito, in this way,
    with the result that we need not everything separately enumerate?

    The common construct “οὕτως X, ἵνα Y” (i.e., the eagle, not the duck) is also in
    Plato’s “Phaedrus” 236.1,
    in “The Gorgias” 510a.1,
    in “The Laws” 720a.3;
    in Aristotle’s “Generation of Animals” 785a.15;
    in Vettius Valens “Astrology” 230.2 and 259.5.

    I stopped looking in the LXX after the example above.

    But in NT-like Koine, first-century Greek no less, it’s also in Chariton’s Kallirhoe: 2.10.4 and 3.2.7 and 5.7.3. Three eagles.

    Let’s just look at the first eagle in Chariton, since with it he also uses the particle ὥστε there in close context:

    “καὶ τίς οὕτως” εἶπεν “ἀνόητος,
    ἵνα <τεκνοκτονίαν ἀντ’ εὐδαιμονίας ἕληται;
    δοκεῖς δέ μοί τι ἀδύνατον καὶ ἄπιστον λέγειν,
    ὥστε σαφέστερον αὐτὸ δήλωσον.”

    “Who in this [same] way,” she said, “is foolish,
    so as to prefer child-murder to good fortune?”
    However, I think what you say is impossible and incredulous,
    the actual result being that [I need you to] explain it [more] clearly.”

    Notice how Chariton does here what John does in John 3:16. He has an eagle with a duck feather nearby. The common discourse features are important, namely the “οὕτως X, ἵνα Y.”

  29. BradK says:

    If I may ask a more elementary question that is a bit off topic, why is there a phi in Μωψσῆς in the link John posted above? Shouldn’t it be an upsilon?

    I assume there is an elementary answer to this, but I am a *very* little Greek.

  30. John Radcliffe says:

    Hi JK,

    I’m afraid I’m not following you with all these birds.

    In your terms, surely what we have in v16 is a duck-eagle hybrid: οὕτως … ὥστε … ἵνα (it can quack, but will also take your eye out if you disrespect it).

    However, I understand the ἵνα (purpose) clause to depend on the ὥστε (result) clause, rather than on the οὕτως (statement) clause (or on the οὕτως … ὥστε combination), as I don’t think John is telling us that God loved the world for a particular reason (just that he did) – i.e. my understanding of the clausal relationship is based on context (meaning) rather than “grammar”. [Please excuse my non-linguistic terminology.]

    Or to put it another way (in an attempt to really confuse people), I take the ἵνα (purpose) clause to be part of the ὥστε (result) clause:

    “οὕτως … ὥστε {… ἵνα …}” rather than “{οὕτως … ὥστε …} ἵνα …”

    So does that mean it’s not really an eagle (οὕτως … ἵνα), but more like a duck that just thinks it’s an eagle?

    But that still doesn’t tell us what kind of bird the οὕτως part is – although I’m inclined to think it’s a big one (“so much”) rather than one that looks behind it (“in the way just mentioned”).
    _______

    I also find it ironic that NET and HCSB both render οὕτως in v14 as “so” (the very rendering they reject in v16), although of course in v14 their “so” = “thus / in that way”, not “so (much)”.

  31. JKG says:

    “οὕτως … ὥστε {… ἵνα …}” rather than “{οὕτως … ὥστε …} ἵνα …”

    So does that mean it’s not really an eagle (οὕτως … ἵνα), but more like a duck that just thinks it’s an eagle?

    John,
    I’m following your analysis above [David’s lines 4 … 5 {… 6 …}] and your question too. But what do you call lines 2 and 3, which seems “really an eagle (οὕτως … ἵνα)”? And do you think the gospel writer is not stressing and promoting the second ἵνα [i.e., “{οὕτως … ὥστε …} ἵνα …”] with the repetition of not just the particle but the entire phrase (albeit paraphrased some)? The KRSV translation attempt was trying to show this a bit.

    Rich,
    In your first comment above, you wrote:

    All of this points to John’s one time use of ὥστε being due to his use of this construction and nothing about its purported emphatic meaning. And οὕτως here means ‘so much’, not ‘in this way’.

    But in a BBB post once upon a time, you wrote something else:

    But … the Greek doesn’t say

    This is how much God loved the world: …

    it says literally

    This is the way God loved the world: …

    or with the information implied in Greek but required for normal English

    This is how God showed that he loved the world: …

    In both comments, are you viewing οὕτως as having an anaphoric function? In the one where you’re critiquing The Message, are you allowing the English colon to render ὥστε, as Petersen does? And since you wrote the first comment, have you changed your mind some?

  32. Mike Sangrey says:

    I’ve been a bit busy. So, let me drop a quick little note and say, Rich, I’m convinced. Thank you.

    I’ll add that since John rarely uses the construction, and generally chooses a similar one, I think we should accept there’s some saliency here in John 3:16.

    Could this be a case of higher register? That is, the “οὕτως X, ὥστε Y” construction being more what we’ve labeled classical and “οὕτως X, ἵνα Y” being more koine? The idea is that the choice of a slightly higher register would be more memorable. I’ve done that sort of thing when I’ve spoken publicly. John’s Greek is “simpler”; could he be “stepping up a notch” here?

  33. Rich Rhodes says:

    Kurk,
    You’re right. I changed my opinion when I figured out the construction.

    Mike,
    You’re on to something. I’ve argued that the NT has registers, and it makes sense that he’d step up his language. There’s a known phenomenon of using “power” language to make a point. I should probably post on this sometime.

  34. David Ker says:

    I’ve been doing carpentry all day so no time for this fun stuff. I do have a draft of.a summing up post.that I hope to publish tomorrow morn.

  35. Rich Rhodes says:

    David,
    (Sorry I answered the later questions first.)
    I’ve been using the Perseus translations — which are almost only dynamic equivalents, interestingly enough.
    In Greek the οὕτως modifies the verb ἐνεπλήσθησαν ‘they were filled full’. So a more literal translation would be ‘The soldiers were filled so full with loot, that …’.

  36. Rich Rhodes says:

    Kurk,

    I’m still wondering about how to talk in this public forum about what a construction is without getting too inside baseball.

    Regarding your proposal that οὕτως X, ἵνα Y is a construction, I’m not convinced.

    Part of what makes a construction a construction is the idiosyncracy (idiomaticity, in many cases) that arises in conjunction with the repeated pattern in forms. In the case of οὕτως X, ὥστε Y, the idiomaticity is in the meaning of the οὕτως, as ‘so (much)’, and the fact that the modificand of the οὕτως must be construable as having a stative reference. In the case of οὕτως X, ἵνα Y, the meanings of οὕτως and ἵνα are just what οὕτως and ἵνα mean elsewhere, and there’s no condition on either the X or the Y.

    I haven’t decided if this part is important or not, but I will note that in the οὕτως X, ὥστε Y construction, the οὕτως refers to the ὥστε clause. In your examples, the οὕτως doesn’t refer to the ἵνα clause.

    Is that clear?

  37. JKG says:

    Mike said, Rich, I’m convinced. Thank you.
    And Rich said, I changed my opinion when I figured out the construction.

    Let me confess how open I am to being convinced, to changing my opinion. However, there’s still for me:

    The meaning of John the evangelist’s paragraph (David Ker’s lines 1 – 7) changes substantially if you take away lines 6-7. But his paragraph can stay intact semantically even if you delete line 5. In other words, to me at least, it seems John is repeating line 6 as a variation on a theme of line 3. And “οὕτως X, ἵνα Y” seems the repeated, cohesive devise. “That the Son of Man must be lifted up” is, thusly, in a strong parallel with “That God so loved the world”; the result of both of these is the same result.

    Here’s the contrast for me (first with line 5 deleted, then with lines 6-7 missing):

    1 “Well, just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert,
    2 [οὕτως] in this same way the Son of Man has to be lifted up,
    3 [ἵνα] so that everyone who believes in him is going to have eternal life.”
    4 [οὕτως] In this same way, in fact, God loved the world,
    6 [ἵνα] so that everyone who believes in him isn’t going to be destroyed,
    7 but is going to have eternal life.

    1 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness,
    2 [οὕτως] so the Son of Man must be lifted up,
    3 [ἵνα] so that everyone who believes in Him will have eternal life.
    4 For God loved the world [οὕτως] in this way 5 [ὥστε, colon]:
    He gave His One and Only Son.

    And now the Greek:

    1 Καὶ καθὼς Μωϋσῆς ὕψωσεν τὸν ὄφιν ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ,
    2 οὕτως ὑψωθῆναι δεῖ τὸν υἱὸν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου·
    3 ἵνα πᾶς ὁ πιστεύων ἐν αὐτῷ ἔχῃ ζωὴν αἰώνιον.
    4 Οὕτως γὰρ ἠγάπησεν ὁ θεὸς τὸν κόσμον,
    5 ὥστε τὸν υἱὸν τὸν μονογενῆ ἔδωκεν, [goes with 4???]
    6 ἵνα πᾶς ὁ πιστεύων εἰς αὐτὸν μὴ ἀπόληται, 7 ἀλλ’ ἔχῃ ζωὴν αἰώνιον.[goes with 4???]

    (The “ὥστε Z” clause –line 5– appears much more parenthetical, much more an interpolation. The only argument to make it prominent is that there is a “οὕτως X, ὥστε Y” common construct in much literature; but for John ὥστε is odd and more than just rare – the little particle is a 1-time thing. If he’s just trying to step it up a notch in register with “οὕτως X, ὥστε Y”, as Mike suggests, then he really lets his readers down by repeating “ἵνα B” but necessarily now without it being a parallel “οὕτως A, ἵνα B” — which directly mirror the clauses of lines 2-3)

  38. JKG says:

    Rich said and asked: In your examples, the οὕτως doesn’t refer to the ἵνα clause. Is that clear?

    Sorry for posting before reading what you wrote, Rich. Yes, I know I’m stretching “construction” by trying to insist the combo I’ve pointed to is as connected as your combo. It’s not so constructed, I agree, when “the οὕτως doesn’t refer to the ἵνα clause.” Nonetheless, I’m also trying to show that the two particles frequently collocate in a semantically related if not some mutually or partially directed referential way. I shouldn’t have used your phrase “construction” without lots of hedging. But we’re blogging here, and I’m also accused of long comments sometimes, which I’m trying to avoid here. Hence, I put up the lines above in parallel fashion to show my problem with your contending that ὥστε is part of the construction you’ve identified elsewhere. Such a construction robs John of making the parallels he seems to want to make. The particle ὥστε looks much more like a marker of parenthetical info. Am I the only one still unpersuaded by the “construction” argument? Or is anyone else more convinced of John’s more direct parallels with οὕτως … ἵνα?

  39. Mike Sangrey says:

    Kurk,

    I think you raise a substantive point–syntactically. However, shed the down feathers and step up to the eagle-semantic level. 🙂 Try to put yourself into the mind of the author. And my intention in saying that is to ask this: how important to this author is the concept of “he gave his one and only son” (τὸν υἱὸν τὸν μονογενῆ ἔδωκεν)?

    That seems to me to be an extremely salient concept. Now, can such a salient concept be parenthetical? That is, can we reasonably expect this author to intend for that concept to be dropped with little or no change in meaning?

  40. Mike Sangrey says:

    One of the things that fascinates me about this discussion is that very little of the paragraph level meaning seems to change by translating one way or the other.

    For example, no matter how one translates οὕτως, one still must conclude there is a “this is just like that” going on. The structure and semantics demand it. This, in fact, is what drove me toward thinking οὕτως should be understood as in this way. I come at things in a big-picture sort of way. However, because of coherency, the big and little, the forest and the trees, both drive toward the middle.

    I’ve often thought that good writing, because of it coherency, is very resilient. One can somewhat perturb the text and still get an accurate result. The exegete has to go after the larger, coherent meaning. He or she can’t be myopic with the word “so” and obtain a clear picture (which is not to say this discussion hasn’t been helpful–it has). The exegete must notice all the little detail, but the details cohere, and the message they cohere to is the thing the reader needs to obtain.

  41. JKG says:

    “Now, can such a salient concept be parenthetical?”

    Well, Mike, I suppose my understanding of parethesis is some broader than what you’re implying. Can’t we see John’s clause as an amplifying, a marked interpolation, an exclaiming? Yes, it’s most salient, syntactically and semantically a highlighting. It’s an interlude, an interruption, a startling disrupting of the general pattern of the discourse. Thus, to say the meaning stays generally the same regardless of the translation seems to me to ignore the skill of the writer and his – perhaps subtle if absolutely stressed – emphases.

  42. Rich Rhodes says:

    Kurk,
    A construction is the conceptual greatgrandchild of what used to be called a tagmeme. It has the property of simultaneously instantiating aspects of form and meaning, where form can be any (or all) of phonological properties, morphological properties, or syntactic properties and meaning can be any or all of reference, implication, or pragmatics.

    Most construction grammarians don’t realize that their theory has roots in Pike’s thinking. One of the big differences is that Pike didn’t have the mathematical tools to tighten his tagmemics down. (He knew he needed them, but could never find them. Ask Ivan Lowe.) It took developments in computer science, namely, unification and inheritance, to provide the mathematical underpinnings that make the theory based on Pike principles work.

    All that is to say, construction is a technical term for a particular kind of linguistic entity, it’s not particularly useful to play with the name.

    (David, sorry to go so far off on a tangent.)

  43. iverlarsen says:

    Mike,

    I agree that the ὥστε clause is very salient and important to John’s purpose. V. 17 also starts with γάρ (GAR), the Greek elaboration discourse particle. And in v. 17 we find repeated that “God sent his son”. John very many times records Jesus as emphasizing that it was God who sent him. Jesus became a human being, and John had the privilege to touch him, to listen to him, to see the signs he did, signs that he was indeed sent from God. That is the basis for believing in him.

    John only uses οὕτως (hOUTWS) once or twice in his first letter. The undisputed reading is in 4:11 as already mentioned. Here it is anaphoric, but it still refers to God’s great love resulting in him sending his own Son, which is stated in the previous verse.

    Whereas οὗτος (hOUTOS) is a demonstrative pronoun/adjective, the corresponding οὕτως (hOUTWS) is a demonstrative adverb. It qualifies an adjective, a verb or a whole clause.

    Both of these can be anaphoric in which case they refer to something already stated in the text and known to the hearer. In fact, most of the time they are anaphoric. When they are not anaphoric, they have a highligting function. They refer to something as yet unstated, and they set up an expectation for what is to come.

    This function of οὗτος is very common in John’s writings, especially 1 John. I’ll just take one example from 4:9-11, quoting from a slightly modified NIV: “This is how God showed his love for us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so (οὕτως) loved us, we also ought to love one another.”

    The first two occurrences of “this” use a form of οὗτος. They function to highlight a coming statement. The highlighted statement is introduced by ὅτι (hoti), translated as “that” or with a colon. The οὕτως in v. 11 is anaphoric and therefore back referential rather than highlighting. This aspect is obscured in NIV, NET and most versions. I am frustrated that so often when I look at several English versions, I cannot find even one of them having a translation that I can just quote and say: Here is what the text means. However, in most cases, the NLT is closest to an accurate and clear representation: “Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other.” The NLT is so much superior to the NIV, REB, NET, ESV etc if you are looking for a clear and almost always accurate translation.

  44. Mike Sangrey says:

    Kurk,

    You write: Can’t we see John’s clause as an amplifying, a marked interpolation, an exclaiming?

    Yes, I think we can. Perhaps I’m misunderstanding you, but if it is a marked interpolation, then we do not have, as you say, his paragraph can stay intact semantically even if you delete line 5. One can’t delete a salient point and keep the unit of communication semantically intact. I understand you to be developing the idea structurally–from the syntax. You’re saying, I think, that structurally, one can delete 5 and structurally, the text still works. Where I’m having a problem is the jump to semantics.

    The structure, as I now see it, is still nice and tidy, though different than the nice and tidy structure I had seen before. Here is the structure, though the English for 4 is a bit awkward. I’ve used the English “so” in two different ways to show by the English what the Greek does[1].
    1 [καθὼς] Just-as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, 2 [οὕτως] so the Son of Man must be lifted up,
    3 [ἵνα] so-that everyone who believes in Him will have eternal life.
    4 For [οὕτως] so loved God the world 5 [ὥστε] that He gave His One and Only Son.
    6 [ἵνα] so-that everyone who believes in him isn’t going to be destroyed, 7 but is going to have eternal life.

    We have a καθὼς –> οὕτως construction as well as an οὕτως –> ὥστε one.

    That is:
    καθὼς –> οὕτως and then ἵνα.
    οὕτως –> ὥστε and then ἵνα.

    A neat and tidy structure with semantics that also work quite nicely.


    [1] Note that this mechanism clearly shows the structure and therefore helps analytically, but it doesn’t necessarily therefore produce clarity for the reader who cognitively processes the text much more normally.

  45. John Radcliffe says:

    JKG, I thought I’d at least try to answer your questions:

    I’m following your analysis above [David’s lines 4 … 5 {… 6 …}] and your question too. But what do you call lines 2 and 3, which seems “really an eagle (οὕτως … ἵνα)”?

    I agree with how you see οὕτως … ἵνα in v14 and 15, but it’s over the connection with v16 and 17 that we differ. There I don’t think we do have a οὕτως … ἵνα construction.

    What I see John doing in v16 and 17 is restating what Jesus said in v14 and 15 in order to give us some background as to why it was (i.e. why God considered it) “necessary” for “the Son of Man” to be lifted up – but he gives us a very important back story: God’s love and its consequential giving of what he held most dear.

    So when you later suggest that the ὥστε is essentially a parenthesis that isn’t essential to the argument or the construction, I’d have to disagree, and for the reason I’ve already given (but probably not made very clear). So let me repeat myself:

    However, I understand the ἵνα (purpose) clause to depend on the ὥστε (result) clause, rather than on the οὕτως (statement) clause (or on the οὕτως … ὥστε combination), as I don’t think John is telling us that God loved the world for a particular reason (just that he did)

    As I see it, if we drop the ὥστε clause we’d have John telling us that the reason God loved the world of people was to save them (or to put it another way, that he loved them in order to save them, which I think is back to front), rather than his saving them being a consequence of his love.

    I hope I made that clearer this time round!

  46. JKG says:

    A construction is the conceptual greatgrandchild of what used to be called a tagmeme.

    Thanks, Rich. The Ken Pike I studied under was not wanting “mathematical underpinnings” for his theory he called Tagmemics and, in fact, would refer to language groups who didn’t have, or need (Pike would stress), numbers or elaborate counting systems or math. He would quote people like the “logician Susanne K. Langer” as admitting: “We are no longer limited to propositions that are simple, obvious, and generally entertained. If we chance upon a fairly complex and even surprising proposition, from which very many simple ones would follow, we are perfectly justified in taking the former as a postulate, and deriving the others from it…. One’s aim in formulating an algebra is always to reach as soon as possible the greatest number of important propositions. Which propositions are ‘important’ depends on the use one makes of the algebra.” Then Pike would say, “Person above logic, above algebra, above formalism, above math.” The above quote is in his Linguistics Concepts, but Pike also worked in Composition Studies and in Rhetoric studies, where he’d paraphrase people like philosopher Nelson Goodman: “what we need is radical relativism within rigid restraints.” Pike struggled with postmodernists’ deconstructionism but math-as-a-construct he was also no big fan of. (I do think Pike might blush at the lineage you’re suggesting he’s fathered. And so please do pardon my reconstruction of the some-corners-of-linguistics’ “‘important’ use” of the term construction.)

  47. JKG says:

    Mike,
    I like your helpful chart. Thank you for asking me to clarify.

    John R.,
    Thank you for clarifying. I see with you, and Mike, there’s a bit of trouble with my idea of deleting anything and still maintaining a more general meaning in the paragraph. More than that, the way you and Mike have outlined the relationships of the clauses seems congruent. I’m not sure how Mike answers your initial two questions asked at the Share page, but aren’t you saying “a colon (“:”) [cannot] be considered an adequate translation of ὥστε” and “οὕτως [could] be looking back to v15”? If so, there’s where we have agreement.

    Nonetheless, I am able to read John as writing something like this, segueing from quoting Jesus, who’s been talking with Nicodemus, mostly in riddles:

    “Well Nic, It’s just like Moses’ lifting up the snake in the desert. This is how the Human Son’s being lifted up has to be, in order for his every believer to have life forever.”

    This is how, in fact, God loved the world (resulting in his having given his Only Child), in order for his every believer not to be destroyed but to have life forever.

  48. John Radcliffe says:

    JK,

    Yes, I’m saying / agree that (1) a colon (“:”) [cannot] be considered an adequate translation of ὥστε” and (2) οὕτως [could] be looking back to v15.

    But while I feel reasonably confident about (1), I’d emphasis the “could” with (2), as I think it’s at least as likely that οὕτως isn’t looking back in v16. Point (1) was the main thrust of my initial question (I just couldn’t see how ὥστε could work that way), and I considered (2) a secondary issue – I can see arguments both ways, and I don’t think either blatantly flies in the face of the linguistic evidence (as I think ὥστε = “:” does).

    As regards the rendering you end with, I still have the “meaning” issue if one deletes the bit in “(…)”. I do NOT think John is saying:

    “This is how, in fact, GOD LOVED the world … IN ORDER FOR his every believer not to be destroyed but to have life forever.”

    In effect John would be saying that God’s love was a means to an end. That’s why I think the “in order that” (ἵνα) clause must depend on the “(with the result) that” (ὥστε) clause, and not (directly) on the “God loved” clause.

    [Now if the Greek text lacked the ὥστε clause, you’d find me suggesting that the ἵνα clause expressed “(possible) result” rather than “purpose” (intended result). But as the ἵνα clause in v15 expresses purpose, and we have an ὥστε clause expressing result immediately before in v16, I don’t think the ἵνα clause here expresses result (and if it did it would destroy any constructional parallelism with v14-15 anyway).]

    So on your understanding of οὕτως I’d slightly amend your rendering to:

    “Well Nic, It’s just like Moses’ lifting up the snake in the desert. This is how the Human Son’s being lifted up has to be, in order for his every believer to have life forever.”

    This is how, in fact, God loved the world, resulting in his-having-given-his-Only-Child-in-order-for-his-every-believer-not-to-be-destroyed-but-to-have-life-forever.

    Make any sense?

    But if I’m right on this point, then perhaps seeing a 3-part οὕτως … (ὥστε … ἵνα) construction here, as against the 2-part οὕτως … ἵνα one in v14 and 15 weakens the parallel, and thus the argument that οὕτως must be doing the same work in each case (or it might just flex the parallelism a bit).

    But I doubt I’m going to convince you!

  49. JKG says:

    ….But I doubt I’m going to convince you!

    Thanks, John. But I’d much prefer if we could be convinced together. You seem very much to be thinking carefully through the possibilities in the Greek. Likewise, I’m very open to what John might mean (even if he himself didn’t at first intend everything we, from our vantage this late, might see).

    You say:

    As regards the rendering you end with, I still have the “meaning” issue if one deletes the bit in “(…)”. I do NOT think John is saying:

    “This is how, in fact, GOD LOVED the world … IN ORDER FOR his every believer not to be destroyed but to have life forever.”

    Let me add that I agree with you here. At first, I presumed it was the deletion notion that was most difficult for you (and also for Mike). Now, however, it seems the direction of my English that’s the trouble. So, why not try this:

    THAT is how, in fact, GOD LOVED the world … IN ORDER FOR his every believer not to be destroyed but to have life forever.

    The THAT (as the οὕτως) looks back. John’s writing by referring back to what Jesus said. Jesus was looking back to what Moses did.

    That is how Humanity Son’s being lifted up has to be, in order for his every believer to have life forever” – said Jesus.

    To which John replies, in parallel – “That’s Right Dear Reader! That is how God [in a hanging like that snake’s, on that pole] loved the world, in order for his every believer to have life forever – loved, not to be destroyed. (And by the way, get this please Dear Reader: he gave his Only Child [gave him up in that sort of hanging].)”

    The reminders of how things went down in the desert with Moses and the snake lifted are implicit, anaphoric references, in the Greek particles. John’s reader is getting some foreshadowing of the cross or past tense reminders of it; all-the-while, we readers get to listen in on Jesus himself making comparisons of past to future, in our present that looks back.

    What John is doing is not any less semantically complex than your his-having-given-his-Only-Child-in-order-for-his-every-believer-not-to-be-destroyed-but-to-have-life-forever. But I think you’d agree that he’s written more eloquently.

  50. Angelica Raymond says:

    A construction is the conceptual greatgrandchild of what used to be called a tagmeme. Thanks, Rich. The Ken Pike I studied under was not wanting “mathematical underpinnings” for his theory he called Tagmemics and, in fact, would refer to language groups who didn’t have, or need (Pike would stress), numbers or elaborate counting systems or math. He would quote people like the “logician Susanne K. Langer” as admitting: “We are no longer limited to propositions that are simple, obvious, and generally entertained. If we chance upon a fairly complex and even surprising proposition, from which very many simple ones would follow, we are perfectly justified in taking the former as a postulate, and deriving the others from it…. One’s aim in formulating an algebra is always to reach as soon as possible the greatest number of important propositions. Which propositions are ‘important’ depends on the use one makes of the algebra.” Then Pike would say, “Person above logic, above algebra, above formalism, above math.” The above quote is in his Linguistics Concepts, but Pike also worked in Composition Studies and in Rhetoric studies, where he’d paraphrase people like philosopher Nelson Goodman: “what we need is radical relativism within rigid restraints.” Pike struggled with postmodernists’ deconstructionism but math-as-a-construct he was also no big fan of. (I do think Pike might blush at the lineage you’re suggesting he’s fathered. And so please do pardon my reconstruction of the some-corners-of-linguistics’ “‘important’ use” of the term construction.)

Comments are closed.