Skip to content

NET clears John 3:16 traditional fog

October 31, 2011

My thoughts about almost universal tradition obscuring the Word in John 3:16 largely confirmed by NET translation.
From: BroJon (BroJonathan) 11/29/2004 8:43 pm | To: BroJon (BroJonathan) (16 of 22) | 21.16 in reply to 21.14
From 21.16: John 3:16 Errors (1 of 3)
It seems to me that there are three errors in the commonly accepted translations of John 3:16.
KJV John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
“For God loved the world in this manner, that He gave the Son, the only Son, -” (the translation I prefer)
The first error is the use of “so” rather than “in this manner”. …
From 21.17: The second error is the inclusion of “his”, rather than simply “the son”. …
From 21.18: The third error is the translation of monogenesis as “only begotten”. …
I later came to prefer a word order close to the Greek: “Thus, loved God, in this manner, the world, that He gave the Son, the only Son …”.
And to prefer a literal translation of the Greek preposition: “that whoever believes into Him …”.
Until recently I have only found support of one of my five suggested changes in one minor translation.
Now I find that the New English Translation (NET) at has three of the five, including the two most important.
3:16 For this is the way 36 God loved the world: He gave his one and only 37 Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish 38 but have eternal life. 39
[NET notes:] 36 tn Or “this is how much”; or “in this way.” The Greek adverb οὕτως (Joutws) can refer (1) to the degree to which God loved the world, that is, to such an extent or so much that he gave his own Son (see R. E. Brown, John [AB], 1:133-34; D. A. Carson, John, 204) or (2) simply to the manner in which God loved the world, i.e., by sending his own son (see R. H. Gundry and R. W. Howell, “The Sense and Syntax of John 3:14-17 with Special Reference to the Use of Οὕτως…ὥστε in John 3:16,” NovT 41 [1999]: 24-39). Though the term more frequently refers to the manner in which something is done (see BDAG 741-42 s.v. οὕτω/οὕτως), the following clause involving ὥστε (Jwste) plus the indicative (which stresses actual, but [usually] unexpected result) emphasizes the greatness of the gift God has given. With this in mind, then, it is likely (3) that John is emphasizing both the degree to which God loved the world as well as the manner in which He chose to express that love. This is in keeping with John’s style of using double entendre or double meaning. Thus, the focus of the Greek construction here is on the nature of God’s love, addressing its mode, intensity, and extent.
37 tn Although this word is often translated “only begotten,” such a translation is misleading, since in English it appears to express a metaphysical relationship. The word in Greek was used of an only child (a son [Luke 7:12, 9:38] or a daughter [Luke 8:42]). It was also used of something unique (only one of its kind) such as the mythological Phoenix (1 Clement 25:2). From here it passes easily to a description of Isaac (Heb 11:17 and Josephus, Ant. 1.13.1 [1.222]) who was not Abraham’s only son, but was one-of-a-kind because he was the child of the promise. Thus the word means “one-of-a-kind” and is reserved for Jesus in the Johannine literature of the NT. While all Christians are children of God (τέκνα θεοῦ, tekna qeou), Jesus is God’s Son in a unique, one-of-a-kind sense. The word is used in this way in all its uses in the Gospel of John (1:14, 1:18, 3:16, and 3:18).
38 tn In John the word ἀπόλλυμι (apollumi) can mean either (1) to be lost (2) to perish or be destroyed, depending on the context.
39 sn The alternatives presented are only two (again, it is typical of Johannine thought for this to be presented in terms of polar opposites): perish or have eternal life.

From → Uncategorized

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: