Tuesday, 20 August 2013

JOHN 1:3

All things came into existence through him, and apart from him not even one thing came into existence."

The controversy with this text are the words "through" and "apart from".
Where as the JKV uses the word "by", most others use the word "through" such as TEV, NIV, PME, JB, RSV, and NEV. The Living Bible deviates from these in its rendering. It misses both lots of words. "He created everything there is - nothing exists that he did not make" This makes a very clear statement that everything was made by Jesus and leaves no room for the idea that Jesus could have been made.

The Greek word for "through" is a preposition "denoting a channel of an act". Or, according to my English dictionary, "by means off". That does not indicate equality especially in the context of John.

Instead of the words "apart from", all modern translation that I have looked at say "without". For example " All things were made by him and without him was not any thing made that was made" (KJV).

The use of the words "by" and "without" in the KJV also gives the apparent meaning that all Creation could not have happened unless The Word (Jesus) did it and that everything that exists was made by Jesus. Where as the way the NWT uses "apart from" the reader gets the impression that every thing else was created by (through) Jesus, except for Jesus. JWs use this text (along with several others) to support the idea that Jesus was created.

The use of the English word "without" is quite within the translation oundaries. In English, the word "without" can have two subtly different meanings. It is therefore important to understand which meaning we should assign to the word. We also need to decide if the words "apart from" convey in English a clearer understanding of the original writers intent.

"Without" is also a preposition and, denotes "not having/not with". If some one was to say that they were without medical insurance, this would convey the idea to their listeners that they are no part of the group of people that do have such insurance. This is the way it reads in most Modern Translations one feels that Jesus was "not with", or apart of, the rest of creation.

Also, the word "without" can signify "at a space, i.e. separately or apart from". For example someone on a journey to a different country might say that they are here without their family. This tells the audience that they are part of a group of people that make up a family but at the moment this person is not with them. If we are to take this meaning then this indicates that Jesus (the Word) was used to create everything else after (or separately, apart from) himself. (This idea is consistent with Col.1:15..... )

There is another little problem here that I see. If we are to take the words of John to mean as they appear to do in the JKV, what do the words " All things" signify? Surely it would lead one to conclude that the Father was created by The Word as well, would it not?

What about the context of the Book of John? Does that add any other support to the idea that Jesus was not equal to God and thus support the NWT rendering of John 1:3?

In John 1:6 we are told about John the Baptiser as "a man sent from God".(KJV) I understand that John was a different person to God, he had a message, and God "senthim.

John used similar language in relation to Jesus as noted in the following (KJV)
John 3:17 " For God sent not his Son ....... that the world through him..." (please notice the use of the word through here as well indicating at least two individuals, one superior to the other, the latter doing the work of the superior. (Some translations mentioned above say "sent". NIV, PME, JB, RSV, NEV all say "through")

John 5:19 " The Son can do nothing of himself," indicating that there is a superior person in charge
"the Son does nothing on his own" TEV
"the Son can nothing of his own accord" PME, RSV
"the Son can do nothing by himself"JB, NEB, NIV

John 5:23 "which hath sent him"

John 5:30 "I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgement is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the father which hath sent me.(KJV)

John 6:57 "As the living Father hath sent me..."(KJV)

John 17:3 "...that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent."(KJV)

These readings tell me that John did not view Jesus as being equal to his Father. Therefore, the way that the NWT has translated John 1:3 fits into the context of the chapter but also the Apistle of John From simple plain reading these tell me that they are not equal.

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