Thursday, May 05, 2011

John 3:16

Here is the correct text for John 3:16 which I showed in a mugulated form in a previous post.
οὑτως γαρ ἠγαπησεν ὁ θεος τον κοσμον, ὡστε τον υἱον αὐτο τον μονογενη ἐδωκεν, ἱνα πας ὁ πιστευων εἰς αὐτον μη ἀποληται , ἀλλ' ἐχῃ ζωην αἰωνιον.

οὐτως - in this way
γαρ - for (conceptually this comes first, but in Greek γαρ is not allowed at the start of a sentence - it is 'timid'!)
ἠγαπησεν - he loved Aorist tense
ὀ θεος - the God (in Greek proper names often have the definite article)
τον κοσμον - the world

The text so far - For, in this way, God loved the world

ὡστε - with the result that
τον υἱον - the son
αὐτο - his
τον μονογενη - the only-born (this seems a bit obscure, not too sure of a definite meaning!)
ἐδωκεν - he sent Aorist tense

This part reads - with the result that he sent his son, the only-born

ἱνα - in order that
πας - all
ὁ πιστευων - the one who believes (I don't understand why this is singular - I don't think I fully understand the Greek πας which means all or every). Interesting that πιστευων is a participle and thus has the verb characteristic of aspect. This is in the present tense which implies continuous aspect - so it is the one who believes and continues to believe and does not refer to a once-off belief.
εἰς αὐτον - in him
μη - negative (not)
ἀποληται - passive subjunctive of destroy or lose. So let me translate it 'might not be lost/destroyed'
ἀλλα - but
ἐχῃ - might have (subjunctive)
ζωην - life
αἰωνιον - everlasting.
This last segment is then - in order that every one who has belief in him might not be lost but might have everlasting life.
And the whole text:
For, in this way, God loved the world, with the result that he sent his son, the only-born  in order that every one who has belief in him might not be lost but might have everlasting life.

I'm not sure that my Greek teacher would be 100% happy with this, but I think it is a reasonable translation!


Thomas Scarborough said...

Hah, I translated that in half a second: "Gar so God loved the world that his son gave only Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but to echῃ eternal life" (Google Translate), :-)

Jenny Hillebrand said...

What a good idea - I should try some of my more difficult homework exercises there!

Anonymous said...

Young's Literal Translation, "for God did so love the world, that His Son -- the only begotten -- He gave, that every one who is believing in him may not perish, but may have life age-during."

Jenny Hillebrand said...

Thanks Mark - I've always taken the 'so' to mean 'so much', not 'in this way'. I am realising how much of Bible translation rests in a good understanding of the language spoken by its readers. (As well as a good understanding of the Greek of course!)