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1 John 1:9

Context
1:9 But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous, 1  forgiving 2  us our sins and cleansing 3  us from all unrighteousness.

Colossians 1:13-14

Context
1:13 He delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of the Son he loves, 4  1:14 in whom we have redemption, 5  the forgiveness of sins.

1 John 2:12

Context
Words of Reassurance

2:12 I am writing to you, 6  little children, that 7  your sins have been forgiven because of his 8  name.

Hebrews 9:14

Context
9:14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our 9  consciences from dead works to worship the living God.

1 tn Or “just.”

2 tn The ἵνα (Jina) followed by the subjunctive is here equivalent to the infinitive of result, an “ecbatic” or consecutive use of ἵνα according to BDAG 477 s.v. 3 where 1 John 1:9 is listed as a specific example. The translation with participles (“forgiving, …cleansing”) conveys this idea of result.

3 tn Or “purifying.”

4 tn Here αὐτοῦ (autou) has been translated as a subjective genitive (“he loves”).

5 tc διὰ τοῦ αἵματος αὐτοῦ (dia tou {aimato" autou, “through his blood”) is read at this juncture by several minuscule mss (614 630 1505 2464 al) as well as a few, mostly secondary, versional and patristic witnesses. But the reading was prompted by the parallel in Eph 1:7 where the wording is solid. If these words had been in the original of Colossians, why would scribes omit them here but not in Eph 1:7? Further, the testimony on behalf of the shorter reading is quite overwhelming: {א A B C D F G Ψ 075 0150 6 33 1739 1881 Ï latt co as well as several other versions and fathers}. The conviction that “through his blood” is not authentic in Col 1:14 is as strong as the conviction that these words are authentic in Eph 1:7.

6 sn I am writing to you. The author appears to have been concerned that some of his readers, at least, would accept the claims of the opponents as voiced in 1:6, 8, and 10. The counterclaims the author has made in 1:7, 9, and 2:1 seem intended to strengthen the readers and reassure them (among other things) that their sins are forgiven. Further assurances of their position here is in keeping with such a theme, and indeed, the topic of reassurance runs throughout the entire letter (see the purpose statement in 5:13). Finally, in such a context the warning which follows in 2:15-17 is not out of place because the author is dealing with a community that is discouraged by the controversy which has arisen within it and that is in need of exhortation.

7 tn The ὅτι (Joti) that follows all six occurrences of γράφω/ἔγραψα (grafw/egraya) in 2:12-14 can be understood as introducing either (1) a causal clause or (2) a content clause (if content, it could be said to introduce a direct object clause or an indirect discourse clause). Many interpreters have favored a causal translation, so that in each of the six cases what follows the ὅτι gives the reason why the author is writing to the recipients. Usage in similar constructions is not decisive because only one other instance of γράφω followed by ὅτι occurs in 1 John (2:21), and that context is just as ambiguous as this one. On other occasions γράφω does tend to be followed by a noun or pronoun functioning as direct object. This might argue for the content usage here, but it could also be argued that the direct object in the six instances in these verses is understood, namely, the content of the entire letter itself. Thus the following ὅτι clause could still be causal. Grammatical considerations aside, these uses of ὅτι are more likely introducing content clauses here rather than causal clauses because such a meaning better fits the context. If the uses of ὅτι are understood as causal, it is difficult to see why the author immediately gives a warning in the section that follows about loving the world. The confidence he has expressed in his readers (if the ὅτι clauses are understood as causal) would appear to be ill-founded if he is so concerned about their relationship to the world as 2:15-17 seems to indicate. On the other hand, understanding the ὅτι clauses as content clauses fits very well the context of reassurance which runs throughout the letter.

8 tn “His” probably refers to Jesus Christ. Note the last reference was to Jesus in 2:8 and before that in 2:6; also the mention of sins being forgiven suggests Jesus’ work on the cross.

9 tc The reading adopted by the translation is attested by many authorities (A D* K P 365 1739* al). But many others (א D2 0278 33 1739c 1881 Ï lat sa) read “your” instead of “our.” The diversity of evidence makes this a difficult case to decide from external evidence alone. The first and second person pronouns differ by only one letter in Greek, as in English, also making this problem difficult to decide based on internal evidence and transcriptional probability. In the context, the author’s description of sacrificial activities seems to invite the reader to compare his own possible participation in OT liturgy as over against the completed work of Christ, so the second person pronoun “your” might make more sense. On the other hand, TCGNT 599 argues that “our” is preferable because the author of Hebrews uses direct address (i.e., the second person) only in the hortatory sections. What is more, the author seems to prefer the first person in explanatory remarks or when giving the logical grounds for an assertion (cf. Heb 4:15; 7:14). It is hard to reach a definitive conclusion in this case, but the data lean slightly in favor of the first person pronoun.



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