Internet Verse Search Commentaries Word Analysis ITL - draft

John 1:13

Context
NETBible

– children not born 1  by human parents 2  or by human desire 3  or a husband’s 4  decision, 5  but by God.

XREF

Ge 25:22,28; Ge 27:4,33; Ps 110:3; Mt 3:9; Joh 3:3,5; Joh 3:6-8; Joh 8:33-41; Ro 9:1-5; Ro 9:7-9; Ro 9:10-16; Ro 10:1-3; 1Co 3:6; Php 2:13; Tit 3:5; Jas 1:18; 1Pe 1:3,23; 1Pe 2:2; 1Jo 2:28,29; 1Jo 3:9; 1Jo 4:7; 1Jo 5:1,4,18

NET © Notes

tn The Greek term translated “born” here also involves conception.

tn Grk “of blood(s).” The plural αἱμάτων (Jaimatwn) has seemed a problem to many interpreters. At least some sources in antiquity imply that blood was thought of as being important in the development of the fetus during its time in the womb: thus Wis 7:1: “in the womb of a mother I was molded into flesh, within the period of 10 months, compacted with blood, from the seed of a man and the pleasure of marriage.” In John 1:13, the plural αἱμάτων may imply the action of both parents. It may also refer to the “genetic” contribution of both parents, and so be equivalent to “human descent” (see BDAG 26 s.v. αἷμα 1.a). E. C. Hoskyns thinks John could not have used the singular here because Christians are in fact ‘begotten’ by the blood of Christ (The Fourth Gospel, 143), although the context would seem to make it clear that the blood in question is something other than the blood of Christ.

tn Or “of the will of the flesh.” The phrase οὐδὲ ἐκ θελήματος σαρκός (oude ek qelhmato" sarko") is more clearly a reference to sexual desire, but it should be noted that σάρξ (sarx) in John does not convey the evil sense common in Pauline usage. For John it refers to the physical nature in its weakness rather than in its sinfulness. There is no clearer confirmation of this than the immediately following verse, where the λόγος (logos) became σάρξ.

tn Or “man’s.”

tn The third phrase, οὐδὲ ἐκ θελήματος ἀνδρός (oude ek qelhmato" andros), means much the same as the second one. The word here (ἀνηρ, anhr) is often used for a husband, resulting in the translation “or a husband’s decision,” or more generally, “or of any human volition whatsoever.” L. Morris may be right when he sees here an emphasis directed at the Jewish pride in race and patriarchal ancestry, although such a specific reference is difficult to prove (John [NICNT], 101).



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