Drinking Deeply

Sunday, May 03, 2009 at 9:55 AM

For God so loved the world....

So I'm still at that spot where I know just enough Greek to get me in trouble, but not enough to really understand deeper implications and such. Alas, hopefully another year of Greek will do me good.

Anyway, John Piper preached on John 3:16 this week and I had the chance to follow along in my Greek Bible. I noticed something very interesting about the Greek text of John 3:16 -

οὕτως γὰρ ἠγάπησεν θεὸς τὸν κόσμον,

All the translations I checked (NIV, NASB, TNIV, KJV, NKJV, ESV [with a footnote], NLT, Message) render it, "For God so loved the world." That translation probably was correct back in a time when readers understood the word "so" to mean "in this manner," which is the correct interpretation of the first word (οὕτως). But now, my first instinct (and I suspect many others) would read that as "God loved the world so much that." Unfortunately, though the Lord does love His creation a great deal, that's not what the verse is saying, but rather it's explaining how the Lord loved the world.

"For in this way God loved the world..."

The New Living Translation and Message actually puts the idea "so much" in their rendering. Arrgh on paraphrases!

Interesting! Just goes to show...All Things are Better in Koine


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