Bill Mounce

For an Informed Love of God

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Monday, November 29, 2021

Greek Verse of the Week: John 3:16

My Greek Verse of the Day is a screencast vlog that I will be doing weekly at first. I will take a well-known Bible verse, read it, translate it, and then phrase it. Finally, I will include some comments about its meaning or significance. In John 3:16 I will be talking about the meaning of οὕτως, and that it can’t mean “so much” as in the traditional translations. I will also talk about the πᾶς and the fact that it is indefinite. The promises of John 3:16 are available to each and every person (πᾶς) in the entire world (κόσμος) who does in fact believe. There is no inherent limitation in the “all” (“whosoever,” KJV); the limitation is in the modifying clause.

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I find it helpful to understand that ουτως is the adverb form (-ως) of a contraction of the definite article (ο) and the word for same (αυτος), where that contraction would have been hyper-literally "the-same," commonly translated "this." Hence, the adverb form is hyper-literally "the-same-ly," commonly translated "thus," and links verse 16 to verse 15. This distinguishes it semantically from what may be mistaken from using the word "so," since "so" could be misconstrued as meaning "so much love," which perhaps might be back-translated τηλικαυτης αγαπης, or something like that, which is not what the scripture recites.

Hey Bill, I was wondering if you knew that there is a class of 6 inmates learning Biblical Greek at Chillicothe Correctional Institution in Ohio, using a copy of the 3rd edition and your videos. They are making their own bingo cards as they love the idea from your website. One of the learners says to tell you that the article is definitely his friend!