[John 1:9] ην το φως το αληθινον ο φωτιζει παντα ανθρωπον ερχομενον εις τον κοσμον
I’ve always thought that there were only two possibilities:
(1) “το φως το αληθινον ο …” is the subject of the periphrastic “ην ερχομενον …”; “the true light which illuminates every man was coming into the world”
(2) “ερχομενον εις τον κοσμον” adjectivally modifies “παντα ανθρωπον”, and “το φως το αληθινον” is subject of “ην” with predicate as the indefinite relative “ο φωτιζει παντα ανθρωπον”; “the true light was that which illuminates every man who comes into the world”
And I previously thought that (1) was more likely given how it would flow naturally into the next sentence, although (2) could be arguable given John’s liking for using similar words in different places in close proximity with different meanings.
But I happened to look at that verse again today and thought of a third possibility:
(3) “το φως το αληθινον” is subject of “ην” with predicate as the indefinite relative “ο φωτιζει παντα ανθρωπον”, and “ερχομενον εις τον κοσμον” is a circumstantial adverbial modifying “φωτιζει”; “the true light was that which, coming into the world, illuminates every man”
On thinking of that it seemed similar to other occasions of such present tense circumstantial adverbials in John’s writing such as 1:48 (“οντα υπο την συκην ειδον σε”), 4:9 (“πως συ ιουδαιος ων παρ εμου πειν αιτεις γυναικος σαμαριτιδος ουσης”).
So which do you all think is the most likely, if we make the assumption that John isn’t intentionally trying to make an ambiguous sentence? I’m thinking (3) now.
My search turned up only two results:
viewtopic.php?f=46&t=1461, which didn’t clearly identify the grammatical structure, and where there wasn’t really a clear consensus
http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek/test-arch … 23803.html, where Carl concluded on (1) but didn’t mention (3). Any comments, Carl?
Statistics: Posted by David Lim — June 25th, 2014, 1:12 am