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As the Evangelist had just spoken of this illustrious Declarer of the purposes of God, as being with God, favoured with direct manifestations of his will, the third verse may be justly rendered, • All things came by him,' &c. and this is fully justified by St. John's own use of rivoua. ;* or it may be properly rendered, also agreeably to his use of the word, . All things' (relative to the new dispensation)t were done by him; and without him was not any thing done which hath been done ;' and this rendering I have employed in my paraphrase in p. 63.
Respecting the tenth verse, the circumstances require a different rendering. I Koouos (the world) according to the almost uniform usage of St. John, and agreeably to the next clause, signifies the world of mankind, not the natural world ;%
instances are Exod. xxxiv. 10. Is. xlviii. 7. It is frequently employed as the translation of nwy, to make, to do, to form, but neder when that word implies creation. It is also very frequently employed in the sense of become.
* Tivoua, signifies to come, in the following instances: ch. i. 17. vi. 18. 19. 25. X. 35. xiii. 2. xxi. 4. (of which i. 17. and x. 35. are peculiarly in point.) It signifies to be done in at least the following instances, xv, 7. xix. 36.
+ The following passages sufficiently show that ra mavra (all things) may and often must be taken in a very restricted sense : Matt. xi. 27. (comp. John xv. 15.) xix. 21. Luke xxi. 32. John xiv. 26. I Cor. vi. 12. 2 Cor. y. 17. Phil. iv, 13. 1 Tim, vi. 17. 1 John ii. 20,27. Rev. xxi. 5. -John xiv, 26. and 1 John ii. 20. 27. are peculiarly in point, as denoting all things relative to the Chris. tian dispensation,
| This is no objection to either, for in 0.8. the Evangelist uses it in a sense different from either: 'there was (EYEVETO) a man sent from God.'
§ “ Koonos occurs in the Gospel of John about 78 times, and about 24 times in his Epistles, which is oftener than any other writer in the N.T, uses it; yet in all these there are only two instances in which it is applied to the original creation, both of which
and he frequently uses yovouen (become) to denote change of state :* the expression ó xoouos di'. AUTOU EYEveto might therefore justly, but somewhat freely, be rendered, mankind were brought by him into a new state.'-If we translate
εγένετο became (or was), and may be allowed to supply the ellipsis from the preceding verse, we may then render the clanse, the world became (or was) enlightened by him.'+ The two renderings.co
occur in the same chapter. John xvii. 5. 24. Koouoç is used in this sense also, Rev. xiii. 8. xvii. 8. These are the only instances I can find in which coguos is applied by Jolin to the original creation of the world, and in these the signification is decisively pointed out." Simpson's Explanation, p. 35.
* See cb. i. 12. ii. 9. v. 4. 6. 9. 14. viii. 33. ix. 22. 27. 39. xii. 30. 42. xvi. 20. This is a very frequent sense of the word in the Septuagint.
+ Dr. Wardlaw (Discourses on the Socinian Controversy, p. 106) indulges himself in a strain of sarcastic remark on this interpretation that seems little suited to the pulpit, and to which I make no reply. What is criticism, is contained in the following sentences : * There are not a few unnecessary, and there are some injurious
supplements in our ordinary English Version ; but certainly there “ is nothing of the kind that can bear a comparison with this. I only ** ask a person who has learned the first elements of English, what bi he should think of a writer, who, intending to express the senti“ ment that the world was enlightened by Jesus Christ, should " write the substantive verb, was, and leave the word enlightened, “ not only the principal word, but absolutely the only word by “ which his meaning could be determined, to be supplied by the " reader! Yet this is precisely what these critics suppose the in« spired historian to have done in the present instance.” As this mode of interpretation in the Improved Version appears to have originated in a criticism of my own, and Mr. Belsham, in his Calm Inquiry adopts it “ with some besitation," I think it necessary to make some remarks on Dr. Wardlaw's strictures, first premising that I never myself proposed TEOWTIONevog as the supplement, for I suppose the Apostle would have written PWTLOTELS (as in Heb. v. 9. τελειωθεις εγενετο,) or φωτιζομενος, according to the more usual construction.-(1) In reference to the “ injurious” character of the supplement, I would ask Dr. Wardlaw whether he thinks it worse than that of the P.V. in Acts vii. 59 ? ' calling on God, and saying, Lord Jesus receive my spirit. (2) I will apply Dr. W.'s mode of criticism to another case, with a cognate verb, and ask
incide as to meaning, and both are fully justified by the matter of fact. The common rendering as usually interpreted, (referring it to the original creation,) is inconsistent with the Apostle's
what we are to think of a person, who, when he meant to convey the idea that he was a Roman citizen by birth-right, merely said, ( Acts xxii. 28) · But I was even born' (eyw de kai yeyevvnuai), leaving“ the only word by which his meaning could be determined, to be supplied by the ” hearer. (3) I observe that the supplement in this last case is much less obvious from the immediately preceding clause, than that in John i. 10. The Tribune had said, ' For a great sum I obtained this citizenship’ (inv Troletelav Taurnv): The Apostle replies,' But I was even born.' He obviously means,
born a Roman citizen ;' but the supplement is to be sought in the first question of the Tribune, not in his own words.
Such supplements are continually to be made by the reader or hearer; and they are frequent in reference to ylvojai, but still more (as might be expected) in the use of elut. In the passage referred to by Mr. Belslam and myself (Matt. xxiii. 15), it is presumed, and I think correctly, that órav yevntal means 'when he is become: the verb in the preceding clause is troingai I bave bad occasion to notice several instances in which classical authors use yivouai with an ellipsis; for instance, when Lucian represents Menalaus as telling Proteus that it is inconceivable that a sea-god should become fire (TTUP ylveolai), he makes Proteus reply,“ Do not be surprised, Menalaus, yap yiyvouai, for I am become fire.” Again, Xenophon ( Anab.lib.I.) tells us that when Cyrus asked Orontes if he would again become an enemy to his brother, and a faithful friend to himself, Orontes replied, " Even if I were to become so, el yevolunv, I could not any longer, Cyrus, be so regarded by you.” Herodotus (see Porti Lex. Ion.) uses ylvonal with a remarkable but not unusual subauditur (e.g. of trpos ayaJov, or kalws,) making it denote to turn out well. Vigerus adduces several similar instances from Xenophon, Thucydides, and Plato. Every one, indeed, who has read the Greek authors with observation, must agree with Vigerus, that Yivouai is used with extreme latitude, and that scarcely any other word has so many idiomatical constructions.
This introductory portion of St. John's Gospel is very elliptical; the eighth verse presents one instance which every one will acknowledge : ' He was not the Light, but he came that he might testify concerning the Light.' In the tenth, if the nominative of the verb be not found in the preceding verse, there is one of the various proofs which this Gospel affords, that the Apostle wrote with his mind full of his subject, his beloved Master, and referred to him without considering the minute niceties of grammatical construction : he often is obscure in construction, and yet perfectly perspicuous in import. If we take the subject from o. 9, then it runs
phraseology; and the common interpretation inconsistent with various parts of the Scriptures. (See p. 161–167.)
I Cor. viii. 6. " But to us there is but one God, the Father, of
(€) whom are all things, and we in (els) him: and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by (dla) whom are all things, and we by (dia) bim." See p. 37. No one can suppose that this passage affords any proof of the doctrine, that Jesus was the agent in the natural creation; all that can be admitted is, that the phraseology will suit it.
Eph. iii. 9. 'In God who created all things '" by Jesus Christ.”
The connexion, as has been observed, directs us to refer this passage to the new creation: but however this be, it proves nothing as to the point in question; since, in all probability, the words δια του Ιησου Χριστου by Jesus Christ were not writ- . ten by the Apostle. See Griesbach, who rejects them from his text as certainly spurious.
thus, That which coming into the world enlightens every man, ' was in the world, and the world became-by bim,' &c.; and the ellipsis would, in meaning, be just as easily supplied by the original readers of St. John's Gospel as this is by the English reader.
Nevertheless as this construction is not exactly borne out by any instance I know, (Acts xxii. 28. is most like it,) and made or formed (anew) accords with the continual import of the word, and (equally well with the former) with the analogy of Scripture, I give a preference to this rendering, and have accordingly employed it
But if I could not see any clue to the Apostle's precise meaning, I could not believe that he intended to represent the SERVANT of Jehovah as creating the heavens and the earth, in direct opposition to the declaration of JEHOVAH by his Prophet, that HE HIMSELF created them ALONE and BY HIMSELF. -" I believe in God the FATHER Almighty, MAKER of Heaven and Earth:” and to this I say, solemnly, and with full.conviction," As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be ; world without end : Amen.” (3d ed.)
in p. 64.
Col. i. 16, 17. “ For by him were all things created, that are in
heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him and for him: And he is before all things; and by him all things consist.”
If this passage do not prove a doctrine which is so much in opposition with the general tenor of the Scriptures, the doctrine itself must surely be given up by every Scripturalist. To investigate it, we must take it in its connexion; and I shall give the literal rendering of Griesbach's text.
In the introductory verses, the Apostle expresses his gratitude that the Colossians possessed the hopes of the Gospel, which had then reached the whole world, and was bringing forth its proper fruit; and the pleasure which he felt from their affection towards himself. He tells them that it was the object of his prayers, that they might fully possess the knowledge of the divine will, that they might act so as to obtain the approbation of God, and derive from Him strength to endure patiently to the end: 'giving . thanks to the Father,' he continues (v. 12) who
hath made us fit for the participation of the inheritance of the saints in light; " who hath • delivered us from the power of darkness, and • hath translated us into the kingdom of his be• loved Son, " in whom we have redemption, · even the forgiveness of sins ; " who is the Image
of the invisible God, the First-born of the whole · creation.* " For in (EY) him all thingst are
• Πασης κτισεως-s0 in Εph. iii. 15. πασα πατρια is correctly rendered the whole family.
+ It is a position laid down by many Expositors, that by things