The discussion you've generated seems now to be concentrating on the
word LOGOS, but it seems to me that at least 'utterance' is in the
ballpark, whereas your translation of KOSMOS as 'lost community' is
almost totally baffling to me. In response to Mark Matson, you say
that "... John's usage ... is always, always, always - 'lost
community.'", but I'm sure you realize that virtually everyone else
would say "never, never, never". The lexical objections are really
unanswerable, IMO, but there is yet another objection - namely that
your reasoning is faulty. It's that objection that I want to raise
1. "... the KOSMOS 'did not correctly recognize him'"
(response to Jeffrey Gibson, message #5151)
The reasoning here seems to be that only _people_ can recognize (or
reject, hate, etc), therefore John must have had a special meaning
of KOSMOS in mind - one that didn't include planets, bees, and
trees, e.g. But then why did he not use the word 'men'? The natural
answer, ISTM, is that he was using hyperbole and poetic license, and
that his statements are not to be taken literally. The LOGOS made
the KOSMOS, but the KOSMOS didn't recognize it. This nice symmetry
would be lost if he had said that the LOGOS made the KOSMOS, but
_men_ didn't recognize it. He worded it to have maximum impact - not
2. In Jn's usage, the KOSMOS doesn't include believers.
(basically, this is used to support the word 'lost' of 'lost
community', as against, say, humankind in general)
The mistake in reasoning here is on the same order as the first,
except that now the mistaken reasoning is used to eliminate a subset
of humans from KOSMOS, rather than non-humans. Since believers don't
reject the LOGOS, they must not fall under what John means by
KOSMOS. But again, there's a failure to recognize hyperbole. The
mistake in reasoning here is similar to one which would be made if
we were to claim that when a person says "Everyone hates me!", he
must have a _different sense_ of the word 'everyone' in mind,
because he obviously isn't hated by all of humankind. The proper
analysis of this utterance is not that the speaker had a special
sense of 'everyone' in mind, but that he was engaged in hyperbole,
not to be taken literally.
Mt. Clemens, MI
>>The reasoning here seems to be that only _people_ can recognize (orreject, hate, etc), therefore John must have had a special meaning of KOSMOS
in mind - one that didn't include planets, bees, and trees, e.g. But then
why did he not use the word 'men'?
ISTM that 4G has a major theme:
"God reaches out"
Ie: he will show that he puts no stock in human lineage and invades Samaria,
decrying former concepts of geographical borders, race, religion, gender or
To do this, John refers to the target by a code name - KOSMOS. Think
"Operation KOSMOS." The usage is not without precedent (assuming Paul
2Co 7:10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be
repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
Ga 6:14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord
Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.
This in turn may have been coined in the LXX, I do not yet know the origin.
But for John, it is a very prevalent concept.
Now, don't get your undies in a bunch thinking I really think this was a
"code name" with a military operations background. Rather, he uses the
extant term to refer to the divine invasion in much the same way - as a
"handle" for this group - much the same way, by the way, as he uses the term
"the Jews." Did he mean all Jews? Or was this a code name for a particular
>>The natural answer, ISTM, is that he was using hyperbole and poeticlicense, and that his statements are not to be taken literally. The LOGOS
made the KOSMOS, but the KOSMOS didn't recognize it. This nice symmetry
would be lost if he had said that the LOGOS made the KOSMOS, but _men_
didn't recognize it. He worded it to have maximum impact - not literal
So are you saying that he is speaking like this...
"God made gay [happy] people, but gay [homosexual] people didn't recognize
In this way, he makes use of two usages for maximum impact of symmetry, at
the expense of clarity and consistency? It does not work for me that way.
Rather, by being consistent in his usage, we can make sense of his speech
without inside information provided by bracketed additions.
>>...But again, there's a failure to recognize hyperbole. The mistake inreasoning here is similar to one which would be made if we were to claim
that when a person says "Everyone hates me!", he must have a _different
sense_ of the word 'everyone' in mind, because he obviously isn't hated by
all of humankind. The proper analysis of this utterance is not that the
speaker had a special sense of 'everyone' in mind, but that he was engaged
in hyperbole, not to be taken literally.
ISTM that hyperbole is analaog, while John's use is digital. That is, he
makes explicit distinction rather than an exaggerated inclusion. Hence,
hyperbole is not a possible explanation:
Joh 15:19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but
because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world,
therefore the world hateth you.
Joh 17:6 I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out
of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept
Joh 17:15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but
that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
Again, the usage is not necessarily an invented one, but one John uses quite
specifically. Paul does also:
9 ¶ I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:
10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the
covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out
of the world.
11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is
called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer,
or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.
12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye
judge them that are within?
13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among
yourselves that wicked person.
In fact, Paul seems to define the KOSMOS (in this usage) as: "them that are
without [outside]" in verse 12 and 13.
- --- Bill Ross wrote:
> So are you saying that [John] is speaking like this...recognize him."
> "God made gay [happy] people, but gay [homosexual] people didn't
No, this is not an apt analogy.
> In this way, he makes use of two usages for maximum impact ofI'm not sure what you mean by that, but it worked for the ancients.
> symmetry, at the expense of clarity and consistency? It does not
> work for me that way.
In fact, it may be the crux of the problem that you believe that
John (and the other evangelists) were interested in "clarity and
consistency" - as opposed to a rather unmistakeable interest in
rhetorical persuasion. Take 1.10 for example. Yes, I would say that
it's a combination of literality and poetic license:
(a) "the world came into being through him" (literal)
(b) "but the world knew him not" (poetic license)
Part (b) constitutes poetic license, because KOSMOS includes things
which cannot "know" (e.g., stars and rocks and trees). You want to
believe that John used KOSMOS consistently, and so you find an
English phrase that you think makes all his usages of that word
literally true. Well, in fact he did use it consistently to refer to
the world, but sometimes he (like most every other writer/speaker)
was writing literally (or so he took it), sometimes poetically. The
proper thing to do is to translate what he actually wrote, not what
we think would make his statements literally true.
Consider the following two cases from modern usage:
(1) In the movie _Titanic_, the hero yells out "I'm king of the
world!" from the bridge of the ship.
(2) In the context of televised protests, the protesters will
sometimes chant "The whole world is watching!"
Do you suppose that the hero of _Titanic_ or the protestors have a
special meaning of 'world' in mind? That they use it as a code-word
for something else? That when they use the word 'world' in _other_
contexts, they continue to use it in that special way? But if
moderns can sometimes engage in hyperbole without it being thought
that they have a special meaning of the word in mind, how much more
so ancient religious writers - who had almost no interest in
"clarity and consistency" at all?
> ... by being consistent in his [John's] usage, we can make senseIt's not a case of "bracketed additions" (you're misled by your own
> of his speech without inside information provided by bracketed
inapt analogy). We just have to recognize when the writer/speaker is
using language relatively literally and when he isn't. If you're
thinking that GJn or any other religious writing of the time is full
of careful and consistent usage of terms, boy are you on the wrong
> ... [John} makes explicit distinction rather than an exaggerated"The world hates you" _isn't_ "exaggerated inclusion"? Oh, my. So
> inclusion. Hence, hyperbole is not a possible explanation ...
you would say that John seriously believed that all members of
the "lost community" (whatever that is) hated Christians? Or by not
hating Christians, did one forfeit membership in the "lost
community"? Either way seems nonsensical to me.