"His Own"

"His Own" (John 1:11)

Textual analysis of John 1:11.

By L. L. CAVINESS, Professor of Biblical Lan­guages, Pacific Union College

In John 1:11 we read of the "true Light" that "He came unto His own, and His own re­ceived Him not." Reading the English only, one would naturally suppose that the expres­sions "His own," in the first and second clauses of this text, are exactly identical. This is just another case where the reader of our usual English versions of the Bible does not get the full thought of the original Greek. In the Greek the word for "His own" is in the first case plural neuter, and in the second case plural masculine. In the Spanish, the first "His own" is translated los suyos (neuter), and the second occurrence is translated los snyos (plural masculine); and Luther in his German translation renders the first sein Bigenturn. and the second die Seinen.

There are English translations, such as that by James Moffatt, which try to preserve the distinction of the original text in the Greek. Moffatt's translation reads: "He came to what was His own, yet His own folk did not wel­come Him."

Christ was the Creator of this world and all that is in it, and when He was born in Bethlehem, He came to what was His own. Nature recognized Him as the Master. At His command the wind ceased blowing on the Sea of Galilee. At His command the fish filled the disciples' net. At His death the sun veiled its face and there was a great earthquake. But the Jewish people, the nation that He had chosen as His peculiar people from among all nations, did not receive Him as their Lord and Master, their long-awaited Messiah.

There is a thrill that comes as one reads the original Greek text and knows that he has the very language Which the New Testament writers used. In any translation the trans­lator always stands between us and the Biblical writers. As long, however, as any version gives us the thought of the original, it gives us an inspired Bible. It certainly would be an ad­vantage for every Adventist minister to have sufficient knowledge of the Greek and Hebrew to check the accuracy of translation of any special text he may be planning to use in his sermon. The ability to read God's divine revel­ation in the languages in which it was given is abundant recompense for the effort made and the time spent in the study of Greek and Hebrew.

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By L. L. CAVINESS, Professor of Biblical Lan­guages, Pacific Union College

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