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Monday, October 23, 2006

Grace for grace

Sylvanus has a very interesting post on John 1:16.

    οτι εκ του πληρωματος αυτου ημεις παντες ελαβομεν και χαριν αντι χαριτος
The last few words have been variously translated,

    'grace upon grace'
    'grace after grace' or
    'grace for grace'
But Sylvanus translates this literally as 'grace replaced grace'

Sylvanus' post reviews a myriad of translations but I can't find the TNIV listed. Here is the TNIV for this verse. What do you think?

    Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given.
Thanks to Sylvanus for these thoughts.


At Tue Oct 24, 04:34:00 AM, Blogger Carl W. Conrad said...

"grace replaced grace" may express the idea of χάριν ἀντὶ χάριτος but (a) it doesn't fit into the context of an English version of the text in question, and (b) it isn't really intelligible. I think "grace after grace" expresses the right idea, that we have received one instance of God's goodness after another -- something comparable to the water that keeps bubbling up out of the well in John 4.

At Tue Oct 24, 06:43:00 AM, Blogger Sylvanus said...

Thank you Suzanne for highlighting this descripancy.

Although I have a link there to choose from over 100 versions online, I have decided to restrict my analysis only from 60 of them, for reason of simplicity, since these are on my hard drive (It would take me thrice the time to check the other 40!).

However.....for this occasion I have taken the time.......and yes! I am quite impressed with the TNIV for not only rendering this verse correctly, but also by making it emphatic (already given).

I have also found another version rendering it this way: the New American Bible: 'From his fullness we have all received, grace in place of grace. - followed by a comma, not a dot. -

I think I will exceptionally add these two versions to that post!

Carl said: it doesn't fit into the context of an English version of the text in question
My post explains that the context of that verse is the following verse, which starts with 'because'. The preceding verses briefly explain the new Grace also. (Vss 12 & 13)

Thank you

At Wed Oct 25, 08:27:00 AM, Blogger Sylvanus said...

Perhaps Suzanne you can give your thoughts?

At Wed Oct 25, 10:02:00 PM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...


It seems to me that anti has more than one meaning so it could be either. They are both be legitimate.

Sorry I can't add anything to this.

At Fri Oct 27, 01:50:00 AM, Blogger Milton Stanley said...

The Greek text of that verse has long been one I've wondered about. Sylvanus's (and the NAB) renderings seem to use anti in a more natural sense than most English translations I've come across. I'll have to think about how well the meaning fits.

At Fri Oct 27, 09:41:00 AM, Blogger Sylvanus said...


I'm glad to hear it helped :)

Please, always feel free to let us know your thoughts on the context.

Thank you.


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