Exegetical Helps/Summaries

 For the last few years, I’ve been using the various volumes of the “Exegetical Summary” series.  It’s a set of books that provide an exegetical commentary on biblical texts.   These exegetical summaries are published by SIL (the Summer Institute of Language). I haven’t used all of them, but I always appreciate them when I do use them.  If you’re wondering what they look like, here’s the section on one phrase from 1 John 4:4.  I was studying this earlier today:

becausea the-(one) inb you is greaterc than the-(one) in the world.d

LEXICON—
a. ὅτι (LN 89.33): ‘because’ [HNTC, LN, Lns, WBC; all versions except NAB, NRSV], ‘for’ [AB; NAB, NRSV].
b. ἐν with dative object (LN 89.119): ‘in’ [AB, Lns, WBC; all versions except REB]. The phrase ‘to be in’ is translated ‘to inspire’ [HNTC; REB].
c. μέγας (LN 78.2) (BAGD 2.b.α. p. 498): ‘greater’ [AB, BAGD, HNTC, Lns; all versions], ‘more powerful’ [WBC].
d. κόσμος (LN 41.38) (BAGD 7. p. 446): ‘world’ [AB, BAGD, HNTC, LN, Lns, WBC; all versions].

QUESTION—What relationship is indicated by ὅτι ‘because’?
It indicates the reason they were able to overcome the false teachers [Alf, Brd, ICC, NIC, WBC, Ws]. God working in them has overcome the enemy [AB]. The victory is the product of being enabled by the one who was in them [Brd].

QUESTION—Who is the one in them?
1. He is God [Alf, Herm, HNTC, ICC, Lns, My, NIC, TH; TNT].2. He is the Holy Spirit [AB, Br, Brd, NTC, TNTC; TEV].
3. This refers to God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit [WBC].

QUESTION—Who is the one who is in the world?
1. He is the devil [Alf, Herm, HNTC, ICC, Lns, My, NIC, TH, TNTC, WBC, Ws].2. He is the spirit of the antichrist [AB, Br, Brd, NTC; TNT].

QUESTION—To whom or what does κόσμῳ ‘world’ refer?
It refers to all that is hostile to God [Herm, HNTC, NTC, TH, TNTC, WBC]. The word is used here in its moral sense rather than as a location [Brd]. It is the world of people who are hostile to God [NTC].

As you’ll see it doesn’t give you every exegetical insight of the text, but it does ask and answer some helpful questions.  And it gives references in the answers (references that are linked if you use these volumes in Logos Bible Software).  If you’re looking for an exegetical resource like this, I do recommend these!

The above quote is found in John Anderson, An Exegetical Summary of 1, 2, and 3 John, 2nd ed. (Dallas, TX: SIL International, 2008), 142.

Shane Lems
Hammond, WI

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