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The Lost John 3:16 Verse

Let’s do a little experiment and see how unbiased we can be. What if one translated according to the grammatical rules without picking and choosing which grammatical rules to follow in favor of bias or traditions, but just read it at face value without any fear of being burned at a stake?

For God so loved..

the “so” is a word that means “thus” or “in this way”.

For thus God loved the world…

“World” is the whole ordered world–the kosmos. It is also in the accusative meaning God does something to the world…

For thus God loved the world, that…

The conjunction isn’t merely “that” but rather “so that” or “therefore” which means “in this way” refers to the previous verses about the serpent raised up in the wilderness…

For that’s how God loved the world: so that the only begotten son he gave…

“Only begotten” is interpreted from one word, monogenés (#G3439), that is inaccurate and means only-family-kind. Genos (#G1805) is related to genesis or origin, and means offspring, family, race, nation, kind. The literal order of the accusative nouns with the definite articles is the son, the only-kind

For that’s how God loved the world: so that the only-kind son he gave, in order that the whole of the one-who-believes…

A present tense participle active verb works like a noun-verb—pisteuōn believing-one or he-who-believes. And guess what? It is in the masculine singular–one-who-believes. There is also a definite article to this which insinuates that the participle verb is specific, the one who believes. “He-who-believes” does not speak of a single cognitive assent but of him who endures to the end. The Greek pas (#G3956) is literally whole. “In order that” (#G2443) is a slightly different conjunction than the previous “so that” (#G5620).

For that’s how God loved the world: so that he gave the only-kind son, in order that the whole of the him-who-believes into him…

“Eis” (#G1519) is properly into and not “in”. “Auton” (#G846) is the accusative him or better, himself. The NASB translated auto/auton as himself 83 times. Thus saith the lexicon:

αὐτός, αὐτῇ, αὐτό, pronoun (“derived from the particle αὖ with the added force of a demonstrative pronoun. In itself it signifies nothing more than again, applied to what has either been previously mentioned or, when the whole discourse is looked at, must necessarily be supplied.” Klotz ad Devar. ii., p. 219; (see Vanicek, p. 268)). It is used by the Biblical writings both of the O. T. and of the N. T. far more frequently than the other pronouns; and in this very frequent and almost inordinate use of it, they deviate greatly from secular authors; cf. Buttmann, § 127, 9. (On classic usage cf. Hermann, Opuscc. i. 308ff, of which dissertation a summary is given in his edition of Viger, pp. 732-736.)

I. self, as used (in all persons, genders, numbers) to distinguish a person or thing from or contrast it with another, or to give him (it) emphatic prominence.

The Bible has an inordinate infatuation with the word “himself”. And the writers don’t use it the same way as secular writers. Why is that?

For that’s how God loved the world: so that the only-kind son he gave, in order that the whole of him-who-believes into himself may not perish…

The word apollumi (#G622) is quite a bit more dramatic than “perish”. It is also in the subjunctive meaning it should be translated with “may” or “might” or something similar. The verb is also in what is called the “middle voice” which means the subject is the recipient of the action. Because it is in the 3rd person masculine singular we will render it “be destroyed”.

For that’s how God loved the world: so that the only-kind son he gave, in order that the whole of him-who-believes into himself may not be destroyed, but have life everlasting.

Zoe-life is not the same soul-life or bios-life. These Greek words would provide far greater insight to what the authors thought “everlasting life” really means if they weren’t all translated the same.

Here is the result of our translation:

For that’s how God loved the world [lifted up the serpent]: so that the only-kind son he gave, in order that the whole of him who believes into himself may not be destroyed, but possess the eternal zoe-life.

We read in the prior verse a straight-forward call to any and everyone to “believe in him” and possess eternal life. But, who is this “man who believes into himself?” It is Christ, who said, “I lay my own life down that I may take it up again” (John 10:17). Christ founded the faith in himself, by being the first to believe into himself–that is, to know who he was and where he was from as the complete Man from Heaven. He was never deceived about himself. By knowing who he really was and believing what he was sent to do, to lay down(kill) his life in order to preserve it, he himself evaded his own destruction.

God gave Christ “in order that the whole Christ may not be destroyed”

This applies secondly to “the whole” of Christ which means “his own lost sheep” those who are also born from above, sent to earth just like him, but do not know it, are deceived, and who must find and believe into themselves.

All who believe in Christ will take hold of eternal life. But not all who believe in Christ are Sons of Day, but those predestined, foreknown, and called according to his purpose, kept secret since the foundation of the world, to be revealed, words become flesh.

The creation waits in eager expectation for the revelation of the sons of God. (Romans 8:19)