John 1:10 antecedent is not phos - note to Anthony Buzzard

Steven Avery

Here is one spot where the claim began.

> Anthony Buzzard
> "the light has become personalized as a masculine." Time - 4:30

The NT Koine Greek of John 1 - Feb 15, 2014
(This comment below was placed on this page, but it is not showing up. I am using additional methods to get the question to Anthony Buzzard.)

The next is one of many threads that tried to use the Buzzard approach.

Buzzard, αὐτόν in John 1:10 , αὐτό in John 1:5.αὐτό-in-john-1-5

Anthony Buzzard fuller quote:
Down in verse 10, I want you to note that the light has become personalized as a masculine. In other words, this is the feature of grammar which is quite common in the New Testament, when you take a grammatically neuter word and give it personality by breaking the rules of grammar, so to speak. And so, down in verse 10: It was in the world, actually "he" because Jesus had now come into the world in the story, and the world was made through him, absolutely. With him in mind, with him in intention, as Dr. James Dunn says nicely "with him in intention." And the world did not recognize him. Now that light has now become a masculine αὐτόν rather than αὐτό, showing personality in the light because Jesus has gone from a pre-existing plan and purpose to an actual historical person. Now we are in harmony with the birth narratives of Matthew and Luke, and we're not contradicting them.
Focus on the Kingdom - June, 1011
1 The neuter “light,” phos, of John 1:5 becomes a person, him (auton) only in verse 10.


Anthony, This does not match what has been written about the chapter, and I believe any good Greek grammarian would correct this assertion. The "He of "He was in the world" is a new subject. And in verses 10-16 the "he" and "his" are simply grammatically connected to the postcedent Jesus Christ in v. 17, thus the masculine grammar. (Alternatively, the Logos of verse 1 is brought forward, also masculine.) John is using a superb and revelatory writing style, and thus the cataphoric grammatical structure.

You can also see this in English by simply removing the adjectival and descriptive phrases (the interludes.)

There are no rules of grammar broken, so to speak. :)
And there is not any constructio ad sensum involved in the chapter.
Light retains its normal neuter grammar, no exceptional natural gender changing mid-chapter.

Now, I really do not know if this correction is very important for your perspective on John 1, however it is important for properly representing the chapter.

Please consider studying this out, and to be ready to make a needed correction.


Oh, an excellent short help was posted a few years ago on a discussion forum where you were discussing this question:

Dale Tuggy interviewed by J. Dan Gill

and really helps to explain why the Light is not grammatically connected.

villanovanus - MdS - December 30, 2012 @ 11:42 pm

The group of 6 verses John 1:4-9 is an “interlude“, that presents the “word” (logos, masculine) as “life” (zôê, feminine) and, in turn, as “light” (phôs, neuter), with a sub-interlude (John 1:6-8) on John the Baptist being the “witness to the light”.

The ONLY “change between v. 10 and v. 5” is that v. 10 goes back to speak about the “word” (logos, masculine).
You can remove the interlude (for study, don't mangle the word of God! :) ) and you can then more easily see the grammatical core.

The only possible grammatical connections for the masculine John 1:10 "He" is Jesus Christ in verse 1:17 and the Logos in John 1:1, both masculine. So there is no unusual grammar. There is simply a little distance to the postcedent or antecedent, which is common. The stronger case seems to be the cataphoric intent of pointing to the revelation of Jesus Christ in v. 17, since Jesus is being described in the verses starting at 1:10. The two antecedents/postcedents are complementary to one another, and the reader could begin with the Logos in view and have his sense move towards Jesus Christ. They are conceptually connected, simply by the reading of the text, whether one is Biblical Unitarian, Trinitarian, Oneness or Anythingness.


June, 2017 CARM Threads (by which time the issues were fully clarified)

The Sheep know the antecedent of "his" in John 1:10 even without Greek

Antecedent of αὐτὸν in v.10 is Jesus Christ (J.1:17), according to one poster.

Steven Avery
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Steven Avery

From the CARM analysis

Looking at the English, John 1:17 seems 100% clear as the referent.

Verse 7c-9 are adjectival/descriptive to verse 6, and could simply be removed with no effect (grammatically).
10bc-16 is similar in relation to v. 10

John 1:6-7ab
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light,

7c-9 Adjectival or Descriptive of the man and the Light.
that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

10a - revealing the Light of verse 7, a new subject, grammatically cataphoric, pointing forward to the proper name, revelation, postcedent "Jesus Christ" in v 17.
He was in the world,

10bc-16 - Descriptive of the He of v. 10
and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.

17 - the man, the He of verse 10 is revealed, named.
For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

the grammatical core, descriptive sections removed (note that the Word made flesh in the descriptive section points back to v. 1)
There wasa man sent from God, whose name was John ... to bear witness of the Light.
He was in the world ...grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

(The Moses part is parenthetical, similarly "The same came for a witness" is not really core.)

The He is given the proper name, the referent, it is the postcedent.
A very fine writing style by John to build up suspense, interest, intrigue and revelation.