Periodical Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society
Volume: JOTGES 14:2 (Autumn 2001)
Article: Periodical Reviews
Author: Anonymous

Periodical Reviews

“The Word Kosmos ‘World’ in John 17, ” David J. Clark, The Bible Translator (October 1999): 401-406.

Clark is a UBS translation consultant based in Woking, England. He argues convincingly here that the word kosmos has four distinct meanings in John 17: 1) the universe as a whole; 2) the earth itself; 3) the world system that is opposed to God; and 4) people who live on the earth.

Using John 17 he illustrates each of these uses.

John 17:5 and 17:24 use kosmos to refer to the entire universe. “And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with you before the world was (17:5, italics added). “For you loved Me before the foundation of the world” (17:24, italics added). In both cases the Lord is thinking of more than the third planet from the sun. He is thinking of the entire universe.

The second usage, the earth itself, is the intended sense of kosmos in John 17:11 and 17:13. “Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You, Holy Father” (17:11). “But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves” (17:13). In both cases it is clear that the Lord is thinking specifically of this planet, and not of the entire created universe.

The world system opposed to God is captured in the term kosmos in John 17:14 and 17:16. “I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world” (17:14). “They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world” (17:16). Neither the universe or planet earth is in view in these cases. Rather, the world system dominated by Satan is what is in view.

The fourth nuance, the people who live on the earth, is clearly seen in John 17:21 and 17:23. “That they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You...

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