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John 14.1–8

John 14.1–8.

Excerpt
I am the way, the truth, and the life (so most translations) is a fairly literal translation of the Greek text. Of the major modern language translations, only GeCL has a dynamic equivalent: “I am the way, and I am also the goal since in me you have the truth and the life.” Even this restructuring is rather ambiguous for the average reader. What are the relation between the words waytruth, and life? In the present context Jesus as “the way” is the primary focus, and “truth” and “life” are somehow related to Jesus as “the way.” Thus there are two possible interpretations: (1) The emphasis may be on the goal to which the way leads (note GeCL). If this exegesis is followed, one may translate “I am the way that leads to the truth and to life”; or, expressed more fully, “I am the way that leads to the truth (about God) and to the life (that God gives).” (2) However, the emphasis may be on the way itself. If this exegesis is followed, “truth” and “life” must be taken as qualifiers of “way,” which is primary in the context. One may then render “I am the true way, the way that gives people life.” Or, more fully, “I am the way that reveals the truth (about God) and gives life (to people).” In effect, the two possible interpretations are close in meaning, and it is difficult to argue for one against the other. However, the context would seem to favor the second. More
Newman, Barclay Moon, and Eugene Albert Nida. A Handbook on the Gospel of John. New York: United Bible Societies, 1993. Print. UBS Handbook Series.
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