John Pye-Smith - metonymy

Steven Avery

First Lines of Christian Theology: In the Form of a Syllabus, Prepared for the Use of the Students in the Old College, Homerton, with Subsequent Additions and Elucidations (1860)
John Pye-Smith

On the objection of a “Country Parish Priest,” (Valpy's Classical Journal, [No. iv. p. 869-71]) : that (Grk) in v. 8 implies the enumeration in v. 7 as an antecedent, and that the same is required by (Grk), it. r. A.

Reply. The neuter nouns are put by metonymy of the effect for the cause,—for the Holy Spirit the author of miracles, the Father in reference to the baptism of Jesus, and the Messiah offering the great sacrifice.

he substitution of the name of an attribute or adjunct for that of the thing meant, for example suit for business executive, or the track for horse racing.
This wacky idea involves an incredible extrapolation of mind-reading John.


Bengel on Metonymy


Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

1 John 5:7. ὅτι τρεῖς εἰσιν οἱ μαρτυροῦντες, because there are three bearing witness) The participle, bearing witness, used instead of the noun, witnesses, implies that the act of bearing witness, and the effect of the testimony, are always present. Before also he had spoken of the spirit, in the neuter gender, τὸ πνεῦμά ἐστι το ΄αρτυρουν: now he speaks in the masculine gender, there are three who bear witness, of the spirit also; at the same saying, that the water and the blood bear witness, also in the masculine gender. Those feminines, faith, hope, charity, are said to be three (tria), in the neuter gender, 1 Corinthians 13:13; but here πνεῦμα, ὕδωρ, αἷμα, all of the neuter gender in Greek, that is, the spirit, the water, and the blood, are τρεῖς μαρτυροῦντες, in the masculine gender. To be bearing witness is properly applied to persons only: and the fact that three are described, by personification, as bearing witness on earth, just as though they were persons, is admirably adapted (subservient) to the personality of the three who bear witness in heaven; but yet neither the spirit (that is the truth of the Gospel), nor the water, nor the blood, are persons. Therefore the apostle, advancing from the preceding verse to the one now present, employs a trope, adapted to the brevity of the discourse, so as to say this: There are three classes of men (1 John 5:9, compared with John 5:34), who discharge the office of bearing witness on earth; (1st) that class of witnesses in general which is employed in preaching the Gospel; and, in particular, (2d) that class of witnesses, which administers baptism, as John the Baptist and the others; and also (3d) that class of witnesses, which beheld and puts on record the passion and death of the Lord. There is therefore a METALEPSIS,(20) and that of a most weighty kind: viz. one wherein (a) by a Synecdoche of number, instead of the whole class of witnesses, there is put one who witnesses; as though it were said, a prophet, baptist, apostle: for although these three functions might often meet in one man, yet of themselves they were divided: comp. Ephesians 4:11 : and on that account the Metonymy is the more suitable, on which presently. The degrees of these three functions are found, Matthew 11:9; Matthew 11:11, where however the word prophet is used in a more restricted sense. (b) By Metonymy of the abstract term, instead of those who bear witness, as αὐτόπται καὶ ὑπηρέται (eye-witnesses and ministers), the spirit itself, the water, and the blood, are mentioned.— ἐν τῇ γῇ, on earth) See below.— τὸ πνεῦμα, καὶ τὸ ὕδωρ, καὶ τὸ αἷμα, the spirit, and the water, and the blood) The apostle changes the order: for whereas before he had put the spirit in the third place, he now puts it in the first place, according to the natural order. The spirit, as was before said, bore witness before the water and the blood; and the spirit bears witness even without the testimony of the water and the blood, but the water and the blood never bear witness without the spirit.— καὶ οἱ τρεῖς εἰς τὸ ἓν εἰσιν, and these three agree in one [concur towards one end]) The Prophet, the Baptist, and the Apostle are equally of the same earthly nature of themselves (comp. are one, 1 Corinthians 3:8), and are ordained altogether to one end, to testify of Jesus Christ, as of Him who is come into the world. Comp. εἶναι εἰς τὶ, Luke 5:17. τὸ ἓν, with the article, denotes not so much one, as the same thing.

Does this interpretation of the 7th verse seem somewhat weak? This complaint will presently be of service to our argument.
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