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Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament

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 Verse 8
Chapter 2
Verse 10
Chapter 4

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1 John 3:9

Doeth no sin (amartian ou poiei).
Linear present active indicative as in verse 4 like amartanei in verse 8. The child of God does not have the habit of sin.

His seed (sperma autou).
God's seed, "the divine principle of life" (Vincent). Cf. :.

And he cannot sin (kai ou dunatai amartanein).
This is a wrong translation, for this English naturally means "and he cannot commit sin" as if it were kai ou dunatai amartein or amarthsai (second aorist or first aorist active infinitive). The present active infinitive amartanein can only mean "and he cannot go on sinning," as is true of amartanei in verse 8 and amartanwn in verse 6. For the aorist subjunctive to commit a sin see amarthte and amarthi in 2:1. A great deal of false theology has grown out of a misunderstanding of the tense of amartanein here. Paul has precisely John's idea in Romans 6:1 epimenwmen thi amartiai (shall we continue in sin, present active linear subjunctive) in contrast with amarthswmen in Romans 6:15 (shall we commit a sin, first aorist active subjunctive).


Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright © Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on 1 John 3:9". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". <>. Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960.


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