Re: John 6:70 - DIABOLOS and Colwell/ Harner/ Dixon

Paul Dixon - Ladd Hill Bible Church (
Fri, 3 Jan 1997 00:51:21 -0800 (PST)

On 2 Jan 1997, Wes Williams wrote:
> >It was my Th.M. thesis, "The Significance of the Anarthrous Predicate
> >Nominative in John" (referenced several times in Wallace's grammar) to
> >which you refer.
> Paul, I would like to get a copy of your work. I've had a number of people tell
> me it is quite good. What number do I call? Or in modern vernacular, which URL
> do I enter?

Wes, the thesis was written over 20 years ago and was not done on a word
processor. It can be obtained, however, at Dallas Theological Seminary in
Dallas, Texas. Many have requested it, especially over the net recently,
and I hope to have it photoed and available in html format shortly (a guy
in our church has volunteered to do it). I'll give the URL when its done
(hopefuly in a week or so).

[snip, snip]

> I appreciate very much what you did. I've read both Harner and Colwell and
> Harner's arguments are persuasive for qualitativeness but I have not seen it
> applied much in Grammars. I see that Wallace agrees with you as a generality
> but still goes with one or more of his own applications. I have a procedural
> question regarding your categorization of Definite/ Indefinite/ Qualitativeness.
> It seems that studies of this type state that the pre-copulative anarthrous PN
> must be Definite OR Qualitative OR Indefinite. The way I see it, and perhaps
> closer to real life (IMO), a PN can cross the bounds of two categories. For
> example, in the English sentence "Charles is a prince," I can mean several
> possibilities, two of which combine categories....

I would not be quick to conclude that more than one category is ever
intended by the speaker.

In my thesis a noun was definite if and only if it stressed identity. A
noun was indefinite if and only if it stressed membership in a class of
which there were other members. A predicate nominative was determined to
be qualitative if it stressed a quality, nature or essence of the subject.

[snip, snip]
> In John's 74 instances, there seems to be ever so many instances where a
> predicate nom. crosses category bounds (e.g. John 9:24 "This man is a sinner.")
> In your case, this added feature would likely not affect your conclusion but it
> would affect the statistics.
> What are your thoughts on gathering statistics for PN's that have application in
> two categories?

I did not find any such examples in my study of the anarthrous predicate
nominative in John.

Paul Dixon