Re[2]: JOHN 1

Once again into the fray of John 1....  There are grammatical monographs 
and multiple live examples that clearly demonstrate that an anarthrous 
(article-less) nominative noun commonly stands in contrast to one that does 
have an article, and that this construction differentiates predicate 
modifier from subject without regard for the "definiteness" of the 
predicate.  This is so throughout the New Testament and in ancient Greek 
generally.  Why haven't the authors of an elementary Greek text exerted the 
effort to put an end to the endless squabbling about this pseudo-problem?

New/additional information appears in predicate nouns, the Greek (definite) 
article flags for old/already-known information similarly to the English 
pattern, and Greek has no rules whatsoever about the correct positioning of 
subjects vis-a-vis predicate nominatives.  Therefore Greek has only one way 
to flag a predicate:  by omitting the article.

The problem is English!  English has no alternate position for predicate 
nouns; they must follow the subject-verb set.  Virtually every attempt to 
tease out some new mystery from John 1:1 is premised on SVO word order, as 
though modern European languages were the pinacle of self-expression!

We are so arrogant that we think the "real meaning" of the text actually 
exists in English, and that Greek is simply a nasty code which, properly 
deciphered, can yield English truth.  No, it is not.  People spoke and 
write and understood perfectly well in ancient Greek millennia before 
modern English appeared.  "Translating" doesn't resolve John 1:1 and won't. 
"Thinking in Greek", or our closest modern approximation, does.

--David N. Wigtil.  Technical Assessment.  U. S. Department of Energy.
Polla ta deina, k'ouden anthropou deinoteron pelei.
                            (Sophokles, "Antigone" 332-333)
(There are many strange things, but none is stranger than man.)
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