Davidco's question originally asked for examples of the construction
used in Jn. 1:1. David Wigtil has come up with some in his most recent post,
although not all are really to the point since the construction in Jn. 1:1 is
nominative, verb (eimi), nominative; and the entrance of other cases in
either subject or predicate changes the meaning considerably. What might be
useful is to look at some of the other usages with two nominatives and the
verb, taking into account the different uses of the article.
In Jn. 1:1 we have the first nominative as anarthrous and the verb
between the nouns. The usual interpretation is that the anarthrous noun in
such a construction speaks of the nature of the noun which carries the
article. We have such a construction also in Jn. 4:24-- pneuma ho
theos--where most translate "God is spirit," a translation that is supported
by the context. David Wigtil has pointed out Mk. 2:28 which also fits this
form _kurios estin ho huios . . ._. the meaning being that the Son is
_kurios_ , Lord (of the Sabbath), in nature. Another construction seems to
convey this same way of understanding the two nominatives. In 1 Jn. 4:8 and
4:16 we have the anarthrous nominative directly before the verb, although the
other nominative is not in the predicate position as in Jn. 1:1 but is with
its article before the anarthorous nominative. The meaning, however is
similar. It is not saying that God and love are interchangeable, but that
love is God's nature. D. Wigtil's citation of 1 Jn. 1:5--ho theos fws
estin--also conforms to the same sort of meaning. It is not that light is
God, but that God's nature expesses (spiritually) light.
Another construction that conveys a different meaning is the two
nominatives with _eimi_ but with an article for each noun. 1 Jn. 3:4 says
_hE hamartia estin hE anomia_. In this construction, the two nominatives are
being equated. _Anomia_ is _hamartia_ and vice versa. So we can see why John
did not employ this construction in Jn. 1:1. He was speaking of the nature
of the Son. He did not wish to express a monism in the Godhead.
If someone has access to a program that could do a search for these
grammatical constructions, we could get a clearer picture of their meanings.
- Re: Jn 1:1
- From: "James K. Tauber" <firstname.lastname@example.org>