Re.: John 1:1c

My schedule demands that I not attempt to engage in a detailed 
discussion of the translation of John 1:1, but when I read Alan Craig's 
statement that

> Conversly, the reader should not be encouraged by faulty 
> (biased) translation [i.e., "the Word was God."]...

I must make one statement (and that is all I will make on this 
subject--especially since it has been labored extensively on this list 

To call "the Word was God" a "faulty (biased) translation" is 
overstated and reflects little understanding of the text 
and its context. To suggest that it be translated "a god" or 
"divine" reflects not only those problems, but a lack of 
understanding of the English language as well. I will make only a 
few points and one suggestion: 

1. The author of the statement (Jn. 1:1) was a monotheistic Jew; 

2. Greek has a word for "divine": theios (not theos). 

3. Re. the stmt.:

> When one uses the argument that to render it as such would 
> promote `polytheism,' this then also begs the question for a 
> fairness to be thorough

is not only nearly unintelligible English, but ignores point one 
above (which "fairness" would mandate!).

4. Re. the stmt.:
> And so, for any one to have rendered this as "a god," they are 
>justified in doing so; and this, [because...]  2). This is the 
>literal reading/rendering.

Translating "a god" is NOT "literal" (whatever that amorphous word 
means!), if for no other reason that the fact that Greek does not 
have an indefinite article and the article in Greek behaves quite 
differently than the English article.

My suggestion: read Murray J. Harris' detailed exegetical 
discussion of this passage before proceeding any further: _Jesus 
as God: The NT Use of 'theos' in Reference to Jesus_ (Grand 
Rapids: Baker, 1992), 51-71. He adresses all the issues thus far 
raised, including most of the lengthy list of writers cited by Craig.

Rod Decker
Asst. Prof./Greek
Calvary Theological Seminary, Kansas City