Re: John 1:1, Structure and Transl.

Gregory Jordan wrote:
>On Wed, 23 Nov 1994 Dvdmoore@aol.com wrote:
>>     The comments on the rhetorical figure in Jn. 1:1 seem well taken, and
>>the quote from Shakespeare is a good illustration of this construction from
>>our own tongue.  But the translation of the last foot of the verse under
>>discussion (i.e. "And 'God' was the word"), IMO, goes somewhat off the beam.
>> We've already had quite a bit of discussion about the subject's being in the
>>predicate position when two nouns are joined by the third person singular of
>>EIMI and only the latter of them has the article.  The arthrous noun in the
>>predicate position in such a case (as here in Jn. 1:1) is treated as the
>I was merely trying to show the pattern in English. Since English doesn't 
>have as flexible a word order, I did make "God" the grammatical subject 
>in my translation.  I didn't mean for it to have any meaning other than - 
>The word was: "God."  Aside from emphasis by position and an avoidance of 
>literalism, what would the distinction be between, say, a translation like 
>"The word was God" and "God was the word"?

Perhaps the best way to capture John's climax, while at the same time keeping
the proper sense in English, is by translating Jn1:1 as

	In the beginning was the Word,
	and the Word was with God,
	and God, the Word was.

A bit awkward but still understandable.

Stephen Carlson
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