Re: definite and indefinite articles/ and John1:1

Date: Sat Mar 22 1997 - 15:48:05 EST

In a major project I am doing I decided to do some things often suggested but
never carried through to my knowledge. One is the translation of the Greek
articles and the use of the English indefinite article when translating into
English, since Greek has no indefinite article. What if we used no indefinite
article at all, and used the difinite article only where used in the Greek
text, what would the English read like? Well, in doing this, along with
several other things, I find a striking improvement in the translation. For
instance, in Revelation the expression He has "eyes as a flaming fire" is
definitely improved by "eyes as flaming fire."
The idea was based on Robert Young's translation (among others) where he
said, "if we do so in one passage to bring out what may appear to us might,
could, would, or should, be the Scriptural meaning, we cannot deny the same
privilege to others who may twist other passages in like manner. The
alteration of an A for a THE may appear a small matter not worth speaking of,
but an attentive comparison of the following Translation with the common one
will discover numerous passages where the entire force of the verse depends
upon the insertion or non-insertion of the article."
With that said, has anyone else had experience with removing all English
indefinite articles, and using literally only the definite article in English
where it is used in the Greek text? And, what would be a viable objection to
such translation? (This is part of a project I'm working on to teach Greek
and Hebrew by just reading the Bible itself, at first, without grammars,
lexicons, etc, until one becomes familiar with the Scriptural usage of the
languages. Then to proceed to grammars, etc. later.)

Also, I have a question about John 1:1
en arche hn o logos kai o logos hn pros ton theon kai theos hn o logos.
Considering the concept given by some scholars that the Hebrew/Aramaic should
have a greater influence on the Greek NT re: translation and idioms, what
about this as a possible translation.
"In beginning was the word and the word was towards YHWH (o theos) and Elohim
(theos) was the word." This certainly seems to fit with the usage of the
divine idea from the Hebrew Scriptures. Any thots or comments? And, does this
perhaps not describe the relationship of the Son as a divine being with the
Father? And, though they both are Elohim, only one is YHWH?? Would be pleased
with any input.

Robert J. Petry, C.L.
Embassy of Yahuae
P.O. Box 1645
Tucson, Arizona 85702

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