Re: Jn 1:1, Colwell, Nelson Stdy Bible

From: gjordan (
Date: Fri Aug 29 1997 - 18:23:21 EDT

Thanks, Paul Dixon, for the good work on this important matter. I am sure
I will have need to refer to this in the future.

I also agree with Carl Conrad that later theological decisions aren't
decisive for understanding how to construe the Greek. Perhaps an issue,
though, is what sorts of "theology" (literally ironic term for discussing
John 1:1, isn't it?) the author of the Prologue had to constrain his/her

If the anarthrous _theos_ were definite in meaning, would it then refer
back to _theos_ with the article? Or could a shift in reference have
happened? Even if either _theos_ were definite, would they also be
proper nouns, one or both? Where _theos_ was a common noun, it could
have several meanings (not just "a god" but also "godhood/godness"; orthodox
theologians pushed the creeds & doctrines in this direction). Then there
is the possibility of paronomasia, and readings like "the word was: 'God'
[which I favor myself :>] If the reference shifted, then we do not have
a strict logical paradox here. The orthodox theologians did not interpret
it as a strict logical paradox, and while their reading is not
definitive, it's interestingly in contrast to common readings today.

Greg Jordan

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