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

From: Clayton Bartholomew (
Date: Tue Sep 02 1997 - 07:16:27 EDT

Paul S. Dixon wrote:

Rolf, Greg, et al: wrote:
>Using only the grammar and syntax I see four possible English
>(1) "and the Word was God"
>(2) "and god was the Word"
>(3) "and the Word was divine"
>(4) "and the Word was a god"

>Do the conclusions of your thesis nullify any of these renderings, or
>are all four compatible with your thesis?

Only 1 and 3 are possible. Number 2 is ruled out simply because it is
bad Greek. The rule here is: given an anarthrous noun and an articular
noun in a sentence or clause, the subject is always denoted by the
articular noun.
Number 4 is ruled out simply because it stresses membership in a class of
2 or more, but the stress is qualitativeness.

The response to #2 shows a lack of understanding about the nature of
language in general. It falls into the same class as the comments that old maid
school teachers used to make about Ernest Hemmingway back in the 50's.
*Bad Greek* is a non-starter as a linguistic category.

The response to #4 is a circular argument. The author of this comment is
asking us to assume the point he is trying to argue, i.e., that QEOS is

Murray Harris (Jesus as God, page 60) states that "from the point of view of
grammar alone, QHEOS HN hO LOGOS could be rendered *the Word was a god*."
Harris argues that this rendering is made impossible by the theological
context. He argues that John, being a Jewish monotheist, he could not have
intended this meaning. Not everyone is going to be happy with Harris at this

Clay Bartholomew
Three Tree Point

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