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

Date: Wed Sep 03 1997 - 09:58:15 EDT

Paul wrote in response to Wes:

<< No, it is not an acceptable translation, because the nuance is
 qualitative and there is a clearer and less ambiguous way of rendering
 the qualitative noun. The "a god" translation does or easily could
 suggest indefiniteness.
 And, frankly, one does not have to read his theology into a qualitative
 Qeos in Jn 1:1c in order to get "deity," or "divine." >>

The syntax of John 1:1c is not the only factor bearing on the translation of
the precopulative nominative. The syntax stresses the qualitative nuance, and
the context, specifically 1:1b, introduces the idea of indefiniteness, for it
distinguishes HO THEOS from the Word as THEOS.

Even if we were to translate the salient "deity" or "divine," this would
still imply, in view of the context, indefinitness, for one would then
recognize the Word as "divine" (= having the qualities or nature of "a god")
in a context where he is specifically distinguished from and shown to be in a
relationship with THE God.

Greg Stafford
University of Wisconsin

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