Date: Wed Sep 10 1997 - 12:19:32 EDT
On reflection and a night's sleep, I realized that for the sake of clarity,
that I need to restate my point before I resume lurker status. In my
discussion on PROS + EIMI, I was always referring to what was possible within
the language. If you think the options that I suggested are possible, that's
good. That's what I'm after. I wasn't wanting to make propositions about
the relationship between hO LOGOS and hO QEOS. However, nothing that I said
went beyond M. J. Harris' four points in "Jesus as God."
With apologies to Paul Evans, I will use linguistic terms in my
summary--specifically terms from Discourse Analysis. I will try to define my
terms. These terms are included in some of the more recent intermediate
Greek grammars, so I don't think that they are inappropriate in this forum.
First, EIMI + PROS establishes a link between nouns. The link is either
relationship or spatial (among, between, in inside). It does not "make" the
nouns seperate and distinct so that they are mutually exclusive. In fact, it
can be used to express a relationship where the subject is a part of or
contained in the object of the preposition.
For example EIMI + PROS in Mt. 13:56 and Mk 6:3, links Jesus' sisters to the
community in Nazareth. If we were describing one sister, we could say in
English, "She is one of us."
I am not saying that EIMI + PROS cannot link distinct mutually exclusive
individuals. I am saying that its range of meaning does not necessitate
mutually exclusive individuals. Far from it.
My main point that this supports is:
The three occurences of QEOS in Jn. 1:1, 2 refer to the same individual.
There is no "signal" or "mark" that QEOS in 1:1c is a different object or
thing than the TON QEON in 1:1b or the TON QEON in 1:2 (A signal or a mark
would provide the necessary information or clue to interpret a reference
correctly. In this case a definition, or qualification such as the use of
TIS or ALLOS to qualify the anarthrous QEOS).
Discourse analysis analyzes literary structure with principles of
linguistics. One of the things it focuses on is the use of repetition (for
more introductory info., see Young's Intermediate NT Greek grammar, chapter
17). It analyzes how repetition weaves together clauses or words. The unity
this creates is called "cohesion." The kind of intentional redundancy that
John uses in Jn. 1:1, 2 in the repetition of LOGOS, QEOS, EIMI and ARCH is
called "lexical cohesion" (unity created with the repition of words).
In Jn. 1:1, 2, there is a chain of three repetitions of QEOS: TOV QEON . . .
QEOS . . . TON QEON, all in the predicate, and all with the same subject. In
such a chain, the noun usually has the same "referent." That is, the noun
represents the same object or individual each time it is used. If Paul Dixon
is right, then the second repetition focuses on the quality or nature of the
QEOS that has already been introduced.
The suggestion that the second QEOS in the chain means "a god" would mean
that QEOS is referring to another object. That is, that there has been a
change in referent. Normally, such a change would go against the flow of the
four clauses, and would create confusion unless the change in referent were
clearly signalled. If the change in the referent were clearly signalled,
then we would have clever wordplay and there would be no discussion.
EIMI + PROS would not be a clear signal for a change in referent. It simply
does not include that function in its range of meaning.
The anarthrous QEOS is accounted for by common grammar and Paul Dixon's
suggestions. Therefore by itself, it would not consitute a clear signal that
the referent has changed. There would have to be something more.
That's the summary of my position and my point. For me to continue the
discussion would be pointless (that is, I doubt that I have any more points).
In a message dated 97-09-09 18:02:25 EDT, you write:
> Cindy Westfall wrote:
> <<<<<<My point is not to prove a complex unit in QEOS with only Jn. 1:1-2,
> and I do
> want to stick to the immediate literary context and the point that is at
> issue. I challenge the assumption that EIMI + PROS, which occurs in both
> 1:1b and 1:2, necessarily identifies hO QEOS and hO LOGOS as seperate
> distinct units. I clearly stated an assumption that EIMI + PROS could be
> used to express the relationship of a member or a part to a whole. Those
> say that PROS establishes seperate indentities or units for hO QEOS and hO
> LOGOS assume that EIMI + PROS would not be used to express the
> of a member or a part to a whole.
> Back to my illustration with Gamaliel: GAMALIHL HN PROS TO SUNEDRION
> (Gamaliel was with the Sanhedrin). The question is, would PROS
> Gamaliel as an entity seperate from the Sanhedrin, indicating that he was
> a member?
> As I said, if Rolf (or whoever) felt that EIMI + PROS made such a
> distinction, that person should demonstrate the fact that EIMI + PROS made
> that kind of distinction since it was a narrower definition than
> or relationship.
> However, I was too curious about the answer, and felt compelled to do my
> research. I'll go ahead and share what I found in the verses that
> EIMI + PROS in the New Testament. The combination of EIMI + PROS is rare
> the NT and odd, because it combines a stative verb with a transitive
> proposition--that is, the verb and the preposition don't match. On p.
> Wallace asserts: "These texts illustrate a general principle: Stative
> override the transitive force of the prepositions. Almost always, when a
> stative verb is used with a transitive presposition, the presposition's
> natural force is neutralized; all that remains a stative idea." So, if
> Wallace is right, the EIMI must be considered as a more important element
> than PROS, and we cannot assume a transitive interaction between units.
> Here are the occurences of EIMI and PROS. I'm not sure if this is
> exhaustive, and would appreciate any additions of other occurences. I
> eight occurences (if Jn. 1:1 and 1:2 are considered as a parallel,
> occurence--if not, nine). Each occurence corresponds closey with another
> occurence, so I'll place them in pairs to save space.
> Mt. 13:56 (Mk 6:3b) ... KAI hAI ADKFAI AUTOU OUCI PASAI PROS hHMAS
> EISIN; ( And His sisters, are they not all with us?)
> Mk. 9:19 (Lk. 9:41) ... W GENEA ASPISTOS, hEWS POTE PROS hUMAS
> (O unbelieving geneation, how long shall I be with you?)
> I Th. 3:4 (2 Th. 3:10) ... KAI GAR hOTE PROS hUMAS NMEN, PROELEGOMEN
> hUMIN... (and indeed when we were with you we were telling you...)
> I Jn. 1:2 (cf. Jn. 1:1-2) ...APAGGELLOMEN hUMIN THN ZWHN THN AIWNION
> hATIS HN PROS TOV PATERA... (...we proclaim to you the eternal life which
> with the Father)
> Louw and Nida classified the PROS in Mt. 13:56 as a spatial position which
> means "among, between, in, inside." Presumably, all the the first six
> occurances could be classified the same way. Far from precluding the
> relationship of a part or a member to the whole, these six occurences all
> carry an element of membership or inclusion of the subject within the
> of the preposition PROS to some degree. This is particularly true in Mt.
> 13:56 and Mk 6:3: the point the Nazarene community was making, is that
> Jesus' sisters had an indisputed membership in the community.
> As for the four other verses, "with" could be possibly be validly
> with "part of." That is, Jesus, by his human birth, was part of the
> unbelieving generation, and Paul, when he was present with the
> was part of their group.
> At the very least, the assumption that EIMI + PROS distinguishes hO LOGOS
> a seperate unit from hO QEOS is not upheld by the other occurences of the
> construction (I'll set I Jn. 1:2 aside, since it has many of the same
> involved, though not the anarthrous construction).>>>>>>>>>>
> Dear Cindy,
> I agree that the meaning of PROS + EIMI is important, and I appreciate
> study of this construction in the NT. There is hardly a more exaustive
> study of what the leading commentators have said about John 1:1 than that
> of M.J. Harris ("Jesus as God"). On pages 55-57 he lists "the four major
> possibilities" of how PROS can be understood: (1) The Word "spoke to" God,
> (2) The Word "had regard to God" or "was looking toward God" or "was
> devoted to God", (3) The Word was "with" (position) God, and (4) "The Word
> was in active communion with God". In all four cases there are two
> different referents "two persons" with some kind of relationship.
> In all your 8 passages above the same is true. According to Mt 13:56 the
> sisters were together with others, according to 1 Th 3:4 Paul and his
> co-workers were together with the Thessalonians, and according to Mk 9:19
> Jesus was togehter with, but separated from this "unbelieving generation".
> PROS + EINAI in these cases describes a relationship between two
> referents or groups of referents.
> Your "complex-unity"-suggestion is of course possible, but it seems to
> a great element of mysticism which elsewhere is absent from John, and it
> completely unnecessary both linguistically and contextually (and therefore
> the burden of proof is on its advocate). John evidently was a simple
> and he wrote to simple persons about some kind of relationship between two
> different "persons", expressed by PROS.
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