RE: ALLOS and Jn. 1:1c/Was Anarthrous Subject

From: Stephen C. Carlson (
Date: Fri Sep 05 1997 - 23:21:24 EDT

At 05:52 9/5/97 +0200, Rolf Furuli wrote:
>Verse 1 consists of three clauses forming one sentence. This is exclusively
>the "linguistic context". Everything else in John, in the whole Bible and
>any relevant extrabiblical information is the "theological context". The
>lack of article before QEOS in 1:1c has absolute no meaning in itself;
>there are scores of examples of QEOS without article which denote the
>Father, thus being specific and deserve capital "G" in English
>translations. However, two occurrences of articular QEOS together with the
>one lacking the article in the same "linguistic context" are highly
>important (This is the use of the "syntactical context"). These facts
>signals a difference between QEOS and hO QEOS, but not which kind of

I'm not sure that the difference in the use of the article is so
important in Jn1:1. The verse reads (best viewed in a fixed width
font) :-

                                 KAI QEOS HN hO LOGOS.

Each clause terminates in a noun that commences the next clause in
a climax. The climactic structure manifest in this verse dictates
that QEOS appear as the first noun. Since QEOS is a predicate noun
occurring before the explicit copula, it lacks the article (Colwell's
rule). Thus, the difference in the use of the article depends more
on the constraints of the rhetorical structure than necessarily on a
semantic difference.

If the author of Jn1:1 wished to exploit the function of the articles
to capture a semantic distinction, I think the verse would read "... KAI
hO LOGOS HN QEOS" instead. And we would be the poorer for it.

Stephen Carlson

Stephen C. Carlson                   : Poetry speaks of aspirations,              : and songs chant the words. :               -- Shujing 2.35

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