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

From: Paul S. Dixon (
Date: Sat Sep 06 1997 - 13:15:27 EDT

On Fri, 05 Sep 1997 23:21:24 "Stephen C. Carlson"
<> writes:

>At 05:52 9/5/97 +0200, Rolf Furuli wrote:
>>Verse 1 consists of three clauses forming one sentence. This is
>>exclusivelythe "linguistic context". Everything else in John, in the
whole Bible
>>and any relevant extrabiblical information is the "theological
>>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
>>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) :-
>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.

You are falling into the same error committed by Colwell himself and
subsequent scholars when you say, "Since QEOS is a predicate noun
occurring before the explicit copula, it lacks the article (Colwell's
rule)." This implies you think or are assuming QEOS is definite. But,
that is exactly what we are trying to determine. Remember, Colwell's
rule assumes definiteness and can be applied only after definiteness has
already been determined. It says, essentially, that definite predicate
nominatives preceding the copula tend to be anarthrous. It does not say
anarthrous predicate nominatives preceding the copula tend to be
definite, which is the converse of the rule. So, we cannot use it to
argue for definiteness.

But, if you are arguing that QEOS in 1:1c is definite because of the
preceding TON QEON and because of the parallel between the two and the
two preceding occurrences of hO LOGOS, and that Colwell's rule only tells
us this definite QEOS does not have to have the article since it is
pre-copulative, then we still have a serious problem. Would this not
also, then, imply that this definite QEOS in 1:1c is identical to the TON
QEON of 1:1b, since the hO LOGOS of 1:1a is the hO LOGOS of 1:1b?

This would cause serious problems for us all. I don't think any of us
believe that the Logos and God the Father are one and the same person.

Paul Dixon

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