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

From: Stephen C. Carlson (
Date: Sat Sep 06 1997 - 15:02:28 EDT

At 01:15 9/6/97 EDT, Paul S. Dixon wrote:
>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.

The conclusion inferred does not follow from my statement. Either QEOS
is definite or not definite. If is not definite, then it does not take
the article, whether or not it precedes the verb. If it is definite,
then since it precedes the verb, then it lacks the article (Colwell's
rule). Accordingly, a predicate noun QEOS before the verb will lack the
article whether definite or not. Therefore the fact that QEOS is before
the verb and anarthrous tells us very little about whether QEOS is or is
not definite. That's all I'm saying in my response to Rolf. I see nothing
erroneous here, except the false assumption that I intended a conclusive
argument for QEOS being definite.

>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.

Exactly. But neither can we use it as a strong argument for non-definiteness
-- which is my point.

>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.

I'm not so sure that 1:1c is a statement about the personhood in the Trinity,
even if QEOS is understood as definite. Therefore, I prescind from this line
of argument.

Stephen Carlson

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

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