Date: Tue Sep 09 1997 - 13:26:55 EDT
In a message dated 97-09-09 01:13:27 EDT, you write:
<< Hello, Cindy:
John quotes Jesus as saying EGW KAI O PATHR hEN ESMEN in Jn. 10:33. At
one good option for the meaning of this clause is that Jesus and the Father
form a complex unit of which both are parts or members. I assume that the
use of PROS in 1:1b and 1:2 would not exclude the idea of Jesus as a
relating to such a complex unit. This would be consistent with two of the
views suggested for Jn. 1:1c. That is, hO LOGOS could be taken as a
of QEOS (a complex unit) whether the emphasis is on the quality of QEOS, or
QEOS is taken as definite. >>
Can you tell us what "complex unit" you are referring to, specifically?
where in the Bible is such a "complex unit" is discussed? I see no complex
unit in John 10:33, anymore than I do in John 17:22, HINA WSIN HEN KATHWS
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 in
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 who
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 relationship
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 distinguish
Gamaliel as an entity seperate from the Sanhedrin, indicating that he was not
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 association
However, I was too curious about the answer, and felt compelled to do my own
research. I'll go ahead and share what I found in the verses that include
EIMI + PROS in the New Testament. The combination of EIMI + PROS is rare in
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. 359,
Wallace asserts: "These texts illustrate a general principle: Stative verbs
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 found
eight occurences (if Jn. 1:1 and 1:2 are considered as a parallel, one-time
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 ESOMAI;
(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 was
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 object
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 interpreted
with "part of." That is, Jesus, by his human birth, was part of the
unbelieving generation, and Paul, when he was present with the Thessalonions,
was part of their group.
At the very least, the assumption that EIMI + PROS distinguishes hO LOGOS as
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 issues
involved, though not the anarthrous construction).
Rather, there must have been a few early readers who got the impression that
HN PROS implied that hO LOGOS had some kind of membership, participation or
incorporation into hO QEON (based on the way EIMI + PROS was used in Mt.
13:56 and Mk. 9:19). If this wasn't what John intended, it seems strange
that John would not anticipate the "mistake" and clarify meaning by inserting
a TIS (or less likely an ALLOS) in Jn. 1:1c.
Back to Gamaliel--my tentative conclusion is, that if I were a 1st century
reader who spoke Greek, and I found GAMALIHL HN PROS TO SUNEDRION in a bottle
floating in the Mediterranean :) I would interpret the clause as "Gamaliel
was a member of the Sanhedrin." But I could be wrong.
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