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

From: gjordan (
Date: Wed Sep 10 1997 - 01:50:41 EDT

On Tue, 9 Sep 1997, Rolf Furuli wrote:

> Your "complex-unity"-suggestion is of course possible, but it seems to have
> a great element of mysticism which elsewhere is absent from John, and it is
> completely unnecessary both linguistically and contextually (and therefore
> the burden of proof is on its advocate). John evidently was a simple person
> and he wrote to simple persons about some kind of relationship between two
> different "persons", expressed by PROS.

Wait a minute - isn't this John's Gospel, the favorite gospel of the
mystics, ringing with mystical phrases on every page? I think
speculating about the author (not John) and his/her sophistication and that
of the audience is rather futile, although I think it is generally agreed
that John's Gospel is the most sophisticated literarily of all the
gospels (despite its dialectic remoteness from Attic).
   But as for "complex-unity" - well, there's the whole hEIS theme in
this gospel, which I would intrpret as a metaphor for loving relationship
& other sorts of social relationships.
   Most importantly, in John 1.1, there is just the issue of you assuming
that QEOS must always necessarily be a count noun, whereas this is
clearly not the case. I expressed my point before as a rhetorical
question, but not because I had any doubt about it. QEOS can be a kind
of mass noun, or generic or abstract noun - it's hard to think of an
English equivalent - "godness, divinity"? That is, all the
characteristics of being associated with God or all the gods, regardless
of particular or coincidental attributes. For example, QEOS could
embrace all the immortality and blessedness and providence associated
with Zeus and Aphrodite, without distinguishing the unique personal
attributes of either. Thus, QEOS could refer to "divinity" that included
Zeus and Aphrodite, while not lumping them together as one person. There
is, it seems to me, a clear straight line of development from this usage
of QEOS by pagans to the Hellenistic Jewish and Christian (Gnostic,
Catholic, or Arian) usage of QEOS as the essence shared by both "God" and
other persons (emanations, Trinitarian persons, aeons, pneumal sparks) - in
accordance with the usual argument, "what arises from god must be god."

Greg Jordan

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