Re: John 1:1 QEOS definitely definite?

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Mon Sep 22 1997 - 08:53:17 EDT

At 9:41 AM -0500 9/22/97, Andrew Kulikovsky wrote:
>On Mon, 22 Sep 1997, Carl W. Conrad wrote:
>> I thought we had been over this particular ground before. In any case, I
>> think the argument here is fallacious: one need only substitute the
>> classical illustrative elements ANQRWPOS and SWKRATHS and re-write the
>> clause as ANQRWPOS HN hO SWKRATHS to realize that (1) although hO SWKRATHS
>> is definite, ANQRWPOS is not; and (2) The translation "Socrates was a human
>> being" is not only grammatically possible, but about as literally accurate
>> as is possible.
>Carl, if we did cover this ground before, I missed it.
>what then, is the significance of both nouns being in the nominative? Why
>is it ANQROPOS instead of ANQROPON? (or QEOS instead of QEON?)
>I don't understand.

A predicate adjective or noun that is identified/associated with a subject
after a copulative word (like EINAI) is in the same case as the subject. If
the subject is nominative, the predicate word is nominative also. This is a
simple matter of agreement rule.

>> There is nothing in the grammar itself that invalidates "The Word was a
>> god" as a translation. It is other factors in the context that will have to
>> determine whether this is a legitimate understanding of the clause.
>what contextual factors?

The other items in the remainder of the prologue indicating the identity of
the LOGOS with hO QEOS and with the incarnation of the LOGOS with Jesus

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649 OR

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