Re: John 1:1a - in *the* beginning

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Mon Oct 27 1997 - 22:17:20 EST

At 8:14 PM -0600 10/27/97, Jonathan Robie wrote:
>When I read John 1:1a, I always read EN ARCH as "in the beginning". Of
>course, there is no article, but I've never heard anybody translate this as
>"in a beginning". Is it the meaning of ARCH that makes it definite, since
>there is only one beginning in the biblical world view? Or is there
>something else that should tip me off that this is definite and not

I've always assumed that this was directly in imitation of the Hebrew of
Genesis 1:1 -- B'RESHITH BARA' . . . If there's a better reason for the
absence of an article there, I'd like to hear it.

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

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:38:34 EDT