Re: Jn.1:1b word order

From: Paul S. Dixon (
Date: Sat Feb 07 1998 - 23:43:57 EST

On Sat, 07 Feb 1998 22:48:01 -0500 Jonathan Robie <>
>At 10:17 PM 2/7/98 EST, Paul S. Dixon wrote:
>>I copy and paste from the first paragraph of the conclusion to my Th.M.
>>thesis, "The Significance of the Anarthrous Predicate Nominative in
>>The use of the anarthrous predicate nominative in John is significant.
>>It is qualitative in 65 out of 74 occurrences, or 88% probability. When

>>the anarthrous predicate nominative precedes the verb it is
>>qualitatative in 50 of 53 occurrences, or 94% probability. When it
>>follows the verb the anarthrous predicate nominative is qualitative 13
>>of 19 occurrences, or 68%.
>So KAI QEOS HN O LOGOS would have a 94% probability of meaning "and
>the Word was divine", but a 6% probability of meaning "and the Word was
>God"? And KAI O LOGOS HN QEOS would have a 68% probability of >meaning
"and the Word was divine", but a 32% probability of meaning "and the
>Word was God"? Then in all probability, using your model, they have the
same >meaning, which is qualitative.

Huh? First of all, the purpose in my citing these statistics was in
response to William's question about which is more normal or natural, the
precopulative or the post-copulative construction (though he didn't use
those words). It is more natural, at least in John's Gospel to have the
anarthrouse predicate nominative before the verb versus after it (53
versus 19 occurrences). I suppose I didn't have to quote the whole
paragraph, but it sure was easier copying and pasting.

Secondly, you seem to think that the translation "God" implies
definiteness. It does not, not any more than the anarthrous SARX
translated "flesh" in 1:14 implies definiteness.
>(I'm still holding out for well-defined tests of qualitativeness before
>take a stand on this one...)

I defined a qualitative noun as one whose leading nuance (without getting
into whether a noun can have two or more nuances) is qualitativeness.
That qualitativeness is determined from the context (how's that for a
well-defined test?).

Paul Dixon

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