Re: Jn.1:1b word order

From: Rolf Furuli (
Date: Tue Feb 10 1998 - 09:08:27 EST

Jonathan Robie wrote

>>(2) The words hOUTOS HN EN ARCHi PROS TON QEON makes (A) very problematic
>>because the most natural interpretation of the English words is that "the
>>Word" and "God" are convertible terms, and this clashes with the
>>preposition PROS. One individual who is PROS another individual can hardly
>>be identical with this individual.

>Could you expand on this? I don't see the convertible terms in the phrase

Dear Jonathan,

What I meant to say was that in the English rendition of John 1:1c "and
the Word was God" "the Word" and "God" can hardly be viewed as anything
but convertible terms. This is so because "God" with capital "G" in English
is a proper noun and as such is definite. This is very difficult to
reconcile with the PROS in the next clause or with the "with God" in the
popular English translation of PROS TON QEON.

The best treatment of passages where QEOS is applied to Jesus is M.J.
Harris,1992, "Jesus as God The New Testament Use of Theos in Reference to
Jesus". The book is exhaustive and scholarly. The reader should, however,
keep in mind that Harris takes a particular theological view of Jesus for
granted and has a tendency to mingle this with scholarly arguments and
reports without bringing this to the attention of the reader.


Rolf Furuli
University of Oslo

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