From: Jonathan Robie (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Thu Feb 12 1998 - 15:28:05 EST
At 02:36 PM 2/12/98 -0500, WJMK wrote:
>Can anyone help?
>In short... two men are seeking an objective, a purely academic
>interpretation of the Bible verse John 1:1 (an interpretation based
>solely on the grammatical structure of the original language and not on
>any preconceived theological bias).
>The issue in question:
>Does John 1:1 read "the Word was God" or "the Word was a god"?
>Your responses will be greatly appreciated.
Answer: no, an objective interpretation based solely on the grammatical
structure of the original language is not possible. To understand this, you
have to know how the Greek article works. Here's my take on it, from
"Little Greek 101":
Although John 1:1 is not a major focus in this lesson, I do discuss the
verse, the use of the article to mark the subject of subject/predicate
constructions, and particularly the differences in meaning among these
KAI QEOS HN hO LOGOS
KAI hO LOGOS HN QEOS
KAI LOGOS HN hO QEOS
KAI hO QEOS HN LOGOS
KAI hO QEOS HN hO LOGOS
If QEOS is to be taken as the predicate, and LOGOS and QEOS are not
interchangeable, then there is no way to phrase this without using an
article before LOGOS and omitting the article before QEOS. This is true
regardless of whether you interpret it as definite, indefinite, or
qualitative. So you wind up having to read the rest of John and
understanding what he believes and teaches.
I guess that's why he didn't stop with John 1:1.
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