Re: John 1:1 EN ARQH

From: Jonathan Robie (
Date: Tue Mar 17 1998 - 11:09:08 EST

At 07:54 AM 3/16/98 -0800, wrote:
>Three things stand out here ~
>1 ~ ARQH is feminine
>2 ~ ARQH has no article
>3 ~ The obvious relationship of this passage to Genesis 1.
>It would seem that by ARQH being in the feminine, without an article,
>it has an encompassing quality ~ "...And the earth was without form
>and void...", which then gives EN the meaning of "Within" [as 'within'
>the anarthous feminine encompassment].
>Has anyone explored this approach?
I do hear this kind of thing said from time to time, but I don't think this
is a useful approach. First off, the gender of nouns is quite arbitrary in
Greek, as in many other languages. I do not believe that feminine nouns are
any more "encompassing" than other nouns, and a given noun almost always
retains its gender in all usages (one exception seems to be "sheep", and
I've seen a few others). I think it is a mistake to consider the gender of
a noun to be meaningful for interpretation.

In prepositional phrases the article is often omitted, perhaps because the
meaning is often definite enough without an article. I see little
difference in meaning between EN ARCHi and EN THi ARCHi.


Jonathan Robie

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