Re: John 1:1 EN ARQH

From: George Athas (
Date: Wed Mar 18 1998 - 16:25:34 EST

Williams, Wes wrote:

> > George Blaisdell wrote:
> > >And yet, in virtually all mss, there is no THi ~ And my suggestive
> > >question to anyone reading John is... Why?
> >
> >
> > May be because this word being absolute in itself does not require the
> > definite article?
> >
> A fine idea but usage does not always support it. The particular
> beginning that is referenced must come from context. Two examples of
> anarthrous EN ARCH:
> Acts 11:15 As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them just as on
> us EN ARCH. The reference is to Pentecost.
> Brenton LXX: 1 Samuel 17:9 For, behold, he is now hidden in one of the
> hills or in some other place: and it shall come to pass when he falls
> upon them EN ARCH,
> Verses 2 and 3 of John 1 suggest the reference for the beginning of
> verse 1 to be probably Genesis 1:1, which describes the creation of
> physical things.

If the writer of John was Semitic (and he almost definitely was), then the
omission of the article seems to be a deliberate action to make reference
back to Genesis 1:1. In Genesis 1, both the Hebrew and the Greek LXX omit
the article. This means that John was writing a 'new' Genesis. Notice how
John structures the next few chapters within a framework of 'days'
(1:29,35,43; 2:1,12,19), much like the beginning (ARCH - <<boom boom>>) of

Best regards!
George Athas
 PhD (Cand.), University of Sydney
 Tutor of Hebrew, Moore Theological College
Phone: 0414 839 964 ICQ#: 5866591

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