Re: John 1:2 'The same' or 'He'

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Mon Jan 03 2000 - 06:48:32 EST

At 11:58 PM -0600 1/2/00, Mark Duwayne Stephens Sr. wrote:
>In the KJV the text starts out with "The same was in the begining...."
>But in other translations it reads "He was........."
>I am very new to this so if someone could give me understanding please do

The Greek text is hOUTOS HN EN ARCHi PROS TON QEON. Here hOUTOS is the word
translated "the same" in KJV and "he" in other versions; the fact that
hOUTOS is a demonstrative pronoun ("this one," "this very one") accounts
for the KJV translation; however, it is very common in idiomatic Greek to
use the demonstrative pronoun to refer back to a noun already indicated in
the sentence or sentences immediately preceding--which is to say, "he was
..." is more idiomatic English, even if it is not "literally" equivalent to
the Greek.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649

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