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

From: Carlton Winbery (
Date: Mon Jan 03 2000 - 09:18:36 EST

Carl Conrad responded;

>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.
I agree with what Carl has said and would add some more detail. The article
is sometimes used like the demonstrative (near demonstr. here). In fact the
article, in reality, is a demonstrative pronoun. I personally see a slight
emphasis when the writer chooses to use the demonstrative (either near or
far EKEINOS). If that is the case, there is a slight emphasis on the
subject in this construction that perhaps is captured better by the KJV.
Today, we should perhaps translate, "This one was . . ." This translation
does not assume the theological aspects of this paragraph and perhaps the
translation does not preclude the several theologies derived from the
ambiguity of this paragraph.

Dr. Carlton L. Winbery
Foggleman Professor of Religion
Louisiana College
Ph. 1 318 448 6103 hm
Ph. 1 318 487 7241 off

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