Re: "In the beginning was the word" (Jn 1:1a)

From: Jason Hare (
Date: Tue Feb 22 2000 - 18:44:44 EST

I have no problem with these translations or with your
opinion. You asked before why someone would chose
Word as a translation and I was remarking that it is
an acceptable way of wording it (pardon the pun). I
am not a defender of the translation, just a suggester
of a side.


--- Steven Craig Miller <>
> To: Gfsomsel and Jason Hare,
> G: << To prescriptively limit the use of "word" to a
> written form is to
> disable the language much as those who wish to
> impose a politically correct
> understanding of the word "man" and substitute
> "person." >>
> Of course, no one has limited all uses of the
> English term "word" to "a
> written form." In fact, in the first message of this
> thread, I presented a
> definition of the the term "word" as referring to
> "the concept of discrete,
> meaningful verbal units that are combined to form
> utterances." But I doubt
> that this concept appears anywhere in the NT. And
> yet, it appears that this
> is the basic meaning most people have for the
> English term "word" (i.e. "a
> speech sound or series of sounds that symbolizes and
> communicates a meaning
> without being divisible into smaller units capable
> of independent use").
> For many people the term "man" is no longer used in
> an inclusive sense, and
> thus for such people a non-"politically correct"
> translation would violate
> their sense of English idiom. Eugene A. Nida and
> Charles R. Taber, in their
> "The Theory and Practice of Translation" (1982),
> wrote:
> << Even the old question: Is this a correct
> translation? must be answered
> in terms of another question, namely: For whom?
> Correctness must be
> determined by the extent to which the average reader
> for which a
> translation is intended will be likely to understand
> it correctly >> (1).
> According to Nida-Taber, different translations are
> needed for different
> people.
> JH: << By saying "it does not refer to a 'word' (in
> its narrow sense)" you
> admit that "word" has a wider sense in which to be
> understood. Therefore it
> is not such a "limited" means of expression and is
> acceptable as is. >>
> For me, the issue is not whether or not the
> translation "word" can in some
> sense be seen as "acceptable," but rather which
> translation better reflects
> the original text's meaning. Perhaps you don't feel
> that the translations
> which I've offered better reflect the original text.
> That is fair enough,
> it seems to me that there is plenty of room for
> differences of opinion
> here. Unfortunately, I'm unclear as to why you feel
> that the term "word" is
> a better translation than what I've offered. Perhaps
> you would like clarify
> this?
> -Steven Craig Miller
> Alton, Illinois (USA)
> FWIW: I'm neither a clergy-person, nor an academic
> (and I have no post-grad
> degrees).
> ---
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