[b-greek] Re: theos and ho theos'

From: Dave Washburn (dwashbur@nyx.net)
Date: Thu Mar 01 2001 - 09:21:45 EST

> To all with interest,
> The fact that the word theos' in its second occurrence is without the
> definite article (ho) and is placed before the verb in the sentence in Greek
> is significant. Interestingly, translators that insist on rendering John
> 1:1, "The Word was God," do not hesitate to use the indefinite article (a,
> an) in their rendering of other passages where a singular anarthrous
> predicate noun occurs before the verb. Thus, at John 6:70, JBand KJ both
> refer to Judas Iscariot as "a devil," and at John 9:17 they describe Jesus
> as "a prophet."
> Melinda
This is true, but I'm not sure it's significant. Context and authorial
intent are everything. Thus, even though QEOU is anarthrous in
John 1:6, I don't know of any translation that renders it "a god" or
"divine" or anything similar. Likewise, I know of no translation that
renders verse 12 "sons of a god" even though QEOU is anarthrous.
 Whether or not the article is present really means little or nothing
for determining the meaning of QEOS in 1:1, because John freely
uses both forms when referring to the proper noun "God." To make
the case for "a god" or "divine," we would need to see other
examples of QEOS with this meaning in the Johannine corpus. As
far as I know, it is never used this way anywhere else in that
corpus, which renders the indefinite or adjectival translations

Dave Washburn
"No study of probabilities inside a given frame can ever
tell us how probable it is that the frame itself can be
violated." C. S. Lewis

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