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

From: GregStffrd@aol.com
Date: Thu Mar 01 2001 - 11:03:46 EST

In a message dated 03/01/2001 6:26:35 AM Pacific Standard Time,
dwashbur@nyx.net writes:

<< 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
 suspect. >>

Dear Dave:

I am not sure what value there is in comparing genitive uses of QEOS with
predicate nominatives, even if both are anarthrous. Genitives tend to have a
certain definiteness about them, whereas predicate nominatives do not.

With respect to the original question, and keeping entirely clear of
theological lines, the fact remains that, grammatically, the LOGOS is "with"
hO THEOS. Therefore, regardless of whether one decides to view the fronting
of the PN as an indicator of pure qualitativeness (which I do not believe is
_ever_ the case with a PN) or an emphasized definite or indefinite noun
(which I believe is _always_ the intent behind fronting [that is, emphasis]),
the fact remains that the LOGOS cannot _grammatically_ be shown to be the God
he is "with."

Therefore, whether viewed as a result of the grammar of 1:1c. or in
connection with the context, specifically 1:1b, there are two G-gods here.
There is no grammatical difficulty with this conclusion, only a theological

Thus, the only way to counter the grammatical implications of John 1:1 is to
introduce a theological concept that allows for the redefinition of hO QEOS
as "the Father" (the first person OF God) and the LOGOS as one who is
qualitatively described as one who has the full nature OF QEOS. (I am not
here commenting on whether such a theological concept is right or wrong, but
merely noting what concept[s] are usually introduced as a means of
interpreting the grammar of the passage.) Since such theological concerns are
not appropriate here, we cannot explore them further nor introduce them as a
means of understanding QEOS in 1:1b. or 1:1c.

Greg Stafford

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