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

From: Stephen C. Carlson (scarlson@mindspring.com)
Date: Thu Mar 01 2001 - 22:39:59 EST

At 07:21 AM 3/1/01 -0700, Dave Washburn wrote:
>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

This, in a nutshell, is basically the point of my Bayesian
analysis of John 1:1c (but with mathematical notation),
previously posted on B-Greek and now available at:


My conclusion in this piece is that the syntax of John 1:1c
is evidence that points in favor of QEOS being qualitative,
but its strength as evidence is weak because the noun QEOS
is overwhelmingly definite elsewhere in John. There is
contextual evidence for either position. John 1:1c may be
in contrast with v14 which calls for a qualitative meaning,
but the climactic structure of v1 and its juxtaposition of
the clearly definite QEON in v1b with KAI QEOS argues the
other way.

Although I'm no fan of the Revised English Bible's translation
in general and not partial to qualitative translations of John
1:1c in particular, I rather like the way they phrase KAI QEOS
HN hO LOGOS: "and what God was, the Word was" -- because, e.g.,
it preserves the climactic structure of John 1:1-2a.

Stephen Carlson
Stephen C. Carlson mailto:scarlson@mindspring.com
Synoptic Problem Home Page http://www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/synopt/
"Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words." Shujing 2.35

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