[b-greek] Re: QEOS and the Article

From: Dave Washburn (dwashbur@nyx.net)
Date: Fri Mar 02 2001 - 12:42:42 EST

Bypassing a lot of other good stuff, I want to zero in on this line of

> In John 1:1 we have two individuals who are grammatically shown to be in
> association with each other, each called QEOS (one with the article and the
> other without it). In such a context where two beings are "with" each other,
> where they are each called QEOS but distinguished by means of the article,
> then I think it is entirely appropriate to suggest some distinction in
> English such as "God" and "a god."
> If there is disagreement of a _grammatical_ nature, then one must present a
> context where two individuals have the same term applied to them but with a
> difference in the use of the article. THAT would be a comparable situation to
> what we have in John 1:1, not simply citing texts where a term is used
> without the article and where such a term is not in association with the same
> term used with the article for another individual. Such a context, as I
> mentioned in a previous post, seems to me to demand a distinction between the
> two who are in association with each, a distinction in the very same terms
> used to describe each of them.

I have to disagree here. It seems to me that if we are going to
make a strong case for the anarthrous, fronted PN referring to a
separate individual, then not only do we need to find such
instances, but especially in the case of a loaded word such as
QEOS, we have to examine Johannine use of the word to see how
much, if ever, he uses it as a qualitative descriptive term rather
than as a specific noun referring consistently to a particular
individual. So far I don't see any of us checking this out? If such a
usage of QEOS is somewhat common in John (ignoring for a
momen the wide variation in possible definitions of "common"),
then the case for "God" and "a god" has some potential basis. If
John consistently and most commonly uses QEOS wrt the one
"God" of his Judaic heritage, then a qualitative use such as "a god"
or "divine" is out of character with his style and usage and is likely
not what he had in mind. I suspect this is the next question that
needs to be examined.

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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