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

From: GregStffrd@aol.com
Date: Sat Mar 03 2001 - 10:12:49 EST

In a message dated 03/02/2001 9:10:50 PM Pacific Standard Time,
dwashbur@nyx.net writes:

 I'm not sure I can agree with this, especially in the case of a
 *proper* noun. Common nouns, sure. Most can convey both
 nuances. But a proper noun is different. My given name is David;
 somehow I can't see someone looking at me and saying "You're
 very David." So the question, within the grammatical framework
 you're constructing, becomes whether QEOS is a proper noun or
 not. >>

Dear David:

I appreciate your thoughts, but as I mentioned in my emails to Paul (I may
not have been so specific with you or others on this point), I am discussing
nouns of personal description, or non-proper nouns. Proper nouns are always
definite, as far as I have observed. Also, as I articulated to Paul,
particularly in my last email, I am not suggesting that two nuances are
present in one term, but that the noun is either definite or indefinite and
the qualities inherent in the term are either emphasized or not.

I think QEOS does approach the status of a proper name in some contexts, or
at least it has an almost fixed reference with a particular referent (God the
Father). But it is used in the plural, it is used indefinitely, and it is
used in certain contexts of more than one individual with grammatical
differences (the use of the article). If there is something in the use of
QEOS (in the NT of in the Johannine writings) that you want to present as
evidence for taking QEOS as a proper noun, then we would have to examine the
particular instances in question and determine what sense (definite personal
application, indefinite personal application, emphasized personal application
with either of the previous nuances, proper noun application, etc.) is to be

If in John 1:1c QEOS is a proper noun, then we have the _grammatical_
difficulty of explaining how the Word can be God and be "with" God. This is
one reason why most scholars have and are continuing to move away from
viewing QEOS in 1:1c as definite.

Again, I understand the theology behind the various explanations, but that
cannot be presented here. Is there some grammatical point that you or anyone
else can present to explain this grammatical difficulty?

I am trying to wind up this discussion, so if there is no significant
grammatical point to be made on this particularl issue, give it some thought
and if/when the topic comes up in the future perhaps we can consider again.

Best regards,

Greg Stafford

B-Greek home page: http://metalab.unc.edu/bgreek
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