From: Keith Thompson (email@example.com)
Date: Sat Mar 03 2001 - 10:33:54 EST
There have been a lot of messages on this subject recently, sorry to
add another but I would like to give my simple view and hopefully I'll
learn whether I fully understand or not.
About the usage of QEOS / hO QEOS, the context usually shows where the
article is omitted and it means 'the God'. But about the general usage
of the article my beginning grammar says...
The purpose of the definite article is to identify, to limit, and, as
the name implies, to make definite. Thus, when the article appears it
emphasizes identity, and when it is absent the emphasis is usually
quality and not specificity. The difference can be seen in the use of hO
QEOS and QEOS. When the divine person is intended a writer will use hO
QEOS; when the divine character or essence of God is meant QEOS is used.
It then gives the John 1:1 example '...the Word was with God [a person]
and the Word was God [deity]'
But the question I have is about the definiteness of anarthrous
predicate nominatives. As I understood it is like this...
definite-qualitative VERB qualitative-indefinite
if a writer meant a noun to be definite he would put it before the verb
and if indefinite he would put it after. Is this (generally) true
outside the New Testament as well? I would have thought the other
exceptions to this, like 'a prophet' and 'a Devil' could not be
indefinite either for the same reason. (Especially 'a Devil', isn't this
like saying 'a Keith Thompson'?)
And about the argument that keeps being repeated that hO LOGOS cannot
possibly be hO QEOS he is with, I thought this was a theological point,
as it depends upon the nature of the Great God being this simple. And of
course the one called hO LOGOS should then never be called 'hO QEOS'
anywhere else in John's gospel or elsewhere in the Bible.
I look at Philippians 2:6 (again!) to help me understand this...
P2:6 in the form of God - J1:1 was God (nature)
P2:7,8 took the form of a man - J1:14 became flesh (nature)
Keith Thompson (Manchester, UK)
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