[b-greek] Re: Pros Ton

From: Carl W. Conrad (cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu)
Date: Tue Mar 13 2001 - 05:43:29 EST

At 5:32 PM -0700 3/12/01, Wayne Leman wrote:
>> Has anyone found a link to the phrase "pros ton theon" in John 1:1-4.
>> seems to indicate a reflective quality, like viewing oneself in a mirror.
>> Does this make sense to anyone, or am I missing something? Thanks for
>> help.
>> Dennis Bass
>Dennis, I don't understand what you are asking. Could you explain further? I
>esp. don't know what you mean by "a link to the phrase".

I agree that the request is unclear. I also think it is important to keep
the focus of any discussion of this phrase on what the phrase may
legitimately mean--and to steer clear of theological speculation and
doctrinal implications or the broader context.

PROS with accusative means essentially "facing" or "towards"; although
etymology is said to be unhelpful in explaining useful, in this instance
it's worth noting that PROS is originally an alternative form of the same
root as PRO and PROS and that all have a fundamental sense of "before,"
"facing" or "fronting" or even "confronting." Aristotle's PROS TI in the
"Categories" is the category of "relationship," and "in relationship to
God" is surely one intelligible and appropriate way of expressing the sense
of PROS TON QEON in English; the traditional "with God" and "in the
presence of God" seem to me also unobjectionable.

Carl W. Conrad
Co-Chair, B-Greek List
Department of Classics, Washington University
cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu OR cwconrad@ioa.com
WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/

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