[b-greek] Re: Apoc 3,14

From: GregStffrd@aol.com
Date: Wed May 16 2001 - 00:29:19 EDT

In a message dated 05/15/2001 7:34:39 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
jlupia2@excite.com writes:

<< So, Apoc 3,14 reads,
 IMHO: The Amen, the faithful and true witness, says these things of God, the
 first principle and cause of all things. >>

Dear John:

Revelation 3:14 does not say this at all, but that the Amen is hH ARCH THS
KTISEWS TOU QEOU. If, then, as you say, the Amen is the "first principle and
cause of all things," how is it that the apostle says that he is the ARCH THS

It seems clear to me that "God," as distinct from the Amen, is the one who is
thought to be responsible for THS KTISEWS. Additionally, we have no NT
examples of ARCH followed by a genitive expression meaning anything other
than the first of a series. According to your view, however, we have in Rev.
3:14, "the first principle and cause of all things by God." Of course, the
"by God" portion then has no meaning and clashes with what precedes it;
hence, you deleted it from your translation.

You do, though, quote Aristotle's Metaphysics 983b11, which reads: touto
stoicheion kai tautên archên phasin einai tôn ontôn. We could also quote
983b1: dêlon gar hoti kakeinoi legousin archas tinas kai aitias.

Let's start with your actual citation, 983b11. I translate it as follows:
"They say this is an element and principle of that which exists." There is
nothing here about "cause" or "source," but *principle* (ARCHN) and "element"
(STOICHEION). Next we take 983b1, which I translate: "For it is clear that
they recognize various principles and causes." Okay, now here we have the
sense of "cause." But there is just one problem: It comes from the Greek word

This seems to reinforce the fact that had John somehow been influenced by
Aristotelian concepts for "cause" he would have used AITIA, not ARCH, which
he regularly employs (in all cases, in fact) for a "beginning."

But I do appreciate your example. If you would like to explore others, please
give the complete Greek text and interact with it in outlining your argument.

Best regards,

Greg Stafford

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