MAubrey wrote:It's also not really a post that should be in the Syntax and Grammar section either. A post entitled: "Definiteness and Predicate Nominatives" would make a great Syntax and Grammar post discussion--hmmm, maybe I'll collect some data on that and write something up...maybe--the semester is in full swing now.
That's a really good topic, though. If you get the energy, I'd like to read that.
MAubrey wrote:"A god" followed by a question about how to translate John 1:1 would be better in the Koine Texts subforum for NT texts, but even then, we're generally not interested in translation on this website at all, just Greek.
True on both counts.
Mark Lightman wrote:Now, Dewayne specifically says in his preface that this verse should NOT be translated as "the word was a god," but my argument is that there is really no difference, IN GREEK, between saying Ἰησοῦς θεῖος (Jesus is divine) and Ἰησοῦς θεός (Jesus is a God.)
But those aren't quotes from John, those are quotes from Mark Lightman.
I think the most relevant question is this: what is the difference between these two phrases:
- καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος.
- καὶ ὁ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος.
Origen thought there was a difference:
Origen wrote:We next notice John's use of the article in these sentences. He does not write without care in this respect, nor is he unfamiliar with the niceties of the Greek tongue. In some cases he uses the article, and in some he omits it. He adds the article to the Logos, but to the name of God he adds it sometimes only. He uses the article, when the name of God refers to the uncreated cause of all things, and omits it when the Logos is named God.
In these verses, I think it's clear that there's some distinction between ὁ λόγος and ὁ θεὸς - if there were not, how could he say ὁ λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν θεόν? And I understand Origen to say that ὁ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος would mean the two are one and the same, without distinction. Do I understand Origen correctly? Is Origen speaking accurately about the Greek language here?
But what exactly that distinction was, and any discussion of substance and essence and persons or whatever, is solidly in the realm of theology and out of scope on B-Greek.
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;