John 1:1 and the Missing Article

God, Christ, & The Holy Spirit
User avatar
Homer
Posts: 2792
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2008 11:08 pm

Re: John 1:1 and the Missing Article

Post by Homer » Tue Jun 08, 2021 7:49 pm

Paidion,

I made my point. Before you attempt to refute it you expect me to look up all the places where ho theos is in the N.T. to see if there are any other modifiers employed. I see no relevance to the point I made so I will not be spending the considerable time it would take. Consider your point acknowledged, whatever it was.

User avatar
Paidion
Posts: 5226
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:22 pm
Location: Back Woods of North-Western Ontario

Re: John 1:1 and the Missing Article

Post by Paidion » Thu Jun 10, 2021 10:55 am

Okay, I guess you reluctantly acknowledge that where the word "God" DOES have the article and there are no other modifiers, it ALWAYS refers to the one and only God—the Father.

So let's begin with this verse which you quoted as a proof text that "God" without the article can refer to the Father:
Luke 20:38
New American Standard Bible
38 Now He is not the God of the dead, but of the living; for all live to Him.”
And yes, you're right. There is no article before "God".
Now consider Webster's Translation:
For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live to him.
Or if Webster had chosen not to capitalize "God" (In the Greek manuscripts EVERY letter was upper case):
For he is not a god of the dead, but of the living: for all live to him.
The word "god" does not directly refer to the Father, but rather Luke is affirming that the Father is not "a god of the dead" as some of the gods of the heathen may be, the Father is a god of the living.
Paidion

Man judges a person by his past deeds, and administers penalties for his wrongdoing. God judges a person by his present character, and disciplines him that he may become righteous.

Avatar shows me at 75 years old. I am now 83.

User avatar
darinhouston
Posts: 2514
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2008 7:45 am

Re: John 1:1 and the Missing Article

Post by darinhouston » Thu Jun 10, 2021 11:35 am

I found this online and thought it was pretty thorough.

https://steppingtoes.wordpress.com/2015 ... ghty-ones/

User avatar
Paidion
Posts: 5226
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:22 pm
Location: Back Woods of North-Western Ontario

Re: John 1:1 and the Missing Article

Post by Paidion » Thu Jun 10, 2021 1:50 pm

Thanks Darin. Much appreciated!
Paidion

Man judges a person by his past deeds, and administers penalties for his wrongdoing. God judges a person by his present character, and disciplines him that he may become righteous.

Avatar shows me at 75 years old. I am now 83.

User avatar
Homer
Posts: 2792
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2008 11:08 pm

Re: John 1:1 and the Missing Article

Post by Homer » Sat Jun 12, 2021 11:23 am

Darin,

I may be mistaken but I think Stepping Toes is a Christadelphian website.

The first 18 verses of John clearly have "the Word" as the subject. In John 1:1c the predicate "God" (deity) states something about "the Word". If John had placed the article before the word theos, Zodhiates comments:

"This, however, would have altered the linguistic structure so that the meaning would not be definite and specific. The two words under discussion in this clause, "God" and "the Word" would be interchangeable. We could say, for instance, "And the God had been the Word." The Word" would become the predicate and "God" would become the subject. The words "God" and "the Word" are not convertible terms, even as the words "God" and "Love" are not in 1 John 4:16, "God is love." In Greek it is "The God is love." The definite article "the" (ho) is used before God but not before "love." Why? Because "God" is the subject and "love" the predicate. If the definite article also appeared before "love" then the two words would be interchangeable. We could also say "love is God" just as correctly as we could say "God is Love.".... If the Greek language allowed us to say "Love is God" just as readily as we say "God is love" then the God of the bible would not be a person but simply an abstract quality.

A.T. Robertson in his Grammar of the Greek New Testament, p.767, notes:

"When the article occurs with the subject (or the subject is a personal pronoun or proper name) and predicate, both are definite, treated as identical, one and the same, and interchangeable."

User avatar
darinhouston
Posts: 2514
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2008 7:45 am

Re: John 1:1 and the Missing Article

Post by darinhouston » Sat Jun 12, 2021 2:43 pm

Homer wrote:
Sat Jun 12, 2021 11:23 am
Darin,

I may be mistaken but I think Stepping Toes is a Christadelphian website.

The first 18 verses of John clearly have "the Word" as the subject. In John 1:1c the predicate "God" (deity) states something about "the Word". If John had placed the article before the word theos, Zodhiates comments:

"This, however, would have altered the linguistic structure so that the meaning would not be definite and specific. The two words under discussion in this clause, "God" and "the Word" would be interchangeable. We could say, for instance, "And the God had been the Word." The Word" would become the predicate and "God" would become the subject. The words "God" and "the Word" are not convertible terms, even as the words "God" and "Love" are not in 1 John 4:16, "God is love." In Greek it is "The God is love." The definite article "the" (ho) is used before God but not before "love." Why? Because "God" is the subject and "love" the predicate. If the definite article also appeared before "love" then the two words would be interchangeable. We could also say "love is God" just as correctly as we could say "God is Love.".... If the Greek language allowed us to say "Love is God" just as readily as we say "God is love" then the God of the bible would not be a person but simply an abstract quality.

A.T. Robertson in his Grammar of the Greek New Testament, p.767, notes:

"When the article occurs with the subject (or the subject is a personal pronoun or proper name) and predicate, both are definite, treated as identical, one and the same, and interchangeable."
I guess I'm not proficient enough in greek to engage either side substantively. I think I'll have to leave that to you and Paidion and others, though I will definitely be looking over your shoulder. I only shared this as further detail on where "I think" Paidion is coming from on this to further dialogue.

So, I'm looking forward to further discussion on this -- I do think it's notable that your article quotes a NT grammar expert citing a rule which sounds authoritative, but I am always suspicious of these "rules of grammar" on both sides since I haven't the background to judge them and it isn't always clear how "authoritative" or "established" the rules are. The Granville Sharp rule, for example, is thrown down by people like James White as if it was found on stone tablets from the finger of God, while when I spent only a few moments looking into it, it was HOTLY contested and fairly controversial (and generally limited in its application to the point that White must be aware of the dishonesty of his claims). So, all that to say "I am listening on the sidelines" on this one.

User avatar
Paidion
Posts: 5226
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:22 pm
Location: Back Woods of North-Western Ontario

Re: John 1:1 and the Missing Article

Post by Paidion » Sat Jun 12, 2021 5:00 pm

Concerning the sentence "God is love", it simply states that "love" is the essence of God.
The article before "God" identifies "God" as the Father ("The God).

Here are some other examples:

1Ti 1:5 Now the purpose of the commandment is love...
"Love" is the essence of God's purpose in giving the commandment.

2Jo 1:6 This is love, that we walk according to His commandments.
"Love" is the essence of "this" (walking according to God's commandments).

Ga 5:22 But the fruit of the spirit is love...
"Love" is the essence of the fruit of the spirit.
Paidion

Man judges a person by his past deeds, and administers penalties for his wrongdoing. God judges a person by his present character, and disciplines him that he may become righteous.

Avatar shows me at 75 years old. I am now 83.

User avatar
Homer
Posts: 2792
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2008 11:08 pm

Re: John 1:1 and the Missing Article

Post by Homer » Sat Jun 12, 2021 6:34 pm

Paidion,

You appear to be making my point. "The Word was God (deity)," deity being the essence of what The Word was. Essence: the ultimate nature of a thing.

Post Reply

Return to “Theology Proper, Christology, Pneumatology”