John's use of theos

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tigger2
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John's use of theos

Post #1

Post by tigger2 »

Before I start a new discussion, I'd like to discuss some aspects of John's usage and grammar which will be needed.


First, my study has shown that John (and the other Gospel writers) always used the definite article when they intended the meaning of 'God' in the nominative case (theos). This means that (excluding the known grammatical exceptions) they always wrote ho theos when they meant 'God' (rather than 'a god').

Among the known grammatical exceptions, the most used is the uncertainty of the definite article (ho in this case) when theos is part of a prepositional phrase. These include phrases where a genitive is used with the nominative "God": "God of gods," "God of Israel."

It also includes normal prepositional phrases, e.g., "God to him," "God in heaven." Such 'prepositional' uses of "God" (or any other nominative noun in John's writings) may or may not use the article and still be understood as either definite or indefinite.

I have found dozens of places where John uses ho theos to mean "God."

So, as the first step, can anyone here find where John has used theos without the article to mean "God"?

............................
I used my own copy of Strong's Concordance along with my own Greek English interlinear to find all the uses of theos in all of John's writings. But if you don't have a copy of your own, you could try these:

A fairly good interlinear can be found here: http://biblehub.com/interlinear/john/1-6.htm

The following concordance begins with John at the bottom of the page:

https://www.blueletterbible.org/search ... mary_0_58
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Post #2

Post by tigger2 »

Too much work for you?

There are only 50 uses of theos by John (17 in the Gospel of John, 13 in First John, 20 in Revelation). And if you ignore Revelation, there are only 30 to find, and they are even in red in the link I gave you.

So I double-dog dare you to do some actual research and answer the OP:

"So, as the first step, can anyone here find where John has used theos without the article ('the' in English) to mean 'God'?"

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Post #3

Post by JehovahsWitness »

[Replying to post 2 by tigger2]

I certainly am not going to challenge you on this one - your research I'm sure is water tight!

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By Grace
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Re: John's use of theos

Post #5

Post by By Grace »

[Replying to post 1 by tigger2]

That is really not hard to do:

John 1:1 (NA27 w/GRAMCORD)
1Ἐν ἀ�χῇ ἦν � λόγος, καὶ � λόγος ἦν π�ὸς τὸν θεόν, καὶ θεὸς ἦν � λόγος.

So I see that there are some JWs here, and I am not going to debate you guys yet because I am a newbie. Suffice it to say, the challenge of the OP is met.

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Re: John's use of theos

Post #6

Post by tigger2 »

[Replying to post 5 by By Grace]

Yes, many Trinitarian-translated Bibles translate John 1:1c as "and the Word was God." And, yes, theos is without the article in this scripture.

But, as I should have said, we are concerned with all other uses of theos by John which do not have the article and are clearly intended to mean God. [/i]

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Post #7

Post by By Grace »

Anarthrous theos in John

What is your point? How familiar are you with English grammar, specifically what we call the "predicate nominative"?

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Post #8

Post by tigger2 »

[Replying to post 7 by By Grace]

I'm quite familiar with English Grammar and the predicate nominative (predicate noun).

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Post #9

Post by By Grace »

[Replying to post 8 by tigger2]

Most excellent, Dude!

Some are put off by grammar, which I believe is essential to understanding the intricacies of a language like Koine Greek.

For those unfamiliar with the term, "predicate nominative" it is referring to a noun that is in the predicate of a sentence (it comes after the verb), and it renames the subject.

The fact that it is called "nominative" is a throw back to the 8 case Latin and Greek declension of nouns. If the noun were written in either language, the noun would have the same case number and gender--which we do not have in English.

The construction of a predicate nominative is that it is always linked to a form of the verb "be" ( called a linking verb or stative verb as it indicates a state of being).

The simple sentence, "He is Dad." indicates that the pronoun he is the same as Dad. It can be reversed without any changing of meaning "Dad is he."

In the languages of Latin and Greek, it is mandatory that the first reverence of the noun be proceeded by a definite article (usually "the" or something equivalent) but not the second if there is a form of the verb "be" between both nouns. The technical term for the noun without any article attached is "anarthrous predicate noun".

Such is the case in John 1:1 with the word translated as 'theos".

Because the OP seems to be written by someone with JW sympathies, the focus is on that one word, "theos", but I suggest that it is a significant grammatical construction pattern that John uses throughout his Gospel, irrespective of the word "theos" being present.

This site http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek/test-arch ... 20681.html indicates 30 different constructions of the anarthrous predicate nouns in the Gospel of John. I will not post them for space, but I do suggest that the ones who focus on that one word to establish their doctrines may not understand the whole picture

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Post #10

Post by tigger2 »

[Replying to post 9 by By Grace]

The study of John's use of the anarthrous nominative theos is just the first step. It can be established that when John (and the other Gospel writers) intended theos to mean God, he always used the definite article with it.

After that we examine the construction of those anarthrous predicate nouns which come before their verbs.

Colwell (and other notable Trinitarian scholars) used mostly improper examples to reach their Trinitarian conclusions.

But a more careful and more complete study of John's usage (and of the other Gospel writers) shows that

(1. the anarthrous predicate noun found before the verb (when the grammatical exceptions are removed*) which are parallel to the construction of John 1:1c are invariably indefinite ('a prophet;' 'a king;' etc.).

(2. the improper examples where the anarthrous noun is modified by a preposition or a genitive ('man of God is he'; house for them was the synagogue'; etc.) is definite ('the man of...'; 'the house for...') more often than not. These are the examples most often used by trinitarian scholars for John 1:1c.

(3. the article use for the accusative noun is much like (1. and (2. above with the addition that the anarthrous accusative noun found before the noun is often definite.
....................................

* Personal names, abstract nouns, mass/amount nouns (wine, water, gold, dirt, etc.), and, most important, nouns modified by prepositions or genitives use the article irregularly, and therefore should not be used as examples for a study in which article use or non-use is a key consideration.

Dana and Mantey Grammar, p. 137: “The use of prepositions, possessive ... pronouns, and the genitive case also tend to make a word definite. At such times, even if the article is not used, the object is already distinctly indicated.�

Other trinitarian scholars who agree: A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of Historical Research, A. T. Robertson, pp. 781, 791; An Idiom Book of New Testament Greek, C. F. D. Moule, p. 117, Cambridge University Press, 1990 printing; A Grammar of New Testament Greek, vol. III, J. H. Moulton, pp. 179-180, 1963; A Greek Grammar of the New Testament and other Early Christian Literature, Blass & Debrunner, p. 133, University of Chicago Press, 1961; Jesus as God, Murray J. Harris, p. 304, Baker Book House, 1992; Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, Daniel B. Wallace, p. 734, Zondervan, 1996; Intermediate New Testament Greek, Richard A. Young, p. 67, Broadman and Holman Publ., 1994; H. W. Smyth, A Greek Grammar for Colleges, p. 291.

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