john1;1-2

Discussion in 'Christianity' started by mee, Jan 3, 2006.

  1. mee

    mee Interfaith Forums

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    John​
    1:1, 2:







    RS​
    reads: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God." (KJ, Dy, JB, NAB use similar wording.) However, NW reads: "In the beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god. This one was in the beginning with God."


    Which translation of John 1:1, 2 agrees with the context? John 1:18 says: "No one has ever seen God." Verse 14 clearly says that "the Word became flesh and dwelt among us . . . we have beheld his glory." Also, verses 1, 2 say that in the beginning he was "with God." Can one be with someone and at the same time be that person? At John 17:3, Jesus addresses the Father as "the only true God"; so, Jesus as "a god" merely reflects his Father’s divine qualities.—Heb. 1:3.

    Is the rendering "a god" consistent with the rules of Greek grammar? Some reference books argue strongly that the Greek text must be translated, "The Word was God." But not all agree. In his article "Qualitative Anarthrous Predicate Nouns: Mark 15:39 and John 1:1," Philip B. Harner said that such clauses as the one in John 1:1, "with an anarthrous predicate preceding the verb, are primarily qualitative in meaning. They indicate that the logos has the nature of theos." He suggests: "Perhaps the clause could be translated, ‘the Word had the same nature as God.’" (Journal of Biblical Literature, 1973, pp. 85, 87) Thus, in this text, the fact that the word the·os´ in its second occurrence is without the definite article (ho) and is placed before the verb in the sentence in Greek is significant. Interestingly, translators that insist on rendering John 1:1, "The Word was God," do not hesitate to use the indefinite article (a, an) in their rendering of other passages where a singular anarthrous predicate noun occurs before the verb. Thus at John 6:70, JB and KJ both refer to Judas Iscariot as "a devil," and at John 9:17 they describe Jesus as "a prophet."

    John J. McKenzie, S.J., in his Dictionary of the Bible, says: "Jn 1:1 should rigorously be translated ‘the word was with the God [= the Father], and the word was a divine being.’"—(Brackets are his. Published with nihil obstat and imprimatur.) (New York, 1965), p. 317.



    In harmony with the above, AT reads: "the Word was divine"; Mo, "the Logos was divine"; NTIV, "the word was a god." In his German translation Ludwig Thimme expresses it in this way: "God of a sort the Word was." Referring to the Word (who became Jesus Christ) as "a god" is consistent with the use of that term in the rest of the Scriptures. For example, at Psalm 82:1-6 human judges in Israel were referred to as "gods" (Hebrew, ’elo·him´; Greek, the·oi´, at John 10:34) because they were representatives of Jehovah and were to speak his law

     
  2. FriendRob

    FriendRob Well-Known Member

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    I'm no Greek geek but I read somewhere that Philo makes the distinction between "god" and "the god": the latter can only mean the one true god, the former refers to any of the (fictitious, for Philo) other gods, daimons, etc.
     
  3. InChristAlways

    InChristAlways Well-Known Member

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    The exact word for word in the greek appears this way and I also am no greek "geek", but like to hear from others on this. Thanks.
    Steve

    In [a/the] beginning was the word and the word was toward/unto the god and God was the word. And this was in [a/the] beginning toward/unto the god.

    John 1:1 | en <1722> {IN [THE]} arch <746> {BEGINNING} hn <2258> (5713) {WAS} o <3588> {THE} logoV <3056> {WORD,} kai <2532> {AND} o <3588> {THE} logoV <3056> {WORD} hn <2258> (5713) {WAS} proV <4314> ton <3588> {WITH} qeon <2316> {GOD,} kai <2532> {AND} qeoV <2316> {GOD} hn <2258> (5713) {WAS} o <3588> {THE} logoV <3056> {WORD.} 2 outoV <3778> {HE} hn <2258> (5713) {WAS} en <1722> {IN [THE]} arch <746> {BEGINNING} proV <4314> ton <3588> {WITH} qeon <2316> {GOD.}

    [size=-1]"So in Joh 1:14 \ho Logos sarx egeneto\, "the Word became flesh," not "the flesh became Word." Luther argues that here John disposes of Arianism also because the Logos was eternally God, fellowship of Father and Son, what Origen called the Eternal Generation of the Son (each necessary to the other). Thus in the Trinity we see personal fellowship on an equality".[/size]

    http://www.site-berea.com/B/rwp/n04c1.html

    [size=-1]1:1 In the beginning (\en archˆi\). \Archˆ\ is definite, though anarthrous like our at home, in town, and the similar Hebrew _be reshith_ in Ge 1:1. But Westcott notes that here John carries our thoughts beyond the beginning of creation in time to eternity. There is no argument here to prove the existence of God any more than in Genesis. It is simply assumed. Either God exists and is the Creator of the universe as scientists like Eddington and Jeans assume or matter is eternal or it has come out of nothing. Was (\ˆn\). Three times in this sentence John uses this imperfect of \eimi\ to be which conveys no idea of origin for God or for the Logos, simply continuous existence. Quite a different verb (\egeneto\, became) appears in verse 14 for the beginning of the Incarnation of the Logos. See the distinction sharply drawn in 8:58 "before Abraham came (\genesthai\) I am" (\eimi\, timeless existence). The Word (\ho logos\). \Logos\ is from \leg“\, old word in Homer to lay by, to collect, to put words side by side, to speak, to express an opinion. \Logos\ is common for reason as well as speech. Heraclitus used it for the principle which controls the universe. The Stoics employed it for the soul of the world (\anima mundi\) and Marcus Aurelius used \spermatikos logos\ for the generative principle in nature. The Hebrew _memra_ was used in the Targums for the manifestation of God like the Angel of Jehovah and the Wisdom of God in Pr 8:23. Dr. J. Rendel Harris thinks that there was a lost wisdom book that combined phrases in Proverbs and in the Wisdom of Solomon which John used for his Prologue (_The Origin of the _Prologue to St. John_, p. 43) which he has undertaken to reproduce. At any rate John's standpoint is that of the Old Testament and not that of the Stoics nor even of Philo who uses the term \Logos\, but not John's conception of personal pre-existence. The term \Logos\ is applied to Christ only in Joh 1:1,14; Re 19:13; 1Jo 1:1 "concerning the Word of life" (an incidental argument for identity of authorship). There is a possible personification of "the Word of God" in Heb 4:12. But the personal pre-existence of Christ is taught by Paul (2Co 8:9; Php 2:6f.; Col 1:17) and in Heb 1:2f. and in Joh 17:5. This term suits John's purpose better than \sophia\ (wisdom) and is his answer to the Gnostics who either denied the actual humanity of Christ (Docetic Gnostics) or who separated the \aeon\ Christ from the man Jesus (Cerinthian Gnostics). The pre-existent Logos "became flesh" (\sarx egeneto\, verse 14) and by this phrase John answered both heresies at once. With God (\pros ton theon\). Though existing eternally with God the Logos was in perfect fellowship with God. \Pros\ with the accusative presents a plane of equality and intimacy, face to face with each other. In 1Jo 2:1 we have a like use of \pros\: "We have a Paraclete with the Father" (\paraklˆton echomen pros ton patera\). See \pros“pon pros pros“pon\ (face to face, 1Co 13:12), a triple use of \pros\. There is a papyrus example of \pros\ in this sense \to gn“ston tˆs pros allˆlous sunˆtheias\, "the knowledge of our intimacy with one another" (M.&M., _Vocabulary_) which answers the claim of Rendel Harris, _Origin of Prologue_, p. 8) that the use of \pros\ here and in Mr 6:3 is a mere Aramaism. It is not a classic idiom, but this is _Koin‚_, not old Attic. In Joh 17:5 John has \para soi\ the more common idiom. And the Word was God (\kai theos ˆn ho logos\). By exact and careful language John denied Sabellianism by not saying \ho theos ˆn ho logos\. That would mean that all of God was expressed in \ho logos\ and the terms would be interchangeable, each having the article. The subject is made plain by the article (\ho logos\) and the predicate without it (\theos\) just as in Joh 4:24 \pneuma ho theos\ can only mean "God is spirit," not "spirit is God." So in 1Jo 4:16 \ho theos agapˆ estin\ can only mean "God is love," not "love is God" as a so-called Christian scientist would confusedly say. For the article with the predicate see Robertson, _Grammar_, pp. 767f. So in Joh 1:14 \ho Logos sarx egeneto\, "the Word became flesh," not "the flesh became Word." Luther argues that here John disposes of Arianism also because the Logos was eternally God, fellowship of Father and Son, what Origen called the Eternal Generation of the Son (each necessary to the other). Thus in the Trinity we see personal fellowship on an equality.[/size]
     
  4. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    What leading Greek scholars say about the NWT:

    1. Dr. Bruce M. Metzger, professor of New Testament at Princeton University, calls the NWT "a frightful mistranslation," "Erroneous" and "pernicious" "reprehensible" "If the Jehovah's Witnesses take this translation seriously, they are polytheists."

    Dr. William Barclay, a leading Greek scholar, said "it is abundantly clear that a sect which can translate the New Testament like that is intellectually dishonest."

    British scholar H.H. Rowley stated, "From beginning to end this volume is a shining example of how the Bible should not be translated."

    "Well, as a backdrop, I was disturbed because they (Watchtower) had misquoted me in support of their translation." (These words were excerpted from the tape, "Martin and Julius Mantey on The New World Translation", Mantey is quoted on pages 1158-1159 of the Kingdom interlinear Translation)

    Dr. Julius Mantey , author of A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament, calls the NWT "a shocking mistranslation." "Obsolete and incorrect." "It is neither scholarly nor reasonable to translate John 1:1 'The Word was a god.'"

    "I have never read any New Testament so badly translated as The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of The Greek Scriptures.... it is a distortion of the New Testament. The translators used what J.B. Rotherham had translated in 1893, in modern speech, and changed the readings in scores of passages to state what Jehovah's Witnesses believe and teach. That is a distortion not a translation." (Julius Mantey , Depth Exploration in The New Testament (N.Y.: Vantage Pres, 1980), pp.136-137) the translators of the NWT are "diabolical deceivers." (Julius Mantey in discussion with Walter Martin)

    I would further recommend reading:
    http://www.bible-researcher.com/new-world.html
    "In his book Crisis of Conscience Raymond Franz, a former member of the Governing Body of the Jehovah's Witnesses, describes some interesting conversations that he had with the principal translator of the version, who happened to be his uncle."

    For the saake of balance,

    Thomas
     
  5. InChristAlways

    InChristAlways Well-Known Member

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    That appears to be correct, as they do not even add the article "the" where it is shown in the Greek. :confused: Rotherham's is actually a very good Bible translation in my view along with Young's LT.

    (Rotherham) John 1:1 Originally, was, the Word, and, the Word, was, with God; and, the Word, was, God.

    (Young) John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God;

    The NWT appears to be as "frightfull" as the KJV translation, which I also consider "obsolete". :p Don't the mormons also have their "own bible"?
    Steve
     
  6. Dor

    Dor Bible Thumper

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    (KJV) [font=Arial, Geneva, Helvetica]1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. [/font]

    [font=Arial, Geneva, Helvetica]May be obselete to some people now days but looks pretty similar to one of the good ones you mentioned....at least they didnt change the KJV to fit their own thoughts like the NWT.[/font]

    Mormans use the reg bible they just have 3 books they use with it which is where most of there changes take place.
     
  7. InChristAlways

    InChristAlways Well-Known Member

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    Hi Dor. I meant the KJV is not an accurate Bible as "a whole" and is greatly surpassed by even Young's LT. Sorry for the confusion. I have never read the KJV and have nothing against it as far as reading it, but I would not use it for "deeper study" of the Scriptures. That is just my own humble view brother. [I read the "inaccurate" NIV chronological for casual reading]
    Steve
     
  8. Faithfulservant

    Faithfulservant Well-Known Member

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    The Watchtower Society needed a bible to conform to their doctrines, and so they created one. The "translation" was done by a five-member committee in Brooklyn, New York. Four of these men had a highschool education only, with no Hebrew or Greek knowledge at all. The fifth man, Fred. W. Franz, although claiming to know Hebrew and Greek (without credentials), while under oath in a Scottish Court of Law, failed a simple Hebrew test. He was a college sophomore dropout, and lied about being offered a Rhodes Scholarship. The Society refuses to name their translators, and prefers to be anonymous and "humble"!

    No reputable scholar will endorse this "translation"

    "In (the) beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god." (New World Translation).

    Following are comments by some of the experts in the field of Biblical languages:

     
  9. E99

    E99 Well-Known Member

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    Hello Qualohm

    I've shifted your thread regarding the transliteration of John 1:1 over to this discussion from the rapture one, as its obviously more appropriate here. I think that it is right to contest the common translations of John 1:1 that you have put up, as I believe that they do not give a true indication of what John was actually saying. It is of importance, because it is the main God given scriptures that is being used by trintarians to back up the trinity. I do not believe that the triune or even a duo God is being spoken of in John 1:1. The true Greek grammar and syntax at John 1:1 defies any implication of a triune God.



    Your Quote:
    "In John 1:1 there is no definite article in front of the word ‘God’ in the phrase, ‘and the Word was God’. However, in this instance, it cannot just be assumed that the word ‘God’ is meant to be ‘indefinite’, and therefore an indefinite article used in the English translation.

    Literal translation from Greek to English:

    "In beginning was the Word, The the Word was with "the" God, and God was "the" Word. This one was in the beginning with "the" God. All through Him came into being, and without Him came into being not even one. "The" created in Him life was, and "the" life was the light the people, and "the" light in "the" darkness shines, and "the" darkness him not grasped."




    EN ARKHEI EN HO LOGOS, KAI HO LOGOS

    IN BEGINNING WAS THE WORD, AND THE WORD

    EN PROS TON THEON, KAI THEOS EN HO LOGOS.

    WAS WITH THE GOD, AND GOD WAS THE WORD..................

    ........The direct translation without usage of the indefinate article
    'a' known as 'anarthrous' ...(without the article).......But.........

    Kai theos en ho logos.... and God was the word....can be translated as ' The word was
    a God, or the word was divine.'

    This indefinate article 'a' CAN be used by utilising the rules of Greek grammar to English translation, and this is even reluctantly recognised by some trinitarian scholars of Greek. Mee has quoted one ....Harner.

    The indefinate article usage in John 1:1's final clause seems to be more logical and consequently preferable than without its usage.

    Similar and identical sentence and clause constructs to that of John 1:1 are found in the bible where the indefinate article 'a' is inserted into the English translation. No one squabbles about these, but they do about the insertion of the indefinate article 'a' in John 1:1, in the NWT because it contests the trinitarian theology.


    Why can the indefinate article 'a' be placed in the clause .......'The word was a god' ? Because the nature of god being described in the last clause of John 1:1 is of a qualitative nature and not a definate one. If it was implying a definate God- (and precedes the verb), then an indefinate article cannot be used. ....But theos has a quality, it is describing one of a class of beings regarded as divine, because in the second clause 'the word was with the God' is describing that the logos ( the word- Jesus) is with God and is obviously stating a fact that he is not 'the God' (with the definate article... the one and only true God.) John has already distinguished the difference in the 'being with' and not 'being the God', he's not going to contradict himself by implying that they are now one and the same in his lead on, the next clause. So the context of the middle clause of John 1:1 is describing that God is definate, but as we have seen the definate God is separate from the 'word' (Jesus), therefore it can mean only one thing in the last clause, the definate God is not the word.

    Inserting the 'a' to go tandem with the logic of the context of John 1:1, is allowable, regarding application of the Greek grammar by assertaining the context. General rules of translation.



    Your quote:
    In order to read, one must understand the alphabet of the language. One must also understand the particulars of that language, such as syntax, and other peculiarities such as whether the language uses articles.


    Exactly........ other peculiarities.


    Your quote:
    'Theos' vs. 'Theon'
    "The same Greek word is used in both occurrences of the word "God" in John 1:1. This same word is used in many contexts, whether it refers to the Only True God or whether it is referring to a false god - such as a man-made god (1 Cor. 8:5) or Satan as the ‘god of this age’ (2 Cor. 4:4). The apparent differences in spelling between the word ‘God’ in the phrase ‘and the Word was God’ (‘theos’) and in other places, (even in the previous phrase, ‘and the Word was with God’ (‘theon’)) is due to inflection in the Greek language. Each Greek noun normally has 8 or 9 forms (cases & number) in which it can appear. In the first instance in John 1:1 it is the object of preposition and thus is in the accusative case. In the phrase in question, it is in the nominative case (indicating the subject or predicate nominative - equal to the subject). But it is the same word for ‘God’, and in both phrases here indicates the One and Only True God. So the apparent difference is spelling is not because ‘theos’ is a different word than ‘theon’, but is a different form of the identical word.


    Because the first use of the word ‘God’ in John 1:1 (‘the Word was with God’) clearly refers to the Only True God, the Eternal Pre-existent Creator,



    Theon is the same word as theos and likewise theou is the same word as God and similarly the same word as the plural theoi e.g. (John 10:34 "Ego eipi theoi este" ...literally..."I said gods you are")....Theos is the nominative God and theou is the genitive God, each is governed by totally different grammatical rules. This can give the appropriate concept of the God in each individual clause, sentence or verse. It doesn't make them identical.


    Theos is in no way is indicating that it is the definate God theon, just as theoi is not saying a singular god, when it is stating a number of gods, because 'theoi' is plural and theos is singular. The inflections regarding theon and theos etc, are due to the construct of the sentence and not by enforcing a similar description of the type of god in question.


    So by the ruling and logic in your quote, you are saying that if the latter part of John 1:1 hypothetically read as and the words were with the God (THEON) but the last clause read as 'and the words were the Gods' (THEOI) The plural gods would be the same as the singular God ? No this cannot be so. Clearly Theos, theoi, theon etc take on different meanings due to the context and the grammar used.


    Conclusively, John 1:1 is not saying that because theon is 'The God' it means that theos is 'the God'. Theon is the God and Theos is qualitative of a divine nature due to the construct and context of all of John 1:1.

    THEOS...Quote from outside source:

    Theos in Graeco-Roman culture. Essentially, the term was used to designate a wide variety of (1) heavenly beings(in both Greek and Semitic language); (2) figures of exceptional power or status, such as kings; and (3) figures to whom one wished to show reverence.

    There are sources from Second Temple Judaism that use theos, elim, and elohim of other beings than the one God, but not in an unlimited sense and not without qualification. Those limitations and qualifications are instructive for understanding precisely the meaning of these terms."-

    In John 1.1 do we see the Word's being described as theos with "limitations and qualifications"? Yes. John qualifies the Word being theos by his showing that the Word was "with" ho theos, that is with the god, "God." That is, the Word, while being predicated with the word theos, was not "God."



    Your quote:
    More than likely John would have used a different Greek construction than he did if he had meant for this next phrase (‘and the Word was God’) to refer to a ‘lesser’ god, and did not want us to confuse this with the True God he had just mentioned.


    What other constructs ?

    Your quote:
    "In certain instances, when the Greek omits a definite article, it may be appropriate to insert an indefinite article for the sake of the English translation and understanding. But we cannot assume that this is always appropriate. Greek does not operate in the same way as English does in regard to the use of the words ‘the’ and ‘a’. In many instances in which English would not include the word ‘the’, the Greek text includes it. (We don’t see it in the English translations because it would sound non-sensible in our language.) And in many cases where the Greek omits the definite article, the English translation requires it to convey the correct meaning of the Greek. Therefore it cannot be assumed that if the definite article is absent, then an indefinite article should be inserted.



    The indefinate article can be, and is inserted where it is missing in the original Greek, if it is appropriate to the context and still goes in line with the Greek grammar rules. John 1:1's indefinate article does not break any rules. There are a number of cases in the bible where this has been done . It is so, because it is assumed that the English would not be correct, and the context misleading without the indefinate article....


    One example of a verse (there are more) where the same construct as John 1:1 inserts the indefinate article 'a' or 'an'.........Nominative predicate noun (qualitative) before the verb..........


    Mark 6:49
    An apparition, or A spirit, or A ghost (Latter part)


    Greek and corresponding English :

    DokeO ( They -seem) hoti (That) phantasma (Appear-effect) eimi (He-is) kai (and) anakrazO (They cry up)

    English: They supposed that it had been
    a spirit and cried out.


    .........No indefinate article before the nominative noun (Spirit) in the original Greek......

    Same construct as John 1:1 and the indefinate article is inserted...

    No debate and out-cry about this inserted indefinate article though ! The outcry surrounding John 1:1 is because of the opposing theology and not the truth in the grammatical construct.


    Your quote:
    If John meant to avoid confusion, when making such a definitive statement, he could have done so by using this ‘indefinite pronoun’ (‘tis’) as an adjective. This would have made it clear that the Word was ‘a certain god’, but not the one he was just referring to. For examples of this, see the verses Mark 14:51, Luke 8:27, Luke 1:5, and Luke 11:1 (among many, many other examples). So, it seems that by the Greek grammatical structure in this statement, John is indicating that the Word (Jesus Christ - John 1:14) is the same essence and nature as God the Father."


    Furthermore, even though the Greek language does not have an ‘indefinite article’ like we think of in English, there is a way in Greek for the writer to indicate the indefinite idea and thus avoid confusion. This is done in Greek by using the Greek indefinite pronoun ‘tis’.

    Like Russian, Greek has a definite article 'the', however Greek does not use the indefinite article 'a' or 'an', but will use 'tis'



    Shoddy,shoddy....... Where did you get your references from Q...... ?

    I've never seen any scholars, or any theological article ever try to argue this kind of translation of 'tis' into John 1:1

    The Greek 'tis' is usually translated as 'any' this has indefinate implications, but the Greek grammar does not allow for tis 'any' to be appropriately used in the last clause of John 1:1 which would read as Kai theos en tis logos ......Which would come out directly as....'and God is any word'...... Doesn't make sense ! God is not 'any' word, surely. Or translated using English syntax as..... "the word was 'any' God"...still doesn't make sense ! The word was not any god but a specific god of a specific divinity...the son of the God, or if you believe in the trinity 'the God'. This is a poor contrived 'scrape the bottom of the barrel' way to force any form of indefinate Greek word and idea into John 1:1.



    The quotes from scholars are from those with a theological bias that sway their opinion against the NWT's translation. Some of those quoted have agreed that John 1:1 can be translated with the indefinate article, but because they have pre-conceived theology, they will not agree any more on the matter.
    There are many scholars also that state that the NWT is accurate in John 1:1's translation. Likewise there are many bibles that precede the NWT that use the translation 'was a God, or was divine' 40 in all.....Bibles translated by scholars that recognise the qualitative nature of theos in the context.
    Its not a Jehovahs witness thing alone, but the 'a god'/divine translation is in the minority, simply because the majority outweigh by attempting to stomp out. Majority, quantity doesn't make it the truth. Quality is nearer to the truth.


     
  10. InChristAlways

    InChristAlways Well-Known Member

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    Hi E99. Did you happen to notice that the word "brimstone" in revelation is also derived from theos as I never noticed that before untill I started looking up the different usages of "theos"?

    I will read your post more thoroughly and "unbiased", as it is very informative but a lot to "digest" in one sitting. [I will still stay "non denominational" for now though];)
    Steve

    theion (Strong's 2303) occurs 7 times in 7 verses:

    Revelation 9:18 By these three [plagues] a third of mankind was killed -- by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone [#2303] which came out of their mouths.

    Brimstone: theion {thi'-on}
    2303. theion thi'-on probably neuter of 2304 (in its original sense of flashing); sulphur:--brimstone.2304. theios thi'-os from 2316; godlike (neuter as noun, divinity): - divine, godhead.2316. theos theh'-os of uncertain affinity; a deity, especially (with 3588) the supreme Divinity; figuratively, a magistrate; by Hebraism, very:--X exceeding, God, god(-ly, -ward)

     
  11. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Only if one applies English values to the Greek language. Quite simply the Greeks (and Russians) do not apply the same values to words that English language carries. In order to better understand the language and its peculiarities, one must know the culture the language was developed in...

    Thanks for your thoughts. As I stated, Russian is very similar in construction, alphabet and syntax to Greek (Thanks to St. Cyril). The use of articles is rare, particularly indefinite articles. Emphasis is often derived from the inflection of one's voice.

    Russian/Pycckaя
    Pronunciation
    Translation

    В начале было Слово, и Слово было у Бога, и Слово было Бог.
    V' nachalye bweelo Slova, ee Slova bweela oo Boga, ee Slova bweela Bog.
    In beginning was Word, and Word was with God, and Word was God.

    Оно было в начале у Бога.
    Ono bweela v' nachalye oo Boga.
    He was/It was in beginning with God.

    Все чрез Него начало быть, и без Него ничто не начало быть, что начало быть.
    Vcye chrez Neyava nachala bweet, ee byez Nyeva neechta nye nachala bweet, shtoh nachala bweet.
    Everything/All through Him/it began to be, and without Him/it nothing began to be, that began to be.

    В Нем была жизнь, и жизнь была свет человеков.
    V' nyem bweela zheezn, ee zheezn bweela cvyet chelovyekov.
    In Him/It was life, and life was light of men.

    И свет во тьме светит, и тьма не объяла его.
    Ee svyet vo tmye svyeteet, ee tma nye obyala yevo.
    And light in dark shines, and darkness not filled it.

    Был человек, посланный от Бога; имя ему Иоанн...
    Bweel chelovyek, poslanni ot Boga; eemya emu Ionn...
    There was man, sent from the God; name to him John...

    Interestingly enough, the scripture in Russian, is almost identical to Greek, structurally, grammatically, etc. English however is were scripture starts becoming complicated.

    There is no belittling anyone about their choice of wording. There is only pointing out the fact that the use of a single word, or letter in the pharase or sentences can and does change the entire meaning of the phrase. My logic is sound, nor do I consider my education in languages shoddy.

    In Russian as well as Greek, the phrase "и Слово было Бог", reads "and Word was (masculine form) God." If the author wanted the phrase to read "and Word was a god", the archaic term "ectb" could have been used, or другой бог, or другой тип бога (which means "a god" or "another god").

    Also note the use of the endings on the words describing God. "и Слово было у Бога, и Слово было Бог." The words "у было Бога", and "было Бог", are subtle, but profound. The first states the Word was with God, and the second states that the Word was God. The author makes no attempt to seperate the two as distinct and different. In fact the whole paragraph never attempt to split the two, one from the other. They are clearly in the beginning, and are clearly with eachother and clearly the same.

    Jesus set aside His godhead for a time. One can not know what it is like for someone else unless one walks a mile in the other's shoes. Otherwise it will always be on the outside looking in. Our God, walked among us and felt what we felt, laughed like we laugh, cried at the same sorrows and pain we suffer. Got scared like we do. Got angry, was put upon, and felt the taste of death. Is this such a strange concept? What better way to know how to deal with us, than to have lived and died among us? The difference is He beat death, and promised us the same.

    Case in point. I am of a certain rank in the military. But there have been times, when I "obscured" my rank (or put it quietly aside, as in not made it evident), in order to "walk" among the troops while out on liberty, or off duty. I still conducted myself in proper fashion (I did not "sin"), yet I was one of them for a night or two. Being "approachable", due to no evident stigma of rank, gave me tremendous insight into my "people". Not so much personal stuff, more as how they think, what they dream, what they feel, what drives them, who they are deep inside...hopes, aspirations, mythos they carried.

    Doesn't mean I was no longer the person of rank, just that was not something they needed to be aware of at a particular point and place in time. Then the night ended, morning broke, lo and behold they met me again, only now I'm in uniform and in full regalia, only now I have a quiet smile and ready wink, for the troops. Yes, the responsibility and burden of confidences is there, but so is the understanding. I know how they tick, because I was able to observe and interact with them at a common level acceptable to both of us.

    Jesus as God, did something like that too, for us.

    v/r

    Q

    Edit: In reading the New International Version, I note that for this particular set of passages, the translation from Greek to English is pretty straight forward, yet not word for word. (definite article "the" and indefinite article "a" being an abstract exception to English thought, and substitution of one word for another to fit English grammar proper).

    "In (the) beginning was (the) Word, and (the) Word was with God, and (the) word was God. He was with God in (the) beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and that life was (the) light of men. (The) light shines in (the) darkness, but (the) darkness has not overcome it. There came (a) man who was sent from God; his name was John..."

    Let us also consider the French versions of the beginning of this paragraph, and we find a striking similarity to the Russian and Greek versions however, like English, the French make much use of articles to further explain (and a god or 'un dieu' is not in the passage.

    "Au commencement était celui qui est la Parole de Dieu. Il était avec Dieu, il était lui-même Dieu."

    At comencement (at beginning) was that which is the Word of God. He was with God, he was the same God... or

    "Au commencement était la Parole, et la Parole était avec Dieu, et la Parole était Dieu."

    At comencement (at beginning) was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

    Now I understand that "la Parole" is a feminine term, but then the word "Word" in French (as la Parole is used here), is considered feminine. If however one were to call a father who stated he was the last word to his child "feminine", one might be in for an hell of a fight...as opposed to "the hell of a fight"...

    One last thought on this issue, using German:

    Im Anfang war das Wort, und das Wort war bei Gott, und Gott war das Wort."

    In beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word.

    If all of these versions of the Bible in different languages are all saying the same thing...where is "...and the Word was a god"?
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2006
  12. mee

    mee Interfaith Forums

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    1808 "and the word was a god" The New Testament, in An Improved Version, Upon the Basis of Archbishop Newcome’s New Translation: With a Corrected Text, London.1864 "and a god was the Word" The Emphatic Diaglott (J21, interlinear reading), by Benjamin Wilson, New York and London 1935 "and the Word was divine" The Bible—An AmericanTranslation, by J. M. P.



    Smith and E. J. Goodspeed, Chicago.

    1950 "and the Word was a god" New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures,

    Brooklyn


    1975 "and a god (or, of a divine Das Evangelium nach kind) was the Word" Johannes, by Siegfried


    Schulz,Göttingen, Germany.

    1978 "and godlike sort was Das Evangelium nach the Logos" Johannes,by Johannes

    Schneider,Berlin.

    1979 "and a god was the Logos" Das Evangelium nach Johannes,by Jürgen Becker,


    Würzburg, Germany.

    These translations use such words as "a god," "divine" or "godlike" so there are other careful translators out there, but it always amazes me how the NWT is the one that people have a go at, food for thought i think , those who are after truth in these last days have to put up with a hard time to stick to accurate knowledge, as the world in satans control is out to stamp out the truth . but truth will prefail.





     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 5, 2006
  13. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    If, as some suggest, the translation should read 'a God' and not simply 'God', is John then not preaching polytheism?

    Thomas
     
  14. mee

    mee Interfaith Forums

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    There is only one Almighty God Jehovah, but his only-begotten son is "god like". capital "G "for the true God, not for his son that is a "g"
    For God loved the world so much that he gave his only-begotten Son, in order that everyone exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life john3;16

     
  15. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    But that then flies in the face of the whole concept of the New Testament. And if it is suggested that the True GOD, has given power to a "man who is god-like", that makes no sense. The true God could have done that in the beginning, scratch Adam and Eve, start over, fix the bugs, make the perfect man.

    Second, we are told to be godly in our lives. That is god-like, not like-a god, or like God. Satan himself aspires to be like God...that is to say the same as God, similar to God (in short, able to replace God).

    Your view is a very peculiar version of Christianity, I must admit...

    v/r

    Q

    Edit: John is describing the "Word" becoming flesh. That is to say that the "Word" was not flesh before, but became flesh. Which obviously excludes Jesus (the Word) from being a man previous to His birth. Yet He existed. I can not find one passage in any Bible that specifically states that Jesus was created by God...only that He was with God in the beginning. I must also point out that Jesus Himself declared that HE is the Alpha and Omega (beginning and the end), not that the FATHER is the beginning and the end...

    Now why is that? Logic dictates that one declares themself to be one and the same with another, that they are the other as well.

    The response(s) should prove interesting...

    v/r

    Q
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2006
  16. Dor

    Dor Bible Thumper

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    The title page reads "The New Testament in An Improved Version, upon the basis of Archbishop Newcome's New Translation with a Corrected Text, and Notes Critical and Explanatory. Published by a Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge and the Practice of Virtue, by the Distribution of Books -- Unitarian." Yes, the key word above is "UNITARIAN". This is a cult teaching that Jesus was an extraordinarily good man only, nothing more. Mr. Thomas Belsham after Archbishop Newcome's death, altered Newcome's text! [See page 394, "Manual of Biblical Bibliography".] This altered text dishonoring Archbishop Newcome's careful scholarship also provided a basis for the New World Translation's "...and the Word was a god".(see also the Kingdom Interlinear Translation, page 1160, 1969 ed.) Archbishop Newcome certainly never said, the Word was "a god".



    Produced by a Christadelphian named Benjamin Wilson, with no credentials in Greek. Wilson denied the personal pre-existence of Christ before his birth, the entire incarnation doctrine, being anti-trinitarians himself. It is used widely by Jehovah's Witnesses because of its anti-trinitarian bias.


    The Complete Bible, an American Translation, by Edgar Goodspeed and J. M. Powis Smith. Greek into English but a two man translation, whereas all other major translations had between 40-100 different scholars involved in the translation. Goodspeed was a liberal theologian. Smith regards the miracles of the Bible, such as Jesus' virgin birth, His raising of the dead, and others as mere myth or legend.

    Produced by Jehovah's Witnesses for Jehovah's Witnesses. Nothing more than a sectarian paraphrase and not even a translation! The 4 paraphrasers were: Nathan Knorr, Albert Schroeder, George Gangas, Fred Franz.

     
  17. Bandit

    Bandit Well-Known Member

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    Ding Ding Ding

    Round two of the 1900 year old debates.

    everyone in your corners, come out fighting.:)
     
  18. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    No, not this time Bandit buddy. As pointed out before, this is cause for a fundamental difference in Christian thought. Some can accept that Jesus is god like, while others consider Jesus like God.

    Any faith, besides Christianity readily agrees that Jesus was a wonderful Man. But agreeing that He is GOD, brings many to a crossroad. Follow the Father, or follow the Son, or do as you please...

    To put the Son in second place before the Father, brings on a rationale that following Him would be mute. Why go for second best? To emphasise worship of the Father over the Son, is the same as referring to the OT way of thinking. Jesus becomes no more than a glorified prophet (Muslims whole heartedly believe that), and the New Testament becomes a watered down version of Proverbs and Psalms...and hence is extranious or at worst, obsolete.

    The other issue is the Bibles being used and their respective ages, apparently are causing significant rifts in the "Christ-ian" world as one member calls it.

    The newer the version, the farther from the original content of the scrolls, Hebrew texts, and Greek versions, we get.

    Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons believe ferverently in their way of perceiving God. However, 18,000,000-50,000,000 relative newcomer "Christians" of certain "sects", can not supercede the remaining 2.31 billion "Main stream Christian's " traditional view of Jesus' relationship with and to God the Father.

    The Gospel of John, unlike any other Gospel provides a pivotal point, for the very concept of Christianity. In fact, the whole of the New Testament concept, depends entirely on John 1:1 through 1:5.

    In engineer's terms, John 1:1-4 (or 5), is the shear pin, holding the "Christian" bridge in place. Lose this pin, and Christianity becomes just another religion...and those crossing the bridge find themselves sitting in a pile of rubble, they once thought was a Faith...:eek:

    Jesus can become just another slob, like one of us...only more disciplined and more enlightened, but no man is perfect, so neither can the Jesus of certain "sect" faiths be...perfect. The OT made us quite aware of that FACT. No "Man" is perfect. Didn't state no man, but one born of a virgin...

    my thoughts.

    v/r

    Q
     
  19. Bandit

    Bandit Well-Known Member

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    Ok Q:) ,

    it does not matter to me how people see & choose to see how Jesus fits into the Godhead & it does not matter to me what doctrine people choose to believe. ONE, TWO OR THREE...i love them all the same.

    Father, Son, Holy Ghost is all the same to me.
    it is not until someone takes Jesus out of the Godhead or condem others that i have a problem.
    i see everyones POV very clearly & i am aware of all the different doctrines out there that try to establish over the years & as far as i am concerned it has no bearing on someones salvation, like many claim. most all these doctrines can be dated back to the same era & it was not until freedom of religion in the U.S. that allowed them to resurface.
    i can argue every side equally & yet i do not follow any of the written doctrines out there concerning this.

    no one is going to explain God or be able to capitalize on Him through dogma or even using the Bible, but people sure do try.

    Do you see me debate John 1 or bring it up?
    no i do not...i can certainly pour on the questions to keep everyone running, but i am not interested because i already know most of the dogmatic answers that i will get & they do not satisfy me.

    MY POINT is, it is a reduntant blood bath battle that has been going on since Jesus ascended & the scriptures were written & i do not like to see people argue or debate very long over Jesus because it causes each other pain.
    it is as if some who believe in Jesus (if not everyone) feels threatened & that is not a good thing.

    IMO, it makes for a better one on one debate to knock down the wall of division & rhetoric & persuasion because that is exactly what John 1:1-14 & the Godhead is to some. A debate & a battlefield.

    I pray that everyone will love each other who choose to discuss this & realize what I am saying is true & this is why I am dinging the bell.
    thank you for listening.
    :)
     
  20. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Dear Bandit,

    All well said and good. The simple problem is that there are those who refuse to agree to disagree. That too is human nature. What happens when those who refuse to agree to disagree, are left unchecked? Answer here at CR...intervention, mediated, moderated.

    Like I said. There is no belittling of a personal perspective on how the Bible is interpreted, only a pointing out that a simple word or letter can change the whole perspective, the whole meaning of a sentence or a phrase. (a simple letter/word like "a" vs. "the").

    This makes a big difference (HUGE DIFFERENCE), between two parties, claiming to be the same followers. The difference between the two happens to be so significant that a new "Christian" would be totally confused (if not disgusted and frustrated), by the end of reading John.

    What is the truth? What does it boil down to?

    IS JESUS GOD, OR NOT?

    There, I guess I just made all this overly verbose crap simplified. Now, what is the answer?

    BTW, it is a rhetorical question...one that must be answered privately, not here.

    v/r

    Q
     

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