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Does John 1.1 Mean ‘the Word Was A God’? - Religion - Nairaland

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Does John 1.1 Mean ‘the Word Was A God’? by solite3(m): 10:32am On Aug 14
Does John 1.1 mean ‘The Word was a god’?
February 13, 2011 by Ian Paul

This is a question I quite often get asked in relation to conversations with Jehovah’s Witnesses and the New World Translation (NWT). The NWT translates the end of John 1.1 as ‘the Word as a god’ in order to avoid the identification of Jesus with the God of the Old Testament, and avoid seeing Jesus as God incarnate, part of the Trinity, as does orthodox Christian belief.

As we will see, this is an incorrect translation of the Greek text. It is quite straightforward, though sounds a little technical to explain. Here goes.
The Greek of John 1.1 is as follows, transliterated into English letters:
En arche en ho logos, kai ho logos pros ton theon, kai theos en ho logos.

If you don’t read Greek, you need to know a couple of things. The first is that the word ho is called the ‘definite article’ which in English would be translated ‘the.’ The second is that Greek does not have an ‘indefinite article’ (English ‘a’), but instead simply omits the article. The term for this is ‘anarthrous’. The third is that, whereas in English we show what words are doing in a sentence by word order, in Greek this is shown by what case a word is in. Each word can be in one of four (or five) cases—the subject of a verb (often the thing doing an action) is always in the
nominative case.

You can see near the end of John 1.1 that we have theos without an article, and logos throughout with the article. The reason is that, in any phrase where the main verb is ‘to be’, there will not be a subject and an object (as in ‘I pat my dog’ where ‘I’ am the subject and ‘my dog’ is the object of the action), but only subjects in ‘apposition’, that is, agreeing with one another. So when I say ‘My pet is a dog’ both ‘pet’ and ‘dog’ are subjects, and in Greek would be in the nominative case.

The question is: how can I tell the difference in Greek between the sentences ‘My pet is a dog’ and ‘My dog is a pet’ which have quite different senses. (The first is telling you which animal I have as a pet, the second is telling what kind of relationship my dog has to me.) In English, we do it by word order, but you cannot do this in Greek since, as an inflected language (ie one with different cases), it is flexible in word order. And you cannot do it by the usual trick of different cases, since both are in the nominative as subjects of the verb ‘to be’.

So Greek does it by making the word in apposition (the ‘dog’ in the first example) anarthrous, that is, without the definite article. In other words, theos en ho logos means ‘the word was God’, which tells us something about the nature of the word, whereas ho theos en logos would mean ‘God was the word’ which is telling us something about the nature of God.
In neither case does being anarthrous correspond to the English sense ‘a’, the indefinite article. So to translate this as ‘The Word was a god’ misunderstands the significance of omitting the article.

As this sounds rather technical, I always find it more fruitful to read with Jehovah’s Witness Romans 10.13 , ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ The Greek here uses the word kurios ; in the Greek Old Testament that Paul is citing here, this refers to Yahweh, the god of Israel. But Paul here clearly means ‘The Lord Jesus.’ The NWT appears to be embarrassed by this, and substitutes the word ‘Jehovah’. But it is very clear that in doing so the NWT is changing the text of Scripture.

Something similar happens in 1 Cor 10.9 , where the word Christos in Greek is also substituted in the NWT by ‘Jehovah’.
Re: Does John 1.1 Mean ‘the Word Was A God’? by Preciousgirl(f): 10:43am On Aug 14
solite3:
Does John 1.1 mean ‘The Word was a god’?
February 13, 2011 by Ian Paul

This is a question I quite often get asked in relation to conversations with Jehovah’s Witnesses and the New World Translation (NWT). The NWT translates the end of John 1.1 as ‘the Word as a god’ in order to avoid the identification of Jesus with the God of the Old Testament, and avoid seeing Jesus as God incarnate, part of the Trinity, as does orthodox Christian belief.

As we will see, this is an incorrect translation of the Greek text. It is quite straightforward, though sounds a little technical to explain. Here goes.
The Greek of John 1.1 is as follows, transliterated into English letters:
En arche en ho logos, kai ho logos pros ton theon, kai theos en ho logos.

If you don’t read Greek, you need to know a couple of things. The first is that the word ho is called the ‘definite article’ which in English would be translated ‘the.’ The second is that Greek does not have an ‘indefinite article’ (English ‘a’), but instead simply omits the article. The term for this is ‘anarthrous’. The third is that, whereas in English we show what words are doing in a sentence by word order, in Greek this is shown by what case a word is in. Each word can be in one of four (or five) cases—the subject of a verb (often the thing doing an action) is always in the
nominative case.

You can see near the end of John 1.1 that we have theos without an article, and logos throughout with the article. The reason is that, in any phrase where the main verb is ‘to be’, there will not be a subject and an object (as in ‘I pat my dog’ where ‘I’ am the subject and ‘my dog’ is the object of the action), but only subjects in ‘apposition’, that is, agreeing with one another. So when I say ‘My pet is a dog’ both ‘pet’ and ‘dog’ are subjects, and in Greek would be in the nominative case.

The question is: how can I tell the difference in Greek between the sentences ‘My pet is a dog’ and ‘My dog is a pet’ which have quite different senses. (The first is telling you which animal I have as a pet, the second is telling what kind of relationship my dog has to me.) In English, we do it by word order, but you cannot do this in Greek since, as an inflected language (ie one with different cases), it is flexible in word order. And you cannot do it by the usual trick of different cases, since both are in the nominative as subjects of the verb ‘to be’.

So Greek does it by making the word in apposition (the ‘dog’ in the first example) anarthrous, that is, without the definite article. In other words, theos en ho logos means ‘the word was God’, which tells us something about the nature of the word, whereas ho theos en logos would mean ‘God was the word’ which is telling us something about the nature of God.
In neither case does being anarthrous correspond to the English sense ‘a’, the indefinite article. So to translate this as ‘The Word was a god’ misunderstands the significance of omitting the article.

As this sounds rather technical, I always find it more fruitful to read with Jehovah’s Witness Romans 10.13 , ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ The Greek here uses the word kurios ; in the Greek Old Testament that Paul is citing here, this refers to Yahweh, the god of Israel. But Paul here clearly means ‘The Lord Jesus.’ The NWT appears to be embarrassed by this, and substitutes the word ‘Jehovah’. But it is very clear that in doing so the NWT is changing the text of Scripture.

Something similar happens in 1 Cor 10.9 , where the word Christos in Greek is also substituted in the NWT by ‘Jehovah’.


JW is Satan company

See lies
Re: Does John 1.1 Mean ‘the Word Was A God’? by solite3(m): 10:46am On Aug 14
Preciousgirl:


JW is Satan company
See lies
No be small my sister
Re: Does John 1.1 Mean ‘the Word Was A God’? by solite3(m): 10:47am On Aug 14
Preciousgirl:



JW is Satan company

See lies
Do you know that their founder Taze Russell was a freemason? a corrupt tree can not produce good fruit
Re: Does John 1.1 Mean ‘the Word Was A God’? by Preciousgirl(f): 10:49am On Aug 14
solite3:
Do you know that their founder Taze Russell was a freemason? a corrupt tree can not produce good fruit


RReally

Freemason

No wonder
Re: Does John 1.1 Mean ‘the Word Was A God’? by ITbomb(m): 10:57am On Aug 14
solite3:
Do you know that their founder Taze Russell was a freemason? a corrupt tree can not produce good fruit
I don't know if your premise is bad feeling about JW or scriptural exposition
If it is the later, please get hold of the Holy Bible, American Standard Version AD 1901, printed and distributed by Watchtower Bible and Tract Society.

That was the version JW used before the new world translation was published

That version of the Bible is what I consider the most complete Bible. The name of God is used where it should be used and Lord is used elsewhere. It even has a reference to what the original tongue meant. I suggest you get a hold of it

What I'm saying here is that the issue is not about Russell, JW underwent various revivals just like any other faith and in the case of 1 Cor 10:9, the early JW used Lord (as in the version of the Bible they used then), so heaping the blame on Russell, Freemason and stuff is not a valid objective reasoning.

1 Like

Re: Does John 1.1 Mean ‘the Word Was A God’? by solite3(m): 10:59am On Aug 14
Preciousgirl:


RReally
Freemason
No wonder
it is an open secret. If you should research about their history you would be shocked.
Re: Does John 1.1 Mean ‘the Word Was A God’? by Barristter07: 7:50pm On Aug 14
Solite3 , We are focusing on John 1:1
solite3:
Does John 1.1 mean ‘The Word was a god’?
February 13, 2011 by Ian Paul

This is a question I quite often get asked in relation to conversations with Jehovah’s Witnesses and the New World Translation (NWT). The NWT translates the end of John 1.1 as ‘the Word as a god’ in order to avoid the identification of Jesus with the God of the Old Testament, and avoid seeing Jesus as God incarnate, part of the Trinity, as does orthodox Christian belief.


Neither does the scripture teach Jesus is God of Old testament - Act 3:13 .




As we will see, this is an incorrect translation of the Greek text. It is quite straightforward, though sounds a little technical to explain. Here goes.
The Greek of John 1.1 is as follows, transliterated into English letters:
En arche en ho logos, kai ho logos pros ton theon, kai theos en ho logos.

If you don’t read Greek, you need to know a couple of things. The first is that the word ho is called the ‘definite article’ which in English would be translated ‘the.’ The second is that Greek does not have an ‘indefinite article’ (English ‘a’), but instead simply omits the article. The term for this is ‘anarthrous’. The third is that, whereas in English we show what words are doing in a sentence by word order, in Greek this is shown by what case a word is in. Each word can be in one of four (or five) cases—the subject of a verb (often the thing doing an action) is always in the
nominative case.

You can see near the end of John 1.1 that we have theos without an article, and logos throughout with the article. The reason is that, in any phrase where the main verb is ‘to be’, there will not be a subject and an object (as in ‘I pat my dog’ where ‘I’ am the subject and ‘my dog’ is the object of the action), but only subjects in ‘apposition’, that is, agreeing with one another. So when I say ‘My pet is a dog’ both ‘pet’ and ‘dog’ are subjects, and in Greek would be in the nominative case.

The question is: how can I tell the difference in Greek between the sentences ‘My pet is a dog’ and ‘My dog is a pet’ which have quite different senses. (The first is telling you which animal I have as a pet, the second is telling what kind of relationship my dog has to me.) In English, we do it by word order, but you cannot do this in Greek since, as an inflected language (ie one with different cases), it is flexible in word order. And you cannot do it by the usual trick of different cases, since both are in the nominative as subjects of the verb ‘to be’.

So Greek does it by making the word in apposition (the ‘dog’ in the first example) anarthrous, that is, without the definite article. In other words, theos en ho logos means ‘the word was God’, which tells us something about the nature of the word, whereas ho theos en logos would mean ‘God was the word’ which is telling us something about the nature of God.
In neither case does being anarthrous correspond to the English sense ‘a’, the indefinite article. So to translate this as ‘The Word was a god’ misunderstands the significance of omitting the article.

As this sounds rather technical, I always find it more fruitful to read with Jehovah’s Witness Romans 10.13 , ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ The Greek here uses the word kurios ; in the Greek Old Testament that Paul is citing here, this refers to Yahweh, the god of Israel. But Paul here clearly means ‘The Lord Jesus.’ The NWT appears to be embarrassed by this, and substitutes the word ‘Jehovah’. But it is very clear that in doing so the NWT is changing the text of Scripture.

Something similar happens in 1 Cor 10.9 , where the word Christos in Greek is also substituted in the NWT by ‘Jehovah’.

Explain the Red , Is it wrong to translate Theo's as " a god " ?
Re: Does John 1.1 Mean ‘the Word Was A God’? by solite3(m): 8:54pm On Aug 14
Barristter07:

Solite3 , We are focusing on John 1:1


Neither does the scripture teach Jesus is God of Old testament - Act 3:13 .



Explain the Red , Is it wrong to translate Theo's as " a god " ?
slowly reread op again, this time take your time to read thoughtfully.
Re: Does John 1.1 Mean ‘the Word Was A God’? by Barristter07: 3:28pm On Aug 19
solite3:
slowly reread op again, this time take your time to read thoughtfully.

I have, and the Op suggest " a god " is a wrong translation for Theos , Is it ?

2 Likes

Re: Does John 1.1 Mean ‘the Word Was A God’? by Janosky: 8:16pm On Aug 19
Preciousgirl:


RReally
Freemason
No wonder
solite3:
it is an open secret. If you should research about their history you would be shocked.

What a pathetic solite3 LIAR !
It's a well documented FACT that Mr C.T.Russell is NOT a Freemason.
Re: Does John 1.1 Mean ‘the Word Was A God’? by Janosky: 9:14pm On Aug 19
solite3:
Does John 1.1 mean ‘The Word was a god’?
February 13, 2011 by Ian Paul


@1)
This is a question I quite often get asked in relation to conversations with Jehovah’s Witnesses and the New World Translation (NWT). The NWT translates the end of John 1.1 as ‘the Word as a god’ in order to avoid the identification of Jesus with the God of the Old Testament, and avoid seeing Jesus as God incarnate,


*@2)

The Greek of John 1.1 is as follows, transliterated into English letters:
En arche en ho logos, kai ho logos pros ton theon, kai theos en ho logos.

You can see near the end of John 1.1 that we have theos without an article, and logos throughout with the article.


@3)

In other words, theos en ho logos means ‘the word was God’, which tells us something about the nature of the word,



.
Solite3 shot himself on his foot.
You simply copy and paste what you don't even understand.....

@3) Solite3 have proved that his claims @1) is FALSE...
In effect, John1:1c
" theos en ho logos means ‘the word was God’, which tells us something about the nature of the word,"
In other words, the Word is a god (meaning "godlike or divine nature"wink.

Las, las, the word is of the nature of God, but is NOT God in person because
"the Word was with ton theon (the God)"
That is what John 1:1c is saying & that is what JWs believe ....
.

John 1:1 Emphatic Diaglott

"In a beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with the God, and a god
was the Word."
Re: Does John 1.1 Mean ‘the Word Was A God’? by Janosky: 9:58pm On Aug 19
solite3:




I always find it more fruitful to read with Jehovah’s Witness Romans 10.13 , ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ The Greek here uses the word kurios ; in the Greek Old Testament that Paul is citing here, this refers to Yahweh, the god of Israel. But Paul here clearly means ‘The Lord Jesus.’ The NWT appears to be embarrassed by this, and substitutes the word ‘Jehovah’.



’.

** Solite3 LIAR twisting the truth with well packaged sophistry.
Romans 10:13 is a copy or quote of Joel 2:32....

Joel2:32
Holman Christian Standard Bible
Then everyone who calls on the name of
Yahweh will be saved, "

American Standard Version
And it shall come to pass, that whosoever
shall call on the name of Jehovah shall be
delivered;

@ Young's Literal Translation
And it hath come to pass, Every one who
calleth in the name of Jehovah is delivered",

As you can clearly see, Jehovah or YHWH was replaced with LORD (capital letter).
( Anywhere you see Lord capitalized,
Go read the Preface in your copy of the Bible. God's name Jehovah or YHWH was removed there.)
Paul referred to Jehovah quoting Joel 2:32, not to Jesus.
NWT is correct.
.

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