John 1:1

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    Ding posted Mon, 11 Apr 2011 01:29:00 GMT(4/11/2011)

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    Most The NWT translates John 1:1 as "... and the Word was a god," not "...and the Word was God."

    The reason they give is that the word theos doesn't have the definite article in front of it in the Greek.

    In his 1982 book, "The Jehovah's Witness' New Testament," Greek scholar Robert Countess looked up all such occurrences in the NT (theos without the definite article) and checked the NWT.

    He discovered that the WTS only followed their stated rule 6% of the time.

    94% of the time, they translated it "God" anyway!

    F lovelylil posted Mon, 11 Apr 2011 01:30:00 GMT(4/11/2011)

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    ding, good post.

    M stillajwexelder posted Mon, 11 Apr 2011 01:32:00 GMT(4/11/2011)

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    wow - good find

    Joey Jo-Jo posted Mon, 11 Apr 2011 02:57:00 GMT(4/11/2011)

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    So in the beggining there was Jesus, that doesn't make any sense.

    sabastious posted Mon, 11 Apr 2011 03:04:00 GMT(4/11/2011)

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    So in the beggining there was Jesus, that doesn't make any sense.

    Sure you want to go down that rabbit hole?

    -Sab

    John1one posted Mon, 11 Apr 2011 05:50:00 GMT(4/11/2011)

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    Dear Ding,

    Whereas you had stated:

    Most The NWT translates John 1:1 as "... and the Word was a god," not "...and the Word was God."

    The reason they give is that the word theos doesn't have the definite article in front of it in the Greek.

    In his 1982 book, "The Jehovah's Witness' New Testament," Greek scholar Robert Countess looked up all such occurrences in the NT (theos without the definite article) and checked the NWT.

    He discovered that the WTS only followed their stated rule 6% of the time.

    94% of the time, they translated it "God" anyway!

    ~~~~~~~~~~~

    This is actually not true. As can be witnessed above, many who take issue with Jehovah's Witnesses' "New World Translation" of 'theos' in John 1:1c (as, "a god") often miss the point that the reason for translating this clause the way they do is because this is 'a singular anarthrous predicate noun *preceding the verb* and subject noun (stated or implied)' - that is, not just that use of the noun 'theos' in the third clause lacks the Greek definite article. (In the Greek language of this period, there was no such thing as an indefinite article; therefore, depending upon the grammar, syntax as well as the imediate, global and cultural context of the phrase, when translating to English, the decision on whether to add an indefinite article or not would be decided by the translator.)

    Now, with regard to some specific examples of Biblical verses which do represent the same, basic, Greek grammatical construction of John 1:1c, please examine the following within your own prefered translation of the Bible and see whether the translators had, themselves, appreciated the need to insert either an "a" or "an" there. At each of the cases below, it has been found that most Bibles consistantly do:

    Mark 6:49; Mark 11:32; John 4:19; John 6:70; John 8:44a; John 8:44b; John 9:17; John 10:1; John 10:13; John 10:33; John 12:6

    As can be easily seen, at each of the above verses, identity of the one being discussed was not at issue; no, but rather, the class of the individual is. Following this same syntactatical pattern as that found within John 1:1c, it should be easy to appreciate how that Jesus ("the Word") can also be properly identified as "a god," but certainly not as "God," the one of whom he was just said to be "with" (1:1b).

    Agape, John1one.

    garyneal posted Mon, 11 Apr 2011 06:25:00 GMT(4/11/2011)

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    Ding,

    That was one of the first things I learned when I began examining this religion with a fine tooth comb. They are pretty inconsistent with their rules regarding translation.

    John,

    None of your cited verses referenced 'a god.' Ding's point was that whereever theos was written without the definite article (Ho) the WTS was inconsistent in translating it to 'a god' as it did in John 1:1.

    M wobble posted Mon, 11 Apr 2011 07:37:00 GMT(4/11/2011)

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    Dear John1one,

    Are you a great supporter of the NWT as a translation ?

    We have had many threads over the years dealing with John1v1 and the plain conclusion was that either rendering is permissable, and either rendering does not prove a trinitarian or non-trinitarian point of view, because of the context of the chapter mainly.

    We have had a number of threads too, of the dis-honesty of the NWT in many places, John 1v1 being not so much an example of dishonesty in translating, as an example of their conveniently going against their claimed rule (In the Introduction) of consistency throughout.

    They change the rule if it does not suit their exegesis, they twist the translation if it does not suit their doctrine.

    They are what we call, in the world of Biblical Scholarship, slippery buggers.

    It is ironic that the ones claiming to be the custodians of the "Truth" feel the need to be so so devious and mendacious.

    Pahpa posted Mon, 11 Apr 2011 14:28:00 GMT(4/11/2011)

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    Trinitarians are not above translating Bible passages to suit their

    personal view. One only has to read John 1:18 in some of the

    new translations to demonstrate how this is done. When a

    translator has a choice he will always select the rendering

    that favors his viewpoiint.

    garyneal posted Mon, 11 Apr 2011 14:45:00 GMT(4/11/2011)

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    Good point Papha, I've seen renderings of that verse that definitely prove a trinitarian concept where it was not present in the Greek that it was translated from. One rendering in the NIV (1984) could be a bit confusing if one did not take it in context of the trinity.

    sd-7 posted Mon, 11 Apr 2011 14:57:00 GMT(4/11/2011)

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    The thing is, and I've done a fair amount of research on this, that saying 'the Word was God' is highly unlikely to be what the writer intended; I think most scholars would agree that that rendering, at least in terms of Greek of the time, would create theological problems, as it could be interpreted to mean that 'ho theos' (God the Father) and the Word ('logos') were the same person, literally. This would be Sabellianism, which was always a heresy. The writer needed to define the Word's quality (theos) while simultaneously not appearing to equate the person of the Word with the person of The God, the Father, ho theos.

    I'd go with 'the Word was divine' or 'the Word was a divine being'. I think 'the Word was a god', while literally accurate, does not necessarily capture what the writer of John was probably aiming for. Especially since he starts this verse with 'in the beginning the Word was' and later says that the Word was in the beginning with God. Since both entities would've existed outside of time and space, the Word has no clearly defined beginning, per se, if you ask me. His power is God's power, his person is the purest expression of God apart from the Father himself. This is pretty well established in New Testament letters.

    Does that mean he is God Almighty? Not necessarily, strange as that might sound. He's far more than the JWs proclaim him to be, but John 1:1 can't be used to demonstrate that, at least not without taking all the scriptures together. The Father has put the Son as the centerpiece of his plans and directed everyone, in Jesus' own words, to honor the Son as they honor the Father. To honor the Son is to honor the Father, so either way, let's just agree that, if you're the Christian religious type (I'm not), Jesus is powerful and the key to proper worship.

    'Nuff said.

    --sd-7

    jonathan dough posted Mon, 11 Apr 2011 15:26:00 GMT(4/11/2011)

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    Whether John 1:1 should read "was a god" or "was God" should be the end of the argument, not the beginning. First, examine all of the evidence as to whether the Word was, and is, God, which the Word was, and is, and based upon that context and supporting grammatical constructs one must come to the inevitable conclusion that the Word was God, in the proper trinitarian context. Here is the proof for that: http://144000.110mb.com/trinity/index-5.html#20

    The JWs even agree with this context-based analytical approach because they can't win the grammatical argument outright.

    The Jehovah's Witnesses base their interpretation “the Word was a god” on a) rules of grammar, and b) the overall context of the Bible. Basically, they argue that even though a literal translation does not include the indefinite article “a” before God, it can and should be inserted, depending upon the context (Should You Believe, Chapter 9), even though a literal Greek rendering is “and God was the Word” or in English “and the Word was God,” (ibid., Chapter 10; Reasoning, 416, 417).

    Strong and Vine’s vehemently disagrees with this grammatical assessment.

    (4) Theos is used (4a) with the definite article, (4b) without (i.e., as an anarthrous noun). (4c) The English may or may not have need of the article in translation. But that point cuts no figure in the Greek idiom. Thus in Acts 27:23 (“of [the] God whose I am,”) the article points out the special God whose Paul is and is to be preserved in English. In the very next verse (ho theos) we in English do not need the article, (4c) John 1:1 As to this latter it is usual to employ the article with a proper name, when mentioned a second time. (4c) There are, of course, exceptions to this, as when the absence of the article serves to lay stress upon, or give precision to, the character or nature of what is expressed in the noun.

    (4c1) A notable instance of this is in Jn 1:1, “and the Word was God”; here a double stress is on theos by the absence of the article and by the emphatic position. To translate it literally, “a god was the Word” is entirely misleading. Moreover, that “the Word” is the subject of the sentence, exemplifies the rule that the subject is to be determined by its having the article when the predicate is amorphous (without the article).

    In other words, the absence of “a” in “a god” lays a double stress on and emphasizes theos so that it should read “God,” ie., “and the Word was God.”

    http://144000.110mb.com/trinity/index-7.html#37

    M elder-schmelder posted Mon, 11 Apr 2011 15:30:00 GMT(4/11/2011)

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    Why is it that when I hear the John 1:1 debate, all it does is help me realize that the bible is not from God?

    If god was going to give us a instruction book, would he not make it clear to ALL of us?

    elder-schmleder

    tec posted Mon, 11 Apr 2011 15:31:00 GMT(4/11/2011)

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    Good post SD-7.

    I agree, whatever your belief, when it comes to translating, the translators fit in the rendering that best suited their belief. On either side. I personally like 'divine'. Because that is what I believe. What I do think it is safe to say though, is that John 1:1 cannot be taken of itself to prove anything, one way or the other.

    And SD-7 makes another good point. Regardless of you belief on doctrine, it is still the Son to whom we must go, to see the Father.

    Tammy

    F snowbird posted Mon, 11 Apr 2011 15:36:00 GMT(4/11/2011)

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    Amen to Tammy and SD-7.

    1 John 3:23 Again, this is God's command: to believe in his personally named Son, Jesus Christ. He told us to love each other, in line with the original command. The Message Bible

    Apparently, the other stuff doesn't matter to God. It shouldn't matter to us, either.

    Syl

    PSacramento posted Mon, 11 Apr 2011 15:38:00 GMT(4/11/2011)

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    If we view Theos as NOT the name of God, since it isn't, but as the description given to the supreme ultimate being, then it may be easier to undersatnd what the wroter of GOJ was saying and IF we continue reading we get a clearer understanding.

    If we replace God with human we have:

    1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with HUMAN, and the Word was HUMAN 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4 in him was life, a and the life was the light of all people. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

    Of course as we read further we see that The Word was WITH God, so by saying that the word is God, John is making a comment on the NATURE and DIVINITY of the Word, just as Paul does in Philippians and Colossians.

    Put "a god" goes aginst what John is saying and what Paul had said before.

    zombie dub posted Mon, 11 Apr 2011 15:55:00 GMT(4/11/2011)

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    Makes me laugh how into this people get - it's really very simple: the bible was written by [comparatively] unintelligent men over many years and without any real collaboration, most of the books are not authored by whom they claim, and are full of contradictions, inconsistencies and edits.

    You might as well analyse Moby Dick.

    M elder-schmelder posted Mon, 11 Apr 2011 15:57:00 GMT(4/11/2011)

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    I agree zombie dub !!

    jonathan dough posted Mon, 11 Apr 2011 16:00:00 GMT(4/11/2011)

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    I think most scholars would agree that that rendering, at least in terms of Greek of the time, would create theological problems, as it could be

    interpreted to mean that 'ho theos' (God the Father) and the Word ('logos') were the same person, literally. This would be Sabellianism, which was
    always a heresy.

    I think you are confusing immanent trinity versus economic trinity. This will clear that up: http://www.144000.110mb.com/trinity/index.html#2

    Sabellianism has no place in this argument because John 1:1 is not speaking of Jesus. Furthermore, Orthodox Christians - the overwhelming majority of Catholic and Protestant churches - teach that: “The humanity of Christ is a creature, it is not God” (Catholic Encyclopedia, 922).

    The second God referred to at John 1:1 is God the Son, the second person of the Holy Trinity. In that sense it is not unreasonable to conclude that the first person of the trinity, God the Father, was with the Son, the second person. God the Son was with God the Father, in terms of their relative distinctions, inseparable as they ultimately comprise one God.

    TTWSYF posted Mon, 11 Apr 2011 16:10:00 GMT(4/11/2011)

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    In the beginning, the Word already existed or the Word was. That to me reads taht the Word was there before the beginning because that's what the bible says.

    If the Word was 'a god', then what kind of god was the word?

    Scripture is quite clear that there is One God and all other gods are false. What kind of god is the Word?

    I say 'True God'

    respectfully,

    dc

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