Greek Grammar In Light of Historical Research

Topics related to Biblical languages.

Greek Grammar In Light of Historical Research

DrWhofan1
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17 Nov 2016, 14:44 #1

Should Greek Grammar In Light of Historical Research be something that I should add to my Logos software library? As this might be something I can use when I get further ahead in learning the Greek?

Are there any here that have this and use it?
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Reformed Baptist
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18 Nov 2016, 09:06 #2

DrWhofan1:25681 wrote:Should Greek Grammar In Light of Historical Research be something that I should add to my Logos software library? As this might be something I can use when I get further ahead in learning the Greek?

Are there any here that have this and use it?
How can anyone be expected to answer that question without knowing at what level your Greek is and what you want to use it for. With all due respect brother in all our discussions (and there have been many) there isn't much evidence of interaction with Scripture at all. I don't mean to be insulting, but at the same time I can't recommend Greek resources to you until I see evidence of a proficiency in using the text of Scripture to formulate and defend your positions  :think:
"George Whitefield said, "We are all born Arminians." It is grace that turns us into Calvinists." Spurgeon
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DrWhofan1
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18 Nov 2016, 15:18 #3

Reformed Baptist:25698 wrote:
DrWhofan1:25681 wrote:Should Greek Grammar In Light of Historical Research be something that I should add to my Logos software library? As this might be something I can use when I get further ahead in learning the Greek?

Are there any here that have this and use it?
How can anyone be expected to answer that question without knowing at what level your Greek is and what you want to use it for. With all due respect brother in all our discussions (and there have been many) there isn't much evidence of interaction with Scripture at all. I don't mean to be insulting, but at the same time I can't recommend Greek resources to you until I see evidence of a proficiency in using the text of Scripture to formulate and defend your positions :think:
Decided to get it fir use, and would say that much of it is beyond my current level of understanding, but there are areas where it has helped me to understand certain passages in Bible in a better fashion now then before.
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Ask Mr. Religion
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18 Nov 2016, 16:19 #4

DrWhofan1:25708 wrote:
Reformed Baptist:25698 wrote:
DrWhofan1:25681 wrote:Should Greek Grammar In Light of Historical Research be something that I should add to my Logos software library? As this might be something I can use when I get further ahead in learning the Greek?

Are there any here that have this and use it?
How can anyone be expected to answer that question without knowing at what level your Greek is and what you want to use it for. With all due respect brother in all our discussions (and there have been many) there isn't much evidence of interaction with Scripture at all. I don't mean to be insulting, but at the same time I can't recommend Greek resources to you until I see evidence of a proficiency in using the text of Scripture to formulate and defend your positions :think:
Decided to get it fir use, and would say that much of it is beyond my current level of understanding, but there are areas where it has helped me to understand certain passages in Bible in a better fashion now then before.
I am confused. You begin by asking...

"Should Greek Grammar In Light of Historical Research be something that I (DWf1) should add to my Logos software library?"

After a response to your question, you reply that you...

"Decided to get it for use..."

And, in fact, after getting it you noted

"it has helped me to understand certain passages..."

My confusion lies in the fact that you apparently have already obtained the item before asking your question about obtaining the item --OR-- that in the time between asking about the item and now you obtained the item and it is already clearing up confusion you have.

What are the actual facts here?
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DrWhofan1
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18 Nov 2016, 19:17 #5

[Downloaded it from Logos in between time...
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Ask Mr. Religion
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18 Nov 2016, 19:44 #6

DrWhofan1:25715 wrote:[Downloaded it from Logos in between time...
So what exactly, after downloading it, did the book aid you in "understanding certain passages" you were experiencing?
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DrWhofan1
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19 Nov 2016, 14:31 #7

Ask Mr. Religion:25721 wrote:
DrWhofan1:25715 wrote:[Downloaded it from Logos in between time...
So what exactly, after downloading it, did the book aid you in "understanding certain passages" you were experiencing?
So far, been reading the section on the Greek article and its use in the scriptures, and that has been infomative to me, as read through it and better understand whyy theJW for example cannot use the lack of the article in John 1 before word Greek to show that Jesus was inferior and a created being.... For If the definite article "the" was used before word, that would mean that Jesus is same as God the father!
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19 Nov 2016, 17:23 #8

DrWhofan1:25734 wrote:
Ask Mr. Religion:25721 wrote:
DrWhofan1:25715 wrote:[Downloaded it from Logos in between time...
So what exactly, after downloading it, did the book aid you in "understanding certain passages" you were experiencing?
So far, been reading the section on the Greek article and its use in the scriptures, and that has been infomative to me, as read through it and better understand whyy theJW for example cannot use the lack of the article in John 1 before word Greek to show that Jesus was inferior and a created being....For If the definite article "the" was used before word, that would mean that Jesus is same as God the father!
For the New World Translation of John 1:1), the JW relies heavily upon James Moffatts A New Translation of the Bible, which renders Theos as "divine".

Moffat writes:
  • The reason for their rendering the Greek word theos as divine, and not God, is that it is the Greek noun theos without the definite article, hence an anarthrous theos. The God with whom the Word or Logos was originally is designated here by the Greek expression, theos, preceded by the definite article ho, hence an articular theos. Careful translators recognize that the articular construction points to an identity, a personality, whereas an anarthrous construction points to a quality about someone.
From the above we see that the NWT derives a translation principle which may be stated as follows: anarthrous theos equals a god; arthrous theos equals God. The anarthrous is qualitative; the arthrous is quantitative. Obviously an incidental criticism at this point is necessary. The NWT has a god, which is clearly a quantitative rendering. The NWT translators, to be consistent with their principle, should have followed Moffatt, which reads "divine".

The NWT appendix on the topic several times uses the phrase the definite article so as to imply that in Greek there exists in correspondence to English an indefinite article. Such phraseology implies lack of understanding of this aspect of the Greek language, for there is no such parallel correspondence to English usage.

In fact, throughout the 1,300 occurrences of theos in the New Testament, the arthrous theos far exceeds the anarthrous, and of 282 occurrences of the anarthrous theos the NWT has sixteen times either a god, god, gods, or godly. Therefore the NWT translators were only 6% faithful to their canons enunciated in the NWT appendix to John 1:1.

The first paragraph of John, 1:1-18, furnishes a lucid example of NWTs arbitrary dogmatism. The Greek word for God occurs eight times, in verses 1, 2, 6, 12, 13, 18, and has the article but two times, verses 1 and 2. Yet NWT reads God six times. Of these, four are anarthrous and two arthrous. And in John 1:18 the NWT reads the .. .god where there is no article in Greek. Such examples can be adduced in great abundance throughout NWT. The plain fact is that they are playing fast and loose with the translation to read in their own preconceptions.

The NWT shows ignorance of a particular nuance of the Greek language. The Foreword of the NWT disclaims any prejudice or bias for its translation. All other translations are written off as having been influenced by religious traditions, hoary with age." Yet the NWT translators have established a principle regarding the Greek article to which they themselves have been unfaithful 94% of the time; and the preferred religious view of an Arian-type cult has influenced the rendering of a very important passage.

The issue with John 1:1 can be resolved by careful exegesis as follows (as adopted from here):

A literal translation of John 1:1 reads thus: "In beginning was the word, and the word was with the God, and God was the word."

Notice that it says "God was the word." This is the actual word for word translation. It is not saying that "a god was the word." That would not make sense.

So let's break John 1:1 down into three parts:

1. "In beginning was the word..." (en arche en ho logos)
A very simple statement that the Word was in the beginning.

2. "and the word was with the God..." (kai ho logos en pros ton theon)
This same Word was with God.

3. "and God was the word." Properly translated as "and the Word was God." (kai theos en ho logos)
This same Word was God.

Regarding John 1:1, the correct English translation is "...and the Word was God," not "and God was the word." This is because if there is only one definite article ("ho"="the") in a clause where two nouns are in the nominative ("subject") form ("theos" and "logos"), then the noun with the definite article ("ho"="the") is the subject. In this case "ho logos" means that "the word" is the subject of the clause. Therefore, "...the Word was God" is the correct translation, not "God was the Word." But this does not negate the idea that John is speaking of only one God, not two, even though the Jehovah's Witnesses maintain that Jesus is "a god," or the "mighty god".

Is there suddenly a new god in the text of John 1:1? It is the same God that is being spoken of in part 2 as in part 3 shown above. How do the Jehovah's Witnesses maintain that the word had somehow become a god in this context, since there is only one God mentioned? Remember, the Jehovah's Witnesses teach that Jesus was Michael the Archangel. Therefore, is there any place in the Bible where an angel is called "a god," besides Satan being called the god of this world in 2 Cor. 4:3-4?

In John 20:28 we read, "Thomas answered and said to Him, 'My Lord and my God!'"

In the Greek in John 20:28 Thomas said to Jesus, "ho kurios mou, kai ho theos mou," "The Lord of me, and the God of me."

If Jesus was not God, but "a" god, then should not Jesus have corrected Thomas? Shouldn't Jesus have said, "No Thomas, I am not the God. I am a god."? But Jesus did not. To do so would have been ludicrous. Nevertheless, the Jehovah's Witness will say that Thomas was so stunned by Jesus' appearance that he swore. This is ridiculous because it means that Thomas, a devout man of God, swore in front of Jesus and used the Lord's name in vain in violation of Exodus 20:7. This is hardly the case since we find no New Testament equivalent of a disciple of Christ using God's name in vain.

John 1:1 is best translated without the "a" inserted into the text. "The Word was God" is the best translation. This way, we do not run into the danger of polytheism, with Jesus being "a god." We do not have Thomas the disciple swearing and using God's name in vain. And, we do not have the problem of Jesus being a "mighty god" and yet not the Godeven though God Himself is called the Mighty God (Jeremiah 21:18; Isaiah 10:20).

See also: Chapman, B. (1994). Greek New Testament Insert. (2nd ed., revised.). Quakertown, PA: Stylus Publishing. Also, Louw, J. P. (1989; Published in electronic form by Logos Research Systems, 1996). Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: Based on semantic domains (electronic edition of the 2nd ed.) (Page 592). New York: United Bible societies.
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DrWhofan1
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19 Nov 2016, 19:03 #9

Ask Mr. Religion:25736 wrote:
DrWhofan1:25734 wrote:
Ask Mr. Religion:25721 wrote: So what exactly, after downloading it, did the book aid you in "understanding certain passages" you were experiencing?
So far, been reading the section on the Greek article and its use in the scriptures, and that has been infomative to me, as read through it and better understand whyy theJW for example cannot use the lack of the article in John 1 before word Greek to show that Jesus was inferior and a created being....For If the definite article "the" was used before word, that would mean that Jesus is same as God the father!
For the New World Translation of John 1:1), the JW relies heavily upon James Moffatts A New Translation of the Bible, which renders Theos as "divine".

Moffat writes:
  • The reason for their rendering the Greek word theos as divine, and not God, is that it is the Greek noun theos without the definite article, hence an anarthrous theos. The God with whom the Word or Logos was originally is designated here by the Greek expression, theos, preceded by the definite article ho, hence an articular theos. Careful translators recognize that the articular construction points to an identity, a personality, whereas an anarthrous construction points to a quality about someone.
From the above we see that the NWT derives a translation principle which may be stated as follows: anarthrous theos equals a god; arthrous theos equals God. The anarthrous is qualitative; the arthrous is quantitative. Obviously an incidental criticism at this point is necessary. The NWT has a god, which is clearly a quantitative rendering. The NWT translators, to be consistent with their principle, should have followed Moffatt, which reads "divine".

The NWT appendix on the topic several times uses the phrase the definite article so as to imply that in Greek there exists in correspondence to English an indefinite article. Such phraseology implies lack of understanding of this aspect of the Greek language, for there is no such parallel correspondence to English usage.

In fact, throughout the 1,300 occurrences of theos in the New Testament, the arthrous theos far exceeds the anarthrous, and of 282 occurrences of the anarthrous theos the NWT has sixteen times either a god, god, gods, or godly. Therefore the NWT translators were only 6% faithful to their canons enunciated in the NWT appendix to John 1:1.

The first paragraph of John, 1:1-18, furnishes a lucid example of NWTs arbitrary dogmatism. The Greek word for God occurs eight times, in verses 1, 2, 6, 12, 13, 18, and has the article but two times, verses 1 and 2. Yet NWT reads God six times. Of these, four are anarthrous and two arthrous. And in John 1:18 the NWT reads the .. .god where there is no article in Greek. Such examples can be adduced in great abundance throughout NWT. The plain fact is that they are playing fast and loose with the translation to read in their own preconceptions.

The NWT shows ignorance of a particular nuance of the Greek language. The Foreword of the NWT disclaims any prejudice or bias for its translation. All other translations are written off as having been influenced by religious traditions, hoary with age." Yet the NWT translators have established a principle regarding the Greek article to which they themselves have been unfaithful 94% of the time; and the preferred religious view of an Arian-type cult has influenced the rendering of a very important passage.

The issue with John 1:1 can be resolved by careful exegesis as follows (as adopted from here):

A literal translation of John 1:1 reads thus: "In beginning was the word, and the word was with the God, and God was the word."

Notice that it says "God was the word." This is the actual word for word translation. It is not saying that "a god was the word." That would not make sense.

So let's break John 1:1 down into three parts:

1. "In beginning was the word..." (en arche en ho logos)
A very simple statement that the Word was in the beginning.

2. "and the word was with the God..." (kai ho logos en pros ton theon)
This same Word was with God.

3. "and God was the word." Properly translated as "and the Word was God." (kai theos en ho logos)
This same Word was God.

Regarding John 1:1, the correct English translation is "...and the Word was God," not "and God was the word." This is because if there is only one definite article ("ho"="the") in a clause where two nouns are in the nominative ("subject") form ("theos" and "logos"), then the noun with the definite article ("ho"="the") is the subject. In this case "ho logos" means that "the word" is the subject of the clause. Therefore, "...the Word was God" is the correct translation, not "God was the Word." But this does not negate the idea that John is speaking of only one God, not two, even though the Jehovah's Witnesses maintain that Jesus is "a god," or the "mighty god".

Is there suddenly a new god in the text of John 1:1? It is the same God that is being spoken of in part 2 as in part 3 shown above. How do the Jehovah's Witnesses maintain that the word had somehow become a god in this context, since there is only one God mentioned? Remember, the Jehovah's Witnesses teach that Jesus was Michael the Archangel. Therefore, is there any place in the Bible where an angel is called "a god," besides Satan being called the god of this world in 2 Cor. 4:3-4?

In John 20:28 we read, "Thomas answered and said to Him, 'My Lord and my God!'"

In the Greek in John 20:28 Thomas said to Jesus, "ho kurios mou, kai ho theos mou," "The Lord of me, and the God of me."

If Jesus was not God, but "a" god, then should not Jesus have corrected Thomas? Shouldn't Jesus have said, "No Thomas, I am not the God. I am a god."? But Jesus did not. To do so would have been ludicrous. Nevertheless, the Jehovah's Witness will say that Thomas was so stunned by Jesus' appearance that he swore. This is ridiculous because it means that Thomas, a devout man of God, swore in front of Jesus and used the Lord's name in vain in violation of Exodus 20:7. This is hardly the case since we find no New Testament equivalent of a disciple of Christ using God's name in vain.

John 1:1 is best translated without the "a" inserted into the text. "The Word was God" is the best translation. This way, we do not run into the danger of polytheism, with Jesus being "a god." We do not have Thomas the disciple swearing and using God's name in vain. And, we do not have the problem of Jesus being a "mighty god" and yet not the Godeven though God Himself is called the Mighty God (Jeremiah 21:18; Isaiah 10:20).

See also: Chapman, B. (1994). Greek New Testament Insert. (2nd ed., revised.). Quakertown, PA: Stylus Publishing. Also, Louw, J. P. (1989; Published in electronic form by Logos Research Systems, 1996). Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: Based on semantic domains (electronic edition of the 2nd ed.) (Page 592). New York: United Bible societies.
THAT is why knowing some Greek is helpful, as you sso very well pointed out that John wrote as he did to show Jesus was God, but also that Heand the Father are 2 seperate Persons...
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Reformed Baptist
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19 Nov 2016, 19:54 #10

DrWhofan1:25737 wrote:
THAT is why knowing some Greek is helpful, as you sso very well pointed out that John wrote as he did to show Jesus was God, but also that Heand the Father are 2 seperate Persons...
Which is what the English says quite clearly!

However one needs to more then 'some greek' to argue with a JW on this point!

As for your assertion that the definite article (if used) would mean that the Word is the same as the Father in John 1:1 I am not convinced that is what the book you say you are reading actually says - I would suggest it says that it would mean that the words would be interchangeable (convertible terms). Hence it would mean in English: "the God was the word and the God" now, to be fair, you might be right on the implication people would draw from that (and that might be why John didn't use the article) - but what you claim is not what Robertson suggests :D


The purpose of the article is simply the make the subject plain.

Take for example:

"The word with the article is then the subject, whatever the order may be. So in Jo. 1:1, theos an ho logos, the subject is perfectly clear. Cf. ho logos sarx egeneto (Jo. 1:14). It is true that ho theos an ho logos (convertible terms) would have been Sabellianism. See also ho theos agape estin (1 Jo.4:16). "God" and "love" are not convertible terms any more than "God" and "Logos" or "Logos" and "flesh." Cf. also hoi theristai angeloi eisin (Mt. 13:39), ho logos ho sos alatheia estin (Jo. 17:17), ho nomos hamartia; (Ro. 7:7). The absence of the article here is on purpose and essential to the true idea."[A. T. Robertson, A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of Historical Research, (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1934) p. 767-768.]
"George Whitefield said, "We are all born Arminians." It is grace that turns us into Calvinists." Spurgeon
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