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What About John 1:1?

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 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 and immediate and global 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).

This would also explain why some of the examples many feel inclined to provide
(John 1, verses 2, 6, 12, 13, 18 and 51), that is, as NWT violations of this supposed
guideline (that these also do not have the Greek definite article, and yet, they have
otherwise translated theos there as "God"), do not apply; and this is simply because, those
other instances do not fit the same grammatical, syntactical criteria as that found within
John 1:1c.

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 preferred 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 consistently 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

As can be seen, within 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 (word order) 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).

Then, taking this one step further, regarding the protest that such a rendering would

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be in direct violation of the cultural, religious, strictly monotheistic view of the Jews,
apparently, because of theological bias, many scholars are found to fail in their
consideration just such related facts. To discover this, one need only to examine most
any Bible commentary about Jesus' reference to other "gods," that is, as mentioned in
Psalm 82:6 (and, as quoted by him in John 10:34), to see direct evidence of the Jewish
cultural context of just such a legitimate use of theos (Hebrew, elohim) for others; and
this, all in keeping with its similar application by the apostle John for Jesus, at John 1:1c.

With reference to any of such considerations, that is, as taken from even Trinitarian
Biblical commentaries, please see this, otherwise, insightful statement; and, this time,
made by a Trinitarian scholar, with the full implications to be likely overlooked by most
other Trinitarian Bible students and/or scholars:

The Hebrew for ‘gods’ (‘elohîm) could refer to various exalted beings
besides Yahweh [or, Jehovah], without implying any challenge to
monotheism,…

Taken from: Blomberg, Craig L. (b.?-d.?). The Historical Reliability of John’s Gospel:
Issues & Commentary. (Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, c2002), "The feast
of Dedication" ([John] 10:22-42), p. 163. BS2615.6.H55 B56 2002 / 2001051563.

Furthermore, there is this:

If Moses could be [called in Hebrew 'elohim,' often translated as 'a god,' at


Exodus 4:16 and 7:1], then, for the gospel writers, so could Jesus [in Greek
as 'theos' = elohim], who was regarded by the New Testament [writers] as
the very least a new Moses.

Taken from: Fletcher-Louis, Crispin (b.?-d.?). "4Q374: A Discourse on the Sinai


Tradition: The Deification of Moses and Early Christology." Article appearing within:
Dead Sea Discoveries, A Journal of Current Research on the Scrolls and Related
Literature. (Leiden, Netherlands; New York, New York: E. J. Brill, vol. 1, no. 1; April
1994–), vol. 3, no. 3 (1996), p. 252. BM487.A6 E6 / 96647062.

Quite interestingly, when discussing John 10:34 & 35, it is easy to find that,
although most Bible commentaries can be found to accurately discuss/explain the Bible's
legitimate uses of the Hebrew and Greek terms for "god" for others (throughout a number
of places within the Bible, that is, as utilized in a lesser role than in its typical uses for the
Almighty, Jehovah; e.g., Exodus 4:16; 7:1; 21:6; 22:8, 9, 28; 1 Samuel 2:25; Psalm 8:5;
82:1, 6; 97:7; 138:1), many can be found to fail to follow through, that is, in making the

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logical, Scriptural connection between those earlier uses and its similar use for Jesus at
John 1:1c.

Therefore, whereas, within many a Trinitarian "New Testament" commentary one


can easily find quick objection to an "a god" rendering of 'theos' within the third clause
of John 1:1 (on the grounds that such wording would violate Jewish monotheism), more
often than not, when examining their analysis of Jesus' words at John 10:34, 35, most
seem to just wish to breeze through an, otherwise, correct assessment of Jesus' own use
of this term for others, and they do this without seeing such earlier, Biblical uses as
having any direct, logical correlation to the opening verse of the Gospel of John.

Curiously, an exception to this can be witnessed by way of the following analysis,


this time, as made by another Trinitarian scholar. When specifically discussing the use
of 'theos' within John 1:1c, this individual then also makes a direct allusion to Jesus'
mention of other "gods" within John 10:34, 35 –

…the Logos was God…. It [the Greek word Logos, more commonly
translated "Word"], signifies, among the Jews and other ancient people,
when applied to God, every thing by which God reveals Himself to men,
and makes known to them His will. In this passage [John 1:1] the principal
proof [for "the Word" being identified as God] does not lie in the word
[Greek, logos], nor even in the word [Greek, theos], which in a larger sense
is often applied to kings and earthly rulers,…

Taken from: Knapp, Georg[e] Christian (b.1753-d.1853), D.D., Professor of Theology


in the University of Halle. Lectures on Christian Theology. Translated by Woods,
Leonard (b.?-d.?), JUN.D.D., President of Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine. Second
American Edition, Reprinted from the last London Edition. (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania:
Thomas Wardle, 1845), pp. 136, 137. BT75 .K64 1845 / 35-22780.

Perhaps it would interest some to know that, when translating John 1:1c, during the
first few centuries after Christianity had begun, two of the earliest known Christian
translations of the Greek ‘New Testament’ into a foreign language had utilized their own
languages' indefinite article there as well (for, in the Greek language of Jesus’ day, there
were no indefinite articles); and again, all in order to complete the proper sense of the
phrase from the Koine Greek (of which, people were still using during this period), both
of these translations had rendered John 1:1c (when translated to English), "and the Word
was a god." For this, please examine the contents of the following web-link:

http://nwtandcoptic.blogspot.com/2006/09/john-11c-word-was-god.html

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Obviously, there need be more evidence to substantiate such a position; but,
otherwise, that is just one of the many points we hope to bring out within in a
forthcoming work entitled: What About John 1:1?

Yes, certainly, because of the faithfulness (as prophesied in Isaiah 53) and
obedience (Romans 5:19; Hebrews 5:8) of Jesus as God’s Anointed One (Acts 10:38),
that which he willingly displayed (John 4:34) toward his heavenly Father (John 5:36)
and God (John 20:17), even to his own death (Matthew 26:39), as God’s “apostle”
(Hebrews 3:1), our appointed “Savior” (Luke 2:11; John 3:16; Acts 5:31), serving
likewise as our appointed “Lord” (Acts 2:34), designated “Judge” (John 5:22; Acts
17:31), heavenly Ruler (Revelation 3:21) and “King” (1 Corinthians 15:25), He has
surely more right to the title “god” (Isaiah 9:6; John 1:18), than any other earthly
(Exodus 4:16; 7:1), or heavenly “representative” (Psalm 8:5) of God. (John 7:29.
Compare also: 1 Corinthians 15:27).
Agape, JohnCh1Vs1.
john1one@earthlink.net

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To learn more of the design as well as to follow the progress and intended release date
of What About John 1:1?, we invite you to visit:

Good Companion Books


http://wwww.goodcompanionbooks.com

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You may wish to also examine:

Some Interesting Observations About the Trinity,


Perhaps Not So Commonly Known
http://goodcompanionbooks.com/Some_Interesting_Observations.htm

Some Powerful Reasoning's About the Trinity


Not So Easily Dismissed
http://goodcompanionbooks.com/Some_Powerful_Reasonings.htm

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