Jehovah`s Witness/Titus 1:1
Roger wrote at 2008-02-04 05:58:30
Debating translations and understandings of grammar would see to fall into the realms of worldly rational. It really falls down to the who and the credentials and whether or not they are acceptable. I am not a linguistic scholar so I can not comment further than what I have read.
It does raise the an interesting thought though. If you are going to translate, and base theology around the belief that the Christ Jesus is not God, but instead that Christ is "...a god." does this not conflict with the rest of basic scripture which the Jehovah's witness upholds. This would make Christ a false god because there is only One True God and all the rest are false. Of course Christ can not be attributed to any of the characteristics of a false god...
If we qualify this as just Spiritual or Symbolic then you are depriving the Bible of it's literal nature, which we know if this is done then the entire Bible is opened to speculation and doubt because now everything is susceptible to being either literal or spiritual, and this only suites the individual determining the state implicated.
For instance what would stand in the way of a 'pre-determination' theology/ a 'free ticket' theology or any other theology that requires selective interpretation of one thing being literal and another 'symbolic'. The Bible has to maintain 100% literal meaning which is enlightened to the Christian by the Holy Spirit. We can shorten that up and just say the Spirit of the Word or text. Both the literal and the spiritual/ symbolic have to both be true, not just by themselves, but with one another. If I find a symbolic meaning that does not match up with what is literally on the page then that symbol is false. Like wise if there is a literal meaning taken from the text but it does not agree with the spirit of the text then that literal meaning is false. Jesus Christ as "a god"/ "divine being" or any other translation that lowers His position does not match up with the rest of scripture.
Thank you for your time and may God bring blessings and light into your life,
Lynn Alan H**** wrote at 2010-08-09 14:32:39
The Jehovah's Witness incorrectly translate John 1:1 by adding "a" before the second reference of theos. The text in the Greek reads:
en arché ēn o logos kai o logos ēn pros ton theon kai theos ēn o logos
In Greek, as Daniel Selinski mentions, there is only the definite article. In genera, the presence of the article emphasizes particle identity, while the absence of the article (i.e., as an anarthrous noun) emphasizes quality or characteristics.
According to Colwell's Rule (published in 1933)it is stated that anarthrous predicate nominatives that precede the copula (the verb "to be") are usually definite in meaning. The implications of this rule are especially notable in John 1:1:
theos ēn o logos, "the Word was God." theos, the predicate nominative, is anarthrous because it precedes the copula ēn. The result is that theos is certainly definite in meaning: "the Word was God" -- not merely "a god."
willrock wrote at 2012-12-13 18:11:49
Once again JW's show their lack of true scholarship and ignorance of ancient Koine Greek grammar. Their particular difficulty with the question of John 1:1, and their insistence that the reference is to "a God" is at the root of the problem. One of their first errors is that ancient Koine Greek does not have an indefinite article in its grammar structure. Thus when JW's insert the word "a" before God in John 1:1 (a God), they clearly prove their lack of understanding of the Greek language, and New Testament hermeneutics, from which we get our English translations that have soot the test of time for nearly 2000 years!
The Gospel of John clearly references the Triune Godhead in Chapter 1. Each member of the Godhead, Father, Son and Spirit are co-equal. Each is in fact, God: God is one in essence, yet expressed in three persons. Therefore, the Greek grammar reflecting "which" person in the Trinity is being spoken about will be different depending upon which Person is discussed.
The two words used for God in the Greek are crucial to a correct interpretation. God: theos and God: theon. The meaning for each is: the One and only True God. However, two different Greek words are used in the manuscript because they refer to two different persons, or manifestations of God. Without getting too technical the grammar must be understood by what case is used: i.e., accusative, nominative, etc. In this instance it is in the nomative case indicating equality between theos and theon. They are simply two expressions of the same Word: God. Again, a final reminder that Koine Greek does not use an indeffinate article in its grammar. So the insertion of the word "A" before the word "God" by the JW's is fraudulent at best since it does not appear in the Greek.