In dialogue with a Jehovah’s Witness, I do not want to discuss the New World Translation of “touto estin” in Mt. 26:26, 28, Mk. 14:22, 24, and in I Cor 11:24 as “this means” until I am clear which direction I need to take; in Mt. 9:13, 12:7, and Rom. 9:8, “touto estin” is generally translated “this means” in English versions.
In addressing John 1:1, where the New World Translation inserts the indefinite article (“the word was **a **god”), I decided to argue that the formulators of the doctrine of the hypostatic union were all Greek speakers and none of them challenged the significance of “theos en ho logos.” I had seen Granville Sharp’s rule concerning the definite article challenged in a way that made me not want to go down that path lest it become a matter of hair-spliltting. If my Greek were stronger, I might have been better able to take that line.
Again, regarding John 1:1 – my Greek is very rusty at this point – why is “theos en ho logos” generally translated, “the Word was God” rather than “God was the Word,” which at first blush seems to be more literal and less susceptible of challenge?
Thank you for your help.