John 1:1 the word was a god

Hi does anyone know of a book that explains the translation John 1:1 from Greek to english and why the correct translation Is The word was god. Any websites, books, or other references would be greatly appreciated.:slight_smile:

Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ Λόγος, καὶ ὁ Λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν Θεόν, καὶ Θεὸς ἦν ὁ Λόγος.

“In beginning was the Word, and the Word was with the God, and God was the Word.”
That would be a more direct translation.

Afraid that I am going to have to disagree. Even the most direct translation should read “…and the Word was God.” Ancient Greek is flexible enough to be able to move the subject so that it comes after the predicate nominative and verb, but English generally is not.

Generally, but by no means always. If the copular verb is “to be” the two sides of the equation, as it were, are so nearly equivalent that swapping position may be possible. If the subject is a pronoun, it is easy and common:

Nor basely born, nor shepherd’s swain am I.

If the predicate is a descriptor, likewise:

Blessed are the meek.

Where, as with the John verse, subject and predicate are both noun phrases, it is not easy for them to swap positions and remain idiomatic, but it is possible, although I’ve had to invent the sentence!

A large town was London, even then, but not as large as Paris.

The swap here is quite grammatical, but context is needed to unravel it. And it is obviously done for stylistic effect: does the same apply to this kind of transposition in Greek?

The only translation I know which uses “a god” is the New World Translation used by the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Did you see it somewhere else?

The greek is as follows

en arche en ho logos kai ho logos en pro ton theon kai theos en ho logos (transliterated)

in (the )beginning to be (was) the word and the word to be with the God and God to be the Word

Which best translates into english I think

In the beginning was the word and the word was with God, and the word was God.

The only difference between the words are theos and theon. I don’t think theos is less than theon it just has to do with what word comes before it.

Note: You did a double post I moved it over here.

pretty sure they put their theology into their translation.

The word is theos I don’t see how that isn’t God.

Yep, basically anything that hints at the Deity of Christ is altered, pretty blatantly in some places too. Col 1:16-17’s a good example, changed to “in him all other things were created”. I really don’t get how that can be rationalised. :stuck_out_tongue:

Yep the early Church used this phrase “all things were created through him” to counter the arian heresy. If all things are created through Christ, than he can’t be created.

What I should have said was straight word for word. You of course are correct Greek is constructed different from English. But there is certianly nothing in the Greek that supports the translation “the Word was a God.”

What I should have said was it was word for word. You of course are correct Greek is constructed different from English. But there is certainly nothing in the Greek that supports the translation “the Word was a God.”

My knowledge of Greek could be scribed on a very small urn. I suggest only for consideration by those of you who know what you are talking about that transposition in Englsh is possible with the indefinite article (in my sentence “A large town is London”) but not with the definite article. “The large town is London” has London definitely as the predicate, and “London is the large town” has it definitely as subject.

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