[B-Greek] BDAG on QEOS and John 1:1
stoixein at sdf.lonestar.org
Fri Nov 26 16:34:24 EST 2004
I had decided to write nothing about QEOS in Jh 1:1, because the matter had been treated on this list before and because it is clear that the question if we must understand "God" or "a god" cannot been settled with the Greek text of Jh 1:1 alone.>>
I believe you mistakenly addressed this to the wrong person. I am the one who wrote the words to which you responded. The question I was addressing was twofold.
1) How should the Greek of John 1:1 be rendered based upon Greek Grammar.
2) How does the context and usage of this language help with #1.
Because of the nature of this forum I will not address items which are merely theological.
<< However I would like to give some comment on your message quoted after my lines.>>
<< The dictionary of Bauer (I possess the German edition) is excellent, but Bauer had his theological opinion too and it is methodologically not safe to follow him in everything. We have to check the texts he mentions ourselves.>>
I don't find that Bauer inserts his theology into this entry. He comments on how these words would be understood by giving examples from that time period which have a similar grammar. Also keep in mind that this is now the work also of Danker who has changed and added to the lexicon, not merely rendered Bauer's edition from German.
<< Concerning Ad Diognetum (known as "To Diognetus" or "The Epistle to Diognetus") you quote. The full sentence of that text reads:>>
ALL' hOSTIS TO TOU PLHSION ANADECETAI BAROS, hOS EN hWi
KREISSWN ESTIN hETERON TON ELATTOUMENON EUERGETEIN EQELEI,
hOS hA PARA TOU QEOU LABWN EXEI, TAUTA TOIS EPIDEOMENOIS
CORHGWN QEOS GINETAI TWN LAMBANONTWN, hOUTOS MIMHTHS ESTI
The passage (also before this sentence) is speaking about being an imitator of God. The conclusion of our sentence is clear: hOUTOS MIMHTHS ESTI QEOU.
Before that conclusion the unknown author writes that a person who is helping the poor QEOS GINETAI TWN LAMBANONTWN "becomes God for those who get it". In the context that can mean that the poor are *seeing* him as God or a god, but also that he *takes the role* of God. In my opinion the text cannot give us the possibility to decide if *Christ* could be seen as God or a god by his followers. >>
Bauer is not making a theological argument here and neither should we.
This is one Christian quotation where the grammar (anarthrous QEOS) is used to describe someone who represents God. How can the context indicate that a human being who does God's work is identified as ("*seeing* him as God") the one who sent him? You logic eludes me. Can you clarify?
<< Concerning Ex 7:1 we see that God himself *compares* the role of Moses with God and that of Aaron with a prophet, because Moses will be silent and Aaron will speak to the Pharaoh. The text does not speak about salvation for the Jews but about speaking and being silent. So this text cannot be used for the purpose it is used in the message below.>>
Once again Danker is using Exodus 7:1 to show how Elohim in the Hebrew and QEOS in the Greek can be applied to someone who is a representative of God without violating the Shema of Israel.
<< The decision whether Christ was seen as God in the full sense of the word has to be solved with other texts. John himself gives us two important clues:
<< - Well known is 8: 58 PRIN ABRAAM GENESQAI EGO EIMI, where EGO EIMI clearly refers to the name of God "I am". The reaction of the Jews in the next verse shows that that understood the claim of Jesus for they tried to organize the punishment prescribed in Lv 24: 16 "when he blasphemes *the Name*".
This verse has been discussed on the list before. I would recommend that you search on it in the archives.
But I will make brief comments on the grammar of this verse. EGW EIMI is the main clause of this sentence (subject and verb) and not a title. The PRIN ABRAAM GENESQAI is an adverbial phrase that modifies the verb in the main clause.
EGW EIMI is not grammatically a title or name of anyone in John 8:58. EGW EIMI from the Greek Septuagint is found in an entirely different construction, EGW EIMI hO WN, or "I am the being." EGW EIMI is being used copulatively there and it is hO WN which is the title.
In John 8:58 Jesus did not say EGW EIMI hO WN.
You can test this out by substituting a name for EGW EIMI in John
English: Before Abraham was born, Fred.
Greek: PRIN ABRAAM GENESQAI, FRED
I think I have commented on all of the Greek grammatical issues you raised. Feel free to contact me off-list for a theological discussion.
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