[B-Greek] Can QEOS be used in apposition to MONOGENHS in John 1:18-revised
lightmanmark at yahoo.com
Wed Nov 4 13:59:05 EST 2009
B. Harris wrote:
<Anyway, it still seems a bit artificial to turn QEOS
into apposition with MONOGENHS. It seems that
the structure of the sentence would still demand MONOGENHS
to be an adjective modifying QEOS. Am I still missing something?>
Are not all attributive adjectives really nouns in apposition?
hO BASILEUS hO AGAQOS can always be understood as
"the king, the good one." If fact, whether hO BASILEUS
is really a noun ("the king") or an adjective ("the royal one")
or a verb ("the one who rules") depends more on your
starting point than on anything in the Greek text. Same,
I think, with MONOGENHS.
--- On Wed, 11/4/09, Blue Meeksbay <bluemeeksbay at yahoo.com> wrote:
From: Blue Meeksbay <bluemeeksbay at yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: [B-Greek] Can QEOS be used in apposition to MONOGENHS in John 1:18-revised
To: "Eddie Mishoe" <edmishoe at yahoo.com>
Cc: b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org
Date: Wednesday, November 4, 2009, 8:17 AM
It seems what Dr. Wallace is saying, is that the reason for turning hO WN into a relative clause connected with God, “who is God,” or “the one being God,” are the examples in Rev.1:4,8;4:8; 11:16; 17:5. But those verses seem to support the idea that QEOS should not be in apposition. For example, the one example in Rev. 4:8 where the relative clause refers back to Lord God Almighty, “God” and “Almighty” are not anarthrous like the word “God” in John 1:18. Perhaps, if QEOS was not anarthrous hO WN could refer back to God, but since it is anarthrous it seems hO WN is completed by the following prepositional phrase. This seems to be the normal pattern followed by John. It seems in all cases when John introduces a relative clause by the root hO WN and a prepositional phrase is present, the clause is completed by the prepositional phrase (Jn.3:13, 6:46, 9:40, 11:31). Thus it seems the relative clause in Jn. 1:18 is completed by the
prepositional phrase, “who is in the bosom of the Father,” and should not be thought to refer back to QEOS – “who is God.”
This same structure also seems to be used by other writers (II cor. 11:31 col. 4:11 I thess 2:14). It seems that in the New Testament hO WN of the relative clause always is connected to the prepositional phrase when a prepositional phrase is present. Perhaps, the one exception would be Rom. 7:13, which could read “the law, which is of sin in my members.”
As for the examples of substantive adjectives followed by a noun, it seems to me, unless I am not seeing something, the only one that could clearly apply to John 1:18 would be Gal. 3:9. In that case it seems one could translated John 1:18 as “the one and only, God” or “the Only Begotten, God,” depending on your understanding of monogenes, and still keep the relative clause with the prepositional phrase, but it still seems the simpler translation would to view it as a simple adjective. I wonder if the variant “Son” was the accepted reading, those who believe God is in apposition to MONOGENES would believe Son should be in apposition to MONOGENHS from the same grammatical point of view?
Anyway, it still seems a bit artificial to turn QEOS into apposition with MONOGENHS. It seems that the structure of the sentence would still demand MONOGENHS to be an adjective modifying QEOS. Am I still missing something? Thanks for your input. I appreciate it.
From: Eddie Mishoe <edmishoe at yahoo.com>
To: b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org; Blue Meeksbay <bluemeeksbay at yahoo.com>
Sent: Tue, November 3, 2009 7:43:30 PM
Subject: Re: [B-Greek] Can QEOS be used in apposition to MONOGENHS in John 1:18-revised
This may be of help to you on this issue. It is the translator's note in the NET Bible at this passage. Dr. Wallace, the author of this note, has written an article on this subject also where he interacts more with Dr. Ehrman's position. In short, the answer to your main question is, "Yes, QEOS stands in apposition to MONGENHS.
tc The textual problem μονογενὴς θεός (monogenh" qeo", “the only God”) versus ὁ μονογενὴς υἱός (Jo monogenh" Juio", “the only son”) is a notoriously difficult one. Only one letter would have differentiated the readings in the mss , since both words would have been contracted as nomina sacra: thus qMs or uMs. Externally, there are several variants, but they can be grouped essentially by whether they read θεός or υἱός. The majority of mss , especially the later ones (A C3 Θ Ψ Ë1,13 Ï lat), read ὁ μονογενὴς υἱός. Ì75 א1 33 pc have ὁ μονογενὴς θεός, while the anarthrous μονογενὴς θεός is found in Ì66 א* B C* L pc. The articular θεός is almost certainly a scribal emendation to the anarthrous θεός, for θεός without the article is a much harder reading. The external evidence thus strongly supports μονογενὴς θεός. Internally, although
υἱός fits the immediate context more readily, θεός is much more difficult. As well, θεός also explains the origin of the other reading (υἱός), because it is difficult to see why a scribe who found υἱός in the text he was copying would alter it to θεός. Scribes would naturally change the wording to υἱός however, since μονογενὴς υἱός is a uniquely Johannine christological title (cf. John 3:16, 18; 1 John 4:9). But θεός as the older and more difficult reading is preferred. As for translation, it makes the most sense to see the word θεόςas in apposition to μονογενής, and the participle ὁ ὤν (Jo wn) as in apposition to θεός, giving in effect three descriptions of Jesus rather than only two. (B. D. Ehrman, The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture, 81, suggests that it is nearly impossible and completely unattested in the NT for an adjective followed immediately by a noun that agrees in
gender, number, and case, to be a substantival adjective: “when is an adjective ever used substantivally when it immediately precedes a noun of the same inflection?” This, however, is an overstatement. First, as Ehrman admits, μονογενής in John 1:14 is substantival. And since it is an established usage for the adjective in this context, one might well expect that the author would continue to use the adjective substantivally four verses later. Indeed, μονογενής is already moving toward a crystallized substantival adjective in the NT [cf. Luke 9:38; Heb 11:17]; in patristic Greek, the process continued [cf. PGL 881 s.v. 7]. Second, there are several instances in the NT in which a substantival adjective is followed by a noun with which it has complete concord: cf., e.g., Rom 1:30; Gal 3:9; 1 Tim 1:9; 2 Pet 2:5.) The modern translations which best express this are the NEB (margin) and TEV. Several things should be noted:
μονογενής alone, without υἱός, can mean “only son,” “unique son,” “unique one,” etc. (see 1:14). Furthermore, θεός is anarthrous. As such it carries qualitative force much like it does in 1:1c, where θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος (qeo" hn Jo logo") means “the Word was fully God” or “the Word was fully of the essence of deity.” Finally, ὁ ὤν occurs in Rev 1:4, 8; 4:8, 11:17; and 16:5, but even more significantly in the LXX of Exod 3:14. Putting all of this together leads to the translation given in the text.
Anything discussed further on this may get into theology rather than syntax.
--- On Tue, 11/3/09, Blue Meeksbay <bluemeeksbay at yahoo.com> wrote:
>From: Blue Meeksbay <bluemeeksbay at yahoo.com>
>Subject: [B-Greek] Can QEOS be used in apposition to MONOGENHS in John 1:18-revised
>To: b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org
>Date: Tuesday, November 3, 2009, 5:24 PM
>I have noticed some believe QEOS should be seen in apposition to MONOGENHS in John 1:18. This seems to me to be an unusual grammatical construction.
>If QEOS was to be used in apposition to MONOGENHS in this verse, would not it have normally been used in a relative clause or, perhaps, have been preceded by a pronoun, as “Saviour” is preceded by “our,” in “God our Saviour” in Jude 1:25? Then John 1:18 would read “the One and Only, our God,” or the "Only Begotten, our God," depending on one's understanding. Or if MONOGENHS is supposed to be viewed as a substantive, would not it have been normal to write QEOS with the definite article as is commonly done in the LXX (e.g. Lord God – KURIOSO QEOS)? If John wants us to view QEOS in apposition to MONOGENHS, it seems he is using an unusual construction. It seems the simpler translation would be to understand MONOGENHS as an adjective modifying “QEOS,” so that it would read, "the One and Only God," or the "Only Begotten God," according to one's preference. Are there any thoughts as to this issue, or are there any other examples
>by any other writers who use a construction like this, but in a verse with less ambiguity?
>P.S. Please excuse my earlier email. I did not fully understand the protocols. I hope this one is done correctly.
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