"pros ton theon"

vince-s at juno.com vince-s at juno.com
Sat Jan 30 14:47:11 EST 1999


Maybe someone else on the list can articulate this better than I can,
but...

The reason PROS TON QEON cannot be translated the same every time you
read it has to do with what prepositional phrases are.  Prepositional
phrases usually modify a verb in some way, so the meaning of the
preposition is going to absorb some of the features of the verb it is
modifying.  For example, if PROS modifies a verb that expresses motion or
direction (such as ERCOMAI), then we would expect it to translate as "to"
or "towards".  But if it modifies a verb of conflict (such as MACOMAI in
John 6:52), then we could translate it as "against".  If PROS modifies a
stative verb (such as HN in John 1:1), it might be translated "with". It
would be inappropriate to try and translate PROS as "towards" (which
implies motion or at least direction) when it is modifying a stative
verb.

 I think with prepositions, in general, people get worried about the case
that the object of the preposition is in.  They look to that case to
determine the meaning; I think it is at least as important to look at the
verb that the preposition is modifying.  Examining the verb will often
reveal why a particular case was chosen for the object of the
preposition.  The meaning of a prepositional phrase needs to "agree with"
the verb it modifies.

Hope this helps,
Vince


On Fri, 29 Jan 1999 21:58:37 "Joseph Dinwiddie" <bibleman2 at hotmail.com>
writes:
>I need to know the occurrences of "pros ton theon" in the Greek NT.  
>Please 
>help.  Email me so I will know that you have answered.
>
>Specifically, how many times does this phrase occur.  And why is it 
>not 
>translated the same every time?
>
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