George Blaisdell maqhth at
Sun Jan 31 12:42:39 EST 1999

>Subject: "pros ton theon"
> ...why is it not translated the same every time?

Joseph ~

By now I would hope that you have received enough information on this 
topic to get a good idea of why it translates differently in English, 
[modifying stative vs active verbs].  Responses have been excellent.

The only thing I would add, from my classic and aging background, is 
that the term "PROS TI"  ["toward what?"] is, to my reccollection, the 
technical Aristotelian category for "relationship" that by the time of 
the writing of this gospel [some 500 years later] would, I should 
imagine, be pretty well imbedded in the Greek Language.  

On this approach, [in John 1:2] 'PROS TON QEON' would answer the 
question PROS 'TI?'.  As such, it can be looked at as a technical term 
in John. [As well, its very early position in the gospel argues for its 
importance.]  Whenever I see 'PROS *anything*' in this gospel, I slow 
down for a careful look at the implications.

The English literal rendering "The Logos was toward [the] God" does have 
the benefit of sending a glitch into our English thinking minds that 
raises many more questions than it can possibly answer, whereas the 
translation "The Word was with God" suffers the detriment of comfortable 
ease of comprehension with its associated presumption of understanding 
what the text means.  Yet the latter probably does reflect a more 
accurate English rendering of the Greek.

For myself, I do not presume anything concerning my understanding of 
this passage in John.  It is difficult in the Greek, and should really 
be so in English as well, imho.

So have you had enough on this question?


George Blaisdell
Roslyn, WA

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