καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος (John 1:1.c)

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This is, remarkably, the third consecutive independent clause in this first sentence of the Gospel of John.  It continues the same thoughts as in the first and second independent clauses, and concludes with significant impact and effect.

“καὶ”, the second coordinating conjunction, the same word as the first coordinating conjunction, translated into English as “and”, “also”, “and even”, “yet”, or “but”; since the subject of each clause is the same, being either God or word, this conjunction is practically forced into a “conjunctive” sense rather than a “disjunctive” one, and is therefore translated, as was the first instance of “καὶ”, “and” rather than “but”.  The next word reveals just what is being conjoined to the first two independent clauses.

“θεὸς”, or “God” (note the absence of any definite article here), a singular masculine noun in the  nominative case, which is the case of the subject of the clause.  Now what is being said about God in this clause?

“ἦν”.  This is a simple repetition of the same third person singular imperfect indicative mood verb used in both of the previous clauses, meaning in English, “was, and continued to be”.  To what does this thought refer?

“ὁ λόγος”.  Of course, this is two words, but they have precisely the same meaning and importance as they had in the first clause, which in English is “the one and only, not a word or an unspecified word“, the full meaning of which, with the rest of the clause in unmistakable, “and God was with the word”.  Now, that is based on English word order, for “θεὸς” precedes “ὁ λόγος”, but that does not complete the story in itself, for both nouns, God and word are singular masculine nouns in the nominative case, making them of equal weight and importance as they are the only substantives in this clause, indeed in the entire sentence, so there must be a rule of interpretation in such a case which allows the common English translation as seen in most, if not all, translations, “and the word was with God”.

We take the full translation as it appears in the English Standard Version of the Bible, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”  This is the complete initial thought of the Gospel of John, but there is ever so much to discover in this Gospel!

 

 

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CC BY 4.0 καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος (John 1:1.c) by Dennis Glover is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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