καὶ ὁ λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν θεόν (John 1:1.b)

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To continue our parsing of this first sentence of the Gospel of John, we find the second independent clause, translated into English as “and the word was with the God”.  Taken unit by unit this is as follows:

“καὶ”.  This is a coordinating conjunction, a word connecting two grammatical units, in this case, clauses, of equal rank.  This is the English word, “and”.  Something has just been stated, that “in the beginning was the word”, now something equally important is to be stated in the context.

“ὁ”.  This definite article, “the”, is used here to show that what follows is of particular definition, that there is noting indefinite about it, that it is the only thing of its classification in this context.

“λόγος”.  This is the same word, and with its definite article it is the same thing signified in the first independent clause as “the word”.  There is something very fundamentally different about this particular “word”, however, as we soon see.

“ἦν”.   This the same verb as found in the first independent clause, third person, singular, and imperfect; “imperfect” signifies that the action or state named by the verb, which is  “to be”, began previously and continues to hold, not having finished.  The sense is that the word had already existed for an undefined period of time and continued to exist in the same way until the time being spoken of.  So we amend the meaning to “was and continues to be”.  Just what it was and continues to be we shall soon see.

“πρὸς”.  This is a preposition, in this case taking the accusative (or direct object) case substantive.  If taking the accusative the word can be translated “with” or “toward”.  This leaves a very important question, “with or toward what”, which is immediately to be answered.

“τὸν”.  Again we have a definite article, in the accusative case, to be translated “the”, and signifying a definite particularity of just what the “word was with/toward”, which we next have identified.

“θεόν”.  This is a masculine singular accusative noun, marking it as the direct object of the “being with or toward” of the word, and that direct object is in English “god”, definitely particularized as “the”, and therefore “God”.

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

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