οὗτος ἦν ἐν ἀρχῇ πρὸς τὸν θεόν (John 1:2)

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Onward we now go to the second verse of the Gospel of John, which is the title of this article.  The first word demonstrates something almost incredible about the word about which the text is declaring to the reader.

οὗτος”.  This is a demonstrative pronoun, masculine, singular, in the nominative case.  Therefore this pronoun names or identifies the subject of this sentence.  The translation is  “he”, or “this one”.  Here the word ordering in Greek becomes significant, as what was translated “word” is the most recent substantive matching the pronoun in gender, number, and case, so “this one” might be the preferred translation, but there is more to the question than proximity, and that is what is being said about the word, which is explicated  in the remainder of the sentence.

“ἦν”.  As seen before, this word signifies a condition or state of being which had been completed (“was”) and had continued through all time until the time of speaking (“and still is”).

“ἐν”.  Also as already seen, this translates to “in”, “at”, or “from”.  The next word helps to determine the choice of translations here.

“ἀρχῇ”.  The repetitions seem to keep on piling up, so as to leave no room for a mistaken decision about what they mean, about their factual content.  This word still means “beginning” as it did in the first verse of this Gospel, and it carries the complete meaning of that word with every nuance here just as it did originally.  “The beginning of all beginning, before there was anything else and before there was any time for anything to exist within, this exists completely apart from time, timeless and unending.”  What is being said about this “word” that was  before anything else and continues to the present time, apart from time, but more concrete and real than anything that has come to exist in time?

“πρὸς”.  As before, the meaning is “with” or “toward”.  It is not only in the company of something not itself, but is in fact facing that thing it is with!  AND, the thing that it is in company with is, IN FACT, ITSELF!!!  The Word is GOD, and GOD is the Word, and that’s the entirety of it!

“τὸν θεόν”.  This is the same wording we have already seen, the definite article “the” and the substantive “God”, agreeing in gender, number, and case, masculine, singular, and accusative, or the object of the preposition “with”.  Full translation of the verse, “He was in the beginning (and continues in unbroken successive catenation, bound as is a chain within and unto itself) with God.”

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CC BY 4.0 οὗτος ἦν ἐν ἀρχῇ πρὸς τὸν θεόν (John 1:2) by Dennis Glover is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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