I have seen convincing technical answers for both sides of this debate. So which side you fall on depends on your preconceived belief.
If you translate it literally it would look like this:
In beginning was the saying and the saying was with the god and god was the saying.
As I said good convincing arguments can be made for both sides. The argument that "the word is God" is the correct translation, and the lack of definite article before ARXH "proof" this, is very superficial. Remember the English word "GOD" itself is written without an article but still applies "definiteness". Same can be true for this instance of ARXH. It can be definite just like God is definite, but how does this proof that the second word for "god" in this line is definite?
You are only adressing that this could possibly be definite, yet isn't proof positive that it is indeed in the definite form. So what seems to be a good technical explanation for this belief is really inconclusive and requires a stretch of belief.
So what you have at this point is no absolute reason to not translate in an indefinite manner, other than personal belief, and the surrounding context only widens the rift between your rendering and the actual words being communicated when it says:
"The same was in the beginning with the God (Mighty One)."
"All were created thru him" not by him, and he being the only begotten son, and that no one has seen the Mighty One at any time.
So how can a person rest such a translation based on a very superficial basis of unsurety. If the best you have that Jesus is God is based a possible definite article, then your argument collapses miserably.
By the way, it more than just a word that explains anything in the bible in most cases. The Hebrew for god means "mighty one". This can be referred to anyone, and its referred to the almighty Creator as well. Yet the title "mighty one"in itself does not in itself explain He is almighty. It is based on clear context.
It therefore can only be proven that you can supply a definite article to your English translation to make the English easier to read, yet in no way tells you that this is proof that "the word was God", because then you can supply a definite article to just about any noun. And if you contend that I cannot put a definite article to any noun, then what changes when a person wants to apply in the case of John 1:1 other than the translator's personal belief.
The grammatical case for "the word is God" is simply not solid enough, and moreover the teaching is bigger than the grammar. The Mighty One being almighty has to come from more than just the word "mighthy one" because its just not adequate. Therefore we should focus more on the teaching itself, and the context definitely don't support the poor conlusion that "the word is God".
If the word was indeed God, then this should in no way be gathered from grammar, but from the teaching.
"Yet unto the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, honour and esteem unto the ages of the ages. Amen" - Timothy
It should be as clear as that.
Hi Monica. You are right, there are no upper or lower case. Therefore the context and the overall teaching of the scripture should reveal what is really being communicated. One could therefore translate:
"In the beginning was the word and the word was with the mighty one and the word was a mighty one"
I think "mighty one" gives us a better image. The first "the" before the word "beginning" is just standard English and has no effect on the meaning of the verse itself. The second "the" before "mighty one" is in the text itself. Then there are no "the" before the last "mighty one". It is just not proper to add a "the" before it, because unlike the "the" before "beginning" this would drastically change the whole verse, especially if it was not intended by the author.
Yet the true meaning could be gathered from the context, or better yet, the scriptures as a whole. Remember our Creator is "a mighty one/a god", and yet we know he is "the only true god". Therefore proof, especially on something this big should be very plain and well established beyond the ravings of grammar and how to translate this or that.
I therefore believe all should be left as it is and italics should be used for proper English, i.e. the "the" infront of "beginning" could be in italics. The meaning of the passage should in no way be read based on the translator's use of punctuation. The identity of our creator should not be based on the translator's upper and lower case modifications.
So it should be "a god" and let the context determine its meaning. If the context prove your particular belief, then you would not get so emotionally attatched to the issue of grammar, but if a person gets attatched, it only communicates desperation to me and lack of confidence that the passage supports your belief.
Reply to Frank Luke
Your only testifying against yourself when you put your private intepretation on my words, and I'm just a simple man. Your reply implies things I never claimed. I did not say "no punctuation", what I meant was the translator can put his own punctuation on a certain spot to advance a certain belief or make a mistake, for example:
"truly I say unto you today, you shall be with me in paradise." vs "truly I say unto you, today you shall be with me in paradise". - Luke 23:43
In this case we should use the passage, and other revelation dealing with this issue to clarify.
As for the "the beginning" argument, as I said that is for language clarity, but putting a "the" in front of the second instance "god" serves not the same purpose. From the Hebrew text we often have to add an "is" or "are" for clarity purpose in English, e. g. "I Yahweh...", could be rendered "I [am] Yahweh your Mighty One"
This argument is based on possible rendering of the Greek text in English, and it is not absolute in nature. Your argument is also not focussed on the mark your trying to score, arguing this way does not prove that it should be "the god/God".
Like I said context is important. All your weight seems to be focussed on possible rendering, lets put your words to test, "in the beginning":
"...he (the adversary) was a murderer from [the] beginning" - John 8:44
This seems to be a different time, that is later than "the beginning" in John 1:1, So while your arguing grammar the context itself gives us insight. I wasn't going to bring this up, but the text itself refer to "beginning" at different times.
"And you according to [the] beginnings (plural) Master laid the foundation of the earth" - Hebrews 1
"Yahweh created me in [the] beginning of his way, before his works from then. Ages ago I was set up, from [the] beginning, before the earth was... Then I was beside him, a master builder..." - Proverbs 8
"In [the] beginning the Mighty One created the heavens and the earth"
Different beginnings, different contexts. You should have read before commenting. What's interesting also, the Word that was by the Creator's side before the creation of the earth is indeed Wisdom who says "Yahweh created me in the beginning...", he was the master builder by Yahweh's side, it is THRU him which everything else were created when Yahweh said "Let us make man in our image". And John confirms everything was created THRU him. Greek DIA means "thru" or "by means of":
"And to make all see what is the fellowship of the secret, which from the beginning of the ages have been hid in the Mighty One, who created all things thru Yahusha the anointed." - Eph. 3:9
"...thru whom also he indeed made the ages" - Heb. 1:2
"... all things were created thru him, and unto him" - Col. 1:16
"All things were made thru him..." - John 1:3
"Yet to us there is one Mighty One, the Father, out of whom [are] all things, and we in him; and one Master Yahusha the anointed, thru whom [are] all things, and we thru him." - 1 Cor. 8:6
He who said, "The breath of Yahweh is upon me, because he has anointed me to declare the good news" is the same that said "Yahweh created me in the beginning of his way" and all things were created thru him, as he said "I was beside him, a master builder".
"However for this cause I obtained compassion, that in me first Yahusha the anointed might show forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life age-lasting. Yet unto the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only wise Mighty One, [be] honour and esteem unto the ages of the ages. Amen." - 1 Tim. 1