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Berean Expositor Volume 1
The Word was God.
We propose giving a few words of explanation upon the first verses of the Gospel of
John, because upon several occasions, and in different places, friends have asked our
opinion about a very subtle interpretation which is being promulgated by a certain section
of Christendom, and which leads the reader to think that the inspired original tells us that
the Word was a God! We do not desire to leave the simple exposition of the Scriptures
for declamatory utterances; we would rather allow the truth to come with its own
convincing force, but we cannot refrain from remarking that practically every heresy that
has arisen in the history of the church, may be found ultimately, if not immediately, to be
an attack upon the inspiration of the Scriptures, or the person and work of Christ.
The Edition of the N.T. which contains this evil has both the Greek text and the
translation side by side, and we have found it to be our repeated experience, that when
pressed upon the point, those who use this edition, and so solemnly and impressively
refer to the Greek, confess that they do not understand it, but have swallowed the
interpretation of the passage as being truth, and with all the brazenness of ignorance
brandish the magic reference to the "inspired original" to degrade Him Who is the glory
of that blessed book. We will, however, take a leaf out of their book--so far as method
is concerned--by setting the Greek original and literal translation side by side. For the
benefit of those who are not conversant with the Greek, we will transliterate the words
into English characters, using e for Eta and õ for Omega, and (i) for Iõta subscript.
1. En arche (i) en ho
1. In the beginning was the
logos kai ho logos en
Word and the Word was
pros ton Theon
with the God
kai Theos en ho logos.
and God was the Word.
2. Houtos en en arche (i)
2. The same was in the beginning
pros ton Theon.
with the God.
3. Panta di'autou
3. All things through Him
egeneto, kai choris autou
became, and without Him
egeneto oude en,
became not one thing,
which has become.
The argument brought forward in the interpretation under consideration rests largely
upon the use and omission of the Greek article. The Greek article corresponds with our
English "the," and in its varied cases to "of the," "to the," &100: The reader will easily
follows the order of the words, ho logos is "the Word." When, however, a noun is in the
accusative or objective case, the article is declined in sympathy with the noun, and so ho
logos would become ton logon. Now as the word Theos (God) is a similar word to logos,
the last two words in the third line ton Theon, are simply ho Theos in the accusative case.
We mention this not to try to teach Greek, but to prevent misunderstanding on the part of