Sunday, September 4, 2011

JOHN 1:1 AND THE DEFINITE ARTICLE vs INDEFINITE IN ANCIENT LITERATURE

GREEK TEXT: "...ἀπὸ γὰρ τοῦ «τοῦ» ἄρθρου τοὔνομα τῆς διακρίσεως ἔστιν σημᾶναι. ὅπου γὰρ τὸ ἄρθρον κεῖται, ἐπὶ ἑνί τινι ὡρισμένῳ καὶ διαφανεστάτῳ ἐστὶν ἡ βεβαίωσις διὰ τὸ ἄρθρον· ἄνευ δὲ τοῦ ἄρθρου ἐπὶ ἑνός του τυχόντος ἀορίστως ἐστὶ ληπτέον· ὡς οἷον εἰπεῖν ἐὰν εἴπωμεν βασιλεύς, ὄνομα μὲν ἐσημάναμεν, ἀλλ' οὐ τηλαυγῶς τὸν ὁριζόμενον ἐδείξαμεν· βασιλέα γὰρ λέγομεν καὶ Περσῶν καὶ Μήδων καὶ Ἐλαμιτῶν. ἐὰν δὲ μετὰ προσθήκης τοῦ ἄρθρου εἴπωμεν ὁ βασιλεύς, ἀναμφίβολόν ἐστι τὸ σημαινόμενον· ὁ γὰρ βασιλεὺς ὁ ζητούμενος ἢ λεγόμενος ἢ γινωσκόμενος ἢ τοῦ τινος βασιλεύων διὰ τοῦ ἄρθρου ὑποδείκνυται. καὶ ἐὰν εἴπωμεν θεὸς ἄνευ τοῦ ἄρθρου, τὸν τυχόντα εἴπαμεν θεὸν τῶν ἐθνῶν ἢ θεὸν τὸν ὄντα. ἐὰν δὲ εἴπωμεν ὁ θεός, δῆλον ὡς ἀπὸ τοῦ «ὁ» ἄρθρου τὸν ὄντα σημαίνομεν, ἀληθῆ τε καὶ γινωσκόμενον, ὡς καὶ ἄνθρωπος καὶ ἄνθρωπος..." - (Section I, 4:4-6; [Κατὰ Σαμαρειτῶν ( ζ )] The Samaratains, "The Panarion of Epiphanius of Salamis," MPG.)

LATIN TEXT: "...Ex eo enim, quod articulum apposuit, distinctione nominis opus esse demonstrat. Nam ubicumque articulus adiungitur, certa ac perspicue definita res intelligitur. Sine articulo de quolibet accipi infinite solet. Ut exempli caussa si, Rex, dixero, nomen quidem ipsum declaro, quis ille sit de quo loquor, aperte non significo. Regem enim tam Persarum quam Medorum atque Elamitarum appellamus. Quod si articulo etiam adhibito, Hic rex, dicimus, nemo quem velimus ignorat. Hic enim rex eo articulo notatur de quo quaestio vel sermo aliquis inciderit, denique qui sit cognitus ac certo imperio dominetur. Similiter cum, Deus, simpliciter usurpamus, quemlibet deum dicimus, nec minus eum qui a gentibus colitur quam qui vere deus est. At cum ( θεός ) dicimus, eum scilicet exprimimus qui verus et est et esse cognoscitur deus. Similiter, cum Homo, vel Hic homo dicitur..." - (Pages 71-73, Sancti Patris Nostri, Epiphanii Constantiae Episcopi "PANARIA." in "CORPORIS HAERESEOLOGICI," Tomus Secundus, by Franciscus Oehler 1859.)

EPIPHANIUS OF SALAMIS (circa. 310-403 C.E.): "...This [4.] is shown by "the," the so-called "definite article." Wherever the article appears, it is the confirmation of some one thing which is specified and is very easy to recognize, because of the article. But without the article we must understand the word in-determinately, of anything. [5.] If we say "king," for example, we have indicated a noun, but not shown clearly which king is specified; we speak both of ( a ) "king" of Persians, and ( a ) "king" of Medes and Elamities. But if we add the article and say "( the ) king," what we mean is beyond doubt. ( The ) king in question, someone called king, someone known to be king, or ( the ) ruler of this and that kingdom is implied by the article. [6.] And if ( we ) say "god" without the article, we have spoken either of any heathen god, or of the actual God. But if ( we ) say "( the ) God," it is clear that because of the article we mean the actual God, who is the ( true ) God and is known to be. And so with "man" and "( the ) man..." - (Page 32, Vol 1, Book I, [Section I,] Chapter 9, 4:4-6; The Samaratains, "The Panarion of Epiphanius of Salamis," By Frank Williams 1987.)
[FOOTNOTE]: It must be noted that Epiphanius is a hardcore Tri{3}nitarian and this work is entitled "Against All Arians".