Sunday, September 4, 2011

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

UPDATED - (12/09/11) Added Greek texts for Philo and Origen. Keep watching this post, because I often go back and edit posts or add texts I couldn't find originally.

Just thought I would make it a bit easier to find the references I have posted over the last few months on Greek Grammar that relates either directly to John 1:1 or indirectly, by bringing them all together in one post: 

GREEK TEXT: “...παρέλθῃς δὲ τὸ εἰρημένον, ἀλλ’ ἀκριβῶς ἐξέτασον, εἰ τῷ ὅντι δύο εἰσὶ θεοὶ, λέγεται γάρ “Ἐγώ εἰμι ὁ Θεὸς ὁ ὀφθείς σοι,” οὐκ ἐν τόπῳ ἐμῷ, ἀλλ’ “ἐν τόπῳ θεοῦ” ὡς ἄν ἑτέρου. Τί οὗν χρὴ λέγειν; ὁ ἀληθείᾳ Θεὸς εἶς ἐστιν, οἱ δ' ἐν καταχρήσει λειγόμενοι πλείους. Διὸ καὶ ὁ ἱερὸς λόγος ἐν τῷ παρόντι τὸν μὲν ἀληθείᾳ διὰ τοῦ ἄρθρου μεμήνυκεν, εἰπών. “Ἐγώ εἰμι ὁ Θεὸς” τὸν δ' ἐν καταχρήσει χωρὶς ἄρθρου φάσκων. “ὁ ὀφθείς σοι ἐν τόπῳ” οὐ τοῦ Θεοῦ, ἀλλ’ αὐτὸ μόνον “θεοῦ.” Καλεῖ δέ θεὸν τὸν πρεσβύτατον αὐτοῦ νυνὶ λόγον...” - (Page 279, De Somniis Book I, Philonis Iudaei Opera Omnia.)
 
PHILO JUDAEUS (circa. 20 B.C.E to 50 C.E.): “...And do not pass by what is here said, but examine it accurately, and see whether there are really two Gods. For it is said: 'I am the God who was seen by thee;' not in my place, but in the place of God, as if he meant of some other God. What then ought we to say? There is one true God only: but they who are called Gods, by an abuse of language, are numerous; on which account the holy scripture on the present occasion indicates that it is the true God that is meant by the use of the article, the expression being, 'I am the God [Gk., ( ho theos )];' but when the word is used incorrectly, it is put without the article, the expression being, 'He who was seen by thee in the place,' not of the God [Gk., ( tou theou )], but simply 'of God' [Gk., ( theou )]; and what he here calls God is his most Ancient Word [Gk., ( Logos )]...” - (On Dreams, 1.228-230; Youngs translation)

My translation:

PHILO JUDAEUS (circa. 20 B.C.E to 50 C.E.): “...But let us not pass by what is said, instead let us examine this carefully and accurately, to see if there are two gods being spoken of, for it says: “I am thee ( definitive ) God, the one that was seen by you,” not in my place, but “in place of God,” as of another in number of a different kind and quality{1}. What therefore should we say? There is but one true God. But there are a great many who are called [“god”], by an incorrect use of language{2}. On which account also the sacred word{3}, in the present passage, through the definite-article indicates, the one that is [thee] true [God], by saying: “I am thee ( definitive ) God,” but affirms seperately the one incorrectly [called so] without the definite-article: “The one seen by you in that place,” is not thee ( definitive ) God, but he is only{4} “of God.” So presently it calls His most-ancient Word{5} “( a ) god "{6}...” - (Page 279, Book I, “De Somniis” or “On Dreams” by Philo Judaeus Matt13weedhacker 12/09/11.)
[FOOTNOTE 1]: Gk., ( καταχρήσει ) or “...an excessive over-use of [language]...”
[FOOTNOTE 2]: Gk., ( ἑτέρου )
[FOOTNOTE 3]: Gk., ( ὁ ἱερὸς λόγος )
[FOOTNOTE 4]: Gk., ( μόνον )
[FOOTNOTE 5]: Gk., ( λόγον )
[FOOTNOTE 6]: Gk., ( θεὸν )

COMPARE:

LATIN & PART GREEK TEXT: “...Suscitavit enim mihi Deus aliud semen pro Abel.” Vides, quemnam maledictis incessant, qui honestam ac moderatam incessunt seminationem, et diabolo attribuunt generationem. Non enim simpliciter Deum dixit, qui articuli præmissione, nempe Θεός dicens, significavit eum, qui est omnipotens....” - (Book III Chapter 12, The Stromata by Clement of Alexandria (153-217) Translated by William Wilson.)

CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA (circa. 153 to 217 C.E.): “...'For God has raised up for me another child in Ables place.' You see who is the target of the slanders of those who show their disgust at responsible marriage and attribute the process of birth to the devil? ( Scripture ) does not merely refer to “( a ) god”. By application of the ( definite – article ) it indicates the almighty ruler of the universe...” - (Book III. Chapter 12:81; Page 307. Stromata in “The Fathers Of The Church” Clement of Alexandria Stromateis Books 1-3, Translated by John Ferguson 1991.)

CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA (circa. 153 to 217 C.E.): “...For God has raised up for me other seed instead of Abel." You see who is the object of the blasphemy of those who abuse sober marriage and attribute birth to the devil? The Scripture here does not speak simply of ( a ) God, but of the God, indicating the Almighty by the addition of the definite article...” - (Book III. Chapter 12:81. CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA - THE STROMATA, OR MISCELLANIES - BOOK III The Library of Christian Classics: Volume II, Alexandrian Christianity: Selected Translations of Clement and Origen with Introduction and Notes by John Ernest Leonard Oulton, D.D., Regius Professor of Divinity in the University of Dublin; Chancellor of St. Patrick’s and Henry Chadwick, B.D., Fellow and Dean of Queens’ College Cambridge, Westminster Press, Philadelphia, 1954. pages 40-92.)

My translation:

CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA (circa. 153 to 217 C.E.): “...In fact it does not simply mean "( a ) god." Well - what does this article in front mean? Without a doubt it means "thee ( definitive ) God," - indeed signifying the one afore mentioned is the Almighty...” - (Book III. Chapter 12:81; Stromata translated by Matt13weedhacker 17/8/11)
[FOOTNOTE]: Ltn., ( Enim ) = for, for instance, namely, that is to say, I mean, in fact I. To corroborate a preceding assertion, ... truly, certainly, to be sure, indeed, in fact:
[FOOTNOTE]: Ltn., ( Deum ) = accusative indefinite
[FOOTNOTE]: Ltn., ( Dixit ) = to say, tell, mention, relate, affirm, declare, state; to mean, intend
[FOOTNOTE]: Ltn., ( Nempe ) = I. Prop., in strengthening or confirming an assertion, as that which cannot be disputed, indeed, certainly, without doubt, to be sure, assuredly ... 1. In laying down a premise or conclusion

COMPARE ALSO:

GREEK TEXT: “...Πάνυ [2.2.13] δὲ παρατετηρημένως καὶ οὐχ ὡς Ἑλληνι κὴν ἀκριβολογίαν οὐκ ἐπιστάμενος ὁ Ἰωάννης ὅπου μὲν τοῖς ἄρθροις ἐχρήσατο ὅπου δὲ ταῦτα ἀπεσιώπησεν, ἐπὶ μὲν τοῦ λόγου προστιθεὶς τὸ «ὁ», ἐπὶ δὲ τῆς θεὸς προσηγορίας ὅπου μὲν τιθεὶς ὅπου δὲ αἴρων. [2.2.14] Τίθησιν μὲν γὰρ τὸ ἄρθρον, ὅτε ἡ «θεὸς» ὀνομασία ἐπὶ τοῦ ἀγενήτου τάσσεται τῶν ὅλων αἰτίου, σιωπᾷ δὲ αὐτό, ὅτε ὁ λόγος «θεὸς» ὀνομάζεται. Ὡς δὲ διαφέρει κατὰ τούτους τοὺς τόπους «ὁ θεὸς» καὶ «θεός», οὕτως μήποτε διαφέρῃ «ὁ λόγος» καὶ «λόγος». [2.2.15] Ὃν τρόπον γὰρ ὁ ἐπὶ πᾶσι θεὸς «ὁ θεὸς» καὶ οὐχ ἁπλῶς «θεός», οὕτως ἡ πηγὴ τοῦ ἐν ἑκάστῳ τῶν λογικῶν λόγου «ὁ λόγος», τοῦ ἐν ἑκάστῳ λόγου οὐκ ἂν κυρίως ὁμοίως τῷ πρώτῳ ὀνομασθέντος καὶ λεχθέντος «ὁ λόγος». [2.2.16] Καὶ τὸ πολλοὺς φιλοθέους εἶναι εὐχομένους ταράσσον, εὐλαβουμένους δύο ἀναγορεῦσαι θεοὺς καὶ παρὰ τοῦτο περι πίπτοντας ψευδέσι καὶ ἀσεβέσι δόγμασιν, ἤτοι ἀρνουμένους ἰδιότητα υἱοῦ ἑτέραν παρὰ τὴν τοῦ πατρὸς ὁμολογοῦντας θεὸν εἶναι τὸν μέχρι ὀνόματος παρ' αὐτοῖς «υἱὸν» προσαγο ρευόμενον, ἢ ἀρνουμένους τὴν θεότητα τοῦ υἱοῦ τιθέντας δὲ αὐτοῦ τὴν ἰδιότητα καὶ τὴν οὐσίαν κατὰ περιγραφὴν τυγχά νουσαν ἑτέραν τοῦ πατρός, ἐντεῦθεν λύεσθαι δύναται· [2.2.17] Λε κτέον γὰρ αὐτοῖς, ὅτι τότε μὲν αὐτόθεος ὁ θεός ἐστι, διόπερ καὶ ὁ σωτήρ φησιν ἐν τῇ πρὸς τὸν πατέρα εὐχῇ· «Ἵνα γινώ σκωσι σὲ τὸν μόνον ἀληθινὸν θεόν»· πᾶν δὲ τὸ παρὰ τὸ αὐτόθεος μετοχῇ τῆς ἐκείνου θεότητος θεοποιούμενον οὐχ «ὁ θεὸς» ἀλλὰ «θεὸς» κυριώτερον ἂν λέγοιτο, οὗ πάντως «ὁ πρωτότοκος πάσης κτίσεως», ἅτε πρῶτος τῷ πρὸς τὸν θεὸν εἶναι σπάσας τῆς θεότητος εἰς ἑαυτόν, ἐστὶ τιμιώτερος, τοῖς λοιποῖς παρ' αὐτὸν θεοῖς–ὧν ὁ θεὸς θεός ἐστι κατὰ τὸ λεγόμενον· «Θεὸς θεῶν κύριος ἐλάλησε, καὶ ἐκάλεσε τὴν γῆν»–διακονήσας τὸ γενέσθαι θεοῖς, ἀπὸ τοῦ θεοῦ ἀρυσά<μενος> εἰς τὸ θεοποιηθῆναι αὐτούς, ἀφθόνως κἀκεί νοις κατὰ τὴν αὐτοῦ χρηστότητα μεταδιδούς. [2.2.18] Ἀληθινὸς οὖν θεὸς ὁ θεός, οἱ δὲ κατ' ἐκεῖνον μορφού μενοι θεοὶ ὡς εἰκόνες πρωτοτύπου· ἀλλὰ πάλιν τῶν πλειόνων εἰκόνων ἡ ἀρχέτυπος εἰκὼν ὁ πρὸς τὸν θεόν ἐστι λόγος, ὃς «ἐν ἀρχῇ» ἦν, τῷ εἶναι «πρὸς τὸν θεὸν» ἀεὶ μένων «θεός», οὐκ ἂν δ' αὐτὸ ἐσχηκὼς εἰ μὴ πρὸς θεὸν ἦν, καὶ οὐκ ἂν μείνας θεός, εἰ μὴ παρέμενε τῇ ἀδιαλείπτῳ θέᾳ τοῦ πατρικοῦ βάθους...” - (Chapter 2.2.13-18; ΤΟΜΟΣ Βʹ, “ΤΩΝ ΕΙΣ ΤΟ ΚΑΤΑ ΙΩΑΝΝΗΝ ΕΥΑΓΓΕΛΙΟΝ ΕΞΗΓΗΤΙΚΩΝ” - MPG.)
 
ORIGEN OF ALEXANDRIA (circa. 185-254 C.E.): “...We next notice John's use of the article in these sentences. He does not write without care in this respect, nor is he unfamiliar with the niceties of the Greek tongue. In some cases he uses the article, and in some he omits it. He adds the article to the Logos, but to the name of God he adds it sometimes only. He uses the article, when the name of God refers to the uncreated cause of all things, and omits it when the Logos is named God. Does the same difference which we observe between God with the article and God without it prevail also between the Logos with it and without it? We must enquire into this. As the God who is over all is God with the article not without it, so "the Logos" is the source of that reason (Logos) which dwells in every reasonable creature; the reason which is in each creature is not, like the former called par excellence The Logos. Now there are many who are sincerely concerned about religion, and who fall here into great perplexity. They are afraid that they may be proclaiming two Gods, and their fear drives them into doctrines which are false and wicked. Either they deny that the Son has a distinct nature of His own besides that of the Father, and make Him whom they call the Son to be God all but the name, or they deny the divinity of the Son, giving Him a separate existence of His own, and making His sphere of essence fall outside that of the Father, so that they are separable from each other. To such persons we have to say that God on the one hand is Very God (Autotheos, God of Himself); and so the Saviour says in His prayer to the Father, "That they may know Thee the only true God; "but that all beyond the Very God -- IS ( MADE ) GOD -- by participation in His divinity, and is not to be called simply God (with the article), but rather God (without article). And thus the first-born of all creation, who is the first to be with God, and to attract to Himself divinity, is a being of more exalted rank than the other gods beside Him, ( of ) whom God - is the God, as it is written, "The God of gods, the Lord, hath spoken and called the earth." It was by the offices of the first-born that they became gods, for He drew from God in generous measure that they should be made gods, and He communicated it to them according to His own bounty. The true God, then, is "The God," and those who are formed after Him are gods, images, as it were, of Him the prototype. But the archetypal image, again, of all these images is the Word of God, who was in the beginning, and who by being with God is at all times God, not possessing that of Himself, but by His being with the Father, and not continuing to be God, if we should think of this, except by remaining always in uninterrupted contemplation of the depths of the Father...” - (Commentary On John, Book. 2. Chapter 2. IN WHAT WAY THE LOGOS IS GOD. ERRORS TO BE AVOIDED ON THIS QUESTION. Roberts & Donaldson ANF.)
ORIGEN OF ALEXANDRIA (circa. 185-254 C.E.): “...We may by this solve the doubts which terrify many men, who pretend to great piety, and who afraid of making two Gods, and through this, fall into vain and impious opinions ; denying that the nature of the Son [Gk., ( heteros )] is-different [Gk., ( para )] from that of the Father, and who acknowledge that he is God [Gk., ( mechiri ovomatos par )] in name only ; or denying the divinity of the Son, and then maintaining that his nature and essence is [Gk., ( heterav ) folowed by the genitive article] different-from that of the Father. For we must tell them, that he who is God of himself, is God with the article ; but that all who are not [Gk., ( auto-theos )] God of themselves, who are ( divine ) by ( becoming ) partakers of ( his ) divinity, are God without the article, and severally, among whom especially ( is ) the first-born of ( of ) all the creatures...” - (Commentary in John II. p. 47. [As quoted in: “The theological and miscellaneous works of Joseph Priestley, Volume 6] Page 254.)

Compare a little further on in the same Commentary:

ORIGEN OF ALEXANDRIA (circa. 185-254 C.E.): “...There was God with the article [1:1b] and God without the article [1:1c], then there were gods in two orders, at the summit of the higher order of whom is God the Word, transcended Himself by the God of the universe. And again, there was the Logos with the article and the Logos without the article, corresponding to God absolutely and ( a ) god..." - (Commentary on the Gospel According to John, translated by: Mensies, Allan, D.D., Professor of Biblical Criticism, St. Andrews University. Appearing as vol. q0 in: The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Translations of the Writings of the Fathers down to A.D. 325, Origens Book 2, part 2, p 324. American Reprint of the Edinburgh 2nd Edition.)

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".