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B.

John 1:1 in NT Greek (cont.):

The next step in finding John’s intended meaning of John 1:1c is to look up the meanings of theos in a good NT lexicon. Numerous Trinitarian scholars [see footnote] admit that this word was also used for angels, kings, and God-appointed men such as judges in Israel. In such cases it is usually rendered into English as ‘gods’ or ‘a god.’ And it was used that way in the Greek in the writings of Christians up to the time of Augustine at least.

So, why wouldn’t John 1:1c be rendered ‘the Word was god’ then rather than ‘the Word was a god’?

For this part of the analysis, we need to remember that there are exceptions where the article (‘the’) may be used at random as seen in part A. above. So we are trying to find how John intends the lack of an article with a noun (like god, man, cave, etc.). Such nouns must be “count nouns.” That means, using the example of ‘man,’ it must be capable of being counted (a ‘count noun’): one man, two men, three men, etc. It also must be capable of using the English indefinite article (‘a,’ ‘an’): ‘a man.’

It is basic knowledge for NT Greek beginners that there is no indefinite article in the Greek. So a count noun without the article (anarthrous) in the Greek is properly translated into English with an indefinite article (‘a,’ ‘an’).

So, again, with a good interlinear and concordance try finding uses of ‘man’ in John’s writing. I know you will find some that do not have the article (ho) used with them. So look up in all the translations you can find to see how those have been rendered into English. I found anthropos or ἄνθρωπος (‘man’) at John 1:6; 3:4; 3:27 (and many more) did not have the article (ho) used with them, so they were rendered as “a man” in all the Bibles I checked.

For example, look at John 10:33.  The predicate noun "man" (anthropos) comes before its verb ὢν ("being") in the NT Greek text (ἄνθρωπος ὢν), and yet we do not find it consistently translated, even by trinitarian scholars and translators, as: "you, being human" (qualitative) or "you being the man" (Colwell's Rule").

If they truly believed the "qualitative" rule or "Colwell's Rule," they certainly would not have rendered it "you, being a man," (indefinite) as they so often do:

See KJV; Douay-Rheims; ASV; ESV; ERV; NKJV; MKJV; NASB; RSV; NIV; NEB; REB; JB; NJB; AT; LB; GNT; NLT; ISV; KJIIV; NAB (’70); NAB (’91); CEV; BBE; LEB; NLV; WYC; ABC; ACV; Third Millennium Bible; 21st Century KJV; GOD’S WORD Translation; Updated Bible Version 1.9; World English Bible; C.B. Williams;Darby; Holman; Lamsa; Lattimore; Moffatt; Mounce; Phillips; Rotherham; Webster; Wesley’s; William Barclay; William Beck; Weymouth; Young’s.

So by now we should be able to see that in John 1:1c (‘theos was the Word’) the word theos does not have the article ( or ‘ho’) and, according to John’s usage of such nouns, it would normally be translated as ‘a god.’

………………………………..........

Footnote:

Some of these trinitarian sources which admit that the Bible actually describes men who represent God (judges, Israelite kings, etc.) and God's angels as gods include:

1. Young's Analytical Concordance of the Bible, "Hints and Helps...," Eerdmans, 1978 reprint;

2. Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, #430, Hebrew & Chaldee Dict., Abingdon, 1974;

3. New Bible Dictionary, p. 1133, Tyndale House Publ., 1984;

4. Today's Dictionary of the Bible, p. 208, Bethany House Publ., 1982;

5. Hastings' A Dictionary of the Bible, p. 217, Vol. 2;

6. The New Brown-Driver-Briggs-Gesenius Hebrew-English Lexicon, p. 43, Hendrickson publ.,1979;

7. Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, #2316 (4.), Thayer, Baker Book House, 1984 printing;

8. The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia, p. 132, Vol. 1; & p. 1265, Vol. 2, Eerdmans, 1984;

9. The NIV Study Bible, footnotes for Ps. 45:6; Ps. 82:1, 6; & Jn 10:34; Zondervan, 1985;

10. New American Bible, St. Joseph ed., footnote for Ps. 45:7, 1970 ed.;

11. A. T. Robertson, Word Pictures, Vol. 5, pp. 188-189;

12. William G. T. Shedd, Dogmatic Theology, Vol. 1, pp. 317, 324, Nelson Publ., 1980 printing;

13. Murray J. Harris, Jesus As God, p. 202, Baker Book House, 1992;

14. William Barclay, The Gospel of John, V. 2, Daily Study Bible Series, pp. 77, 78, Westminster Press,1975;

15. The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible (John 10:34 & Ps. 82:6);

16. The Fourfold Gospel (Note for John 10:35);

17. Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Jamieson, Fausset, Brown (John 10:34-36);

18. Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible (Ps. 82:6-8 and John 10:35);

19. John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible (Ps. 82:1).

20. Theological Dictionary of the New Testament ('Little Kittel'), - p. 328, Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1985.

21. The Expositor’s Greek Testament, pp. 794-795, Vol. 1, Eerdmans Publishing Co.

22. The Amplified Bible, Ps. 82:1, 6 and John 10:34, 35, Zondervan Publ., 1965.

23. Barnes' Notes on the New Testament, John 10:34, 35.

24. B. W. Johnson's People's New Testament, John 10:34-36.

25. The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, Zondervan, 1986, Vol. 3, p. 187.

26. Fairbairn’s Imperial Standard Bible Encyclopedia, p. 24, vol. III, Zondervan, 1957 reprint.

27. Theological Dictionary, Rahner and Vorgrimler, p. 20, Herder and Herder, 1965.

28. Pastor Jon Courson, The Gospel According to John.

(Also John 10:34, 35 - CEV: TEV; GodsWord; The Message; NLT; NIRV; David Guzik,
and, of course the popular Hellenic Jewish writer, Philo, had the same understanding for "God"/"a god" about the same time the NT was written.

And the earliest Christians like the highly respected NT scholar Origen and others - - including Tertullian; Justin Martyr; Hippolytus; Clement of Alexandria; Theophilus; the writer of "The Epistle to Diognetus"; and even super-Trinitarians St. Athanasius and St. Augustine - - also had this understanding for "a god." And, as we saw above, many respected NT scholars of this century agree. (For example, Ernst Haenchen tells us in his commentary on the Gospel of John:

"It was quite possible in Jewish and Christian monotheism to speak of divine beings that existed alongside and under God but were not identical with him. Phil 2:6-10 proves that. In that passage Paul depicts just such a divine being, who later became man in Jesus Christ". - John 1, translated by R. W. Funk, 1984, pp. 109, 110, Fortress Press.)



To Be Continued
 
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C.

John 1:1 in NT Greek (cont.):

But, you may ask, Isn’t there a significance to the reversed word order in the Greek (‘god was the word’) which is, in English, ‘the word was god.’?

If you will examine a good NT interlinear, you will find that word order is basically meaningless.

NT Greek authorities, Dr. Alfred Marshall and Prof. J. Gresham Machen tell us in their NT Greek primers that, unlike English, NT Greek does not use word order to convey meanings but instead uses the individual endings on each word (inflections).

“The English translation must be determined by observing the [Greek word] endings, not by observing the [word] order.” - New Testament Greek for Beginners, Machen, p. 27. (cf. New Testament Greek Primer, Marshall, pp. 7, 22 and A. T. Robertson, Grammar, p. 417.) [Emphasis added]

And in a later example illustrating predicate nouns Prof. Machen gave this example: “ho apostolos anthropos estin [word for word translation: ‘the apostle man is’],” and he translated that sentence (which has an anarthrous predicate count noun preceding the verb as in John 1:1c) as “the apostle is a man.” - p. 50, New Testament Greek For Beginners, The Macmillan Company, 1951. Notice the addition of the English indefinite article (‘a’).

We also find that respected NT Greek scholar the Rev. Alfred Marshall translates phoneus esti (literally, ‘murderer he is’) as “He is a murderer.” - pp. 44 and 153, New Testament Greek Primer, Zondervan Publ., 1962. And John H. Dobson in his Learn New Testament Greek, p. 64, translates prophetes estin (literally, ‘prophet he is’) as “He is a prophet.” - Baker Book House, 1988.

But, since the actual grammar used by John (and all the other Gospel writers) shows John 1:1c to be properly translated as “and the Word was a god,” some have attempted to make this perfectly ordinary NT Greek word order into something else. In 1933, Colwell proposed that the word order could make the definite article understood! This way the ‘understood’ ho (‘the’) could make Jn 1:1c say “and the word was [the] god.” And, as we have already found, ho theos (‘the god’) indicates “God” in English translation of John’s writing.

This need by some for a new ‘rule’ concerning John 1:1c is a further admission that theos by itself doesn’t mean “God” in the Gospel of John.

Another new ‘rule’ concerning the word order of John 1:1c has been proposed to make the Word of the same essence as God. These ‘Qualitative’ rules are like Colwell’s rule above except they don’t allow for an understood article (ho) before theos. They say, instead, that the word order makes theos ‘qualitative.’

The same method of examining all proper examples that are parallel to John 1:1c in John's writings proves both modern inventions to be wrong.

To Be Continued
 
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D.

John 1:1 in NT Greek (cont.):

It’s been many years since I looked up all the clauses in John’s writing which had predicate nouns (also called predicate nominatives). Then I made a list of all of them which are parallel to John 1:1c (predicate noun coming before the verb). I didn’t have a computer then and had to use a concordance and an interlinear NT Bible. Then I typed it all up into a 50-page study. Now it’s on my computer and even on some internet sites).

In addition to examining in detail the steps we’ve looked at already, there is a comprehensive listing of the parallel constructions. When the exceptions (non-count nouns, abstract nouns, personal names, 'prepositional' modifiers, etc.) are removed, we find the following passages to be the only proper examples which are completely parallel to John 1:1c.

(If anyone wishes for verification of the exceptions I have listed above, please ask me and, after finishing the first 5 of the “Seven Lessons,” I will provide it.)

Here, then, are all the proper examples (truly comparable to Jn 1:1c) from the writings of John (W and H text) for an honest examination of “Colwell’s Rule” (or any related rules, including Harner’s “qualitative” rule, concerning the simple, unmodified anarthrous (without the definite article) predicate count noun coming before the verb):

H,W 1. John 4:19 - (“a prophet”) - all Bible translations I have examined

H,W 2. John 8:48 - (“a Samaritan”) - all translations

H,W 3. John 18:37 (a) - (“a king”) - all

[H,W 4. John 18:37 (b) - (“a king”) - in Received Text and in 1991 Byzantine Text]

H: Also found in Harner’s list of “Colwell Constructions”
W: Also found in Wallace’s list of “Colwell Constructions”

These are all indefinite nouns. All Bible translations I have examined render them as indefinite!

If we wish to supply more examples, we must include some which are slightly less perfect than these three (or four). The best we can do is to include all those constructions (W and H text) which comply with the other qualifications above but which, unlike Jn 1:1c, have the subject before the verb also. Since Colwell, Harner, and Wallace themselves include such examples, there should be no objection if we also include all such examples.

When we add those constructions to our list, we have:

H 1. John 4:9 (a) - indefinite (“a Jew”) - all translations

H,W 2. John 4:19 - indefinite (“a prophet”) - all

H,W 3. John 6:70 - indefinite (“a devil”/“a slanderer”) - all

H,W 4. John 8:44 - indefinite (“a murderer”/“a manslayer”) - all

H,W 5. John 8:48 - indefinite (“a Samaritan”) - all

H,W 6. John 9:24 - indefinite (“a sinner”) - all

H,W 7. John 10:1 - indefinite (“a thief and a plunderer”) - all

H,W 8. John 10:33 - indefinite (“a man”) - all

H,W 9. John 18:35 - indefinite (“a Jew”) - all

H,W 10. John 18:37 (a) - indefinite (“a king”) - all

[H,W 11. John 18:37 (b) - indefinite (“a king”) - in Received Text and in 1991 Byzantine Text]

These are all indefinite nouns (not definite, not “qualitative”). All Bible translations I have examined render them as indefinite! We should have enough examples to satisfy the most critical (but honest) scholar now. (And I wouldn’t strongly resist the use of the “no subject” examples which clearly intend the subject as being a pronoun included with the verb, e.g., “[he] is” (estin) which would then bring our total of proper examples to around 20.)

To Be Continued
 
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I'm amazed that you researched all of this at one point!
 

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Context, context, context. The context and the fact that there is and always has been only one God, proves your point wrong. One can spend their entire lives studying something and still come to the wrong conclusion.
 
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E.

John 1:1 in NT Greek (cont.):

The above posts show that word order (predicate noun before the verb as found in the NT Greek of John 1:1c) does not change the meaning to an understood article (“the”) as Colwell’s Rule suggests or some nebulous ‘qualitative’ meaning as some other trinitarian scholars insist.

Pay particular attention to two of the verses found in our list in D. above: John 6:70 and John 10:1.

John 6:70 “Jesus answered them…. and one of you [Judas] is a devil.” - KJV. Greek word order: “out of you one devil is.”

“One who sins belongs to the devil, like Cain (1 Jn 3:8, 12); or he is a devil himself, like Judas, the betrayer (Jn 6:70). .... Jesus’ enemies are called children [and sons] of the devil, i.e. those who share his nature and behavior (Jn 8:44) [Acts 13:10; 1 Jn 3:10].” - p. 472, vol. 3, The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, 1986, Zondervan.

So a man who is from [literally “out of,” ek] the Devil (1 Jn 3:8), and is a ‘son of the Devil’ (Acts 13:10), and who is “with the Devil (whether physically or figuratively) may also be called “a devil” (Jn 6:70)! So Judas, for example, could be described in NT terms: “Judas was with ho diabolos [the Devil], and diabolos was Judas.” And no matter how anyone wants to interpret it, it would be incredibly wrong to insist (as many trinitarians do about Jn 1:1c) that this meant Judas was literally, equally the Devil himself! Whether you translate it literally (“Judas was with the Devil, and Judas was a devil”) or ‘qualitatively’ (“Judas was with the Devil, and Judas had the ‘nature’ of the Devil”), it would mean essentially the same thing: Judas simply shared to some degree some (or one) of the qualities of the Devil, but he is not equally the Devil with Satan himself! No reasonable person would accept this as evidence for some mysterious ‘Satanity’! Compare this with John 1:1c.

John 10:1 John 10:1 has this word order, “that (one) thief is and robber” [the first predicate noun is before the verb and the second is after the verb!]. This is always translated as, “that one [or ‘he’] is a thief and a robber” (both indefinite!). It is never rendered, “that one is the Thief and a robber” [Colwell]. And it is never “qualitatively” rendered as “that one has the full essence of thiefness and is a robber.”

The word order does not change the meaning. The predicate noun is still indefinite.

.................................................................

This concludes my own personal study of the grammar of John 1:1c and all its parallels in John’s writings.

The next two lessons are examinations of scholars (ancient and modern) who have also commented on this scripture or shown by their usage how they would have interpreted it.

I will pause here and see if there are questions concerning A - E above before continuing.
 
B

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Context, context, context. The context and the fact that there is and always has been only one God, proves your point wrong. One can spend their entire lives studying something and still come to the wrong conclusion.

You may think that, but at the time the gospels were written, your modern theology wasn't nearly so certain. The Roman Empire was polytheistic, Judaism had developed out of polytheism (see El versus Yahweh), the Hebrew bible recognized other gods as being legitimately real (Ba'al, Asherah, etc), and the idea of a trinity had not yet been created. In that setting, your retroactive statement that there has always been only one "God" doesn't carry much weight. There were over thirty gospels moving around in the centuries after Yeshua, most of which were declared heretical and burned after church administrators gathered more and more power (and as they felt the need to get rid of any gospels which said negative things about the Romans). Once the Roman empire recognized Christianity as an official religion, then it became worldly power to have power in the church, and thus you have the differing beliefs squelched (aka, goodbye gnostics). Thus, your modern view that "there is and always has been only one God", as if the early writers also held this view, is flawed in that it isn't supported by the Old Testament from which the writers were drawing a spiritual background.
 
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Context, context, context. The context and the fact that there is and always has been only one God, proves your point wrong. One can spend their entire lives studying something and still come to the wrong conclusion.

As so often happens, people like to reply to someone's post without actually reading (or understanding) much of it. If Free read part B above, it doesn't show.
 

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You may think that, but at the time the gospels were written, your modern theology wasn't nearly so certain. The Roman Empire was polytheistic, Judaism had developed out of polytheism (see El versus Yahweh), the Hebrew bible recognized other gods as being legitimately real (Ba'al, Asherah, etc), and the idea of a trinity had not yet been created. In that setting, your retroactive statement that there has always been only one "God" doesn't carry much weight.
Wow, no, not at all. The OT reaffirms from beginning to end that there is and only has been one God. All other gods it clearly states as being false--mere idols of wood, stone, or metal; non-living, non-thinking, and incapable of doing or being anything. Not gods at all. This is again reaffirmed in the NT.

There were over thirty gospels moving around in the centuries after Yeshua, most of which were declared heretical and burned after church administrators gathered more and more power (and as they felt the need to get rid of any gospels which said negative things about the Romans). Once the Roman empire recognized Christianity as an official religion, then it became worldly power to have power in the church, and thus you have the differing beliefs squelched (aka, goodbye gnostics). Thus, your modern view that "there is and always has been only one God", as if the early writers also held this view, is flawed in that it isn't supported by the Old Testament from which the writers were drawing a spiritual background.
You are liberal in your views of Christianity, which is unfortunate. Such views have been shown to be desperately wanting, the sole purpose of which is to undermine the Bible. The Gnostics weren't Christian and their gospels were not at all gospels as they don't even contain the message of the gospel. They have been proven to be late comers to the scene, relying heavily on the four canonical gospels.

The truth of what the Bible teaches is of vital importance, particularly about the person and work of Jesus, the central figure of all of Scripture. Hence the need to get rid of false gospels and various pseudopigrapha.
 

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As so often happens, people like to reply to someone's post without actually reading (or understanding) much of it. If Free read part B above, it doesn't show.
It was read and you completely ignore the context. My point stands.
 
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Free said:
Wow, no, not at all. The OT reaffirms from beginning to end that there is and only has been one God. All other gods it clearly states as being false--mere idols of wood, stone, or metal; non-living, non-thinking, and incapable of doing or being anything. Not gods at all. This is again reaffirmed in the NT.

Yahweh has taken His place in the divine assembly;
He judges among the gods:
“How long will you judge unjustly
and show partiality to the wicked?
Provide justice for the needy and the fatherless;
uphold the rights of the oppressed and the destitute.
Rescue the poor and needy;
save them from the power of the wicked."

They do not know or understand;
they wander in darkness.
All the foundations of the earth are shaken.

I said, “You are gods;
you are all sons of the Most High.
However, you will die like men
and fall like any other ruler.

Rise up, El, judge the earth,
for all the nations belong to You.

- Psalms 82 (Note that I have replaced the word "God" with the original Hebrew word)

In this chapter, Yahweh is a member of a council of gods. Later Judaism would relinquish the idea of the gods being real, though some held on to the polytheistic belief longer than others (see the worship of Baal and Asherah in Kings, Chronicles, etc).

You are liberal in your views of Christianity, which is unfortunate.

The term "liberal" means nothing to me. Describe my beliefs rather than labeling them as the opposite of what you wish to be (conservative). I prefer to simply be factual rather than partisan.

Such views have been shown to be desperately wanting, the sole purpose of which is to undermine the Bible.

I wish to know the bible as well as possible. I have no desire to undermine it, though the facts may undermine your positions. Respecting the text of the bible disallows its undermining.

The Gnostics weren't Christian and their gospels were not at all gospels as they don't even contain the message of the gospel.

The gnostics considered themselves Christians, and they used the gospels you have today. They also used other gospels, just as other Christian groups did. In the second century though, the thirty gospels were cut down to four gospels by church leaders. These gospels not only emphasized teachings the gnostics didn't follow, but they also blamed Jews for the death of Yeshua, which was pretty important considering the Romans were murdering Christians left and right and the Jews had pissed off the Romans. Thus Jewish Christianity was wiped out in favor of the gentiles.

They have been proven to be late comers to the scene, relying heavily on the four canonical gospels.

The gnostics were mystics who weaved Christianity into their own magical beliefs... so to did other groups. The winning group were those who presented a Christianity palatable in the Roman Empire.

The truth of what the Bible teaches is of vital importance, particularly about the person and work of Jesus, the central figure of all of Scripture. Hence the need to get rid of false gospels and various pseudopigrapha.

If this is the case, then whey do the four gospels we have provide us with three different final statements of Yeshua as he died? It would seem insane that these "true gospels" couldn't even get the last words of the messiah correct.
 
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I will pause here and see if there are questions concerning A - E above before continuing.

As is usual it appears no one will actually discuss my actual study of John's usage/grammar concerning John 1:1c.
 
B

Blue-Lightning

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I don't have any reason to discuss it or debate you on it. So far so good, I'm enjoying your study... I can't find any real flaws.
 

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I will pause here and see if there are questions concerning A - E above before continuing.

As is usual it appears no one will actually discuss my actual study of John's usage/grammar concerning John 1:1c.
"As usual"? It's been discussed ad nauseam in other threads. It is incorrect as it completely ignores the context of John 1:1, namely the rest of John 1, as well as much of what else Scripture has to say about God.

John 1:2-3 do your position in:

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. (ESV)

If Jesus did not exist for eternity past, then verse 3 is false. Eternal pre-existence is an attribute of God alone, therefore, Jesus is God. Context is everything.
 
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Free, you're responding with theological presuppositions, as opposed to reading the text new, examining the grammar. Nothing in the first three verses contextually prevents the author from claiming "logos" is "a god" as opposed to "the god." With John being the last gospel written, there's little doubt that the issue of Yeshua's divinity was already a major issue in Christianity, worthy of it being the thing that John starts off with.
 

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Free, you're responding with theological presuppositions, as opposed to reading the text new, examining the grammar. Nothing in the first three verses contextually prevents the author from claiming "logos" is "a god" as opposed to "the god." With John being the last gospel written, there's little doubt that the issue of Yeshua's divinity was already a major issue in Christianity, worthy of it being the thing that John starts off with.
You've got the cart before the horse. If we grant that 1c is ambiguous, then we must look to passages that aren't ambiguous to get a better understanding. That is a basic rule of biblical interpretation. In this case, we just look at the next two verses. The Greek grammar of verse two shows that when the beginning began, the Word was already in existence. And the statements in verse three are abundantly clear--the only logical conclusion of which is that the Word was not made, not created. We can also look to the larger context of the rest of Scripture which very much supports this.

It can be shown that it is the JW who makes presuppositions, who eisegetes rather than exegetes.
 
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Blue-Lightning

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Free said:
You've got the cart before the horse. If we grant that 1c is ambiguous, then we must look to passages that aren't ambiguous to get a better understanding. That is a basic rule of biblical interpretation. In this case, we just look at the next two verses. The Greek grammar of verse two shows that when the beginning began, the Word was already in existence. And the statements in verse three are abundantly clear--the only logical conclusion of which is that the Word was not made, not created. We can also look to the larger context of the rest of Scripture which very much supports this.

Yes, if logos is "a god" and not "the god," then logos is still an ever-existent concept. Nothing you're saying is in disagreement with Teddy's explanation.
 

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Yes, if logos is "a god" and not "the god," then logos is still an ever-existent concept. Nothing you're saying is in disagreement with Teddy's explanation.
It is because there is only one God and only one God who has always existed. This Teddy will recognize. By definition, a creature or created thing cannot be a god in the true sense. What I am saying completely does his position in.
 
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Free said:
It is because there is only one God and only one God who has always existed. This Teddy will recognize. By definition, a creature or created thing cannot be a god in the true sense. What I am saying completely does his position in.

You are eliminating polytheism as if it is a non-existent concept. Yet many would say that Christianity is polytheistic and just playing a semantic game by using the Trinity.
 
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