Predicate Nominatives in the prologue where subject and complement are articular

The Real John Milton

Well-known member
This kindled my interest in how the ECF explained John 1:1.

Here is one:


Irenaeus: Against Heresies Book I

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf01.ix.ii.ix.html

Having first of all distinguished these three — God, the Beginning, and the Word — he again unites them, that he may exhibit the production of each of them, that is, of the Son and of the Word, and may at the same time show their union with one another, and with the Father. For ‘the beginning’ is in the Father, and of the Father, while ‘the Word’ is in the beginning, and of the beginning. Very properly, then, did he say, ‘In the beginning was the Word,’ for He was in the Son; ‘and the Word was with God,’ for He was the beginning; ‘and the Word was God,’ of course, for that which is begotten of God is God.”

Of course a Trinitarian rendered this into English...

Yeah, got to check the original Greek. Even so it doesn't sound too consistent with the developed Trinitarian Creed.
 

Gryllus Maior

Well-known member
The "Orthodox" Church (Catholic Church is still at it) had a tendency to destroy and/or censor evidence which it didn't like. In this light, it shouldn't surprise anyone that so little was apparently said about the grammar at John 1:1 , it only reinforces the fact that so little supported the Trinitarian hermeneutic. Interesting that the grammar which somehow escaped the purges tend to denounce the Trintarian POV (think Origen).
No. Just no. There were no purges. Now we have to put up with your conspiracy theories. No wonder you hide behind pseudonyms.
 

Gryllus Maior

Well-known member
This kindled my interest in how the ECF explained John 1:1.

Here is one:


Irenaeus: Against Heresies Book I

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf01.ix.ii.ix.html

Having first of all distinguished these three — God, the Beginning, and the Word — he again unites them, that he may exhibit the production of each of them, that is, of the Son and of the Word, and may at the same time show their union with one another, and with the Father. For ‘the beginning’ is in the Father, and of the Father, while ‘the Word’ is in the beginning, and of the beginning. Very properly, then, did he say, ‘In the beginning was the Word,’ for He was in the Son; ‘and the Word was with God,’ for He was the beginning; ‘and the Word was God,’ of course, for that which is begotten of God is God.”

Of course a Trinitarian rendered this into English...
Why don't you show us from the original language how the Trinitarian translator got it wrong.
 

The Real John Milton

Well-known member
No. Just no. There were no purges. Now we have to put up with your conspiracy theories. No wonder you hide behind pseudonyms.

Unfortunately it's a matter of history that there were purges and even murder. All copies of Thalia, for instance, a book written by Arius were burnt. It is more than likely that Arius himself was poisoned (suspicion is on Athanasius), leading to his death in a bog house. Who dies of natural causes in a lavatory ?
 

The Real John Milton

Well-known member
Here is some history, from the Catholic Encyclopedia :


This entitled Arius to expound the Scriptures officially, and he exercised much influence when, in 318, his quarrel with Bishop Alexander broke out over the fundamental truth of Our Lord’s divine Sonship and substance. (See Arianism.) While many Syrian prelates followed the innovator, he was condemned at Alexandria in 321 by his diocesan in a synod of nearly one hundred Egyptian and Libyan bishops. Deprived and excommunicated, the heresiarch fled to Palestine. He addressed a thoroughly unsound statement of principles to Eusebius of Nicomedia, who yet became his lifelong champion and who had won the esteem of Constantine by his worldly accomplishments. In his house the proscribed man, always a ready writer, composed in verse and prose a defense of his position which he termed “Thalia”. A few fragments of it survive. He is also said to have published songs for sailors, millers, and travellers, in which his creed was illustrated. Tall above the common, thin, ascetical, and severe, he has been depicted in lively colors by Epiphanius (Heresies, 69, 3); but his moral character was never impeached except doubtfully of ambition by Theodoret. He must have been of great age when, after fruitless negotiations and a visit to Egypt, he appeared in 325 at Nicaea, where the confession of faith which he presented was torn in pieces.. With his writings and followers he underwent the anathemas subscribed by more than 300 bishops. He was banished into Illyricum. Two prelates shared his fate, Theonas of Marmarica and Secundus of Ptolemais. His books were burnt. The Arians, joined by their old Meletian friends, created troubles in Alexandria.......
 

Roger Thornhill

Well-known member
Why don't you show us from the original language how the Trinitarian translator got it wrong.

That's not why I quoted it. This quote appears to show that the Word was the beginning and had a beginning.

I recently made this point to @The Real John Milton with Proverbs 8:22 and Revelation 3:14.

Post in thread 'The beginning at Proverbs 8 = εν αρχή at J 1:1'
https://forums.carm.org/threads/the-beginning-at-proverbs-8-εν-αρχή-at-j-1-1.1403/post-88158
 

Gryllus Maior

Well-known member

BJ Bear

Well-known member
In John 1:4 we find η ζωή ην το φως, the life was the light.

This appears to falsify the claim/rule that one can not determine the subject if both terms are articular.

Notice the parallel to John 1:1c. In the previous clause a participant has been activated as ζωή. Then και binds the 2 clauses and disproves the claim above.

The "life" is the subject, just like the linguists say it would be. (Buth (‘And’ or ‘but’, so what?1991:13)
Conjunctive και indicates continuity with the context of the “same subject or participant.”

This sinks a nail it this rule's coffin.

And, if this is so ambiguous, how many bible versions make "light" the subject?

An added bonus is the obvious use of anaphora to identify the life in both clauses as the same.

John did this with ο λόγος in 1:1. It's also why θεός at 1:1c is not identified as τον θεον at 1:1b.

This is consistent with the grammars such as Smyth and CGCG.

@Gryllus Maior
@John Milton
@The Real John Milton
Does the immediate context influence your observation re 1:4 and if so how?
 

Roger Thornhill

Well-known member
Does the immediate context influence your observation re 1:4 and if so how?

This analysis was entirely grammatical.

The only intended impact on context is to provide evidence against the view that this author would not construct a predicate nominative where both S and PN are both articular to allow the subject (S) to be identified.

I have seen this done as a way to explain why θεός at J 1:1c is anarthrous. Some use the argument to provide evidence that θεός at 1:1c is neither indefinite, qualitative or indefinite/qualitative and could be definite, thus justifying the rendering "God" at John 1:1c.

I don't know if anyone here uses this argument exactly as I stated it or not.
 

BJ Bear

Well-known member
Ok
This analysis was entirely grammatical.

The only intended impact on context is to provide evidence against the view that this author would not construct a predicate nominative where both S and PN are both articular to allow the subject (S) to be identified.

I have seen this done as a way to explain why θεός at J 1:1c is anarthrous. Some use the argument to provide evidence that θεός at 1:1c is neither indefinite, qualitative or indefinite/qualitative and could be definite, thus justifying the rendering "God" at John 1:1c.

I don't know if anyone here uses this argument exactly as I stated it or not.
Ok, thanks.
 

John Milton

Well-known member
Ok

Ok, thanks.
It is worth noting that Roger has not been able to cite a single person who has made the claim that it is impossible to identify the subject and predicate nominative when both are articular. It appears to be a straw man. His remarks here suppose that "linguists" have this all figured out, and that simply isn't the case. At least one linguist, Michael Aubrey, called Wallace's section in his grammar "fantastic," and yet Wallace says that the predicate nominative is generally anarthrous and found after the linking verb and that it can be hard to distinguish the subject from the predicate nominative where both are articular.

Many grammarians have noted that it can be difficult to determine which is the subject and which is the predicate nominative when both are articular. To my knowledge no one has given an entirely satisfying explanation for the presence or lack of the article in such situations or, in my opinion, for many situations where the subject is articular and the predicate nominative is not.
 

Roger Thornhill

Well-known member
It is worth noting that Roger has not been able to cite a single person who has made the claim that it is impossible to identify the subject and predicate nominative when both are articular. It appears to be a straw man. His remarks here suppose that "linguists" have this all figured out, and that simply isn't the case. At least one linguist, Michael Aubrey, called Wallace's section in his grammar "fantastic," and yet Wallace says that the predicate nominative is generally anarthrous and found after the linking verb and that it can be hard to distinguish the subject from the predicate nominative where both are articular.

Many grammarians have noted that it can be difficult to determine which is the subject and which is the predicate nominative when both are articular. To my knowledge no one has given an entirely satisfying explanation for the presence or lack of the article in such situations or, in my opinion, for many situations where the subject is articular and the predicate nominative is not.

Due to limitations of my memory because of advanced age I cannot remember ever using the word "impossible" in this context and a search of "impossible predicate" only shows your post.

Can you show me where I said that?
 

John Milton

Well-known member
This analysis was entirely grammatical.

The only intended impact on context is to provide evidence against the view that this author would not construct a predicate nominative where both S and PN are both articular to allow the subject (S) to be identified.

I have seen this done as a way to explain why θεός at J 1:1c is anarthrous. Some use the argument to provide evidence that θεός at 1:1c is neither indefinite, qualitative or indefinite/qualitative and could be definite, thus justifying the rendering "God" at John 1:1c.

I don't know if anyone here uses this argument exactly as I stated it or not.
I have a question for you about your mention of anaphora here based on your previous remarks.
The "life" is the subject, just like the linguists say it would be. (Buth (‘And’ or ‘but’, so what?1991:13)
Conjunctive και indicates continuity with the context of the “same subject or participant.”

This sinks a nail it this rule's coffin.

And, if this is so ambiguous, how many bible versions make "light" the subject?

An added bonus is the obvious use of anaphora to identify the life in both clauses as the same.
You have stated before that you believe that an article functions as a pronoun and is always anaphoric. Since you believe that is true, why is the phrase "τὸ φῶς τῶν ἀνθρώπων" articular since there is no previous mention for it to refer to?
 

John Milton

Well-known member
Due to limitations of my memory because of advanced age I cannot remember ever using the word "impossible" in this context and a search of "impossible predicate" only shows your post.

Can you show me where I said that?
It wasn't a quote, but it was an accurate report of what you have said.
This appears to falsify the claim/rule that one can not determine the subject if both terms are articular.
In your opening post you said the above. If one is able to identify the subject, the predicate nominative has also been identified. It would be whatever isn't the subject. "Impossible to identify" is the functional equivalent of "can not determine."

Now compare this to what I wrote about your remarks, and you shouldn't take issue. "[\I]t is impossible to identify the subject and predicate nominative when both are articular."

Edit: You'll have to ignore the \ in the quote. The forum software insists on reading this as italics, and for some reason, I can't cancel the coding. You know what is meant, I think.
 

Roger Thornhill

Well-known member
I have a question for you about your mention of anaphora here based on your previous remarks.

You have stated before that you believe that an article functions as a pronoun and is always anaphoric. Since you believe that is true, why is the phrase "τὸ φῶς τῶν ἀνθρώπων" articular since there is no previous mention for it to refer to?

Wallace is quoted in this paper to that effect.

I don't recall what I may have said in an informal discussion, but I have not seen an article-noun pair that immediately follows the same noun/synonym which don't have the same referent. Of course it must be an individualizing article.

Since the primary use of the article is to identify, sometimes the concept is in a more remote reference. John may have referred to "light" from the beginning in Genesis.

But just like we don't ignore an antecedent that immediately precedes a pronoun for some remote reference, the same holds true here.
 
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