Predicate Nominatives in the prologue where subject and complement are articular

Roger Thornhill

Well-known member
It wasn't a quote, but it was an accurate report of what you have said.

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.

The reason I object to the word "impossible" is because I didn't think I would use it. Some might acknowledge that the subject at 1:1c could be determined from the context and still argue that the lack of the article makes it more clear.

My position is that the the use of και as a coordinator in the three clauses and the identification of ο λόγος in 1ab makes λόγος the subject by default at 1c unambiguously ο λόγος.
 

John Milton

Well-known member
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
have the same referent. Of course it must be an individualizing article. Since the primary use of the article is to identify,
I am trying to nail down what you have claimed about the article concerning anaphora and its function as a pronoun, so the other ways you have categorized it or described its use are of no help here.

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.
That's just it. There is no reference for the article here.
 

John Milton

Well-known member
The reason I object to the word "impossible" is because I didn't think I would use it. Some might acknowledge that the subject at 1:1c could be determined from the context and still argue that the lack of the article makes it more clear.

My position is that the the use of και as a coordinator in the three clauses and the identification of ο λόγος in 1ab makes λόγος the subject by default at 1c unambiguously ο λόγος.
For all intents and purposes, that is exactly what you did, though I won't hold you to it if that is not what you intended. Are you now saying that there is no connection between the statement I quoted and your remarks on John 1:1 and John 1:4?
 

Roger Thornhill

Well-known member
For all intents and purposes, that is exactly what you did, though I won't hold you to it if that is not what you intended. Are you now saying that there is no connection between the statement I quoted and your remarks on John 1:1 and John 1:4?

It's a response to the use of Smyth to provide a reason why θεός at J 1:1 is anarthrous.

1150. A predicate noun has no article, and is thus distinguished from the subject: καλεῖται ἡ ἀκρόπολις ἔτι ὑπ᾽ Ἀθηναίων πόλις the acropolis is still called ‘city’ by the Athenians T. 2.15.

I have already explained that John 1:4 falsifies applying Smyth universally to John 1. It's not true for John 1:4.

Also, note that 'Acropolis' and 'city' are two names for the same thing in this context, and they have the same referent and are convertible.

Using this for John 1:1c would be an admission that λόγος and θεός are convertible. Some would agree like Oneness Pentecostals.

In reality, the subject is identified in the previous clause for both J 1 and 4 because it was already found as subject or participant in a clause bound to it with the correlative και.
 

The Real John Milton

Well-known member
The reason I object to the word "impossible" is because I didn't think I would use it. Some might acknowledge that the subject at 1:1c could be determined from the context and still argue that the lack of the article makes it more clear.

My position is that the the use of και as a coordinator in the three clauses and the identification of ο λόγος in 1ab makes λόγος the subject by default at 1c unambiguously ο λόγος.

You are right (bold). Don't let anyone convince you otherwise, and rob you of your prize. Not that you said anything which any honest and sensible reader shouldn't be able to figure out even just reading the KJV.

Should start a thread entitled "No brainer statements which Trinitarians have a hard time with" and use that as Exhibit 1.
 

Roger Thornhill

Well-known member
I am trying to nail down what you have claimed about the article concerning anaphora and its function as a pronoun, so the other ways you have categorized it or described its use are of no help here.


That's just it. There is no reference for the article here.

I believe I explained that.
 

John Milton

Well-known member
It's a response to the use of Smyth to provide a reason why θεός at J 1:1 is anarthrous.

1150. A predicate noun has no article, and is thus distinguished from the subject: καλεῖται ἡ ἀκρόπολις ἔτι ὑπ᾽ Ἀθηναίων πόλις the acropolis is still called ‘city’ by the Athenians T. 2.15.

I have already explained that John 1:4 falsifies applying Smyth universally to John 1. It's not true for John 1:4.
Smyth is describing the use of the article with the PN. He correctly recognizes that this occurs in the literature. He also describes situations where the PN does have the article that fits John 1:4:
Smyth 1152 said:
Even in the predicate the article is used with a noun referring to a definite object (an individual or a class) that is well known, previously mentioned or hinted at, or identical with the subject
Also, note that 'Acropolis' and 'city' are two names for the same thing in this context, and they have the same referent and are convertible.

Using this for John 1:1c would be an admission that λόγος and θεός are convertible. Some would agree like Oneness Pentecostals.
There is nothing in Smyth 1150 that would would suggest the subject and predicate nominative are convertible. You are, for whatever reason, consistently unable to understand and apply the sources you are interacting with.
In reality, the subject is identified in the previous clause for both J 1 and 4 because it was already found as subject or participant in a clause bound to it with the correlative και.
There is nothing about the use of καί that requires the subject of the next clause to be the same as the one that precedes it.
 

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.

We have already cleared up your misunderstanding about my non-use of the word impossible. I did one one place I remember a Trinitarian argument like this in James White's The Forgotten Trinity:

The third clause of John 1:1 provides us with an example of what is known in grammar as a predicate nominative construction.[10] That is, we have a noun, the subject of the clause, which is “the Word.” We have an “equative” or “copulative” verb, “was,” and we have another noun, in the same case or form as the subject, which is called the nominative case, that being “God.” We need to realize that in Greek the order in which words appear is not nearly as important as it is in English. The Greeks had no problem putting the subject of a sentence, or its main verb, way down the line, so to speak. Just because one word comes before another in Greek does not necessarily have any significance. What does this have to do with John 1:1? Well, in English, the final phrase would be literally rendered, “God was the Word.” But in English, we put the subject first, and the predicate nominative later. The Greeks used the article to communicate to us which word is the subject, and which is the predicate. If one of the two nouns has the article, it is the subject. In this case, “Word” has the article, even though it comes after “God,” and hence is our subject. That is why the last phrase is translated “the Word was God” rather than “God was the Word.”

Stay with me now, for there is another important point to be seen in the text. If both of the nouns in a predicate nominative construction like this one have the article, or if both lack the article, this is significant as well. In that case, the two nouns become interchangeable. That is, if “Word” had the article, and “God” did, too, this would mean that John is saying that “God was the Word” and the “Word was God.” Both would be the same thing. Or, if neither of them had the article, we would have the same idea: an equating of all of God with all of the Word. “God” and “Word” would be interchangeable and equal terms.
 

Roger Thornhill

Well-known member
Smyth is describing the use of the article with the PN. He correctly recognizes that this occurs in the literature. He also describes situations where the PN does have the article that fits John 1:4:


There is nothing in Smyth 1150 that would would suggest the subject and predicate nominative are convertible. You are, for whatever reason, consistently unable to understand and apply the sources you are interacting with.

There is nothing about the use of καί that requires the subject of the next clause to be the same as the one that precedes it.

I am not going to repeat myself here, but the linguists I quoted like Buth disagree with you.
 

Roger Thornhill

Well-known member
Smyth is describing the use of the article with the PN. He correctly recognizes that this occurs in the literature. He also describes situations where the PN does have the article that fits John 1:4:


There is nothing in Smyth 1150 that would would suggest the subject and predicate nominative are convertible. You are, for whatever reason, consistently unable to understand and apply the sources you are interacting with.

There is nothing about the use of καί that requires the subject of the next clause to be the same as the one that precedes it.

Smyth's example is two referents that are interchange. That is what makes his point compelling because otherwise it could be "City is still called Acropolis."
 

John Milton

Well-known member
We have already cleared up your misunderstanding about my non-use of the word impossible.
I thought we did. You said what I attributed to you, but you didn't mean it.
I did one one place I remember a Trinitarian argument like this in James White's The Forgotten Trinity:

The third clause of John 1:1 provides us with an example of what is known in grammar as a predicate nominative construction.[10] That is, we have a noun, the subject of the clause, which is “the Word.” We have an “equative” or “copulative” verb, “was,” and we have another noun, in the same case or form as the subject, which is called the nominative case, that being “God.” We need to realize that in Greek the order in which words appear is not nearly as important as it is in English. The Greeks had no problem putting the subject of a sentence, or its main verb, way down the line, so to speak. Just because one word comes before another in Greek does not necessarily have any significance. What does this have to do with John 1:1? Well, in English, the final phrase would be literally rendered, “God was the Word.” But in English, we put the subject first, and the predicate nominative later. The Greeks used the article to communicate to us which word is the subject, and which is the predicate. If one of the two nouns has the article, it is the subject. In this case, “Word” has the article, even though it comes after “God,” and hence is our subject. That is why the last phrase is translated “the Word was God” rather than “God was the Word.”

Stay with me now, for there is another important point to be seen in the text. If both of the nouns in a predicate nominative construction like this one have the article, or if both lack the article, this is significant as well. In that case, the two nouns become interchangeable. That is, if “Word” had the article, and “God” did, too, this would mean that John is saying that “God was the Word” and the “Word was God.” Both would be the same thing. Or, if neither of them had the article, we would have the same idea: an equating of all of God with all of the Word. “God” and “Word” would be interchangeable and equal terms.
But you falsely assert that Jame White makes that claim here, when he clearly doesn't. You seem to lack the ability to represent your sources accurately.
 

John Milton

Well-known member
Smyth's example is two referents that are interchange. That is what makes his point compelling because otherwise it could be "City is still called Acropolis."
Does Smyth say they are interchangeable? No, it isn't relevant to his point. He could've just as easily given θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος as his example (if it occurred in Classical Greek, of course). You are reading something into what he wrote that simply isn't there.
 

Roger Thornhill

Well-known member
I thought we did. You said what I attributed to you, but you didn't mean it.

But you falsely assert that Jame White makes that claim here, when he clearly doesn't. You seem to lack the ability to represent your sources accurately.

White gives two reasons for the anarthrous θεός.

1. To identify the subject
2. To prevent modalism

Now, we have one person on this forum who uses Smyth to explain John 1:1.

Maybe @Gryllus Maior could explain his reason in greater detail.
 

Roger Thornhill

Well-known member
Does Smyth say they are interchangeable? No, it isn't relevant to his point. He could've just as easily given θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος as his example (if it occurred in Classical Greek, of course). You are reading something into what he wrote that simply isn't there.

You know they are interchangeable. A better question is why @Gryllus Maior used this in a John 1:1 discussion.

Do you think it applies in some way?
 

John Milton

Well-known member
Ok, son, what did Buth mean?
1) Unless you are intending to come across as racist and/or condescending, your remark here is out-of-line. 2) I have explained your errors in an effort to help you and to keep others from being misled by your comments. I am under no obligation to assume your burden of proof.
 

Roger Thornhill

Well-known member
1) Unless you are intending to come across as racist and/or condescending, your remark here is out-of-line. 2) I have explained your errors in an effort to help you and to keep others from being misled by your comments. I am under no obligation to assume your burden of proof.

Why would a reference to my advanced age compared to you be racist?
 

John Milton

Well-known member
White gives two reasons for the anarthrous θεός.

1. To identify the subject
2. To prevent modalism

Now, we have one person on this forum who uses Smyth to explain John 1:1.

Maybe @Gryllus Maior could explain his reason in greater detail.
The lack of the article is one criteria that is used for identifying a predicate nominative. What is so hard for you to understand about this?
 

The Real John Milton

Well-known member
Smyth is describing the use of the article with the PN. He correctly recognizes that this occurs in the literature. He also describes situations where the PN does have the article that fits John 1:4:


There is nothing in Smyth 1150 that would would suggest the subject and predicate nominative are convertible. You are, for whatever reason, consistently unable to understand and apply the sources you are interacting with.

There is nothing about the use of καί that requires the subject of the next clause to be the same as the one that precedes it.

Simple question : Does the following sentence have a to-be equative verb (εἰμί , γίνομαι or even ὑπάρχω)

Ref. καλεῖται ἡ ἀκρόπολις ἔτι ὑπ᾽ Ἀθηναίων πόλις

Here is a quick refresher to jog your memory into what a S (Subject) -PN (Predicate Nominative) construction like the one we have at John 1:1c entails:

Whenever a sentence uses a form of the verb “to be” (Greek eimi or ginomai), the nominative case is used both before and after the verb – as the subject and as the predicate. God is love (1 John 4:8)
 
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