Sunday, October 25, 2009

THEON - 'RDB's Rule' (Jn 1:18; 10:33)

Although the following information supports the WTS (Watchtower Society's) translation of John 10:33 and John 1:18, it is a result of my own research and conclusions.  If it should prove to be mistaken in any part, it is purely my own fault and not that of the WTS. - RDB.

                                            "R.D.B.'s Rule"

                               THEON - 'RDB's Rule' (Jn 1:18; 10:33)

                                        (From the RDB Files)

                 John 10:33 and "Colwell's Rule" in the Accusative Case

         "thou, being a man, makest thyself God [theon, θεόν]." - Jn 10:33, KJV.
         "You, a mere man, claim to be a god [theon, θεόν]." - Jn 10:33, NEB.

    Although "Colwell's Rule"[1]  has proven to be a false rule when applied to the use of "God" (and other anarthrous [i.e. words not accompanied by the word "the"] nouns) in the nominative case (theos or θεὸς) as found in the ancient manuscripts of the writings of John (see the DEF or PRIMER studies), a similar rule (which I modestly call "RDB's Rule") exerts some influence on the uses of "God/god" and other anarthrous nouns in the accusative case (theon or θεόν) in the writings of John.

     The nominative case is the form used for NT Greek nouns which are subjects (and, of course, predicate nouns).  When these nouns are not accompanied by modifiers (including "the"), they should not be considered definite, and the definite article should not be added by the translator. 

However, when such anarthrous nouns are accompanied by modifiers (notably numerals and prepositional phrases), the definite article should sometimes be understood to accompany them.  The need for translators to add an understood "the" is much more frequent if a prepositional predicate noun comes before its verb (e.g. Jn 8:54) in the original Greek . - See HARNER (and notes # 2 and # 3).

     Nouns in the accusative case, however, are used as objects and are usually translated into English as direct objects, indirect objects, or objects of certain prepositions such as "toward," "with," etc. - (e.g., Jn 1:1, 2; 20:17; 1:18; 7:13). 

     Anarthrous non-prepositional[2] accusatives, when used as direct objects, may have, on occasion (at least in the writings of John), an understood definite article when they precede the verb (like nominative nouns which have actually been given prepositional modifications as explained above).  Perhaps this is because even non-prepositional accusatives still have a slight degree of "prepositional" meaning already inherent in them, and the added emphasis of a primary position in the sentence may be just enough (for John at least) to imply an article (cf. HARNER, pp. 12-13).

     These two cases (nominative and accusative), along with the frequently-used genitive case, account for over 90% of the nouns found in the New Testament.  (The genitive noun for "God" and "god" is theou [θεοῦ] which is usually translated as "of God" or "of a god.")

     The genitive case, since it's necessarily always part of a strong prepositional construction, does not allow for the same significance of the definite article that is found in the nominative case (see "The Definite John 1:1" study - DEF, end note #8 - also see end note #5).  In other words, unlike theos in John's writings, the precise meaning of theou cannot be determined strictly by the presence or absence of a definite article.  (Compare article usage for theou: John 8:40 with John 9:16; John 1:13 with John 7:17; 1 John 3:1,2 with 1 John 3:10; and Rev. 7:2 with Rev. 9:4.)

     This study will show that (with the exception of some of those which precede the verb as noted above) the non-"prepositional" accusative case theon (θεόν), as found at John 5:18; 8:41; and 10:33, is as dependent upon the use or non-use of the definite article for its precise meaning ("God" or "a god") in the writings of John as is the nominative case theos.  (See the DEF study.)

     We have examined all the uses of the accusative form of "God/god" (theon) found in all the writings of all the Gospel writers (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John).

     Again, as with the nominative case, those uses of theon (and other accusative nouns) which are part of an added "prepositional" construction (often in the form of a "possessive" genitive noun) may or may not take the definite article with little or no significance to the meaning.  As trinitarian New Testament Greek scholars Dana and Mantey inform us,

"The use of prepositions, possessive ... pronouns, and the genitive case also tend to make a word definite.  At such times, even if the article is not used, the object is already distinctly indicated." - p. 137, Dana and Mantey's Grammar

And respected trinitarian NT Greek scholar A. T. Robertson tells us about such "prepositional" examples:

"in examples like this ... only the context can decide [whether `the' should be understood or not].  Sometimes the matter is wholly doubtful." - p. 781, A Grammar of the Greek New Testament, 1934.  [Emphasis added]

     There are 56 non-"prepositional" and non-appositive uses of the accusative theon used as a direct object in all the inspired writings of the Gospel writers.  And out of those 56 we find that 54 are clearly applied to the only true God (the Father only).  And 51 of those 54 have the definite article.  That's 95% of the time that the only true God  is distinguished by the use of the definite in the accusative case.

     Now notice the 3 exceptions (the only 3 examples of theon clearly applied to God which do NOT have the article with them: Jn 1:18; 1 Jn 4:12; 2 Jn :9 - see Appendix).  Each one has the accusative theon coming before the verb.  There are only 8 instances of a non-"prepositional" theon coming before the verb by the Gospel writers, and 3 of them don't use the definite article even though they apply to the only true God!  However 5 of them (over half) do still use the article in spite of this modified "Colwell's Rule."

     Therefore, if we exclude the examples of theon which come before the verb, we find only 2 examples out of all the 56 proper non-prepositional examples which do not have the article: John 10:33 (the verse in question) and Acts 28:6.

     Since all other non-prepositional examples of the Gospel writers which come after the verb use the article with theon to identify God, we should expect these two examples which do not have the article to identify someone other than God: a god.  And sure enough, Acts 28:6, which is the only parallel construction to Jn 10:33 using theon, is properly translated "a god" in all Bible translations.  Obviously, from context alone, it should be so translated in Jn 10:33 also (as it is in the trinitarian New English Bible)!

     It's important to remember that different Bible writers had different styles and writing idiosyncrasies.  For example, just as Matthew always (even with "prepositional" constructions) used the definite article with the nominative theos to indicate "God," and Mark sometimes did not use it (with "prepositional" constructions), so Matthew always used the article with the accusative theon (even when it was "prepositional" or came before the verb), and Luke sometimes did not use it with "prepositional" constructions, whereas John usually did not use the article when theon came before the verb.

     Therefore, except to show that some Bible writers may or may not have been influenced by a certain "rule," it matters little what "rules" others have used.  What matters here, in an examination of John 10:33, is:  what "rules" did  John use?

     We can see at John 7:20; 8:48,49,52; 10:20 ("a demon"); 19:2 ("a purple robe"); 19:7 ("a law"); and 19:29 ("a sponge") that John sometimes uses an anarthrous accusative noun before the verb and does not intend that it should be understood as having a definite article - see most Bible translations.

    Obviously, then, this "Colwell's Rule of the Accusative" (or "RDB's Rule") is not ironclad, but it, like "prepositional" constructions, allows for uncertainty of meaning for accusative nouns found under those conditions.  Therefore context, not grammar, is the only proper factor to consider when translating in such cases.

     But, looking at John's writings only, we can clearly see that of the 19 non-"prepositional" uses of theon applied to the only true God all use the definite article except three of the five times that theon comes before the verb.  (In 1 John 4:20b and 5:2 the article is used even though theon comes before the verb.)  This explains the otherwise puzzling anarthrous theon at Jn 1:18.

     Therefore, we can say that a modified "Colwell's Rule" apparently has some influence in the accusative case in the writings of John.

     An accusative non-"prepositional" and non-appositive  theon without the article may still mean the only true God (in John's writings) only when it comes before the verb

     We also see this "sometimes" rule in John's writings with the use of the non-"prepositional" accusatives "the Father" and "the Son":  the article is always used for these terms when they are intended in an exclusive one-of-a-kind sense (similar to "God") except in two instances when they come before the verb.  The only time we see a different meaning for these accusatives is when John truly refers to an indefinite "a son" (comparable to "a god" at John 10:33) at Rev. 12:5.  - See Appendix.

     We may safely say that, if theon (the accusative case) in John's writings (1) is not in a "prepositional" construction and (2) does not come before the verb, then the definite article with it always signifies the only true God ("God"), and its absence signifies someone else ("a god").  If this were not the case, the following statement by a respected trinitarian source would be absolutely senseless.  In its analysis of 1 Thess. 1:8 (written by the Apostle Paul who is known to be less careful in article usage than the Gospel writers) A  Linguistic Key to the Greek New Testament states:

"the definite article with theon indicates their faith in the true God and contrasts their present attitude to God with their past pagan attitude to idols." - Vol. 2, p. 241, Zondervan, 1980.

     Now let's look at John 10:33-36.  Notice that theon here does not have a definite article and does not come before the verb, nor is it in a "prepositional" construction.  Obviously then (as context also indicates) John 10:33 should be translated "a god" (as in the trinitarian New English Bible) rather than "God" (as in the majority of trinitarian Bibles).

     Noted  trinitarian Dr. Robert Young's Concise Critical Bible Commentary, p. 62, confirms this understanding:  

"... `makest thyself  a god,' not `God' as in [KJV], otherwise the definite article would not have been omitted, as it is here, and in the next two verses, -- `gods..gods,' where the title is applied to magistrates."
   And it is further admitted that this is the meaning of Jn 10:33 by trinitarian NT scholar C. H. Dodd:

"making himself a god." - The Interpretation of the Fourth Gospel, p. 205, Cambridge University Press, 1995 reprint. 

Discussing John 10:33 a noted Trinitarian commentary says: “In the clause ‘but you are trying to make yourself God’ the Greek does not have the definite article ’the’ before the noun ‘God’ [theon]. Normally in the New Testament when God the Father is referred to, the definite article ‘the’ is used before the noun ‘God.’ Purely on the basis of the Greek text, therefore, it is possible to translate ’a god,’ as NEB does, rather than to translate ’God,’ as TEV and several other translations do. One might argue, on the basis of both the Greek and the context, that the Jews were accusing Jesus of claiming to be ‘a god’ rather than ’God.’ ” - A Translator’s Handbook on the Gospel of John, Newman and Nida, p. 344, UBS, 1980.

Being strong Trinitarians, however, the authors go on to ‘explain’ how other considerations make it preferable to render John 10:33 with “God” rather than ‘a god.’ (Emphasis, as nearly always, is added by me.)

The Jews were not saying that Jesus was making himself the only true God.  They were using theon in its secondary sense of the word ("a god" or "a mighty person").  This secondary sense of the word was applied in a negative sense to false gods and in a more positive sense to angels, judges, etc. by the Bible writers - (see the BOWGOD and DEF studies).

     Jesus' response also shows that he understood the Jews to be using the word in its secondary sense (not "God" but "a god" - probably meant here in the negative sense of a false god), and he reminded them, by quoting Ps. 82:6, that God himself had called certain Israelites "gods" (John 10:34).  With this reply Jesus showed them he could have called himself "a god" in that very same positive sense, and it would have been proper.  (His reply, however, would have been nonsensical if the Jews had really said, "you make yourself God"!)

     But, as Jesus pointed out, he had never applied the word (theos/theon), even in its positive secondary sense, to himself, but he had merely called himself "God's Son"!  (Incidentally, God, who called those Israelites "gods," also called them his sons in Ps. 82:6.)

     The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, Zondervan, 1986, tells us in a discussion of John 10:32-39 and Psalm 82:
"The reason why judges are called `gods' in Ps. 82 is that they have the office of administering God's judgment as `sons of the Most High'.  In context of the Ps. the men in question have failed to do this....  In trying to arrest him ([John] v. 39) and in disregarding the testimony of his works(vv.32,38), they were judging unjustly like the judges in Ps. 82:2.  .... On the other hand, Jesus fulfilled the role of a true judge as a `god' and `son of the Most High'." - Vol. 3, p. 187.
 Although bearing in mind the problems of comparing one writer's usage with another's, it is interesting to note the similarity of Acts 28:6 and John 10:33.  Both use a non-"prepositional" anarthrous theon that comes after the verb.  But all Bible translators translate Acts 28:6 to show that its anarthrous theon was intended in its secondary sense: "he was a god."  Clearly the translation "God" at John 10:33 by the majority of trinitarian Bibles is incorrect.  It has no evidence to support it and much to deny it.

     Jesus never claimed to be God, and the Jews speaking at John 10:33 didn't understand him to be making that claim either.

     Plainly, a non-"prepositional" theos or theon without a definite article may be applied to Jesus, and others, with no intention of identifying him as the only true God. - see the DEF study.

     It is also obvious (when we actually examine John's writings to see what "rules" he does or does not use) that John consistently used theos and theon with the article to mean the only true God.  And John consistently used theos and theon without the article to mean someone who is not the only true God (compare John 17:1, 3).

                                       *    *    *    *    *    *    *

    So this new information about the uses of theon explains why there is an anarthrous theon at John 1:18 which still may be rendered "God" or "the God":   the non-"prepositional" accusative anarthrous theon comes before the verb.

     It also shows that theon at John 10:33 is incorrectly translated as "God" in most Bibles.  The non-"prepositional" accusative theon there is found after the verb (and without the article) and should be rendered, therefore, "a god." 

     Yes, a proper understanding of John's actual grammatical usage (including "RDB's Rule") brings out the correct translation.  And the context of both of these verses confirms it.


   All non-"prepositional" accusative theon's in the Synoptic Gospels and Acts

     Matt.  5:8  art. - theon before verb
     Matt.  9:8  art.
     Mark   2:12 art.
     Mark   5:7  art.
     Luke   1:64 art.
     Luke   2:13 art.
     Luke   2:20 art.
     Luke   5:25 art.
     Luke   5:26 art.
     Luke   7:16 art.
     Luke   7:29 art.
     Luke  13:13 art.
     Luke  17:15 art.
     Luke  18:2  art. - theon before verb
     Luke  18:4  art. - theon before verb
     Luke  18:43 art.
     Luke  19:37 art.
     Luke  23:40 art.
     Luke  23:47 art.
     Acts   2:47 art.
     Acts   3:8  art.
     Acts   3:9  art.
     Acts   4:21 art.
     Acts  10:2  art.
     Acts  10:22 art.
     Acts  10:46 art.
     Acts  11:17 art.
     Acts  11:18 art.
     Acts  13:16 art.
     Acts  13:26 art.
     Acts  15:10 art.
     Acts  16:14 art.
     Acts  16:25 art.
     Acts  17:27 art.
     Acts  18:13 art.
     Acts  21:20 art.
     Acts  28:6  ANARTHROUS - "a god" (not referring to God)


      All non-"prepositional" accusative uses of theon  in John's writings

     John  1:18  ANARTHROUS - theon before verb
     John  5:18 art.
     John  8:41 art.
     John 10:33  ANARTHROUS - "a god" (not referring to God)
     John 11:22 art.
     John 17:3  art.
     John 21:19 art.
     1 John 4:6  art.
     1 John 4:7  art.
     1 John 4:8  art.
     1 John 4:10 art.
     1 John 4:12  ANARTHROUS - theon before verb
     1 John 4:20 art.
     1 John 4:20 art. - theon before verb
     1 John 4:21 art.
     1 John 5:2  art. - theon before verb
     2 John 9  ANARTHROUS - theon before verb
     3 John 11 art.
     Rev. 14:7  art.
     Rev. 16:21 art.


     "Prepositional" theon constructions include Matt. 4:7(g); 4:10(g); 15:31(g); 27:43(p); Mark 12:30(g); Luke 1:16(g); 4:8(g); 4:12(g); 10:27(g); 12:21(p) - anarthrous, before verb; 20:37(g) - (3) 2 are anarthrous; John 1:1(p); 1:2(p); 13:3(p) - before verb; 14:1(p); 20:17(g&p) - (2) both are anarthrous; 1 John 3:21(p); Revelation 12:5(p); 13:6(p); 16:11(g).

- -  (g) = genitive-modified; (p) = object of a preposition.

     We can see from the above that of all the 56 uses of a non-"prepositional" theon in all the inspired writings of the above Bible writers (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) only 5 times did they not use the definite article.  Three of those 5 times were when the word theon actually applied to the only true God, but it came before the verb.  And the only other two times theon was used without an article were at Acts 28:6 and John 10:33 where it was neither before the verb nor in a "prepositional" construction.  Acts 28:6 is universally understood to mean "a god" (see any translation).  The only plausible conclusion is that John intended Jn 10:33 (the only parallel construction to Acts 28:6) to also be applied to someone other than the only true God: "a god" (as properly translated in the trinitarian New English Bible)!

                                                     *   *   *   *   *

     Another term that has a similar usage to "God/god" is "Christ/christ."  That is, there are different levels of meaning given to them.  The very same word, theos (and its accusative form, theon) may be applied to many of God's servants including angels, high priests, judges, and kings of Israel (see the DEF and BOWGOD studies).  But in the very highest sense of the word there is only one person who can be given that title: God.  In the NT Greek (at least as used in all the writings of the Gospel writers) the definite article is used with theos/theon when God is being referred to (in all proper, non-prepositional examples).  (They did not use capital letters to distinguish different meanings as we do in modern English).  And when "god" or "a god" is being referred to the article is not used. 

     We find "Christ/christ" being used in the very same way by these same Bible writers.  "Christ" (or "messiah" in Hebrew), which means "anointed one," is a title which, like theos/theon, was applied to many persons.  However, in the very highest sense of the word it is applied to Jesus only.  Some of those called `christ' in the Scriptures include kings of Israel, high priests of God in Israel, prophets of God, and even a foreign king (Cyrus) who did the will of the God of Israel.

     Some examples from the ancient Greek Old Testament, the Septuagint, which show others called `christ' (christos or χριστὸς, nominative case, and christon or χριστόν, accusative case) are:

     Lev.  4:5  - the priest, the christ [χριστὸς] - - Aaron and others.
     Lev.  4:16 - the priest, the christ [χριστὸς] - Aaron and others.
     1 Sa 16:6  - before [Jehovah is the] christ [χριστὸς] of him - Eliab.
     1 Sa 24:7  - [the] christ [χριστὸς] of [Jehovah] is he - Saul.
     2 Sa  1:16 - I have slain the christ [χριστόν] of [Jehovah] - Saul.
     2 Sa 23:1  - [God raised up David] to be christ [χριστόν] of god - David.

     1 Ch 16:22 - touch not the christs [χριστων] of me.
     Psa 105:15 - touch not the christs [χριστων]of me. 
     Hab  3:13 - to save the christ [χριστόν] of you - the king of Israel (NAB, 1970).

     In order to see the importance of the article in distinguishing Christ (in the most high understanding of that word) from others called `christ' we must eliminate all constructions which are known to cause article ambiguity.  This includes prepositional constructions.  It also includes appositives (see DEF, note #6).  So when we exclude all examples which are appositives or prepositional, we end up with the following examples of all the accusative "christ"s  (χριστόν) used as direct objects which refer to Jesus found in all the writings of the Gospel writers:

     Mk  1:34  ANARTHROUS - christon before verb. (W and H text - see ASV f.n.)

     Lk  4:41 art. (Parallel account to Mk 1:34 above!)
     Lk 20:41 art. - christon before verb.
     Lk 23:2  ANARTHROUS - christon before verb.
     Lk 24:26 art.
     Lk 24:46 art.

     Ac  2:30 art. (TR, Received Text - see KJV)
     Ac  2:36  ANARTHROUS - christon before verb.
     Ac  3:20 art.
     Ac  5:42 art.
     Ac  8:5  art.
     Ac  9:20 art. (TR)
     Ac 17:3a. art. - christon before verb.
     Ac 18:5  art.
     Ac 18:28 art.

 No proper examples of accusative christon are found in Matt.; John; 1, 2, 3 John; or the Book of Revelation.

     So, out of 15 examples (including 2 from TR and 1 from W and H) only 5 come before the verb.  And ALL 3 of the anarthrous examples come before the verb (3 out of 5)!  This, when coupled with the similar findings for theon above, cannot be a coincidence.  "RDB's Rule" is confirmed.

                                               *   *   *   *   *

    All of John's Non-"prepositional" Uses of the Accusative "Son" (Huion or υἱὸν)

     John  3:16 art. - huion before verb
     John  3:17 art.
     John  3:35 art.
     John  5:20 art.
     John  5:23a art.
     John  5:23b art.
     John  6:40 art.

     1 John 2:22 art.
     1 John 2:23a art.
     1 John 2:23b art.
     1 John 4:14 art.
     1 John 5:12a art.

     2 John :9 art. - huion before verb

     Rev. 12:5  anarthrous - huion after verb = "a son"


  "Prepositional" huion constructions include John 3:36a(p); 4:47(g); 6:62(g); 8:28(g); 17:1(g); 19:7(g) - anarthrous, before verb; 1 John 4:9(g) - before verb; 4:10(g); 5:10(g); 5:12b(g); Revelation 1:13(g) - anarthrous; 14:14(g) - anarthrous.

     We can see from the above that, of all the 14 uses of a non-"prepositional" accusative "son" (huion) by John, only once (Rev. 12:5) did he not use the definite article.  And that single instance (like "a god" at John 10:33) is an INDEFINITE "a son" as shown in the following trinitarian translations: NIV, NASB, ASV, TEV, Mo, NEB, AT, RSV, LB, KJV, Phillips, etc.

     Yes, the only use of "son" in a construction comparable to the use of "a god" at John 10:33 is clearly "a son" and not "the Son."  All other uses of the accusative "son" (which are used for Jesus as a "one-of-a-kind" title) use the definite article.

                                                         *  *  *  *  *

      John's Non-"prepositional" Uses of the Accusative "Father" (Patera or πατέρα):

     John  5:18  anarthrous - patera before verb
     John  5:19 art.
     John  5:23a art.
     John  5:23b art.
     John  6:46a art. - patera before verb
     John  6:46b art.
     John  8:27 art. - patera before verb
     John  8:41  anarthrous - patera before verb
     John 10:15 art.
     John 14:8  art.
     John 14:9a art.
     John 14:9b art.
     John 14:16 art.
     John 14:31 art.
     John 15:16 art.
     John 16:3 art.
     John 16:26 art.

     1 John 2:13 art.
     1 John 2:22 art.
     1 John 2:23a art. - patera before verb
     1 John 2:23b art. - patera before verb

     2 John :9 art. - patera before verb


     "Prepositional" patera constructions include John 5:45 (p); 6:42(g); 6:57(p); 8:19a(g); 8:19b(g) - before verb; 8:49(g); 13:1(p); 14:6 (p); 14:7(g) - before verb; 14:12(p) - before verb; 14:28 (p); 15:23(g) - before verb; 15:24(g); 16:10 (p) - before verb; 16:17 (p); 16:28 (p); 20:17a(p); 20:17b(p and g); 20:17c(p and g) - anarthrous; 1 John 1:2 (p); 2:1 (p).

                                 (p) = object of a preposition
                                 (g) = genitive-modified

     All 22 of the non-"prepositional" accusative "father"s used by John in the exclusive one-of-a-kind sense of "the Father" have the definite article with them except for 2 which come before the verb.  (Jn 8:41, however, also has the numeral "one" used with it.)  So, once again, John always uses the article with definite, one-of-a-kind accusative nouns which are non-"prepositional" and after the verb.  And if it does not have the article in that construction, it is always indefinite: "a son," "a father," "a god" (as at Jn 10:33)!

                                              *     *     *     *     *

Although the preceding information supports the Watchtower Society's translation of John 10:33 and John 1:18, it is a result of my own research and conclusions.  If it should prove to be mistaken in any part, it is purely my own fault and not that of the WTS. - RDB.



1.    "A predicate noun (also called a predicate nominative) in the New Testament Greek which comes before the verb and which is without a definite article may be understood to have the definite article."

2.    This means that the accusative noun is not part of a prepositional phrase.  This includes having a genitive noun (which is automatically "prepositional":  `of God,' `of man,' etc.) attached.  So if "God" were the accusative noun, it would not be a proper example in such cases as: "God of us;"  "we gave it to God;" etc.


  1. Very interesting, though deep, study. I will have to take this home and chew on it a few days. I have a "anti-cultist" bombing me daily that John 1:18 disproves John 1:1c "a god". Simply put, how can I prove that false? Would it be safe to say that in the accusative Colwels rule, or something like it, holds true?

  2. Colwell's Rule was not intended to be iron-clad. It only applied in certain cases of "Colwell Constructions." If you examine it, you can easily see that those "certain cases" are IMPROPER examples (constructions in which article usage is ambiguous to start with - such as "prepositional" predicate nouns). - See the John 1:1c Primer.

    I call this rule 'RDB's Rule' since I have not seen it anywhere else and should be able to name it whatever I wish.

    Yes, the evidence provided shows that proper anarthrous examples (Non-‘prepositional’ and non-appositive uses of the accusative theon) as used by John may not use the article for God ONLY when used as direct objects that precede the verb.

  3. Hello. What do you think of this example where the noun that appears does not have a definite article and precedes the verb? Hebrews 5:5a, "Υἱός μου εἶ σύ, ἐγὼ σήμερον γεγέννηκά σε ·" [Here, the term Υἱός is translated as definite (i.e. capitalized) in most translations]. Hebrews 5:5a has the same structure as verses that you analyzed in your study, such as John 5:18 [verse that you showed in the appendix of πατὴρ]. Then, according to the own evidence that you show, Hebrews 5:5a must, like John 5:18, be translated as definite, even though it is in the nominative case; Because it meets the requirements that you put yourself so that a noun can be translated as such according to this "rule". If what I just said is true, it means that the conclusion of your study where this "RBD Rule" applies only to nouns in the accusative case, is not valid; since we see that Hebrews 5:5a containing an anarthro noun in the nominative case [which, incidentally, is not found in a prepositional construction] is also translated as definite in most biblical translations, fulfilling the requirements that they led you to say that verses like John 5:18 should be translated as definite. Regards.

  4. The ‘rule’ you are referring to concerns accusative nouns (like patera). You are asking about a nominative noun huios which is treated differently when it is an anarthrous predicate noun before its verb. And, yes, it is in a prepositional construction (which includes modifying genitives [mou in this case]).

    Primarily I am discussing John’s use of predicate nominatives and accusatives used as direct objects which come before their verbs. So, I would be much more concerned about you finding an error in John’s writings.

    1. Hello.

      Yes. You are right and it was my mistake. It was in a prepositional construction and I don't know why I didn't realize it.

      Another question, what do you think of the verse John 5:20? Here, there is a definite article but before the conjunction. So I don't know whether or not it counts as an anarthro noun. I put it below: "ὁ γὰρ πατὴρ φιλεῖ τὸν υἱὸν".

      The article is in the masculine gender and I don't know if it applies to the noun or not. More than anything for not directly preceding it but being before a conjunction as I have previously indicated.

      In the event that the noun is anarthro, would that noun be defined again by preceding the verb?


  5. Yes, the article applies to the subject noun. This makes the noun a definite subject, but not a predicate noun.

  6. Hi, what tool did you use to find all the cases where the accusative theon is non-prepositional?