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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Note (13.) to "DEFinite John 1:1c - DEF"

13.  A number of trinitarian apologists, and even some trinitarian NT grammar scholars of note, tell us that predicate nouns were intentionally not given definite articles (even when the predicate noun was meant to be definite) by the original inspired Bible writers so that they can be differentiated from the subject (which will have a definite article). This is partly true and largely false.

The part which is true is this: Yes, predicate nouns often do not have the definite article with them. This is true in English as well as in NT Greek. It is true, not by design, but because of the natural tendency to identify a thing or person as a member of a class or kind. In other words, when we identify something, most often we do so with a predicate noun that is indefinite simply because that is the normal method of identification! An indefinite noun usually indicates what class or kind an individual belongs to. It is much more frequent, for example, to say "the woman is a nurse," or "the cat is an animal" (identifying that particular person or thing as a member of a certain class or kind: from the specific to the general) than to say "a woman is the nurse" or "a nurse is the woman"! But nevertheless at times it is necessary to use a definite article with the predicate noun: "The man in the corner is the President." We have seen an important example of this at John 1:21.

The false part of the common trinitarian statement concerning this fact is that this natural use of the indefinite predicate noun was intended to distinguish the subject from the verb. The suggestion being, of course, that even if the predicate noun was meant to be definite, the NT writer was forced to eliminate the definite article with it to follow the "rule" that the subject takes the article and the predicate noun does not. This is simply false! And so easily discovered that one has to have serious doubts about the integrity of any "reputable" scholar who says such a thing.

Although John 1:21 is certainly the most significant evidence of the absolute falsity of such a statement, we can find many others, including John 6:14; 7:40; 10:9, 11; 11:25; 15:1; 15:5; 20:15; 1 John 2:22; 3:4; 5:6; Revelation 17:18. Examine any interlinear New Testament. For example Jesus at John 15:1 says in the literal Greek: "The Father of me the farmer is." Obviously John, at least, wasn't aware of any such "rule" and used the definite article with the predicate noun whenever he really wanted it understood as definite! - (Also see the SEPTGOD study paper.)

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