|

Appendix 1: More on John 1:1

There are a total of four (4) occurences in the New Testament where the singular predicate, theos, precedes the verb and does not have the article.58 Let us look at each of these verses to see how the New World Translation has translated them.

1. Luke 20:38. "He is a God, not of the dead, but of the living" (NWT)

theos de ouk estin nekron

a God—not he is of the dead

or

He is not a God of the dead.

In this verse, we have theos appearing as a singular predicate before the verb, "is," and is not preceded by the article. "He" is implied and is the subject. "A God" is the predicate because it describes the subject. "He [subject] is [verb] a God [predicate]." Although indefinite [i.e., without the Greek article], the NWT rightly translates theos as "a God" with a big "G," meaning Jehovah.

  2. John 8:54. "It is my Father that glorifies me, he who you say is your God." (NWT)

theos hemon estin

God of you he is

or

He is your God.

Theos again is a singular predicate occurring before the verb, "is," and is not preceded by the article. "He [subject] is [verb] your [pronoun] God [predicate]." Yet, the NWT again correctly translates "God" with a big "G."

3. Philippians 2:13. "For God is the one that, for the sake of [his] good pleasure, is acting within you." (NWT)

theos gar estin ho energon  en hymin

God  for  is  the one working in you

or

For God is the one working in you.

Theos is a singular predicate occurring before the verb, "is," and is not preceded by the article. "The one working" has the article (ho) and is considered to be the subject. The predicate, "God," further describes who the subject is, "The one working [subject] in you [prepositional phrase] is [verb] God [predicate]." "God" appears first in the sentence for emphasis. Again, the NWT correctly renders "God" with a big "G."

4. John 1:1. "the Word was a god." (NWT)

theos en ho logos

God was the Word.

Theos is a singular predicate occurring before the verb, "was," and is not preceded by the article. "The Word [subject] was [verb] God [predicate]." The inconsistency of the New World Translation here is clear. Of the four occurrences in the New Testament where the Greek theos is a predicate occurring before the verb and is not preceded by the article, this is the only time the NWT has not translated it "God" with a capital "G." John uses the term, "God," to describe the Word. Deity is the certain character or quality described of the subject.59

In conclusion, when we conduct a study of the reason provided by the Watchtower Translation Committee of the New World Translation why John 1:1 should be translated, "the Word was a god," we find a gross inconsistency. We saw that there is a total of four (4) instances in the New Testament where predicate theos precedes the verb and does not have the article. In three of the four instances, the NWT has translated it "God" in conflict with their own rule.

This Web site is part of NAMB's major mission objective committed to sharing Christ. More>

Sharing Christ