First of all, allow me to give context to my questions: a Jehovah's Witness couple has been coming to my house every Saturday for a Bible study. I'm simply intrigued by their beliefs and interested in religion, although I identify as an agnostic (I don't know whether a deity exists). I am almost certain, however, that the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society has a corrupt translation of the original scriptures. I've come across many verses in the New World Translation that just don't correspond with the original Scriptures, or at least the Nw Testament I have in Ancient and Koine Greek. Their views on a metaphorical Hell (they think that today's world must be Hell as it is ruled by Satan and the unrighteous are just "conscious of nothing" after they die), Christ's death on a torture stake (not a cross) or hanging from a tree, refusal to accept blood transfusions (even if it means death) et al. are also very good topics that Greek-speakers are at a great advantage of being able to scrutinise.
@ billberg23: I just feel that John 1:1 is key to revealing the deity, lordship, and godship of the Word, the Logos, our Saviour Jesus the Christ, that is to say, the existence of the Holy Trinity, which, admittedly, can be difficult to comprehend or explain. I feel that the Tetragrammaton should be used (I much prefer 'Yahweh' to 'Jehovah', though, and 'Yeshua' to 'Jesus') and that it refers not exclusively to the Father, but the Triune God. John introduces a seemingly impossible contradiction: that Christ (the Word) was both with God and was God, at the same time. This certainly would be impossible if Christ is not part of the Trinitarian Godhead. John also implies that Jesus is the Creator - "without him nothing was made that has been made" (NWT translates this as "All things came into existence through him, and apart from him not even one thing came into existence" (John 1:3). Also, Jesus Himself introduced the idea of the Trinity (Mat. 28:19-20): "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This irrefutably implies an order within the Trinity and that all three 'persons' or entities are united under one name.
I certainly think that the origins and hence meaning of πρός must be considered here, too, as it will help clarify exactly the pragmatics of "ὁ Λόγος". I'm not familiar with Aristotle's notion of God, although I've hard of theories suggesting that God was never intended to be a literal ruler, but rather that he whole Bible is metaphorical and speaks more here about the destiny of life. It's very interesting, and I do find the Religious Society of Friends, commonly known as Quakers to be very enthralling, particularly due to their rejection of creed and doctrine and individual experience of God, whoever or whatever that concept is, given that it is adequate for most Quakers, many of whom are agnostics and atheists, through their silent prayer. It appears to be an extremely happy, accepting, and beautiful faith I would easily fit into.
@ lpap: I will quote to you from the sheet Colin (the Jehovah's Witness I speak to) gave to me yesterday vis-à-vis the Greek original John 1:1:
These translations use such words as "a god", "divine", or "godlike" because the Greek word θεός is a singular predicate noun occurring before the verb and is not preceded by the definite article. This is an anarthrous θεός. The God with whom the Word, or Logos, was originally is designated here by the Greek expression ὁ Θεός, that is, θεός preceded by the definite article ὁ. This is an articular θεός. Careful translators recognise that the articular construction of the noun points to an identity, a personality, whereas a singular anarthrous predicate noun preceding the verb points to a quality about someone. Therefore, John's statement that the Word or Logos was "a god" or "divine" or "godlike" does not mean that he was the God with whom he was. It merely expresses a certain quality about the Word, or Logos, but it does not identify him as one and the same as God himself.
In the Greek text there are many cases of a singular anarthrous predicate noun preceding the verb, such as Mr. 6:49; 11:32, Joh. 4:19; 6:70; 8:44; 9:17; 10:1, 13, 33; 12:6. In these places translators insert the indefinite article "a" before the predicate noun in order to bring out the quality or characteristic of the subject. Since the indefinite article is inserted before the predicate noun in such texts, with equal justification the indefinite article "a" is inserted before the anarthrous θεός in the predicate of John 1:1 to make it read "a god". The Sacred Scriptures confirm the correctness of this rendering.
In his article "Qualitative Anarthrous Predicate Nouns: Mark 15:39 and John 1:1", published in Journal of Biblical Literature, Vol. 92, Philadelphia, 1973, p. 85, Philip B. Harner said that such clauses as the one in Joh. 1:1, "with an anarthrous predicate preceding the verb, are primarily qualitative in meaning. They indicate that the logos has the nature of theos. There is no basis for regarding the predicate theos as definite". On p. 87 of his article, Harner concluded: "In John 1:1 I think that the qualitative force of the predicate is so prominent that the noun cannot be regarded as definite."
Following is a list of instances in the gospels of Mark and John where various translators have rendered singular anarthrous predicate nouns occurring before the verb with an indefinite article to denote the indefinite and qualitative status of the subject nouns:
6:49 a spirit
11:32 a prophet
4:19 a prophet
6:70 a devil
8:44 a murderer
9:17 a prophet
10:1 a thief
10:13 a hired man
10:33 a man
12:6 a thief
What do you have to say about that?