Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ λόγος
This is the preposition εν but with a capital epsilon. Ἐν means “in”.
- The apostrophe (’) over the vowel is the smooth breathing mark.
- We know that every preposition must have an OP. In this case, it is the very next word.
- A first person verb has “I” or “we” for its subject.
- A second person verb has “you” for its subject.
- A third person verb has any other subject; e.g. he runs, Jeb runs, Peter preached, etc.
Because of this, the subject isn’t always present. It is implied. This verb is third person, so we will use “he”, “she”, or “it”.
This verb is translated into the English past tense. In Greek, its tense is the imperfect tense.
This is the article “the”. The mark above it is the rough breathing mark. It is nominative singular.
This is the subject of the verb ην. Just as in English, we always expect the subject to be nominative case. We know λογος is nominative in two ways:
- First, the article is nominative and the article must agree with its noun (see principle 7).
- Second, nouns always have an ending specific to their case. This is called a case ending. The sigma marks this noun as nominative singular masculine.
You can see from this that word order in Greek is not as important as it is in English. The period after this word means this is the end of the sentence.
καὶ ὁ λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν θεόν
και is a FANBOYS conjunction and is almost always translated “and”. The alpha and iota of και make up a dipthong.
See above for ο λογος ην…
προς is the preposition “with”. Every preposition must have an OP. Here, the OP is θεόν.
τον is the same as ο above (see article). In this case, however, you will not put “the” in your translation. The article functions differently in Greek than it does in English so we often leave it untranslated.
The article is spelled differently here because it must always be the same case as the noun it modifies (remember principle 7). Since it is modifying θεόν, it must agree with θεόν in gender, number, and case. τον is accusative, singular, masculine so θεόν must be accusative, singular, masculine.
This is the same word as θεος only here it is accusative case, not nominative. It agrees with its article.
καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος.
The words in this line are all familiar to you. But should this line be translated, “and God was the Word” or “and the Word was God”? Which of these nouns is the subject and which is the PN? The case of each of these nouns doesn’t help since both the subject and PN will be nominative case. When two nouns, both in the nominative case, occur with some form of ειμι (in this case ην) the subject is the articular noun. Hence, ο λογος is the subject and θεος is the PN.
οὗτος ἦν ἐν ἀρχῇ πρὸς τὸν θεόν.
The words in this line are all familiar except the first. ουτος is the demonstrative pronoun “this”. Since there is no noun for it to modify, you have to supply one based on the context. Since ουτος is masculine, we will supply a masculine noun “This Man…” cf. BBG 13.7
ουτος is also the subject of ην.