Gospel of St. John 1:1-5 (Greek)

The lesson below belongs to the Classical Liberal Arts Academy’s Greek Reading I course. In this course, we study the Gospel of St. John in the New Testament. Students wishing to master the lesson below are to complete translation exercises daily from Greek into English and English into Greek, until every Greek word and its English meaning are memorized.

Return to the Study Center

Text

1 Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ λόγος, καὶ ὁ λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν θεόν, καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος. 2 οὗτος ἦν ἐν ἀρχῇ πρὸς τὸν θεόν. 3 πάντα δι’ αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο, καὶ χωρὶς αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο οὐδὲ ἕν ὃ γέγονεν 4 ἐν αὐτῷ ζωὴ ἦν, καὶ ἡ ζωὴ ἦν τὸ φῶς τῶν ἀνθρώπων. 5 καὶ τὸ φῶς ἐν τῇ σκοτίᾳ φαίνει, καὶ ἡ σκοτία αὐτὸ οὐ κατέλαβεν.1

Exposition

Use the following guide to study the meaning of each Greek word in context. 2

1 Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ λόγος, καὶ ὁ λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν θεόν, καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος.

  • ἐν = preposition (+dat.), “in” (in)
  • ἀρχῇ = substantive noun, “beginning” (principio)
  • ἦν = verb, “was” (erat)
  • ὁ = definite article, “the”
  • λόγος = substantive noun, “word” (verbum)
  • καὶ = conjunction, “and” (et)
  • πρὸς = preposition, “with” (apud)
  • τὸν = definite article, “the”
  • θεόν = substantive noun, “God” (Deum)
  • θεὸς = substantive noun, “God” (Deus)

2 οὗτος ἦν ἐν ἀρχῇ πρὸς τὸν θεόν.

  • οὗτος = pronoun, “this” (hoc)
  • ἦν = verb, “was” (erat)
  • ἐν = preposition, “in” (in)
  • ἀρχῇ = substantive noun, “beginning” (principio)
  • πρὸς (pros) = preposition, “with” (apud)
  • τὸν (ton) = definite article, “the”
  • θεόν (theon) = substantive noun, “God” (Deum)

3 πάντα δι’ αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο, καὶ χωρὶς αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο οὐδὲ ἕν ὃ γέγονεν

  • πάντα = adjective, “everything” (omnia)
  • δι’ (δια) = preposition, “through” (per)
  • αὐτοῦ = pronoun, “him” (ipsum)
  • ἐγένετο = verb, “is made” (facta sunt)
  • καὶ = conjunction, “and” (et)
  • χωρὶς = preposition, “without” (sine)
  • οὐδὲ = adverb, “not” ἕν = adjective, “one” (nihil)
  • ὃ = pronoun, “which” (quod)
  • γέγονεν = verb, “has been made” (factum est)

4 ἐν αὐτῷ ζωὴ ἦν, καὶ ἡ ζωὴ ἦν τὸ φῶς τῶν ἀνθρώπων.

  • ἐν = preposition, “in” (in)
  • αὐτῷ = pronoun, “him” (ipso)
  • ζωὴ = substantive noun, “life” (vita)
  • ἦν = verb, “was” (erat)
  • καὶ = conjunction, “and” (et)
  • ἡ = definite article, “the”
  • τὸ = definite article, “the”
  • φῶς = substantive noun, “light” (lux)
  • τῶν = definite article, “of the”
  • ἀνθρώπων = substantive noun, “of men” (hominum)

5 καὶ τὸ φῶς ἐν τῇ σκοτίᾳ φαίνει, καὶ ἡ σκοτία αὐτὸ οὐ κατέλαβεν.

  • καὶ = conjunction, “and” (et)
  • τὸ = definite article, “the”
  • φῶς = substantive noun, “light” (lux)
  • ἐν = preposition, “in” (in)
  • τῇ = definite article, “the”
  • σκοτίᾳ = substantive noun, “darkness” (tenebris)
  • φαίνει = verb, “shines” (lucet)
  • ἡ = definite article, “the”
  • σκοτία = substantive noun, “darkness” (tenebrae)
  • αὐτὸ = pronoun, “it” (eam)
  • οὐ = adverb, “not” (non)
  • κατέλαβεν = verb, “did comprehend” (comprehenderunt)

Translation

The following is a literal based on the expositions above.

In beginning was the word, and the word was with the God, and God was the word. This was in beginning with the God. Everything through him is made, and without him not one (thing) which has been made. In him life was, and the life was the light of the men. And the light in the darkness shines, and the darkness it not did comprehend.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Notes

  1. Novum Testamentum Graece (1993) Barbara and Kurt Aland, eds. Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft.
  2. Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, a greek-english lexicon. Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, Α α. (n.d.). Retrieved December 3, 2021, from http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0057.