Greek, I'm afraid, is all about context! The opening words of St. John's Gospel, ("In the beginning was the Logos"), if taken out of context, could read "The General was in the body of the Army"! ozgeorge, tsk tsk. You are conflating logos (word) with lokhos (company of soldiers). Nothing to do with context, my friend. And to get General out of arkhin is also a stretch: the best you could do is arkhon (leader, nobleman). As Groucho Marx once said, in the famous Hungadunga spiel in Horsefeathers: "You better brush up on your Greek, Jameson. Well, get a Greek and brush up on him!"
Before I respond to this, I'm going to give you a chance to check up on your facts.
OK, time’s up!
I shall now show you that you are wrong.
The opening passage of the Gospel of St. John is:
“εν αρχη ην ο λογος”
and I stated that if you take this phrase out of it’s context, it could be translated as “the general was in the body of the army”, which you denied. This denial, I believe, is based on a rudimentary knowledge of Greek which I hope I can correct.
Firstly, you are mistaken if you think this alternate translation of the phrase is based on the word “αρχη” being translated as “General”. It is actually translated as “the body of troops
”. This is quite simple to prove as follows:
If you pick up the Septuagint and read 1Kings 13:17 the text reads:
“και εξηλθεν διαφθειρων εξ αγρου αλλοφυλων τρισιν αρχαις η αρχη
η μια επιβλεπουσα οδον γοφερα επι γην σωγαλ”
Note the bolded word in this passage: “αρχη”
The translation of 1Kings 13:17 is (again note the bold word ):
“and there came out of the camp of the Allophyles [Ed: "Phillistines" in the KJV] a raiding party in three companies; one company
closely observed the way of Gophera in the land of Sogal”.
Ok, so, “αρχη
” in this passage translates as “company
” as in “company of troops
Okie dokie, now let’s look at “λογος”.
“λογος” can mean “word of command”, for example, if we look at Exodus 34:28 in the Septuagint, we read:
“και ην εκει μωυσης εναντιον κυριου τεσσαρακοντα ημερας και τεσσαρακοντα νυκτας αρτον ουκ εφαγεν και υδωρ ουκ επιεν και εγραψεν τα ρηματα ταυτα επι των πλακων της διαθηκης τους δεκα λογους
Again, note the bold word.
The translation of Exodus 34:28 is (again note the bold word ):
“And Moses was there before the Lord for forty days and forty nights. He did not eat bread nor did he drink water, and he wrote these words (ρηματα) on the tablets of the Covenant, the Ten Commandments
So a “λογος
” (without the definite article "o") can be understood, in this context to be a “Command”.
As you might know often happens in Greek, titles are ascribed by personification, that is a person’s title is ascribed using a noun which describes their position or area of authority rather than their person. For example, the “treasurer” responsible for public accounts was once called “o δημόσιος λογος
” (Inscriptiones Creticae Septentrionalis Euxini
, ed B Latyshev, Petersburg, 2;29A). So, if “λογος
” can be understood to mean a “Command
”, then “ο λογος
” (with the definite article "o") can be understood as the personification
of the command (i.e., “the Commander
”). And indeed, the pre-Socratic Greek philosopher, Protagoras, is called “ο λογος
” by Plato in The Republic
, who credits him with having invented the role of the professional sophist or teacher of virtue.
So, if we take our original opening phrase from the Gospel of John out of it’s context: “εν αρχη
ην ο λογος” and if we apply the context
of an army, then “αρχη
” would mean “the body of the troops
” as it does in 1Kings 13:17 (LXX), and “ο λογος
” could be understood as “the commander general
”. Hence we would translate the phrase as “in the (midst) of the body of the troops was the General”.
So the next time you decide to insult the intelligence of others, I suggest you attain a more thorough knowledge of the Greek language first, lest you end up with egg on you own face.