Deedat and the Greek Language

This request was sent to me via email:

Dear brother,

I am a christian and Jesus is my Lord and Saviour.

I want to ask you one thing about Ahmed Deedat, whether he has knowledge of greek language. I saw him writting something about the bible in greek but the thing he wrote, I couldn't find it in the bible. May be I can tell you what he wrote about.

He says the first occurrence of 'God' in john 1:1 in greek is 'hotheos' and the second occurrence of 'God' in john 1:1 in greek is 'tontheos', and he wanted to explain something about it. Do you know something about this, because I am doubtful about his knowledge of greek language.

Though this brother has been confused by Deedat's propaganda tricks, he was right in doubting Deedat's claims. Just glancing at it, it already I looked very wrong. I finally found the passage on a web site with the address And I also looked it up in my Greek New Testament.

Deedat is so wrong, that I am curious whether he would even be able to find the passage he talkes about should I ever have the opportunity to hand him a Greek New Testament. I doubt he can even read it, let alone translate it.

Anyway, the Greek text of John 1:1 is:

and the boldface words are the two mentionings of "theos" = "god" in the sentence.

The Greek phrase for "the god" is 'ho theos' [subject case], 'ho' = "the", 'theos' = "god",
'ton theon' is the accusative form [object case] of it.

Deedat's ignorance shows in several ways.

1) In 'ton theos' he mixes 'ton' (the accusative case of the article) with 'theos' (the nominative of the noun) which is an impossible construction in Greek.

2) The accusative case 'ton theon' is the FIRST mentioning of God in the verse [while he claims 'tontheos' to be the second], while 'theos' [without article but the nominative case] is the second mentioning of it.

3) Basically all serious scholars agree that the usual Bible translation "In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God." is the correct translation. And this opinion is shared by many "atheist" linguists and grammar specialists, who say "this is the right translation" though we don't believe that the content of the sentence is correct.

There are a few people [especially the Jehovah's Witnesses] whose theological presuppositions are that Jesus cannot be God, and therefore they do translate it differently [i.e. "and the word was divine" (still not what a Muslim really wants to hear) or "and the Word was a god" (New World Translation, published by the JWs)]. But this is linguistically bogus. If you need some literature that discusses it in detail, I can give you references.

Another article on the same topic including images of the Greek text.

Ahmed Deedat Rebuttal Page
Answering Islam Home Page