composer, on Jul 11 2008, 05:03 AM, said:
French nouns have genders, and so are all referred to as he and she.
Can any French scholars here please help me verify that some French translations do indeed render ' the word ' as an ' it ' rather than a ' him '?
The two sentences there are contradictory. Yes, French only uses "le" and "la" (masc. and fem.) and it is at the translator's transgression that they translate "he", "she" or "it" in English. So the French actually doesn't distinguish.
There is however the problem that if the version did use "le Parole" it would just look and sound plain weird, even if it was theologically correct (which I don't believe it is) that this referred to a masculine object/person (i.e. Jesus).
I am also led to believe that certain German Translations also render ' the word ' as ' it ' and not ' him '?
Yes, that's correct. In German "the word" is always neuter (das Wort). Again, it would sound plain weird to say "der Wort". It just looks and sounds wrong. It is therefore easy to argue either case:
1) It refers to Jesus and the reason it's neuter ("it") is because if it was masculine it would read wrong.
2) It is neuter and therefore can't refer to Jesus.
I would point out, though, that in the Luther version of the German Bible (which is used widely, as the KJV is here), is continues not to say "he was with God" but it says "the Word was with God" (still "it").
In German the word for "it" is "es". However, you can refer to objects using "he" or "she". So for example, the word for "table" is "der Tisch", which is masculine. So you could say "This is my table. He is quite small" and no one would bat an eyelid.
This is probably the case in French, too, though I haven't done any French for 4 years.