first sentence to/of the gospel of John

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G A Sindh

Banned
Sindhi - Pakistan
I am doing a course on Greek. The professor encouraged us by saying, "In the last lesson you already read the first sentence to the gospel of John in the original Greek."

Shouldn't it have been "first sentence of the gospel of John">
 
  • e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Welcome to the English forum, G A Sindh! :)

    The prepositions I would expect are of or in.

    The use of to is unusual and doubtful (although it might be used in speech).
     
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    G A Sindh

    Banned
    Sindhi - Pakistan
    Thanks! I listened to it several times. I'm very sure the professor said "to". I guess it must be because he's an American.
     

    Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    "To" would not be customary in AE, either. We might say "the preface to ____" or "the introduction to ____," but we would say "the first sentence of _____."
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    "In the last lesson you already read the first sentence to the gospel of John in the original Greek."
    The English is correct: "to the Gospel of John" is a use of the dative possessive - it is a relatively formal form of grammar.

    "...the first sentence to the gospel of John ..." can be understood as "... the first sentence that attaches/belongs to the gospel of John

    "The entrance to the castle is guarded." = "The entrance of the castle is guarded." = "The castle's entrance is guarded."
    "Have you got the box to this toy?" = "Have you got the box of/for this toy.
    "The secret to the trick is to deceive your audience." = "The secret of the trick..."
     
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