"In the beginning was the word."
Translation:Am Anfang war das Wort.
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This is a quotation from the Bible, specifically in the New Testament, in the gospel of John chapter 1 verse 1 which reads "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (Recovery Version) In German it reads: "Im Anfang war das Wort, und das Wort war bei Gott, und das Wort war Gott" (Wiedererlangungs-Übersetzung). I really like the Recovery version because of the commentaries which say "The Word is the definition, explanation, and expression of God; hence, it is God defined, explained, and expressed (Footnote 2). "The Word is not separate from God. It is not that the Word is the Word and God is God, and that they are thus separate from each other. Rather, the two are one; hence, the next clause says that the Word was God".
Faust, Im Studierzimmer (aus Faust I ):
Geschrieben steht: Im Anfang war das Wort! Hier stock' ich schon! Wer hilft mir weiter fort? Ich kann das Wort so hoch unmöglich schätzen, Ich muss es anders übersetzen, Wenn ich vom Geiste recht erleuchtet bin. Geschrieben steht: Im Anfang war der Sinn. Bedenke wohl die erste Zeile, Dass deine Feder sich nicht übereile! Ist es der Sinn, der alles wirkt und schafft? Es sollte stehn: Im Anfang war die Kraft! Doch, auch indem ich dieses niederschreibe, Schon warnt mich was, dass ich dabei nicht bleibe. Mir hilft der Geist! Auf einmal seh' ich Rat Und schreibe getrost: Im Anfang war die Tat!
Faust, Faust Study
'Tis written: "In the beginning was the Word!" Here now I'm balked! Who'll put me in accord? It is impossible, the Word so high to prize, I must translate it otherwise If I am rightly by the Spirit taught. 'Tis written: In the beginning was the Thought! Consider well that line, the first you see, That your pen may not write too hastily! Is it then Thought that works, creative, hour by hour? Thus should it stand: In the beginning was the Power! Yet even while I write this word, I falter, For something warns me, this too I shall alter. The Spirit's helping me! I see now what I need And write assured: In the beginning was the Deed!
Technically "Am Anfang ist das Wort gewesen" is correct Perfekt.
But you would not saý so (even if not talking about what is written in the bible). Normally Perfekt is preferred in spoken language, Präteritum in written texts. Butr for auxiliaries and modal verbs Präteritum is preferred in spoken language, too. So it is rather "war" than "ist gewesen".
Not a native speaker, but I am not aware of a prefix "ant-" in German (unlike e.g. "ent-"), so perhaps it's best to treat the "wort" part as a mere coincidence with no implications for the grammatic gender.
Grammatic genders are typically quite random: try e.g. understanding why it is "der Apfel" but "die Apfelsine" (= die Orange), with the latter clearly originating from "Chinese apple".
Tracing back Wiktionary's etymology for "Antwort" and "Wort" shows that "Antwort" effectively actually is just "Wort" with a prefix attached; but it was an old prefix that has either disappeared from the language or evolved into new ones. The "ant-" part means "against" or "opposing," with the idea that an answer goes back the "opposite" way-- from the person who heard the question to the person who asked it.
As for the gender, that same Wiktionary page indicates that "Antwort" is feminine just by association with "die Frage," despite "Wort" being neuter. Essentially people used "Frage" and "Antwort" together so often that they just started using the same gender for both of them.
I thought the same, but it seems not to be directly derived from it.
"ant" is a middle Germanic prefix and often has the meaning "directed towards someone who is opposite", as in "Antlitz" ("face"), so it can mean both "towards" and "opposite".
Its modern form is "ent", which is a prefix to many words.
The similarity to Greek (not originally Latin) "anti" might be either a coincidence, or perhaps both have a common root.
Interesting, however, that the Germanic word "Ant-Wort" is "flattened" to "answer" in English, so that it is not possible any more to break it up in its parts.