En el Principio fue el Logos – εν αρχη ην ο λογος – Logos (=relación, ratio, proporción) y Razón (Áurea): ¿una y la misma cosa?

.

[ Entrada sugerida por Jasso at pneumaticka.wordpress.com . Thanks! ]

.

Juan 1:1 – Junto con Génesis 1:1, quizá y sólo quizá, el versículo más enigmático de toda la Biblia y al que más exégesis se la ha dedicado.

Aunque parezca mentira, este post tiene (MUCHO) que ver con éste otro: בְּרֵאשִׁית, בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים

.

בְּרֵאשִׁית, בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים   -> Bereshit (bara Elohim) -> En el Principio fue la letra B ->

en el Principio fue el 2 -> Phi comenzó en el doble cuadrado.

.

.

G3056

logos (λόγος G3056) palabra. Se traduce
«fama» en Luk_5:15; y 7.17. Véase
PALABRA, etc.

 

logos (λόγος G3056) palabra, cuenta, etc.
Se traduce «cosa» en Luk_1:4; Act_20:24; Jud_15  Véanse ASUNTO, CAUSA, CUENTA, DECIR, DERECHO,
DICHO, DISCURSO, FAMA, HABLAR, HECHO, MANDAMIENTO, MENSAJE, NOTICIA, PALABRA,
PLEITO, PREDICAR, PREGUNTA, PROPUESTA, RUDIMENTO, SENTENCIA, TRATADO, VERBO.

 

logos (λόγος G3056) palabra. Se traduce
«pregunta» en Mat_21:24; Mc 11.29; Luk_20:3, donde, lit., es, «os preguntaré yo
también una palabra». Véase PALABRA, Nº 1. Nota: Para eperotao, traducido,
«haré yo … una pregunta» en Mc 11.29, véase B, Nº 6. B. Verbos 1. anakrino (ἀνακρίνω
G350)
distinguir o separar a fin de investigar (krino) examinando
exhaustivamente (ana, intensivo) objetos o circunstancias. Significa examinar,
interrogar, mantener una sesión judicial preliminar anterior al juicio propio.
Este primer examen, que implica que ha de seguir más examen después, se halla
frecuentemente en la utilización no legal del término. Se traduce como «sin
preguntar» en 1Co_10:25,27, de no
cuestionar acerca de si una carne procede de un sacrificio idolátrico o no.
Véanse ACUSAR, DISCERNIR, ESCUDRIÑAR, EXAMINAR, INTERROGAR, JUZGAR.

 

logos (λόγος G3056) palabra, discurso,
mensaje, y por ello también aquello de lo que se habla, un tema, cosa, asunto.
Se traduce «asunto» en Act_8:21 y 15.6
en la RVR (RV: «negocio»). Véanse CAUSA, COSA, PALABRA etc.

 

logos (λόγος G3056) que se traduce
«palabra» en la mayor parte de las ocasiones, se traduce «discurso» en Act_10:44; 20.7. Véanse ASUNTO, CAUSA, COSA,
PALABRA, etc.

 

logos (λόγος G3056) palabra. Se traduce
«hablar», como sustantivo, en Mat_5:32  «sea vuestro hablar». Véase PALABRA.

 

logos (λόγος G3056) denota: (I) la
expresión del pensamiento; no el mero nombre de un objeto: (a) encarnando una
concepción o idea (p.ej., Luk_7:7; 1Co_14:9,19); (b) un dicho o afirmación: (1) de
Dios (p.ej., Joh_15:25; Rom_9:9, 28: «sentencia»; RV: «palabra»; Gl
5.14; Heb_4:12); (2) de Cristo (p.ej., Mat_24:35, plural; Joh_2:22;
4.41; 14.24, plural; 15.25). En relación con (1) y (2) la frase «la palabra del
Señor», esto es, la voluntad revelada de Dios (muy frecuente en el AT), se
utiliza de una revelación directa dada por Cristo (1Th_4:15);
del evangelio (Act_8:25; 13.49; 15.35,
36; 16.32; 19.10; 1Th_1:8; 2Th_3:1); en este respecto constituye el mensaje
procedente del Señor, entregado con su autoridad y hecho eficaz por su poder
(cf. Act_10:36); para otros casos
relacionados con el evangelio véase Act_13:26;
14.3; 15.7; 1Co_1:18; 2Co_2:17; 4.2; 5:19; 6.7; Gl 6.6; Eph_1:13; Phi_2:16;
Col_1:5; Heb_5:13;
en ocasiones se usa del conjunto de las declaraciones de Dios (p.ej., Mc 7.13; Joh_10:35; Rev_1:2,
9); (c) discurso, plática, dicho de instrucción, etc.(p.ej., Act_2:40; 1Co_2:13;
12.8; 2Co_1:18; 1Th_1:5; 2Th_2:15),
traduciéndose «palabra/s» en todos los anteriores pasajes; Heb_6:1  «rudimentos» (RV: «palabra»); doctrina (p.ej.,
Mat_13:20; Col_3:16;
1Ti_4:6; 2Ti_1:13;
Tit_1:9; 1 Joh_2:7
 «palabra/s»); (II) La palabra
personal, el Verbo, título aplicado al Hijo de Dios. Esta identificación queda
establecida por las afirmaciones de doctrina en Joh_1:1-18,
declarando en los vv. 1 y 2: (1) su personalidad distintiva y superfinita, (2)
su relación en el seno de la Deidad (pros, con, no meramente compañía, sino la
más íntima comunión), (3) su Deidad; en el v. 3 su poder creativo; en el v. 14
su encarnación («se hizo carne», lo que expresa un acto voluntario; RVR77, LBA,
NVI; no como en RV, RVR, VM: «fue hecho»), la realidad y totalidad de su
naturaleza humana, y su gloria «como del unigénito del Padre» (en el original
la carencia de artículo destaca la naturaleza y carácter de la relación; lit.,
«como de unigénito de padre»); su gloria fue la de la shekina en abierta
manifestación; en el v. 18 se consuma la identificación: «El unigénito Hijo,
que está en el seno del Padre, Él le ha dado a conocer», cumpliéndose así el
significado del título logos, el Verbo, la manifestación personal, no de una
parte de la naturaleza divina, sino de la Deidad plena (véase IMAGEN). Este
título es asimismo utilizado en 1 Joh_1  «el Verbo de vida», combinando las dos
declaraciones en Joh_1:1 y 4 y Rev_19:13; para 1 Joh_5:7,
véase TRES. Véanse también ASUNTO, CAUSA, COSA, CUENTA, DECIR, DERECHO, DICHO,
DISCURSO, FAMA, HABLAR, HECHO, MANDAMIENTO, MENSAJE, NOTICIA, PLATICA, PLEITO,
PREDICAR, PREGUNTA, PROPUESTA, RUDIMENTO, SENTENCIA, TRATADO, VERBO.

 

logos (λόγος G3056) véase PALABRA, Nº 1.
Se traduce «sermón» en Act_10:44 (RV;
RVR: «discurso»). Véase también DISCURSO, Nº 2, etc.

 

logos (λόγος G3056) palabra. Denota
tratado o narración escrita en Act_1:1:
Véase PALABRA, Nº 1.

 

logos (λόγος G3056) palabra. Se traduce
«sentencia» en Rom_9:28; 13.9. Véase
PALABRA, Nº 1.

 

logos (λόγος G3056) palabra. Se traduce
«noticia» (Act_11:22); esto es,
historia, narración. Véase PALABRA. NOTORIO (SER, VENIR A SER, HACER)

 

logos (λόγος G3056) palabra, etc., tiene
también el significado del mismo pensamiento interno, cuenta, consideración,
razón. Se traduce «razón» en Act_19:40,
de una reunión del pueblo; 1Pe_3:15, de
la razón de la esperanza que tiene el cristiano. En VM se traduce «razón» en Act_18:14, en la frase «sería de razón», kata
logon, lit. «según razón yo os toleraría», como lo traduce Besson; en RV, RVR,
RVR77: «conforme a derecho yo os toleraría». Cf. Mc 5.36 (VM). En Phi_4:15 (RV, RVR), se traduce «razón» en el
sentido de «asunto» (VM: «materia»). Véanse ASUNTO, CAUSA, COSA, CUENTA, DECIR,
DERECHO, DICHO, DISCURSO, FAMA, HABLAR, HECHO, MANDAMIENTO, MENSAJE, NOTICIA,
PALABRA, PLEITO, PREDICAR, PREGUNTA, PROPUESTA, RUDIMENTO, SENTENCIA, TRATADO,
VERBO.

 

logos (λόγος G3056) palabra pronunciada
con cualquier propósito. Denota, en un lugar, causa o razón asignada (Mat_5:32). Véanse ASUNTO, COSA, CUENTA, DECIR,
DERECHO, DICHO, DISCURSO, FAMA, HABLAR, HECHO, MANDAMIENTO, MENSAJE, NOTICIA,
PALABRA, PLEITO, PREDICAR, PREGUNTA, PROPUESTA, RUDIMENTO, SENTENCIA, TRATADO,
VERBO. Las siguientes frases son traducidas por una frase castellana que
contiene la palabra «causa». «Por Causa de» 1. jeneken toutou, lit., por
causa de esto, y, por ello, como razón para (Mat_5:10;
Mc 10.29); jeneka touton (Act_26:21);
jeneken tou (2Co_7:12, dos veces).

 

logos (λόγος G3056) palabra o dicho.
Significa también relato, y se traduce también como «cuenta», en los siguientes
pasajes: Mat_12:36; 25.19; Luk_16:2; Rom_14:12,
(RV: «razón»); Phi_4:17; Heb_4 13; 13.17; 1Pe_4:5:
Véanse ASUNTO, CAUSA, COSA, DECIR, DERECHO, DICHO, DISCURSO, FAMA, HABLAR,
HECHO, MANDAMIENTO, MENSAJE, NOTICIA, PALABRA, PLEITO, PREDICAR, PREGUNTA,
PROPUESTA, RUDIMENTO, SENTENCIA, TRATADO, VERBO. Notas: (1) El verbo ellogeo,
poner en la cuenta de una persona, se traduce en Flm 18 «ponlo en mi cuenta»;
se usa también de inculpar de pecado en Rom_5:13  «se inculpa». Véase INCULPAR.

(2) El verbo istemi, poner en pie,
estar en pie, poner, establecer, se traduce en Act_7:60
 «tomes en cuenta». Véanse
ESTAR EN PIE, PONER EN PIE. (3) El verbo sumpsefizo se traduce en Act_19:19  «hecha la cuenta».

(4) Epignosis, véanse CIENCIA,
CONOCIMIENTO, se traduce «tener en cuenta (a Dios)» en Rom_1:28: (5) Logizomai (véase A, Nº 6), se usa
propiamente: (a) de cálculo numérico (p.ej., Luk_22:37
 «fue contado»); (b)
metafóricamente, por una relación de características o de razones, tomar en
cuenta (Rom_2:26  «¿no será tenida?»), de contar la
incircuncisión como circuncisión en la estimación de Dios en contraste de la
estimación de los judíos con respecto a su propia condición (v. 3); en
4.3,5,6,9,11,22, 23,24, de contar la fe como justicia, o de imputar justicia a
personas; en el v. 4: «no se le cuenta el salario como gracia», se trata el
tema considerando el contraste entre gracia y deuda, lo cual involucra el
contar de una recompensa por unas obras; lo que se debe como deuda no puede ser
considerado como una gracia, pero la fe de Abraham y de sus hijos espirituales
los sitúa afuera de la categoría de aquellos que buscan ser justificados
mediante los propios esfuerzos, y, viceversa, estos últimos quedan excluidos de
la gracia de la justicia, que se otorga solo bajo la condición de la fe; así
también en Gl 3.6: «le fue contado» (RV: «le fue imputado»); ya que Abraham,
como todos los descendientes naturales de Adán, era pecador, estaba destituido
de justicia a los ojos de Dios; si, por ello, se había de rectificar su
relación con Dios, esto es, si había de ser justificado ante Dios, la
rectificación no podría ser conseguida por su parte mediante obras meritorias;
en Jam_2:23  «le fue contado», se considera este tema desde
una perspectiva diferente (véase bajo JUSTIFICACION, B, los cuatro últimos
párrafos); para otros casos de ser contados a este respecto, véase Rom_9:8  «son contados»; 2Co_5:19
 «no tomándoles en cuenta»
(RV: «no imputándoles»); (c) considerar, calcular (Rom_6:11
 «consideraos», RV: «pensad»;
8.36: «somos contados», RV: «somos estimados»; 2Co_10:11
 «tenga en cuenta», RV:
«piense»); (d) suponer, juzgar, considerar (Rom_2:3
 «piensas»; 3.28:
«concluimos»; 8.18: «tengo por cierto»; 2Co_11:5  «pienso»); véase A, Nº 6. (6) anangello, traer
palabra de vuelta, vino a tener en el griego tardío el mismo significado que
apangello, anunciar, declarar; se traduce «dando cuenta» en Act_19:18: Véanse ANUNCIAR, AVISO, DAR AVISO,
REFERIR.

 

logos (λόγος G3056) palabra. Se traduce
«reputación» en Col_2:23 (VM:
«apariencia»). Véase PALABRA. B. Verbos 1. dokeo (δοκέω
G1380)
significa: (a) ser de opinión (relacionado con doxa, opinión),
suponer (p.ej., Luk_12:51; 13.2; véase
PENSAR); (b) parecer, tener reputación; en Gl 2.2: «que tenían cierta
reputación» (RV: «que parecían»); en 2.6: «que tenían reputación» y «de
reputación» (RV: «que parecían», dos veces), y v. 9: «que eran considerados»
(RV: «que parecían»); en cada caso se utiliza el participio presente del verbo
con el artículo, lit. «bien considerados» por ellos, personas tenidas en
consideración; en el v. 6: «los que tenían reputación de ser algo» (RV: «que
parecían ser algo»); lo mismo en el v. 9, donde no hay ironía [cf. la
traducción «que son tenidos (RV: «que se ven») en Mc 10.42 (esto es,
gobernantes no meramente nominales)], Pablo reconoce que Jacobo, Cefas y Juan eran,
tal como eran tenidos por la iglesia en Jerusalén, sus conductores
responsables; (c) en sentido impersonal, creer, parecer bueno. Véanse CREER,
PARECER, y también CONSIDERAR, TENER POR. El primer significado, suponer,
implica una opinión subjetiva basada en la reflexión; el segundo significado,
ejemplificado en los pasajes en Gálatas, expresa, desde el punto de vista del
observador, su propio juicio acerca de un asunto (Trench, Synonyms,

LXX).

 

logos (λόγος G3056) palabra. Se emplea
como título del Hijo de Dios, traduciéndose «Verbo» (Joh_1:1, tres veces, 14; 1 Joh_1:1;
Rev_19:13); en TR también en 1 Joh_5:7, en el controvertido pasaje de «los
testigos celestiales». Véase PALABRA, Nº 1, etc. «Tanto jrema como logos se
traducen «palabra» y «palabras». Jrema es el dicho, lo que se expresa (ero,
eireka, «hablar»); es más individual que logos, siendo su relación con Él como
una parte a un todo. Logos incluye los pensamientos así como lo que se expresa.
Comparar el uso de los términos franceses mot y parole. »Estos dos términos han
sido distinguidos de la siguiente manera: logos es la palabra más profunda, más
plena e inclusiva; es la revelación de lo que está en Dios, en su naturaleza y
carácter su amor, sus caminos–en resumen, todo lo que Él comunica jrema es la
comunicación misma. Logos (de lego, «hablar») es aquello que es conocido en la
mente y conocido por expresarlo. No se puede pensar sin tener un pensamiento, y
logos se emplea para denotar aquello, y su expresión; es el tema y la forma del
pensamiento y de la expresión, así como la expresión de ello. Es una palabra
tan inclusiva que es muy difícil de abarcar. Jrema es la expresión
proposicional mediante la que se comunica el pensamiento. »Si esta distinción
se tiene en cuenta, se comprenderán mejor los siguientes pasajes. Para logos, Mat_13:19; Mc 14.39 (donde el original dice
«palabra», en singular, no «palabras»; cf. Mat_26:44);
Mc 7.13; 16.20; Luk_1:2; Act_4:31; 6.4; Rom_9:6;
Heb_4:12; 6.1; Jam_1:18; 1Pe_1:23:
Y se comprenderá lo característico que es el término logos de los escritos de
Juan: 1.1,14; 5.24, 38; 8.31, 37, 43; y en los vv. 51,52 y 55 (donde es lo
mismo, «palabra»); 10.35; 14.23, 24; 15.3, 20; 17.6, 14,17; 1 Joh_1:1: »Sin embargo, el apóstol también emplea
jrema: Joh_3:34; 6.63,68; 8.47;
12.47-48; 14.10; 17.8. Cf. también Mat_4:4;
Eph_6:17 (no el libro, meramente, sino
el texto); Mat_26:75; Luk_5:5; Rom_10:8,17;
Heb_1:3; 6.5; 11.3; 1Pe_1:25: Ello será suficiente para ilustrar el
empleo de la palabra, que tiene más el sentido de expresiones individuales, de
comunicaciones divinas. »Lalia (de lalero, «hablar, emitir un sonido») es, como
sustantivo, de empleo mucho más limitado, como también de significado, y de
hecho solo se halla en Mat_26:73; Mc
14.70; Joh_4:42 (cf. logos, v. 41); y
8.43. Pero el constante empleo del verbo para el hecho de la pronunciación del
lenguaje humano (Mat_9:33; Mc 14.17; Act_2:4; 18.9), y en expresiones como «habló,
diciendo» (cf. Mc 6.50; Heb_2:2) da una
suficiente definición de su sentido. Joh_8:43
yuxtapone logos y lalia de tal manera que se ilustran sus respectivos
significados: logos es el tema de aquellos discursos, la palabra misma; lalia
la forma y expresión externas que asume su palabra. Ellos no comprendían lo que
Él decía (lalia) porque no asimilaban su pensamiento (logos); como bien se ha
dicho: «En las cosas divinas uno no aprende las definiciones de las palabras y
después las cosas; se aprenden las cosas, y luego el significado de las
palabras es evidente»» (de New Concise Bible Dictionary: «Word, Words», pp.
857-858).

 

logos (λόγος G3056) palabra. Se traduce
en Act_10:36  «mensaje» (RV: «palabra»). Véase PALABRA, etc.

 

G3056

LOGOS3056

LA PALABRA DEL
MENSAJE CRISTIANO

Logos significa  palabra. El Cuarto Evangelio usa este
vocablo en sentido técnico cuando llama a Jesús
El verbo; pero antes de ocuparnos con este uso especial de  logos, necesitamos estudiar su
utilización ordinaria en el NT. Naturalmente, esta es una de las palabras
griegas más comunes, pero, aún así, cuanto más la estudiemos, más veremos la
riqueza que contiene su significado.

Ho logos, la palabra, llega a ser casi
sinónimo de  mensaje cristiano.
Marcos nos dice que Jesús predicaba la  palabra
a
las multitudes (Mr. 2:2). En la parábola del sembrador, la semilla
era  la palabra (Mr. 4:14). La
tarea de Pablo y de sus compañeros era predicar la palabra (Hch. 14:25). Muy a
menudo se le llama  palabra de Dios
(Lc. 5:1; 11:28; Jn. 10:35; Hch. 4:31; 6:7; 13:44; 1 Co. 14:36; He. 13:7). Algunas
veces, es  la palabra del Senior (1
Ts. 4:15; 2 Ts. 3:1). Y, una vez, es  la
palabra de cristo
(Col. 3:16). Ahora bien, en griego, el genitivo puede
ser  subjetivo u objetivo. Si
estos genitivos son  subjetivos
las frases significan: la palabra que Dios dio, la palabra que el Señor dio,
lapalabra que Cristo dio. Si son  objetivos,
significan: la palabra que dice de Dios, del Señor y de Cristo. Con toda
probabilidad, tanto los significados subjetivos como los objetivos están
implicados en estas frases, lo cual quiere decir que el mensaje cristiano,
el  logos, la palabra, es algo que
Dios;no es un descubrimiento del hombre, sino un don de Dios Y es algo que dice
de Dios, algo que el hombre no podía haber descubierto por sí mismo.

El hecho mismo de que  logos sea casi sinónimo de mensaje
cristiano, ya es significativo, pues, evidentemente, quiere decir que  este mensaje es hablado, y, por tanto,
no aprendido de un libro, sino transmitido de persona a persona. Papías, el
escritor cristiano del siglo Il, dice que aprendió más de vivir la palabra de
Dios y de perseverar en ella, que de cualquier libro. El mensaje cristiano
viene muchísimo más a menudo a través de la personalidad viva que a través de
las páginas escritas o impresas.

Esta
palabra, este  logos,
tiene ciertos oficios.

(I) La palabra  juzga (Jn. 12:48). Un viejo catecismo
pregunta qué sucederá a quien haga caso omiso de las verdades detalladas en él.
Su respuesta es: la condenación, y de las más grandes, por cuanto el lector ya
no puede alegar ignorancia. Saber de la verdad no es solamente un privilegio;
es, también, una responsabilidad que recae sobre nosotros.

(II) La palabra  purifica (Jn. 15:3; 1 Ti. 4:5).
Purifica, desenmascarando el mal e indicando el camino de hacer el bien. La
palabra corrige lo erróneo y exhorta a conducirse rectamente. Purifica en el
sentido de que procura desarraigar los viejos defectos e infundir aliento para
ir en pos de nuevas virtudes.

(Ill) A través de la palabra viene
la  creencia (Hch. 4:4). Ningún
hombre puede creer en el mensaje cristiano hasta que no lo haya oído *La
palabra es la que da a un hombre la oportunidad de creer; y, habiéndola oído,
tiene el deber de darla a conocer a otros para que también crean.

(IV) La palabra es  el agente del nuevo nacimiento (1 P.
1:23). Una cosa es cierta, como G. K. Chesterton dijo: “Sea un hombre lo
que sea, no es lo que debe ser” (según Dios). Tiene que ser cambiado tan
radicalmente, que ese cambio puede únicamente llamarse nuevo nacimiento, y la
palabra es el primer agente en esta tremenda operación recreadora.

El estudio de la palabra  logos llega a ser de primera necesidad
cuando conocemos lo que el NT dice sobre cuál ha de ser nuestra actitud para
con ella.

(I) El
logos debe ser  oído
(Mt. 13:20; Hch. 13:7, 44). El cristiano tiene impuesto el deber de escuchar.
Entre las múltiples voces del mundo, debe afinar el oído para distinguir lo que
es mensaje de Dios. El cristiano nunca se dará la oportunidad de conocer si,
previamente, no se da la de escuchar.

(II) El  logos debe ser  recibido (Lc. 8:13; Stg. 1:21; Hch.
8:14; 11:1; 17:11). Hay una forma de escuchar que es puramente superficial. 0
la corriente de palabras resbala sobre el oyente, por no hacerle efecto alguno,
o escucha y se desentiende del asunto por considerar que no le sirve para nada.
El mensaje cristiano no debe ser únicamente escuchado, sino también introducido
en el corazón y en la mente,  i.e.
incorporado.

(Ill) El  logos debe ser  afianzado (Lc. 8:13). Los griegos
decían que “el tiempo todo lo borra”. Una palabra puede ser oída,
aceptada y, más tarde o más temprano, borrada por el paso del tiempo. El
mensaje cristiano debe ser deliberadamente retenido. Ha de ocupar en la mente
un lugar privilegiado. Ha de pensarse en él, meditarse, para que nunca se
pierda.

(IV) El  logos es  para permanecer en él (Jn. 8:31). Cada
hombre tiene su propio círculo de pensamientos e ideas en que vive, se mueve y
tiene su razón de ser; en que descansa su vida y por el que dirige sus
actividades. El mensaje cristiano debe ser aquello en y por lo que un hombre
viva.

(V) El
logos debe ser  cumplido
(Jn. 8:51; 14:23; 1 Jn. 2:5; Ap. 3:8). El mensaje cristiano es más que materia
de conocimiento para la mente; es dirección para la vida. Se realiza en la
acción, no en la especulación. Demanda obediencia. No es meramente algo para
pensar; es una ética y una ley para ser acatadas.

(VI) El  logos debe ser  testificado (Hch. 8:25; Ap. 1:2). Es
algo de lo que toda la vida de un hombre es testigo. Un hombre solamente
demostrará que lo ha aceptado, viviéndolo. Sea cual fuere la sociedad de este
hombre y el lugar que ocupe en ella, toda su vida y su acción deben decir
del  logos: “Yo sé que es
verdadero, de lo cual doy fe”.

(VII) El  logos debe ser  servido (Hch. 6:4). El  logos impone deberes. No es algo que
un hombre acepta para sí, y nada más; es algo que ese hombre debe anhelar
llevar a otros. No es algo que únicamente trae salud a su alma, sino algo por
lo que debe estar dispuesto a consumir su vida.

(VIII) El  logos debe ser  anunciado. Dos palabras son
especialmente usadas al respecto. 2 Ti. 4:2 usa la palabra  kerussein, que es la utilizada con
referencia a un heraldo que está proclamando algo. En Hechos 15:36 y 17:13 se
emplea  kataggellein, que es la
palabra usada cuando se trata de una declaración oficial y autoritativa. La
proclamación debe ser hecha con autoridad y con certeza, porque, cuando
anunciamos el mensaje cristiano a otros, no partimos de: “Así digo
yo”, sino de “así dice el Señor”.

(IX) El  logos debe ser hablado  con denuedo (Hch. 4:29; Fil. 1:14).
Hace algún tiempo se publicó un libro con el sugestivo título de  No Más Apologías. Esto bien podría
significar que hemos estado demasiado ansiosos de enfrentarnos a medias con el
mundo, que hemos tratado demasiado de afinar el mensaje cristiano para los
oídos del mundo, que lo hemos aguado y mutilado a fin de hacerlo menos exigente
y, por tanto, más atractivo. Debería haber cierta inflexibilidad de calidad en
nuestra proclamación del  logos.

(X) El
logos debe ser  enseñado
(Hch. 18:11). El mensaje cristiano principia con la proclamación, pero debe
seguir con la explicación. Una de las más graves flaquezas de la iglesia es que
hay demasiadas personas que no saben lo que significa cristianismo ni lo que
éste cree ni lo que representa; y una de las mayores faltas de la predicación
es que, a menudo, exhorta a los hombres a ser cristianos sin enseñarles lo que
es el cristianismo. La enseñanza constituye una parte esencial del mensaje
cristiano.

(XI) El  logos debe ser  llevado a la práctica (Stg. 1:22). El
mensaje cristiano no es, exclusivamente, para la calma del estudio, para la
disección de la cátedra, para las acrobacias mentales del grupo de discusión.
Es para vivirlo cotidianamente.

(XII) El  logos puede ser causa de  persecución y sufrimiento (1 Ts. 1:6;
Ap. 1:9). No es probable que tengamos que morir por nuestra fe; pero tendremos
que vivir por ella, y pueden venir tiempos en que tengamos que escoger entre lo
fácil y lo recto.

Si nuestra relación con el  logos implica obligaciones, estará
inevitablemente expuesta a los fracasos.

(I) En el  logos puede  dejarse de creer (1 P. 2:8), porque el
oyente piense que es demasiado bueno para creerlo o porque, en su creencia fundada
en los deseos más que en los hechos, no quiere que sea cierto, ya que el  logos condena su vida y busca
cambiarla.

(II) El  logos puede ser tanto  arrebatado como  ahogado (Mt. 13:22;  cf.. Mr. 4:15). Las tentaciones, los
impulsos, las pasiones de la vida, pueden hacer a un hombre olvidar el mensaje
cristiano poco después de oírlo. Las actividades, los cuidados, afanes y
placeres del vivir pueden tomar tanto de la existencia de una persona, que el
mensaje cristiano se ahoga en ella porque no tiene dónde alentar.

(Ill) El  logos puede ser  falsificado y adulterado (2 Co. 2:17;
4:2). Siempre que un hombre comience a escucharse y, por tanto, a dejar de
escuchar a Dios, su versión del mensaje cristiano será distorsionada e
inadecuada. Siempre que olvide someter sus conceptos e ideas a la prueba de la
Palabra del Espíritu de Dios, producirá una versión del mensaje cristiano que
será suya, pero no de Dios. Si continúa obrando así, acabará por amar a su
pequeño sistema más que a la verdad de Dios.

(IV) El  logos puede ser  invalidado (Mr. 7:13). Es fatalmente
fácil desplazar el mensaje cristiano, obscurecerlo con interpretaciones
humanas, complicar su sencillez a base de condiciones, reservas y aclaraciones.
Siempre que consideremos el mensaje cristiano como algo con lo que tenemos que
efectuar un acuerdo, más bien que como algo a lo que nos tenemos que rendir,
corremos el riesgo de hacerlo ineficaz. Sin “sometimiento” al
mensaje, éste no puede hacer ni lograr su pleno efecto.

Cuando examinamos el contenido del mensaje
cristiano en el NT, empezamos a apreciar, como nunca, las riquezas de esta fe
que se nos ofrece. La palabra  logos
se emplea en el Nuevo Testamento por lo menos con siete genitivos diferentes,
los cuales expresan en qué consiste el mensaje. Veámoslos.

(I) El mensaje cristiano es  una palabra de buenas nuevas (Hch.
15:7). Nos trae tales noticias de Dios, que hacen al corazón cantar de gozo. El
día más grande de la vida de un hombre es aquel en que descubre el amor. El
mensaje cristiano conduce al hombre a descubrir nada menos que el amor de Dios.

(II) El mensaje cristiano es  una palabra de verdad (Jn. 17:7; Ef.
1:13; Stg. 1:8). Toda la vida es una búsqueda profunda de la verdad. “¿Qué
es la verdad?”, preguntó el burlón de Pilato, y no aguardó la respuesta.
Puede que sea así; pero la vida resultaría intolerable si no hubiera estrellas
fijas. El mensaje cristiano infunde seguridad al hombre.

(lll) El mensaje cristiano es  una palabra de vida (Fil. 2:16). El
mensaje cristiano capacita al hombre para dejar de existir y comenzar a vivir.
Le da Vida, con V mayúscula.

(IV) El mensaje cristiano es  una palabra de justicia (He. 5:13) que
dice al hombre dónde queda la bondad; le muestra lo que es misericordia; le da
nuevas normas de vida; lo capacita para enriquecerlas y le da poder para
cumplirlas.

(V) El mensaje cristiano es  una palabra de reconciliación (2 Co.
5:19). La misma esencia de esta declaración es que Dios no se considera nuestro
enemigo: es nuestro amigo. No se trata de que Dios necesitará reconciliarse con
nosotros; el NT nunca dice eso. Eramos nosotros quienes necesitábamos ser
reconciliados con Dios. La gran dádiva del mensaje cristiano es quitar la
enajenación del hombre respecto de Dios y hacer posible la más grande las
amistades.

(VI) El mensaje cristiano es  una palabra de salvación (Hch. 13:26)
Es la palabra de rescate. Rescata al hombre de los lazos del mal que lo
maniataban. Lo potencia para vencer las tentaciones y obrar rectamente y con
cordura. Lo libra del castigo que hubiera recaído sobre él si Dios le hubiese
tratado según justicia y razón, y no con amor. Lo eleva sobre el estado
mortecino en que se encuentra en esta vida, estado en que se hubiera encontrado
en la otra.

(VII) El mensaje cristiano es  la palabra de la cruz (1 Co. 1:18). Es
la historia de uno que murió por los hombres. Es la historia de un amor que no
se detuvo ante el sacrificio y que, por tanto, demuestra no haber nada que Dios
no arrostre, sufra o sacrifique por amor al hombre. El corazón del  logos cristiano es la cruz.

En el NT hay un uso técnico de la palabra  logos. Está en el prólogo del  cuarto Evangelio, y culmina en la gran
declaración: “La Palabra  (logos)
fue hecha carne, y habitó entre nosotros (Jn. 1:14). Esta es una de las
afirmaciones más trascendentales del NT, y tendremos que profundizar en ella si
queremos apoderarnos de algo de su significado.

(I) Debemos empezar recordando que, en
griego,  logos tiene dos
significados:  palabra y razón, y
ambos se entretejen juntamente.

(II) Comencemos por el trasfondo  judío de esta palabra. En el
pensamiento judío, una palabra no era simplemente un sonido articulado que
expresa una idea:  la palabra hacía
cosas.
La palabra de Dios no es un mero sonido, es  una causa eficiente. En el relato de la
creación,  la palabra de Dios crea.
Dios dijo: sea la luz;  y fue la luz
(Gn. 1:3). Por la palabra de Dios, fueron hechos los cielos … porque él dijo,
y fue hecho (Sal. 33:6, 9). Envió su  palabra,
y
los sanó (Sal. 107:20). La  palabra
de Dios hace lo que él quiere (Is. 55:11). Debemos recordar siempre que, en el
pensamiento judío, la  palabra de
Dios no sólo  decía, también  hacía.

(Ill) Hubo un tiempo en que los judíos
hablaban arameo porque habían olvidado su lengua hebrea. Por tanto, fue
necesario traducir las Escrituras al arameo. Estas traducciones se llaman
Targums. Ahora bien, como, en la simplicidad del AT, se atribuían a Dios
sentimientos, acciones, reacciones y pensamientos al estilo de los hombres, los
artífices de los Targums sintieron que todo esto aplicado al Altísimo seguía
siendo demasiado humano, y, entonces, comenzaron a usar una circunlocución para
expresar el nombre de Dios, es decir, no hablaban de Dios, sino de la  Palabra, la  memra de Dios, dando lugar a lo
siguiente: en Ex. 19:17, los Targums dicen que Moisés sacó del campamento al
pueblo para encontrarse con la  memra,
la  Palabra de Dios, en vez de con
Dios. En Dt. 9:3, la  palabra de
Dios, la  memra, es fuego
consumidor. En Is. 48:13 leemos: Mi mano fundó también la tierra y midió los
cielos. Y en los Targums se dice: Por mi
Palabra, mi  memra,
he fundado la tierra, y por mi fuerza he suspendido los cielos. El resultado
fue que las escrituras judías, en su forma popular, se llenaron de la
frase:  La Palabra, la  memra de Dios; y la palabra estaba
siempre  haciendo, no
meramente  diciendo.

(IV) Recordemos que  palabra y razón están entrelazadas. En
el pensamiento judío hay otra gran concepción: la de  Sabiduría (sophia). Esto es así
mayormente en Proverbios. Dios con  sabiduría
fundó la tierra (Pr. 3:13-20). El gran pasaje está en 8:1-9, donde la sabiduría
existe desde siempre; antes que la tierra lo fuera, la sabiduría estaba con
Dios. Esta idea se encuentra muy desarrollada en los libros escritos entre los
dos Testamentos. En Eclesiástico 1:1-10 se dice que la  Sabiduría fue concebida antes de todas
las cosas, y que está derramada sobre toda la creación. En la Sabiduría de
Salomón, la  Sabiduría lo hace
todo (9:12). La  Sabiduría fue el
instrumento de Dios en la creación y está entretejida con toda ella.

De este modo, en el pensamiento judío
tenemos dos grandes concepciones respaldando la idea de Jesús como la  Palabra, el  logos de Dios. Primera, la  Palabra de Dios no es únicamente  discurso: es poder. Segunda, resulta
imposible separar las ideas de  Palabra
y Sabiduría; y
la  Sabiduría
de Dios fue lo que creó y penetró el universo que él hizo. Al final del siglo
I, la iglesia tuvo que hacer frente a un serio problema de comunicación. La
iglesia se originó en el judaísmo, pero necesitaba presentar su mensaje a un
mundo griego, que las categorías del judaísmo le eran ajenas. Como Goodspeed
indica: “Un griego que quisiera ser cristiano estaba obligado a aceptar a
Cristo, el Mesías. Naturalmente, preguntaría qué significaba eso, y hubiese
habido que darle un cursillo de apocalíptica judía. ¿No había otra forma de
introducirle directamente en los valores de la civilización cristiana sin ser
siempre dirigido, podríamos incluso decir desviado, a través del

judaísmo? ¿Debía el cristianismo
utilizar siempre un vocabulario judío?” Alrededor del año 100 d. de J.C.,
hubo un hombre en Efeso, llamado Juan, que advirtió el problema. Este hombre
fue quizás la mente más grande de la iglesia cristiana; y, repentinamente, vio
la solución.  Tanto judíos como
griegos tenían la concepción del logos de Dios,
¿no podrían aunarse las dos
ideas? Veamos el trasfondo griego con que trabajó Juan.

(I) Por el año 560 a. de J.C., hubo un
filósofo griego, llamado Heráclito, que también vivió en Efeso. Este pensador
concebía el mundo como un  flujo.
Todo está cambiando continuamente; no hay nada estático en el mundo. Pero, si
todo cambia sin cesar, ¿por qué no es el mundo un completo y absoluto caos? Su
respuesta fue: “Todo sucede conforme al
logos”. En el mundo operan una razón y una mente; esa mente
es la de Dios, es el  logos de
Dios; y el  logos es el que hace
que el universo sea un cosmos ordenado, y no un confuso caos.

(II) Esta idea de una mente, una
razón, un  logos, gobernando el
mundo fascinaba a los griegos. Anaxágoras habló de la mente  (nous) que “todo lo gobierna”.
Platón decía que el  logos de Dios
era el que mantenía los planetas en sus órbitas y el que traía de vuelta las
estaciones y los años en sus tiempos determinados. Pero fueron los estoicos,
que estaban en su apogeo cuando el NT fue escrito, quienes amaron
apasionadamente esta concepción. Para ellos el
logos de Dios “vagaba -como Cleanto decía- por todas las
cosas”. El curso de los tiempos, de las estaciones, de las mareas, de las
estrellas, en fin, de todo, era ordenado por el
logos; el  logos fue
el que introdujo la razón en el mundo. Posteriormente, la propia mente del
hombre era una pequeña porción del  logos:
“La razón no es otra cosa que una partícula del espíritu divino inmersa en
el cuerpo humano”, dijo Séneca. El  logos
fue el que puso la razón en el universo y en el hombre; y este  logos era la mente de Dios.

(Ill) Esta concepción llegó a su
climax con Filón, un judío alejandrino que fusionó el método de pensamiento
hebreo con los conceptos griegos. Para Filón el
logos de Dios estaba “inscrito y grabado en la constitución
de todas las cosas”. El  logos
es “el guardián por medio del que el piloto del universo gobierna todas
las cosas”. “Los hombres se igualan en su capacidad de entender
al  logos”. “El  logos es el sumo sacerdote que pone las
almas ante Dios”. El  logos
es el puente entre el hombre y Dios.

Ahora podemos ver lo que Juan estaba
haciendo por medio de su importantísima y profunda declaración: “La  Palabra fue hecha carne”.

(I) Estaba vistiendo al cristianismo
con un ropaje que un griego podía interpretar. He aquí un desafío para
nosotros. El rehusó seguir expresando el cristianismo por medio de las
anticuadas categorías del judaísmo, y usó categorías que, en su tiempo, se
conocían y entendían. Una y otra vez la iglesia ha fracasado en esta tarea (de
expresar las mismas ideas con distintas categorías) por pereza mental, por
miedo a cortar las amarras del pasado, por huir de alguna posible herejía; pero
“el hombre que quiera descubrir un nuevo continente tiene que aceptar el riesgo
de navegar por un mar que no está en la carta”. Si, en cualquier tiempo,
hemos de hablar a las gentes del mensaje cristiano, debemos utilizar un
lenguaje que puedan entender. Esto es precisa mente lo que Juan hizo.

(II) El autor del Cuarto Evangelio
estaba dándonos una nueva cristología. Llamando a Jesús  logos, Juan declaraba que (a)
Jesús  es el poder creador de Dios
venido a los hombres. Jesús no sólo  habló
la palabra de  conocimiento:
El  es la palabra de  poder. Jesús no vino tanto para  decirnos cosas como para  hacer cosas por nosotros. (b)
Jesucristo es la mente de Dios encarnada. Podríamos bien traducir las palabras
de Juan: “La mente de Dios se hizo hombre”. Una palabra es siempre
“la expresión de un pensamiento”, y Jesús es la perfecta expresión del
pensamiento de Dios para los hombres.

Haremos bien en redescubrir y predicar
otra vez a Jesucristo como el  logos,
la  Palabra de Dios.

 

 

λόγοςlógos;
de G3004; algo dicho (incl. el pensamiento); por impl. tema
(sujeto del discurso), también razonamiento (facultad mental) o motivo;
por extens. cálculo; espec. (con el art. en Juan) la Expresión
Divina (i.e. Cristo):-noticia, palabra, plática, pleito, predicar,
pregunta, propuesta, razón, sentencia, tratado, verbo, arreglar, asunto, cosa,
cuenta, decir, derecho, dicho, discurso, doctrina, evangelio, exhortar, fama,
frase, hablar, hecho, mensaje.

 

John
1:1-18

(1-18) La Iglesia primitiva recurrió
frecuentemente a los himnos para celebrar, expresar y anunciar su fe. Nuestro
prólogo es un buen ejemplo de ello. En él nos es presentado el protagonista del
evangelio, destacando su origen eterno (vv. 1-5), su aparición como luz y vida
en nuestro mundo (vv. 9-13) y el aterrizaje definitivo en nuestra historia
haciéndose uno de nosotros (vv. 14-18). Nuestro evangelista utilizó este himno
primitivo para prologar su obra. Este nuevo destino le obligó a introducir en
él algunas modificaciones y ampliaciones. la insistencia en que la Palabra
proyectaba hablar al hombre antes de que este existiese (v. 2); la acentuación
del Bautista como testigo de Jesús, frente a las sobrevaloraciones que los
discípulos de Juan habían hecho de su persona (vv. 6-8.15); el modo concreto
como Dios llegó a nuestro mundo, superando intentos anteriores de acercamiento,
como el de Moisés, mediador de la ley, la cual no pudo conducir a la salvación
(vv. 14.16-18).

 

John
1:1-51

 

El Verbo
es Dios, vida y luz que alumbra a todo hombre. Por él fueron hechas todas las
cosas, y él se hizo Hombre. Testimonio que da de él el Bautista, diciendo que
no era digno de desatarle la correa de los zapatos, y confesándole por el
Cordero que quita los pecados del mundo. Por este y por otros testimonios que
da el Bautista, vienen a Cristo Andrés, Pedro, Felipe y Natanael.

 

1 a. El Verbo, esto es,
la palabra interior de Dios, su sabiduría, la imagen perfecta, que conociéndose
a sí, forma de sí mismo. Este Verbo era ante todos tiempos; estaba con Dios de
toda eternidad, como en su principio, siendo Dios él mismo, e igual en todo a
aquel de quien procede. Y así la palabra era denota la eternidad del Verbo. San
Agustín.

 

b. El Griego: prós tón
theón, y el Latino, apud Deum, unos lo interpretan, y el Verbo era en Dios;
otros, con Dios; otros, cerca de Dios. Y todas estas expresiones indican la
distinción de la persona del Verbo de la del Padre, así como la proposición el
Verbo era Dios, explica claramente la unidad de la esencia divina.

 

2 c. Este Verbo en el
principio era con Dios. En esta proposición resume San Juan las tres grandes verdades
del v. 1.

 

3 d. Dios creó todas las
cosas por su Verbo, que es su razón, su sabiduría, y el divino modelo y
prototipo, digámoslo así, sobre el que todas las criaturas fueron hechas. En
algunos códices se leía de este modo: Et sine ipso factum est nihil: quod
factum est in ipso, vita erat, etc.

 

4 e. Otros leen: Era
vida.

 

f. No solamente es el
principio de todas las criaturas, sino con particularidad es vida y luz de
nuestras almas. Toda la luz y sabiduría que hay en los hombres, no es más que
un rayo, y una participación de la sabiduría de Dios.

 

5 g. Esta luz eterna
resplandece en medio de los hombres abismados en las tinieblas del error y del
pecado. Primeramente los alumbra interiormente por la razón y la conciencia que
descubre a cada uno las obligaciones en que se halla. Se ve pintada, y se hace
como sensible en las criaturas, para que viendo los hombres las obras de la
sabiduría de Dios, se eleven al conocimiento del Creador. Mas los hombres
ciegos por sus pasiones, no perciben ni conocen esta luz; a la manera que un
ciego no ve la luz del sol, por más brillantes que envíe sus rayos hasta sus
ojos. Puede también entenderse esto de la oscuridad y figuras de la ley y de
los profetas, tocante a las promesas de la vida por Jesucristo, todo lo cual había
de ser disipado por la luz y resplandor del Evangelio.

 

6 h. La misión de Juan
fue autorizada con los milagros que sucedieron en su nacimiento, con su vida
admirable y con la santidad de su doctrina (Mt 3,1; Mc 1,2).

 

7 i. Para anunciar a los
hombres que había venido al mundo el que es resplandor de la gloria del Padre y
luz del mundo.

 

j. Por su predicación,
y por los testimonios que daba de él.

 

8 k. No era aquella luz
increada, eterna, inmensa, que habían anunciado los profetas, sino el testigo,
el predicador, el precursor de esta luz.

 

9 l. Era el Verbo la luz
verdadera.

 

m. Llama al Verbo luz
verdadera; porque lo es mucho más perfectamente para las almas, que la luz
corporal para los cuerpos.

 

10 n. El mundo: es una
antanaclasis, cuando se repite una misma palabra, pero en diversa
significación. El mundo en el primer lugar significa la universidad de todas
las cosas creadas, y en el último los hombres impíos e infieles.

 

o. Antes de su
Encarnación lo llenaba todo con su divinidad y omnipotencia, y encarnado estuvo
también presente en su humanidad; mas todo aquel grande número de hombres
corrompidos, que sólo procuraban satisfacer sus pasiones, insensibles e
ingratos a su Creador, no sacaron ningún fruto de la copiosa luz que les
comunicaba. Santo Tomás.

 

11 p. Vino por su
Encarnación al mundo, que era propia obra suya; vino a la casa de Israel,
llamada tantas veces en las Escrituras: Heredad de Dios, posesión de Dios,
pueblo de Dios; mas los judíos no le recibieron. Santo Tomás.

 

12 q. Y le reconocieron
por su Redentor y Salvador; les dio la prerrogativa y el derecho de ser hijos
de Dios, como hermanos de Jesucristo, y por consiguiente herederos de la eterna
felicidad; y esto no por una generación o parentesco carnal, sino por un
nacimiento todo espiritual, que viene del Espíritu de Dios, por el cual se
corrigen las malas inclinaciones, se disipan las tinieblas del alma, el corazón
se purifica y se enciende en vivas llamas de amor divino; no por la
circuncisión, ni por el sacrificio del cordero pascual, sino por virtud del
bautismo del verdadero Cordero sacrificado en la cruz.

 

13 r. Los patriarcas y el
resto de los judíos tomaban muchas mujeres con el fin de tener muchos hijos, y
de que por este medio se aumentase el pueblo de Israel, y el número de los
verdaderos adoradores del Señor.

 

s. Con el mismo fin
deseaban y procuraban que se hiciesen muchos prosélitos, para que llegando a
ser israelitas, fuesen adoptados por hijos de Dios. Pero es muy diferente lo
que enseña el Evangelio para adquirir semejante adopción y prohijamiento.

 

14 t. Se hizo hombre. El
Evangelista dice que se hizo carne, y no hombre: primeramente, para distinguir
más claramente las dos naturalezas en Jesucristo; en segundo lugar, para
mostrarnos la bondad y caridad inmensa de Dios, que se dignó tomar la porción
más vil y abatida que hay en el hombre; y últimamente, para proporcionar la
medicina a la cualidad de la enfermedad. Se vistió de nuestra carne para sanar
por este medio aquella porción del hombre que el pecado de Adán había viciado y
corrompido. Se hizo carne, no mudando su ser, ni convirtiendo el Verbo en
carne, sino tomando la naturaleza humana, y uniéndola con la divina; de tal
manera, que esta naturaleza humana subsiste en la persona del Verbo, de donde
resulta que es una sola la persona del Hombre Dios, permaneciendo entera y
perfecta la esencia y las propiedades de una y otra naturaleza. Santo Tomás.

 

u. Vivió y conversó
entre nosotros, como uno de nosotros.

 

v. Las señales y
efectos de su majestad divina en sus milagros, en su transfiguración, en su
poder, en su sabiduría y en su caridad infinita.

 

w. Como; esto es del
verdadero Unigénito del Padre, porque aquella partícula como es de confirmación
y de definición indubitable. San Juan Crisóstomo. O también puede interpretarse
digna o como corresponde al Unigénito de Dios.

 

x. Gloria, cual
convenía al Hijo unigénito del Padre, no caduca, ni terrena, sino gloria de
santidad, de justicia, de verdad, de gracia y de milagros.

 

y. Estas palabras se
deben referir a las precedentes: Y habitó en nosotros lleno de gracia, para
curarnos de nuestros pecados, y colmarnos de sus dones. Lleno de verdad, para
disipar nuestras tinieblas, instruyéndonos en su santa ley, e inspirándonos las
reglas puras de su Evangelio.

 

[1] El
verbo, palabra de Dios, preexistía en Dios desde toda la eternidad. El prólogo
encierra la idea central del Evangelio, Eternidad y divinidad de Cristo,
comopalabra de Dios.

John
1:1

 

 

Biblia Peshita
2006 Notas:

 

Arameo, Carozota d´Yojanan, que
se traduce el Mensaje o la Predicación de Juan.  La autoría de este relato del Evangelio se
atribuye al apóstol Juan.  Escrito en
Asia Menor (tal vez en Éfeso), a finales del siglo I, alrededor de 85 d.C.

 

[1] 1.1  Otra acepción, la Palabra.

 

[2] 1.1  Arameo, Alaha, vocablo utilizado
en arameo para referirse a Dios.
También se traduce la Deidad, la Suprema Deidad.

 

1 . 1 En el principio :
Alusión a Gen_1:1, para vincular a
Jesús, el Verbo, con el Dios de la creación. La encarnación de Jesús es, pues,
un acontecimiento de importancia universal. El Verbo es Jesucristo, la
suprema y eterna expresión de Dios. En el AT Dios aparece como creador del
mundo; en el NT Dios pronunció su palabra definitiva a través de la Palabra
viviente, su Hijo. La frase: «el Verbo era Dios», atribuye divinidad al Verbo,
sin definir toda la divinidad como «el Verbo».

 

[1]  1.1-18 El evangelio comienza con un
himno (1.1-18), llamado con frecuencia “prólogo”, de profundo
contenido teológico.

 

[2]  1.1 Jesucristo es llamado Verbo
(v. 1,14; cf. también 1 Jn 1.1; Ap 19.13), haciendo alusión a la palabra
creadora de Dios (Gn 1.1-26; Sal 33.6), a su palabra reveladora (Sal 33.4;
119.89), a su palabra salvadora (Sal 107.20) y a la sabiduría divina (Pr
8.22-31). Véanse Jn 8.58 n; 17.5 n. El término griego logos también ha
sido traducido por Palabra.

Dios Habla
Hoy 1996 Notes:

 

[1] 1.1 Jesucristo
es llamado Palabra (vv. 1,14; cf. también 1 Jn 1.1; Ap 19.13) en alusión
a la palabra creadora de Dios (Gn 1.1-26; Sal 33.6), a su palabra reveladora
(Sal 33.4; 119.89), a su palabra salvadora (Sal 107.20) y a la sabiduría divina
(Pr 8.22-31; Sab 8.6; 9.9).

 

John
1:1

 

 

En el principio. Esta expresión se
refiere al tiempo antes que el universo fuera creado por Dios, lo que indica
claramente la preexistencia del Verbo (cp. Gn 1:1).

 

el Verbo. Este término en
griego (lógos) es muy rico en significado (i.e., palabra, mensaje,
proclamación, declaración, mandato, asunto, etc.). En la época del N.T. el lógostenía
connotaciones muy especiales, tanto para los judíos como para los gentiles.
Para el judío (por medio de la Septuaginta y otros escritos en griego)
significaba la presencia poderosa y creativa de Dios (Sal 33:6; cp. Gn 1:3, 6,
9, 14, 20, 24; Is 55:11). El lector no judío pudo muy bien haber pensado del
término en un sentido filosófico, como una unidad coherente que llena y ordena
el universo. El apóstol Juan trasciende esta comprensión. En el evangelio le
confiere este título al Jesús histórico (1:14), y así le identifica como la
suprema revelación personal de Dios en la historia humana (cp. He 1:1–4).

 

el Verbo era Dios. El Lógos es igual
con el Padre en esencia y deidad. Con esta explícita declaración, Juan dice que
Jesús es Dios, un énfasis a lo largo del cuarto evangelio.

 

 

John 1:1

 

 

BLA Notes: 

 

[=] *Gn 1:1    *1Jn
1:1    *Ap 19:13    *Flp 2:6
*Col 1:16    *Heb 1:2    *Sap 9:1
*Pro 8:22

 

  [.] En el principio era
la Palabra. El verdadero principio no es la creación del universo. Este
comienzo del tiempo, del espacio, de la materia y de los seres vivos no explica
nada, sino que por el contrario requiere una explicación. El verdadero comienzo
está fuera del tiempo. Juan no dice que <en el principio era Dios>, pues
esto lo sabemos, sino que nos habla de la Palabra. El término que Juan emplea,
y que muchas veces es traducido por <el Verbo>, dice más que <la
Palabra> es a la vez el pensamiento y la palabra que expresa lo que uno
lleva en sí, y tal vez deberíamos traducir por <la Expresión> de
Dios.   Hablar de esta Palabra o
Expresión del Padre, es la misma cosa que hablar de su Hijo. En otros lugares
será llamado resplandor (Heb 1,1) e imagen (Col 1,15) del Padre. El Hijo no es
algo del Padre y tampoco es otro Dios, puesto que no tiene nada que sea suyo,
sino que todo lo que es el Padre también es suyo (Jn 16,15).   Juan nos dirá más abajo que nadie ha visto a
Dios jamás (18). El Padre, de quien procede la existencia de todos y por quien
todos llegaron a ser, no tiene por su parte origen alguno, y su propio
surgimiento no es conocido sino por él. Pero aquí Juan nos dice que para él
<ser> es al mismo tiempo decir lo que es, o sea expresarse y darse a sí
mismo. Dios dice lo que es en una Palabra única que en el sentido más estricto
es su <Hijo>; y mediante esta Palabra única, no creada, que lo expresa
plenamente, crea un universo que es otra manera de decir lo que está en Dios.   Pero no con esto queda satisfecho todavía el
deseo de Dios de darse a sí mismo. Como ya lo anunciaban algunos textos del
Antiguo Testamento (Pro 8,22 y Sab 7,22), Dios ha entrado en la historia humana
mediante su Palabra. Esta es la que proferían todos los portadores de la Palabra,
tanto los profetas de la Biblia como los de las otras religiones. La Palabra
presente en el universo (4) era luz para todos los hombres, incluso para los
que no conocían a Dios. Ella se hacía la conciencia de los <justos> de
todas las razas y todos los tiempos. Más todavía, esta Palabra o Hijo del Padre
vino un día para darnos la última palabra a través de su propia existencia,
haciéndose uno más entre nosotros.   Lo
que fue hecho tenía vida en ella (4). Es característico de la vida
desarrollarse, a partir de sus propios recursos, hasta llegar a la madurez.
Este desarrollo se notará a lo largo de la historia la Palabra se hace presente
entre los hombres como un lenguaje de Dios que se va desarrollando, dándoles
luz y vida.   Sea que estudiemos la
historia de nuestra raza desde sus orígenes o leamos el Antiguo Testamento,
vemos cómo el lenguaje de Dios ha tomado forma entre los hombres. Nunca dejó de
ser lenguaje de hombres, pero habitado por el Espíritu de Dios, de tal manera
que también era palabra de Dios, en especial en el pueblo de Israel. Ahora
bien, nos dice Juan, vamos a encontrar esta palabra viva en Aquel que es el
Hijo hecho hombre, Jesús. Pero tal vez nos va a desconcertar, pues el Hijo
tiene su propio misterio es realmente Dios, tal como lo es el Padre, pero
habiéndolo recibido todo, está en una actitud de ofrenda, y su vida entre los
hombres nos mostrará cómo él se vacía de sí mismo hasta que el Padre lo exalte
y lo vuelva a glorificar.   Vino un
hombre, enviado por Dios (6). En las estrofas 6-8 y 15, Juan, el autor del
evangelio, nos habla de Juan Bautista, el precursor de Jesús. <La
Palabra> siguió fiel a sí misma, hasta en la persona de Jesús. No vino con
aparato, sino que se hizo presentar por una palabra que venía de ella, pero que
quedaba humana, la de Juan Bautista. Era fácil ignorar este testimonio, y, de
hecho, vino a su propia casa que era el pueblo de Israel, y los suyos no lo
recibieron.   Y la Palabra se hizo carne
(14). Juan usa la palabra carne para subrayar el rebajamiento de Dios que, a
pesar de ser espíritu, se hizo criatura con cuerpo mortal. Juan dice se hizo y
no <tomó la apariencia de hombre>. Porque el Hijo de Dios se hizo hombre
verdadero.   Puso su tienda entre
nosotros. Con esto alude a la tienda sagrada que servía de santuario a los
hebreos en el desierto allí estaba Dios presente al lado de ellos (Ex 33,7-11).
En realidad, el Hijo de Dios hecho hombre, Jesús, es el verdadero Templo de
Dios entre los hombres (Jn 2,21), templo tan humilde y aparentemente frágil
como era la tienda del desierto; sin embargo, en él está la plenitud de Dios.
Los apóstoles vieron su gloria en ciertos momentos de su vida mortal (Jn 2,11 y
Lc 9,32). Y mejor todavía la vieron en su pasión y resurrección.   ¿Cómo el Verbo vino a salvarnos? Para Juan no
se trata tanto de que Jesús nos saque del abismo del pecado; lo importante es
que nos permite alcanzar una situación totalmente inesperada y fuera de nuestro
alcance nos dio capacidad para ser hijos de Dios. Somos hechos hijos de Dios
junto a El cuando creemos en su Nombre o sea, en su personalidad divina.   En El todo era don amoroso y Verdad. La
Biblia nos dice que el amor (o el favor) y la fidelidad son las dos cualidades
principales de Dios (Ex 34,6-7). Estas palabras vienen como un refrán a lo
largo del salmo 89. Juan, pues, quiere decir que ha reconocido en Jesús la
plenitud de la divinidad (Col 2,9).   Por
medio de Moisés hemos recibido la Ley. La historia bíblica, al recordar los
pecados de Israel, anunciaba el tiempo en que ya no sería necesaria una Ley
grabada en piedras o en libros (Jer 31,31). Algún día Dios cambiaría el corazón
pecador (Ez 36,26) para que empezaran relaciones de amor y fidelidad mutua
entre él y los hombres (Os 2,21-22). Juan afirma que nos llegó por medio de
Jesucristo ese tiempo del amor y la fidelidad, o sea, de la religión perfecta
(Jn 4,24).

 

[o] EL VERBO ¿ES DIOS O
NO?     Y El Verbo era Dios. Esa
afirmación ha sido discutida no sólo porque exige un mínimo de reflexión, sino
sobre todo porque hiere ciertos prejuicios doctrinales. Tal es el caso de los
Testigos de Jehová quienes no dudan en traducir: “la Palabra era un
dios”. Y para justificar tal traducción se apoyan en el texto de Jn
10,34-36: la palabra griega Theos, dicen, puede significar tanto un dios como
Dios, y cuando se trata de Dios, siempre aparece el artículo en griego: O
Theos, el Dios. Pero aquí no hay ningún artículo, por lo tanto se trata de un
dios.     La realidad es muy diferente.
Cuando se trata, no de un sujeto sino de un atributo, como es el caso aquí con:
era Dios, el griego bíblico pone el artículo si Dios es considerado como una
persona, pero no lo pone si Dios significa la naturaleza divina. Ciertamente
aquel que es Dios (o las personas que son Dios) constituyen una sola cosa con
la naturaleza divina, pero no es la misma cosa la persona que la naturaleza.
Luego, no se usa el artículo si se dice lo que es Dios, y se usa si designa al
que es Dios.     Tenemos un ejemplo de
ello en el libro de los Reyes. En 1R 8,60 Salomón declara: “Así todos los
pueblos de la tierra sabrán que Yavé es Dios y que no hay otro fuera de
él”. Y Dios está sin artículo: sólo Yavé es Ser divino. En cambio en 1R
18,21 Elías dice al pueblo: “Si Yavé es Dios, síganlo, si es Baal,
síganlo”. Y Dios está con artículo porque la elección es entre dos
personas. Lo mismo en Dt 32,39 y Jos 2,11 se ven dos ejemplos de Dios sin
artículo, y cada vez es para decir que Yavé es un Ser todopoderoso y
soberano.     Si pasamos al Nuevo
Testamento, encontramos un nuevo dato. Recordamos en el comentario de Jn 20,11
que desde los días de la Resurrección y de Pentecostés, la fe cristiana había
adquirido la certeza de que Jesús era Hijo de Dios en el sentido más firme del
término. Muy pronto habían comenzado a jugar con las palabras Dios y Señor para
designar al Padre y al Hijo sin que este último fuera privado de su rango
divino. Y es fácil ver cómo Pablo los nombra siempre juntos: para él Dios es el
Padre, y, de acuerdo a lo que hemos dicho sobre el uso del artículo en griego,
Pablo escribe siempre: el Dios, porque es la persona del Padre.     En esas condiciones, si Juan quería decir
que el Verbo era de naturaleza divina, es decir, que compartía la naturaleza
divina de Dios-Padre, pero sin ser la misma persona que el Padre, no podía sino
expresarse tal como lo hizo: el Verbo era Dios, sin artículo. E inmediatamente
después dice: “Estaba desde el comienzo junto a Dios”: y aquí aparece
el Dios, con artículo, porque dice que el Verbo estaba cerca de la persona de
Dios-Padre.     Es verdad que desde los
inicios de la Iglesia, tanto para los judíos como para los griegos la fé
cristiana en Jesús Hijo de Dios, nacido de Dios, y que comparte el misterio
divino del Padre, era un desafío a la razón filosófica y a las religiones que
se habían enseñado, y lo mismo sigue siendo todavía para los Testigos de
Jehová. Pues traducir: el Verbo (o la Palabra) era un dios, es absolutamente un
absurdo, ya que si quisieran ser consecuentes con su argumento, debieran
traducir igualmente en 16,27: Salí de un dios. Porque allí tampoco hay
artículo.

 

John
1:1-5

 

Vv.
1-5.
La
razón más simple del por qué se llama Verbo al Hijo de Dios, parece ser, que
como nuestras palabras explican nuestras ideas a los demás, así fue enviado el
Hijo de Dios para revelar el pensamiento de Su Padre al mundo.

Lo que dice el evangelista acerca de
Cristo prueba que Él es Dios. Afirma su existencia en el comienzo; su
coexistencia con el Padre. El Verbo estaba con Dios. Todas las cosas fueron
hechas por Él, y no como instrumento. Sin Él nada de lo que ha sido hecho fue
hecho, desde el ángel más elevado hasta el gusano más bajo. Esto muestra cuán
bien calificado estaba para la obra de nuestra redención y salvación. La luz de
la razón, y la vida de los sentidos, deriva de Él, y depende de Él. Este Verbo
eterno, esta Luz verdadera resplandece, pero las tinieblas no la comprendieron.
Oremos sin cesar que nuestros ojos sean abiertos para contemplar esta Luz, para
que andemos en ella; y así seamos hechos sabios para salvación por fe en
Jesucristo.

 

 

 

CAPITULO
1

 

Vers. 1-14. EL VERBO HECHO
CARNE.

<![if !supportLists]>1.  <![endif]>En
el principio
—de todo el tiempo y la existencia creada,
porque este Verbo le dió ser (vv. 3, 10); por lo tanto, “antes que el mundo
fuese” (cap. 17:5, 24), o desde la eternidad. era el Verboel
que es a Dios lo que la palabra del hombre es al hombre mismo, la manifestación
o expresión de sí mismo a los que están fuera de él.
(Véase la nota acerca
del v. 18). Sobre el origen de este título el más elevado y ahora para
siempre consagrado, de Cristo, éste no es el lugar para hablar. Ocurre sólo en
las obras de este escritor seráfico. era con Dios—teniendo existencia personal
consciente distinta de Dios
(como uno es de, o desde, la persona, él es
“con”), mas inseparable de él y asociado con él (v. 18; cap. 17:5; 1Jo_1:2, donde “EL PADRE” se usa en el mismo
sentido como “Dios” aquí). era Dios—en sustancia y esencia Dios; o
poseía divinidad esencial y propia. Así cada una de estas afirmaciones ricas es
el complemento de la otra, corrigiendo cualquier falso concepto que pudieran ocasionar
las otras. ¿Fué eterno el Verbo? No era la eternidad “del Padre”,
sino la de una existencia personal consciente distinta de él y asociada con
él.
¿Era el Verbo así “con Dios”? No era lo distinto y el compañerismo de otro
ser,
como si hubiera más Dioses que uno, sino de Uno quien era Dios
mismo,
en tal sentido que la unidad absoluta de la Divinidad, el
gran principio de toda religión, solamente es transferida de la región de
abstracción vaga a la región de la vida y amor esenciales. Pero ¿por qué toda
esta definición? No para darnos alguna información abstracta acerca de
ciertas distinciones misteriosas en la Divinidad, sino sólo para hacer saber al
lector quién era aquel que en la plenitud del tiempo “fué hecho carne”. Después
de cada versículo, pues, debe decir para sí el lector: “Era el que es descripto
así y así, quien fué hecho carne.”

 

 

 

 

 

G3056

 

λόγος

lógos; gen. lógou, masc. noun
from légō (G3004), to
speak intelligently. Intelligence, word as the expression of that intelligence,
discourse, saying, thing.

(I) Word, both the act of speaking and the thing spoken.

(A) Word, as uttered by the living voice, a speaking,
speech, utterance (Mat_8:8; Luk_7:7; Luk_23:9;
1Co_14:9; Heb_12:19);
a saying, discourse, conversation (Mat_12:37;
Mat_15:12; Mat_19:22;
Mat_22:15; Mat_26:1;
Joh_4:29; Act_5:24).
Metonymically, the power of speech, delivery, oratory, eloquence (1Co_12:8; 2Co_11:6;
Eph_6:19). To speak a word against
someone (Mat_12:32); to someone (Luk_12:10). The Word of God, meaning His
omnipotent voice, decree (2Pe_3:5, 2Pe_3:7; Sept.: Psa_32:6
[cf. Gen_1:3; Psa_148:5]).

(B) An emphatic word, meaning a saying, declaration,
sentiment uttered. (1) Generally (Mat_10:14;
Luk_4:22; Luk_20:20;
Joh_6:60; Sept.: Pro_4:4, Pro_4:20).
In reference to words or declarations, e.g., which precede (Mat_7:24, Mat_7:26;
Mat_15:12; Mat_19:22;
Mar_7:29; Joh_2:22;
Joh_4:50; Joh_6:60;
Joh_7:40; Joh_10:19;
Act_5:24; Tit_3:8;
Rev_19:9); which follow (Joh_12:38; Act_20:35;
Rom_9:9; Rom_13:9;
1Co_15:54; 1Ti_3:1;
Sept.: 1Ki_2:4). Followed by the gen.
of thing (Heb_7:28); the word,
declaration of a prophet, meaning prediction, prophecy (Luk_3:4; Joh_12:38;
Act_15:15; 2Pe_1:19;
Rev_1:3). With the meaning of a
proverb, maxim (Joh_4:37). (2)
In reference to religion, religious duties, with the meaning of doctrine,
precept (Act_15:24; Act_18:15; Tit_1:9;
Heb_2:2); words of faith (1Ti_4:6); word of men (1Th_2:13; 2Ti_2:17);
of a teacher (Joh_15:20); especially of
God, the Word of God, meaning divine revelation and declaration, oracle (Joh_5:38; Joh_10:35);
as announcing good, divine promise (Joh_5:24;
Rom_9:6; Heb_4:2;
Sept.: Psa_50:6), or evil (Rom_3:4 from Psa_51:4;
Rom_9:28 from Isa_10:22-23; Heb_4:12).
In relation to duties, precept (Mar_7:13;
Mar_8:55; Sept.: Exo_35:1). Of the divine declarations, precepts,
oracles, relating to the instructions of men in religion, the Word of God,
i.e., the divine doctrines and precepts of the gospel, the gospel itself (Luk_5:1; Joh_17:6;
Act_4:29, Act_4:31;
Act_8:14; 1Co_14:36;
2Co_4:2; Col_1:25;
1Th_2:13; Tit_1:3;
Heb_13:7). With “of God”
implied (Mar_16:20; Luk_1:2; Act_10:44;
Php_1:14; 2Ti_4:2;
Jas_1:21; 1Pe_2:8;
Rev_12:11); the word of truth (2Co_6:7; Eph_1:13;
2Ti_2:15; Jas_1:18);
the word of life (Php_2:16); the word
of salvation (Act_13:26); the word of
the kingdom (Mat_13:19); with the
kingdom implied (Mat_13:20; Mar_4:14); the word of the gospel (Act_15:7); the word of the cross (1Co_1:18); the word of His grace (Act_14:3; Act_20:32).
In the same sense of Christ, the word of Christ (Joh_5:24;
Joh_14:23-24; Col_3:16); the word of the Lord (Act_8:25).

(C) Word or words, meaning talk, discourse, speech, the
act of holding forth. (1) Particularly: (a) Mat_22:15, “that they may entrap him in
word” (a.t.); Luk_9:28; Act_14:12, the one leading in the word; 2Co_10:10; with en (G1722), in, meaning in word or discourse (1Ti_4:12; Jas_3:2);
in flattering words (1Th_2:5); with diá
(G1223), through, by, meaning by
discourse or orally (Act_15:27; 2Th_2:2, 2Th_2:15).
In agreement lógos and érgon (G2041),
work, meaning word and deed (2Co_10:11;
Col_3:17). Lógos and dúnamis
(G1411), power (1Co_4:19-20; 1Th_1:5).
In Heb_5:11, “of whom we have much
to say” (a.t.). With the gen. in 1Ti_4:5,
“through the word of God and supplication” (a.t.). (b) Of
teachers, meaning discourse, teaching, preaching, instruction (Mat_7:28; Mat_26:1;
Luk_4:32, Luk_4:36;
Joh_4:41; Act_2:41;
Act_13:15; Act_20:7;
1Co_1:17; 1Co_2:1,
1Co_2:4; 1Ti_5:17;
1Pe_3:1). (c) Of those who
relate something as a narration, story (Joh_4:39;
Act_2:22). Metonymically for history,
treatise, meaning a book of narration (Act_1:1).
(d) In the sense of conversation (Luk_24:17);
answer, reply (Mat_5:37). (2)
Metonymically for the subject of discourse, meaning topic, matter, thing. (a)
Generally (Mat_19:11; Luk_1:4; Act_8:21;
Sept.: 2Sa_3:13; 2Sa_11:18). (b) Specifically a matter of
dispute, discussion, question, e.g., judicial (Act_19:38);
moral (Mat_21:24).

(D) Word, meaning talk, rumor, report (Mat_28:15; Mar_1:45;
Joh_21:23). Followed by perí (G4012), about, with the gen. (Luk_5:15; Luk_7:17;
Act_11:22; Sept.: 1Ki_10:6). Mere talk, pretense, show (Col_2:23).

(II) Reason, the reasoning faculty as
that power of the soul which is the basis of speech, rationality.

(A) A reason, ground, cause (Mat_5:32;
Act_10:29; Sept.: 2Sa_13:22). With katá (G2596) meaning with reason, reasonable, for good
cause (Act_18:14). In the sense of
argument (Act_2:40).

(B) Reason as demanded or assigned, meaning reckoning,
account. (1) Used in an absolute sense (Heb_13:17;
1Pe_4:5). (2) With sunaírō
(G4868), to reckon, compute together,
meaning to take up account with someone, reckon with (Mat_18:23; Mat_25:19);
with apodídōmi (G591), to
give over, meaning to render an account of a business management (Luk_16:2). (3) Metaphorically with dídōmi
(G1325), to give, or apodídōmi,
meaning to give an account, the relation and reasons of any transaction,
explanation (Act_19:40). With aitéō
(G154), to ask, beg, meaning to ask for
a reason from someone (1Pe_3:15). In Heb_4:13, “with whom we have to do” or
we have to render an account. (4) With poiéō (G4160), to make, do, to make account of, i.e.,
to regard, care for (Act_20:24),
meaning I take into account none of these things, I am not moved by them. (5)
Followed by perí (G4012),
concerning someone or something (Mat_12:36;
Rom_14:12).

(III) The word Lógos in Joh_1:1, Joh_1:14;
1Jn_1:1; and Rev_9:13 stands for the preincarnate Christ, the spiritual,
divine nature spoken of in the Jewish writings before and about the time of Christ,
under various names, e.g., Son of Man (Dan_7:13).

(IV) As to the distinction between lógos
and laliá (G2981), speech:

Joh_8:43 is a
problematic passage in which we have both words, laliá and lógos,
used by our Lord. He was debating with the Pharisees. They were listening to
what He had to say, but they were not capable of understanding because they did
not want to understand. The Lord said to them, “Why do ye not understand
my speech [lalián]?” In other words, What I am saying to you seems
to have no meaning whatsoever. And why did it have no meaning? The reason is
explained in the balance of the paragraph, “Even because ye cannot hear my
word [lógon],” or better still, “Because you cannot understand
and obey [akoúō {G191}] my
lógon,” (a.t.) or speech, with its intended meaning. What the Lord
really meant is that those who will not give room in their hearts to His truth
will not understand His speech or utterance, the outward form of His language
which His Word (lógos) assumes. Those who are of God hear God’s words (rhḗmata,
pl. of rhḗma [G4487],
Joh_3:34; Joh_8:47).
The word rhḗma here is equivalent to lógos. Joh_3:34 says that Jesus Christ, being sent of
God, speaks exactly God’s utterances which those who are of God understand and
which those who are not of God do not understand because they do not accept
them as the utterance of God.

In Joh_1:1, Jesus Christ in His
preincarnate state is called ho Lógos, the Word, presenting Him as the
Second Person of the Godhead who is the eternal expression of the divine
intelligence and the disclosure of the divine essence. This self-revealing
characteristic of God was directed toward, and utterly achieved for mankind in
the incarnation (Joh_1:14, Joh_1:18).

Deriv.: álogos (G249), irrational, without intelligence; analogía
(G356), analogy; analogízomai (G357), to contemplate, consider; apologéomai
(G626), to answer back, respond; battologéō
(G945), to use vain repetitions; ellogéō
(G1677), to account, reckon in; eulogéō
(G2127), to speak well of, bless; logízomai
(G3049), to reckon, impute; logikós
(G3050), reasonable; lógios (G3052), fluent, orator, intelligent person; polulogía
(G4180), much speaking.

Syn.: phēmí (G5346),
to speak in a prophetic sense; propheteía (G4394),
prophecy, something spoken ahead of its occurrence or spoken forth; homilía
(G3657), homily, communication, speech;
laliá (G2981), speech, not
necessarily the result of reasoning, but speaking as contrasted with silence or
communication of a message received; rhḗma (G4487), utterance, sayings in particular as
contrasted with sayings in their totality; stóma (G4750), mouth, that which is uttered by the
mouth; eperṓtēma (G1906),
an inquiry, answer; suzḗtēsis (G4803), mutual questioning, phthóggos (G5353), sound of the mouth revealing one’s
identity; phḗmē (G5345),
fame, report, that which is being said about someone; phōnḗ
(G5456), voice; aggelía (G31), message, announcement. With the meaning of
reason, excuse: aitía (G156),
reason, cause; aphormḗ (G874),
occasion. With the meaning of reason, intelligence: súnesis (G4907), understanding; sōphrosúnē
(G4997), soundness of mind.

 

 

G3056

 

λόγος

logos

log’-os

From G3004;
something said (including the thought); by implication a topic
(subject of discourse), also reasoning (the mental faculty) or motive;
by extension a computation; specifically (with the article in John) the
Divine Expression (that is, Christ): – account, cause,
communication, X concerning, doctrine, fame, X have to do, intent, matter,
mouth, preaching, question, reason, + reckon, remove, say (-ing), shew, X
speaker, speech, talk, thing, + none of these things move me, tidings,
treatise, utterance, word, work.

Total KJV
occurrences: 330

 

 

G3056

λόγος

logos

Thayer Definition:

1) of speech

1a) a word, uttered by a living
voice, embodies a conception or idea

1b) what someone has said

1b1) a word

1b2) the sayings of God

1b3) decree, mandate or order

1b4) of the moral precepts given
by God

1b5) Old Testament prophecy given
by the prophets

1b6) what is declared, a thought,
declaration, aphorism, a weighty saying, a dictum, a maxim

1c) discourse

1c1) the act of speaking, speech

1c2) the faculty of speech, skill
and practice in speaking

1c3) a kind or style of speaking

1c4) a continuous speaking
discourse – instruction

1d) doctrine, teaching

1e) anything reported in speech;
a narration, narrative

1f) matter under discussion,
thing spoken of, affair, a matter in dispute, case, suit at law

1g) the thing spoken of or talked
about; event, deed

2) its use as respect to the MIND
alone

2a) reason, the mental faculty of
thinking, meditating, reasoning, calculating

2b) account, i.e. regard,
consideration

2c) account, i.e. reckoning,
score

2d) account, i.e. answer or
explanation in reference to judgment

2e) relation, i.e. with whom as
judge we stand in relation

2e1) reason would

2f) reason, cause, ground

3) In John, denotes the essential
Word of God, Jesus Christ, the personal wisdom and power in union with God, his
minister in creation and government of the universe, the cause of all the
world’s life both physical and ethical, which for the procurement of man’s
salvation put on human nature in the person of Jesus the Messiah, the second
person in the Godhead, and shone forth conspicuously from His words and deeds.

Part of Speech: noun masculine

A Related Word by Thayer’s/Strong’s Number: from G3004

Citing in TDNT: 4:69, 505

 

==============================================================================


In the beginning was the λόγος
(John 1:1)

The word λόγος (logos) in the prologue of John’s Gospel is a word with a very interesting history in ancient theological writings. It is translated ‘Word’ in English versions, but this translation does not express everything that the term would have suggested to ancient readers.

For the benefit of students, on this page I have reproduced discussions of the term λόγος by four New Testament scholars: Marvin Vincent, Frederic Godet, Hugh Mackintosh, and John Campbell. Vincent, whose explanation I think will be found most helpful, briefly explains what the word meant in the context of theological discourse in the milieu of Hellenistic Judaism (especially after Philo), and he argues that John “used the term Logos with an intent to facilitate the passage from the current theories of his time to the pure gospel which he proclaimed.” Godet and Mackintosh are largely in agreement with Vincent, and Campbell also agrees, though he evidently does not share the others’ high view of Scripture. After these excerpts I add Wilhelm Nestle’s more general discussion of the philosophy of Philo from his revision of Zeller’s Outlines of the History of Greek Philosophy.

My own opinion is that the contemporary Hellenistic understanding of logos in theological contexts (esp. in Philo) should not be discounted by those who wish to understand John’s meaning. The contrasts between Philo and John, which the scholars here want to emphasize, should not obscure the fact that John is using a word which was already full of meaning for Jewish readers in his day. When he asserts that the logos became flesh he is indeed saying something that was never dreamt of by Philo or the Greek philosophers; but in all other respects it is their logos — the cosmic Mediator between God and the world, who is the personification of God’s Truth and Wisdom — that John is referring to when he asserts that Christ is its incarnation.

M.D.M.

Vincent’s discussion of λόγος

The following remarks on the word λόγος in John 1:1 are from Marvin R. Vincent, Word Studies in the New Testament, vol. 2 (New York: Scribners, 1887), pp. 25-33.

This expression is the keynote and theme of the entire gospel. Λόγος is from the root λεγ, appearing in λεγω, the primitive meaning of which is to lay: then, to pick out, gather, pick up: hence to gather or put words together, and so, to speak. Hence λόγος is, first of all, a collecting or collection both of things in the mind, and of words by which they are expressed. It therefore signifies both the outward form by which the inward thought is expressed, and the inward thought itself, the Latin oratio and ratio: compare the Italian ragionare, “to think” and “to speak.”

As signifying the outward form it is never used in the merely grammatical sense, as simply the name of a thing or act (επος, ονομα, ρημα), but means a word as the thing referred to: the material, not the formal part: a word as embodying a conception or idea. See, for instance, Matthew 22:46; 1 Corinthians 14:9, 19. Hence it signifies a saying, of God, or of man (Matthew 19:21, 22; Mark 5:35, 36): a decree, a precept (Romans 9:28; Mark 7:13). The ten commandments are called in the Septuagint, οἱ δέκα λόγοι, “the ten words” (Exodus 34:28), and hence the familiar term decalogue. It is further used of discourse: either of the act of speaking (Acts 14:12), of skill and practice in speaking (Ephesians 6:19), or of continuous speaking (Luke 4:32, 36). Also of doctrine (Acts 18:15; 2 Timothy 4:15), specifically the doctrine of salvation through Christ (Matthew 13:20-23; Philippians 1:14); of narrative, both the relation and the thing related (Acts 1:1; John 21:23; Mark 1:45); of matter under discussion, an affair, a case in law (Acts 15:6; 19:38).

As signifying the inward thought, it denotes the faculty of thinking and reasoning (Hebrews 4:12); regard or consideration (Acts 20:24); reckoning, account (Philippians 4:15, 17; Hebrews 4:13); cause or reason (Acts 10:29).

John uses the word in a peculiar sense, here, and in ver. 14; and, in this sense, in these two passages only. The nearest approach to it is in Revelation 19:13, where the conqueror is called the Word of God; and it is recalled in the phrases Word of Life, and the Life was manifested (1 John 1:1, 2). Compare Hebrews 4:12. It was a familiar and current theological term when John wrote, and therefore he uses it without explanation.

OLD TESTAMENT USAGE OF THE TERM

The word here points directly to Genesis 1, where the act of creation is effected by God speaking (compare Psalms 33:6). The idea of God, who is in his own nature hidden, revealing himself in creation, is the root of the Logos-idea, in contrast with all materialistic or pantheistic conceptions of creation. This idea develops itself in the Old Testament on three lines:

(1) The Word, as embodying the divine will, is personified in Hebrew poetry. Consequently divine attributes are predicated of it as being the continuous revelation of God in law and prophecy (Psalms 3:4; Isaiah 40:8; Psalms 119:105). The Word is a healer in Psalms. 107:20; a messenger in Psalms 147:15; the agent of the divine decrees in Isaiah 55:11.

(2) The personified wisdom (Job 28:12 sq.; Proverbs 8, 9.). Here also is the idea of the revelation of that which is hidden. For wisdom is concealed from man: “he knoweth not the price thereof, neither is it found in the land of the living. The depth saith, It is not in me; and the sea saith, It is not with me. It cannot be gotten for gold, neither shall silver be weighed for the price thereof. It is hid from the eyes of all living, and kept close from the fowls of the air” (Job 28.). Even Death, which unlocks so many secrets, and the underworld, know it only as a rumor (ver. 22). It is only God who knows its way and its place (ver. 23). He made the world, made the winds and the waters, made a decree for the rain and a way for the lightning of the thunder (vv. 25, 26). He who possessed wisdom in the beginning of his way, before His works of old, before the earth with its depths and springs and mountains, with whom was wisdom as one brought up With Him (Proverbs 8:26-31), declared it. “It became, as it were, objective, so that He beheld it” (Job 28:27) and embodied it in His creative work. This personification, therefore, is based on the thought that wisdom is not shut up at rest in God, but is active and manifest in the world. “She standeth in the top of high places, by the way in the places of the paths. She crieth at the gates, at the entry of the city, at the coming in at the doors” (Proverbs 8:2, 3). She builds a palace and prepares a banquet, and issues a general invitation to the simple and to him that wanteth understanding (Proverbs 9:1-6). It is viewed as the one guide to salvation, comprehending all revelations of God, and as an attribute embracing and combining all His other attributes.

(3) The Angel of Jehovah. The messenger of God who serves as His agent in the world of sense, and is sometimes distinguished from Jehovah and sometimes identical with him (Genesis 16:7-13; 32:24-28; Hosea 12:4, 5; Exodus 23:20, 21; Malachi 3:l).

APOCRYPHAL USAGE

In the Apocryphal writings this mediative element is more distinctly apprehended, but with a tendency to pantheism. In the Wisdom of Solomon (at least 100 B.C.), where wisdom seems to be viewed as another name for the whole divine nature, while nowhere connected with the Messiah, it is described as a being of light, proceeding essentially from God; a true image of God, co-occupant of the divine throne; a real and independent principle, revealing God in the world and mediating between it and Him, after having created it as his organ — in association with a spirit which is called μονογενες, only begotten (7:22). “She is the breath of the power of God, and a pure influence flowing from the glory of the Almighty; therefore can no defiled thing fall into her. For she is the brightness of the everlasting light, the unspotted mirror of the power of God, and the image of his goodness” (see chapter 7, throughout). Again: “Wisdom reacheth from one end to another mightily, and sweetly doth she order all things. In that she is conversant with God, she magnifieth her nobility: yea, the Lord of all things Himself loved her. For she is privy to the mysteries of the knowledge of God, and a lover of His works. Moreover, by the means of her I shall obtain immortality, and leave behind me an everlasting memorial to them that come after me” (chapter 9.). In chapter 16:12, it is said, “Thy word, O Lord, healeth all things” (compare Psalms 107:20); and in chapter 18:15, 16, “Thine almighty word leaped from heaven out of thy royal throne, as a fierce man of war into the midst of a land of destruction, and brought thine unfeigned commandment as a sharp sword, and, standing up, filled all things with death; and it touched the heaven, but it stood upon the earth.” See also Wisdom of Sirach, chapters 1, 24, and Baruch 3, 4:1-4.

LATER JEWISH USAGE

After the Babylonish captivity the Jewish doctors combined into one view the theophanies, prophetic revelations and manifestations of Jehovah generally, and united them in one single conception, that of a permanent agent of Jehovah in the sensible world, whom they designated by the name Memra (word, λόγος) of Jehovah. The learned Jews introduced the idea into the Targums, or Aramæan paraphrases of the Old Testament, which were publicly read in the synagogues, substituting the name the word of Jehovah for that of Jehovah, each time that God manifested himself. Thus in Genesis 39:91, they paraphrase, “The Memra was with Joseph in prison.” In Psalms 110 Jehovah addresses the first verse to the Memra. The Memra is the angel that destroyed the first-born of Egypt, and it was the Memra that led the Israelites in the cloudy pillar.

USAGE IN THE JUDAEO-ALEXANDRINE PHILOSOPHY

From the time of Ptolemy I (323-285 B.C.), there were Jews in great numbers in Egypt. Philo (A.D. 50) estimates them at a million in his time. Alexandria was their headquarters. They had their own senate and magistrates, and possessed the same privileges as the Greeks. The Septuagint translation of the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek (B.C. 280-150) was the beginning of a literary movement among them, the key-note of which was the reconciliation of Western culture and Judaism, the establishment of a connection between the Old Testament faith and the Greek philosophy. Hence they interpreted the facts of sacred history allegorically, and made them symbols of certain speculative principles, alleging that the Greek philosophers had borrowed their wisdom from Moses. Aristobulus (about 150 B.C.) asserted the existence of a previous and much older translation of the law, and dedicated to Ptolemy VI an allegorical exposition of the Pentateuch, in which he tried to show that the doctrines of the Peripatetic or Aristotelian school were derived from the Old Testament. Most of the schools of Greek philosophy were represented among the Alexandrian Jews, but the favorite one was the Platonic. The effort at reconciliation culminated in Philo, a contemporary of Christ. Philo was intimately acquainted with the Platonic philosophy, and made it the fundamental feature of his own doctrines, while availing himself likewise of ideas belonging to the Peripatetic and Stoic schools. Unable to discern the difference in the points of view from which these different doctrines severally proceeded, he jumbled together not merely discordant doctrines of the Greek schools, but also those of the East, regarding the wisdom of the Greeks as having originated in the legislation and writings of Moses. He gathered together from East and West every element that could help to shape his conception of a vicegerent of God, “a mediator between the eternal and the ephemeral. His Logos reflects light from countless facets.”

According to Philo, God is the absolute Being. He calls God “that which is:” “the One and the All.” God alone exists for himself, without multiplicity and without mixture. No name can properly be ascribed to Him: He simply is. Hence, in His nature, He is unknowable.

Outside of God there exists eternal matter, without form and void, and essentially evil; but the perfect Being could not come into direct contact with the senseless and corruptible; so that the world could not have been created by His direct agency. Hence the doctrine of a mediating principle between God and matter — the divine Reason, the Logos, in whom are comprised all the ideas of finite things, and who created the sensible world by causing these ideas to penetrate into matter.

The absolute God is surrounded by his powers (δυναμεις) as a king by his servants. These powers are, in Platonic language, ideas; in Jewish, angels; but all are essentially one, and their unity, as they exist in God, as they emanate from him, as they are disseminated in the world, is expressed by Logos. Hence the Logos appears under a twofold aspect: (1) As the immanent reason of God, containing within itself the world-ideal, which, while not outwardly existing, is like the immanent reason in man. This is styled Λόγος ἐνδιάθετος, i.e., the Logos conceived and residing in the mind. This was the aspect emphasized by the Alexandrians, and which tended to the recognition of a twofold personality in the divine essence.

(2) As the outspoken word, proceeding from God and manifest in the world. This, when it has issued from God in creating the world, is the Λόγος προφορικός, i.e., the Logos uttered, even as in man the spoken word is the manifestation of thought. This aspect prevailed in Palestine, where the Word appears like the angel of the Pentateuch, as the medium of the outward communication of God with men, and tends toward the recognition of a divine person subordinate to God. Under the former aspect, the Logos is, really, one with God’s hidden being: the latter comprehends all the workings and revelations of God in the world; affords from itself the ideas and energies by which the world was framed and is upheld; and, filling all things with divine light and life, rules them in wisdom, love, and righteousness. It is the beginning of creation, not inaugurated, like God, nor made, like the world; but the eldest son of the eternal Father (the world being the younger); God’s image; the mediator between God and the world; the highest angel; the second God.

Philo’s conception of the Logos, therefore, is: the sum-total and free exercise of the divine energies; so that God, so far as he reveals himself, is called Logos; while the Logos, so far as he reveals God, is called God.

John’s doctrine and terms are colored by these preceding influences. During his residence at Ephesus he must have become familiar with the forms and terms of the Alexandrian theology. Nor is it improbable that he used the term Logos with an intent to facilitate the passage from the current theories of his time to the pure gospel which he proclaimed. “To those Hellenists and Hellenistic Jews, on the one hand, who were vainly philosophizing on the relations of the finite and infinite; to those investigators of the letter of the Scriptures, on the other, who speculated about the theocratic revelations, John said, by giving this name Logos to Jesus: ‘The unknown Mediator between God and the world, the knowledge of whom you are striving after, we have seen, heard, and touched. Your philosophical speculations and your scriptural subtleties will never raise you to Him. Believe as we do in Jesus, and you will possess in Him that divine Revealer who engages your thoughts'” (Godet).

But John’s doctrine is not Philo’s, and does not depend upon it. The differences between the two are pronounced. Though both use the term Logos, they use it with utterly different meanings. In John it signifies word, as in Holy Scripture generally; in Philo, reason; and that so distinctly that when Philo wishes to give it the meaning of word, he adds to it by way of explanation, the term ρημα, word.

The nature of the being described by Logos is conceived by each in an entirely different spirit. John’s Logos is a person, with a consciousness of personal distinction; Philo’s is impersonal. His notion is indeterminate and fluctuating, shaped by the influence which happens to be operating at the time. Under the influence of Jewish documents he styles the Logos an “archangel;” under the influence of Plato, “the Idea of Ideas;” of the Stoics, “the impersonal Reason.” It is doubtful whether Philo ever meant to represent the Logos formally as a person. All the titles he gives it may be explained by supposing it to mean the ideal world on which the actual is modeled.

In Philo, moreover, the function of the Logos is confined to the creation and preservation of the universe. He does not identify or connect him with the Messiah. His doctrine was, to a great degree, a philosophical substitute for Messianic hopes. He may have conceived of the Word as acting through the Messiah, but not as one with him. He is a universal principle. In John the Messiah is the Logos himself, uniting himself with humanity, and clothing himself with a body in order to save the world.

The two notions differ as to origin. The impersonal God of Philo cannot pass to the finite creation without contamination of his divine essence. Hence an inferior agent must be interposed. John’s God, on the other hand, is personal, and a loving personality. He is a Father (1:18); His essence is love (3:16; 1 John 4:8, 16). He is in direct relation with the world which He desires to save, and the Logos is He Himself, manifest in the flesh. According to Philo, the Logos is not coexistent with the eternal God. Eternal matter is before him in time. According to John, the Logos is essentially with the Father from all eternity (1:2), and it is He who creates all things, matter included (1:3).

Philo misses the moral energy of the Hebrew religion as expressed in its emphasis upon the holiness of Jehovah, and therefore fails to perceive the necessity of a divine teacher and Savior. He forgets the wide distinction between God and the world, and declares that, were the universe to end, God would die of loneliness and inactivity.

THE MEANING OF LOGOS IN JOHN

As Logos has the double meaning of thought and speech, so Christ is related to God as the word to the idea, the word being not merely a name for the idea, but the idea itself expressed. The thought is the inward word (Dr. Schaff compares the Hebrew expression “I speak in my heart” for “I think”).

The Logos of John is the real, personal God (1:1), the Word, who was originally before the creation with God, and was God, one in essence and nature, yet personally distinct (1:1, 18); the revealer and interpreter of the hidden being of God; the reflection and visible image of God, and the organ of all His manifestations to the world. Compare Hebrews 1:3. He made all things, proceeding personally from God for the accomplishment of the act of creation (1:3), and became man in the person of Jesus Christ, accomplishing the redemption of the world. Compare Philippians 2:6.

The following is from William Austin, “Meditation for Christmas Day,” cited by Ford on John:

“The name Word is most excellently given to our Savior; for it expresses His nature in one, more than in any others. Therefore St. John, when he names the Person in the Trinity (1 John 5:7), chooses rather to call Him Word than Son; for word is a phrase more communicable than son. Son hath only reference to the Father that begot Him; but word may refer to him that conceives it; to him that speaks it; to that which is spoken by it; to the voice that it is clad in; and to the effects it raises in him that hears it. So Christ, as He is the Word, not only refers to His Father that begot Him, and from whom He comes forth, but to all the creatures that were made by Him; to the flesh that He took to clothe Him; and to the doctrine He brought and taught, and, which lives yet in the hearts of all them that obediently do hear it. He it is that is this Word; and any other, prophet or preacher, he is but a voice (Luke 3:4). Word is an inward conception of the mind; and voice is but a sign of intention. St. John was but a sign, a voice; not worthy to untie the shoe-latchet of this Word. Christ is the inner conception ‘in the bosom of His Father;’ and that is properly the Word. And yet the Word is the intention uttered forth, as well as conceived within; for Christ was no less the Word in the womb of the Virgin, or in the cradle of the manger, or on the altar of the cross, than he was in the beginning, ‘in the bosom of his Father.’ For as the intention departs not from the mind when the word is uttered, so Christ, proceeding from the Father by eternal generation, and after here by birth and incarnation, remains still in Him and with Him in essence; as the intention, which is conceived and born in the mind, remains still with it and in it, though the word be spoken. He is therefore rightly called the Word, both by His coming from, and yet remaining still in, the Father.”


Godet’s discussion of λόγος

The following is Frederic Godet’s discussion of the word logos in the prologue of John’s Gospel (quoted in part by Vincent in the above article) from the English translation of his commentary: Commentary on the Gospel of John, with an Historical and Critical Introduction by F. Godet, translated from the third French edition by Timothy Dwight, vol. 1 (New York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1886), pp. 286-291. I have inserted some of Godet’s footnotes into the text in square brackets, have converted the Roman numerals to Arabic, and have corrected one Scripture reference. —M.D.M.

THE IDEA AND TERM LOGOS.

We have here to study three questions: 1. Whence did the evangelist derive the notion of the Logos? 2. What is the origin of this term? 3. What the reason of its use? Having discussed these questions in the Introduction (pp. 173-181), we will notice here only that which has a special relation to the exegetical study which we are about to undertake.

1. First of all we establish a fact: namely, that the Prologue only sums up the thoughts contained in the testimony which Christ bears to Himself in the fourth Gospel. Weiss mentions two principal points in which the Prologue seems to him to go beyond the testimony of Christ: 1. The notion of the Word by which John expresses the pre-historic existence of Christ; 2. The function of creator which is ascribed to Him (ver. 3).

Let us for a moment lay aside the term Logos, to which we will return. The creative function is naturally connected with the fact of the eternal existence of the Logos in God. He who could say to God: “Thou didst love me before the creation of the world,” certainly did not remain a stranger to the act by which God brought the world out of nothing. How is it possible not to apply here the words of 5:17: “As the Father…I also work,” and 5:19, 20: “The Father showeth the Son all that he doeth…,” and: “Whatsoever things the Father doeth, these doeth the Son in like manner.” Add the words of Gen. 1:26: “Let us make man in our image,” to which John certainly alludes in the second clause of ver. 1 of the Prologue. All the other affirmations of this passage rest equally on the discourses and facts related in the Gospel; comp. ver. 4: “In Him was life …,” with 5:26: “As the Father hath life in himself, so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;” ver. 9: “There was the true light,” with 8:12 and 9:5: “I am the light of the world…He that followeth me shall have the light of life;” ver. 7: “John came to bear witness,” with 1:34: “And I have seen, and have borne witness that this is the Son of God,” and ver. 33: “Ye have sent unto John, and he hath borne witness to the truth;” what is said of the presence and activity of the Logos in the world in general (ver. 10), and in the theocracy in particular (to His home, His own, ver. 11), previous to His incarnation, with what Jesus declares in chap. 10 of the Shepherd’s voice which is immediately recognized by His sheep, and this not only by those who are already in the fold of the Old Covenant (ver. 3), but also by those who are not of that fold (ver. 16), or what is said of the children of God scattered throughout the whole world (11:52); the opposition made in the Prologue (ver. 13) between the fleshly birth and the divine begetting, with the word of Jesus to Nicodemus (3:6): “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; that which is born of the Spirit is spirit;” the notion of Christ’s real humanity, so earnestly affirmed in the Prologue (ver. 14), with the perfectly human character of the person and affections of the Saviour in the whole Johannean narrative; He is exhausted by fatigue (4:6); He thirsts (4:7); He weeps over a friend (11:35); He is moved, even troubled (11:33, 12:27); on the other hand, His glory, full of grace and truth, His character as Son who has come from the Father (vv. 14-18), with His complete dependence (6:38 f.), His absolute docility (v. 30, etc.), His perfect intimacy with the Father (v. 20), the divinity of the works which it was given Him to accomplish, such as: to give life, to judge (v. 21, 22); the perfect assurance of being heard, whatsoever He might ask for (11:41, 42); the adoration which He accepts (20:28); which He claims even as the equal of the Father (v. 23); the testimony of John the Baptist quoted in ver. 15, with the subsequent narrative (1:27, 30); the gift of the law, as a preparation for the Gospel (ver. 17), with what the Lord says of His relation to Moses and his writings (v. 46, 47); ver. 18, which closes the Prologue with the saying in 6:46: “Not that any one hath seen the Father, except He that is from the Father, He hath seen the Father;” the terms Son and only-begotten Son, finally, with the words of Jesus in 6:40: “This is the Father’s will, that He who beholds the Son …;” 3:16: “God so loved the world, that He gave His only- begotten Son,” and 3:18: “Because he hath not believed on the name of the only-begotten Son of God.” It is clear: the Prologue is an edifice which is constructed wholly out of materials furnished by the words and the facts of Jesus’ history. It contains of what is peculiar to John only the idea and term Logos applied to His pre-existent state. It is certainly this term, used in the philosophical language of the time, which has led so many interpreters to transform the author of the Prologue into a disciple of Philo. We shall limit ourselves here to the mentioning of the essential differences which distinguish the God of Philo from the God of John, the Logos of the one from the Logos of the other. And it shall be judged whether the second was truly at the school of the first.

1. The word logos, in John, signifies, as in the whole Biblical text, word. In Philo, it signifies, as in the philosophical language of the Greeks, reason. This simple fact reveals a wholly different starting-point in the use which they make of the term.

2. In Philo, the existence of the Logos is a metaphysical theorem. God being conceived of as the absolutely indeterminate and impersonal being, there is an impassable gulf between Him and the material, finite, varied world which we behold. To fill this gulf, Philo needed an intermediate agent, a second God, brought nearer to the finite; this is the Logos, the half-personified divine reason. The existence of the Logos in John is not the result of such a metaphysical necessity. God is in John, as in all the Scriptures, Creator, Master, Father. He acts Himself in the world, He loves it, He gives His Son to it; we shall even see that it is He who serves as intermediate agent between men and the Son (6:37, 44), which is just the opposite of Philo’s theory. In a word, in John everything in the relation of the Logos to God is a matter of liberty and of love, while with Philo everything is the result of a logical necessity. The one is the disciple of the Old Testament interpreted by means of Plato and Zeno; the other, of the same Old Testament explained by Jesus Christ.

3. The office of the Logos in Philo does not go beyond the divine facts of the creation and preservation of the world. He does not place this being in any relation with the Messiah and the Messianic kingdom. In John, on the contrary, the creating Logos is mentioned only in view of the redemption of which He is to be the agent; everything in the idea of this being tends towards His Messianic appearance.

4. To the view of Philo, as to that of Plato, the principle of evil is matter; the Jewish philosopher nowhere dreams, therefore, of making the Logos descend to earth, and that in a bodily form. In John, on the contrary, the supreme fact of history is this: “The Logos was made flesh,” and this is also the central word of the Prologue.

The two points of view, therefore, are entirely different, and are even in many respects the antipodes of each other. Nevertheless, we notice in Philo certain ideas, certain terms, which establish a relation between him and John. How are we to explain this fact?

The solution is easy: it is not difficult to find a common source. John and Philo were both Jews; both of them had been nourished by the Old Testament. Now three lines in that sacred book converge towards the notion of an intermediate being between God and the world. 1. The appearances of the Angel of the Lord (Maleach Jehovah), of that messenger of God, who acts as His agent in the sensible world, and who sometimes is distinguished from Jehovah, sometimes is identified with Him; comp. e.g., Gen. 16:7 with ver. 13; again, Gen. 32:28 with Hos. 12:4, 5. God says of this mysterious being, Exod. 23:21: “My name (my manifested essence) is in him.” According to the Old Testament (comp. particularly Zech. 12:10, and Mal. 3:1), this divine personage, after having been the agent of all the theophanies, is to consummate His office of mediator by fulfilling here on earth the function of Messiah. 2. The description of Wisdom, Prov. 8:22-31; undoubtedly this representation of Wisdom in Proverbs appears to be only a poetic personification, while the Angel of the Lord is presented as a real personality. 3. The active part ascribed to the Word of the Lord. This part begins with the creation and continues in the prophetic revelations; comp. Ps. 107:20; 147:15, and Isa. 55:11, where the works accomplished by this divine messenger are described.

From the time of the Babylonish captivity, the Jewish doctors united these three modes of divine manifestation and activity in a single conception, that of the permanent agent of Jehovah in the sensible world, whom they designated by the name of Memra (Word) of Jehovah (מימרא דיהוה). [Introd. pp. 177, 178. Along with this expression the terms Shekinah (habitation) and Jekara (splendor) are used in the Targums, or Chaldaic paraphrases of the O.T. The two oldest, those of Onkelos and Jonathan, were generally regarded as dating from the middle of the first century of our era. Recent works seem to bring the redaction of them down to the third or fourth century; but only the redaction. For a great number of points prove that the materials go back to the apostolic times. We have even proofs of the existence of redactions going back as far as the time of Joh Hyrcanus. With the Jews everything is a matter of tradition. The redaction in a case like this is only “the completion of the work of ages.” Comp. Schürer, Lehrb. d. neutest. Zeitgesch. pp. 478, 479.] It cannot be certainly determined whether these Jewish learned men established a relation between this Word of the Lord and the person of the Messiah. [Perhaps in Palestine there was, from the early times, more inclination to blend together the notion of the Word and the Messianic idea, than at Alexandria. There is in the book of Enoch (of the last part of the second century before Jesus Christ) and in one of the very parts of it which are almost unanimously recognized as the oldest, a remarkable passage, which, if the form in which we have it is the exact reproduction of the original text, would allow no further doubt on this point. The Messiah is there represented (chap. 110:16-38) as a white bull, which, after having received the worship of all the animals of the earth, transforms all these races into white bulls like itself; after which the poet adds: And the first bull “was the Word, and this Word was a powerful animal which had great black horns on its head (the emblem of the divine omnipotence)” It is thus that Dillmann in his classic work on this book, translates these words. Comp. the remarkable article of M. Wabnitz, Rev. de Theolog. July, 1874. The Messianic application of this passage cannot be doubted (See Schürer, Lehrbuch der neutest. Zeitgesch., p. 568). There seems, then, clearly to be an indication here of the relation established in Palestine, from the time anterior to Jesus Christ, between the divine being called Memra or Word and the person of the Messiah. There is no doubt of the Palestinian origin of the Book of Enoch. The Book of Wisdom, which was composed at Alexandria a century before Jesus Christ, speaks of Wisdom, personifying it with great emphasis. But it is impossible to discover here (even in chap. 7) the notion of a real personality, or to recognize in the representation of the persecuted just man in chap. 2 the least allusion to the person of the Messiah.]

This idea of a divine being, organ of the works and the revelations of Jehovah in the sensible world could not, therefore, fail to have been known both by John and by Philo. This is the basis common to the two authors. But from this starting-point their paths diverge. John passing into the school of Jesus, the idea of the Word takes for him a historical significance, a concrete application. Hearing Jesus affirm that He is before Abraham; that the Father loved Him before the creation of the world, he applies to Him this idea of the Word which in so many different ways strikes its roots into the soil of the Old Testament, while Philo, living at Alexandria, becomes there the disciple of the Greek philosophers, and seeks to interpret by means of their speculations and their formulas the religious ideas of the Jewish religion. We thus easily understand both what these two authors have in common, and what distinguishes them and even puts them in opposition to each other.

II. With respect to the term Word, frequently used, as it already was, in the Old Testament, then employed in a more theological sense by the Jewish doctors, it must have presented itself to the mind of John as very appropriate to designate the divine being in the person of his Master. What confirms the Palestinian, and by no means Alexandrian, origin of this term, is that it is used in the same sense in the Apocalypse, which is certainly by no means a product of Alexandrian wisdom; comp. Rev. 19:13: “And his name was the Word of God.” Philo, as he laid hold of this Jewish term Logos, in order to apply it to the metaphysical notion which he had borrowed from Greek philosophy, could not do so without also modifying its meaning and making it signify reason instead of word. This is what he did in general with regard to all the Biblical terms which his Jewish education had rendered familiar to him, such as archangel, son, high-priest, which he transferred to speculative notions according to the method by which he applied the word angels to the ideas of Plato.

We see, therefore: it is the same religion of the Old Testament, which, developed on one side in the direction of Christian realism, on the other in that of Platonic idealism, produced these two conceptions of John and of Philo, who differ even more in the central idea than they resemble each other in that which envelops it.

In applying to Jesus the name Word, John did not dream, therefore, of introducing into the Church the Alexandrian speculative theorem which had for him no importance. He wished to describe Jesus Christ as the absolute revelation of God to the world, to bring back all divine revelations to Him as to their living centre, and to proclaim the matchless grandeur of His appearance in the midst of humanity.

III. But can the employment of this extraordinary term on his part have occurred without any allusion to the use which was made of it all about him in the regions where he composed his Gospel? It seems to me difficult to believe this. Asia Minor, particularly Ephesus, was then the centre of a syncretism in which all the religious and philosophical doctrines of Greece, Persia and Egypt met together. It has been proved that in all those systems the idea of an intermediate divine being between God and the world appears, the Oum of the Indians, the Hom of the Persians, the Logos of the Greeks, the Memra of the Jews. If such were the surroundings in the midst of which the fourth Gospel was composed, we easily understand what John wished to say to all those thinkers who were speculating on the relations between the infinite and the finite, namely: “That connecting link between God and man, which you are seeking in the region of the idea, we Christians possess in that of reality, in that of history; we have seen, heard, touched this celestial mediator. Listen and believe! And by receiving Him, you will possess, with us, grace upon grace.” In introducing this new term into the Christian language, therefore, John had the intention, as Neander thought, of opposing to the empty idealism on which the cultivated and unchristian persons around him were feeding, the life-giving realism of the Gospel history which he was proposing to set forth.


Mackintosh’s discussion of λόγος

The following is from Hugh R. Mackintosh’s discussion of the word logos in his book The Doctrine of the Person of Jesus Christ (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1912, reprinted New York: Chales Scribner’s Sons, 1942), pp. 115-18.

We turn now to the special teaching of the prologue (1:1-18). It was convenient to defer the Christology of these introductory verses until the general thought of the Gospel had been examined, for after all the subject of the Gospel is not the Logos or Word, but the Divine person Jesus Christ. But with this general exposition in our minds, it is all but impossible to maintain that the prologue serves a speculative and not a practically religious purpose. The first paragraph, as Harnack puts it [ZTK. ii. 189-231], is a mere preface, not a philosophic programme. Its special ideas are not allowed to intrude upon the record, nor does Jesus ever name Himself “the Word.” The prologue on the whole makes the impression of having been written last, in a current vocabulary and mode of thought fitted to make appeal to a quite specific constituency. “The writer desires to avail himself of a conception more congenial to the thought of his readers than to his own, in order to set forth in words familiar to his readers the doctrine he wishes to teach, viz. the uniqueness, finality, and all-sufficiency of the revelation of God made in the person of Jesus Christ.” [Burton, Short Introduction to the Gospels, 132.] It is no a priori philosopheme, by assimilating which the mind was to be prepared to understand and estimate the facts about to be narrated.

To say that St. John derived the Logos-conception from Philo (who may have had it from the Stoics or even Heraclitus) is one of those tantalisingly ambiguous pronouncements which darken a subject almost as much as they enlighten. We cannot indeed hold that there is no mutual relation. But the influence of Philo appears to have acted in a twofold direction. First, by way of antagonism. The evangelist uses Philo’s term to deny Philo’s thought. In the Fourth Gospel “Logos” means word, not rational cosmic order; uttered revealing speech, not immanent reason; an agency or force dynamic or personal in nature, not static or vaguely ideal. There is nothing answering to this in Philo. It is not merely that in the earlier writer the Logos is probably impersonal; it is also carefully separated from God; as in the various Gnostic schools, it is inserted between God and the world to prevent their contact, even though in a philosophical point of view it may serve as an intermediary; and to crown all, the nature of the Logos is such as to make wholly inconceivable its entrance, by incarnation, upon the real processes of history. But in St. John the Word is personal, is Himself Divine, mediates in the creation of the world, and enters human life by becoming flesh in order that as Jesus Christ, the historic Messiah, He may live and die as man and reveal the very heart of God. Thus even were the evangelist’s debt to Philo an ascertained fact, we should still have to acknowledge that the borrowed notion was submitted to changes so radical as virtually to transform it into its opposite.

In the second place, Philo’s influence, or at least the influence of a general philosophical atmosphere typified by Philo, may well have decided which of the terms furnished by the Old Testament the evangelist should select for his purpose. Several such terms were open to him—Wisdom, the Spirit, the Angel of the Lord, the Word. In any case, too little allowance has been made for Old Testament associations. The action of the word of God in Genesis 1 may well have supplied the first suggestion of the Logos, and at various other points in the older Scriptures the creation and government of the world, as well as the progress of revelation, are traced to the Divine word going forth from God as the active organ of His will.

We hold then that what St. John required and sought for was a term worthy to express the absolute nature of Christ, in whom the eternal, self-revealing God was incarnate; and that this seemed to be furnished by the contemporary religious thought, in which the Logos-conception had become familiarly established. He perceived its extraordinary value for the expositor. More significantly than any other word it gave expression to that aspect of Christ’s life and work which he regarded as supreme. In addition to its place in Old Testament thought, it had received from Hellenism a certain cosmic width of meaning, and thus furnished a point of contact—this every missionary must appreciate—between Christianity and current modes of religious speculation. He chose it therefore as peculiarly fitted to recommend the Light and Life which had appeared in Jesus; but in choosing it he took full precautions to ensure by his exposition that its Christian import should not be overshadowed by former associations.


Campbell’s discussion of λόγος

The following is excerpted from John Y. Campbell’s discussion of the word logos in A Theological Word Book of the Bible edited by Alan Richardson (New York: MacMillan, 1951), pp. 284-5.

In the Prologue of the Gospel of John (I.1,14) ‘Word’ is an inadequate and possibly misleading translation of logos, though it is difficult to find a better. Here the Logos is an eternal divine Person, through whom in the beginning everything was made, and he is identified with the eternal Son of God who became incarnate as Jesus Christ. The evangelist seems to assume that his readers are familiar with this conception of the personal, divine Logos, a conception which is of Greek origin. The word logos meant both “word” and the thought or reason which is expressed in words. Greek philosophers, believing that the universe is essentially rational, used the term logos to denote the rational principle by which it is sustained. Jewish thinkers (probably influenced by Greek philosophy) reached a very similar conception of the divine ‘Wisdom,’ cf. Proverbs 8, especially verses 22-31, where the personification of Wisdom is more than merely a literary device. Later, Jewish thinkers writing in Greek combined the two conceptions, using by preference the term logos. Paul calls Christ ‘the wisdom of God’ (1 Corinthians 1:24; cf. 1:30, Colossians 2:2f.) and ‘the first-born of all creation,’ in whom ‘all things were created.’ (Colossians 1:15ff.); it was therefore easy for the fourth evangelist to take the further step of identifying him with the Logos of contemporary Greek and Jewish thought. How far the evangelist’s own conception of Christ was really determined by this identification is a much discussed question, to which there is no generally accepted answer. But it is certain that this special use of the term Logos is confined to the Prologue; in the rest of the Gospel the word is used in the ordinary senses, and in 10.35 ‘the word of God’ means specifically the divine utterance in Psalm 82.6 which Jesus has just quoted. And there are good grounds for thinking that in the Prologue itself the evangelist has made use of an existing ‘hymn’ of the Logos, which may not have originally been Christian at all. [I strongly disagree with Campell’s speculation that “in the Prologue itself the evangelist has made use of an existing ‘hymn’ of the Logos, which may not have originally been Christian at all.” —M.D.M.] The probability, therefore, would seem to be that it was his Logos-conception which was determined by his previous thought of Christ, and not his conception of Christ which was determined by the Logos-conception.


Wilhelm Nestle’s description of the “Jewish-Greek Philosophy” of Philo

The following description of the religious philosophy of Philo of Alexandria is taken from Outlines of the History of Greek Philosophy by Eduard Zeller, thirteenth edition, revised by Dr. Wilhelm Nestle, and translated by L.R. Palmer (London: Kegan Paul, 1931), § 77.

The jewish-Greek philosophy as represented by Philo and his predecessors exhibits a thorough·going eclecticism combined with a religious syncretism and a transition to mysticism. The Jews, despite their peculiar exclusiveness, did not remain unaffected by the fusion of the Greek and oriental worlds which took place in the Hellenistic period. We find many traces of mutual influence. On the Greek side religious monstrosities such as the cult of “the Highest” or “the Lord” in Asia Minor, in which the Phrygian Sabazius and the Jewish “Lord Zebaoth” conflicted, while to many Greeks the Jewish religion with its image-free worship of God appeared as a religion of philosophic enlightenment. The Jewish “diaspora” extended to most of the great cities and this enabled Greeks and Romans to make their acquaintance with Jewish belief and customs. On the other hand the Jews who had settled in the middle of the Hellenistic world could not escape its influence. Thus the book Koheleth of the so-called Preacher Solomon, written about 200 B.C., clearly betrays the influence of Stoic philosophy, while the Book of Wisdom also attributed to Solomon and written about 30 B.C. contains unmistakable Pythagorean and Platonic elements in its idea of the pre-existence of the soul and its imprisonment in the body, its assumption of a primary matter and its hypostatising of divine wisdom. But the strongest proof of the Hellenisation of the Jews in the “diaspora” is afforded by the fact that in their greatest community, that in Alexandria, they had so completely forgotten the native Hebrew language that they needed a Greek translation of their Sacred writings, the so-called Septuagint, which was probably begun under Ptolemaeus II, Philadelphus (285-247 B.C.). The mythical creation of this book through the agency of 70 (or 72) interpreters is depicted in the Epistle of Aristeas, written about 100 B.C. This is the work of a Jewish writer who puts on the mask of a pagan and delights in the tropes of the Stoic philosophy. Its allegorical methods, in which it anticipates Philo, are applied to the interpretation of the law-code of the Old Testament. Rather earlier is the Jewish so-called Peripatetic Philobulus who dedicated to the king Ptolemaeus Philometor his commentary on the Pentateuch. In the fragments preserved in Eusebius he attempted to trace the doctrines of Greek philosophers such as Pythagoras, Socrates and Plato to the Mosaic writings, partly by allegorical interpretation of these writings and partly by falsifying the Greek texts, as can be seen in a large Orphic fragment the text of which has been preserved elsewhere. Another Jewish forgery of the first cent. A.D. is the poem of the Pseudo-Phocylides, a collection of moral aphorisms which were attributed to the old gnomic poet of the 6th cent. B.C. There remains to mention two religious seers which in their views and customs present a remarkable mixture of Jewish belief and Jewish piety with Greek, and in particular Orphic-Pythagorean, speculations and precepts. The one is the sect of the Therapeutes which had its origin In Egypt. It was a society of ascetics who lived a life of extreme piety, and engaged in allegorical interpretation and theological speculation. Their principles were described by Philo in his works on The Contemplative Life. The other is the far more important religious society of the Essees (or Essenes) which grew up on the soil of Palestine and is menrioned by Josephus together with the Pharisees and the Sadducees as having flourished about 160 B.C. They lived as a sort of religious order with strict discipline and hierarchical division of authority. They had secret doctrines which were based on the interpretation of sacred writings. They practised communism of goods and in the higher grades celibacy, while marriage for the lower grades was subject to severe restrictions. They disapproved of blood-offerings, consumption of flesh and wine and maintained a sharply defined dualism which formed the basis of their asceticism. They believed in the pre-existence of the soul and its survival after death and assumed that the opposition of good and evil pervades the whole world. They worshipped the light of the sun and the elements as manifestations of God and attributed great importance to the belief in angels. The power of prophecy was regarded as the highest reward of piety and asceticism and many of them were supposed to have possessed this gift. It was inevitable that this close contact of Jews and Greeks should provoke reactions. Antiochus Epiphanes in his attempt to Hellenise the Jews in Palestine by force could rely on a numerous party which favoured the Greeks, while the growing number and importance of the Jews in Greek cities provoked strong anti-Semitic movements. This whole development reached its culmination in the life and works of Philo of Alexandria.

Philo’s birth falls between 20-30 B.C., his death not long after A.D. 40. He was a true son of his people, filled with the deepest reverence for their sacred writings and especially for Moses. He held that these writings were literally inspired not only in the original text but also in the Greek translation. But he was at the same time the pupil and admirer of the Greek philosophers Plato, Pythagoras, Parrnenides, Empedocles, Zeno and Cleanthes. He was convinced that one and the same truth is to be found in both; this is, of course, pure and perfect only in the Jewish revelations. He justified this belief by the traditional methods; on the one hand he assumed that the Hellenic sages used the Old Testament writings and on the other he pushed to its furthest limits the allegorical interpretation of these writings so that he could discover any meaning he chose in any passage whatsoever. Hence although he desired to be nothing more than an interpreter of the Holy Scripture and expounded his view almost solely in this form—for the knowledge of God in his revelation is the “Royal road” as distinguished from all merely human thought—his system is in reality a combination of Greek philosophy with Jewish theology, the scientific parts of which are derived predominantly from the former. The philosophy which he followed belonged completely to the form of Platonism which had been developing for more than a century, especially at Alexandria, and was named sometimes after Plato and sometimes after Pythagoras, although Stoicism, especially in Philo, contributed largely to it.

The idea of God forms the starting point of Philo’s system. It is here, however, that the various tendencies from which Philo’s speculation emerged cross. He had so lofty a conception of the elevation of God above all that is finite that he thought that no idea and no word could correspond to his greatness. God appears as more perfect than all perfection, better than the good, without name or quality, inconceivable; we can, as Plato says, only know that he is, not what he is; only the name of the Being (Jehovah) can be applied to him. Furthermore God must include all being and all perfection in himself; for the finite can derive these qualities only from him and it is only to avoid approaching too closely to his perfection that no finite predicate is to be attributed to him. Above all he must be thought of as the final cause of everything; we must ascribe to him an unceasing activity, and all perfection in created things must be derived from him. It was self-evident for the Platonists and the Jewish monotheists that this activity can only be directed to the best ends, and that of the two basic qualities of God— power and goodness—the second expresses his nature more directly than the first.

In order to unite this absolute activity of God in the world with his absolute transcendence Philo had recourse to the assumption which was familiar to other thinkers of that time (cf. pp. 200, 269, 307), but which no one before Plotinus worked out so systematically as he. This was the assumption of intermediate beings. In defining the nature of these beings, besides the belief in angels and demons and Plato’s statements on the world-soul and the ideas, it was above all the Stoic doctrine of the effluences of God that permeate the world that served him as a model. He called these intermediate beings forces and described them on the one hand as qualities of the Deity, as ideas or thoughts of God, as parts of the general force and reason that prevails in the world; on the other hand as servants, ambassadors and satellites of God, or the executors of his will, souls, angels and demons. He found it impossible to harmonise these two modes of exposition and to give a clear answer to the question of the personality of these forces. All these forces are comprehended in one, the Logos. The Logos is the most universal intermediary between God and the world, the wisdom and reason of God, the idea which comprises all ideas, the power that comprises all powers, the representative and ambassador of God, the instrument of the creation and government of the world, the highest of the angels, the first-born son of God, the second God. He is the original pattern of the world and the force which creates everything in it, the soul which is clothed with the body of the world as with a garment. In a word he has all the qualities of the Stoic Logos (p. 234), in so far as this is thought of as distinguished from God as such and free from the characteristics which were the result of the Stoic materialism. His personality is, however, as uncertain as that of the “powers” generally. This must be the case; for only so long as the concept of the Logos hovers between that of a personal being distinct from God and that of an impersonal divine force or quality can it provide even an apparent solution of the insoluble problem for which it is required —to make it comprehensible how God can be present in the world and all its parts with his force and activity, when he is by his very nature completely external to it and would be defiled by any contact with it. The constitution of the world can be however only partly understood from the divine force operating in it. In order to explain the evil and defects of finite existence, but especially the evil which adheres to the soul on account of its connection with the body, we must postulate a second principle which Philo, like Plato, can only find in matter. In his detailed description of matter, too, he follows Plato except that he regards it, in the usual way as occupying space and thus calls it variously not-being (like Plato) and real being (like the Stoics). God formed the world out of the chaotic mixture of matter through the agency of the Logos; hence the world has a beginning but no end. Like the Stoics Philo considered the world as entirely supported by the force of God operating in it; this is manifested in its most glorious form in the stars, which are visible gods. He defended their perfection on the lines of the Stoic theodicy, but he does not omit to give expression to the thought that everything is arranged according to numbers by the frequent application of the Pythagorean numerical symbolism. In his anthropology, the part of physics to which he attached most importance, he adhered to the Platonic and Pythagorean fall of the soul, the corporeal survival of the purified souls after death, the migration of those in need of purification, the relationship of the human mind with God, the divisions of the soul and the freedom of the will. But what was most important for him was the sharp contrast between reason and the sensual. The body is the tomb of soul, the source of all the evils under which it sighs. Through the combination of the soul with the body every man has innate in him the inclination to sin, from which no one can free himself from birth until death. Hence the greatest possible emancipation from the sensual is one of the basic requirements of the Philonian ethics; like the Stoics he demanded apathy, a complete eradication of all passions, looked up to virtue as the only good, rejected sensual pleasure and professed Cynic simplicity; he adapted the Cynic and Stoic doctrine of the virtues and the emotions, their description of the wise man, their distinction of the wise and the proficient and their cosmopolitanism. But in his philosophy trust in oneself was replaced by trust in God. All good in us is the work of God alone. He alone can implant virtue in us; only he who does good for his sake is truly good; from faith alone is that wisdom derived on which all virtue rests. But even in this virtue Philo places less value on conduct than on knowledge or more correctly on the inner life of the pious soul. For not only does active (“political”) life repel him, because it involves us in external things and distracts us from ourselves, but even science is in his eyes only valuable as an aid to piety. Even religious perfection, however, has grades. Thus “ascetic” virtue, that is virtue based on practice (that of Jacob), is lower than that which is founded on instruction (that of Abraham); both are lower than that which proceeds directly from a divinely-favoured nature (that of Isaac). The last and highest aim of virtue is God, to which we approximate more and more as we come more immediately into contact with it. Hence however indispensable science may be, we can only attain the highest when we pass beyond all mediacy, even the Logos, and in the state of unconsciousness, in ecstasy, receive the higher illumination into ourselves and thus behold God in his pure unity and allow it to work upon us.

This illumination is effected by the influx of the invisible divine spirit into man, of the cosmic force that proceeds from God. The “unmixed wisdom” thus revealed in ecstasy has nothing to do with human knowledge that can be learned. It is heavenly wisdom, in short that which is elsewhere called “Gnosis,” an expression which Philo himself avoided.

With such views Philo, despite his dependence on Plato, Xenocrates, the Stoa and especially Posidonius, passes beyond the bounds of philosophy into mysticism. His ideas are completely different from those of Greek philosophy. In the latter we have the principle of the autonomy of reason and the bold search after human knowledge; in the former, the contempt of reason and science and faith in the revelation of sacred books; in the latter, the close connection of God and the world, generally in the form of immanence; in the former, the complete transcendence of God, the most pronounced dualism between God and the world which makes necessary the introduction of intermediate beings to connect the two; in the latter, the recognition of the sensual and at the same time the moral power of man for its control; in the former the oriental and ascetic conception of the corporeal as the source of evil and a belief in the innate corruption of human nature; in the latter, the goal of mental endeavour is insight into the nature of the world and moral perfection, both attained by our own efforts, in the former the contemplation of God in ecstasy, which as an act of divine mercy signifies liberation from the bonds of the flesh; finally in the latter, the wise man as the highest type of man, in the former, the priest and the prophet. Thus Philo’s sytem appears more as Jewish theology mixed with Greek mysticism than as real philosophy. Nevertheless he was soon forgotten by his Jewish compatriots and fellow-worshipers, while on the other hand he became the precursor of neo-Platonism and exerted considerable influence in the elaboration of the dogmas of the Chrrstian church.

 

 

G3056

λόγος

logos

Total KJV
Occurrences:
325

word, 173

Mat_8:8, Mat_8:16, Mat_12:32, Mat_15:19-23
(7), Mat_22:46, Mar_2:2, Mar_4:14-16
(4), Mar_4:18-20 (3), Mar_4:33, Mar_5:36,
Mar_7:13, Mar_16:20,
Luk_1:2, Luk_4:32,
Luk_4:36, Luk_5:1,
Luk_7:7, Luk_8:11-13
(3), Luk_8:15, Luk_8:21, Luk_10:39,
Luk_11:28, Luk_12:10,
Luk_22:61, Luk_24:19,
Joh_1:1 (3), Joh_1:14, Joh_2:22, Joh_4:41, Joh_4:50,
Joh_5:24, Joh_5:38,
Joh_8:31, Joh_8:37,
Joh_8:43, Joh_10:35,
Joh_12:48, Joh_14:24,
Joh_15:3, Joh_15:20,
Joh_15:25, Joh_17:6,
Joh_17:14, Joh_17:17,
Joh_17:20, Act_2:41,
Act_4:4, Act_4:29,
Act_4:31, Act_6:2,
Act_6:4, Act_6:7,
Act_8:4, Act_8:14,
Act_8:25, Act_10:36,
Act_10:44, Act_11:1,
Act_11:19, Act_12:24,
Act_13:5, Act_13:7,
Act_13:15, Act_13:26,
Act_13:44, Act_13:46,
Act_13:48-49 (2), Act_14:3, Act_14:25,
Act_15:7, Act_15:35-36
(2), Act_16:6, Act_16:32, Act_17:11,
Act_17:13, Act_18:11,
Act_19:10, Act_19:20,
Act_20:32, Act_22:22,
Rom_9:6, Rom_9:9,
Rom_15:18, 1Co_4:20,
1Co_12:8 (2), 1Co_14:36, 2Co_1:18,
2Co_2:17, 2Co_4:2,
2Co_5:19, 2Co_6:7,
2Co_10:11, Phi_1:14,
Phi_2:16, Col_1:5,
Col_1:25, Col_3:16-17
(2), 1Th_1:5-6 (2), 1Th_1:8, 1Th_2:13
(3), 1Th_4:15, 2Th_2:2, 2Th_2:15,
2Th_2:17, 2Th_3:1,
2Th_3:14, 1Ti_4:5,
1Ti_4:12, 1Ti_5:17,
2Ti_2:9, 2Ti_2:15,
2Ti_2:17, 2Ti_4:2,
Tit_1:3, Tit_1:9,
Tit_2:5, Heb_4:2
(2), Heb_5:12-13 (2), Heb_7:28, Heb_12:19,
Heb_13:7, Heb_13:22,
Jam_1:18, Jam_1:21-23
(3), Jam_3:2, 1Pe_1:23, 1Pe_2:8,
1Pe_3:1 (2), 2Pe_1:19, 2Pe_3:5, 2Pe_3:7, 1Jo_1:1,
1Jo_1:10, 1Jo_2:5,
1Jo_2:7, 1Jo_2:14,
1Jo_3:18, 1Jo_5:7,
Rev_1:2, Rev_1:9,
Rev_3:8, Rev_3:10,
Rev_6:9, Rev_12:11,
Rev_19:13, Rev_20:4

words, 48

Mat_10:14, Mat_12:37 (2), Mat_24:35, Mat_26:44,
Mar_8:38, Mar_10:24,
Mar_12:13, Mar_13:31,
Mar_14:39, Luk_1:20,
Luk_3:4, Luk_4:22,
Luk_9:26, Luk_20:20,
Luk_21:33, Luk_23:9,
Luk_24:44, Joh_14:23,
Act_2:22, Act_2:40,
Act_5:5, Act_7:22,
Act_15:15, Act_15:24,
Act_15:32, Act_18:15,
Act_20:35, Act_20:38,
1Co_1:17, 1Co_2:4,
1Co_2:13, 1Co_14:9,
1Co_14:19 (2), Eph_5:6, 1Th_2:5,
1Th_4:18, 1Ti_4:6,
1Ti_6:3, 2Ti_1:13,
2Ti_4:15, 2Pe_2:3,
3Jo_1:10, Rev_1:3,
Rev_21:5, Rev_22:18-19
(2)

saying, 33

Mat_15:12, Mat_19:11, Mat_19:22, Mat_28:15,
Mar_7:29, Mar_8:32,
Mar_9:10, Mar_10:22,
Luk_1:29, Joh_4:37,
Joh_4:39, Joh_6:60,
Joh_7:36, Joh_7:40,
Joh_8:51, Joh_8:55,
Joh_12:38, Joh_15:20,
Joh_18:9, Joh_18:32,
Joh_19:8, Joh_19:13,
Joh_21:23, Act_6:5,
Act_7:29, Act_16:36,
Rom_13:9, 1Co_15:54,
1Ti_1:15, 1Ti_3:1,
1Ti_4:9, 2Ti_2:11,
Tit_3:8

sayings, 16

Mat_7:24, Mat_7:26, Mat_7:28, Mat_26:1
(2), Luk_6:47, Luk_9:28, Luk_9:44,
Joh_10:19, Joh_14:24,
Rom_3:4, Rev_19:9,
Rev_22:6-7 (2), Rev_22:9-10 (2)

account, 8

Mat_12:36, Mat_18:23, Luk_16:2, Act_19:40,
Rom_14:12, Heb_13:17
(2), 1Pe_4:5

speech, 8

Act_20:7, 1Co_2:1, 1Co_2:4, 1Co_4:19,
2Co_10:10, 2Co_11:6,
Col_4:6, Tit_2:8

matter, 4

Mar_1:45, Act_8:21, Act_15:6, Act_19:38

utterance, 4

1Co_1:5, 2Co_8:7, Eph_6:19, Col_4:3

things, 3

Luk_1:3-4 (2), Act_20:24 (2)

communication, 2

Mat_5:37, Eph_4:29

reason, 2

Act_18:14, 1Pe_3:15

thing, 2

Mat_21:24, Luk_20:3

work, 2

Rom_9:28 (2)

cause, 1

Mat_5:32

communications, 1

Luk_24:17

concerning, 1

Phi_4:15

do, 1

Heb_4:13

doctrine, 1

Heb_6:1

fame, 1

Luk_5:15

intent, 1

Act_10:29

mouth, 1

Act_15:27

move, 1

Act_20:24

preaching, 1

1Co_1:18

question, 1

Mar_11:29

reckoneth, 1

Mat_25:19

rumour, 1

Luk_7:17

say, 1

Heb_5:11

show, 1

Col_2:23

speaker, 1

Act_14:12

talk, 1

Mat_22:15

tidings, 1

Act_11:22

treatise, 1

Act_1:1

word’s, 1

Mar_4:17

 

 

G3056

λόγος

logos; from G3004;
a word
(as embodying an idea), a statement, a speech: – account (7),
account *(1), accounting (2), accounts (2), answer (1), appearance (1),
complaint (1), exhortation *(1), have to do (1), instruction (1), length *(1),
matter (4), matters (1), message (10), news (3), preaching (1), question (2),
reason (2), reasonable (1), remark (1), report (1), said (1), say (1), saying
(4), sayings (1), speaker (1), speech (10), statement (18), story (1), talk
(1), teaching (2), thing (2), things (1), utterance (2), what he says (1), what
*(1), word (179), words (61).

 

 

John 1:1

 

In the beginning (en archēi).
Archē is definite, though anarthrous like our at home, in town,
and the similar Hebrew be reshith in Gen_1:1.
But Westcott notes that here John carries our thoughts beyond the beginning of
creation in time to eternity. There is no argument here to prove the existence
of God any more than in Genesis. It is simply assumed. Either God exists and is
the Creator of the universe as scientists like Eddington and Jeans assume or
matter is eternal or it has come out of nothing.

Was (ēn). Three times in this sentence John
uses this imperfect of eimi to be which conveys no idea of origin for
God or for the Logos, simply continuous existence. Quite a different verb (egeneto,
became) appears in Joh_1:14 for the
beginning of the Incarnation of the Logos. See the distinction sharply drawn in
Joh_8:58 “before Abraham came (genesthai)
I am” (eimi, timeless existence).

The Word (ho logos). Logos
is from legō, old word in Homer to lay by, to collect, to put
words side by side, to speak, to express an opinion. Logos is common for
reason as well as speech. Heraclitus used it for the principle which controls
the universe. The Stoics employed it for the soul of the world (anima mundi)
and Marcus Aurelius used spermatikos logos for the generative principle
in nature. The Hebrew memra was used in the Targums for the
manifestation of God like the Angel of Jehovah and the Wisdom of God in Pro_8:23. Dr. J. Rendel Harris thinks that there
was a lost wisdom book that combined phrases in Proverbs and in the Wisdom of
Solomon which John used for his Prologue (The Origin of the Prologue to St.
John
, p. 43) which he has undertaken to reproduce. At any rate John’s
standpoint is that of the Old Testament and not that of the Stoics nor even of
Philo who uses the term Logos, but not John’s conception of personal
pre-existence. The term Logos is applied to Christ only in Joh_1:1, Joh_1:14;
Rev_19:13; 1Jo_1:1
“concerning the Word of life” (an incidental argument for identity of
authorship). There is a possible personification of “the Word of God” in Heb_4:12. But the personal pre-existence of
Christ is taught by Paul (2Co_8:9; Phi_2:6.; Col_1:17)
and in Heb_1:2. and in Joh_17:5. This term suits John’s purpose better
than sophia (wisdom) and is his answer to the Gnostics who either denied
the actual humanity of Christ (Docetic Gnostics) or who separated the aeon
Christ from the man Jesus (Cerinthian Gnostics). The pre-existent Logos “became
flesh” (sarx egeneto, Joh_1:14)
and by this phrase John answered both heresies at once.

With God (pros ton theon). Though
existing eternally with God the Logos was in perfect fellowship with God. Pros
with the accusative presents a plane of equality and intimacy, face to face
with each other. In 1Jo_2:1 we have a
like use of pros: “We have a Paraclete with the Father” (paraklēton
echomen pros ton patera
). See prosōpon pros prosōpon
(face to face, 1Co_13:12), a triple use
of pros. There is a papyrus example of pros in this sense to
gnōston tēs pros allēlous sunētheias
, “the
knowledge of our intimacy with one another” (M.&M., Vocabulary)
which answers the claim of Rendel Harris, Origin of Prologue, p. 8) that
the use of pros here and in Mar_6:3
is a mere Aramaism. It is not a classic idiom, but this is Koiné, not
old Attic. In Joh_17:5 John has para
soi
the more common idiom.

And the Word was God (kai theos
ēn ho logos
). By exact and careful language John denied Sabellianism
by not saying ho theos ēn ho logos. That would mean that all of
God was expressed in ho logos and the terms would be interchangeable,
each having the article. The subject is made plain by the article (ho logos)
and the predicate without it (theos) just as in Joh_4:24 pneuma ho theos can only mean
“God is spirit,” not “spirit is God.” So in 1Jo_4:16
ho theos agapē estin can only mean “God is love,” not “love is
God” as a so-called Christian scientist would confusedly say. For the article
with the predicate see Robertson, Grammar, pp. 767f. So in Joh_1:14 ho Logos sarx egeneto, “the Word
became flesh,” not “the flesh became Word.” Luther argues that here John
disposes of Arianism also because the Logos was eternally God, fellowship of
Father and Son, what Origen called the Eternal Generation of the Son (each
necessary to the other). Thus in the Trinity we see personal fellowship on an
equality.

 

 

John 1:1-51

 

Contents: Deity of Christ. Ministry of
John the Baptist. Jesus announced as the Lamb of God, and the first converts to
Him.

Characters: God, Jesus, John the
Baptist, Moses, Elias, Isaiah, Pharisees, Andrew, Simon, Philip, Nathaniel.

Conclusion: The Son of God became
the Son of Man that the sons of men through Him might become the sons of God.
The next thing to finding Him as the Lamb of God is to find another and
introduce that one to Him.

Key Word: The Word, Joh_1:1.

Strong Verses: Joh_1:12, Joh_1:13,
Joh_1:14, Joh_1:17,
Joh_1:29.

Striking Facts: Joh_1:12. To teach “believing on Christ” for
salvation proves His deity. If He was a created or finite being, to teach
eternal salvation by believing on Him is blasphemy. Only God can bring eternal
life by belief in Himself. To experience new life by believing proves that
Jesus was God manifest in the flesh. (See Jer_17:5.)

 

John 1:1

 

 

Word

 

(Greek, “logos”); (Aramaic, “Memra,” used in the
Targums, or Hebrew, paraphrases, for “God”). The Greek term means,

 

(1) a thought or concept;

 

(2) the expression or utterance of that thought. As a designation of
Christ, therefore, Logos is peculiarly felicitous because,

 

(1) in Him are embodied all the treasures of the divine wisdom, the
collective “thought” of God (1Co_1:24);
(Eph_3:11); (Col_2:2); (Col_2:3)
and,

 

(2) He is from eternity, but especially in His incarnation, the
utterance or expression of the Person, and “thought” of Deity (Joh_1:3-5); (Joh_1:9);
(Joh_1:14-18); (Joh_14:9-11); (Col_2:9).

 

In the Being, Person, and work of Christ, Deity is told out.

 

 

John 1:1

 

the beginning: Joh_1:2; Gen_1:1; Pro_8:22-31;
Eph_3:9; Col_1:17;
Heb_1:10, Heb_7:3,
Heb_13:8; Rev_1:2,
Rev_1:8, Rev_1:11,
Rev_2:8, Rev_21:6,
Rev_22:13

the Word: Joh_1:14; 1Jo_1:1-2, 1Jo_5:7;
Rev_19:13

with: Joh_1:18, Joh_16:28, Joh_17:5;
Pro_8:22-30; 1Jo_1:2

the Word was: Joh_10:30-33, Joh_20:28; Psa_45:6;
Isa_7:14, Isa_9:6,
Isa_40:9-11; Mat_1:23; Rom_9:5; Phi_2:6; 1Ti_3:16;
Tit_2:13; Heb_1:8-13;
2Pe_1:1 *Gr: 1Jo_5:7, 1Jo_5:20

 

 

John 1:1

 

In the beginning was (ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν)

With evident allusion to the first word of Genesis. But John elevates
the phrase from its reference to a point of time, the beginning of creation, to
the time of absolute pre-existence before any creation, which is not mentioned
until Joh_1:3. This beginning had no
beginning (compare Joh_1:3; Joh_17:5; 1Jo_1:1;
Eph_1:4; Pro_8:23;
Psa_90:2). This heightening of the
conception, however, appears not so much in
ἀρχή, beginning, which simply leaves room for it, as in the use of ἦν, was, denoting absolute existence (compare εἰμί, I am, Joh_8:58)
instead of
ἐγένετο, came into being, or began to be,
which is used in Joh_1:3, Joh_1:14, of the coming into being of creation
and of the Word becoming flesh. Note also the contrast between
ἀρχή, in the beginning, and the expression ἀπἀρχῆς, from the beginning, which is common in John’s writings (Joh_8:44; 1Jo_2:7,
1Jo_2:24; 1Jo_3:8)
and which leaves no room for the idea of eternal pre-existence. “In Gen_1:1, the sacred historian starts from the
beginning and comes downward, thus keeping us in the course of time. Here he
starts from the same point, but goes upward, thus taking us into the eternity
preceding time” (Milligan and Moulton). See on Col_1:15.
This notion of “beginning” is still further heightened by the subsequent
statement of the relation of the Logos to the eternal God. The
ἀρχή must refer to the creation – the primal beginning of
things; but if, in this beginning, the Logos already was, then he
belonged to the order of eternity. “The Logos was not merely existent, however,
in the beginning, but was also the efficient principle, the
beginning of the beginning. The
ἀρχή (beginning), in itself and in its operation dark, chaotic, was,
in its idea and its principle, comprised in one single luminous word, which was
the Logos. And when it is said the Logos was in this beginning, His eternal
existence is already expressed, and His eternal position in the Godhead already
indicated thereby” (Lange). “Eight times in the narrative of creation (in
Genesis) there occur, like the refrain of a hymn, the words, And God
said. John gathers up all those sayings of God into a single saying,
living and endowed with activity and intelligence, from which all divine orders
emanate: he finds as the basis of all spoken words, the speaking Word
(Godet).

The Word (ὁ λόγος)

Logos. This expression is the keynote and theme of the entire gospel. Λόγος is from the root λεγ, appearing in λέγω, the primitive meaning of which is to lay: then, to
pick out, gather, pick up: hence to gather
or put words together, and so, to speak. Hence
λόγος is, first of all, a collecting or collection
both of things in the mind, and of words by which they are expressed. It
therefore signifies both the outward form by which the
inward thought is expressed, and the inward thought
itself, the Latin oratio and ratio: compare the Italian ragionare,
“to think” and “to speak.”

As signifying the outward form it is never used in the merely
grammatical sense, as simply the name of a thing or act (
ἔπος, ὄνομα, ῥῆμα), but means a word as
the thing referred to: the material, not the
formal part: a word as embodying a conception or idea. See, for
instance, Mat_22:46; 1Co_14:9, 1Co_14:19.
Hence it signifies a saying, of God, or of man (Mat_19:21, Mat_19:22;
Mar_5:35, Mar_5:36):
a decree, a precept (Rom_9:28;
Mar_7:13). The ten commandments are
called in the Septuagint,
οἱ δέκα λόγοι, “the ten words” (Exo_34:28),
and hence the familiar term decalogue. It is further used of discourse:
either of the act of speaking (Act_14:12),
of skill and practice in speaking (Act_18:15; 2Ti_4:15),
specifically the doctrine of salvation through Christ (Mat_13:20-23; Phi_1:14);
of narrative, both the relation and the thing related (Act_1:1; Joh_21:23;
Mar_1:45); of matter under
discussion, an affair, a case in law (Act_15:6;
Act_19:38).

As signifying the inward thought, it denotes the
faculty of thinking and reasoning (Heb_4:12); regard or consideration
(Act_20:24); reckoning, account
(Phi_4:15, Phi_4:17;
Heb_4:13); cause or reason
(Act_10:29).

John uses the word in a peculiar sense, here, and in Joh_1:14; and, in this sense, in these two
passages only. The nearest approach to it is in Rev_19:13,
where the conqueror is called the Word of God; and
it is recalled in the phrases Word of Life, and the Life
was manifested (1Jo_1:1, 1Jo_1:2). Compare Heb_4:12.
It was a familiar and current theological term when John wrote, and therefore
he uses it without explanation.

Old Testament Usage of the Term

The word here points directly to Genesis 1, where the act of creation is
effected by God speaking (compare Psa_33:6).
The idea of God, who is in his own nature hidden, revealing himself in
creation, is the root of the Logos-idea, in contrast with all materialistic or
pantheistic conceptions of creation. This idea develops itself in the Old
Testament on three lines. (1) The Word, as embodying
the divine will, is personified in Hebrew
poetry. Consequently divine attributes are predicated of it as being the
continuous revelation of God in law and prophecy (Psa_3:4;
Isa_40:8; Psa_119:105).
The Word is a healer in Psa_107:20;
a messenger in Psa_147:15; the
agent of the divine decrees in Isa_55:11.

(2) The personified wisdom (Job_28:12 sq.; Proverbs 8, 9). Here also is the
idea of the revelation of that which is hidden. For wisdom is concealed from
man: “he knoweth not the price thereof, neither is it found in the land of the
living. The depth saith, It is not in me; and the sea saith, It is not with me.
It cannot be gotten for gold, neither shall silver be weighed for the price
thereof. It is hid from the eyes of all living, and kept close from the fowls
of the air” (Job 28). Even Death, which unlocks so many secrets, and the
underworld, know it only as a rumor (Job_28:22).
It is only God who knows its way and its place (Job_28:23).
He made the world, made the winds and the waters, made a decree for the rain
and a way for the lightning of the thunder (Job_28:25,
Job_28:26). He who possessed wisdom in
the beginning of his way, before His works of old, before the earth with its
depths and springs and mountains, with whom was wisdom as one brought up with
Him (Pro_8:26-31), declared it. “It
became, as it were, objective, so that He beheld it” (Job_28:27) and embodied it in His creative work.
This personification, therefore, is based on the thought that wisdom is not
shut up at rest in God, but is active and manifest in the world. “She standeth
in the top of high places, by the way in the places of the paths. She crieth at
the gates, at the entry of the city, at the coming in at the doors” (Pro_8:2, Pro_8:3).
She builds a palace and prepares a banquet, and issues a general invitation to
the simple and to him that wanteth understanding (Pro_9:1-6).
It is viewed as the one guide to salvation, comprehending all revelations of
God, and as an attribute embracing and combining all His other attributes.

(3) The Angel of Jehovah. The messenger of
God who serves as His agent in the world of sense, and is sometimes
distinguished from Jehovah and sometimes identical with him (Gen_16:7-13; Gen_32:24-28;
Hos_12:4, Hos_12:5;
Exo_23:20, Exo_23:21;
Mal_3:1).

Apocryphal Usage

In the Apocryphal writings this mediative element is more distinctly
apprehended, but with a tendency to pantheism. In the Wisdom of Solomon (at
least 100 b.c.), where wisdom seems to be viewed as another name for the whole
divine nature, while nowhere connected with the Messiah, it is described as a
being of light, proceeding essentially from God; a true image of God,
co-occupant of the divine throne; a real and independent principle, revealing
God in the world and mediating between it and Him, after having created it as
his organ – in association with a spirit which is called
μονογενές, only begotten (7:22). “She is the breath of the power of
God, and a pure influence flowing from the glory of the Almighty; therefore can
no defiled thing fall into her. For she is the brightness of the everlasting
light, the unspotted mirror of the power of God, and the image of his goodness”
(see chapter 7, throughout). Again: “Wisdom reacheth from one end to another
mightily, and sweetly doth she order all things. In that she is conversant with
God, she magnifieth her nobility: yea, the Lord of all things Himself loved
her. For she is privy to the mysteries of the knowledge of God, and a lover of
His works. Moreover, by the means of her I shall obtain immortality, and leave
behind me an everlasting memorial to them that come after me” (chapter 9). In
16:12, it is said, “Thy word, O Lord, healeth all things” (compare Psa_107:20); and in 18:15, 16, “Thine almighty
word leaped from heaven out of thy royal throne, as a fierce man of war into
the midst of a land of destruction, and brought thine unfeigned commandment as
a sharp sword, and, standing up, filled all things with death; and it touched
the heaven, but it stood upon the earth.” See also Wisdom of Sirach, chapters
1, 24, and Baruch 3, 4:1-4.

Later Jewish Usage

After the Babylonish captivity the Jewish doctors combined into one view
the theophanies, prophetic revelations and manifestations of Jehovah generally,
and united them in one single conception, that of a permanent agent of Jehovah
in the sensible world, whom they designated by the name Memra (word,
λόγος) of Jehovah. The learned Jews introduced the idea into
the Targurns, or Aramaean paraphrases of the Old Testament, which were publicly
read in the synagogues, substituting the name the word of Jehovah
for that of Jehovah, each time that God manifested himself. Thus in Gen_39:21, they paraphrase, “The Memra was with
Joseph in prison.” In Psa_110:1-7
Jehovah addresses the first verse to the Memra. The Memra is the angel that
destroyed the first-born of Egypt, and it was the Memra that led the Israelites
in the cloudy pillar.

Usage in the Judaeo-Alexandrine Philosophy

From the time of Ptolemy I: (323-285 b.c.), there were Jews in great
numbers in Egypt. Philo (a.d. 50) estimates them at a million in his time.
Alexandria was their headquarters. They had their own senate and magistrates,
and possessed the same privileges as the Greeks. The Septuagint translation of
the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek (b.c. 280-150) was the beginning of a literary
movement among them, the key-note of which was the reconciliation of Western
culture and Judaism, the establishment of a connection between the Old
Testament faith and the Greek philosophy. Hence they interpreted the facts of
sacred history allegorically, and made them symbols of certain speculative
principles, alleging that the Greek philosophers had borrowed their wisdom from
Moses. Aristobulus (about 150 b.c.) asserted the existence of a previous and
much older translation of the law, and dedicated to Ptolemy VI an allegorical
exposition of the Pentateuch, in which he tried to show that the doctrines of
the Peripatetic or Aristotelian school were derived from the Old Testament.
Most of the schools of Greek philosophy were represented among the Alexandrian
Jews, but the favorite one was the Platonic. The effort at reconciliation
culminated in Philo, a contemporary of Christ. Philo was intimately acquainted
with the Platonic philosophy, and made it the fundamental feature of his own doctrines,
while availing himself likewise of ideas belonging to the Peripatetic and Stoic
schools. Unable to discern the difference in the points of view from which
these different doctrines severally proceeded, he jumbled together not merely
discordant doctrines of the Greek schools, but also those of the East,
regarding the wisdom of the Greeks as having originated in the legislation and
writings of Moses. He gathered together from East and West every element that
could help to shape his conception of a vicegerent of God, “a mediator between
the eternal and the ephemeral. His Logos reflects light from countless facets.”

According to Philo, God is the absolute Being. He calls God “that which
is:” “the One and the All.” God alone exists for himself, without multiplicity
and without mixture. No name can properly be ascribed to Him: He simply is.
Hence, in His nature, He is unknowable.

Outside of God there exists eternal matter, without form and void, and
essentially evil; but the perfect Being could not come into direct contact with
the senseless and corruptible; so that the world could not have been created by
His direct agency. Hence the doctrine of a mediating principle between God and
matter – the divine Reason, the Logos, in whom are comprised all
the ideas of finite things, and who created the sensible world by causing these
ideas to penetrate into matter.

The absolute God is surrounded by his powers (δυνάμεις) as a king by his servants. These powers are, in Platonic language, ideas;
in Jewish, angels; but all are essentially one, and their unity, as they
exist in God, as they emanate from him, as they are disseminated in the world,
is expressed by Logos. Hence the Logos appears under a twofold aspect:
(1) As the immanent reason of God, containing within
itself the world-ideal, which, while not outwardly existing, is like the
immanent reason in man. This is styled
Λόγος ἐνδιάθετος, i.e., the Logos conceived and residing
in the mind. This was the aspect emphasized by the
Alexandrians, and which tended to the recognition of a twofold personality in
the divine essence. (2) As the outspoken word, proceeding
from God and manifest in the world. This, when it has issued from God in
creating the world, is the
Λόγος προφορικός, i.e., the Logos uttered, even as in man the
spoken word is the manifestation of thought. This aspect prevailed in Palestine,
where the Word appears like the angel of the Pentateuch, as the medium of the
outward communication of God with men, and tends toward the recognition of a
divine person subordinate to God. Under the former aspect, the Logos is,
really, one with God’s hidden being: the latter comprehends all the workings
and revelations of God in the world; affords from itself the ideas and energies
by which the world was framed and is upheld; and, filling all things with
divine light and life, rules them in wisdom, love, and righteousness. It is the
beginning of creation, not inaugurated, like God, nor made, like the world; but
the eldest son of the eternal Father (the world being the younger); God’s
image; the mediator between God and the world; the highest angel; the second
God.

Philo’s conception of the Logos, therefore, is: the sum-total and free
exercise of the divine energies; so that God, so far as he reveals himself, is
called Logos; while the Logos, so far as he reveals God, is called God.

John’s doctrine and terms are colored by these preceding influences.
During his residence at Ephesus he must have become familiar with the forms and
terms of the Alexandrian theology. Nor is it improbable that he used the term
Logos with an intent to facilitate the passage from the current theories of his
time to the pure gospel which he proclaimed. “To those Hellenists and
Hellenistic Jews, on the one hand, who were vainly philosophizing on the
relations of the finite and infinite; to those investigators of the letter of
the Scriptures, on the other, who speculated about the theocratic revelations,
John said, by giving this name Logos to Jesus: ‘The unknown Mediator between
God and the world, the knowledge of whom you are striving after, we have seen,
heard, and touched. Your philosophical speculations and your scriptural
subtleties will never raise you to Him. Believe as we do in Jesus, and you will
possess in Him that divine Revealer who engages your thoughts’” (Godet).

But John’s doctrine is not Philo’s, and does not depend upon it. The
differences between the two are pronounced. Though both use the term Logos,
they use it with utterly different meanings. In John it signifies word,
as in Holy Scripture generally; in Philo, reason; and that so distinctly
that when Philo wishes to give it the meaning of word, he adds to it by
way of explanation, the term
ῥῆμα, word.

The nature of the being described by Logos is conceived by each in an
entirely different spirit. John’s Logos is a person, with a
consciousness of personal distinction; Philo’s is impersonal. His notion is
indeterminate and fluctuating, shaped by the influence which happens to be
operating at the time. Under the influence of Jewish documents he styles the
Logos an “archangel;” under the influence of Plato, “the Idea of Ideas;” of the
Stoics, “the impersonal Reason.” It is doubtful whether Philo ever meant to
represent the Logos formally as a person. All the titles he gives it may be
explained by supposing it to mean the ideal world on which the actual is
modeled.

In Philo, moreover, the function of the Logos is confined to the
creation and preservation of the universe. He does not identify or connect him
with the Messiah. His doctrine was, to a great degree, a philosophical
substitute for Messianic hopes. He may have conceived of the Word as acting
through the Messiah, but not as one with him. He is a universal principle. In
John the Messiah is the Logos himself, uniting himself with humanity, and
clothing himself with a body in order to save the world.

The two notions differ as to origin. The impersonal God of Philo cannot
pass to the finite creation without contamination of his divine essence. Hence
an inferior agent must be interposed. John’s God, on the other hand, is
personal, and a loving personality. He is a Father (Joh_1:18);
His essence is love (Joh_3:16; 1Jo_4:8, 1Jo_4:16).
He is in direct relation with the world which He desires to save, and the Logos
is He Himself, manifest in the flesh. According to Philo, the Logos is not
coexistent with the eternal God. Eternal matter is before him in time.
According to John, the Logos is essentially with the Father from all eternity (Joh_1:2), and it is He who creates all things,
matter included (Joh_1:3).

Philo misses the moral energy of the Hebrew religion as expressed in its
emphasis upon the holiness of Jehovah, and therefore fails to perceive the
necessity of a divine teacher and Savior. He forgets the wide distinction
between God and the world, and declares that, were the universe to end, God
would die of loneliness and inactivity.

The Meaning of Logos in John

As Logos has the double meaning of thought and speech, so
Christ is related to God as the word to the idea, the word being not merely a name
for the idea, but the idea itself expressed. The thought is the inward word
(Dr. Schaff compares the Hebrew expression “I speak in my heart” for “I
think”).

The Logos of John is the real, personal God (Joh_1:1),
the Word, who was originally before the creation with God. and was
God, one in essence and nature, yet personally distinct (Joh_1:1, Joh_1:18);
the revealer and interpreter of the hidden being of God; the reflection and
visible image of God, and the organ of all His manifestations to the world.
Compare Heb_1:3. He made all things,
proceeding personally from God for the accomplishment of the act of creation (Heb_1:3), and became man in the person of Jesus
Christ, accomplishing the redemption of the world. Compare Phi_2:6.

The following is from William Austin, “Meditation for Christmas Day,”
cited by Ford on John:

“The name Word is most excellently given to our Savior; for it
expresses His nature in one, more than in any others. Therefore St. John, when
he names the Person in the Trinity (1Jo_5:7),
chooses rather to call Him Word than Son; for word is a
phrase more communicable than son. Son hath only reference to the
Father that begot Him; but word may refer to him that conceives
it; to him that speaks it; to that which is spoken
by it; to the voice that it is clad in; and to the effects
it raises in him that hears it. So Christ, as He is the Word, not
only refers to His Father that begot Him, and from whom He comes forth, but to
all the creatures that were made by Him; to the flesh that He took to clothe
Him; and to the doctrine He brought and taught, and, which lives yet in the
hearts of all them that obediently do hear it. He it is that is this Word;
and any other, prophet or preacher, he is but a voice (Luk_3:4). Word is an inward
conception of the mind; and voice is but a
sign of intention. St. John was but a sign, a voice;
not worthy to untie the shoe-latchet of this Word. Christ is the inner conception
‘in the bosom of His Father;’ and that is properly the Word. And
yet the Word is the intention uttered forth, as well as conceived within; for
Christ was no less the Word in the womb of the Virgin, or in the cradle of the
manger, or on the altar of the cross, than he was in the beginning, ‘in the
bosom of his Father.’ For as the intention departs not from the mind when the
word is uttered, so Christ, proceeding from the Father by eternal generation,
and after here by birth and incarnation, remains still in Him and with Him in
essence; as the intention, which is conceived and born in the mind, remains
still with it and in it, though the word be spoken. He is therefore rightly
called the Word, both by His coming from, and yet remaining still
in, the Father.”

And the Word

A repetition of the great subject, with solemn emphasis.

Was with God (ἦν πὸς τὸν Θεὸν)

Anglo-Saxon vers., mid Gode. Wyc., at God. With
(
πρός) does not convey the full meaning, that there is no single English word
which will give it better. The preposition
πρός, which, with the accusative case, denotes motion towards, or direction,
is also often used in the New Testament in the sense of with; and that
not merely as being near or beside, but as a living
union and communion; implying the active notion of intercourse. Thus: “Are not
his sisters here with us” (
πρὸς ἡμᾶς), i.e., in social relations with
us (Mar_6:3; Mat_13:56). “How long shall I be with you” (
πρὸς ὑμᾶς, Mar_9:16).
“I sat daily with you” (Mat_26:55).
“To be present with the Lord” (
πρὸς τὸν Κύριον, 2Co_5:8). “Abide and winter with
you” (1Co_16:6). “The eternal
life which was with the Father” (
πρὸς τὸν πατέρα, 1Jo_1:2). Thus John’s
statement is that the divine Word not only abode with the Father from
all eternity, but was in the living, active relation of communion with Him.

And the Word was God (καὶ Θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος)

In the Greek order, and God was the Word,
which is followed by Anglo-Saxon, Wyc., and Tynd. But
θεὸς, God, is the predicate and not the subject of the
proposition. The subject must be the Word; for John is not trying to show who
is God, but who is the Word. Notice that
Θεὸς is without the article, which could not have been omitted if he had
meant to designate the word as God; because, in that event,
Θεὸς would have been ambiguous; perhaps a God. Moreover, if he had
said God was the Word, he would have contradicted
his previous statement by which he had distinguished (hypostatically) God from
the word, and
λόγος (Logos) would, further, have signified only an
attribute of God. The predicate is emphatically placed in the proposition
before the subject, because of the progress of the thought; this being the
third and highest statement respecting the Word – the climax of the two
preceding propositions. The word God, used attributively, maintains the
personal distinction between God and the Word, but makes the unity of essence
and nature to follow the distinction of person, and ascribes to the Word all
the attributes of the divine essence. “There is something majestic in the way
in which the description of the Logos, in the three brief but great
propositions of Joh_1:1, is unfolded
with increasing fullness” (Meyer).

 

 

 

John 1:1-51

 

Joh_1:1-51

The theme of John’s Gospel is
that Jesus is the Son of God (Joh_20:30-31),
and in this first chapter he proves his claim. As you read this wonderful
chapter, you cannot help but see that Christ is God’s Son because of the names
and titles He bears, the works He performs, and the witnesses who knew Him
personally and declare who He is.

I. Christ’s Names Prove He Is God’s Son

A. He is the Word (Joh_1:1-3, Joh_1:14).

Just as our words reveal our mind
and heart, so Christ reveals the mind and heart of God to men. “He who has seen
Me has seen the Father” (Joh_14:9 4,
NKJV). A word is composed of letters; and Christ is the Alpha and Omega (first
and last letters of the Gk. alphabet; Rev_22:13)
who spells out God’s love to us. In Gen_1:1-31,
God created everything through His Word; and Col_1:16
and 2Pe_3:5 indicate that this Word was
Christ. While God can be known in part through nature and history, He is known
in full through His Son (Heb_1:1-2).
Christ as the Word brings grace and truth (Joh_1:14
and Joh_1:17); but if men will not
receive Him, this same Word will come in wrath and judgment (Rev_19:13). The Bible is the written Word of
God, and Christ is the living, incarnate Word of God.

B. He is the Light (Joh_1:4-13).

God’s first creative act in Gen_1:1-31 was producing light, for life comes
from light. Jesus is the true light, that is, the original light from which all
light has its source. In John’s Gospel, you find a conflict between light (God,
eternal life) and darkness (Satan, eternal death). This is indicated in Joh_1:5 — “And the light shines [present tense]
in the darkness, and the darkness has not been able to put it out or lay hold
of it” (literal translation). Note Joh_3:19-21,
Joh_8:12, and Joh_12:46. Second Corinthians 2Co_4:3-6 pictures salvation as the entrance of
light into the dark heart of the sinner (see also Gen_1:1-3).

C. He is the Son of
God (Joh_1:15-18, Joh_1:30-34, Joh_1:49).

It was this claim that aroused
the Jews to persecute Christ (Joh_10:30-36).
Note the seven persons in John’s Gospel who called Christ the Son of God: John
the Baptist (Joh_1:34); Nathanael (Joh_1:49); Peter (Joh_6:69);
the healed blind man (Joh_9:35-38);
Martha (Joh_11:27); Thomas (Joh_20:28); and the Apostle John (Joh_20:30-31). The sinner who will not believe
that Jesus is God’s Son cannot be saved (Joh_8:24).

D. He is the Christ (Joh_1:19-28, Joh_1:35-42).

“Christ” means the Messiah, the
Anointed One. The Jews were expecting their Messiah to appear, and this is why
they questioned John. Even the Samaritans were looking for Him (Joh_4:25, Joh_4:42).
Any Jew who said that Jesus was the Christ was thrown out of the synagogue (Joh_9:22).

E. He is the Lamb of
God (Joh_1:29, Joh_1:35-36).

John’s announcement is the answer
to Isaac’s question, “Where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” (Gen_22:7). The passover lamb in Exo_12:1-51 and the sacrificial lamb in Isa_53:1-12 point to Christ. There were many
lambs slain in Old Testament history, but Christ is the Lamb of God, the unique
one. The blood of lambs slain in the tabernacle or temple merely covered sin (Heb_10:1-4), but Christ’s blood takes away sin.
The lambs offered in the Old Testament days were for Israel alone, but Christ
died for the sins of the whole world.

F. He is the King of
Israel (Joh_1:43-49).

Israel’s people were tired of
Roman rule and wanted a king. Because Christ fed them, they wanted to make Him
King (Joh_6:15), but He left the crowd.
He offered Himself as their King (recorded in Joh_12:12-19)
but the chief priests said, “We have no king but Caesar!” (Joh_19:15)

G. He is the Son of
Man (Joh_1:50-51).

This title comes from Dan_7:13-14, and every Jew knew it described
God. (Note the Jews’ question in Joh_12:34.)
Christ alludes in Joh_1:51 to “Jacob’s
ladder” in Gen_28:10-17. Christ is
“God’s ladder” between earth and heaven, revealing God to men and taking men to
God.

II. Christ’s Works Prove He Is God’s Son

A. He created the
world (Joh_1:1-4).

He was in the beginning with God
and was the divine Agent through whom the world was created.

B. He gives men
salvation (Joh_1:9-13).

He came to His own world, and His
own people (the Jews) received Him not. Salvation is a free gift that the
sinner receives when he trusts Christ. “Believing” and “receiving” are the same
thing. A new birth then takes place — not from human blood, or by the flesh, or
by the will of men, but from God.

C. He reveals God (Joh_1:15-18).

Christ reveals God’s grace and
God’s truth. Moses gave the Law that reveals sin and condemns; Christ reveals
the truth that redeems. The Law prepared the way for Him.

D. He baptizes with
the Spirit (Joh_1:33).

We see the Trinity in this
chapter: the Father (Joh_1:14, Joh_1:18); the Son (Joh_1:14,
Joh_1:18); and the Spirit (Joh_1:32-34). The descent of the Spirit
identified Christ to John; and we cannot truly see Christ today unless the
Spirit opens our eyes.

E. He has intimate
knowledge of men (Joh_1:42, Joh_1:47-48).

He knew Peter and Nathanael
better than they knew themselves (see Joh_2:23-25).
Only God can see the hearts of people.

F. He forgives sin (Joh_1:29).

Nobody on earth can take away a
person’s sin!

G. He opens the way
to heaven (Joh_1:50-51) and is the way
to heaven.

Like Jacob in Gen_28:10-17, sinners are away from home and in
the night of sin. But Christ reveals the glory of heaven and opens it for us to
enter in. Christ is God’s “staircase to glory.”

III. Witnesses Prove That Christ Is God’s Son

John uses the word “witness”
often in his Gospel (Joh_1:7-8, Joh_1:15; Joh_3:26,
Joh_3:28; Joh_5:31-37;
Joh_8:18; Joh_15:27;
Joh_18:23). The witnesses of the Bible
can be trusted because they had a personal contact with Christ, and they gained
nothing from men by witnessing for Christ. (In fact, they suffered for it.)
There is no evidence that they lied; their witness would stand in court today.
These witnesses are:

A. John the Baptist (Joh_1:7, Joh_1:15,
Joh_1:29; See Also Joh_5:35).

B. John the Apostle (Joh_1:14, “We Beheld His Glory…”)

C. The OT prophets (Joh_1:30, Joh_1:45).

It is likely that Nathanael was
reading in the Books of Moses when Philip found him.

D. The Holy Spirit (Joh_1:33-34).

E. Andrew (Joh_1:41).

He was a soul-winner, and he
started at home.

F. Philip (Joh_1:45).

Philip backed up his testimony
with the Word of God, a wise policy for all witnesses.

G. Nathanael (Joh_1:49).

John and Andrew were saved
through a preacher, John the Baptist. Peter found Christ because of Andrew’s
personal work. Philip was called by Christ personally; and Nathanael found
Christ through the Word and Philip’s testimony. God uses different people and
circumstances to bring people to His Son.
He is a God of infinite variety.

 

 

 

John 1:1

In the beginning – (Referring to Gen_1:1,
and Pro_8:23.) When all things began to
be made by the Word: in the beginning of heaven and earth, and this whole frame
of created beings, the Word existed, without any beginning. He was when all
things began to be, whatsoever had a beginning. The Word – So termed Psa_33:6, and frequently by the seventy, and in
the Chaldee paraphrase. So that St. John did not borrow this expression from
Philo, or any heathen writer. He was not yet named Jesus, or Christ. He is the
Word whom the Father begat or spoke from eternity; by whom the Father speaking,
maketh all things; who speaketh the Father to us. We have, in Joh_1:18, both a real description of the Word,
and the reason why he is so called. He is the only begotten Son of the Father,
who is in the bosom of the Father, and hath declared him. And the Word was with
God – Therefore distinct from God the Father. The word rendered with, denotes a
perpetual tendency as it were of the Son to the Father, in unity of essence. He
was with God alone; because nothing beside God had then any being. And the Word
was God – Supreme, eternal, independent. There was no creature, in respect of
which he could be styled God in a relative sense. Therefore he is styled so in
the absolute sense. The Godhead of the Messiah being clearly revealed in the
Old Testament, (Jer_23:7; Hos_1:6; Psa_23:1,)
the other evangelists aim at this, to prove that Jesus, a true man, was the
Messiah. But when, at length, some from hence began to doubt of his Godhead,
then St. John expressly asserted it, and wrote in this book as it were a
supplement to the Gospels, as in the Revelation to the prophets.

 

John 1:1-51

 

Chapter One
God Is Here!
Joh_1:1-51

But will God indeed dwell on the earth?” asked Solomon as he dedicated
the temple (1Ki_8:27). A good question,
indeed! God’s glory had dwelt in the tabernacle (Exo_40:34),
and in the temple (1Ki_8:10-11); but
that glory had departed from disobedient Israel (Eze_9:3;
Eze_10:4, Eze_10:18;
Eze_11:22-23).

Then a marvelous thing happened: the glory of God came to His people
again, in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ. The writers of the four Gospels
have given us “snapshots” of our Lord’s life on earth, for no complete
biography could ever be written (Joh_21:25).
Matthew wrote with his fellow Jews in mind and emphasized that Jesus of Nazareth
had fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies. Mark wrote for the busy Romans.
Whereas Matthew emphasized the King, Mark presented the Servant, ministering to
needy people. Luke wrote his Gospel for the Greeks and introduced them to the
sympathetic Son of man.

But it was given to John, the beloved disciple, to write a book for both
Jews and Gentiles, presenting Jesus as the Son of God. We know that John had
Gentiles in mind as well as Jews, because he often “interpreted” Jewish words
or customs for his readers (Joh_1:38, Joh_1:41-42; Joh_5:2;
Joh_9:7; Joh_19:13,
Joh_19:17; Joh_20:16).
His emphasis to the Jews was that Jesus not only fulfilled the Old Testament
prophecies, but He also fulfilled the types. Jesus is the Lamb of God (Joh_1:29) and the Ladder from heaven to earth (Joh_1:51; and see Gen_28:1-22).
He is the New Temple (Joh_2:19-21), and
He gives a new birth (Joh_3:4). He is
the serpent lifted up (Joh_3:14) and
the Bread of God that came down from heaven (Joh_6:35).

Whereas the first three Gospels major on describing events in the
life of Christ, John emphasized the meaning of these events. For
example, all four Gospels record the feeding of the 5,000 but only John records
Jesus’ sermon on “The Bread of Life” which followed that miracle when He interpreted
it for the people.

But there is one major theme that runs throughout John’s Gospel: Jesus
Christ is the Son of God, and if you commit yourself to Him, He will give you
eternal life (Joh_20:31). In this first
chapter, John recorded seven names and titles of Jesus that identify Him as
eternal God.

The Word (Joh_1:1-3, Joh_1:14)

Much as our words reveal to others our hearts and minds, so Jesus Christ
is God’s “Word” to reveal His heart and mind to us. “He that hath seen Me hath
seen the Father” (Joh_14:9). A word is
composed of letters, and Jesus Christ is “Alpha and Omega” (Rev_1:11), the first and last letters of the
Greek alphabet. According to Heb_1:1-3,
Jesus Christ is God’s last Word to mankind, for He is the climax of
divine revelation.

Jesus Christ is the eternal Word (Joh_1:1-2).

He existed in the beginning, not because He had a beginning as a
creature, but because He is eternal. He is God and He was with
God. “Before Abraham was, I am” (Joh_8:58).

Jesus Christ is the creative Word (Joh_1:3).

There is certainly a parallel between Joh_1:1
and Gen_1:1, the “new creation” and the
“old creation.” God created the worlds through His word: “And God said, ‘Let
there be. . . . ’” / “For He spake, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood
fast” (Psa_33:9). God created all
things through Jesus Christ (Col_1:16),
which means that Jesus is not a created being. He is eternal God.

The verb was made is perfect tense in the Greek, which
means a “completed act.” Creation is finished. It is not a process still going
on, even though God is certainly at work in His creation (Joh_5:17). Creation is not a process; it is a
finished product.

Jesus Christ is the incarnate Word (Joh_1:14).

He was not a phantom or a spirit when He ministered on earth, nor was
His body a mere illusion. John and the other disciples each had a personal
experience that convinced them of the reality of the body of Jesus (1Jo_1:1-2). Even though John’s emphasis is the
deity of Christ, he makes it clear that the Son of God came in the
flesh and was subject to the sinless infirmities of human nature.

In his Gospel, John points out that Jesus was weary (Joh_4:6) and thirsty (Joh_4:7). He groaned within (Joh_11:33)
and openly wept (Joh_11:35). On the
cross, He thirsted (Joh_19:28), died (Joh_19:30), and bled (Joh_19:34). After His resurrection, He proved to Thomas and
the other disciples that He still had a real body (Joh_20:24-29),
howbeit, a glorified body.

How was the “Word made flesh”? By the miracle of the Virgin Birth (Isa_7:14; Mat_1:18-25;
Luk_1:26-38). He took on Himself
sinless human nature and identified with us in every aspect of life from birth
to death. “The Word” was not an abstract concept of philosophy, but a real
Person who could be seen, touched, and heard. Christianity is Christ, and
Christ is God.

The revelation of God’s glory is an important theme in the Gospel. Jesus
revealed God’s glory in His person, His works, and His words. John recorded
seven wonderful signs (miracles) that openly declared the glory of God (Joh_2:11). The glory of the Old Covenant of Law
was a fading glory, but the glory of the New Covenant in Christ is an
increasing glory (see 2Co_3:1-18). The
Law could reveal sin, but it could never remove sin. Jesus Christ came with fullness
of grace and truth, and this fullness is available to all who will trust Him (Joh_1:16).

The Light (Joh_1:4-13)

Life is a key theme in John’s Gospel;
it is used thirty-six times. What are the essentials for human life? There are
at least four: light (if the sun went out, everything would die), air, water,
and food. Jesus is all of these! He is the Light of life and the Light of the
world (Joh_8:12). He is the “Sun of
righteousness” (Mal_4:2). By His Holy
Spirit, He gives us the “breath of life” (Joh_3:8;
Joh_20:22), as well as the Water of
life (Joh_4:10, Joh_4:13-14; Joh_7:37-39).
Finally, Jesus is the Living Bread of Life that came down from heaven (Joh_6:35). He not only has life and gives life,
but He is life (Joh_14:6).

Light and darkness are recurring themes in John’s Gospel. God is light (1Jo_1:5) while Satan is “the power of darkness”
(Luk_22:53). People love either the
light or the darkness, and this love controls their actions (Joh_3:16-19). Those who believe on Christ are
the “sons of light” (Joh_12:35-36).
Just as the first Creation began with “Let there be light!” so the New Creation
begins with the entrance of light into the heart of the believer (2Co_4:3-6). The coming of Jesus Christ into the
world was the dawning of a new day for sinful man (Luk_1:78-79).

You would think that blind sinners would welcome the light, but such is
not always the case. The coming of the true light brought conflict as the
powers of darkness opposed it. A literal translation of Joh_1:5 reads, “And the light keeps on shining
in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it or understood it.” The
Greek verb can mean “to overcome” or “to grasp, to understand.” Throughout the
Gospel of John, you will see both attitudes revealed: people will not
understand what the Lord is saying and doing and, as a result, they will oppose
Him. John 7-12 records the growth of that opposition, which ultimately led to
the crucifixion of Christ.

Whenever Jesus taught a spiritual truth, His listeners interpreted it in
a material or physical way. The light was unable to penetrate the darkness in
their minds. This was true when He spoke about the temple of His body (Joh_2:19-21), the new birth (Joh_3:4), the living water (Joh_4:11), eating His flesh (Joh_6:51), spiritual freedom (Joh_8:30-36), death as sleep (Joh_11:11-13), and many other spiritual truths.
Satan strives to keep people in the darkness, because darkness means death and
hell, while light means life and heaven.

This fact helps explain the ministry of John the Baptist (Joh_1:6-8). John was sent as a witness to Jesus
Christ, to tell people that the Light had come into the world. The nation of
Israel, in spite of all its spiritual advantages, was blind to their own
Messiah! The word witness is a key word in this book; John uses the noun
fourteen times and the verb thirty-three times. John the Baptist was one of
many people who bore witness to Jesus, “This is the Son of God!” Alas, John the
Baptist was martyred and the Jewish leaders did nothing to prevent it.

Why did the nation reject Jesus Christ? Because they “knew Him not.”
They were spiritually ignorant. Jesus is the “true Light” — the original of
which every other light is a copy — but the Jews were content with the copies.
They had Moses and the Law, the temple and the sacrifices; but they did not
comprehend that these “lights” pointed to the true Light who was the
fulfillment, the completion, of the Old Testament religion.

As you study John’s Gospel, you will find Jesus teaching the people that
He is the fulfillment of all that was typified in the Law. It was not enough to
be born a Jew; they had to be born again, born from above (Joh_3:1-36). He deliberately performed two
miracles on the Sabbath to teach them that He had a new rest to give them (Joh_5:1-47; Joh_9:1-41).
He was the satisfying manna (Joh_6:1-71)
and the life-giving Water (Joh_7:37-39).
He is the Shepherd of a new flock (Joh_10:16),
and He is a new Vine (Joh_15:1-27). But
the people were so shackled by religious tradition that they could not
understand spiritual truth. Jesus came to His own world that He had created,
but His own people, Israel, could not understand Him and would not receive Him.

They saw His works and heard His words. They observed His perfect life.
He gave them every opportunity to grasp the truth, believe, and be saved. Jesus
is the way, but they would not walk with Him (Joh_6:66-71).
He is the truth, but they would not believe Him (Joh_12:37).
He is the life, and they crucified Him!

But sinners today need not commit those same blunders. Joh_1:12-13 gives us the marvelous promise of
God that anyone who receives Christ will be born again and enter the family of
God! John says more about this new birth in Joh_3:1-36,
but he points out here that it is a spiritual birth from God, not a physical
birth that depends on human nature.

The Light is still shining! Have you personally received the
Light and become a child of God?

The Son of God (Joh_1:15-28, Joh_1:49)

John the Baptist is one of the most important persons in the New
Testament. He is mentioned at least eighty-nine times. John had the special
privilege of introducing Jesus to the nation of Israel. He also had the
difficult task of preparing the nation to receive their Messiah. He called them
to repent of their sins and to prove that repentance by being baptized and then
living changed lives.

John summarized what John the Baptist had to say about Jesus Christ (Joh_1:15-18). First, He is eternal
(Joh_1:15). John the Baptist was
actually born six months before Jesus (Luk_1:36);
so in this statement he is referring to our Lord’s preexistence, not His birth
date. Jesus existed before John the Baptist was ever conceived.

Jesus Christ has fullness of grace and truth
(Joh_1:16-17). Grace is God’s favor and
kindness bestowed on those who do not deserve it and cannot earn it. If God
dealt with us only according to truth, none of us would survive; but He deals
with us on the basis of grace and truth. Jesus Christ, in His life,
death, and resurrection, met all the demands of the Law; now God is free to
share fullness of grace with those who trust Christ. Grace without truth would
be deceitful, and truth without grace would be condemning.

In Joh_1:17, John did not
suggest that there was no grace under the Law of Moses, because there was. Each
sacrifice was an expression of the grace of God. The Law also revealed God’s
truth. But in Jesus Christ, grace and truth reach their fullness; and this
fullness is available to us. We are saved by grace (Eph_2:8-9),
but we also live by grace (1Co_15:10)
and depend on God’s grace in all that we do. We can receive one grace after
another, for “He giveth more grace” (Jam_4:6).
In Joh_1:17, John hinted that a whole
new order had come in, replacing the Mosaic system.

Finally, Jesus Christ reveals God to us
(Joh_1:18). As to His essence, God is
invisible (1Ti_1:17; Heb_11:27). Man can see God revealed in nature (Psa_19:1-6; Rom_1:20)
and in His mighty works in history; but he cannot see God Himself. Jesus Christ
reveals God to us, for He is “the image of the invisible God” (Col_1:15) and “the express image of His person”
(Heb_1:3). The word translated
“declared” gives us our English word exegesis, which means “to explain,
to unfold, to lead the way.” Jesus Christ explains God to us and interprets Him
for us. We simply cannot understand God apart from knowing His Son, Jesus
Christ.

The word Son is used for the first time in John’s Gospel as a
title for Jesus Christ (Joh_1:18). The
phrase “only-begotten” means “unique, the only one of its kind.” It does not
suggest that there was a time when the Son was not, and then the Father brought
Him into being. Jesus Christ is eternal God; He has always existed.

At least nine times in John’s Gospel, Jesus is called “the Son of God” (Joh_1:34, Joh_1:49;
Joh_3:18; Joh_5:25;
Joh_10:36; Joh_11:4,
Joh_11:27; Joh_19:7;
Joh_20:31). You will recall that John
had as his purpose in writing to convince us that Jesus is the Son of God (Joh_20:31). At least nineteen times, Jesus is
referred to as “the Son.” He is not only the Son of God, but He is God the Son.
Even the demons admitted this (Mar_3:11;
Luk_4:41).

John the Baptist is one of six persons named in the Gospel of John who
gave witness that Jesus is God. The others are Nathanael (Joh_1:49), Peter (Joh_6:69),
the blind man who was healed (Joh_9:35-38),
Martha (Joh_11:27), and Thomas (Joh_20:28). If you add our Lord Himself (Joh_5:25; Joh_10:36),
then you have seven clear witnesses.

John gave the record of four days in the life of John the Baptist,
Jesus, and the first disciples. He continues this sequence in Joh_2:1-25 and presents, as it were, a “week” in
the “new creation” that parallels the Creation week in Gen_1:1-31.

On the first day (Joh_1:19-24),
a committee from the Jewish religious leaders interrogated John the Baptist.
These men had every right to investigate John and his ministry, since they were
the custodians and guardians of the faith. They asked him several questions and
he clearly answered them.

“Who are you?” was a logical question. Was he the promised Messiah? Was
he the Prophet Elijah who was supposed to come before the Messiah appeared? (Mal_4:5) Great crowds had gathered to hear John,
and many people had been baptized. Though John did no miracles (Joh_10:41), it was possible the people thought
that he was the promised Messiah.

John denied being either Elijah or the Messiah. (In one sense, he was
the promised Elijah. See Mat_17:10-13.)
John had nothing to say about himself because he was sent to talk about Jesus!
Jesus is the Word; John was but “a voice” — and you cannot see a voice! John
pointed back to Isaiah’s prophecy (Isa_40:1-3)
and affirmed that he was the fulfillment.

Having ascertained who John was, the committee then asked what he was
doing. “Why are you baptizing?” John got his authority to baptize, not from
men, but from heaven, because he was commissioned by God (Mat_21:23-32). The Jewish religious leaders in
that day baptized Gentiles who wanted to adopt the Jewish faith; but John
baptized Jews!

John explained that his baptism was in water, but that the Messiah would
come and baptize with a spiritual baptism. Again, John made it clear that he
was not establishing a new religion or seeking to exalt himself. He was
pointing people to the Saviour, the Son of God (Joh_1:34).
We shall learn later that it was through baptism that Jesus Christ would be
presented to the people of Israel.

Lamb of God (Joh_1:29-34)

This is the second day of the week that the Apostle John recorded, and
no doubt some of the same committee members were present to hear John the
Baptist’s message. This time, he called Jesus “the Lamb of God,” a title he
would repeat the next day (Joh_1:35-36).
In one sense, the message of the Bible can be summed up in this title. The
question in the Old Testament is, “Where is the lamb?” (Gen_22:7) In the four Gospels, the emphasis is
“Behold the Lamb of God!” Here He is! After you have trusted Him, you sing with
the heavenly choir, “Worthy is the Lamb!” (Rev_5:12)

The people of Israel were familiar with lambs for the sacrifices. At
Passover, each family had to have a lamb; and during the year, two lambs a day
were sacrificed at the temple altar, plus all the other lambs brought for
personal sacrifices. Those lambs were brought by men to men, but here is God’s
Lamb, given by God to men! Those lambs could not take away sin, but the Lamb of
God can take away sin. Those lambs were for Israel alone, but this Lamb would
shed His blood for the whole world!

What does John’s baptism have to do with Jesus as the Lamb of God? It is
generally agreed by scholars of all denominations that, in the New Testament,
baptism was by immersion. It pictured death, burial, and resurrection. When
John the Baptist baptized Jesus, Jesus and John were picturing the “baptism”
Jesus would endure on the cross when He would die as the
sacrificial Lamb of God (Isa_53:7; Luk_12:50). It would be through death, burial,
and resurrection that the Lamb of God would “fulfill all righteousness” (Mat_3:15).

Perhaps John was mistaken. Perhaps John was not sure that Jesus of
Nazareth was the Lamb of God or the Son of God. But the Father made it clear to
John just who Jesus is by sending the Spirit like a dove to light on Him. What
a beautiful picture of the Trinity!

The Messiah (Joh_1:35-42)

This is now the third day in the sequence. The seventh day included the
wedding at Cana (Joh_2:1); and since
Jewish weddings traditionally were on Wednesdays, it would make this third day
the Sabbath Day. But it was not a day of rest for either John the Baptist or
Jesus, for John was preaching and Jesus was gathering disciples.

The two disciples of John who followed Jesus were John, the writer of
the Gospel, and his friend Andrew. John the Baptist was happy when people left
him to follow Jesus, because his ministry focused on Jesus. “He must increase,
but I must decrease” (Joh_3:30).

When Jesus asked them, “What are you seeking?” He was forcing them to
define their purposes and goals. Were they looking for a revolutionary leader
to overthrow Rome? Then they had better join the Zealots! Little did Andrew and
John realize that day how their lives would be transformed by the Son of God.

“Where are You dwelling?” may have suggested, “If You are too busy now,
we can visit later.” But Jesus invited them to spend the day with Him (it was
10 a.m.) and no doubt He told them something of His mission, revealed their own
hearts to them, and answered their questions. They were both so impressed that
they found their brothers and brought them to Jesus. Andrew found Simon and
John brought James. Indeed, they were their brothers’ keepers! (Gen_4:9) Whenever you find Andrew in John’s
Gospel, he is bringing somebody to Jesus: his brother, the lad with the loaves
and fishes (Joh_6:8), and the Greeks
who wanted to see Jesus (Joh_12:20-21).
No sermons from Andrew are recorded, but he certainly preached great sermons by
his actions as a personal soul winner!

“We have found the Messiah!” was the witness Andrew gave to Simon. Messiah
is a Hebrew word that means “anointed,” and the Greek equivalent is “Christ.”
To the Jews, it was the same as “Son of God” (see Mat_26:63-64;
Mar_14:61-62; Luk_22:67-70). In the Old Testament, prophets,
priests, and kings were anointed and thereby set apart for special service.
Kings were especially called “God’s anointed” (1Sa_26:11;
Psa_89:20); so, when the Jews spoke
about their Messiah, they were thinking of the king who would come to deliver
them and establish the kingdom.

There was some confusion among the Jewish teachers as to what the
Messiah would do. Some saw Him as a suffering sacrifice (as in Isa_53:1-12), while others saw a splendid king
(as in Isa_9:1-21 and Isa_11:1-16). Jesus had to explain even to His
own followers that the cross had to come before the crown, that He must suffer
before He could enter into His glory (Luk_24:13-35).
Whether or not Jesus was indeed the Messiah was a crucial problem that
challenged the Jews in that day (Joh_7:26,
Joh_7:40-44; Joh_9:22; Joh_10:24).

Simon’s interview with Jesus changed his life. It also gave him a new
name — Peter in the Greek, Cephas in the Aramaic that Jesus spoke
— both of which mean “a rock.” It took a great deal of work for Jesus to
transform weak Simon into a rock, but He did it! “Thou art . . . thou shalt be”
is a great encouragement to all who trust Christ. Truly, He gives us the “power
to become” (Joh_1:12).

It is worth noting that Andrew and John trusted Christ through the
faithful preaching of John the Baptist. Peter and James came to Christ because
of the compassionate personal work of their brothers. Later on, Jesus would win
Philip personally; and then Philip would witness to Nathanael and bring him to
Jesus. Each man’s experience is different, because God uses various means to
bring sinners to the Saviour. The important thing is that we trust Christ and
then seek to bring others to Him.

The King of Israel (Joh_1:43-49)

Jesus called Philip personally and Philip trusted Him and followed Him.
We do not know what kind of heart preparation Philip experienced, for usually
God prepares a person before He calls him. We do know that Philip proved his
faith by seeking to share it with his friend Nathanael.

Joh_21:2 suggests that
at least seven of our Lord’s disciples were fishermen, including Nathanael.
Fishermen are courageous and stick to the job, no matter how difficult it may
be. But Nathanael started out a doubter: he did not believe that anything
worthwhile could come out of Nazareth. Our Lord was born in Bethlehem, but He
grew up in Nazareth and bore that stigma (Mat_2:19-23).
To be called “a Nazarene” (Act_24:5)
meant to be looked down on and rejected.

When Nathanael hesitated and argued, Philip adopted our Lord’s own
words: “Come and see” (Joh_1:39). Later
on, Jesus would invite, “Come and drink!” (Joh_7:37)
and, “Come and dine!” (Joh_21:12)
“Come” is the great invitation of God’s grace.

When Nathanael came to Jesus, he discovered that the Lord already knew
all about him! What a shock! By calling him “an Israelite in whom is no guile,”
Jesus was certainly referring to Jacob, the ancestor of the Jews, a man who
used guile to trick his brother, his father, and his father-in-law. Jacob’s
name was changed to “Israel, a prince with God.” The reference to “Jacob’s
ladder” in Joh_1:51 confirms this.

When Jesus revealed His knowledge of Nathanael, where he had been and
what he had been doing, this was enough to convince the man that Jesus indeed
was “the Son of God, the King of Israel.” His experience was like that of the
Samaritan woman at the well. “When He [Messiah] is come, He will tell us all
things. . . . Come, see a man who told me all things that ever I did” (Joh_4:25, Joh_4:29).
The revealing of the human heart should also take place in the ministry of
local churches (1Co_14:23-35).

When Philip witnessed to Nathanael, the evidence he gave was Moses and
the Prophets (Joh_1:45). Perhaps Jesus
gave Philip a “quick course” in the Old Testament messianic prophecies, as He
did with the Emmaus disciples (Luk_24:13).
It is always good to tie our personal witness to the Word of God.

“King of Israel” would be a title similar to “Messiah, anointed One,”
for the kings were always God’s anointed (see Psa_2:1-12,
especially Psa_2:2, Psa_2:6-7). At one point in His ministry, the
crowds wanted to make Jesus King, but He refused them (Joh_6:15). He did present Himself as King (Joh_12:10), and He affirmed to Pilate that He
was born a King (Joh_18:33-37).

Some students believe that Nathanael and Bartholomew are the same
person. John never mentions Bartholomew in his Gospel, but the other three
writers name Bartholomew and not Nathanael. Philip is linked with Bartholomew
in the lists of names (Mat_10:3; Mar_3:18; Luk_6:14),
so it is possible that the two men were “paired off” and served together. It
was not unusual in that day for one man to have two different names.

The Son of Man (Joh_1:50-51)

“Son of man” was one of our Lord’s favorite titles for Himself; it is
used eighty-three times in the Gospels and at least thirteen times in John. The
title speaks of both the deity and humanity of Jesus. The vision in Dan_7:13 presents the “Son of man” in a definite
messianic setting; and Jesus used the title in the same way (Mat_26:64).

As Son of man, Jesus is the “living link” between heaven and earth. This
explains His reference to “Jacob’s ladder” in Gen_28:1-22.
Jacob the fugitive thought he was alone, but God had sent the angels to guard
and guide him. Christ is God’s “ladder” between heaven and earth. “No man
cometh to the Father, but by Me” (Joh_14:6).
Often in this Gospel, you will find Jesus reminding people that He came down
from heaven. The Jewish people knew that “Son of man” was a name for their
Messiah (Joh_12:34).

At the close of that fourth day, Jesus had six believing men who were
His disciples. They did not immediately “forsake all and follow Him”; that was
to come later. But they had trusted Him and experienced His power. In the three
years that lay ahead, they would grow in their faith, learn more about Jesus,
and one day take His place on the earth so that the Word might be carried to
all mankind.

Jesus of Nazareth is God come in the flesh. When Philip called Him “the son
of Joseph,” he was not denying Jesus’ virgin birth or divine nature. That was
merely His legal identification, for a Jewish person was identified according
to who his father was (Joh_6:42). The
witness of this entire chapter is clear: Jesus of Nazareth is God come in the
flesh!

God is here!

 

 

 

John 1:1-18

 

These verses constitute the
prologue which introduces many of the major themes that John will treat,
especially the main theme that “Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God”
(Joh_1:12-14, Joh_1:18; cf. Joh_20:31).
Several key words repeated throughout the Gospel (e.g., life, light, witness,
glory) appear here. The remainder of the Gospel develops the theme of the
prologue as to how the eternal “Word” of God, Jesus the Messiah and
Son of God, became flesh and ministered among men so that all who believe in
Him would be saved.

Although John wrote the prologue
with the simplest vocabulary in the NT, the truths that the prologue conveys
are the most profound. Six basic truths about Christ as the Son of God are
featured in the prologue: (1) the eternal Christ (Joh_1:1-3);
(2) the incarnate Christ (Joh_1:4-5);
(3) the forerunner of Christ (Joh_1:6-8);
(4) the unrecognized Christ (Joh_1:9-11);
(5) the omnipotent Christ (Joh_1:12-13);
and (6) the glorious Christ (Joh_1:14-18).

 

 

John 1:1

 

In the beginning. In contrast to 1Jn_1:1 where
John used a similar phrase (“from the beginning”) to refer to the
starting point of Jesus’ ministry and gospel preaching, this phrase parallels Gen_1:1 where the same phrase is used in an
absolute sense to refer to the beginning of the time-space-material universe.

was. The verb highlights the eternal preexistence of the Word(i.e., Jesus
Christ). Before the universe began, the second person of the Trinity always
existed, i.e., He always was (cf. Joh_8:58).
This word is used in contrast with the verb “was made” (or “were
made”) in verse Joh_1:3 which
indicates a beginning in time. Because of John’s theme that Jesus Christ is the
eternal God, the second person of the Trinity, he did not include a genealogy
as Matthew and Luke did. While in terms of Jesus’ humanity, He had a human
genealogy; in terms of His deity, He has no genealogy.

the Word. John borrowed the use of the term Word not only from the vocabulary of
the OT but also from Greek philosophy, in which the term was essentially
impersonal, signifying the rational principle of “divine reason,”
“mind,” or even “wisdom.” John, however, imbued the term
entirely with OT and Christian meaning (e.g., Gen_1:3
where God’s Word brought the world into being; Psa_33:6;
Psa_107:20; Pro_8:27
where God’s Word is His powerful self-expression in creation, wisdom,
revelation, and salvation) and made it refer to a person (i.e., Jesus Christ).
Greek philosophical usage, therefore, is not the exclusive background of John’s
thought. Strategically, the term “Word” serves as a bridge-word to
reach not only Jews but also the unsaved Greeks. John chose this concept
because both Jews and Greeks were familiar with it.

the Word was with
God.
The Word, as the second person of the Trinity, was in
intimate fellowship with God the Father throughout all eternity. Yet, although
the Word enjoyed the splendors of heaven and eternity with the Father (Isa_6:1-13; cf. Joh_12:41;
Joh_17:5), He willingly gave up His
heavenly status, taking the form of a man, and became subject to the death of
the cross (see notes on Php_2:6-8).

was God. The Greek construction emphasizes that the Word had all the essence or
attributes of deity, i.e., Jesus the Messiah was fully God (cf. Col_2:9). Even in His incarnation when He
emptied Himself, He did not cease to be God but took on a genuine human
nature/body and voluntarily refrained from the independent exercise of the
attributes of deity.

 

 

 

John 1:1

 

 

WORD IS GOD—WORD
BECAME FLESH—WORD REVEALED GOD

The Gospel of John introduces the
Lord Jesus Christ with three tremendous statements:

“In the beginning was the Word,”
“And the Word was with God,”
“And the Word was God.”

“The Word” is one of
the highest and most profound titles of the Lord Jesus Christ. To determine the
exact meaning is not easy. Obviously the Lord Jesus Christ is not the logos of
Greek philosophy; rather He is the memra of the Hebrew Scriptures. Notice how
important the Word is in the Old Testament. For instance, the name for Jehovah
was never pronounced. It was such a holy word that they never used it at all.
But this is the One who is the Word and, gathering up everything that was said
of Him in the Old Testament, He is now presented as the One “In the
beginning.” This beginning antedates the very first words in the Bible,
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” That
beginning can be dated, although I do not believe that anyone can date it
accurately—it is nonsense to say that it is 4004 B.C., as Ussher’s dating has
it. It probably goes back billions and billions of years. You see, you and I
are dealing with the God of eternity. When you go back to creation, He is
already there, and that is exactly the way this is used—”in the beginning was
the Word.” Notice it is not is the Word; it was not in the
beginning that the Word started out or was begotten. Was (as Dr. Lenske
points out) is known as a durative imperfect, meaning continued action. It
means that the Word was in the beginning. What beginning? Just as far back as
you want to go. The Bible says, “In the beginning God created the heaven
and the earth” (Gen_1:1). Does
that begin God? No, just keep on going back billions and trillions and
“squillions” of years. I can think back to billions of years back of
creation—maybe you can go beyond that—but let’s put down a point there,
billions of years back of creation. He already was; He comes out of eternity to
meet us. He did not begin. “In the beginning was the Word”—He
was already there when the beginning was. “Well,” somebody says,
“there has to be a beginning somewhere.” All right, wherever you
begin, He is there to meet you, He is already past tense. “In the
beginning was the Word”—five words in the original language, and there is
not a man on topside of this earth who can put a date on it or understand it or
fathom it. This first tremendous statement starts us off in space, you see.

The second statement is this,
“and the Word was with God.” This makes it abundantly clear that He
is separate and distinct from God the Father. You cannot identify Him as God
the Father because He is with God. “But,” someone says,
“if He is with God, He is not God.” The third statement sets us
straight, “and the Word was God.” This is a clear, emphatic
declaration that the Lord Jesus Christ is God. In fact, the Greek is more
specific than this, because in the Greek language the important word is placed
at the beginning of the sentence and it reads, “God was the Word.”
That is emphatic; you cannot get it more emphatic than that. Do you want to get
rid of the deity of Christ? My friend, you cannot get rid of it. The first
three statements in John’s Gospel tie the thing down. “In the beginning
was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

Let’s move on down to verse Joh_1:14 and notice the three statements there.

 

 

John 1:1-13

 

 the Light for the New Year’s Path

 

Joh_1:1-13

 

The titles of our Lord are set forth in royal fashion.
As speech reveals the hidden thoughts of men, so does our Lord utter the unseen
God. God spake and it was done. His words preceded the act of creation, but
Christ was the Word or utterance of God. He who created time preceded time, and
that which is before time is eternal and divine. Christ is the organ or medium
by which God goes forth in creation, providence, and redemption. The life of
God was stored in the human nature of Jesus, when the Word became flesh, that
it might more readily pass into us. True life is always light, as the minute infusoria
of the ocean are phosphorescent. When we receive Christ’s life, we shine.

Men are still sent from God, as John was, to bear
witness to Jesus; but there is also a witness to Him in the breast of man. We
call it conscience, or the inner light. The blinded world knew Him not. Indeed,
Joh_9:1-41 is a parable of mankind’s
condition, 2Co_4:4. Believing and
receiving are the same thing. Let Christ in, and you have instantly the right
to call yourself a child of God, Gal_3:26.
Only God can impart to us the germ of that life, which we share with the Son
Himself, Jam_1:18.

 

 

John 1:1-5

 

The plainest reason why the Son of God is called the Word, seems to be,
that as our words explain our minds to others, so was the Son of God sent in
order to reveal his Father’s mind to the world. What the evangelist says of
Christ proves that he is God. He asserts, His existence in the beginning; His
coexistence with the Father. The Word was with God. All things were made by
him, and not as an instrument. Without him was not any thing made that was
made, from the highest angel to the meanest worm. This shows how well qualified
he was for the work of our redemption and salvation. The light of reason, as
well as the life of sense, is derived from him, and depends upon him. This
eternal Word, this true Light shines, but the darkness comprehends it not. Let
us pray without ceasing, that our eyes may be opened to behold this Light, that
we may walk in it; and thus be made wise unto salvation, by faith in Jesus
Christ.

 

 

John 1:1-3

 

 

In the beginning was the Word, etc. The first fourteen verses are introductory. In order to set at rest
all controversy the Divine nature of Jesus, John glances, in the first three
verses, back to the beginning, recorded in Genesis, and affirms: (1)
That he who was afterwards manifest as the Christ existed before creation
began; (2) that he was present with God; (3) that he was divine; (4) that he
was the Word; (5) that by or through him were all things made that were made (Joh_1:3). The first chapter of Genesis helps us
to understand its meaning. God said, “Let there be light,” “Let
there be a firmament,” “Let the earth bring forth,” etc., and it
was done. God exhibits his creative power through the Word, and manifests his
will through the Word. There are mysteries belonging to the divine nature and
to the relation between the Son and the Father that we have to wait for
eternity to solve. They are too deep for human solution, but this is clear:
that God creates and speaks to man through the Word. As we clothe our
thoughts in words, God reveals his will by the Word, and when that Word is
clothed in flesh, as the Teacher of men, we recognize it as Jesus Christ.

 

John 1:1-8

 

 

The Divine Overture

Scripture Outline

The Speech of God: Word and Logos (Joh_1:1-8)
Rejected, but Also Received (Joh_1:9-13)
The Word Became Flesh (Joh_1:14-18)

Is there any way one can plumb
the depths of John’s prologue to his Gospel? Such intense power in so few
words! After brooding over the meaning of these short verses for months, I am
more reluctant than ever to put my thoughts on paper. Yet, strangely, I am
eager and compelled to do so. I can readily understand why both Augustine and
Chrysostom are reported as saying, “It is beyond the power of man to speak
as John does in his prologue.” John Calvin has written of the prologue,
“Rather should we be satisfied with this heavenly oracle, knowing that it
says much more than our minds can take in.”

Living with this prologue is like
standing in the foothills of an awesome mountain range catching a breathtaking
glimpse of massive, snowcapped peaks reaching up through the haze. Or it is
like being overwhelmed by haunting melodies that introduce the themes of a
mighty symphony. I had such a moment recently when I found myself being swept
along by the sheer beauty and power of Shostakovich’s Eighth Symphony. I came
to the concert tired and unexpectant, but left lifted and fulfilled. In the
midst of this surprising, spiritual experience my eye caught the words in the
program notes, “His [Shostakovich’s] symphonies combine somber tragedy,
mordant wit, expressive melody, dramatic development and profound emotion, all
under a brilliantly orchestrated surface.” I almost shouted, “Why,
that could have been written about John’s prologue.”

John has caught the sweep and
wonder of the history of salvation and shared it in hymnic form. All through
the prologue he is setting forth the career of the Incarnate Word in simple,
powerful phrases—”the light shining in the darkness,” “became
flesh and dwelt among us,” “full of grace and truth,”
“declaring the Father,” some “did not receive Him,” but others
were “born of God.” The prologue is far more than an introduction to
the Gospel. It is really a dramatic summary, a revelation, of all that will
take place throughout the earthly ministry of our Lord.

But John cannot speak of His
career without asking about its Source. When did the story of our salvation
really begin? This drives him back to or into the heart of Reality. He must
plumb the mystery of His Source if he is to make plain the identity and
vocation of the Word dwelling among us. This is like discovering that the
refreshing, healing water, which gives life to all around it, comes from a
hidden, limitless spring in the bowels of the earth.

The Speech of God:
Word and Logos

Eternal, Coexistent,
Yet God
(Joh_1:1-2).
John begins with a disarmingly simple phrase, “In the beginning was the
Word
.” Here is the central theme, the grand motif, of the symphony
which will come pouring forth with such glory throughout the Gospel narrative.
The “Speech of God” John Calvin called it. What a wonder that God
should speak. Here is a mystery, not unlike speech among us humans, that unique
capacity to use signs and symbols, sounds and touch, and even silence, to
communicate with one another.

Think of the power words have
among us. It was said of John Knox, the fiery Scottish reformer, “When he
preached his words were more powerful than ten thousand trumpets.” And who
of us in this generation can forget Martin Luther King crying out in the shadow
of the Lincoln Memorial, “I have a dream”? Words can fulfill or hurt
or bless. They can build up or tear down. There are those tender, healing,
affirming words, “Welcome home.” “Congratulations, it’s a
girl.” “I love you.” Or those angry, destructive, cutting words,
“Divorce is granted.” “I hate you.” “She’s dead.”
What meaning they carry—far more than mere sounds hanging in the air.

But when John speaks of “the
Word,” he is taking us far beyond the meaning it has for us in general. He
is a Hebrew speaking to his own people, and for them, the Word had unique
power. For these people, there was a precious quality, a living reality, about
words, so they were used sparingly. There were only ten thousand words in
Hebrew speech and only two hundred thousand words in the Greek language. The
Semitic root for “word,” dabar, also meant “thing,”
“affair,” “event,” or “action.” A word spoken was
a happening. Once it had been uttered, it could not be torn from the event that
it evoked. Thus, when Isaac had blessed Jacob and then later discovered that
Jacob had cleverly stolen his twin brother Esau’s birthright, he could not
recall his words of blessing, even though Esau pleaded with his aged father to
do this. The words had gone forth and the blessing stood (Gen_27:32-38).

But when God spoke, that was a
creative, awesome moment! Thus all creation was called into existence by the
word of the Lord. “Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was
light” (Gen_1:3). He also spoke at
the climax of the creation event, “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our
image, according to Our likeness… .’ So God created man in His own image; in
the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Gen_1:26-27).

So the Scripture celebrates over
and over again the power of God’s creative Word.

For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven,
And do not return there,
But water the earth,
And make it bring forth and bud,
That it may give seed to the sower
And bread to the eater,
So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it
shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.

Isa_55:10-11

It was this Word that had called
Abraham to leave his familiar, safe surroundings for the insecurity of a far
country to become the father of a mighty people. Generations later this same
Word broke the shackles of Egyptian bondage and set Israel free to enter into
their promised destiny. And in the ebb and flow of later history, the Word came
again and again through the prophets— “Thus saith the Lord,” calling a
wandering, whoring people back to their first love and vocation.

Little wonder then that when John
wrote, “In the beginning was the Word,” he evoked a whole
cluster of memories among his Hebrew readers and touched a nerve of
understanding.

But John was also reaching out
beyond his Hebrew countrymen to a vast Gentile audience dominated by Greek
thought. William Barclay has pointed out that by A.D. 60 “there must have
been a hundred thousand Greeks in the church for every Jew who was a
Christian.” And for this audience, the Word, for them Logos, was charged
with a unique meaning.

As far back as 560 B.C.,
Heraclitus had asked if there was anything permanent and lasting in the flux of
constant change that was all about. His answer was that the Logos, the Reason
of God, controlled and guided this stream of change. Later the Stoics held that
Logos was the “mind of God,” the eternal principle of order in the
universe, that which makes the chaos of the world a cosmos. If John had begun
his Gospel by declaring that the Messiah had come it would have had little, if
any, meaning for the Greeks. It was the Logos that became the point of contact,
and opened the door for a hearing of the Gospel.

So in using “the
Word,”
the Logos, John was speaking to both the Jewish and Greek
worlds—those two widely divergent cultures. The Greeks were sophisticated,
inquisitive, and philosophic; the Jews righteous, traditional, and struggling
to be faithful to the Law. How amazing that John could share the Gospel
narrative with these two cultures at the same time, using a single, simple
concept that carried such profound meaning for both.

John understood and empathized
with the Hellenistic world. He was aware of the nuances and subtleties of Greek
thought and tried constantly to help his Greek audience understand the ways of
the Jewish people that they might understand the Gospel more clearly. For
example, in telling of Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman, he adds
simply, “For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans” (Joh_4:9), and thus helps his Greek readers
understand how radical Jesus had been in reaching out toward this needy woman.
All through the Gospel, John shares helpful insights for his Greek audience.
Here is a true evangelist establishing rapport and trust. John did not try to
force his Greek readers into an alien point of view, but rather sought to lead
them into investigating seriously who Jesus was. This is why that simple
invitation Jesus gave the first disciples, “Come and see,” is an
opportunity for all readers to check out the evidence. How could the Logos and
“the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” be one and the
same? Surely that kind of honest invitation would appeal to the Greek mind.

John, the writer, was the son of
Zebedee, a fairly prosperous Galilean fisherman, through and through a Jew.
Nourished on the Law and Prophets, all the Jewish customs and traditions had
shaped John’s deepest inner life. There is no way he can shake off or dismiss
those roots, nor should he. This is why his appeal to this Gentile audience is
so remarkable. Adolf Schlatter has argued persuasively in Der Evangelist
Johannes
(1930) that “the writer thought in Semitic idiom while he
wrote in Greek.”

Those of us who are eager to be
authentic witnesses have much to learn from John. We have been so domesticated
and institutionalized within the ghetto of the religious establishment that we
have been cut off and alienated from the very people we have been eager to
reach. There is no way we can enter into honest dialogue with either the Hebrew
or Greek of our day if we hide within our “churchly” groups using the
“in” jargon of the initiated. How often I have heard, “Oh, I
couldn’t show up there; I don’t know the right words,” or “I don’t
have the right clothes,” or “If you only knew what terrible things
I’ve done,” in response to an invitation to some church affair.

It is only when we are in a
vulnerable, open posture, if we hear the disturbing questions of uprooted,
secular man or understand the bankruptcy of his chaotic value system, that we
can discover a language that is fresh and alive and true to the Gospel. That
language can become a bridge and enter into the mind and heart of our confused,
seeking, and often angry generation. How else can we share the Gospel story?
John has done this. His Gospel is a passionate evangelistic confession,
carefully written that “men may believe.” “The Word”
is the cutting edge of that confession.

“In the
beginning was the Word.”
But what beginning?
At creation? When light came and the chaos became cosmos? No, not that
beginning, although John’s phrase surely comes from the Genesis account. There
are words throughout the prologue that recall the creation event—life, light,
darkness.

But John reaches back further and
plunges deeper than the beginning of created existence. He is speaking of a new
creation, of what God has done in His new dispensation, of salvation history,
asking, “When did the story of Jesus really begin?” This takes us
beyond our dependent, contingent world of space and time to the wonder and
sweep of the “One who inhabits eternity.” Here we are brought to the
Source, the Origin of all things, to the “root of the universe,” to
use William Temple’s phrase. This is an eternal Gospel.

“The Word” of which John speaks is uncreated. There has never been a time when it
was not. Here is existence beyond time, that which was when time and finite
being began its course. So created existence can only be understood in the
light of this uncreated Word.

But this Word does not dwell in
lonely isolation. “And the Word was with God.” The literal
translation could be “the Word was towards God.” The whole existence
of the Word is oriented toward the Father and is in eternal, active communion
with Him. The Word is in the presence of God, face to face with Him. This living
intercourse is revealed in the words and deeds of Jesus throughout His earthly
existence. “Then Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say
to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for
whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner'” (Joh_5:19). “‘Do you not believe that I am
in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not
speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the
works'” (Joh_14:10).

“The Word” and the Father
are not identical, yet They are One. There is a creative fullness within God’s
being, a wondrous unity, yet a rich diversity, revealed in all that He is and
does. Early in Scripture this “mode of being,” this intimacy, is
spoken of in the act of creation. “‘Let Us make man in Our image,
according to Our likeness'” (Gen_1:26).
It is as if a family decision is made within the very life of God. Little
wonder then that the most common name for the Deity in Hebrew is Elohim, a
plural form.

It is this reality, the Word
being with God, that is the source of and power for all authentic Christian
community. It is not worthwhile action projects, nor common goals, nor
geographic or ethnic homogeneity, nor a particular theological language that holds
us together as believers. Much of our so-called “Christian
fellowship” has waded in a shallows of human effort and organization
rather than swimming in the deeps of God’s reality. No, it is abiding in the
intimate, loving relationship of the Word turned toward the Father that creates
our life together.

Every healing of broken
relationships within the body of believers is always a new acceptance of that
reality. In recent months I have seen two churches, after twenty years of
alienation and separation, set free to let God do His new thing through them
when they finally dared come together to worship our wondrous God. This did not
come to pass without pain and much searching of heart in both congregations.
But who in those two congregations can ever forget the power and release that
swept through the people that night as they sang the first hymn, “Great Is
Thy Faithfulness”? The people reached out to greet one another, with joy
and tears. They joined together in holy, cleansing prayer. I know, because I am
the pastor of one of these churches. The good news of this healing moved out on
the streets, and people wondered what happened. And there was a new openness to
believe that the Father had sent the Son because there was new love among God’s
people after all these years of misunderstanding and hurt.

“And the Word
was God.”
Here is the climactic statement
in John’s speaking of the Word and God. All that can be said about God can be
said about the Word. That Word partakes of the innermost being of God. It is
only the One “who is in the bosom of the Father” who can declare Him.

John is saying far more than that
“the Word was divine,” as Moffatt and Goodspeed and others have
translated this phrase. That is to dilute the high Christology so evident
throughout the whole of this Gospel. The believing cry of Thomas, “My Lord
and my God,” when he met the risen Christ is but a later testimony of the
true identity of the Word.

John came from a people who were
fiercely monotheistic. Their faith in one holy living God was no academic
affair; it was a life and death matter which no amount of social pressure or
cruel persecution could stamp out. So the confession, “the Word was
God,”
was a startling affirmation of faith that could only be made by
one who had accepted the invitation of Jesus to “come and see” and
had ended up beholding His glory, which could only have been the glory of
“the only begotten of the Father.” John had moved beyond the
monotheism of the Law into the rich wonder of the Incarnate Word’s being very
God.

Yet the Word is not identical to
God. The Greek grammatical construction of this phrase underlines this.
Ordinarily the definite article ho is used before Theos, God. Had John done so
here, he would have been saying the Word is identical with God. But he says the
Word was Theos, with no definite article. Thus the noun, God, almost becomes an
adjective. So John is saying that the Word was of the very essence, the very
character, of God, while not being identical with God.

“He was in the
beginning with God.”
John is an excellent
teacher. So He continues to underline these crucial facts that are basic to the
Gospel. The history of salvation is from eternity, and the intimate, loving
relationship between God and the Word is at the heart of all that takes place—forever.
This whole Gospel is really a beautiful illustration of that.

But here a new, beautiful fact is
introduced. “He was in the beginning.” The Word is personal.
We are not dealing with an “it” or an abstraction.

Salvation does not come in
concepts, but through the Living Word, who is personal. God’s move toward us is
wondrously human and understandable. This Gospel is an account of His intimate
dealing with persons—Nicodemus, Mary of Magdala, a lad with loaves and fish, a
woman at a well, and at the end, His mother whom He cares for from a cross—how
deeply personal!

How desperately we cry out for
that personal Word in the midst of TV sets, technological gimmicks, and
religion that becomes slick and manipulative and marketable.

The Word that Creates (Joh_1:3). Out of that amazing
relationship—”the Word with God”—flowed creation. This is God’s work
through His personal Word. God is the Source, but the Word is the living Agent,
the Vehicle, through Whom He creates. Paul has clearly stated the same truth.
“For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on
earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or
powers. All things were created through Him and for Him” (Col_1:16). This Word which has been hidden in
the eternal sanctuary of God now is made known. “The Evangelist’s plan is
to show that the Word of God came forth to outward action immediately from the
creation of the world. For having previously been incomprehensible in His
essence, He was then openly known by the effect of His power.” And Jesus
testifies to this continuing “working” relationship throughout His
earthly ministry. “But Jesus answered them, ‘My Father has been working
until now, and I have been working'” (Joh_5:17).

Everything owes its existence to
the Word. Not just the whole, but separately—the birds that are singing outside
my window just now, the child happily skipping home from school, the vastness
of the universe we are now attempting to explain—all these were made by Him.
Throughout the Gospel, John often states a truth in negative terms as well as
positive, as he does here: “without Him nothing was made that was made.”
The form of the verb is the perfect tense. Here is the Word’s continuing
creative activity in that which we see all around.

How wonderfully creation becomes
the arena of God’s salvation. All through this Gospel, creation and salvation
are intertwined. At the time of John’s writing there was a growing school of
thought which insisted that all matter was inherently evil. Salvation then
really became a denial of creation, a deliverance from all fleshly
entanglements. Or at best, it meant a perfect God could approach creation only
at a distance, through a series of downward steps or emanations by emissaries
or angels, to avoid besmirching His perfection.

But this is a denial of a Gospel
that is very earthy and fleshly. For, if God created “all things”
through His personal Word and continues to communicate with this creation, then
even a fallen, alienated creation is His and ultimately becomes the historical
arena for His saving acts. The cross was really driven into the ground. Here He
lays claim to His whole creation. There will be in the end not only a new
heaven, but a new earth (Isa_65:17; Rev_21:1).

In Him: Life and
Light
(Joh_1:4-5).
Here John introduces the fresh, great theme of life in God’s unfolding song.
This word “life,” zoe in Greek, is used thirty-five times in this
Gospel and the word “to live” or “to have life,” zin,
fifteen times. It is this uncreated, everlasting Life that both creates and
redeems. Nothing can exist without that Life. Every leaf that comes forth after
the long night of winter and every cry at birth and every step toward healing
in a psychiatric ward is evidence of that Life.

But His Life also redeems, as an
eternal gift, through His Word. Instead of life that merely goes on and on—how
tedious that would be—His gift is a quality of existence that is secure in
knowing that the Word is eternal. Here is peace and joy, power and love. “The
life,”
John called it. And Jesus spoke of this gift repeatedly.
“‘I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more
abundantly'” (Joh_10:10).
“Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life” (Joh_6:54). “I am the way, the truth, and
the life” (Joh_14:6).

This “life was the light
of men
.” At creation God said, “‘Let there be light’; and there
was light” (Gen_1:3). Out of the
very life of God, light shines forth to dispel the chaos and darkness. That
light is in man in a particular way. The Lord God has breathed into him His own
breath of life. An intimate, personal act which sets man apart, making him
uniquely responsible to his Maker. That breath is the source of reason,
conscience, and the longing to love and worship—the light that makes us human.

But in that life there is also
the light of salvation. The Word has come to give us life and open our eyes. As
Jesus gave life to Lazarus (John 11) so He gave sight to the man born blind
(John 9). He is the light of the world and whoever follows Him “shall not
walk in darkness, but have the light of life” (Joh_8:12).

Now we are suddenly and
unexpectedly introduced to darkness, an alien force, the environment into which
all men are born. It is a somber, negative theme, “light shines in the
darkness.”
The song now takes on the tragic dimension of struggle and
hostility. If the light unmasks and reveals the darkness for what it is, then
the darkness will not remain passive, but will fight back. It is the nature of
darkness to try to quench the light. This darkness is never explained, but is
accepted as a fact, a strong, but minor, theme in the total symphony. Here
there is a change in the verb form, “the light shines,” indicating a
continuous action. The light is constantly showing up the darkness for what it
is—ignorance, unbelief, rebellion. This struggle is a constant, recurring theme
throughout the Gospel. “For everyone practicing evil hates the light and
does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed” (Joh_3:20).

The darkness cannot “comprehend”
or overcome the light. The light is always a mystery to darkness. There is a
hardness, a stubborn rebellion, which makes it impossible for the darkness to
understand or open up to the light. The Pharisees began by refusing to
understand, thus their minds were darkened and their hearts were hardened.
Finally their rejection of the light was ultimate, and they cried,
“Crucify Him!”

But neither can the darkness
overcome the light. That single penetrating shaft of light is more powerful
than the utter blackness of rejection. Over and over again, this Gospel makes
that clear. A simple act, stooping to wash the feet of the confused, worried
disciples or a quiet word to a guilt-ridden adulterous woman, “Neither do
I condemn you; go and sin no more” (Joh_8:11),
is mightier than the anger and violence of His enemies.

The Witness to That
Light
(Joh_1:6-8).
In a moment we have moved from the vast stretches of eternity to a simple,
solitary person in time. Here the earthiness, the humanity of the whole story begins
at a particular place in history. The writer simply calls this witness John
without designating him as the Prophet as do the synoptic Gospels. He evidently
knew John well, for he had been one of his followers. The writer also must have
had a deep sense of gratitude that John had introduced him to Jesus.

The writer was aware of John’s
greatness—the last of the prophets, standing between the old and the new, a
blazing, courageous spokesman calling men to repentance and righteousness. He
refers to John’s being a baptizer only in passing, but emphasizes repeatedly
his faithfulness as a witness, identifying and pointing to the One Who was
Light and “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (Joh_1:29).

But John the apostle is also
keenly aware of the danger of followers clinging to a powerful figure like John
the Baptist and making him the center of their focus. And there may have been a
John the Baptist sect at the time this Gospel was written. At least the church
in Ephesus had to contend with this. For when Paul asked the disciples there if
they had received the Holy Spirit, their response was they had never heard of
the Holy Spirit. “And he said to them, ‘Into what then were you baptized?’
So they said, ‘Into John’s baptism.'” After they heard the whole Gospel
from Paul, they were then baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus (Act_19:1-7). And the gifted preacher, Apollos,
“spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord, though he knew only
the baptism of John” (Act_18:25).

So John makes it clear throughout
his writing that the Baptist stands in the shadow of Jesus. He is a witness to
Him, but is in no way to be confused with the Christ. So the contrasts are made
plain in the prologue. Jesus was “in the beginning.” John “came
for a witness.”
Jesus is “the Word.” John was “a
man.” This Word was “with God.” John was “sent from
God.”
John is a witness to the Light, but is not the Light. In our
time of super churches and ecclesiastical super stars with booking agents and
all the rest, one wonders if the witness and the Light do not often become
confused.

There is an awesome power in
John’s mission. He has been sent from God, a great calling with divine
credentials. He is to be a “witness,” another key word in this
Gospel. The noun form of “witness” is used fourteen times and the
verb form thirty-three times. There is a seriousness, a burden, in being a
witness. He is committed all the way—even when doubts tear at him in
prison—which finally means his head on a platter at Herod’s party. Here the
aorist tense in the Greek is used for the verb “to bear witness,”
which means he finished his work.

Do we understand what this means
in the church? So often we are in the stands, but not on the playing field. We
are an evangelical church, but not a witnessing church. In Hitler’s Germany,
the “evangelical church” somehow survived by sticking to an
emasculated gospel. But the “confessional church” made its costly
declaration that Jesus was Lord even over der Führer, and Dietrich
Bonhoeffer was executed, but not before he had written The Cost of
Discipleship
in which he made it so clear that there is always a costly
grace in being a witness.

The end of John’s witness is that
“all through him might believe.” The witness is to bring men
to the place where they must decide, where they take a definite step of faith.
And the witness comes that all may believe. How universal! The invitation is
sent out to all creation. Water is turned into wine at a wedding; a cripple is
told to pick up his bed and go home after thirty-eight years by the pool; a
respectable member of the Council is told his only hope is to be born again;
and the Samaritan woman with a bad reputation drinks of everlasting water and
hurries away to let her village know whom she has met. All are included.

 

 

John 1:1

In (1) the (a) beginning (b)
was (c) the Word, and the Word was
(d) with God, and the (e) Word was God.

 

(1) The Son of
God is of one and the selfsame eternity or everlastingness, and of one and the
selfsame essence or nature with the Father.

 

(a) From the
beginning, as the evangelist says in (1Jo_1:1);
it is as though he said that the Word did not begin to have his being when God
began to make all that was made: for the Word was even then when all things
that were made began to be made, and therefore he was before the beginning of
all things.

 

(b) Had his
being.

 

(c) This word
“the” points out to us a peculiar and choice thing above all others,
and puts a difference between this “Word”, which is the Son of God,
and the laws of God, which are also called the word of God.

 

(d) This word
“with” points out that there is a distinction of persons here.

 

(e) This word
“Word” is the first in order in the sentence, and is the subject of
the sentence, and this word “God” is the latter in order, and is the
predicate of the sentence.

 

 

John 1:1

In the beginning was the word,…. That this is said not of the written word, but of the essential
word of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, is clear, from all that is said from hence,
to Joh_1:14 as that this word was in
the beginning, was with God, and is God; from the creation of all things being
ascribed to him, and his being said to be the life and light of men; from his
coming into the world, and usage in it; from his bestowing the privilege of
adoption on believers; and from his incarnation; and also there is a particular
application of all this to Christ, Joh_1:15.
And likewise from what this evangelist elsewhere says of him, when he calls him
the word of life, and places him between the Father and the Holy Ghost; and
speaks of the record of the word of God, and the testimony of Jesus, as the
same thing; and represents him as a warrior and conqueror, 1Jo_1:1. Moreover this appears to be spoken of
Christ, from what other inspired writers have said of him, under the same
character; as the Evangelist Luke, Luk_1:2,
the Apostle Paul, Act_20:32 and the
Apostle Peter, 2Pe_3:5. And who is
called the word, not as man; for as man he was not in the beginning with God,
but became so in the fulness of time; nor is the man God; besides, as such, he
is a creature, and not the Creator, nor is he the life and light of men;
moreover, he was the word, before he was man, and therefore not as such: nor
can any part of the human nature be so called; not the flesh, for the word was
made flesh; nor his human soul, for self-subsistence, deity, eternity, and the
creation of all things, can never be ascribed to that; but he is the word as
the Son of God, as is evident from what is here attributed to him, and from the
word being said to be so, as in Joh_1:14
and from those places, where the word is explained by the Son, compare 1Jo_5:5. And is so called from his nature, being
begotten of the Father; for as the word, whether silent or expressed, is the
birth of the mind, the image of it, equal to it, and distinct from it; so
Christ is the only begotten of the Father, the express image of his person, in
all things equal to him, and a distinct person from him: and he may be so
called, from some action, or actions, said of him, or ascribed to him; as that
he spoke for, and on the behalf of the elect of God, in the eternal council and
covenant of grace and peace; and spoke all things out of nothing, in creation;
for with regard to those words so often mentioned in the history of the
creation, and God said, may Jehovah the Son be called the word; also he was
spoken of as the promised Messiah, throughout the whole Old Testament
dispensation; and is the interpreter of his Father’s mind, as he was in Eden’s
garden, as well as in the days of his flesh; and now speaks in heaven for the
saints. The phrase,
מימרא
דיי
, “the word of the Lord”,
so frequently used by the Targumists, is well known: and it is to be observed,
that the same things which John here says of the word, they say likewise, as
will be observed on the several clauses; from whence it is more likely, that
John should take this phrase, since the paraphrases of Onkelos and Jonathan ben
Uzziel were written before his time, than that he should borrow it from the
writings of Plato, or his followers, as some have thought; with whose
philosophy, Ebion and Cerinthus are said to be acquainted; wherefore John, the
more easily to gain upon them, uses this phrase, when that of the Son of God
would have been disagreeable to them: that there is some likeness between the
Evangelist John and Plato in their sentiments concerning the word, will not be
denied. Amelius (f), a Platonic philosopher,
who lived after the times of John, manifestly refers to these words of his, in
agreement with his master’s doctrine: his words are these,

 

“and this was truly “Logos”, or the
word, by whom always existing, the things that are made, were made, as also
Heraclitus thought; and who, likewise that Barbarian (meaning the Evangelist
John) reckons was in the order and dignity of the beginning, constituted with
God, and was God, by whom all things are entirely made; in whom, whatsoever is
made, lives, and has life, and being; and who entered into bodies, and was
clothed with flesh, and appeared a man; so notwithstanding, that he showed
forth the majesty of his nature; and after his dissolution, he was again deified,
and was God, as he was before he descended into a body, flesh and man.

 

In which words it is easy to observe plain traces
of what the evangelist says in the first four verses, and in the fourteenth
verse of this chapter; yet it is much more probable, that Plato had his notion
of the Logos, or word, out of the writings of the Old Testament, than that John
should take this phrase, or what he says concerning the word, from him; since
it is a matter of fact not disputed, that Plato went into Egypt to get
knowledge: not only Clemens Alexandrinus a Christian writer says, that he was a
philosopher of the Hebrews (g), and
understood prophecy (h), and stirred up the
fire of the Hebrew philosophy (i); but it is
affirmed by Heathen writers, that he went into Egypt to learn of the priests (k), and to understand the rites of the prophets (l); and Aristobulus, a Jew, affirms (m), he studied their law; and Numenius, a
Pythagoric philosopher (n), charges him with
stealing what he wrote, concerning God and the world, out of the books of
Moses; and used to say to him, what is Plato, but Moses “Atticising?”
or Moses speaking Greek: and Eusebius (o), an
ancient Christian writer, points at the very places, from whence Plato took his
hints: wherefore it is more probable, that the evangelist received this phrase
of the word, as a divine person, from the Targums, where there is such frequent
mention made of it; or however, there is a very great agreement between what he
and these ancient writings of the Jews say of the word, as will be hereafter
shown. Moreover, the phrase is frequently used in like manner, in the writings
of Philo the Jew; from whence it is manifest, that the name was well known to
the Jews, and may be the reason of the evangelist’s using it. This word, he
says, was in the beginning; by which is meant, not the Father of Christ; for he
is never called the beginning, but the Son only; and was he, he must be such a
beginning as is without one; nor can he be said to be so, with respect to the
Son or Spirit, who are as eternal as himself; only with respect to the
creatures, of whom he is the author and efficient cause: Christ is indeed in
the Father, and the Father in him, but this cannot be meant here; nor is the
beginning of the Gospel of Christ, by the preaching of John the Baptist,
intended here: John’s ministry was an evangelical one, and the Gospel was more
clearly preached by him, and after him, by Christ and his apostles, than
before; but it did not then begin; it was preached before by the angel to the
shepherds, at the birth of Christ; and before that, by the prophets under the
former dispensation, as by Isaiah, and others; it was preached before unto
Abraham, and to our first parents, in the garden of Eden: nor did Christ begin
to be, when John began to preach; for John’s preaching and baptism were for the
manifestation of him: yea, Christ existed as man, before John began to preach;
and though he was born after him as man, yet as the Word and Son of God, he
existed before John was born; he was in being in the times of the prophets,
which were before John; and in the times of Moses, and before Abraham, and in
the days of Noah: but by the beginning is here meant, the beginning of the
world, or the creation of all things; and which is expressive of the eternity
of Christ, he was in the beginning, as the Maker of all creatures, and therefore
must be before them all: and it is to be observed, that it is said of him, that
in the beginning he was; not made, as the heavens and earth, and the things in
them were; nor was he merely in the purpose and predestination of God, but
really existed as a divine person, as he did from all eternity; as appears from
his being set up in office from everlasting; from all the elect being chosen in
him, and given to him before the foundation of the world; from the covenant of
grace, which is from eternity, being made with him; and from the blessings and
promises of grace, being as early put into his hands; and from his nature as
God, and his relation to his Father: so Philo the Jew often calls the Logos, or
word, the eternal word, the most ancient word, and more ancient than any thing
that is made (p). The eternity of the Messiah
is acknowledged by the ancient Jews: Mic_5:2
is a full proof of it; which by them (q) is
thus paraphrased,

 

“out of thee, before me, shall come forth the
Messiah, that he may exercise dominion over Israel; whose name is said from
eternity, from the days of old.

 

Jarchi upon it only mentions Psa_72:17 which is rendered by the Targum on the
place, before the sun his name was prepared; it may be translated, “before
the sun his name was Yinnon”; that is, the Son, namely the Son of God; and
Aben Ezra interprets it,
יקרא בן, “he shall be called the
son”; and to this agrees what the Talmudisis say (r),
that the name of the Messiah was before the world was created; in proof of
which they produce the same passage,

 

And the word was with God; not with men or angels; for he was before either
of these; but with God, not essentially, but personally considered; with God
his Father: not in the Socinian sense, that he was only known to him, and to no
other before the ministry of John the Baptist; for he was known and spoken of
by the angel Gabriel before; and was known to Mary and to Joseph; and to
Zacharias and Elisabeth; to the shepherds, and to the wise men; to Simeon and
Anna, who saw him in the temple; and to the prophets and patriarchs in all
ages, from the beginning of the world: but this phrase denotes the existence of
the word with the Father, his relation and nearness to him, his equality with
him, and particularly the distinction of his person from him, as well as his
eternal being with him; for he was always with him, and is, and ever will be;
he was with him in the council and covenant of grace, and in the creation of the
universe, and is with him in the providential government of the world; he was
with him as the word and Son of God in heaven, whilst he as man, was here on
earth; and he is now with him, and ever will be: and as John here speaks of the
word, as a distinct person from God the Father, so do the Targums, or Chaldee
paraphrases; Psa_110:1 “the Lord
said to my Lord”, is rendered, “the Lord said to his word”;
where he is manifestly distinguished from Jehovah, that speaks to him; and in Hos_1:7 the Lord promises to “have mercy on
the house of Judah”, and “save them by the Lord their God”. The
Targum is, “I will redeem them by the word of the Lord their God”;
where the word of the Lord, who is spoken of as a Redeemer and Saviour, is distinguished
from the Lord, who promises to save by him. This distinction of Jehovah and his
word, may be observed in multitudes of places, in the Chaldee paraphrases, and
in the writings of Philo the Jew; and this phrase, of “the word”
being “with God”, is in the Targums expressed by,
מימר
מן קדם
, “the word from before
the Lord”, or “which is before the Lord”: being always in his
presence, and the angel of it; so Onkelos paraphrases Gen_31:22 “and the word from before the
Lord, came to Laban”, &c. and Exo_20:19
thus, “and let not the word from before the Lord speak with us, lest we
die”; for so it is read in the King of Spain’s Bible; and wisdom, which is
the same with the word of God, is said to be by him, or with him, in Pro_8:1 agreeably to which John here speaks.
John makes use of the word God, rather than Father, because the word is
commonly called the word of God, and because of what follows,

 

and the word was God; not made a God, as he is said here after to be
made flesh; nor constituted or appointed a God, or a God by office; but truly
and properly God, in the highest sense of the word, as appears from the names
by which he is called; as Jehovah, God, our, your, their, and my God, God with
us, the mighty God, God over all, the great God, the living God, the true God,
and eternal life; and from his perfections, and the whole fulness of the
Godhead that dwells in him, as independence, eternity, immutability,
omnipresence, omniscience, and omnipotence; and from his works of creation and
providence, his miracles, the work of redemption, his forgiving sins, the
resurrection of himself and others from the dead, and the administration of the
last judgment; and from the worship given him, as prayer to him, faith in him,
and the performance of baptism in his name: nor is it any objection to the
proper deity of Christ, that the article is here wanting; since when the word
is applied to the Father, it is not always used, and even in this chapter, Joh_1:6 and which shows, that the word
“God”, is not the subject, but the predicate of this proposition, as
we render it: so the Jews often use the word of the Lord for Jehovah, and call
him God. Thus the words in Gen_28:20
are paraphrased by Onkelos,

 

“if “the word of the Lord” will be
my help, and will keep me, &c. then “the word of the Lord” shall
be,
לי
לאלהא
, “my God”:

 

again, Lev_26:12
is paraphrased, by the Targum ascribed to Jonathan Ben Uzziel, thus,

 

“I will cause the glory of my Shekinah to
dwell among you, and my word shall “be your God”, the Redeemer;

 

once more, Deu_26:17
is rendered by the Jerusalem Targum after this manner,

 

“ye have made “the word of the Lord”
king over you this day, that he may be your God:

 

and this is frequent with Philo the Jew, who says,
the name of God is his word, and calls him, my Lord, the divine word; and affirms,
that the most ancient word is God (s),

 

(f) Apud Euseb. Prepar. Evangel. l. 11. c. 19. (g) Stromat. l. 1. p. 274. (h)
Ib. p. 303. (i) Ib. Paedagog. l. 2. c. 1. p.
150. (k) Valer. Maxim. l. 8. c. 7.
(l) Apuleius de dogmate Platonis, l. 1. in principio. (m) Apud. Euseb. Prepar. Evangel. l. 13. c. 12. (n)
Hesych. Miles. de Philosophis. p. 50.
(o) Prepar. Evangel. l. 11. c. 9. (p) De
Leg. Alleg. l. 2. p. 93. de Plant. Noe, p. 217. de Migrat. Abraham, p. 389. de
Profugis, p. 466. quis. rer. divin.
Haeres. p. 509. (q) Targum Jon. in loc. (r) T. Bab. Pesachim, fol. 54. 1. & Nedarim, fol. 39. 2. Pirke Eliezer, c. 3. (s)
De Allegor. l. 2. p. 99, 101. & de Somniis, p. 599.

 

 

 

John 1 – The Word and the Witness

A. John: The fourth gospel.

1. Why are there four gospels? The ancient Christian
writer Origen (185-254 a.d.) gave a good answer: there are not four gospels,
but one four-fold gospel. Each gospel presents a different perspective on the
life of Jesus, and we need all four to get the full picture.

a. John was probably the last gospel written, and
written in view of what the previous three had already said. This is one reason
why John is so different from Matthew, Mark, and Luke.

b. There are significant events in the ministry of
Jesus that Matthew, Mark, and Luke include that John leaves out, including
Jesus’ birth, baptism, temptation in the wilderness, the Last Supper, the agony
in Gethsemane, the Ascension, demonic confrontations, and parables.

c. The first three gospels center on Jesus’ ministry
in Galilee. John centers his gospel on what Jesus said and did in Jerusalem.

d. Each of the gospels emphasizes a different origin
of Jesus.

i. Matthew shows Jesus came from Abraham through
David, and demonstrates that He is the Messiah promised in the Old Testament (Mat_1:1-17).

ii. Mark shows Jesus came from Nazareth, demonstrating
that Jesus is a Servant (Mar_1:9).

iii. Luke shows Jesus came from Adam, demonstrating
that Jesus is the Perfect Man (Luk_3:23-38).

iv. John shows Jesus came from heaven, demonstrating
that Jesus is God.

e. However, it is wrong to think that the Gospel of
John completes the story of Jesus. John makes it clear that the story of
Jesus can never be completed (Joh_21:25).

2. Matthew, Mark, and Luke are knows as the three synoptic
gospels. Synoptic means “see-together” and the first three
gospels present Jesus’ life in pretty much the same format. The first three
gospels focus more on what Jesus taught and did; John focuses more on who
Jesus is
.

a. John shows us who Jesus is by highlighting seven
signs (miracles) of Jesus. Six of these miracles are not mentioned in the first
three gospels.

b. John shows us who Jesus is by allowing Jesus to
speak for Himself in seven dramatic I Am statements.

c. John shows us who Jesus is by calling forth
witnesses who will testify about the identity of Jesus. Four of these witnesses
speak in the first chapter alone.

3. John is a gospel written for a specific purpose:
that we might believe. A key verse for understanding the Gospel of John is
found at the end of the book: But these are written that you may believe
that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life
in His name
(Joh_20:31).

a. The Gospel of John has even helped scholarly
skeptics to believe. The oldest surviving fragment of the New Testament is a
portion of John 18, found in Egypt and dating well before 150 a.d. indicating
wide circulation by that early date.

4. The Gospel of John is a beloved gospel. It has been
called “a pool in which a child may wade and an elephant may swim.”

a. Commentator Charles Erdman says: “Its stories
are so simple that even a child will love them, but its statements are so
profound that no philosopher can fathom them.”

b. So, if we give diligent attention to entertainment,
sports, music, or the news, how much more should we give diligent attention
“when a man is speaking from heaven, and utters a voice plainer than
thunder?” (John Chrysostem)

B. Prologue to the Gospel of John.

This remarkable, profound portion is not merely a
preface or an introduction. It is a summation of the entire book. The remainder
of John’s gospel will deal with the themes introduced here: the identity of the
Word, life, light, regeneration, grace, truth, and the revelation of God the
Father in Jesus the Son.

1. (1-2) The origin of the Word (Logos).

In the beginning was the Word, and the
Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.

a. In the beginning
refers to the timeless eternity of Gen_1:1: In the beginning, God
created the heavens and earth
. John essentially says, “When the beginning began, the
Word
was already there.” That is, that the Word predates time or creation.

i. John makes it clear that the Word is not just the beginning, but the beginning of the
beginning. He was there in the beginning,
before anything was.

b. In the beginning was
the Word
: Word translated
the ancient the Greek word Logos. The idea of the logos had deep
and rich roots in both Jewish and Greek thinking.

i. Jewish rabbis often referred to God, especially in
His more personal aspects, in terms of His word. They spoke of God Himself as
“the word of God.” For example, ancient Hebrew editions of the Old
Testament change Exo_19:17 (Moses brought the people out of the camp
to meet God
) to “Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet the
word of God.” In the mind of the ancient Jews, the phrase “the word
of God” could be used to refer to God Himself.

ii. The Greek philosophers saw the logos as the
power which puts sense into the world, making the world orderly instead of
chaotic. The logos was the power that set the world in perfect order and
kept it going in perfect order. They saw the logos as the “Ultimate
Reason” that controlled all things.

iii. Therefore, in this opening, John says to both
Jews and Greeks: “For centuries you’ve been talking, thinking, and writing
about the Word (the logos). Now
I will tell you who He is.” John meets both Jews and Greeks where they are
at, and explains Jesus in terms they already understood.

c. And the Word was with
God, and the Word was God
: With this brilliant statement, Joh_1:1
sets forth one of the most basic foundations of our faith – the Trinity. We can
follow John’s logic:

o  There is a Being known as the Word.

o  This
Being is God, because He is eternal (In the
beginning
)

o  This
Being is God, because He is plainly called God (the
Word was God
).

o  At
the same time, this Being does not encompass all that God is. God the Father is
a distinct Person from the Word (the Word was with God).

i. So, the Father and the Son (the Son is known here
as the Word) are equally God, yet
distinct in their Person. The Father is not the Son, and the Son is not the
Father. Yet they are equally God, with God the Holy Spirit making one God in
three Persons.

d. In the beginning was
the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God
: What
about the Watchtower’s New World Translation here? This Jehovah’s
Witness translation reads like this: “In [the] beginning the Word was, and
the Word was with God, and the Word was a god.” Their translation is used
to deny the teaching that Jesus is God. Is it a correct translation?

i. The claim of the Watchtower defending their
translation of Joh_1:1-2 is that because before the second time
“God” is used in the passage, no article appears (it is written
“God” and not “the God”). In answer to this approach to
Greek grammar and translation, we can only refer to the multitude of other
times in the New Testament where “God” appears without the article.
If the Watchtower were honest and consistent, they would translate
“God” as “god” every place it appears without the article.
But it seems that this grammatical rule only applies when it suits the purpose
of backing up the doctrinal beliefs of the Watchtower. The Greek text of Mat_5:9,
6:24, Luk_1:35 and 1:75, Joh_1:6, 1:12, 1:13, and 1:18, Rom_1:7
and 1:17, shows how the Watchtower translates the exact same grammar for
“God” as “God” instead of “god” when it suits
their purpose.

ii. In the main resource the Watchtower uses to
establish their claim (The Kingdom Interlinear), the Watchtower quotes
two well-known Greek authorities to make them appear to agree with their
translation. But they both have been misquoted, and one of them, Dr. Mantey has
even written the Watchtower, and demanded that his name be removed from the
book! Another “scholar” whom the Watchtower refers to in their book The
Word – Who Is He? According to John
, is Johannes Greber. Greber was
actually an occult-practicing spiritist, and not a scholar of Biblical
Greek.

iii. What do real Greek scholars say about the
Jehovah’s Witness translation of Joh_1:1-2?

“A GROSSLY MISLEADING TRANSLATION. It is neither
scholarly nor reasonable to translate Joh_1:1 ‘the Word was a god.’ But
of all the scholars in the world, so far as we know, none have translated this
verse as Jehovah’s Witnesses have done.” (Dr. Julius R. Mantey)

“Much is made by Arian amateur grammarians of the
omission of the definite article with ‘God’ in the phrase ‘And the Word was
God.’ Such an omission is common with nouns in a predicate construction. ‘A
god’ would be totally indefensible.” (Dr. F.F. Bruce)

“I can assure you that the rendering which the
Jehovah’s Witnesses give Joh_1:1 is not held by any reputable Greek
scholar.” (Dr. Charles L. Feinberg)

“The Jehovah’s Witness people evidence an abysmal
ingorance of the basic tenets of Greek grammar in their mistranslation of Joh_1:1.”
(Dr. Paul L. Kaufman)

“The deliberate distortion of truth by this sect
is seen in their New Testament translations. Joh_1:1 is translated: ‘ .
. . the Word was a god,’ a translation which is grammatically
impossible
. It is abundantly clear that a sect which can translate
the New Testament like that is intellectually dishonest.” (Dr. William
Barclay)

e. He was in the beginning with God again makes
the point that the Father is distinct from the Son, and the Son distinct from
the Father. They are equally God, yet they are separate Persons.

 

 

John 1:1-18

 

 

The Word Becomes Flesh

The Greek term translated “word”
was also used by many philosophers to mean “reason,” the force which structured
the universe; Philo combined this image with Jewish conceptions of the “word.”
The Old Testament had personified Wisdom (Pro_8:1-36),
and ancient Judaism eventually identified personified Wisdom, the Word and the
Law (the Torah).

By calling Jesus “the Word,” John calls him the
embodiment of all God’s revelation in the Scriptures and thus declares that
only those who accept Jesus honor the law fully (Joh_1:17).
Jewish people considered Wisdom/Word divine yet distinct from God the Father,
so it was the closest available term John had to describe Jesus.

 

John 1:1

 

 

What Jesus taught and what he did
are tied inseparably to who he is. John shows Jesus as fully human and fully
God. Although Jesus took upon himself full humanity and lived as a man, he
never ceased to be the eternal God who has always existed, the Creator and
Sustainer of all things, and the source of eternal life. This is the truth
about Jesus, and the foundation of all truth. If we cannot or do not believe
this basic truth, we will not have enough faith to trust our eternal destiny to
him. That is why John wrote this Gospel—to build faith and confidence in Jesus
Christ so that we may believe that he truly was and is the Son of God (Joh_20:30-31).

 

John wrote to believers
everywhere, both Jews and non-Jews (Gentiles). As one of Jesus’ 12 disciples,
John writes with credibility and the details of an eyewitness. His book is not
a biography (like the book of Luke); it is a thematic presentation of Jesus’
life. Many in John’s original audience had a Greek background. Greek culture
encouraged worship of many mythological gods, whose supernatural
characteristics were as important to Greeks as genealogies were to Jews. John
shows that Jesus is not only different from but superior to these gods of
mythology.

 

What does John mean by “the
Word”? The Word was a term used by theologians and philosophers,
both Jews and Greeks, in many different ways. In Hebrew Scripture, the Word
was an agent of creation (Psa_33:6),
the source of God’s message to his people through the prophets (Hos_4:1), and God’s law, his standard of
holiness (Psa_119:11). In Greek
philosophy, the Word was the principle of reason that governed the
world, or the thought still in the mind, while in Hebrew thought, the Word
was another expression for God. John’s description shows clearly that he is
speaking of Jesus (see especially Joh_1:14)—a
human being he knew and loved, but at the same time the Creator of the
universe, the ultimate revelation of God, the living picture of God’s holiness,
the one who “holds all creation together” (Col_1:17). To Jewish readers, to say this man Jesus “was
God” was blasphemous. To Greek readers, “the Word became human”
(Joh_1:14) was unthinkable. To John,
this new understanding of the Word was the Good News of Jesus Christ.

 

 

 

John 1:1

 

 

     In
the beginning was the Word,  and the Word
was with God,  and the Word was God.

 

     [In
the beginning was the Word.]
  In
the beginning
;  in the same sense
with Bereshith,  In the beginning;  in the history of the creation,  Gen_1:1.  For the evangelist proposeth this to himself,  viz.
To shew how that,  by the Word;  by which the creation was perfected,  the redemption was perfected also:  That the second person in the holy Trinity,  in the fulness of time,  became our Redeemer,  as in the beginning of time he had been our
Maker.  Compare this with Joh_1:14;

 

     Joh_1:1

 

     In the beginning was the
Word. 

     Was with God. 

     The Word
was God. 

 

John 1:1

 

a  In John’s
vision (Rev.  Joh_1:19  ), he sees Christ returning as
Warrior-Messiah-King, and “the title by which He is called is The Word of
God… and Lord of lords” (Rev_19:13  , Rev_19:16  ).

b  Charles B.
Williams, The New Testament: A Translation in the Language of the People:
“God” appears first in the Greek word order in this phrase, denoting
emphasis–so “God Himself.”

A  : Isa_9:6 

 

 

John 1:1

 

In the beginning – This expression is
used also in Gen_1:1. John evidently
has allusion here to that place, and he means to apply to “the Word” an
expression which is there applied “to God.” In both places it clearly means
before creation, before the world was made, when as yet there was nothing. The
meaning is: that the “Word” had an existence before the world was created. This
is not spoken of the man Jesus, but of that which “became” a man, or was
incarnate, Joh_1:14. The Hebrews, by
expressions like this, commonly denoted eternity. Thus. the eternity of God is
described Psa_90:2; “Before the
mountains were brought forth, etc.;” and eternity is commonly expressed by the
phrase, before the foundation of the world.” Whatever is meant by the term
“Word,” it is clear that it had an existence before “creation.” It is not,
then, a “creature” or created being, and must be, therefore, uncreated and
eternal. There is only one Being that is uncreated, and Jesus must be therefore
divine. Compare the Saviour’s own declarations respecting himself in the
following places: Joh_8:58; Joh_17:5; Joh_6:62;
Joh_3:13; Joh_6:46;
Joh_8:14; Joh_16:28.

Was the Word – Greek, “was the λόγος  Logos.” This name is given to
him who afterward became “flesh,” or was incarnate (Joh_1:14
– that is, to the Messiah. Whatever is meant by it, therefore, is applicable to
the Lord Jesus Christ. There have been many opinions about the reason why this
name was given to the Son of God. It is unnecessary to repeat those opinions.
The opinion which seems most plausible may be expressed as follows:

1. A “word” is that by which we
communicate our will; by which we convey our thoughts; or by which we issue
commands the medium of communication with others.

2. The Son of God may be called
“the Word,” because he is the medium by which God promulgates His will and
issues His commandments. See Heb_1:1-3.

3. This term was in use before
the time of John.

(a) It was used in the Aramaic
translation of the Old Testament, as, “e. g.,” Isa_45:12;
“I have made the earth, and created man upon it.” In the Aramaic it is, “I, ‘by
my word,’ have made,” etc. Isa_48:13;
“mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth.” In the Aramaic, “‘By my
word’ I have founded the earth.” And so in many other places.

(b) This term was used by the Jews
as applicable to the Messiah. In their writings he was commonly known by the
term “Mimra” – that is, “Word;” and no small part of the interpositions of God
in defense of the Jewish nation were declared to be by “the Word of God.” Thus,
in their Targum on Deu_26:17-18, it is
said, “Ye have appointed the word of God a king over you this day, that he may
be your God.”

(c)  The term was used by the Jews
who were scattered among the Gentiles, and especially those who were conversant
with the Greek philosophy.

(d) The term was used by the
followers of Plato among the Greeks, to denote the Second Person of the
Trinity. The Greek term
νοῦς  nous or “mind,” was commonly
given to this second person, but it was said that this nous was “the word” or
“reason” of the First Person of the Trinity. The term was therefore extensively
in use among the Jews and Gentiles before John wrote his Gospel, and it was
certain that it would be applied to the Second Person of the Trinity by
Christians. whether converted from Judaism or Paganism. It was important,
therefore, that the meaning of the term should be settled by an inspired man,
and accordingly John, in the commencement of his Gospel, is at much pains to
state clearly what is the true doctrine respecting the
λόγος  Logos, or Word. It is possible,
also, that the doctrines of the Gnostics had begun to spread in the time of
John. They were an Oriental sect, and held that the
λόγος  Logos or “Word” was one of the “Aeones”
that had been created, and that this one had been united to the man Jesus. If
that doctrine had begun then to prevail, it was of the more importance for John
to settle the truth in regard to the rank of the Logos or Word. This he has
done in such a way that there need be no doubt about its meaning.

Was with God – This expression
denotes friendship or intimacy. Compare Mar_9:19.
John affirms that he was “with God” in the beginning – that is, before the
world was made. It implies, therefore, that he was partaker of the divine
glory; that he was blessed and happy with God. It proves that he was intimately
united with the Father, so as to partake of his glory and to be appropriately
called by the name God. He has himself explained it. See Joh_17:5; “And now, O Father, glorify thou we
with thine own self, with the glory which I had with thee before the world
was.” See also Joh_1:18; “No man hath
seen God at any time; the only-begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the
Father, he hath declared him.” See also Joh_3:13;
“The Son of man, which is in heaven.” Compare Phi_2:6-7.

Was God – In the previous
phrase John had said that the Word was “with God.” Lest it should be supposed
that he was a different and inferior being, here John states that “he was God.”
There is no more unequivocal declaration in the Bible than this, and there
could be no stronger proof that the sacred writer meant to affirm that the Son
of God was equal with the Father; because:

1. There is no doubt that by the λόγος  Logos is meant Jesus Christ.

2. This is not an “attribute” or quality of God, but is a real
subsistence, for it is said that the
λόγος  Logos was made flesh σάρξ  sarx – that is, became a human
being.

3. There is no variation here in the manuscripts, and critics have observed
that the Greek will bear no other construction than what is expressed in our
translation – that the Word “was God.”

4. There is no evidence that John intended to use the word “God” in an
inferior sense. It is not “the Word was a god,” or “the Word was ‘like God,’”
but the Word “was God.” He had just used the word “God” as evidently applicable
to Yahweh, the true God; and it is absurd to suppose that he would in the same
verse, and without any indication that he was using the word in an inferior sense,
employ it to denote a being altogether inferior to the true God.

5. The name “God” is elsewhere given to him, showing that he is the
supreme God. See Rom_9:5; Heb_1:8, Heb_1:10,
Heb_1:12; 1Jo_5:20;
Joh_20:28.

The meaning of this important verse may then be thus summed up:

1. The name λόγος  Logos, or Word, is given to
Christ in reference to his becoming the Teacher or Instructor of mankind; the
medium of communication between God and man.

2. The name was in use at the time of John, and it was his design to
state the correct doctrine respecting the
λόγος  Logos.

3. The “Word,” or λόγος  Logos, existed “before creation” – of course
was not a “creature,” and must have been, therefore, from eternity.

4. He was “with God” – that is, he was united to him in a most intimate
and close union before the creation; and, as it could not be said that God was
“with himself,” it follows that the
λόγος  Logos was in some sense distinct
from God, or that there was a distinction between the Father and the Son. When
we say that one is “with another,” we imply that there is some sort of
distinction between them.

5. Yet, lest it should be supposed that he was a “different” and
“inferior” being – a creature – he affirms that he was God – that is, was equal
with the Father.

This is the foundation of the doctrine of the Trinity:

1. that the second person
is in some sense “distinct” from the first.

2. that he is intimately
united with the first person in essence, so that there are not two or more
Gods.

3. that the second person
may be called by the same name; has the same attributes; performs the same
works; and is entitled to the same honors with the first, and that therefore he
is “the same in substance, and equal in power and glory,” with God.

 

 

 

John 1:1-5

 

 

I. PROLOGUE: THE SON
OF GOD’S FIRST ADVENT (1:1-18)

John begins his Gospel by
speaking about the Word—but he does not explain at first who or what the
Word is. A word is a unit of speech by which we express ourselves to others.
But John is not writing about speech but rather about a Person.
That Person is the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God. God has fully expressed
Himself to mankind in the Person of the Lord Jesus. By coming into the world,
Christ has perfectly revealed to us what God is like. By dying for us on the
cross, He has told us how much God loves us. Thus Christ is God’s living Word
to man, the expression of God’s thoughts.

A. The Word in
Eternity and Time (1:1-5)

1:1   In the beginning was the Word.
He did not have a beginning Himself, but existed from all eternity. As far as
the human mind can go back, the Lord Jesus was there. He never was created. He
had no beginning. (A genealogy would be out of place in this Gospel of the Son
of God.) The Word was with God. He had a separate and distinct
personality. He was not just an idea, a thought, or some vague kind of example,
but a real Person who lived with God. The Word was God. He not only
dwelt with God, but He Himself was God.

The Bible teaches that there is
one God and that there are three Persons in the Godhead—the Father, the Son,
and the Holy Spirit. All three of these Persons are God. In this verse, two of
the Persons of the Godhead are mentioned—God the Father and God the Son. It is
the first of many clear statements in this Gospel that Jesus Christ is God.
It is not enough to say that He is “a god,” that He is godlike, or that He is
divine. The Bible teaches that He is God.

 

John 1:1

 

I. The Prologue (Joh_1:1-18)

All four Gospels begin by placing Jesus within a historical setting, but
the Gospel of John is unique in the way it opens. The Book of Matthew begins
with the genealogy of Jesus that connects Him to David and Abraham. Mark starts
with the preaching of John the Baptist. Luke has a dedication of his work to
Theophilus and follows that with a prediction of the birth of John the Baptist.
But John begins with a theological prologue. It is almost as if John had said,
“I want you to consider Jesus in His teaching and deeds. But you will not
understand the good news of Jesus in its fullest sense unless you view Him from
this point of view. Jesus is God manifest in the flesh, and His words and deeds
are those of the God-Man.”

The prologue contains many of the major themes of the Gospel which are
later reintroduced and developed more fully. The key terms include “life” (Joh_1:4), “light” (Joh_1:4),
“darkness” (Joh_1:5), “witness” (Joh_1:7), “true” (Joh_1:9),
“world” (Joh_1:9), “Son” (Joh_1:14), “Father” (Joh_1:14),
“glory” (Joh_1:14), “truth” (Joh_1:14). Two other key theological terms are
“the Word” (Joh_1:1) and “grace” (Joh_1:14), but these important words are used in
John only in this theological introduction. “Word” (Logos) does occur
elsewhere in the Gospel but not as a Christological title.

A. The Logos in
eternity and time (Joh_1:1-5)

As far back as man can think, in the beginning… the Word was
existing. The term “Word” is the common Greek word logos, which meant
“speaking, a message, or words.” “Logos” was widely used in Greek philosophical
teaching as well as in Jewish wisdom literature and philosophy. John chose this
term because it was familiar to his readers, but he invested it with his own
meaning, which becomes evident in the prologue.

The Word was with God in a special
relationship of eternal fellowship in the Trinity. The word “with” translates
the Greek pros, which here suggests “in company with” (cf. the same use
of pros in Joh_1:2; 1Th_3:4; 1Jn_1:2).
John then added that the Word was God. Jehovah’s Witnesses translate
this clause, “The Word was a god.” This is incorrect and logically is
polytheism. Others have translated it “the Word was divine,” but this is
ambiguous and could lead to a faulty view of Jesus. If this verse is correctly
understood, it helps clarify the doctrine of the Trinity. The Word is eternal;
the Word is in relationship to God (the Father); and the Word is God.

 

 

 

John
1:1-5

 

 

This Gospel opens magnificently.
It begins by portraying the life of Christ in eternity, before the world was.
That life was rich and glorious, filled with infinite delight and serene
blessedness in the presence of the Father. Once this truth is grasped, the
condescending love of Christ, in becoming flesh, will be appreciated more
fully.

Joh_1:1 In the beginning — when the heavens and the earth were created (Gen_1:1) — the Word already existed. This is
another way of saying that he existed from all eternity. He was not what
certain heretics claimed him to be, a created being. (See p. 33.)

Was the Word. John and the heretics both spoke of the Word (ὁ λόγος); but though the term was the same, the meaning was different. John’s
doctrine is not dependent on that of heretics nor on that of speculative
philosophers like Philo, a prominent Alexandrian who flourished in the first
century A.D. One never knows what to make of Philo’s Logos. He employs the term
no fewer than thirteen hundred times! but the meaning is never very definite.
It is described now as a divine attribute, then again as a bridge between God
and the world, identical with neither but partaking of the nature of both.
Philo allegorized, which makes it difficult to grasp his meaning. Thus, in his
comments on Gen_3:24 he discusses the
Cherubim, equipped with flaming sword, who are placed at Eden’s gates to
prevent access to the tree of life. As Philo sees it, these Cherubim are two
divine potencies: God’s loving-kindness and his sovereignty. The sword is the
Logos or Reason which unites the two. Balaam, the foolish prophet, had no sword
(Reason), for he said to the ass: “If I had a sword, I would have pierced thee”
(On the Cherubim, XXXII).

Surely, the term as employed by
the evangelist cannot derive its meaning from such allegorization. It is rooted
not in Greek but in Semitic thought. Already in the Old Testament the Word of
God is represented as a Person. Note especially Psa_33:6:
“By the Word of Jehovah (LXX:
τῷ λὁγῳ τοῦ κυρίου) were the heavens made.” What is probably the best commentary on Joh_1:1 is found in Pro_8:27-30:

“When he established the heavens, I was there;
When he set a circle upon the face of the deep.
When he made firm the skies above,
When the fountains of the deep became strong,
When he gave to the deep its bound,
That the waters should not transgress his commandment,
When he marked out the foundations of the earth;
Then I was by him, as a master workman;
And I was daily his delight,
Rejoicing always before him.”

As a New Testament designation of
the Christ, the term Word occurs only in Joh_1:1,
Joh_1:14; 1Jn_1:1;
and Rev_19:13. A word serves two
distinct purposes: a. it gives expression to the inner thought, the soul of the
man, doing this even though no one else is present to hear what is said or to
read what is thought; and b. it reveals this thought (hence, the soul of the
speaker) to others. Christ is the Word of God in both respects: he
expresses or reflects the mind of God; also, he reveals God to man (Joh_1:18; cf. Mat_11:27;
Heb_1:3).

And the Word was face
to face with God
(πρὸς τὸν θεόν). The meaning is that the Word existed in the closest possible
fellowship with the Father, and that he took supreme delight in this communion.
(Cf. 1Jn_1:2.) So deeply had this
former joy impressed itself upon the Logos that it was never erased from his consciousness,
as is also evident from the high-priestly prayer:

“And now, Father, glorify thou me
with thine own self or: in thine own presence, with the glory which I had with
thee before the world existed.”

Thus, the incarnation begins to
stand out more clearly as a deed of incomprehensible love and infinite
condescension.

And the Word was God. In order to place all the emphasis on Christ’s full
deity the predicate in the original precedes the subject. (
και θεός ἦν ὁ
λόγος). Over against every heretic it must be made plain
that this Word was fully divine.

 

John 1:1

 

In the beginning – That is, before any
thing was formed – ere God began the great work of creation. This is the
meaning of the word in Gen_1:1, to
which the evangelist evidently alludes. This phrase fully proves, in the mouth
of an inspired writer, that Jesus Christ was no part of the creation, as he
existed when no part of that existed; and that consequently he is no creature,
as all created nature was formed by him: for without him was nothing made that
is made, Joh_1:3. Now, as what was
before creation must be eternal, and as what gave being to all things, could
not have borrowed or derived its being from any thing, therefore Jesus, who was
before all things and who made all things, must necessarily be the Eternal God.

Was the Word – Or, existed the
Logos. This term should be left untranslated, for the very same reason why the
names Jesus and Christ are left untranslated. The first I consider as proper an
apellative of the Savior of the world as I do either of the two last. And as it
would be highly improper to say, the Deliverer, the Anointed, instead of Jesus
Christ, so I deem it improper to say, the Word, instead of the Logos. But as
every appellative of the Savior of the world was descriptive of some excellence
in his person, nature, or work, so the epithet
Λογος, Logos, which signifies a word spoken, speech, eloquence, doctrine,
reason, or the faculty of reasoning, is very properly applied to him, who is
the true light which lighteth every man who cometh into the world, Joh_1:9; who is the fountain of all wisdom; who
giveth being, life, light, knowledge, and reason, to all men; who is the grand
Source of revelation, who has declared God unto mankind; who spake by the
prophets, for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy, Rev_19:10; who has illustrated life and
immortality by his Gospel, 2Ti_1:10;
and who has fully made manifest the deep mysteries which lay hidden in the
bosom of the invisible God from all eternity, Joh_1:18.

The apostle does not borrow this mode of speech from the writings of
Plato, as some have imagined: he took it from the Scriptures of the Old
Testament, and from the subsequent style of the ancient Jews. It is true the
Platonists make mention of the Logos in this way: –
καθὁν, αει οντα, τα γενομενα εγενετο – by whom, eternally existing, all things were made. But as Plato,
Pythagoras, Zeno, and others, traveled among the Jews, and conversed with them,
it is reasonable to suppose that they borrowed this, with many others of their
most important notions and doctrines, from them.

And the Word was God – Or, God was
the Logos: therefore no subordinate being, no second to the Most High, but the
supreme eternal Jehovah.

 

 

John 1:1

 

 

     In
the beginning was the Word,  and the Word
was with God,  and the Word was God.

 

     [In
the beginning was the Word.]
  In
the beginning
;  in the same sense
with Bereshith,  In the beginning;  in the history of the creation,  Gen_1:1.  For the evangelist proposeth this to
himself,  viz.  To shew how that,  by the Word;  by which the creation was perfected,  the redemption was perfected also:  That the second person in the holy Trinity,  in the fulness of time,  became our Redeemer,  as in the beginning of time he had been our
Maker.  Compare this with Joh_1:14;

 

     Joh_1:1

 

     In the beginning was the
Word. 

     Was with God. 

     The Word was God. 

 

     Joh_1:14

 

     The Word was made flesh. 

     Dwelt among us. 

     Was made flesh,  and we beheld,  etc. 

 

     [Was
the Word.]
  There is no great
necessity for us to make any very curious inquiry,  whence our evangelist should borrow this
title,  when in the history of the
creation we find it so often repeated,  And
God said
.  It is observed almost by
all that have of late undertaken a commentary upon this evangelist,  that the Word of the Lord;  doth very frequently occur amongst the
Targumists,  which may something
enlighten the matter now before us.
“And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet the Word
of the Lord.”  “And the Word of
the Lord accepted
the face of Job.”
And the Word of the Lord shall laugh them to scorn.  “They believed in the name of his
Word
.”  And my Word spared
them
.  To add no more,  Gen_26:3;  instead of
“I will be with thee,”
the Targum hath it And my Word shall be thine help.  So Gen_39:2;  “And the Lord was with
Joseph”:  Targum.  And the Word of the Lord was Joseph’s
helper
.  And so,  all along,
that kind of phrase is most familiar amongst them… 

 

 

 

 

John 1:1

 

 

John marks the beginning of
Jesus’ life as an event that took place before the beginning of eternity.
“In the beginning was the Word”—not “at the
beginning,” not “from the beginning,” but “in the
beginning,” Jesus was already there.

John’s use of the Greek word logos is important. The Greeks had developed a
philosophy articulated by Plato and others that was built upon the assumption
that the logos, the word, was the foundation of everything on earth. The earth,
Plato said, was simply a shadow of the reality of the logos that existed
somewhere in the heavens. The Jews took the Greek concept of the logos one step
further. Whereas Plato said behind everything there’s a perfect thought
(logos), the Jews said that behind the thought there must be a thinker.

“We don’t see perfection (logos) here on
earth, but it must exist somewhere,” said the Greek.

“Yes. And if there is a true, perfect thought (logos),
there must be a true, perfect thinker,” added the Hebrew.

John bursts into the middle of
this discussion, saying, “In the beginning was the Logos, the Word,
God—not just a philosophy but a Personality. In the beginning was the Logos—the
perfection and the Thinker.”

The Hebrew word for God in Gen_1:1 is Elohim, a word that speaks of
three or more. The use of Elohim way back in Genesis hints at the
mystery of the Trinity. Its use by John reiterates the reality of the Trinity.

 

Jesus is God
A Topical Study of Joh_1:1

When John wrote his Gospel,
heresy was already present within the church. Maintaining that the body is evil
and only the spirit is good, Gnostics insisted that if Jesus was God, He
couldn’t have had a body. According to the Gnostics, when Jesus walked, He left
no footprints; when He ate, He didn’t really swallow His food. He appeared as a
Person, but He actually had no physical body.

What does John say to this?
“We have heard Him with our ears; we have seen Him with our eyes; we have
touched Him with our hands.”

“Jesus had a body,”
said John. “He is God. He became Man” (see 1Jn_1:1).

“If Jesus did indeed have a
body,” argued the Gnostics, “He is not God but rather an emanation
from God, an extension of God.”

“Wait a minute,”
countered John in the first verse of his Gospel. “There are three proofs
that Jesus Himself is God…”

Jesus is eternally God.
In the beginning was the Word…

Whenever the beginning was,
wherever it was, whatever it might have been, Jesus—the Word—was already there.
He had no beginning and He has no end. He is eternally God.

Jesus is equally God.
…and the Word was with God…

Jesus, the Word, was with God—equal
to the Father and the Spirit.

“I thought there was only
one God,” you say.

There is. “Hear O Israel,
the Lord our God is one Lord,” Deu_6:4
declares. But the word “one” is echad, which refers to a
compound unity, like one people, or one cluster of grapes. Thus,
God is a compound unity, a “tri-unity.” One plus one plus one does
not equal one. But one times one times one equals one. And that is the mystery
of the Trinity.

Jesus is essentially God.
…and the Word was God.

In His very essence, Jesus is God.
The gnostics denied this, and their heresy is still alive and well today. Every
cult stems from Gnosticism for every cult denies that Jesus Christ is God. The
Mormons deny it. They say the Son of God is not equal with God. Rather, they
maintain He is merely the offspring of God. The Jehovah’s Witnesses declare
Jesus is a God. And the Way International has decided that, although
Jesus is the Son of God, He is not equal to God.

What do you say to these
present-day gnostics? Turn them to Rev_21:6:
“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him
that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.” Ask a Mormon
or a Jehovah’s Witness, “Who is the One who gives of the water of the
fountain of life? Who is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end?”
He will say, “It’s God.”

Then, have him turn the page to Rev_22:12-13: “And, behold, I come quickly,
and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I
am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.”
Ask him, “Who is going to return?” He will say Jesus. But he will now
have a problem, because if he says Jesus is not God, he has two Alphas and two
Omegas—two firsts and two lasts. Truly, the only logical conclusion is that
Jesus is God. The doctrine of the deity of Jesus Christ is essential and
nonnegotiable. Yet there are two verses attacked constantly by those seeking to
undermine it…

The Humanist and Gen_1:1

The humanist—the
unbeliever—refuses to believe God created the heavens and the earth. Why?
Romans 1 says it’s because if he acknowledges that he is created by God, he
will then be responsible and accountable to God. Therefore, because man wants
to act and live independently from God, he rids himself of his Creator and
says, “Because I came from the ooze, I can live in the slime and do
whatever I want.”

In the 1940s, the seven leading
problems in public schools were talking, chewing gum, making noise, running in
the hallways, getting out of place in line, wearing improper clothing, and not
putting paper in wastebaskets. Fifty years later, the seven leading problems
became drug abuse, alcohol abuse, pregnancy, suicide, rape, assault/burglary,
and arson/bombing. We’ve gone from talking and gum chewing to rape and school
bombing. Something’s going on. But what do we expect when we teach our kids
they came from animals? Told they’re animals, they act like animals. To counter
this, we then spend millions of tax dollars on self-esteem courses to teach
high-school kids that they’re important.

The problem, however, is that
before they ever get to sixth period self-esteem psychology class, they have to
go to fourth period biology and hear they came from slime. It just doesn’t make
sense. We’ve got to get back to the foundational presupposition that in the
beginning, God created the heavens and the earth—that He made us, has a plan
for us, and wants to work in us. Without that, the entire fabric of culture
begins to unravel in our homes, our schools, and our lives.

The Cultist and Joh_1:1

The second most commonly attacked
Scripture is Joh_1:1. It also deals
with the beginning, and is attacked not by the humanist, but by the cultist.
The cultist says, “I’ve got a new truth to share. Jesus is not God. He’s
the Son of God, the emanation of God; He’s a Prophet who speaks on behalf of
God, but Jesus is not God.” And on this single premise, heresy is born and
cults are founded. You can recognize a cult by three characteristics…

Exclusivity

“Of all of the people living
presently and throughout history who have named the name of Christ, only our
little group of fifty, or five hundred, or fifty thousand is right,”
declares the cultist. Listen, gang—if it’s new, it’s not true. And if it’s
true, it’s not new. This is an absolute fact.

Authority

“Submit to me,” says
the cult leader. “I will tell you what to read, where to go, and who to
marry.” Whenever someone tries to put this trip on you—run! Paul said,
“We do not seek to have authority over you, but are helpers of your
joy” (see 2Co_1:24). Cult leaders
are out to dominate, whereas true ministers of the gospel desire only to serve.

Deity

Every single cult denies the
deity of Christ. Why is this so important? Because if you begin to say Jesus is
simply a created extension of God, you open the door to every other heresy. But
even more important than opening the door to other aberrations, if you deny
Jesus is God, you minimize the work God did on your behalf when He became a
Man.

Suppose you accidentally get
caught in a meat grinder, and I come to your rescue, put my arms around you,
and allow my flesh to become hamburger in the process. You leave in shock, but
unharmed. And then someone tells you Jon Courson destroyed his own arms to save
you. Suppose, hearing this, you said, “No, he didn’t. That was someone who
looks like Jon. That was an emanation from Jon. That was the son of Jon,
Peter-John. But it wasn’t Jon.” If you didn’t acknowledge what I had done
on your behalf, it would be an arrogant, ignorant insult.

Yet that is exactly what gnostics
propound when they insist God Himself didn’t really become a Man. The message
given to Abraham in Genesis 22 was that God will provide Himself a lamb—not for
Himself a lamb, but that He Himself would be the Lamb. God became a
Lamb. To diminish this is blasphemy. It is the one nonnegotiable heresy. In
order for a person to be saved, he must confess that Jesus is Lord (Rom_10:9). What does it mean to confess Jesus is
Lord? It does not mean that He is Lord of every area of your life, for who here
or down the tunnel of history can truly say that Jesus Christ is Lord of every
single area of his life? I suggest none. Consequently, none would be saved.

No, to confess Jesus as Lord
means to realize that Jesus is God—that He is your Creator, Redeemer, and King;
your Lover, your Friend, your everything. To confess Jesus as Lord means to
recognize He is God in the flesh—eternally God, equally God, essentially God.
If you deny that, you are a heretic. The Way International is heretical.
Jehovah’s Witnesses are heretics. Mormons are heretics. What are we to do with
heretics? According to Tit_3:10, after
a first or second warning, we are to have nothing to do with them.

“For one who constantly
preaches grace and love, that sounds kind of tough,” you protest. If a
brother doesn’t understand a doctrine, has erred in sin, or is stumbling in his
walk, embrace him. Stand with him. Hang in there beside him. But you must
differentiate between a stumbling saint and a devouring wolf, because sheep
don’t hang around wolves, hoping to convert them. When a wolf is around, sheep
split.

A wolf in sheep’s clothing might
look like a sheep, talk like a sheep, smell like a sheep, even walk like a
sheep. How, then, can you tell if he is a sheep? You don’t have to be an expert
in theology. You don’t have to know Greek perfectly. Just watch what he eats.
If he eats sheep, he’s a wolf. Jehovah’s Witnesses, followers of the Way
International, Mormons, and other cultists approach people who name the Name of
Jesus and begin to cause confusion and doubt. They get people off the mark of
simply loving the Lord and loving one another. We under-shepherds hate wolves
because we see what they do to the flock as they shift people’s focus from the
Shepherd to side issues and insignificant matters in order to devour believers
for their own purposes and egos.

Keep centered, gang. How? By
keeping focused on the Word and on Jesus Christ. Truly, Jesus is God. Love Him.
Learn about Him. Talk to Him. Walk with Him. And you’ll do well.

 

 

 

John 1:1-51

 

The first chapter asserts what He was before all things, and the
different characters in which He is a blessing to man, being made flesh. He is,
and He is the expression of, the whole mind that subsists in God, the Logos. In
the beginning He was. If we go back as far as is possible to the mind of men,
how far soever beyond all that has had a beginning, He is. This is the most
perfect idea we can form historically, if I may use such an expression, of the
existence of God or of eternity. “In the beginning was the Word.” Was
there nothing beside Him? Impossible! Of what would He have been the Word?
“The Word was with God.” That is to say, a personal existence is ascribed
to Him. But, lest it may be thought that He was something which eternity
implies but which the Holy Ghost comes to reveal, it is said that He “was
God.” In His existence eternal — in His nature divine — in His Person
distinct, He might have been spoken of as an emanation in time, as though His
personality were of time, although eternal in His nature: the Spirit therefore
adds, “In the beginning he was with God.” It is the revelation of the
eternal Logos before all creation. This Gospel therefore really begins before
Genesis. The Book of Genesis gives us the history of the world in time: John
gives us that of the Word, who existed in eternity before the world was; who —
when man can speak of beginning — was; and, consequently, did not begin to
exist. The language of the Gospel is as plain as possible, and, like the sword
of paradise, turns every way, in opposition to the thoughts and reasonings of
man, to defend the divinity and personality of the Son of God.

By Him also were all things created. There are things which had a
beginning; they all had their origin from Him: “All things were made by
him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.” Precise,
positive, and absolute distinction between all that has been made and Jesus. If
anything has been made, it is not the Word; for all that has been made was made
by that Word.

But there is another thing, besides the supreme act of creating all
things (an act that characterises the Word) — there is that which was in Him.
All creation was made by Him; but it does not exist in Him. But in Him was
life. In this He was in relation with an especial part of creation — a part
which was the object of the thoughts and intentions of God. This “life was
the light of men,” revealed itself as a testimony to the divine nature, in
immediate connection with them, as it did not with respect to any others at
all. [1] But, in fact, this light shone in
the midst of that which was in its own nature [2]
contrary to it, and evil beyond any natural image, for where light comes,
darkness is no longer: but here the light came, and the darkness had no
perception of it — remained darkness, which therefore neither comprehended nor
received it. These are the relations of the Word with creation and with man,
seen abstractedly in His nature. The Spirit pursues this subject, giving us
details, historically, of the latter part.

We may remark here — and the point is of importance —
how the Spirit passes from the divine and eternal nature of the Word who was
before all things, to the manifestation, in this world, of the Word made flesh
in the Person of Jesus. All the ways of God, the dispensations, His government
of the world, are passed over in silence. In beholding Jesus on the earth we
are in immediate connection with Him as existing before the world was. Only He
is introduced by John, and that which is found in the world is recognised as
created. John is come to bear witness of the Light. The true Light was that
which, coming into the world, shone for all men, and not for the Jews only. He
is come into the world; and the world, in darkness and blind, has not known
Him. He is come unto His own, and His own (the Jews) have not received Him. But
there were some who received Him. Of them two things are said: they have
received authority to become the children [3]
of God, to take their place as such; and, secondly, they are, in fact, born of
God. Natural descent, and the will of man, went for nothing here.

 

 

Juan 1:1 – John 1:1

 

(ABP+)  InG1722 the
beginningG746 wasG1510.7.3 theG3588
word,G3056 andG2532 theG3588
wordG3056 wasG1510.7.3 withG4314
G3588 God,G2316 andG2532
[4GodG2316
3wasG1510.7.3
1theG3588
2word].G3056

 

(ACV)  In the
beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

 

(AESV Torah)

 

(AF)  Cuando todas las cosas comenzaron, ya existía
aquel que es la Palabra. Y aquel que es la Palabra vivía junto a Dios y era
Dios.

 

(ALTNT)  In the
beginning was the Word [or, the Expression of
[divine] Logic]
, and the Word was with [or,
in communion with]
God, and the Word was God [or, was as to His essence God].

 

(AOV)  In die begin
was die Woord, en die Woord was by God, en die Woord was God.

 

(Peshita X)
BR$YT AYTWHY HWA MLTA WHW MLTA AYTWHY HWA LWT ALHA WALHA AYTWHY HWA HW
MLTA ;

 

(ASV)  In the beginning
was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

 

(ASV-r)  In the
beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

 

(BAD)  En el principio ya existía el Verbo,y el
Verbo estaba con Dios,y el Verbo era Dios.

 

(BB-a)  In the
begynnyng was the worde, & the worde was with God: and that worde was God.

 

(BBE)  From the first
he was the Word, and the Word was in relation with God and was God.

 

(BCN)  Yn y dechreuad yr oedd y Gair; yr oedd y Gair
gyda Duw, a Duw oedd y Gair.

 

(BHS+)

 

(Bibeln)
I begynnelsen var Ordet, och Ordet var hos Gud, och Ordet var Gud.

 

(T. Amat)

 

(SP-BLS)  

 

 La Palabra, luz y vida

 

 

 Antes de que todo comenzara

 ya existía aquel que es la Palabra.

 La Palabra estaba con Dios,

 y era Dios.

 

 

(Bishops)
In the begynnyng was the worde, & the worde was with God: and that
worde was God.

 

(BJ76)  En el principio existía la Palabra y la
Palabra estaba con Dios, y la Palabra era Dios.

 

(NBJ)  En el principio existía la Palabra y la
Palabra estaba junto a Dios, y la Palabra era Dios.

 

(BJ2)  En el principio existía la Palabra y la
Palabra estaba con Dios, y la Palabra era Dios.

 

(BJ3)  En el principio existía la Palabra y la
Palabra estaba junto a Dios, y la Palabra era Dios.

 

(BL95)  En el principio era la Palabra,

y la Palabra estaba ante Dios,

y la Palabra era Dios.

 

(BLS)  Antes de que todo comenzara

ya existía aquel que es la Palabra.

La Palabra estaba con Dios,

y era Dios.

 

(BNP) 

Prólogo

 Al principio existía la Palabra

y la Palabra estaba junto a Dios,

y la Palabra era Dios.

 

(BPD)  Al principio existía la Palabra, y la Palabra
estaba junto a Dios, y la Palabra era Dios.

 

(Brit Xadasha 1999)  En el principio era el Devar, y el Devar era
con Elojim, y el Devar era Elojim.

 

(BUL)  В
началото бе
Словото; и
Словото беше
у Бога; и
Словото бе
Бог.

 

(CAB)  In the
beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

 

(CAS)  « El Verbo se hizo hombre » En el principio
de todas las cosas era la Palabra, y la Palabra estaba con Dios y la Palabra
era Dios.

 

(CBK)  Na
počátku bylo Slovo, a to Slovo bylo u Boha, a to Slovo byl Bůh.

 

(CENT)  In the
beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

 

(CEV)  In the
beginning was the one who is called the Word. The Word was with God and was
truly God.

 

(CI)  Prologo. 1,1-18

Al principio existía la Palabra, y la
Palabra existía con Dios, y la palabra era Dios.

 

(CLV)  In the
beginning was the word, and the word was toward God, and God was the word.

 

(Coverdale)
In the begynnynge was the worde, and the worde was with God, and God was
ye worde.

 

(CST)  En el principio de todas las cosas era la
Palabra, y la Palabra estaba con Dios y la Palabra era Dios.

 

(DA)  En el principio era la Palabra, y la Palabra
era con YAHWEH. Y la Palabra era YAHWEH.

 

(Dansk)  I Begyndelsen var Ordet, og Ordet var hos
Gud, og Ordet var Gud.

 

(Darby)  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with
God, and the Word was God.

 

(DBY)  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with
God, and the Word was God.

 

(DHH)  En el principio ya existía la Palabra;[1] y aquel que es laPalabra estaba con Dios y
era Dios.

 

(DHHe) 

LA REVELACIÓN DE DIOS
EN JESUCRISTO

Prólogo [a]

En el principio ya existía la Palabra,[b] y aquel que es la Palabra estaba con Dios y
era Dios.

 

(DHHeA) 

LA REVELACIÓN DE DIOS
EN JESUCRISTO

Prólogo [a]

En el principio ya existía la Palabra,[b] y aquel que es la Palabra estaba con Dios y
era Dios.

 

(Diaglott-NT)
In a beginning was the Word, and the Word was with the God, and a god
was the Word.

 

(DRB)  In the
beginning was the Word: and the Word was with God: and the Word was God.

 

(DSV)  In den beginne
was het Woord, en het Woord was bij God, en het Woord was God.

 

(LPD)  Al principio existía la Palabra, y la Palabra
estaba junto a Dios, y la Palabra era Dios.

 

(EMTV)  In the
beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

 

(ESV)  In the
beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

 

(ERV)  Before the
world began, the Word was there. The Word was with God, and the Word was God.

 

(ESV-r)  In the
beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

 

(ESV+)  In the
beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

 

(Etheridge)
IN the beginning was the Word,[Meltho.] and the Word himself was with
Aloha, and Aloha was the Word himself.

 

(EUNSA)  En el principio existía el Verbo, y el Verbo
estaba junto a Dios, y el Verbo era Dios.

 

(FDB)  Au commencement était la Parole; et la Parole
était auprès de Dieu; et la Parole était Dieu.

 

(FLS)  Au commencement était la Parole, et la Parole
était avec Dieu, et la Parole était Dieu.

 

(FPR)  Alussa oli Sana, ja Sana oli Jumalan tykönä,
ja Sana oli Jumala.

 

(GEB)  Im Anfang war
das Wort, und das Wort war bei Gott, und das Wort war Gott.

 

(GEN-a)  In the
beginning was that Word, and that Word was with God, and that Word was God.

 

(Geneva)
In the beginning was that Word, and that Word was with God, and that
Word was God.

 

(GLB)  Im Anfang war
das Wort, und das Wort war bei Gott, und Gott war das Wort.

 

(GNB)  In the
beginning the Word already existed; the Word was with God, and the Word was
God.

 

(GNEU)  Am Anfang war
das Wort. Das Wort war bei Gott, ja das Wort war Gott.

 

(GNT)  ᾿Εν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ Λόγος, καὶ ὁ Λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν Θεόν, καὶ Θεὸς ἦν ὁ Λόγος.

 

(GNT+)  εν1722 PREP  αρχη746 N-DSF  ην2258 V-IXI-3S  ο3588 T-NSM  λογος3056 N-NSM  και2532 CONJ  ο3588 T-NSM  λογος3056 N-NSM  ην2258 V-IXI-3S  προς4314 PREP  τον3588 T-ASM  θεον2316 N-ASM  και2532 CONJ  θεος2316 N-NSM  ην2258 V-IXI-3S  ο3588 T-NSM  λογος3056 N-NSM  

 

(GNT-BYZ+)
ενG1722 PREP  αρχηG746 N-DSF  ηνG1510 V-IAI-3S  οG3588 T-NSM  λογοςG3056 N-NSM  καιG2532 CONJ  οG3588 T-NSM  λογοςG3056 N-NSM  ηνG1510 V-IAI-3S  προςG4314 PREP  τονG3588 T-ASM  θεονG2316 N-ASM  καιG2532 CONJ  θεοςG2316 N-NSM  ηνG1510 V-IAI-3S  οG3588 T-NSM  λογοςG3056 N-NSM  

 

(GNT-TR)
εν αρχη ην ο λογος και ο λογος ην προς τον θεον και θεος ην ο λογος

 

(GNT-TR+)
εν1722 PREP  αρχη746 N-DSF  ην2258 V-IXI-3S  ο3588 T-NSM  λογος3056 N-NSM  και2532 CONJ  ο3588 T-NSM  λογος3056 N-NSM  ην2258 V-IXI-3S  προς4314 PREP  τον3588 T-ASM  θεον2316 N-ASM  και2532 CONJ  θεος2316 N-NSM  ην2258 V-IXI-3S  ο3588 T-NSM  λογος3056 N-NSM  

 

(GNT-V)  εν αρχη ην ο λογος και ο λογος ην προς τον θεον και θεος ην ο λογος

 

(GNT-WH+)
εν1722 PREP  αρχη746 N-DSF  ην2258 V-IXI-3S  ο3588 T-NSM  λογος3056 N-NSM  και2532 CONJ  ο3588 T-NSM  λογος3056 N-NSM  ην2258 V-IXI-3S  προς4314 PREP  τον3588 T-ASM  θεον2316 N-ASM  και2532 CONJ  θεος2316 N-NSM  ην2258 V-IXI-3S  ο3588 T-NSM  λογος3056 N-NSM  

 

(IGNT+)  ενG1722 IN “THE”   αρχηG746 BEGINNING   ηνG2258 [G5713] WAS   οG3588 THE   λογοςG3056 WORD,   καιG2532 AND   οG3588 THE   λογοςG3056 WORD   ηνG2258 [G5713] WAS   προςG4314τονG3588 WITH   θεονG2316 GOD,   καιG2532 AND   θεοςG2316 GOD   ηνG2258 [G5713] WAS   οG3588 THE   λογοςG3056 WORD.   

 

(GSB)  Im Anfang war
das Wort, und das Wort war bei Gott, und das Wort war Gott.

 

(GW)  In the
beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was
God.

 

(HCSB)  In the
beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

 

(HCSB-r)
In the beginning was the Word; and the Word was with God, and the Word
was God.

 

(SA)  Al principio ya existía la Palabra, y la
palabra estaba junto a Dios, y la Palabra era Dios.

 

(HKB)  Kezdetben vala az Íge, és az Íge vala az
Istennél, és Isten vala az Íge.

 

(HNT)  בראשית
היה הדבר
והדבר היה את
האלהים
ואלהים היה הדבר׃

 

(HNV)  In the beginning was the Word, and
the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

 

(HOT)

 

(IBIS)  Pada mulanya, sebelum dunia
dijadikan, Sabda sudah ada. Sabda ada bersama Allah dan Sabda sama dengan
Allah.

 

(ICE)  Í upphafi var Orðið, og Orðið var
hjá Guði, og Orðið var Guð.

 

(INR)  Nel principio era la Parola, la
Parola era con Dio, e la Parola era Dio.

 

(IntEsp-Tisch+)  εν1722:PREP En αρχη746:N-DSF principio ην1510:V-IAI-3S era ο3588:T-NSM la λογος3056:N-NSM Palabra και2532:CONJ y ο3588:T-NSM la λογος3056:N-NSM Palabra ην1510:V-IAI-3S era προς4314:PREP hacia τον3588:T-ASM a el θεος2316:N-ASM Dios και2532:CONJ y θεος2316:N-NSM Dios ην1510:V-IAI-3S era ο3588:T-NSM la λογος3056:N-NSM Palabra

 

(IntEspWH+)  εν1722:PREP En αρχη746:N-DSF principio ην1510:V-IAI-3S era ο3588:T-NSM la λογος3056:N-NSM Palabra και2532:CONJ y ο3588:T-NSM la λογος3056:N-NSM Palabra ην1510:V-IAI-3S era προς4314:PREP hacia τον3588:T-ASM a el θεον2316:N-ASM Dios και2532:CONJ y θεος2316:N-NSM dios ην1510:V-IAI-3S era ο3588:T-NSM la λογος3056:N-NSM Palabra

 

(IntRV60+)  Ἐν1   En G1722 P  En  →
el
ἀρχῇ2   archê G746 NDSF  principio  ἦν3
 ên
G2258 VI-I3S
  era 
4   ho G3588 DNSM  el  λόγος5   logos G3056 NNSM  Verbo,  καὶ6   kai G2532 C  y  7
 ho
G3588 DNSM
  el 
λόγος8   logos G3056 NNSM  Verbo  ἦν9
 ên
G2258 VI-I3S
  era 
πρὸς10   pros G4314 P  con  ‹  τὸν11Θεόν12 ›   ton Theon G3588 G2316 DASM NASM  Dios,  καὶ13   kai G2532 C  y  16
 ho
G3588 DNSM
  el 
λόγος17   logos G3056 NNSM  Verbo  ἦν15
 ên
G2258 VI-I3S
  era 
Θεὸς14   Theos G2316 NNSM  Dios.

 

(IRL)  Nel principio era la Parola, e la
Parola era con Dio, e la Parola era Dio.

 

(ISRAV)

 

(ISV)  In the beginning, the Word existed.
The Word was with God, and the Word was God.

 

(ISV-r)  In the beginning, the Word existed.
The Word was with God, and the Word was God.

 

(ITB)  Pada mulanya adalah Firman; Firman
itu bersama-sama dengan Allah dan Firman itu adalah Allah.

 

(BJ)  En el principio existía la Palabra
y la Palabra estaba con Dios, y la Palabra era Dios.

 

(JFA+)  No 1722
princípio 746 era 2258 [5713] o Verbo 3056, e 2532
o Verbo 3056 estava 2258 [5713] com 4314
Deus 2316, e 2532 o Verbo 3056
era 2258 [5713] Deus 2316.

 

(JMNT)  In the beginning, was the Word; and
the Word was with God; and the Word was God.

 

(JMSJ-T)  天地萬物還沒有被造以前,道[也就是上帝的話]已經存在了。道和上帝同在。道就是上帝。

 

(JST)  In the beginning was the gospel preached
through the Son.  And the gospel was the
word,  and the word was with the Son,  and the Son was with God,  and the Son was of God.

 

(JPS)

 

(JUN)  En el principio era el Verbo; y el
Verbo era ante Dios; y Dios era el Verbo.

 

(Septuaginta)  En el principio(a)  era el Verbo; y el Verbo era ante(b)  Dios; y Dios era el Verbo.

 

(KJVCNT)  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word
was with God, and the Word was God.

 

(KJCNT)  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word
was with God, and the Word was God.

 

(KJV)  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word
was with God, and the Word was God.

 

(KJV+)  InG1722
the beginningG746 wasG2258 theG3588
Word,G3056 andG2532 theG3588
WordG3056 wasG2258 withG4314
God,G2316 andG2532 theG3588
WordG3056 wasG2258 God.G2316

 

(KJV-1611)  In the beginning was the Word, & the Word
was with God, and the Word was God.

 

(KJ2000)  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word
was with God, and the Word was God.

 

(KJV21)  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word
was with God, and the Word was God.

 

(KJVA)  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word
was with God, and the Word was God.

 

(KJV-r-a)  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word
was with God, and the Word was God.

 

(KJV+TVM)  In1722
the beginning746 was2258 [5713]
the Word3056, and2532 the Word3056
was2258 [5713] with4314
God2316, and2532 the Word3056
was2258 [5713] God2316.

 

(Versión Jünemann)  En el
principio(a)  era el Verbo;
y el Verbo era ante(b)  Dios; y Dios
era el Verbo.

 

(LBLA)  En el principio existía el Verbo, y
el Verbo estaba con Dios, y el Verbo era Dios.

 

(LEB)  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word
was with God, and the Word was God.

 

(LITV)  In the
beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

 

(LONT)  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word
was with God, and the Word was God.

 

(LXX)

 

(MSG)  The Word was first, the Word present to God,
God present to the Word. The Word was God,

 

(MKJV)  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word
was with God, and the Word was God.

 

(Murdock)  In the beginning, was the Word; and the Word
was with God; and the Word was God.

 

(NAB-A)  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word
was with God, and the Word was God.

 

(N-C)  Al principio era el Verbo, y el
Verbo estaba en Dios, y el Verbo era Dios.

 

(NAS+)  In the beginning746  was the Word3056
, and the Word3056  was with God2316
, and the Word3056  was God2316
.

 

(NAS77)  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word
was with God, and the Word was God.

 

(NASB)  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word
was with God, and the Word was God.

 

(NASB+)  In the beginningG746
was the WordG3056, and the WordG3056 was with GodG2316, and the WordG3056
was GodG2316.

 

(NBE)  Al principio ya existía la Palabra,
y la Palabra se dirigía a Dios y la Palabra era Dios.

 

(NBLH)  En el principio ya existía el Verbo (la Palabra), y el Verbo
estaba con Dios, y el Verbo era Dios.

 

(NCV)  In the beginning there was the Word. The Word
was with God, and the Word was God.

 

(NET)  In the beginning1
was the Word, and the Word was with God,2
and the Word was fully God.3

 

(NIVUK) 

 

The Word Became Flesh

 

 

 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word
was with God, and the Word was God.

 

 

(NJB) In the beginning was the
Word: the Word was with God and the Word was God.

 

(NLT)  In the beginning the Word already existed.
The Word was with God, and the Word was God.

 

(NLT-r)  In the beginning the Word already existed. He
was with God, and he was God.

 

(NLTse)  In the beginning the Word already existed.
The Word was with God, and the Word was God.

 

(NLV)  Christ Lived Before The World Was Made

The Word (Christ) was in
the beginning. The Word was with God.
The Word was God.

 

(Nuevo Mundo (Los TJ))  En [el]
principio la Palabra era, y la Palabra estaba con Dios, y la Palabra era un
dios.

 

(Norsk)  I begynnelsen var Ordet, og Ordet var hos
Gud, og Ordet var Gud.

 

(NRSV)  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word
was with God, and the Word was God.

 

(NRSVA)  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word
was with God, and the Word was God.

 

(NRSV-CE)  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word
was with God, and the Word was God.

 

(NRV90)  En el principio ya existía el
Verbo, y el Verbo estaba con Dios, y el Verbo era Dios.

 

(NVI)  En el principio ya existía el
Verbo,  y el Verbo estaba con Dios,  y el Verbo era Dios.

 

(NWT)  In  [the]
beginning the Word was,  and the
Word was with God,  and the Word was a
god.

 

(PB)  En el principio era el Verbo, y el
Verbo estaba cerca a Dios y el Verbo era Dios.

 

(PBG)  Na początku było
Słowo, a ono Słowo było u Boga, a Bogiem było ono
Słowo.

 

(PDT)  Antes del comienzo del mundo ya
existía la Palabra, la Palabra estaba con Dios y era Dios.

 

(SyEspañol)  En el principio era el Verbo[1], y el Verbo era con Dios[2], y el Verbo era Dios.

 

(Peshitta-T)  BR$YT )YTWHY HW)
MLT) WHW MLT) )YTWHY HW) LWT )LH) W)LH) )YTWHY HW) HW MLT)

 

(PJFA)  No princípio era o Verbo, e o Verbo
estava com Deus, e o Verbo era Deus.

 

(PUBG)  Na początku było
Słowo, a Słowo było u Boga i Bogiem było Słowo.

 

(RDCT)  La început era Cuvîntul, şi
Cuvîntul era cu Dumnezeu, şi Cuvîntul era Dumnezeu.

 

(RDCT-OLD)  La început era Cuvîntul, şi
Cuvîntul era cu Dumnezeu, şi Cuvîntul era Dumnezeu.

 

(RV1960)  

 

El Verbo
hecho carne

 

 

 En el principio
era el Verbo, y el Verbo era con Dios, y el Verbo era Dios.

 

 

(Murdock R)  In the beginning, was the Miltha; and the
Miltha was with Alaha; and the Miltha was Alaha.

 

(ROB)  La început era Cuvântul şi
Cuvântul era la Dumnezeu şi Dumnezeu era Cuvântul.

 

(Rotherham)  Originally, was, the Word, and, the Word,
was, with God; and, the Word, was, God.

 

(RST)  В
начале было
Слово, и
Слово было у
Бога, и Слово
было Бог.

 

(RSV)  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word
was with God, and the Word was God.

 

(RSVA)  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word
was with God, and the Word was God.

 

(RV)  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word
was with God, and the Word was God.

 

(RV1865)  EN el principio ya era el Verbo; y
el Verbo era con Dios, y Dios era el Verbo.

 

(RV2000)  En el principio [ya] era la
Palabra, y [aquel que es] la Palabra era con el Dios, y la Palabra era Dios.

 

(RV60)  En el principio era el Verbo,  y el Verbo era con Dios,  y el Verbo era Dios.

 

(RV60+)  En G1722  P el principio G746  NDSF
era G2258
VI-I3S
el G3588  DNSM Verbo, G3056  NNSM
y G2532  C
el G3588
DNSM
Verbo G3056  NNSM era G2258  VI-I3S
con G4314
P
Dios, G3588 G2316  DASM NASM y G2532  C
el G3588
DNSM
Verbo G3056  NNSM era G2258  VI-I3S
Dios. G2316
NNSM

 

(RV60a) 

 

El Verbo hecho carne

  En el principio
era el Verbo, y el Verbo era con Dios, y el Verbo era Dios.

 

(RV95)  [1]  En el principio era el Verbo,[2] 

 el Verbo estaba
con Dios

 y el Verbo era
Dios.

 

(RVA)  En el principio era el Verbo, y el
Verbo era con Dios, y el Verbo era Dios.

 

(RVG)  En el principio era el Verbo, y el
Verbo era con Dios, y el Verbo era Dios.

 

(RVR60)  En el principio era el Verbo, y el
Verbo era con Dios, y el Verbo era Dios.

 

(RYLTNT-r)  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word
was with God, and the Word was God;

 

(NS)  ϨΝ ΤΕϨΟΥΕΙΤΕ
ΝΕϤϢΟΟΠ ΝϬΙ ΠϢΑϪΕ
ΑΥШ ΠϢΑϪΕ ΝΕϤϢΟΟΠ
ΝΝΑϨΡΜ ΠΝΟΥΤΕ
ΑΥШ ΝΕΥΝΟΥΤΕ
ΠΕ ΠϢΑϪΕ.

 

(NS-T)  Hn teHoueite neFSoop nCi pSaJe auw pSaJe
neFSoop nnaHrm pnoute auw neunoute pe pSaJe.

 

(SB-MN)  En el principio  existνa aquel / que es la  Palabra, / y aquel que es  la Palabra / estaba con  Dios y era Dios. /

 

(SBVUJ)  En el principio existνa la Palabra y la Palabra estaba con Di-s, y la
Palabra era Di-s.

 

(SM)  Al principio ya existνa la Palabra, y la Palabra se dirigνa a Dios y la Palabra era Dios.

 

(Scνo)  En el principio era el Verbo(a), y el Verbo era con Dios(b). Y el Verbo era Dios.

 

(SDK-L)  U početku bješe riječ, i
riječ bješe u Boga, i Bog bješe riječ.

 

(LXX+)

 

(SFB)  I begynnelsen var Ordet, och Ordet var hos
Gud, och Ordet var Gud.

 

(So)  Bilowgii waxaa jiray Hadalka, Hadalkuna wuxuu
la jiray llaah, Hadalkuna wuxuu ahaa llaah.

 

(SRV)  EN el principio era el Verbo, y el
Verbo era con Dios, y el Verbo era Dios.

 

(SRV+)  ENG1722
el principioG746 eraG2258 elG3588
VerboG3056, yG2532 elG3588
VerboG3056 eraG2258 conG4314
DiosG2316, yG2532 elG3588
VerboG3056 eraG2258 DiosG2316.

 

(SRV2004)  EN el principio era el Verbo, y el
Verbo era con Dios, y el Verbo era Dios.

 

(RVG-R)  En el principio era el Verbo, y el
Verbo era con Dios, y el Verbo era Dios.

 

(SSE)  En el principio ya era la Palabra, y aquel
que es
la Palabra era con el Dios, y la Palabra era Dios.

 

(TA)  En el principio era el Verbo y el
Verbo estaba en Dios, y el Verbo era Dios.

 

(TAB)  Nang pasimula siya ang Verbo, at
ang Verbo ay sumasa Dios, at ang Verbo ay Dios.

 

(TCNT)  In the Beginning the Word was; and the Word
was with God; and the Word was God.

 

(TKK)  Başlangıçta Söz vardı. Söz
Tanrı’yla birlikteydi ve Söz Tanrı’ydı.

 

(TLA)  Antes de que todo comenzara ya
exist
νa aquel que es la Palabra. La Palabra estaba con
Dios, y la Palabra era Dios.

 

(TMB)  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word
was with God, and the Word was God.

 

(Translit+) . . archeG746 . . logosG3056
. . logosG3056 . . theosG2316 . . logosG3056
. theosG2316

 

(Translit)  en
arxe  en  ho
logos,  kai  ho
logos  en  pros
ton  theon,  kai
theos  en  ho
logos.

 

(TYN)  In the beginnynge was the worde and the worde
was with God: and the worde was God.

 

(TYN-r)  In the beginning was that(the) word, and that(the) word was with god: and god was that
word.(and the word was God.)

 

(UBIO)  Споконвіку
було Слово, а
Слово в Бога
було, і Бог
було Слово.

 

(Vamvas)  Εν αρχή
ήτο ο Λόγος, και
ο Λόγος ήτο
παρά τω Θεώ, και
Θεός ήτο ο
Λόγος.

 

(VM)  EN el principio era el Verbo, y el
Verbo era con Dios, y el Verbo era Dios.

 

(VUL)  in principio erat Verbum et Verbum
erat apud Deum et Deus erat Verbum

 

(Vulgate)  in principio erat Verbum et Verbum
erat apud Deum et Deus erat Verbum

 

(VW)  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word
was with God, and the Word was God.

 

(Voice)  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word
was with God, and the Word was God.

 

(WBST)  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word
was with God, and the Word was God.

 

(WBST+)  In1722
the beginning746 was2258 [5713] the Word3056, and2532
the Word3056 was2258 [5713] with4314
God2316, and2532 the Word3056
was2258 [5713] God2316.

 

(WEB)  The Good News According to John

In
the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

 

(WEB-r)  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word
was with God, and the Word was God.

 

(Webster)  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word
was with God, and the Word was God.

 

(Wesley’s)  In the beginning existed the Word, and the
Word was with God, and the Word was God.

 

(WESNT)  In the beginning existed the Word, and the
Word was with God, and the Word was God.

 

(WMSNT)  In the beginning the Word existed; and the
Word was face to face with God; yea, the Word was God Himself.

 

(WNT)  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word
was with God, and the Word was God.

 

(WORNT)  In the beginning was the Word, and the
Word was with God, and the Word was God.

 

(WycliffeNT)  In the bigynnyng was the word, and the word
was at God, and God was the word.

 

(YLT)  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word
was with God, and the Word was God;

 

 

 

 

2 comentarios en “En el Principio fue el Logos – εν αρχη ην ο λογος – Logos (=relación, ratio, proporción) y Razón (Áurea): ¿una y la misma cosa?

  1. Escrito está: “En el principio era la Palabra”… Aquí me
    detengo yo perplejo. ¿Quién me ayuda a proseguir? No
    puedo en manera alguna dar un valor tan elevado a la
    palabra; debo traducir esto de otro modo si estoy bien
    iluminado por el Espíritu. Escrito está: “En el principio era el
    Pensamiento…” Medita bien la primera línea; que tu pluma
    no se precipite. ¿Es el pensamiento lo que todo lo obra y
    crea… ? Debiera es-tar así: “En el principio era la Fuerza…”.
    Pero también esta vez, en tan-to que esto consigno por
    escrito, algo me advierte ya que no me atenga a ello. El
    Espíritu acude en mi auxilio. De improviso veo la solución, y
    escribo confiado: “En el principio era la ACCIÓN”

    Fausto – Goethe

Responder

Introduce tus datos o haz clic en un icono para iniciar sesión:

Logo de WordPress.com

Estás comentando usando tu cuenta de WordPress.com. Cerrar sesión / Cambiar )

Imagen de Twitter

Estás comentando usando tu cuenta de Twitter. Cerrar sesión / Cambiar )

Foto de Facebook

Estás comentando usando tu cuenta de Facebook. Cerrar sesión / Cambiar )

Google+ photo

Estás comentando usando tu cuenta de Google+. Cerrar sesión / Cambiar )

Conectando a %s