Thursday, November 17, 2011

John 1:1 to 3

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 The same was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

The Word is declared to be God and with God at the same time.

These verses are some of my favorite verses of all time. I like to parallel verse one of Genesis with verse one of John:
Gen 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.

Do the themes not correlate beautifully? God creates, but was with the Word, who was also from the beginning. And the Word is God. John is making a statement of the highest claim for Jesus here. He claims that Jesus is God, and that Jesus was there creating the heavens and the earth. “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible. . .” (Colossians 1:16,17)

There are some today who try to rewrite this verse, and translate it: In the beginning there was the Word and the Word was with God, and the word was “A” god.” The rules of Greek grammar absolutely forbid this translation, but if you need further evidence of what John is saying just look to the next verse. “The same was in the beginning with God.” And the next: “All things were made by Him, with Him was not anything made that was made.” This gospel, along with other passages of Scripture, make it clear that Jesus was there in the beginning, creating. He Himself is not created; rather He is part of the Godhead, and has existed from infinity past, before time began its reckoning.

McGee introduces the gospel of John beautifully: “Jerome said of John’s gospel, “John excels in the depths of divine mysteries.” And no truer statement was ever made. Dr. A. T. Pierson put it like this, “It touches the heart of Christ.”” Have we not already touched the heart of a great mystery? And who shall explain it? Not this writer. We say, and the scripture plainly teaches that God is three, but also that God is one. I do not understand fully how this can be, and I doubt that any mortal on this side of heaven does either. But I believe it. The gospel of John presents God come in the flesh more so than any of the other gospels.

Gnosticism was the heresy going round when John was an old man; I believe that John wrote this gospel to dispel that which gnostics were beginning to teach: that Jesus was God, but never ever was really a man. Gnostics taught that the disciples did not see the real Jesus. The gospel of John, we are going to see, presents Jesus as being the Son of God and also as the son of the virgin Mary. He was both God and man. Fully each. Do you understand? Well then, explain it to me. I do not understand it. I choose to believe it.

God has already come into my life, crashing into my heart and changing my beliefs in what I thought to be most likely. He took what I thought was reality and wiped it away with but a brush of His finger, and showed me in the scripture the real reality, His Son Jesus the Messiah, the sent one, sent to save me from my sins. The gospel of John is sometimes called “the simple gospel” because of John’s simple vocabulary. But make no mistake about it, while the words chosen may be simple, the concepts are beyond our understanding. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him, without Him was not anything made that was made. If I can twist the words a bit from the song: “Then I saw His face, Now I’m a believer, I couldn’t leave Him if I tried.” After seeing Him enter my life, change all that I thought, and abide in me all these years, I have no desire other than to follow Him.

McGee, J. Vernon (1990-01-30). Thru the Bible 1-5 (5 Volume Set) (Kindle Locations 99545-99546). Grupo Nelson. Kindle Edition.


Danielle said...

One of my favorite aspects of Christianity is that many of the concepts are simple enough for children to understand and complex enough for grown-ups to spend their whole lives wrestling with.

Good stuff.

JohnOneOne said...

“What About John 1:1?”


Today, an important part Bible study is the comparison of translations. Regarding their comparative value, Miles Coverdale (b.1488-d.1568), who produced the first complete printed translation of the Bible into English, wrote: "one translation declareth, openeth and illustrateth another, and ... in many cases one is a plain commentary unto another.''

Apparently, the King James Version translators had also appreciated the work of early translators, for even upon their cover page they explained that their own work had been, "Translated out of the Original Tongues and with the Former Translations Diligently Compared and Revised." – (italics added).

Interestingly, these KJV translators had further advised within their own, original "Preface: To the Reader": "Therefore as St Augustine saith, 'a variety of translations is profitable for finding out the sense of scriptures.'" – (italics added).

Although, for many, John 1:1 plainly declares Jesus (the Word) is God, few are aware of the number of other ways in which hundreds of Biblical Theologians, Scholars and Translators alike have, down thru the centuries, chosen to render the third clause of this verse – that is, as something other than, "and the Word was God."

Since John 1:1 may be the most discussed, explained and/or debated scripture of any in the Bible, after 20+ years study, it may interest you to know that there is soon to be released an Extensive Annotated Bibliography, providing the dedicated student of the Bible a sampling of what has been offered by many, well respected Bible scholars, that is, as to the many appropriate, alternative renditions of this most controversial scripture, John 1:1.

To learn more of its design and expected release date, you are invited to visit:

As you might expect, we are very excited at the opportunity to share our findings with others, including you.

Agape, JohnOneOne.