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A person who accepts the inspiration of the Scriptures can not help but be thrilled at this passage. And the Word was as to His essence absolute deity.9. He was in the beginning with God. Sufficient at this point is a quotation from Harner’s article itself: But in all of these cases the English reader might not understand exactly what John was trying to express. God the Son, the Word, was alongside God from all time and before. We have seen that the majority of scholarship sees the theos as indicating the nature of the Word, that He is God as to His nature. These verses summarize Jesus’ ministry and mission on Earth. John 1:1 also means that, as God's Word, Jesus always communicated God's will to humanity, even in Old Testament revelation (Genesis 28:10-15, John 1:50-51, Exodus 17:6, 1 Corinthians 10:4). #4 “and the Word was God.” Here is the offensive truth to anyone who wants to ignore Christ as the Messiah. Do You Struggle With Being Perfect. By exact and careful language John denied Sabellianism by not saying ho theos en ho logos. John 1:1-3, 14, 18 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. It is the Greek word pros. Notice that Wuest brings in the idea that the anarthrous predicate noun has a characterizing effect, and that it refers more to the nature of the subject of the clause than to an identification of it. This last phrase has come under heavy fire throughout the ages. To view these 18 verses as such is both … Continue reading "Commentary on John 1:[1-9], 10-18" It is poetic prose—prose with the soul of poetry—prose that, like poetry, packs layers of meaning in a word or phrase. A quick look at his comments on John 14:28 in Word Pictures in the New Testament, volume 5, page 256 refutes this idea. Phoenix, AZ 85069 This other verb is “to become” (egeneto). “The Word was God.” If both God and Word were articular, they would be coextensive and equally distributed and so interchangeable. They were not far from the truth. The distinct personality of the Word is therefore not obscurely intimated. A slightly different tact is taken by another group of scholars. The authoritative reference source, Kittel’s Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, is quite direct on John 1:1: A similar ascription is more common in the Johannine writings, and for the most part incontestable. Almost all the controversy surrounding John 1:1 revolves around the fact that the theos of the last phrase kai theos en ho logos is anarthrous, i.e., it has no article. John 4:18. The following article was originally an information sheet that we began distributing around 1985, Who We are Subject To, and a Response to Jimmy Akin on Pope Francis, The Strong Hold of Whiteness? Home John 1:1-2. Only when we come to verse 14 does John use “to become” of the Word, and that is when the Word “became flesh.” This refers to a specific point in time, the incarnation, and fully demonstrates John’s intentional usage of contrasting verbs. It is imperative that the serious student of the Bible come to a basic understanding of logos, which is translated as “Word” in John 1:1.Most Trinitarians believe that the word logos refers directly to Jesus Christ, so in most versions of John logos is capitalized and translated “Word” (some versions even write “Jesus Christ” in John 1:1). But most see that the assertion of the Apostle goes far beyond that. He did not use the adjective, theios, which would describe a divine nature, or a god-like one. Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. When it is used in this way, it refers to the divine essence. 1 John 1:9 (NASB) Emphasis is upon the quality or character. That Gospel begins with these words, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God," (John 1:1 RSV). This translation violates the following principles: 1) Monotheism in the Bible – certainly it can not be argued that John would use the very word he always uses of the one true God, theos, of one who is simply a “god-like” one or a lesser “god.” The Scriptures do not teach that there is a whole host of intermediate beings that can be called “gods.” That is gnosticism. But don’t get it in your head that the book is therefore only for unbelievers. The noun form is here used, not the adjectival theios, which would be required to simply classify the Word as “god-like.”. Others, however, while not denying the eternality of the Son, argue that that is not John’s meaning here. Jesus said in John 15:6, “If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.” And in John 8:31, he said, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples”So when John says, “These are written so th… The Bible is the written Word. Remember that the original readers of John’s Gospel would not have already read verse 14, and they would not have the preconceived knowledge that the Word is identified as Christ. To recap, Robertson says that 1) the translation of the phrase theos en ho logos is “the Word was God.” 2) That the anarthrous theos is required for the meaning. 58-59.) εν αρχη, the expression here used,) was the Word — That is, The Word existed at the beginning of … All Rights Reserved. Can He who is eternal (first clause) and who has always been with God (second clause), and who created all things (verse 3) be “a god?” 6) Just because a noun is not preceded by the article does not automatically justify the insertion of the English indefinite “a”. But the Incarnate Logos was really “God only Begotten in the bosom of the Father” (John 1:18 correct text)6. Dr. Kenneth Wuest, long time professor of Greek at the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, commented on this verse: The Word was God. In other words, if theos en ho logos is “a god,” how could John have said “the Word was God?” We have already seen that if John had employed the article before theos, he would have made the terms theos and logos interchangeable, amounting to Sabellianism. John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Explanation and Commentary of John 1:1. John was a monotheistic Jew. This is a crucial verse to prove the doctrine of the Trinity but gives no real help to the natural mind that would seek to understand the paradox in a way that would erase the paradox. That beginning goes back before creation. KJV In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Instead, he used theos, the very word John will use consistently for the Father, the “only true God” (John 17:3). Statement of Faith Jesus is fully God and he manifested in the flesh in a manger to die on a cross. He came into the world as LIFE... to breathe 'new life' into the lifeless spirit of man that lay dead in trespasses and sins, and with no hope in the world. Answer: The answer to this question is found by first understanding the reason why John wrote his gospel. 1. John 1:1–18 is a poetic introduction of Jesus Christ. F. F. Bruce’s comments on this passage are valuable: The structure of the third clause in verse 1, theos en ho logos, demands the translation “The Word was God.” Since logos has the article preceding it, it is marked out as the subject. 3) It ignores the position of theos in the clause – it comes first, and is emphatic. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:(1-9), 10-18 is the assigned Gospel lesson for Christmas 2, Years A, B, and C. While John 1:1-9 is optional, verses 10-18 make little sense without the premises set out in the opening verses. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. “God” and “Word” are not interchangeable terms. Office Hours It can not be doubted that John would never call a creature theos. About Another scholarly source along this line is found in the Expositor’s Greek Testament: The Word is distinguishable from God and yet Theos en ho logos, the Word was God, of Divine nature; not “a God,” which to a Jewish ear would have been abominable; nor yet identical with all that can be called God, for then the article would have been inserted…12. He possesses the same essence as God the Father, is one with Him in nature and attributes. John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”. Here we have the revelation of Christ: He is God for believers.17, To summarize: The phrase kai theos en ho logos is most literally translated as “and the Word was God.” (Robertson, Bruce). 4 … Controversy has arisen over the meaning and interpretation of 1 John 1:9-10. Luke 24:53 praising God continually in the temple. Contact. 2 The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. If God were articular and Logos non-articular, the affirmation would be that God was Logos, but not that the Logos was God. It is not a valid translation in any way. 1 John 1:9 and 10. Perhaps the clause could be translated, “the Word had the same nature as God.” This would be one way of representing John’s thought, which is, as I understand it, that ho logos, no less than ho theos, had the nature of theos.16. #3 “and the Word was with God,” From this statement alone we see that there are at least two persons in the one God. This is interesting in light of the discussion we have been having on the DL about textual criticism. The structure of John 2:1-11 is typical of a miracle story: the setting is established (verses 1-2), a need arises (verses 3-5), a miracle addresses that need (verses 6-8), and there is a response to that miracle (verses 9-11). Again, these scholars are pointing out the use of the article to show the subject against the predicate in a clause. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Neither was the place the only market, nor was the word all of God, as it would mean if the article were also used with theos. No, he filled the Word with personality and identified the Word not as some fuzzy, ethereal essence that was the guiding principle of all things, (as the Greeks thought), but as the eternal Son of God, the One Who entered into time, and into man’s experience as Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus is referred to using the Greek word Logos, meaning “The Word.” This passage clearly describes Jesus as identical to God, and co-creator with God. (Robertson, Dana and Mantey, Bruce, Nicoll) Colwell’s rule also comes into play at this point. In the beginning — Namely, of the creation, (for the evangelist evidently refers to the first word of the book of Genesis, בראשׁית, bereshith, rendered by the LXX. The changing of water to wine is Jesus’ first public act in John, the inaugural “sign” … Continue reading "Commentary on John 2:1-11" These scholars refer to what is known as Colwell’s rule, named after E. C. Colwell, who first enunciated his rule in the Journal of Biblical Literature in 1933.13 The rule says, “The absence of the article does not make the predicate indefinite or qualitative when it precedes the verb; it is indefinite in this position only when the context demands it. Thus, John teaches us here that our Lord is essentially Deity. The Logos who became flesh and revealed the invisible God was a divine being, God by nature. John 1:1-18 (NIV) The Word Became Flesh. They, like Robertson, point out that since theos is anarthrous, it shows that it is not convertible with logos and vice-versa. The logos, the Word, was in the beginning, was with God, and was God. #1 “In the beginning…” In parallel to Genesis chapter one, John seeks to show how God the Son was not made but had been begotten from all eternity. 2 He was with God in the beginning() 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made() 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. THE PROLOGUE TO THE GOSPEL OF JOHN. John 1:1-3. The Word is not a creation that came into existence at “the beginning,” for He antedates that beginning. To understand what John is saying, we must delve into the verses themselves and analyze them carefully. There is obviously no scholarly support for the rendering of “a god,” and there is massive scholarly argument against it. 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. This phrase, if taken completely alone, would be very confusing, since John has already asserted the eternality of the Word. Newsletter This is a great mystery but the Word is the will of God declared. Box 37106 Store ho logos sarx egeneto (John 1:14). See also ho theos agape estin (1 John.4:16). Note that Robertson translates the phrase, “the Word was God.” His argument is summed up well in the following passage: A word should be said concerning the use and non-use of the article in John 1:1, where a narrow path is safely followed by the author. The preposition John uses here is quite revealing. Their fellowship and relationship precedes all else, and it is timeless. 1-john 4:19 We love him, because he first loved us. 2 He was with God in the beginning. Bible Commentary Bible Verses Devotionals Faith Prayers Coloring Pages Pros and Cons, 40 Important Bible Scriptures on Putting God First, Washing of Water by the Word Meaning and Meditation, Righteousness Exalts a Nation Meaning and Meditation, 18 Strong Prayers for a New Place to Live, Having Done All to Stand Meaning and Meditation, A Good Name Is Better than Riches Meaning and Meditation, 50 Compelling Bible Scriptures on Direction. He uses the term three times of Jesus in the Gospel, here, in John 1:18, and in John 20:28. First it should be noted that Robertson and Nicoll had passed away before the work of Colwell, and their comments reflect this. 1 John 1 – Fellowship with God Most people understand that the important things in life are not things at all – they are the relationships we have. He is the revelation of God. Cf. Some have gone so far as to assert that the correct translation, therefore, is “the Word was a god,” basing the argument on the lack of the definite article ho before theos. 7;7). Here... An excellent article in light of my comments on the continuing campaign of Richard Mouw, President of Fuller Seminary,... Alpha and Omega Ministries is a Christian apologetics organization based in Phoenix, Arizona. What is meant is that the Word shared the nature and being of God, or (to use a piece of modern jargon) was an extension of the personality of God. The absence of the article here is on purpose and essential to the true idea.5. 3 We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also … Hardly seems coincidental, does it? A footnote appears after the comment on the article, and it says: Those people who emphasize that the true rendering of the last clause of John 1.1 is “the word was a god”, prove nothing thereby save their ignorance of Greek grammar. Then, is John talking about two “gods?” Can more than one being be fully eternal? In Xenophon’s Anabasis, 1:4:6, emporion d’ en to korion, and the place was a market, we have a parallel case to what we have in John 1:1, kai theos en ho logos, and the word was deity. It is simply the truth and must be accepted as such, leading us to worship in awe at the feet of the one whose “ways are higher than our ways” (Isa 55:9). He is eternally God, the Creator. He was in the beginning with God. So in John 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 the Father and Son, what Origen called the Eternal Generation of the Son (each necessary to the other). Here the word “God” is without the article in the original. In John 1:1 we have Christology: He is God in Himself. This version translates John 1:1 in this way. It is a timeless word – that is, it simply points to existence before the present time without reference to a point of origin. In light of Dr. Robertson’s comments, it is indeed unbelievable that some will quote from the above section and try to intimate that Robertson felt that Jesus was less than the Father because he quoted John 14:28. Jesus of Nazareth, the carpenter, the teacher, is Very God.8. Had theos as well as logos been preceded by the article the meaning would have been that the Word was completely identical with God, which is impossible if the Word was also “with God”. By not qualifying his statement, John assured that we could correctly understand his intention and his teaching concerning Christ, the Word. A number of appendices have appeared in the NWT attempting to defend this translation by making reference to many of the same scholars that have already been quoted. He is the author of more than twenty books, a professor and an accomplished debater. John 1:1 says of the Pre-existent: kai theos en ho logos…The lack of the article, which is grammatically necessary in 1:1, is striking here, and reminds us of Philonic usage. Considering the whole context of the prologue, many have identified this beginning as the same beginning mentioned in Genesis 1:1. It means “to be in company with someone”1 or to be “face-to-face.” It speaks of communion, interaction, fellowship. The next phrase says, “and the Word was with God.” Again we find the verb “was” cropping up, again pointing to the timelessness of the subject at hand. Introduction to the Gospel of John; In the Beginning was the Word (John 1:1-18) I Have Called You Friends (John 1:35-51, John 15:15) Water Into Wine At the Wedding at Cana (John 2:1-11) Jesus Teaches Nicodemus (John 3:1-21) Jesus and the Samaritan Woman at the Well (John 4) Jesus Heals on the Sabbath (John 5) Jesus the Bread of Life (John 6) We must bear in mind that we are reading only a translation of what John wrote, and hence some mention will have to be made of the Greek language. And Some Other Stuff, Doing Theology Live on TV with Call-Ins With Jet-Lag, Same Sex Controversy part 1 of 3: Sodom, and more from the JW Martin Smart, Advice for Witnessing to Mormons and Role Playing With “Elder Hahn”, The Only Begotten of the Father in the Flesh: Mormonism’s Embarrassing Theology. The NEB paraphrase “what God was, the Word was”, brings out the meaning of the clause as successfully as a paraphrase can…So, when heaven and earth were created, there was the Word of God, already existing in the closest association with God and partaking of the essence of God. John 1:14 says, "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth." Others could be added, but this is sufficient. He does so by consistently using en of the Logos, the Word, and by consistently employing a totally different verb in reference to all other things. NKJV In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. What does it mean that God is light? The Incarnation of the Word of Life. The reason that theos is anarthrous is both that it is the predicate nominative (Robertson, Dana and Mantey) and that it is demanded by the fact that if it had the article, it would be then interchangeable with logos, which is contextually impossible. Some say he borrowed it from Greek philosophy, a sort of philosophical subterfuge. (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal … 1 John 1 1 2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) The Prologue to John’s Gospel is John’s birth story of Jesus. ESV In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John is not alone in this. Much has been said about how John got the term “Logos,” the Word. 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Of Faith Blog Webcast Donate Store Newsletter Contact Son of God, and the Word and God in Himself eternity... About two “ gods? ” can more than one Being who can be! That dwelleth in God, ” as some polytheistic Greek might say is John ’ s first assertion is “... And not the Father a Word or phrase Corinthians 5:19 he that dwelleth in dwelleth! Of the Son, argue that that is eternal that, like Robertson, out. Each having the article here is the complete and perfect manifestation of Father... When discussing the Deity of Christ, the carpenter, the eternal en been Sabellianism the flesh in a to! Newsletter Contact how then is this to be understood a timeless relationship of Alpha and Omega Ministries a! Only ) us to simply know the eternity of the clause: “ and the Word was God argument it! Of Life prologue to John ’ s meaning here warrant in the flesh in manger..., ” for he antedates that beginning 1:14 the Word he borrowed it from Greek philosophy, timeless! 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