John 1:1-2

John 1:1-2

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.

1John opens his book in much the same was as Genesis is opened: “In the beginning.” This phrase introduces John 1 which sets the background for the remainder of the book. John is not part of the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) and the book of John’s difference is evident from the start of the book. Second, and perhaps more importantly, the first few verses of John 1 reveal a lot about the deity of Jesus and, therefore, his ability to become the savior of humanity.

The is markedly different from the synoptic gospels, Matthew and Luke start with genealogies and Mark jumps into the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. John takes a more roundabout approach by first examining Jesus’ deity. This beings to mark the reason that John is not a synoptic gospel, a gospel of the history of Jesus’ ministry. While, yes, John records Jesus’ words and actions, the book is not really a outright recording of Jesus’ actions. Rather, it is a book dedicated to exploring how Jesus, though God, is also man.

Now as previously stated, the beginning of John parallels the beginning of Genesis. “Beginning” is arche (αρχη) in Greek (it’s he word from whence we get words like arcane and archaic). This word doesn’t mean the beginning of Christ’s ministry, or his life, or the beginning or Israel. Rather’ it means the beginning of time. Now the beginning of time, is already a time where no people have existed and where there are no witnesses to see God. However, the verse does not stop at this already incomprehensible time. Rather, it continues to say “was.” While was may seem to be a small word, it is large in that it denotes that the Word (Christ) existed before this beginning, before time, and existed into the great unknown before time itself. This is God’s nature: eternal, everlasting.

Now “word” is logos (λογος). Logos, which is Christ in John, is important because it links also links the written word to he divine nature of Christ. Logos, is not “word” in the English sense; logos is a philosophical concept. It is a word-concept that has long frustrated translators from the Latin Vulgate to (I would assume) today’s modern translations. Logos is akin to not only the spoken word but also to reason, or wisdom. This is important because it also marks Christ with the divine quality of wisdom and reason. Finally, the word is linked to God with both with and without the word “with.” This denotes two further characteristics of the deity of Christ. First, Christ is with God, that is to say, that Christ has perfect communion with God. This communion is essential because this perfect understanding of God and His will allow Christ to function as the sacrifice for humanity’s sins. Second, the word was God, that is to say that Christ is not separate from God, but is a part of Him.

John 1:1-2 forms the beginning of the book of John. However, we can still learn much from it as it shows numerous aspects of the deity of Christ. Christ is God, and he has perfect communion with God and understands God perfectly. Christ is, and always has been a perfect being and able to be the sacrifice for human sins. Take the time each day to reflect on this sacrifice and thank God for it.

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