In John 3:20 pas are people. In John 14:26 panta are words and memories.

In John 1:3 is πᾶς referring to the tangible objects made in Genesis 1 or also to abstractions and the things men seem to do by their own volition, such as talking, and not just in Genesis 1 but forever and always?

In other words, is John 1:3 just about objects, rocks, trees and stars, or, every category including people, actions, and all spoken words that man has ever perpetrated? In my Baptist church the assumption appears to be that John 1:3 only refers to solid objects at the beginning of creation.

  • χωρὶς αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο οὐδὲ ἕν (John 1:3b} "without him was not any thing made" (ESV( indicates all things was all creation. Maybe people are hung up on the English use of gender.
    – Perry Webb
    Jun 18 '18 at 20:04
  • You may want to try and reformat the question some. There is no need to add the Strong's numbers for example.
    – Ken Banks
    Jun 18 '18 at 20:05
  • 1
    Robert Young in his literal bible has all things through him did happen and without him happened not anything. The Englishman's Greek New Testament has all things through him came into being and without him came into being not even one thing. Your concern about the correct translation is very valid and I see no reason to down-vote the question. (+1).
    – Nigel J
    Jun 19 '18 at 3:34
  • I tried to clarify your question. If it is not an improvement please just refuse the edit. Thanks.
    – Ruminator
    Jul 16 '18 at 12:42

The answer depends on context. Where there is an antecedent, then "panta" refers to "all these things" (eg, Like 21:32). Where no antecedent exits (eg, John 1:3) then "panta" refers to all everything, both animate and inanimate.


John 1:3 is a dual statement that follows the previous statements about Jesus. In the previous statements the Word (Jesus) is presented as being present at the moment of creation and also being declared that He is God. Verse three explains in two statements how Jesus was involved in the act of creation.

The first phrase is παντα δι αυτου εγενετο (all things were created or made by Him). The Greek word εγενετο carries the idea of things that are brought into being or things that are made. It is a simple statement that everything that was created was done so by the Word.

The second phrase is similar and is intended to counter those who might try to qualify the all things as something less than everything that was created -- καὶ χωρὶς αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο οὐδὲ ἕν ὃ γέγονεν (and without him was not any thing made that was made (KJV)).

Based on your list in your question I would include everything that was created, which includes the physical creation, as well as all living beings in the creation such as the angels, humans, animals, and plant life. I would not include your comment about "actions, and all spoken words that man has ever perpetrated." To be precise in that definition that makes God the creator of evil which did not happen as actions and words spoken by man are sinful. Did God create beings who were capable of evil, like humans and the devil, yes but that does not make God the creator of evil. Dealing with the existence of evil falls under the theological idea known as theodicy.

  • 'Jesus' is the name given to the baby born in Bethlehem. The Word, ο λογος, refers to God in the beginning who was with God. Applying 'Jesus' to Logos is inappropriate (in your first and second sentences).
    – Nigel J
    Jun 19 '18 at 3:55
  • @NigelJ Baby born in Bethlehem was Logos who adopted humanity, and this Logos+humanity was called "Jesus". Compare: an Athenian youth Aristokles decided to follow Socrates and devote his life to philosophy, henceforth being called "Plato", will it be a mistake if a biographer writes, "when infant Plato slept, honey came out of his mouth instead of saliva, and bees gathered there"? or should he necessarily write "when infant Aristokles etc."? For both "Plato" and "Aristocles" stand for the same person, as "Logos" and "Jesus" both stand for the same divine Person of the Father's co-eternal Son. Jun 19 '18 at 13:06
  • @LevanGigineishvili The Divine nature did not 'mingle' with the humanity of Christ. They are united only in his Person. 'Logos' is a specific term relating to Deity, as such. I do not pray to 'Logos'. (Nor do I pray to 'Jesus'.) I pray to the Lord Jesus Christ.
    – Nigel J
    Jun 19 '18 at 13:30
  • @NigelJ Then you can start doing it, for there are ancient patently correct and orthodox prayers addressed to the "Word", like here in prayer of St Andrew of Crete (7th cent.): "Πάτερ, Λόγε, Πνεύμα, Τριάς η εν Μονάδι, σόσον ἡμάς" ("Father, Word, Spirit, Trinity in Unity, save us!"). Logos is one of the Trinitarian Persons, when you call Him "o, Word of God, hearken me!", you address to this very Person. Yes, divine nature does not mingle with human nature, but is united with it and this unity is in one Person of Logos. You could have prayed to Logos, i.e.to the Son even before His incarnation. Jun 19 '18 at 13:55
  • @LevanGigineishvili 'Logos' was unrevealed - until John revealed him. How can men pray to whom is unrevealed ?
    – Nigel J
    Jun 19 '18 at 15:00

The first two words of John 1:1 are the same two words of Genesis 1:1 and provides the context of which John is speaking. He is speaking of the original creation/recreation of Genesis 1. The deeds of men later on are not in view.

Brenton LXX Gen 1:1  Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἐποίησεν ὁ θεὸς τὸν οὐρανὸν καὶ τὴν γῆν.

KJV John 1:1  εν αρχη ην ο λογος και ο λογος ην προς τον θεον και θεος ην ο λογος

What the author is pointing out is that nothing in Genesis 1 occurred with God first saying, "Let there be x". My translation of John 1:1:

In [the] beginning was the utterance and the utterance was with God and the utterance was God-utterance...

However, note that it says that "apart from the utterance nothing came to be". Again, all of the creation was prefaced with "Let there be".

  • 1
    The λογος isn't an 'utterance.'. It is a person. He is Jesus. Read to verse 16. Clearly, if there is a connection to Genesis, which there is, 'God said' is a veiled way of saying the Word of God created all things, and was the medium δια (through or by which) He made all things. Not that the Word of God is literally a disembodied 'utterance' and not a person which John explicitly makes Him out to be. Jul 16 '18 at 14:34
  • What is a "Word of God" (other than an utterance of God)? For that matter, what do you understand "Word" to mean? "Oooooohm"? "Library"? Lexicon says "utterance".
    – Ruminator
    Jul 16 '18 at 14:40
  • His 'begotten' self-expression; the 'Son' of God. Hence the many NT references to Jesus being the χαρακτηρ (visual signature?) of God's (invisible) nature or being. the image of the invisible God, the wisdom and the power of God, in whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, and so forth. Again, John identifies the Word as Jesus. So in any interpretation, the Word is a person. Jul 16 '18 at 14:47
  • @SolaGratia When did they start calling Jesus the "Word of God"? Was it before God's utterance was made flesh or after? If John used the LOGOS to mean "Jesus" he would have been the first person to use the word that way and would not have been understood.
    – Ruminator
    Jul 16 '18 at 14:53
  • 1
    Two names, one person. Jul 16 '18 at 16:43

I asked what does panta mean in John 1v3. Should we use a theodicy to answer this? Perhaps, but also we can look at building a theodicy on the meaning of this word. God is holy. God created everything. Evil exists. God had a holy motive for creating man incapable of fulfilling the Law [evil], that His Son might have this honour.[I have come to fulfill..] Here "things" includes human behaviour. We give back to God [apodo] an account of the lives He first gave us. [Rom 11v35]. God is the only first cause, the only Alpha, the Beginning. Creation never is. In this theodicy the cook is responsible for the cake and there is a gap: God is holy, creation is not holy. But creation does have a holy purpose. Based on how God has made us we make our choices. Here panta includes human behaviour, words, actions, events, everything.

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