In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2The same was in the beginning with God. 3All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4In him was life; and the life was the light of men. — John 1:1-4

How is it possible that God can be a word, or the Word? What is the nature of this Word, and why is it called so?

Thank you.

  • Jesus Christ, as God incarnate, is God's message to us. He is how we comprehend the incomprehensible God. Unlike English λόγος can mean a message comprising many words. It can also mean getting the concept or reason across.
    – Perry Webb
    Commented Sep 10, 2018 at 20:19
  • 1
    If you are God, you knit together, from the DNA of Joseph and Mary, a zygote within the womb of Mary that would grow to be a man who by nature would be a first-party source of whatever You (God) had to say to mankind. "Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works." (John 14:10 KJV)
    – enegue
    Commented Sep 10, 2018 at 23:09

7 Answers 7


Your question presupposes that the English translations are accurately reflecting the Greek when they translate the λόγος as "the Word". This is not the case. "Word" is, to my humble mind, a pathetic translation and persists only because it is an entrenched error (aka "stronghold"):

ESV 2 Corinthians 10:4 The weapons of our warfare are not the weapons of the world [ie: flesh]. Instead, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.

Note that when BDAG uses the word "word" he is using it in the sense of a "communication". The single word is not a meaningful unit of speech. "Dog" doesn't communicate enough information to be understood. For example, do you mean "Dog", the animal (noun)? Or "Dog" as in "nag" someone (verb)? (Obviously context can provide sense. The point is that if a single word, like "popcorn" became flesh it would not communicate very much. The better understanding is "utterance" or "communication" which is precisely what BDAG shows is the common usage of the koine word:

λόγος, ου, ὁ (verbal noun of λέγω in the sense ‘pick’; Hom.+).

① a communication whereby the mind finds expression, word

ⓐ of utterance, chiefly oral.

α. as expression, word (oratorical ability plus exceptional performance were distinguishing marks in Hellenic society, hence the frequent association of λ. and ἔργον ‘deed’; a sim. formulation as early as Il. 9, 443 μύθων τε ῥητῆρʼ ἔμεναι πρηκτῆρά τε ἔργων; Polystrat. p. 33 μὴ λόγῳ μόνον ἀλλʼ ἔργω; Just., A II, 4, 2 ἢ λόγῳ ἢ ἔργῳ and D. 35, 7 λόγον ἢ πρᾶξιν) δυνατὸς ἐν ἔργῳ κ. λόγῳ, i.e. an exceptional personage Lk 24:19; pl. of Moses Ac 7:22 (the contrast expressed w. a verb Choix 20, 6–8 ποιεῖ ἀγαθὸν ὄτι δύναται καὶ λόγῳ καὶ ἔργῳ of Apollordorus, a benefactor in Cyzicus, a flourishing city in Phrygia; sim. New Docs 7, 233, no. 10, 8f πολιτευόμενος … λόγῳ καὶ ἔργῳ; cp. IKourion 32, 8; without contrast Diod S 13, 101, 3 ἄνδρας λόγῳ δυνατούς; for sim. constructions using λέγω and πράσσω s. Danker, Benefactor 339–43). Cp. Ro 15:18; 2 Cor 10:11; Col 3:17; 2 Th 2:17; Hb 13:21 v.l.; 1J 3:18 (cp. Theognis 1, 87f Diehl3 μή μʼ ἔπεσιν μὲν στέργε κτλ.—For the contrast λόγῳ … ἀληθείᾳ cp. Diod S 13, 4, 1). In contrast to a sinful deed we also have the λόγος ἁμαρτίας sinful word Judaicon 172, 9. W. γνῶσις: ἐν παντὶ λόγῳ κ. πάσῃ γνώσει 1 Cor 1:5. ἰδιώτης τῷ λόγῳ, ἀλλʼ οὐ τῇ γνώσει 2 Cor 11:6. (Opp. δύναμις ‘revelation of power’) 1 Cor 4:19, 20. τὸ εὐαγγέλιον οὐκ ἐγενήθη ἐν λόγῳ μόνον, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐν δυνάμει 1 Th 1:5 (cp. Ar. 13, 7 of mythical accounts οὐδέν εἰσιν εἰ μὴ μόνον λόγοι ‘they’re nothing but words’). W. ἐπιστολή: 2 Th 2:2, 15. W. ἀναστροφή: 1 Ti 4:12; 1 Pt 3:1b. Opp. ‘be silent’: IRo 2:1.—μόνον εἰπὲ λόγῳ just say the word Mt 8:8; cp. Lk 7:7 (Ath. 17, 1 ὡς λόγῳ εἰπεῖν; 29, 2; Phalaris, Ep. 121, 1 λόγῳ λέγειν; cp. schol. on Pla. 341a ἐν λόγῳ μόνον εἰπεῖν). οὐδεὶς ἐδύνατο ἀποκριθῆναι αὐτῷ λόγον no one was able to answer him a (single) word Mt 22:46; cp. 15:23 (cp. TestAbr A 16 p. 98, 11 [Stone p. 44] οὐκ ἀπεκρίθη αὐτῷ λόγον).—The (mighty) word (of one who performs miracles) ἐξέβαλεν τὰ πνεύματα λόγῳ Mt 8:16 (a rare use of λ. as ‘single utterance’, s. L-S-J-M s.v. VII).—διὰ λόγου by word of mouth (opp. ‘by letter’) Ac 15:27.—In the textually uncertain pass. Ac 20:24 the text as it stands in N., οὐδενὸς λόγου (v.l. λόγον) ποιοῦμαι τὴν ψυχὴν τιμίαν, may well mean: I do not consider my life worth a single word (cp. λόγου ἄξιον [ἄξιος 1a] and our ‘worth mention’; s. Conzelmann ad loc.).

β. The expression may take on a variety of formulations or topical nuances: what you say Mt 5:37; statement (PGM 4, 334) Lk 20:20; question (Sext. Emp., Math. 8, 295; 9, 133; Diog. L. 2, 116) ἐρωτήσω ὑμᾶς λόγον I will ask you a question (cp. TestJob 36:5; GrBar 5:1; ApcSed 13:6; Jos., Ant. 12, 99) Mt 21:24; cp. Mk 11:29; Lk 20:3; prayer (PGM 1, 25; 4, 90; 179; 230 al.; 5, 180; 196 al.) Mt 26:44; Mk 14:39. ἡγούμενος τοῦ λ. principal speaker Ac 14:12. W. epexeget. gen. λ. παρακλήσεως 13:15. W. κήρυγμα our manner of presentation and our proclamation 1 Cor 2:4a (but s. comm.). (W. διδασκαλία) preaching 1 Ti 5:17; prophecy (Biogr. p. 364 [Pythia]) J 2:22; 18:32. Command (Aeschyl., Pers. 363) Lk 4:36; 2 Pt 3:5, 7; via a letter 2 Th 3:14. Report, story (X., An. 1, 4, 7; Diod S 3, 40, 9; 19, 110, 1 λ. διαδιδόναι=spread a report; Appian, Iber. 80 §346, Maced. 4 §1 [both=rumor]; Diod S 32, 15, 3 ἦλθεν ὁ λ. ἐπί τινα=the report came to someone; Arrian, Anab. 7, 22, 1 λόγος λέγεται τοιόσδε=a story is told like this, Ind. 9, 2; Diod S 3, 18, 3 λ.=story, account; Jos., Ant. 19, 132; Tat. 27, 2 τοῦ καθʼ Ἡρακλέα λόγου) Mt 28:15; Mk 1:45; Lk 5:15 (λ. περί τινος as X., An. 6, 6, 13; Jos., Ant. 19, 127) 7:17; J 21:23. ἠκούσθη ὁ λόγος εἰς τὰ ὦτα τ. ἐκκλησίας the report came to the ears of the assembly in Jerusalem Ac 11:22. λόγον ἔχειν σοφίας have the appearance of wisdom, pass for wisdom Col 2:23 (cp. Pla., Epinomis 987b ἔχει λόγον; Demosth., C. Lept. 462 [20, 18] λόγον τινʼ ἔχον; but mng. 2f is possible). Proverb (Pla., Phdr. 17, 240c, Symp. 18, 195b, Gorg. 54, 499c, Leg. 6, 5, 757a; Socrat., Ep. 22, 1) J 4:37 (Ps.-Callisth. 1, 13, 7 ἀληθῶς ἐν τούτῳ ὁ λ. foll. by a proverb). Proclamation, instruction, teaching, message Lk 4:32; 10:39; J 4:41; 17:20; Ac 2:41; 4:4; 10:44; 20:7; 1 Cor 1:17; 2:1. In Ac18:15 ζητήματα περὶ λόγου καὶ ὀνομάτων καὶ νόμου the sense appears to be someth. like this: controversial issues involving disputes about words and your way of life with λ. prob. referring to the presentation of controversial subjects, which in turn arouses heated ζητήματα debates. λόγος σοφίας proclamation of wisdom, speaking wisely 1 Cor 12:8a (Ps.-Phoc. 129 τῆς θεοπνεύστου σοφίης λ.); corresp. λ. γνώσεως vs. 8b. Cp. 14:9; 15:2; 2 Cor 1:18; 6:7; 10:10. λ. μαρτυρίας word of witness Rv 12:11. ὁ κατὰ τ. διδαχὴν πιστὸς λ. the message of faith, corresponding to the teaching Tit 1:9; the opp. 2 Ti 2:17. A speech (Aristot. p. 14b, 2; Diod S 40, 5a) διὰ λόγου πολλοῦ in a long speech Ac 15:32; cp. 20:2. λ. κολακείας flattering speech 1 Th 2:5. Speaking gener. 2 Cor 8:7; Eph 6:19; Col 4:6; D 2:5. ἐν λόγῳ πταίειν make a mistake in what one says Js 3:2.—Of God’s word, command, commission (LXX; ParJer 5:19 κατηχῆσαι αὐτοὺς τὸν λόγον; SyrBar 13:2; ApcSed 14:10; Just., D. 84, 2; Ael. Aristid. hears a ἱερὸς λ. at night fr. a god: 28, 116 K.=49, p. 529 D.; Sextus 24) ἠκυρώσατε τ. λόγον τοῦ θεοῦ Mt 15:6 (v.l. νόμον, ἐντολήν); cp. Mk 7:13.—J 5:38; 8:55; 10:35; Ro 3:4 (Ps 50:6). Of God’s promise Ro 9:6, 9 (but these two vss., and Gal 5:14 below, prob. fit better under 2a), 28 (Is 10:22f). Cp. Hb 2:2; 4:2 (s. ἀκοή 4b); 7:28; 12:19. For B 15:1 see 1aδ. The whole law (as the expr. εἴ τι ἑτέρα ἐντολή indicates not limited to a narrow list of commandments), acc. to Ro 13:9. In what is prob. a play on words (s. 2a and b), Gal 5:14 (s. 2a below) is summed up in the λόγος as expressed in Lev 19:18.—That which God has created ἁγιάζεται διὰ λόγου θεοῦ 1 Ti 4:5; in line w. the context, this hardly refers to God’s creative word (so SibOr 3, 20; PtK 2; πάντα γὰρ λόγῳ ποιήσας ὁ θεός Theoph. Ant. 2, 18 [144, 8]), but to table prayers which use biblical expressions. The divine word as judge of thoughts Hb 4:12. τελεσθήσονται οἱ λ. τοῦ θεοῦ Ac 17:17; cp. 19:9.—Of the divine revelation through Christ and his messengers (Just., A I, 61, 9 λόγον … παρὰ τῶν ἀποστόλων ἐμάθομεν τοῦτον) θεὸς ἐφανέρωσεν τὸν λ. αὐτοῦ ἐν κηρύγματι Tit 1:3. δέδωκα αὐτοῖς τὸν λ. σου J 17:14; cp. vss. 6, 17; 1J 1:10; 2:14. ἵνα μὴ ὁ λ. τοῦ θεοῦ βλασφημῆται Tit 2:5. The apostles and other preachers, w. ref. to the λόγος of God, are said to: λαλεῖν Ac 4:29, 31; 13:46; Phil 1:14; Hb 13:7; καταγγέλλειν Ac 13:5; 17:13; διδάσκειν 18:11; μαρτυρεῖν Rv 1:2. Of their hearers it is said: τὸν λ. τοῦ θεοῦ ἀκούειν Ac 13:7; δέχεσθαι 8:14; 11:1. Of the λ. τοῦ θεοῦ itself we read: ηὔξανεν Ac 6:7; 12:24; 19:20; οὐ δέδεται 2 Ti 2:9. In these places and many others ὁ λόγος τοῦ θεοῦ is simply the Christian message, the gospel: Lk 5:1; 8:11, 21; 11:28 (Simplicius in Epict. p. 1, 20 μὴ μόνον ἀκουόντων ἀλλὰ πασχόντων καὶ ὑπὸ τῶν λόγων=let the message have its effect on oneself); Ac 6:2 (s. καταλείπω 7c; for prob. commercial metaph. s. 2a below); 13:44 v.l. (for κυρίου); 16:32 v.l.; 1 Cor 14:36; 2 Cor 2:17; 4:2; Col 1:25; 1 Pt 1:23; Rv 1:9; 6:9; 20:4; IPhld 11:1. Cp. 1 Th 2:13ab; 1J 2:5.—Since this ‘divine word’ is brought to humanity through Christ, his word can be used in the same sense: ὁ λόγος μου J 5:24; cp. 8:31, 37, 43, 51f; 12:48; 14:23f; 15:3, 20b; Rv 3:8. ὁ λόγος τοῦ Χριστοῦ Col 3:16; cp. Hb 6:1. ὁ λ. τοῦ κυρίου Ac 8:25; 12:24 v.l.; 13:44, 48f; 14:25 v.l.; 15:35, 36; 16:32 (cp. λ. θεοῦ); 19:10; 1 Th 1:8; 2 Th 3:1. Pl. Mk 8:38 (Lk 9:26); 1 Ti 6:3; cp. Lk 24:44; s. also 1aδ.—Or it is called simply ὁ λόγος=the ‘Word’, for no misunderstanding would be possible among Christians: Mt 13:20–23; Mk 2:2; 4:14–20, 33; 8:32 (s. 1aε below); 16:20; Lk 1:2; 8:12f, 15; Ac 6:4; 8:4; 10:36 (on the syntax s. FNeirynck, ETL 60, ’84, 118–23); 11:19; 14:25 (cp. λ. κυρίου above); 16:6; 17:11; 18:5; Gal 6:6; Phil 1:14; Col 4:3; 1 Th 1:6; 2 Ti 4:2; Js 1:21ff; 1 Pt 2:8; 3:1; 1J 2:7; AcPl Ha 7, 6 (so also Mel., HE 4, 26, 13; Ath. 2, 3).—Somet. the ‘Word’ is more closely defined by a gen.: ὁ λ. τῆς βασιλείας the word of the reign/rule (of God) Mt 13:19. τῆς σωτηρίας Ac 13:26. τῆς καταλλαγῆς 2 Cor 5:19. τοῦ σταυροῦ 1 Cor 1:18. δικαιοσύνης (q.v. 3a) Hb 5:13. ζωῆς Phil 2:16. (τῆς) ἀληθείας (Theoph. Ant. 3, 4 [p. 212, 2]; cp. περὶ ἀληθείας Hippol., Ref. 10, 6, 1) Eph 1:13; Col 1:5; 2 Ti 2:15; Js 1:18; AcPl Ha 8, 8 (Just., D. 121, 2). τῆς χάριτος αὐτοῦ (=τοῦ κυρίου) Ac 14:3; 20:32. (Differently the pl. οἱ λόγοι τ. χάριτος gracious words Lk 4:22; cp. Marcellinus, Vi. Thu. 57 Hude λόγοι εἰρωνείας.) ὁ λ. τοῦ εὐαγγελίου Ac 15:7; ὁ τοῦ Χριστιανισμοῦ λ. MPol 10:1. In Rv 3:10 the gospel is described by the ‘One who has the key of David’ as ὁ λ. τῆς ὑπομονῆς μου my word of endurance (W-S. §30, 12c). λ. τῶν ὑ[πο]μονῶν AcPl Ha 6, 11. παρελάβετε τὸν λ. ὅτι AcPl Ha 8, 25.—The pastoral letters favor the expr. πιστὸς ὁ λόγος (sc. ἐστίν, and s. πιστός 1b) 1 Ti 1:15; 3:1; 4:9; 2 Ti 2:11; Tit 3:8; cp. Rv 21:5; 22:6. λ. ὑγιής sound preaching Tit 2:8; cp. the pl. ὑγιαίνοντες λόγοι 2 Ti 1:13 (on medicinal use of words for the mind or soul s. VLeinieks, The City of Dionysos ’96, 115–22, on Eur.).—The pl. is also used gener. of Christian teachings, the words of the gospel Lk 1:4 (s. κατηχέω 2a); 1 Th 4:18. οἱ λ. τῆς πίστεως 1 Ti 4:6. On λόγοι κυριακοί for λόγια κυριακά in the title of the Papias document s. ἐξήγησις 2.—JSchniewind, Die Begriffe Wort und Evangelium bei Pls, diss. Bonn 1910; RAsting (εὐαγγέλιον, end).

γ. of an individual declaration or remark: assertion, declaration, speech ἀκούσαντες τὸν λ. when they heard the statement Mt 15:12; cp. 19:11, 22; 22:15; Mk 5:36. διὰ τοῦτον τὸν λ. because of this statement of yours 7:29 (TestAbr A 15 p. 95, 29 [Stone p. 38] τὸν λ. τοῦτον; ApcMos 25 εἰς τὸν λόγον σου κρινῶ σε). Cp. 10:22; 12:13; Lk 1:29; 22:61 v.l. (for ῥήματος); J 4:39, 50; 6:60; 7:36, 40 v.l.; 15:20a; 18:9; 19:8; Ac 6:5; 7:29; 20:38; 22:22; 1 Th 4:15. ὃς ἐὰν εἴπῃ λόγον κατὰ τοῦ υἱοῦ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου whoever utters a (defamatory) word against the Son of Humanity Mt 12:32 (λ. εἰπεῖν κατά τινος as Jos., Ant. 15, 81); cp. Lk 12:10. λόγος σαπρός unwholesome talk Eph 4:29. λόγον ποιεῖσθαι make a speech Ac 11:2 D (cp. Hyperid. 3, 20; Jos., Ant. 11, 86).

δ. the pl. (οἱ) λόγοι is used, on the one hand, of words uttered on various occasions, of speeches or instruction given here and there by humans or transcendent beings (TestAbr A 14 p. 94, 19 [Stone p. 36]; Jos., Ant. 4, 264; Just., D. 100, 3) ἐκ τῶν λόγων σου δικαιωθήσῃ (καταδικασθήσῃ) Mt 12:37ab; 24:35; Mk 13:31; Lk 21:33; Ac 2:40; 7:22 (ἐν λόγοις καὶ ἔργοις αὐτοῦ. On the word-deed pair cp. Dio Chrys. 4, 6 the λόγοι and ἔργα of Diogenes; s. α above). οἱ δέκα λόγοι the ten commandments (Ex 34:28; Dt 10:4; Philo, Rer. Div. Her. 168, Decal. 32; Jos., Ant. 3, 138; cp. 91f; Did., Gen. 36, 10) B 15:1. Ac 15:24; 20:35; 1 Cor 2:4b, 13; 14:19ab; κενοὶ λ. Eph 5:6; AcPl Ox 6, 13 (cp. Aa 1, 241, 14); Dg 8:2; πλαστοὶ λ. 2 Pt 2:3. λ. πονηροί 3J 10.—Also of words and exprs. that form a unity, whether it be connected discourse (Jos., Ant. 15, 126; Just., A II, 12, 6, D. 11, 5; 81, 3 al.), a conversation, or parts of one and the same teaching, or expositions on the same subject (Diod S 16, 2, 3 μετέσχε τῶν Πυθαγορίων λόγων; Dio Chrys. 37 [54], 1; Ael. Aristid. 50, 55 K.=26 p. 519 D.: οἱ Πλάτωνος λόγοι; PsSol 17:43 [words of the Messiah]; AscIs 3:12 οἱ λόγοι τοῦ Βελχειρά) πᾶς ὅστις ἀκούει μου τοὺς λόγους τούτους Mt 7:24; cp. vss. 26, 28; 10:14; 19:1; 26:1; Mk 10:24; Lk 1:20; 6:47; 9:28, 44. ἐπηρώτα αὐτὸν ἐν λόγοις ἱκανοῖς he questioned him at some length 23:9. τίνες οἱ λ. οὗτοι οὓς ἀντιβάλλετε; what is this conversation that you are holding? 24:17; J 7:40 (s. γ); 10:19; J 14:24a; 19:13; Ac 2:22; 5:5, 24; 16:36; 2 Ti 4:15; 1 Cl 13:1; 46:7. λόγοις φθοριμαίοις AcPlCor 1:2.

ε. the subject under discussion, matter, thing gener. (Theognis 1055 Diehl; Hdt. 8, 65 μηδενὶ ἄλλῳ τὸν λόγον τοῦτον εἴπῃς. Cp. Hebr. דָּבָר) τὸν λ. ἐκράτησαν they took up the subject Mk 9:10; cp. Mt. 21:24 (s. 1aβ beg.). οὐκ ἔστιν σοι μερὶς ἐν τῷ λόγῳ τούτῳ you have no share in this matter Ac 8:21. ἰδεῖν περὶ τ. λόγου τούτου look into this matter 15:6. ἔχειν πρός τινα λόγον have a complaint against someone (cp. Demosth. 35, 55 ἐμοὶ πρὸς τούτους ὁ λόγος; PIand 16, 3 δίκαιον λόγον ἔχει πρὸς σέ) 19:38. παρεκτὸς λόγου πορνείας Mt 5:32; 19:9 v.l. (2d is also prob.).—Perh. also Mk 8:32 he discussed the subject quite freely (but s. 1aβ above).

ⓑ of literary or oratorical productions: of the separate books of a work (Hdt. 5, 36 ἐν τῷ πρώτῳ τ. λόγων; Pla., Parmen. 2, 127d ὁ πρῶτος λόγος; Philo, Omn. Prob. Lib. 1 ὁ μὲν πρότερος λόγος ἦν ἡμῖν, ὦ Θεόδοτε, περὶ τοῦ … ) treatise Ac 1:1 (s. on the prologue to Ac: AHilgenfeld, ZWT 41, 1898, 619ff; AGercke, Her 29, 1894, 373ff; RLaqueur, Her 46, 1911, 161ff; Norden, Agn. Th. 311ff; JCreed, JTS 35, ’34, 176–82; Goodsp., Probs. 119–21). Παπίας … πέντε λόγους κυριακῶν λογίων ἔγραψεν Papias (11:1; cp. 3:1 e; 11:2; 12:2).—περὶ οὗ πολὺς ἡμῖν ὁ λόγος about this we have much to say Hb 5:11. Hb is described as ὁ λ. τῆς παρακλήσεως a word of exhortation (in literary form) 13:22. Of writings that are part of Holy Scripture ὁ λ. Ἠσαΐου J 12:38. ὁ λ. ὁ ἐν τῷ νόμῳ γεγραμμένος 15:25; ὁ προφητικὸς λ. 2 Pt 1:19; 2 Cl 11:2 (quot. of unknown orig.); AcPl Ha 8, 27//BMM recto 35 (Just., D. 77, 2 al.). ὁ ἅγιος λ. the holy word 1 Cl 56:3. ὁ λ. ὁ γεγραμμένος 1 Cor 15:54 (Is 25:8 and Hos 13:14 follow). Pl. οἱ λόγοι τ. προφητῶν Ac 15:15. ὡς γέγραπται ἐν βίβλῳ λόγων Ἠσαΐου Lk 3:4 (Pla., 7th Epistle 335a πείθεσθαι ἀεὶ χρὴ τοῖς παλαιοῖς καὶ ἱεροῖς λόγοις; TestJob 1:1 βίβλος λόγων Ἰώβ; ParJer 9:32 v.l. τὰ λοιπὰ τῶν λόγων Ἱερεμίου; ApcEsdr 1:1 καὶ ἀποκάλυψις τοῦ … Ἐσδράμ; ApcSed prol.; Just., D. 72, 3f).—Of the content of Rv: ὁ ἀναγινώσκων τ. λόγους τῆς προφητείας 1:3. οἱ λόγοι (τ. προφητείας) τ. βιβλίου τούτου 22:7, 9f, 18f.

② computation, reckoning

ⓐ a formal accounting, esp. of one’s actions, and freq. with fig. extension of commercial terminology account, accounts, reckoning λόγον δοῦναι (Hdt. 8, 100; X., Cyr. 1, 4, 3; Diod S 3, 46, 4; SIG 1099, 16; BGU 164, 21; Jos., Ant. 16, 120; Just., D. 115, 6) give account, make an accounting ἕκαστος περὶ ἑαυτοῦ λόγον δώσει τ. θεῷ Ro 14:12. Also λ. ἀποδοῦναι abs. (Just., D. 116, 1 al.; Diod S 16, 56, 4; 19, 9, 4) Hb 13:17. τινί to someone (Diod S 16, 27, 4; Plut., Alcib. 7, 3; Chariton 7, 6, 2; SIG 631, 13 τᾷ πόλει; 2 Ch 34:28; Da 6:3 Theod.; Jos., Bell. 1, 209) τῷ ἑτοίμως ἔχοντι κρῖναι 1 Pt 4:5. τινὸς of someth. (SIG 1044, 46; 1105, 10 τοῦ ἀναλώματος; Jos., Ant. 19, 307) Lk 16:2 (here λ. w. the art.; on the subject of undergoing an audit cp. Aeschin. 3, 22). Likew. περί τινος (Diod S 18, 60, 2 δοὺς αὑτῷ περὶ τούτων λόγον=taking account [considering] with himself; BGU 98, 25 περὶ τούτου) Mt 12:36; Ac 19:40. ὑπέρ τινος concerning someone Hv 3, 9, 10.—αἰτεῖν τινα λόγον περί τινος call someone to account for someth. 1 Pt 3:15 (cp. Pla., Pol. 285e; Dio Chrys. 20 [37], 30; Apc4Esdr Fgm. b ἕκαστος ὑπὸ τοῦ οἰκείου ἔργου τὸν λόγον ἀπαιτηθήσεται; Just., A I, 17, 4. For another perspective s. d below.).—Of banking responsibility ὁ λόγος τοῦ θεοῦ (PStras 72, 10 [III a.d.] ὁ τῶν θεῶν λ.; PHerm 108 [III a.d.] λ. τοῦ Σαραπείου) in wordplay Ac 6:2 (w. τράπεζα q.v. 1c); s. also 1aβ.—Of a ledger heading (POxy 1333 [II/III a.d.] δὸς αὐτῳ λόγῳ θεωρικῶν=credit him under ‘festivals’; for others s. Preisig., Wörterbuch s.v. λ. 14; s. also Fachwörter 119) Ro 9:6 (the point is that God’s ‘list’ of Israelites is accurate; on ἐκπίπτω in the sense ‘is not deficient’ s. s.v. 4); vs. 9 (the ‘count’ is subsumed by metonymy in divine promise); Gal 5:14 (all moral obligations come under one ‘entry’: ‘you shall love your neighbor as yourself’; for commercial association of ἀναλίσκω vs. 15, which rounds out the wordplay, s. s.v.). The contexts of these three passages suggest strong probability for commercial associations; for another view s. 1aβ.

ⓑ settlement (of an account) (εἰς λόγον commercial t.t. ‘in settlement of an account’ POxy 275, 19; 21) εἰς λόγον δόσεως κ. λήμψεως in settlement of a mutual account (lit., ‘of giving and receiving’, ‘of debit and credit’) Phil 4:15 (cp. Plut., Mor. 11b λόγον δοῦναι καὶ λαβεῖν; a parallel formulation POxy 1134,10 [421 a.d.] λ. λήμματος καὶ ἐξοδιασμοῦ=ledger of income and expenditures); for the linked accounting terms δόσις and λήμψις s. PCairMasp 151, 208 [VI a.d.]. The same ideas are in the background of εἰς λόγον ὑμῶν credited to your account vs 17.—συναίρειν λόγον settle accounts (BGU 775, 18f. The mid. in the same mng. PFay109, 6 [I a.d.]; POxy 113, 27f.—Dssm., LO 94 [LAE 118f]) μετά τινος Mt 18:23; 25:19.

ⓒ reflection, respect, regard εἰς λόγον τινός with regard to, for the sake of (Thu. 3, 46, 4; Demosth. 19, 142 εἰς ἀρετῆς λόγον; Polyb. 11, 28, 8; Ath. 31, 1; Ael. Aristid. 39 p. 743 D.: εἰς δεινότητος λ.) εἰς λ. τιμῆς IPhld 11:2. εἰς λ. θεοῦ ISm 10:1.

ⓓ reason for or cause of someth., reason, ground, motive (Just., D. 94, 3 δότε μοι λόγον, ὅτου χάριν … ; Ath. 30, 3 τὶς γὰρ … λόγος; Dio Chrys. 64 [14], 18 ἐκ τούτου τ. λόγου; Appian, Hann. 29 §126 τῷ αὐτῷ λόγῳ; Iambl., Vi. Pyth. 28, 155) τίνι λόγω; for what reason? Ac 10:29 (cp. Pla., Gorg. 512c τίνι δικαίῳ λ.; Appian, Mithrid. 57 §232 τίνι λόγῳ;). λόγον περὶ τῆς ἐν ὑμῖν ἐλπίδος 1 Pt 3:15 (but s. a above); κατὰ λόγον Ac 18:14 (s. κατά B 5bβ). παρεκτὸς λόγου πορνείας Mt 5:32; 19:9 v.l. (though 1aε is also poss.).

ⓔ πρὸς ὃν ἡμῖν ὁ λόγος (ἐστίν) with whom we have to do (i.e. to reckon) (Dio Chrys. 31, 123; other exx. in FBleek, Hb II/1, 1836, 590ff), in his capacity as judge (Libanius, Legat. Ulixis [=Declamatio IV] 2 F. τοῖς δὲ ἀδίκως ἀποκτενοῦσι καὶ πρὸς θεοὺς καὶ πρὸς ἀνθρώπους ὁ λόγος γίγνεται) Hb 4:13. οὐ πρὸς σάρκα ὁ λόγος, ἀλλὰ πρὸς θεόν he has to do not with flesh, but with God IMg 3:2.

ⓕ In Col 2:23 (s. 1aβ) λόγον μὲν ἔχοντα σοφίας may=make a case for wisdom (cp. λόγος ἡμῖν οὐδείς Plut., Mor. 870b).

③ the independent personified expression of God, the Logos. Our lit. shows traces of a way of thinking that was widespread in contemporary syncretism, as well as in Jewish wisdom lit. and Philo, the most prominent feature of which is the concept of the Logos, the independent, personified ‘Word’ (of God): GJs 11:2 (word of the angel to Mary) συνλήμψῃ ἐκ Λόγου αὐτοῦ (sc. τοῦ πάντων Δεσπότου). J 1:1abc, 14 (cp. Just., A I, 23, 2; Mel., P. 9, 61 and oft. by all apolog., exc.. Ar.). It is the distinctive teaching of the Fourth Gospel that this divine ‘Word’ took on human form in a historical person, that is, in Jesus (s. RSeeberg, Festgabe für AvHarnack ’21, 263–81.—Λόγος w. ζωή in gnostic speculation: Iren.1, 1, 1 [Harv. 1, 10, 4]; Aelian, VH 4, 20 ἐκάλουν τὸν Πρωταγόραν Λόγον. Similarly Favorinus [II a.d.]: Vorsokr. 80 A 1 ln. 22 [in Diog. L. 9, 50] of Democritus: ἐκαλεῖτο Σοφία. Equating a divinity with an abstraction that she personifies: Artem. 5, 18 φρόνησις εἶναι νομίζεται ἡ θεός [Athena]). Cp. 1J 1:1; Rv 19:13. εἷς θεός ἐστιν, ὁ φανερώσας ἑαυτὸν διὰ Ἰ. Χριστοῦ τοῦ υἱοῦ αὐτοῦ, ὅς ἐστιν αὐτοῦ λόγος, ἀπὸ σιγῆς προελθών there is one God, who has revealed himself through Jesus Christ his Son, who is his ‘Word’ proceeding from silence (i.e., without an oral pronouncement: in a transcendent manner) IMg 8:2 (s. σιγή). The Lord as νόμος κ. λόγος PtK 1. Cp. Dg 11:2, 3, 7, 8; 12:9.—HClavier, TManson memorial vol., ’59, 81–93: the Alexandrian eternal λόγος is also implied in Hb 4:12; 13:7.—S. also the ‘Comma Johanneum’ (to the bibliography in RGG3 I, ’54 [HGreeven] add AJülicher, GGA 1905, 930–35; AvHarnack, SBBerlAk 1915, 572f [=Studien I ’31, 151f]; MMeinertz, Einl. in d. NT4 ’33, 309–11; AGreiff, TQ 114, ’33, 465–80; CDodd, The Joh. Epistles ’46; WThiele, ZNW 50, ’59, 61–73) ὁ πατήρ, ὁ λόγος καὶ τὸ ἅγιον πνεῦμα 1J 5:7 v.l. (s. N. app.; Borger, TRu 52, ’87, 57f). (Such interpolations were not unheard of. According to Diog. L. 1, 48 some people maintain that Solon inserted the verse mentioning the Athenians after Il. 2, 557.—τῆς τριάδος, τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ τοῦ λόγου αὐτοῦ καὶ τῆς σοφίας αὐτοῦ Theoph. Ant. 2, 15 [p. 138, 19].)—On the Logos: EZeller, D. Philosophie der Griechen III 24 1903, 417–34; MHeinze, D. Lehre v. Logos in d. griech. Philosophie 1872; PWendland, Philo u. d. kynisch-stoische Diatribe (Beiträge z. Gesch. der griech. Philosophie u. Religion by Wendl. and OKern 1895, 1–75); AAall, Gesch. d. Logosidee 1896, 1899; MPohlenz, D. Stoa ’48f, I 482; 490 (index); LDürr, D. Wertung des göttl. Wortes im AT u. im ant. Orient ’38 (§9 of the Joh. Logos); EBréhier, Les idées philosophiques et religieuses de Philon d’Alexandrie 1907, 83–111; (2 ’25); JLebreton, Les théories du Logos au début de l’ère chrétienne 1907; ESchwartz, NGG 1908, 537–56; GVos, The Range of the Logos-Title in the Prologue of the Fourth Gospel: PTR 11, 1913, 365–419; 557–602; RHarris, The Origin of the Prologue to St. John’s Gospel 1917, Athena, Sophia and the Logos: BJRL 7, 1, 1922 p. 56–72; M-JLagrange, Vers le Logos de S. Jean: RB 32, 1923, 161–84, Le Logos de Philon: ibid. 321–71; HLeisegang, Logos: Pauly-W. XIII 1926, 1035–81; TGlasson, Heraclitus’ Alleged Logos Doctr., JTS 3, ’52, 231–38.—NWeinstein, Z. Genesis d. Agada 1901, 29–90; Billerb. II 302–33.—Rtzst., Zwei religionsgeschichtl. Fragen 1901, 47–132, Mysterienrel.3 1927, 428 index; WBousset, Kyrios Christos2 1921, 304ff; 316f; JKroll, D. Lehren d. Hermes Trismegistos1914, 418 index.—RBultmann, D. religionsgesch. Hintergrund des Prol. z. Joh.: HGunkel Festschr., 1923, II 1–26, Comm. ’41, 5ff; AAlexander, The Johannine Doctrine of the Logos: ET 36, 1925, 394–99; 467–72; (Rtzst. and) HSchaeder, Studien z. antiken Synkretismus 1926, 306–37; 350; GAvdBerghvanEysinga, In den beginne was de Logos: NThT 23, ’34, 105–23; JDillersberger, Das Wort von Logos ’35; RBury, The 4th Gosp. and the Logos-Doctrine ’40; EMay, CBQ 8, ’46, 438–47; GKnight, From Moses to Paul ’49, 120–29. TW IV 76–89; 126–40 (on this s. SLyonnet, Biblica 26, ’45, 126–31); CStange, ZST 21, ’50, 120–41; MBoismard, Le Prologue de St. Jean ’53; HLangkammer, BZ 9, ’65, 91–94; HRinggren, Word and Wisdom [hypostatization in Near East] ’47; WEltester, Haenchen Festschr., ’64, 109–34; HWeiss, Untersuchungen zur Kosmologie etc., TU 97, ’66, 216–82; MRissi, Die Logoslieder im Prolog des vierten Evangeliums, TZ 31, ’75, 321–36; HLausberg, NAWG, Ph. ’87, 1 pp. 1–7.—B. 1262. DELG s.v. λέγω B 1. M-M. EDNT. TW.

"To the Hebrews" says this pretty well:

ESV Hebrews 1:

1 [From] Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son [actually, "in a son"], whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world ["delineated the ages"]. 3He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact ["exact is bogus"] imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.

John also uses the interesting word for "exegesis":

ASV John 1:18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared ["explained"] him .

Paul says that the entire corpus of the knowledge of God (everything we need to know about God) is embodied in Christ:

KJV Colossians 2:

8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. 9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead [the knowledge of God] bodily.

Everything that comes to anyone from God now comes through the Christ and everything that approaches God from the saints comes through Christ:

NIV 1 Cor 8:

6yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.

Jesus was not just another teacher or prophet. He communicated God by everything he was, did and said. He was not a "word" like "Ooooooooooom" or a single word like "fudge". He was God speaking through a kind of avatar of himself.

I hope you see how the word "word" falls way short of communicating that and in fact obscures it.


For completeness I'm adding a link to LSJ's entry for LOGOS: http://logeion.uchicago.edu/%CE%BB%CF%8C%CE%B3%CE%BF%CF%82

Update 2

It just occurred to me to look at the word for "word" in the Hebrew OT and lo and behold, it maps very well to "utterance":

  • 1
    Thank you. This is a great explanation. So, does this mean that the "Word of God" is not actually a Person of the Trinity? That Christ, as God manifested in the flesh, is simply a manifestation of the attributes of God and His ultimate means of communicating with humanity (except by the Holy Ghost), and that Christ is not literally the Word of God, like what it described in the Old Testament as the Word of God?
    – CMK
    Commented Sep 11, 2018 at 20:07
  • I'm sorry, but I do not know how to set up the chat. But what you believe concerning the ontology of God, and what the Word has to do with it? I also have doubted the doctrine of the Trinity.
    – CMK
    Commented Sep 12, 2018 at 1:40
  • Can you explain your interpretive parenthetic in "For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead [the knowledge of God]"? How does possessing "the fullness of the Godhead" become the mere "knowledge about God"? Commented Sep 20, 2018 at 12:49
  • 1
    Context. "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily." In what sense does God live in Jesus? Physically? And how does it relate to philosophy and vain deceit?
    – Ruminator
    Commented Sep 20, 2018 at 13:10
  • 1
    Very, very, very relevant and important JSTOR paper on the subject that I just came across: rrb3.com/PDF%20files/ArtcileOnVerbumVsSermo_Complete.pdf
    – Ruminator
    Commented Dec 5, 2018 at 22:13

The Greek contains two words that are translated "word":

  • logos: is "the expression of thought - not the mere name of an object" (W E Vine). It enters English in words like "logic", geology (the study of the earth), theology (the study or ideas about God), etc.
  • rhema: "denotes that which is spoken, what is uttered in speech or writing" (W E Vine).

The use of "LOGOS" as a title of Christ in the highly theological (ie, non-synoptic) Gospel of John was an ingenious way to bridge the gulf between Hebrew and Gentile thought about the person of Jesus. (A huge amount has been written on this which is easy to find.) Thus, John uses this title "Logos" in a desperate attempt to put in words Jesus' "distinct and superfinite Personality, His relation to the Godhead... and His Deity" (W E Vine) as well as His humanity. This unique title for Jesus is only used in John 1:1-18 and in 1 John 1, 4 and Rev 19:13.

  • Vine's work "dumbs down" the lexicon. The simplistic definitions you supply are really inadequate to understand the semantic range of either word. Biblehub contains a good lexicon for free and hope you and all would refer to the proper source. Vine's is not much better than Strong's. Oh, and of course I supplied the whole of BDAG's entry for LOGOS in my answer. Feel free to refer to it. (Please know that this is not a personal attack, I'm only commenting on the tool that I think, and I believe you'll find scholars agree is inadequate for any kind of critical study).
    – Ruminator
    Commented Sep 10, 2018 at 23:15
  • 1
    I made no attempt to fully define each word, merely to introduce them and let readers follow-up. I only wanted to make a distinction between the two. I agree that LOGOS is a very broad term.
    – user25930
    Commented Sep 10, 2018 at 23:30
  • Thank you for your answer, as it addresses my misunderstanding. As I asked Ruminator-temp, does this mean that the "Word of God" is not actually a Person of the Trinity? That Christ, as God manifested in the flesh, is simply a manifestation of the attributes of God and His ultimate means of communicating with humanity (except by the Holy Ghost), and that Christ is not literally the Word of God, like what it described in the Old Testament as the Word of God?
    – CMK
    Commented Sep 11, 2018 at 20:09
  • @CMK - yes I think you have captured it well. No one fully understands the Trinity of One God in three persons. After all, God is God and we are merely human! In Jesus God became flesh to better reveal God and His Character.
    – user25930
    Commented Sep 11, 2018 at 21:31
  • @DrPeterMcGowan Thank you for your response. I will continue to look into this, to see what others say. However, this view seems to make the most sense, and seems to make sense of the concept of the Word more.
    – CMK
    Commented Sep 12, 2018 at 1:09

OP: How can the Word be a Person?

A better question might be, "How can the Λογος be a Person?" As others have pointed out, the Greek term λογος has a much broader meaning than merely "word."

According to Thayer's Greek Lexicon, λογος can mean:

  • a word
  • a saying
  • a speech
  • a matter under discussion
  • reason (i.e. mental faculty of thinking)
  • a cause

I have put "a cause" in bold because this definition seems to me the most fitting of the above for a Divine Person. After all, the Λογος in John Chapter 1 is the cause of the universe and of all created things.

All things were made by him [him = the Λογος]; and without him was not any thing made that was made. (John 1:3)

OP: What is the nature of this Word?

I answer that the Λογος has two natures, a human nature and a divine nature. We see in John 1:1 that the Λογος is God, but we also see in John 1:14 that the Λογος became flesh.

Did the Λογος lose his divine nature when he became flesh and took on a human nature? Not at all. Consider the following verse from Revelation.

Καὶ τῷ ἀγγέλῳ τῆς ἐν Σμύρνῃ ἐκκλησίας γράψον· Τάδε λέγει ὁ πρῶτος καὶ ὁ ἔσχατος, ὃς ἐγένετο νεκρὸς καὶ ἔζησεν·

And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive; (Revelation 2:8, KJV)

The "first and the last" is a title for God (see Isaiah 44:6). Revelation 2:8 says that the first and the last was "dead, and is alive." But God can't die in his divine nature, since he is immutable.

The Λογος is the first and the last, which was dead. The Λογος is the first and the last in his divine nature, but died and rose from the dead in his human nature. The Λογος is God and man simultaneously.

It is mind-blowing and incomprehensible for sure, but that is to be expected with God. (Isaiah 55:8-9)

Recommended reading

To the OP, I would recommend reading about the Ecumenical Councils (especially the first six) in order to understand what the early church taught regarding the Trinity, the Nestorian Heresy, the two natures of Christ, the two wills of Christ, and other important topics.

I also recommend reading the actual documents from these Councils, especially Constantinople II, which recaps and elaborates so well on the doctrine of the two natures defined at Chalcedon.

  • If you look carefully "cause" is under the section marked: "II. Its use as respects the mind, alone, Latinratio; i. e.:..." meaning this usage refers only to the logic of things, not the things themselves. So this rules out "creator". And the creedal notions that follow and are based on that are likewise bogus.
    – Ruminator
    Commented Sep 11, 2018 at 23:18
  • 1
    @Ruminator-temp Actually, the "creedal notions" are independent of how we translate λογος. No matter what λογος actually means, the Λογος was God and the Λογος became flesh. Commented Sep 11, 2018 at 23:30
  • Doesn't it matter that the λογος is God's utterance rather than Jesus? Jesus knew only what he heard from God: John 5:30 By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.
    – Ruminator
    Commented Sep 12, 2018 at 11:22
  • If Jesus isn't the Λογος, then the Λογος was not made flesh and did not dwell among us, and the Gospel of John is one among the many apocryphal gospels. Commented Sep 12, 2018 at 21:21
  • 1
    Jesus is the message made flesh. He is how God expresses himself.
    – Ruminator
    Commented Sep 29, 2018 at 15:34

Perhaps Harris' commentary can prove informative: “word”—logos—can mean ‘thought’ or ‘reason’ as well as ‘word,’ or ‘message,’ or ‘teaching.’ Jesus Christ is the Logos both inward and the expressed Thought of God, the accurate expression of the Father (Jn.1:18; Col.1:15), the Supreme Communicator. Since John is dependent on the OT for his formative ideas, we should assume that his Logos concept is formed mainly by OT teaching concerning ‘the word of the Lord,’ as God’s agent in creation (Ps.33:6), in revelation (Jer.1:4-5,9), and in salvation (Ezek.37:4-6). John proceeds to emphasize these three spheres as the areas in which the Logos is mediator in the first chapter.


Your question "How is it possible that God can be a word, or the Word? What is the nature of this Word, and why is it called so?" is a good one!

John 1:18 NWT sheds light on your question as it reads:-

"No man has seen God at any time; the only-begotten god who is at the Father’s side is the one who has explained Him."

John also said:-

John 6:46 NWT

"Not that any man has seen the Father, except the one who is from God; this one has seen the Father."

1st The verses says "No man has seen God (the Father)." Pure and simple, Jesus, the Son, cannot be God for God has not been seen and Jesus has been seen.

2nd The Word (Jesus) is not God but he is a creation of God or as the verse puts it "only-begotten," from 'begat" in English, to bring into being.

3rd Jesus is a "god," (reffering to his spirit form when in heavenas "with God," John 1:1, as he became "flesh," "a person" later see vs. 14) there can olny be one Almighty, The Father and not the Son.

With ref to "The Word," Jesus, spoke God's WORDS to men, thus "The Word" God's best spokesman on earth.


First, it is absolutely certain that the Word is a Person, for we read in Revelation:

Revelation 19:11-16 (DRB)

And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called faithful and true, and with justice doth he judge and fight. 12 And his eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many diadems, and he had a name written, which no man knoweth but himself. 13 And he was clothed with a garment sprinkled with blood; and his name is called, THE WORD OF GOD. 14 And the armies that are in heaven followed him on white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 And out of his mouth proceedeth a sharp two edged sword; that with it he may strike the nations. And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness of the wrath of God the Almighty. 16 And he hath on his garment, and on his thigh written: KING OF KINGS , AND LORD OF LORDS.

Who is this? It is the Son of God (as indeed verse 14 of John's Prologue then reveals), and as a robe dipped in blood more than implies.

Revelation 1:13-18 (DRB)

And in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks, one like to the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the feet, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. 14 And his head and his hairs were white, as white wool, and as snow, and his eyes were as a flame of fire, 15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as in a burning furnace. And his voice as the sound of many waters. 16 And he had in his right hand seven stars. And from his mouth came out a sharp two edged sword: and his face was as the sun shineth in his power. 17 And when I had seen him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying: Fear not. I am the First and the Last, 18 And alive, and was dead, and behold I am living for ever and ever, and have the keys of death and of hell.

Revelation 2:1 (DRB) Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write: These things saith he, who holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks:

Revelation 2:8 (DRB) And to the angel of the church of Smyrna write: These things saith the First and the Last, who was dead, and is alive:

Revelation 2:12 (DRB) And to the angel of the church of Pergamus write: These things, saith he, that hath the sharp two edged sword:

Revelation 2:18 (DRB) And to the angel of the church of Thyatira write: These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like to a flame of fire, and his feet like to fine brass.

Isaiah 63:1-6 (DRB)

1 Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bosra, this beautiful one in his robe, walking in the greatness of his strength. I, that speak justice, and am a defender to save. 2 Why then is thy apparel red, and thy garments like theirs that tread in the winepress?I have trodden the winepress alone, and of the Gentiles there is not a man with me: I have trampled on them in my indignation, and have trodden them down in my wrath, and their blood is sprinkled upon my garments, and I have stained all my apparel. 4 For the day of vengeance is in my heart, the year of my redemption is come. 5 I looked about, and there was none to help: I sought, and there was none to give aid: and my own arm hath saved for me, and my indignation itself hath helped me. 6 And I have trodden down the people in my wrath, and have made them drunk in my indignation, and have brought down their strength to the earth.

I'll leave the reader to deduce the speaker in Isaiah 63 here.


See also:

Wisdom 18:15-25 (DRB)

Thy almighty word [ὁ παντοδύναμός σου λόγος] leapt down from heaven from thy royal throne, as a fierce conqueror into the midst of the land of destruction. 16 With a sharp sword carrying thy unfeigned commandment, and he stood and filled all things with death, and standing on the earth reached even to heaven. 17 Then suddenly visions of evil dreams troubled them, and fears unlooked for came upon them. 18 And one thrown here, another there, half dead, shewed the cause of his death. 19 For the visions that troubled them foreshewed these things, lest they should perish and not know why they suffered these evils. 20 But the just also were afterwards touched by an assault of death, and there was a disturbance of the multitude in the wilderness: but thy wrath did not long continue. 21 For a blameless man made haste to pray for the people, bringing forth the shield of his ministry, prayer, and by incense making supplication, withstood the wrath, and put an end to the calamity, shewing that he was thy servant. 22 And he overcame the disturbance, not by strength of body nor with force of arms, but with a word he subdued him that punished them, alleging the oaths and covenant made with the fathers. 23 For when they were now fallen down dead by heaps one upon another, he stood between and stayed the assault, and cut off the way to the living. 24 For in the priestly robe which he wore, was the whole world: and in the four rows of the stones the glory of the fathers was graven, and thy majesty was written upon the diadem of his head. 25 And to these the destroyer gave place, and was afraid of them: for the proof only of wrath was enough.

As we can see, the personification of Wisdom/the Word is reversed in the New Testament period, to the point that it has become the opposite of personification: the Person is the virtue, is 'God's unfeigned commandment' 'in the flesh.' Not merely a personification thereof. Thus, God's Word is His ultimate communication of Self. One's Logos is one's word, thought, intent, communication, message etc. 'The Son' and 'the Word' of God are therefore merely two ways of conveying this union.

  • It is of note that ὁ παντοδύναμός σου λόγος is not "pantokraton" which is the word normally translated "Almighty God". It homes in on the irresistible force that God's speech is. In an example of ancient irony, the divine utterance encounters a priest who prevails against him! Your highlighting of verse 24 is inappropriate because from verse 21 on the subject is the prevailing priest, not the irresistible death angel.
    – Ruminator
    Commented Sep 20, 2018 at 14:36
  • Wisdom of Solomon answers the philosophical question, "Can God create a stone so heavy that he can't lift it?" God dispatches a death angels who leaps to earth and starts killing Jews. A priest intervenes and prevails, showing that he was from God. This principle of mercy triumphing over judgment is often repeated in scripture: James 2:13: "because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment."
    – Ruminator
    Commented Sep 20, 2018 at 14:41
  • Notice that BDAG lists "divine character" as one of the usages: biblia.com/books/bdag/word/…
    – Ruminator
    Commented Sep 20, 2018 at 14:56
  • @Ruminator "παντοδύναμός" means all-able. It is synonymous with pantokrator. You seem to be correct: the passage does have a Jacob/Angel/Prevail thing going on. I only really found the "almighty word" being a person/angel as significant to the personality of the Word in John's Gospel. I confused the high priestly robe with the robe of the Word in Revelation; except in retrospect (after the edit), I'm now seeing that it's describing a similar robe and diadems with the Name of יהוה (presumably) on. After all, who will deny that Jesus is the Priest par excellence?(referent of 'divine character'?) Commented Sep 20, 2018 at 21:52

και θεος ην ο λογος

I am quoting John 1:1 from the Received Text. Stephens, Beza, Elzevir and Scrivener are identical. Both nouns are in the nominative case and the word order, above, translated literally, gives :

... and God was the Word.


It is interesting to note two other different constructions used by John :

ο θεος φως εστιν - God is light - I John 1:5 ('the God light is')

ο θεος αγαπη εστιν - God is love - I John 4:8 ('the God love is')

  • Articled Nominative Subject
  • Unarticled Nominative Predicate
  • Copular Verb

Here, he does not use that construction.

Had he done so, John would have written :

και ο λογος θεος ην ('the logos God was')

Here, John places the noun without article - first. And he then places the noun with article - second. And he places the second noun after the verb, not before it. It is a different construction compared to I John 1:5 and to I John 4:8.

  • Unarticled Nominative Subject
  • Copular Verb
  • Articled Nominative Predicate

That the articled nominative is not only placed after the unarticled nominative subject but also after the copular verb indicates an emphasis that John is decidedly expressing :

και θεος ην ο λογος ('God was the logos')



Word is the cogent communication of intelligent thought, however conveyed - verbally or graphically. The Word would imply all such communication, in its entirety.

All that is sensible, all that is reasonable - all that one individual can convey, intelligently, to another individual . . . everything that can thus be within one, and can - therefore - be communicated sensibly to another, is, in its totality : 'The Word'.

And all of this existed in the beginning.

Before the foundations of the world, Matthew 13:35. Before the mountains were settled, Proverbs 8:25. Before the earth was formed, Psalm 90:2.

In the beginning - was The Word.

And God, Himself, was that Word.

Nothing can be added, subsequently - nothing intelligent, nothing reasonable, nothing sensible - that was not already in existence before all was created.

Uncreated, eternal, without beginning (for he is the beginning, and the ending, Revelation 22:13) :

God was The Word.

  • In Greek, word order does not function the same way it does in English. Instead the case of the word (ie: nominative, accusative, etc.) indicates the subject and object, etc. So your appeal to the word order is bogus as is all of the creedal nonsense that is built on the error.
    – Ruminator
    Commented Sep 11, 2018 at 19:24
  • @Nigel J - be very careful about translating Greek without regard to English word order. The two sentences "God was the Word" and, "The Word was God" are quite different. The first noun in each sentence is nominative (ie the subject). The second is the correct translation of the Greek as it places "Word" as the subject and "God", in this case, as a type of classification of the Word. That is, The Greek is saying that the Word (Jesus) was fully God in essence and substance.
    – user25930
    Commented Sep 11, 2018 at 21:47
  • The Greek of John 1:1 has Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ Λόγος ("in the beginning was the word"), and ὁ Λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν Θεόν ("the word was with God"), and Θεὸς ἦν ὁ Λόγος ("God was the word"). There is nothing in Greek or English that justifies the order of the nouns in the third phrase being swapped. In the Vulgate the third phrase is given et Deus erat Verbum ("and God was the word"). In the Great Bible (1539, Authorised by Henry VIII) it is given ("In the begynnynge was the worde, and the worde was wyth God: and God was the worde.") Somehow thereafter the nouns as swapped in English.
    – enegue
    Commented Sep 11, 2018 at 22:10
  • @Nijel J - True - My comment anticipates v14. That is the point of John's prologue: to show that Jesus was fully God and fully human.
    – user25930
    Commented Sep 11, 2018 at 22:37
  • @eugene - The very simple rules of Greek grammar apply here. In the third phrase logos is prefixed by the definite article, "ho" while "theos" is not. Therefore, "logos" MUST be nominative and in English but precede the verb to convey the correct sense. Consult any Greek Grammar text you wish.
    – user25930
    Commented Sep 11, 2018 at 22:41

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