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In John 1:1-3 we read of 'the Word' - in the beginning, was with God etc.

The Word becoming flesh happened around 4 BC (give or take)

Can we justifiably say, infer or imply, 'In the beginning was Jesus'? Clearly, that is NOT what John is expressing.

Often it is implied that the Word is Jesus, or Jesus is the Word, no matter what time period we are referring to. Such language muddies the waters on discussions, when a specific term or title is applied without due care to appropriate timelines and identities.

Rev 19:13 He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.

Clearly, we may refer to Jesus as the 'Word of God', but only after his birth.

Q. Should Jesus be ascribed the title 'the Word' before the Word was made flesh in 4 BC (give or take)?

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    Sorry, but this question is off-topic here as it concerns theology, and not the exegesis of a Biblical text. It would be better ask at Christianity.SE.
    – curiousdannii
    May 24 '20 at 7:19
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    @user48152 If you're looking for constructive conversation, try not to come across as so aggressive.
    – Iconoclast
    May 24 '20 at 14:03
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    Oh, from many passages, take e.g. John 17:5, when Jesus clams to share the same glory with Father before the creation of the world. Now, time is an aspect of creation only, it comes in package, so to say, with the world and it does not measure God's life (it will be a blasphemy even to think it does!) and if Logos was before the world was made, ergo, Logos was before the time also, and before the time there is nothing but divine eternity likely shared both by the Son and the Father. May 29 '20 at 16:01
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    How're they random? Since God's by faith, Heb 11:6, why wouldn't His trinity be? If it's 'man made,' it's GodMan-made. It's more than clear: that Father, Son, and Spirit are. That They're God. That God's one. I personally have no choice but to believe what's Written. It's not a part of the tree of knowledge. My proof is: I've met Him, Jn 1:12-13
    – Walter S
    May 31 '20 at 5:18
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    No, there's no rules against questions being closed multiple times, or them being reopened multiple times. This does seem to me to be a clear theological synthesis question though.
    – curiousdannii
    Nov 30 '20 at 3:31

11 Answers 11

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The reason is very simple. The text of John 1 says:

  • V1 - the Word was in the beginning (ie, anciently before time began, or forever past) - a clear allusion to Gen 1:1.
  • V2 - same again - very anciently with God
  • V3 - the Word created all things (ie, well before Jesus' birth on earth)
  • V14 - the Word became (ἐγένετο, egeneto) flesh (ie, human during His incarnation) and lived with us (as a man on earth). It is abundantly clear that the WORD is Jesus Himself.

This last verse also declares that whatever Jesus was before His incarnation, He became flesh. John 17:5 declares that Jesus was, "in Your presence with the glory I had with You before the world existed". That is, with the Father in heaven.

The whole thrust of John 1:1-18 is to show both the deity of Jesus and His ancient eternity with God. Note John 1:18: (BSB)

No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is Himself God and is at the Father’s side, has made Him known.

The reason John chose to give Jesus the title "Word" (both in John 1 and Rev 19:13) is much debated and has a huge literature but is not germane here.

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    when you figure out how God can die, all that might mean what you suggest it means. Next you'll be quoting, the Father and I are one, completely ignoring J17:21
    – steveowen
    May 23 '20 at 9:45
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    John 17:21 is very important - just as is John 10:30, 38. When Jesus died, God did not die - only his humanity died. I do not understand it but accept it by faith.
    – Dottard
    May 23 '20 at 10:29
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    @dottard the Bible does not say that only the humanity of Jesus died. If Jesus was not dead for 3 days we have no hope of a resurrection. Stop reading theology into the Bible. With assumptions, the Bible teaches any doctrine as you emulate. May 23 '20 at 13:10
  • Death is not cessation of existence, but the separation of body and soul. Jesus did not cease to exist, but yielded forth His spirit, and preached therein to the spirits in sheol. Also, Christ chose when to make this death occur, by saying, "Father, into your hands I commend my spirit" (probably because He was not bound to die by virtue of being free of the curse of Adam). Same One who died said, "I am the First and the Last." The same One who became incarnate is the same One whom His own people rejected, and who was there at the beginning with God, and through Whom God made all things. May 23 '20 at 21:25
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    He who together with the Father created the universe with all its galaxies and creatures is able to die as successfully as the Father Himself :) Thus, He could die only in His humanity, but that does not mean total annihilation, for as all men die in body, while their souls die not, so also in Jesus' case, his body indeed died but He with His created human soul went to hell to preach and gladden the deceased souls there (1 Peter 3:19), and then He in three days resurrected His body as well. You can say that Father resurrected Him, but Father can neither create nor resurrect without His Logos. May 29 '20 at 20:17
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Consider also the following verses from John

3:13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.

6:38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.

6:41 The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven.

6:42 And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven?

6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

6:58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.

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  • Don't forget John 6:31 Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” So did that actually drop from the hand of God too? God sent it, just like He sent Jesus.
    – steveowen
    May 24 '20 at 12:21
  • Sorry this didn't answer your question. There was added a separate answer that I hope at least begins to address some issues that seem of importance.
    – David
    May 29 '20 at 11:37
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In John 8:58, it is written,

58 Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I exist.”

It states, “Jesus said...” And what did Jesus say? Jesus said, “Before Abraham was born, I exist.” Jesus exists before Abraham was born.

Now, if Jesus was only approximately 30 years old, and Abraham lived perhaps 18 centuries before before Jesus, then how could Jesus say that he exists before Abraham unless Jesus identifies himself as the Word, even before the Word became flesh? That is the only possible solution (unless you believe Jesus was lying).

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  • of course he existed - in the mind of God, that's why he was foreknown! It's not complicated. 1 Pet 1:20. naturally you can proof text if that's all you have.
    – steveowen
    May 24 '20 at 11:50
  • @user48152—That argument is nonsensical. God is omniscient; therefore, everyone, including Christians (cf. Rom. 8:29; 1 Pet. 1:2), is foreknown to Him. That would not permit Jesus to say that he exists before Abraham was born. May 26 '20 at 15:13
  • it doesn't say 'exist' and you know it - or at least you should!
    – steveowen
    May 27 '20 at 5:09
  • @user48152 - Grab a lexicon. May 27 '20 at 12:44
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    LSJ, εἰμί, A. as the Subst. Verb, I. of persons, exist May 29 '20 at 13:27
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Background
John uses λόγος, "word," 40 times in the Gospel. In keeping with the general use of this term, the Gospel conveys meanings like sayings or words which have been spoken. However, four times it is used to personify Jesus Christ:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (1:1)

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. (1:14)

While not stated directly, it is apparent from the Prologue, "the flesh" John identifies as the Word (1:14) is Jesus Christ (1:17). That is confirmed by the testimony of John the Baptist which brings in the other Gospels as well as the historical realty, at least for those who lived during the time. In particular, the Baptist's testimony "brackets" the final personification. He, Jesus, was the true light coming into the world (1:9) but the world did not know or receive Him (1:10) and His own also did not receive Him (1:11). Finally, the Baptist is recorded as stating "this" came before him (1:15) and while it is possible those hearing John might take this otherwise, it is clear from both the synoptic Gospels, and the Prologue, the Gospel writer understands this to mean preexisted. This is implied, if not affirmed, by the use of light which was the life of [all] men and who is Jesus Christ, both in the Prologue (1:9) and in the Gospel (eg. 8:12). Preexistence is explicitly confirmed by Jesus when He claims to have been in existence before Abraham (8:58) [so before Moses and the Baptist].

Semantically, John identifies "this - οὗτος" who was before the Baptist (1:15) with "this - οὗτος" which was with God (1:2). Thus, it is "this - οὗτος" which was with God (1:2) who is "Him - αὐτοῦ" through who all things came into being (1:3) and the "Word" was personified before coming into the world to become flesh.

The Prologue ends with the "only-begotten - μονογενὴς" God in the bosom of the Father (1:18). This "only-begotten - μονογενὴς" is of the Father who became flesh (1:14); whom God gave to give eternal life to those who believe (3:16) and will result in self-condemnation for those who do not believe (3:18).

It is clear that all of these different terms are meant to refer to Jesus Christ, but to remove all doubt Jesus identifies a physical event which will serve as historic evidence to support the semantics:

13 No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. (John 3)

31 Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out. 32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” 33 He said this to show by what kind of death he was going to die. (John 12)

The crucifixion of Jesus, "fixes" the identity of all of the terms to the Cross. Like the original means by which man could have obtained eternal life (Genesis 2:9, 3:22), God's plan to bring eternal life [back] into the grasp of mankind is to believe in the resurrection of the Son of God who was hung on a tree. This is the living-giving fruit of this Gospel:

30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. (John 20)

Now, although it is evident Jesus Christ is "the Word" before coming into the world, it is possible to deny this since there is no explicit exegetical basis for that claim in the Fourth Gospel. In other words, while clearly implying the connection, John has actually stopped sort of providing a "proof text" for his conclusion. Nevertheless, John has proven the Word was crucified, resurrected, and is at the present in the bosom of the Father manifesting and/or leading children of God to the same place. That is, it is only the past existence as the Word which John has left open for the reader to decide/believe.

The Word of the LORD
The Old Testament contains a passage where the word of the LORD is sent to the earth and will return after it accomplishes the purpose for which it was sent:

8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. 10 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, 11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55)

The Word of the LORD is sent forth to the earth, accomplishes its purpose and returns to the LORD. The physical example given is the earth being watered where water is given in two forms: rain and snow. Where the rain has an immediate effect, the snow melts later.

John's "Word" is taken directly from Isaiah. Since Jesus was sent, accomplished the purpose, and returned, He must be the Word in the beginning. His earthly life is like the rain and what is now written about that life is like the snow. Thus, the Gospel writer who calls the incarnate Jesus "the Word" acknowledges His preexistence based on the two-fold belief He fulfilled God's purpose for which He was sent and the passage in Isaiah is the Word of God.

Conclusion
In light of the passage in Isaiah, the claims made in the Fourth Gospel about the Word are Biblical, exegetical, and logical, if His crucifixion was God's plan, as Scripture asserts (Acts 2:23).

In addition, there is other Scripture which the writer could claim support his calling Jesus "the Word" before He comes into the world:

8 But of the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom. 9 You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.” (Hebrews 1)

This speaks to His current position, which will continue forever.

10 And, “You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of your hands; 11 they will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment, 12 like a robe you will roll them up, like a garment they will be changed. But you are the same, and your years will have no end.” (Hebrews 1)

This speaks to His making of all things and recreating them and having unending years.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)

Since John may rightly call the incarnate Jesus Christ "the Word," he may rightly use the term before as the preexisting Word before He comes into the world.

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  • FYI, there is no legitimacy for Jesus 'returning' or 'going back' to the Father in the Greek text. Those words have been added to our bibles. See John 16:5,28, 13:1,3, 20:17, 14:28 for these additions - depending on the translation of course.
    – steveowen
    May 25 '20 at 9:45
  • @user48152 While I think my first answer is a reasonable conclusion, I have put forth the same in greater detail. May 25 '20 at 18:12
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He was the beginning of the creation by God, Revelation 3:14. He is the firstborn of all creation, Colossians 1:15.

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  • When do you think "the firstborn of all creation" began? Colossians 1:15. When do you think "the beginning of the creation by God" began?Revelation 3:14.
    – user35499
    May 29 '20 at 14:09
  • I already answered your Q.
    – user35499
    May 30 '20 at 7:35
  • Jesus Christ is the firstborn of all creation and the firstborn of the dead too. Colossians 1:15, 16,and 18, 1 Corinthians 15:22-23, Revelation 3:14. Hebrews 1:2, John 1:3, Revelation 19:13 and John 1:1-3 Now my question, when do you think "the firstborn of all creation" began? Colossians 1:15. When do you think "the beginning of the creation by God" began?Revelation 3:14.
    – user35499
    May 30 '20 at 9:28
  • Avoiding my question? I answered your question already.
    – user35499
    May 30 '20 at 10:14
  • Who was the beginning of the creation by God? Revelation 3:14
    – user35499
    May 30 '20 at 10:57
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I'd say it is as simple as follows. Jesus's name in Aramaic/Hebrew was Joshua, which means "God saves" and the delusion of man is to think that he has any role to play in this salvation. This is the Torah. So you might say that the truth of this was present in the beginning and is what Jesus' name means and what he represents. When that word became flesh, was it mingled with anything else? I think not. This may require a kind of stepping outside of a modern body/soul gnostic dualism.

Details:

So if you wanted to sum up the law and the prophets, it is "don't judge others, you don't get to declare who is saved, no matter what you think you know." Only God saves. You don't get to reach up your hand and take the knowledge of good and bad (judgment) into your body (e.g. as the woman and man did in Eden).

That is what Jesus' name points towards. So you might say that Joshua/Jesus is the summary whole Torah, then the Torah is also "Joshua".. You can see this in Numbers 13:16b, "Moses changed the name of Hoshea son of Nun to Joshua." Here, Hoshea means "he saves [by his own hand]" and Joshua means simply, "Yahweh Saves." He and Caleb are the only one allowed to enter the promised land (hebrew: keleb = dog, utterly obedient, see Deut 1:36-39) along with the children who don't know good and bad (judgment). This seems to be the central theme of exile and return in the entire torah. We are exiled because we think "Hoshea" and we are able to return when we put our arms out in submission and say "Joshua."

So from that angle, you can certainly call the torah/word "Jesus" or "Joshua" as a synonym for Torah (the law). Was Jesus a flesh and blood body before born into the world? I'm not sure what that means. I think the answer is obviously no. But the Torah is "Joshua." It is the idea that there is no other salvation than Yahweh which is captured in John 1:12-13 (salvation "not by will of self or of other humans").

Or you might add that it is Joshua (Jesus) and Caleb (utter obedience). You can see this throughout John and other new testament scripture where Jesus is utterly obedient to God. He essentially has no will of his own.

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  • "He essentially has no will of his own." so what do you make of Jesus saying 'not my will, but yours be done'? Clearly his 'will' was to not go through with the 'cup drinking' if the was ANY other way... but he submitted to God's will in the end, thankfully.
    – steveowen
    Oct 8 '20 at 2:28
  • @user48152 That quote is not present in John. In fact, it is mocked. Check John 6:38, 5:19. But mostly, John 12:27, "And what should I say—‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour." This seems to be a direct critique of that wavering equivocal will in the synoptics. John has a very strong concep of obedience and will is a major theme throughout
    – Gus L.
    Oct 8 '20 at 9:27
  • ok thx. John 6:38 speaks of not doing his will - was he being silly? Of course he came to do the Father's will - it was easier said than done. Not sure what 5:19 has to do with it. Neither do I get,' it is mocked'. by who? are you saying Matt Mk and Luke are wrong? Why does it have to be in John?
    – steveowen
    Oct 8 '20 at 9:41
  • When I said “he essentially has no will of his own” it is because he is Like the Torah’s Joshua and Caleb who “utterly followed God” in Numbers 32:12. There was no equivocation and no conflict between the wills as in the synoptics. I am saying that at one stage, the author or editor of John was aware of the synoptics and was, at many points, contrasting or criticizing their theology as not obedient enough. For John, there is no wiggle room. Jesus had clarity of purpose not present in the passion and garden narratives of the synoptics
    – Gus L.
    Oct 8 '20 at 10:06
  • Possibly because John writes 'as if what will be, already is' - quite unlike the others. But your stance of 'criticising' seems odd to me. God inspired all their words - all fit for the purpose and together they round out a solid understanding of the son of God - including his humanity - made just like us in every way, yet w/o sin.
    – steveowen
    Oct 8 '20 at 10:28
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John 1:3-4 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV). 3 All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4 in him was life, and the life was the light of all people.

The UBS and Nestle Aland Greek texts all punctuate with a full stop after “being.”

The word “through” is δια and refers to what God made through the Word as His intermediate agent. The word “in” is εν and refers to life that came to be in the Word.

The Word thus became a living being in John 1:1-4.

When the Word became flesh at John 1:14, that included the “life” that was in him.

John 1:14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld his glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father), full of grace and truth (ASV)

Note that it is the Word who dwelt with humans on earth. That is continuity between the Word in heaven and Jesus on earth.

The life in the Word at John 1:4 was transferred into the womb of Mary (Luke 1:25-36/John 1:14) when the Word was made flesh. That is the continuity of his life and so the Word did not “die” to become flesh.

This is logical, biblical and exegetical evidence that the living personal Word in heaven with the Father became the human being named Jesus.

Of course the Word was not named Jesus before he became flesh. That's a straw man argument against the doctrine of the prehuman existence of Jesus.

In addition this is no more two different beings than a person who is resurrected to life in heaven.


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1a- The construction Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ λόγος - John 1: 1a is explained in 1 John 1: 1-3:

“What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have contemplated and felt our hands about the Logos of Life, (because Life was manifested, and we have seen it, and we bear witness , and we announce to you Eternal Life, which was before the Father, and has been revealed to us). What we have seen and heard we announce to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us and our fellowship truly is with the Father and His son, Jesus, the Messiah. ” BTX version

What is Logos?

The principle of the Logos is the Truth. Psalm 118 (119 HEB) .60, The Logos is True. 2 Timothy 2:15 The True Logos is the Gospel. Ephesians 1:13, The Logos became flesh. John 1:14, God's Logos is the Truth. John 17:17, The True Logos is a means of generation. James 1:18 The Logos of God is within the generated. 1 John 2:14, The Logos of God is the Seed of God. Luke 8:11,

1b- The sentence “… ὁ λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν θεόν…” from John 1: 1b is not a usual syntactic construction in the Greek language Cohen, occurring in 1 Corinthians 12: 2: “… ἔθνη ἦτε πρὸς τὰ εἴδωλα…” where it reads : “Nations> Gentiles> pagans were true to idols…”, in which an attempt at spiritual communion will be seen. Another similar construction is found in 1 John 1: 2 “… ἥτις ἦν πρὸς τὸν πατέρα…” which reads “… which (Eternal Life) was for the Father…”, the relation existing between Eternal Life and the Father, widely described in the New Testament, especially in the Johannine writings, characterizing and defining the usual meaning of the preposition “πρὸς”. The defined article "τὸν", object of the preposition "πρὸς", defines, references and limits the affirmation of the object "θεόν" to יהוה.

1c - The sentence “… θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος…” John. 1: 1c is a predicative nominative construction (both main nouns in the sentence are in the nominative case and are accompanied by the standard copulative (connecting) verb, which is in the Indicative This syntactic construction occurs in Genesis 9:18; 24:16, 29; 28:19; Judges 11:18; 2 Samuel 9: 2; 20:26; 1 Kings 2:46; 1 Esther 2: 9, 17 ; Job 29:15; 32: 1; Jonah 3: 3; Zechariah 6: 1; Malachi. 1: 2; Isaiah 37:19; Ezekiel. 23: 2; Matthew 3: 4; 21:33; Mark. 7: 26; John 1: 1, 4; Acts 27: 8, where the part of the clause that is the object of the verb, is left without the article, excluding the Joanine verses.

θεὸς is characterized in John 1: 1c as a Name (Who is it), Nature (What is it) or Office (By who is it)?

Daniel B. Wallace in Greek Grammar: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament Daniel B. Wallace, from Editora Batista Regular do Brasil, First edition in Portuguese: 2009 (Excellent, worthy of purchase), on pages 255-270, precisely on the page 266 and 269, in item “c”, explains that the use of “θεὸς” anartro, ie, without an article in John 1: 1c (as, for example, in John 4:19; 6:70; 8:44; 9 : 17; 10: 1,13,33 and 12: 6), be POSSIBLY used as a qualitative noun (which refers to quality about someone) and I agree with him in this respect, however, I conceptualize using a terminology different from his:

The idea of ​​a qualitative "θεóς" here is, according to my understanding, the idea that the Logos had all the attributes and qualities that the term "God" has in John 1: 1b. That is, he shared the substance of יהוה, although he, the Logos, became a hypostasis (person), reinforced by the vocative.

a) The context of John 1: 1-2 emphatically reports, using the duplicity that the Logos was with God, that is, the Logos was not “… τὸν θεόν….” of construction 1.b with whom he was at first, therefore, the author of the Gospel of John does not use “θεὸς” of construction 1.c in the same way that he used “… τὸν θεόν….” of construction 1.b

b) Jesus teaches that the Law named gods, in Greek “θεοί” (plural of “θεός”), to whom the Logos was addressed. Psalms 81: 6 Septuagint 82: 6 HEB, John 10: 34-35), and that these “gods” would die and fall like any mortal, so “θεοί” does not always mean יהוה's Hypostasis,

c) Other created beings were by profession (mission) “θεός” or אלהים equivalent as in Exodus 7.1 (Septuagint), Exodus 21: 6 22: 8-9, Psalm 81: 6 (82-6 HEB) and Zechariah 12: 8 HEB.

d) The standard of the syntactic construction is "... Noun noun ἦν Noun noun ..." and occurs in Genesis 9:18; 24: 16,29; 28: 19; Judges 11:18; 2 Samuel 9: 2; 20: 26; 1 Kings 2:46; 1 Esther 2: 9, 17; Job 32: 1; Jonah 3: 3; Zechariah 6: 1; Malachi 1: 2; Matthew 3: 4; 21:33, Mark 7:26; and Acts 27: 8 and the article construction after the verb "... Noun noun ἦν ὁ Noun noun ..." only occurs in John 1: 1 and 1: 4. What this means? The Greek article serves to conceptualize, transform into an entity, in terms of function, it identifies the identity of a being, class or quality, a good example is in Luke 12:58, where “the Judge” refers to a human person, as to divine judgment. Thus, the addition of an article, in John 1: 1c, fleeing syntactic familiarity is in the sense of leaving no doubt that the Logos is the subject of prayer, with all the emphasis instead of “θεὸς”.

e) An analysis of Zechariah 6: 1

καὶ ἐπέστρεψα καὶ ἦρα τοὺς ὀφθαλμούς μου καὶ εἶδον καὶ ἰδοὺ τέσσαρα ἅρματα ἐκπορευόμενα ἐκ μέσου δύο ὀρέων καὶ τὰ ὄρη ἦν ὄρη χαλκᾶ Zechariah 6: 1 - Septuagint (Greek Edition): Alfred Rahlfs, Robert Hanhart.

וָאָשֻׁ֗ב וָאֶשָּׂ֤א עֵינַי֙ וָֽאֶרְאֶ֔ה וְהִנֵּ֙ה אַרְבַּ֤ע מַרְכָּבוֹת֙ יֹֽצְא֔וֹת מִבֵּ֖ין שְׁנֵ֣י הֶֽהָרִ֑ים וְהֶהָרִ֖ים הָרֵ֥ים הָרֵ֥ינְחֹֽשֶׁ Zechariah 6: 1 - Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (Hebrew Bible, Masoretic Text or Hebrew Old Testament), edited by K. Elliger and W. Rudolph of the Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, Stuttgart, Fourth Corrected Edition.

And I went back and looked up and saw, and, behold, four cars were coming out of the middle of two hills, and the hills were tan mountains. Jünemann's Bible - Zechariah 6: 1

It is notable that in the construction “… δύο ὀρέων καὶ τὰ ὄρη ἦν ὄρη χαλκᾶ” the noun “ὄρη” anartro, ie, without an article, as “θεὸς” in John 1: 1c, is characterizing, supported by an adjective, the subject “τὰ ὄρη ”, following this argument,“ θεὸς ”qualifies“ ὁ λόγος ”(the Logos).

The Hebrew syntactic construction in particular, in addition to Zechariah 6: 1, occurs in Genesis 27:22, where better translation “… but the hands are the hands of Esau.”, Genesis 31:43 “these daughters are my daughters”; Exodus 32:16 “the scripture is the same scripture”, 1 Samuel 1:24 “the very young boy”, 2 Chronicles 3: 6 “gold, gold from Parvaim” and Ezekiel 41: 6 “the sides (chambers) of side.

f) An analysis of Exodus 20:21:

εἱστήκει δὲ ὁ λαὸς μακρόθεν Μωυσῆς δὲ εἰσῆλθεν εἰς τὸν γνόφον οὗ ἦν ὁ θεός Exodus 20:21 Septuaginta (Greek Edition): Alfred Rahlfs.

וַיַּעֲמֹ֥ד הָעָ֖ם מֵרָחֹ֑ק וּמֹשֶׁה֙ נִגַּ֣שׁ אֶל־הָֽעֲרָפֶ֔ל אֲשֶׁר־שָׁ֖ם הָאֱלֹהִֽים׃ פ Exodus 20:21 -Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (Hebrew Bible, Masoretic Text or Hebrew Old Testament), edited by K. Elliger and W. Rudolph of the Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, Stuttgart, Fourth Corrected Edition.

The people were afar, standing; Moses, however, came to the dark cloud where God was. Version ARA Exodus 20:21

The interlinear of Construction “… εἰς τὸν γνόφον οὗ ἦν ὁ θεός…” is εἰς τὸν γνόφον (into the thick cloud) οὗ (where when) ἦν ὁ θεός (was God). On the presence of God in the dense Cloud:

Then Solomon said, "The LORD has declared that he will dwell in thick darkness." Indeed, I have built a house for your dwelling, a place for your eternal dwelling. (1 Kings 8:12 ARA) ¹ (אֶל־הָֽעֲרָפֶ֔ל, Genesis 2:11, Exodus 9:26, Numbers 21:32, 1 Samuel 3: 3, 1 Samuel 9:10)

And when he said this, a cloud came that covered them with its shadow; and when they entered the cloud, they feared. And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son; I heard it. Luke 9: 34,35.

The verb ἦν in the context of Exodus 20:21 is explained by 1 Kings 8:12, acquiring an advance of linguistic meaning from “being” to “inhabiting”, which is again in agreement with the New Testament Theology regarding Logos and Patristic Theology referring to recent Christianity:

That is, that God was within the Anointed One, reconciling the world to himself, not taking into account the sins of men, and entrusted us with the Logos of Reconciliation. 2 Corinthians 5:19

Thus, the translation of John 1: 1-3, I read:

“Logos lived in the beginning, and Logos lived with God and God lived in Logos. He lived in the beginning with God. All reborns were made by him, and without him nothing that was done was done. ”

References: John 1: 12,13; 3: 3,6,7, 1 John 2:29; 3: 9; 4: 7; 5: 1,2,3,4,18; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Titus 3: 5; 1 Peter 1: 3.

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  • You seem to have answered some other Q, but thx anyway.
    – steveowen
    Jul 23 '20 at 23:55
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John 1:1-3 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.

As generally agreed, this time period is before the Genesis account of creation.

The OT is quite clear, there is one God, Yahweh. There is no mention of a 'son' in the sense of a holy sinless son except in various prophecies of one who was to come. God's spirit is mentioned, but with no clear support for a 'person' separate from the Father.

There are several references to the Father in OT and there is no reason to think the NT reveals a different Father - who will father Jesus, by Mary.

Jesus was prophesied to come from Gen 3:15! Jesus is the eventual human seed (offspring) of the woman.

And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed. He will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”

The Hebrews author recaps the last few millennia,

Heb 1:1 God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the ages (not world or universe)

And we encounter a proof text for Jesus somehow being creator - 'having made the world'. This is clearly recognised as bad exegesis with world or universe - neither are appropriate and quite misleading. Even though, the context is the Son who is of this latter age - these last days!

Others like to quote Col 1:15

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.

Again, this is widely misunderstood as Jesus being the first of God's creation. This is gained by reading it alone without considering context or the voluminous support of other texts. Jesus is the first born from the dead. That new creature that has passed from physical life to spirit life. No man, apart from Jesus has realised this change yet, the dead await the Messiah's return and their resurrection. (no one has ascended to heaven John 3:13) Jesus became first born when he was raised in spirit from the dead after the 3 days etc. 1 Pet 3:18

Or, John 8:58

Before Abraham was, I am

This typically is used to show that Jesus pre-existed Abraham. But when gathering biblical context and reference to help understand a somewhat oddly expressed text, we see in Gal 3:16

Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as referring to many, but rather to one, “And to your seed,” that is, Christ.

So Jesus, as foreknown and planned by God, is the descendant of Abraham. How then can Jesus pre-exist Abraham? He doesn't! But, Jesus is before Abraham as the central focus of ALL God is doing and has done. Jesus takes precedence over everyone! (don't bother with the 'I am' distraction, that's just clutching at straws to desperately rescue a troubled dogma)

Rom 11:36 reveals important understanding about Jesus' importance.

For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things.

All things were created through Him and for Him. Col 1:16

there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we exist. 1 Cor 8:6

Here we see the foundational purpose for God's creation. He has not had to fix His creation gone wrong by the wicked works of the devil/serpent/evil - the plan was from the beginning to have evil intersect creation and to finally save it - all through Jesus.

This answer is getting too long, so this link explains more about "through" Why is Jesus called the "Son of God" if he is God?

Continuing, finally, John introduces Jesus - the logos becomes flesh in v14

Whatever the logos is thought to be, there is no biblical support for it being a 'person' that is not explicitly God. John is the only one to develop this idea linking creation through the word, command or plan (which logos is rendered as throughout the NT) with God being wholly responsible for it - we do see in Genesis, 'and God said...' His spoken command is as good as God, His 'word' is who and what He is.

If logos is a separate, pre-existing 'person', it/he is never mentioned again. If logos is eternal and God and Jesus is now this logos - then Jesus cannot die. God is immortal, logos is immortal.

So the plan of God from the beginning, which included the foreknown Jesus,

He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you 1 Pet 1:20

now takes an impetus not seen previously.

God needs one who would die for all creation - to redeem all from the corruption of sin, and also from evil itself! To bring an end to evil's influence on His handiwork.

No man descended from Adam would do because of two reasons;

  1. They would be already corrupted by sin - therefore not perfect enough.
  2. Because of that corruption, they would not be able to allow God to work through them to the extent necessary - simply put, there would be a separation from God that would render them useless for the task!

God needed one of His own - a son. Just as He had asked of Abraham, He had already intended to do Himself. Rev 13:8 the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

Even Jesus wasn't perfect for the task - but he was made perfect through obedient suffering. What does "made perfect" mean in Heb 5:9?

This Jesus who is 'the logos become flesh' happened about 4BC. Prior to this Jesus did not exist except in God's plan, revealed in prophecy and visions to His people.

So, even though Jesus is the Word of God, the servant of God, the one God made heir and appointed Lord and Christ is God's unique son - without sin, he is not the logos of John 1:1-3. He w o u l d be, but at v1-3 he is not yet - he is not revealed, not born, not Jesus yet.

We cannot correctly say, 'in the beginning was the logos/Jesus/son'.

This is gross eisegesis without merit and is simply an untruth.

The desire to somehow place Jesus as the eternal pre-existent son seems to permit making the bible to say what we want it to say to reinforce a dogma.

Jesus is not the one 'bringing all things into being'. This is the logos. Until Jesus is conceived/born he is not the logos.

Thus, there is no reason - exegetical, logical or biblical reason for saying or inferring, "in the beginning was Jesus" (or the son of God).

No, "in the beginning was the word", we must not add to or read in what we want.

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It is just one proof of the existence of Jesus before he was born. This makes us understand that it is one of his names of which appeared in four places in the bible from the new testament: Jn 1:1, Jn 1.14, 1 John 5:7, Rev 19:13. There are other proof in the bible of his existence before he came into this world by birth: John 8:58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am; Jn 3:13 And no one has ever gone up to heaven except the Son of Man, who came down from heaven

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  • 1
    1 John 5:7 is a fraudulent addition. You are well-schooled in poor ways to understand the bible. John 8:58 doesn't mean what you think it means. See Gal 3:16 If Jesus is Abrahams 'seed' how can he be 'before' in time - he is 'before' in importance or rank or status
    – steveowen
    Nov 30 '20 at 1:12
  • John 8:58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. 59 Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by. Don't cast stone at him because of your unbelieve. Nov 30 '20 at 2:18
  • Sadly you are using 'proof-texts' to defend a position instead of a sound biblical approach - allowing other verses to inform the ones you are using. Rarely is one verse sufficient, on its own, to impart truth. For eg, John 8:58
    – steveowen
    Nov 30 '20 at 2:36
  • Jn 3:13 And no one has ever gone up to heaven except the Son of Man, who came down from heaven. Christ himself made this statement. John the Baptist also testify: Jn 1:1 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. Nov 30 '20 at 2:57
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Jesus is a greek word that means I am with you. This is hard to verify in grammar books because they generally leave out the relevant entry in the verb tables.

Matthew 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

1:22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,

1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

I observe that Emmanuel is a Hebrew word and needs interpreting, yet the calling of his name Emmanuel is fulfilled by the word Jesus, which is apparently a transliteration of ἰησοῦς.

The phrase "I am with you" occurs five times in the bible:

Jeremiah 42:11;Haggai 1:13;2:4;Matthew 28:20;John 13:33

and "I am with thee" eleven times:

Genesis 26:24;28:15;1 Samuel 14:7;Isaiah 41:10;43:5;Jeremiah 1:8,19;15:20;30:11;46:28;Acts 18:10

In particular the uses in Jeremiah connect with salvation:

Jeremiah 1:8 Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD.

1:19 And they shall fight against thee; but they shall not prevail against thee; for I am with thee, saith the LORD, to deliver thee.

15:20 And I will make thee unto this people a fenced brasen wall: and they shall fight against thee, but they shall not prevail against thee: for I am with thee to save thee and to deliver thee, saith the LORD.

30:11 For I am with thee, saith the LORD, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet I will not make a full end of thee: but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished.

42:11 Be not afraid of the king of Babylon, of whom ye are afraid; be not afraid of him, saith the LORD: for I am with you to save you, and to deliver you from his hand.

This connection then supports the assertion made in Matthew 1:21.

So while God always is and his Word is eternal, Jesus only makes sense after he was made flesh and the word was manifest in the language of Grecia. Thus fulfilling:

Isaiah 28:11 For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.

The word Jesus is also a transliteration of the Hebrew word Joshua or Jehoshua. As in:

Hebrews 4:8 For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.

Joshua who leads the children of Israel across the Jordan indeed does prefigure Jesus, and it was the ark of the covenant that went ahead, for it is in that ark that the meat that doesn't perish is hid.

Preincarnate appearances of Jesus I have often heard talked about but personally I do not see clearly how that is arrived at.

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  • Good work. I liked the // with Joseph.
    – steveowen
    May 29 '20 at 11:55
  • "Jesus is a greek word that means I am with you. This is hard to verify in grammar books because they generally leave out the relevant entry in the verb tables." Well do you have any references that do have it? Any that support a different etymology to the usual accepted one: "Yah saves"?
    – curiousdannii
    May 29 '20 at 15:39
  • "Yah saves" cannot be right because Jesus starts with a J not a Y. And the Hebrew word is JAH not YAH. You seem to be using Yiddish sources that do not have a J sound.
    – David
    May 29 '20 at 16:55
  • 1
    @David - please add a reference to support your assertions from a well-recognised lexicon.
    – Dottard
    Jun 1 '20 at 4:11
  • 1
    @David - Actually, the KJV in 1611 spelled Jesus as "Iesus". In 1611 English did not even have a "J" - that letter was simply an initial "I". It was only in the 17th and 18th centuries that the English pronunciation changed to what we use today. The Greek would be pronounced "Yesus" - close to the Hebrew.
    – Dottard
    Jun 1 '20 at 22:06

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