That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— 2 the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us ESV 1 John 1:1-2
- That which was from the beginning
- which we have heard
- which we have seen
- which we looked upon
- concerning the 'word' of life - Gr. 'logos' of life
We are told what this passage is concerning - 'the logos of life' - 'which was with the Father'.
In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God... John 1:1
- Same arrangement - the logos was 'with' God/the Father.
- the life was made manifest - the logos became flesh
we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life.
What is the author saying here?
Jesus is the result of the word made manifest/revealed - made flesh. Jesus is the one who they touch and see, testify and proclaim. But they don't talk about him or who, but that and which because they are referring to the logos - the what, which, it, from which Jesus came.
It is the logos made manifest - how? By it becoming flesh. When? Approx 4 BC. Who? Jesus. What? The son of God.
The 'life' was with the Father.
This is not Jesus, because he is the person and presence of the logos ‘manifested’ when he was born of Mary, witnessing of God as the image of God his whole life in the flesh.
Now ascended, Jesus is now also the giver of life.
I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. John 6:51
the dead will hear the voice of the son of God, and those who hear will live. 26 For just as the Father has life in Himself, so He gave to the son also to have life in himself John 5:25
'That which was from the beginning...' IS the logos - the word of God, which was in the beginning 'with' God. This word had life, as whatever God said, became according to His will.
Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honour and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created. Rev 4:11
Millennia after John 1:1, Jesus arrived as the logos became flesh and John beheld and testified of the logos - in the person of Christ, the son of God. Because God could not die, He needed a perfect sacrifice to be offered. The logos could not die either, it is but the word, will and life of God's creative power. Jesus is this logos manifested in human flesh - a second Adam who would become, being perfected through suffering, the holy Lamb who overcame the world and rescued it from destruction through his death.
Before this revealing of the word/logos there is no concept in this passage (or any other passage) of a person/entity called logos, but a purpose, a plan or intent, will, life and power of God in His word.
We cannot confuse or conflate this logos with Jesus. They are not equally interchangeable. At no time should we say, ‘in the beginning was Jesus’! Jesus was born ~2000 years ago to be God's word, will and purpose as a mortal man. This is the critical crux of 1 John 1:1-2 which sheds considerable light on other passages regarding the life and origin of Jesus.
Another answer mentions, "The eternal Son of God is manifested". This is a fine example of reading into the text that which is not provided and thus erroneous understanding obtained. No text, especially this one, speaks of a 'Son' being manifested, rendering this a completely false statement. On that false premise is built all manner of fabrications not of the inspired text.