“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”- John 1:1
John 1:1, in my opinion, is one of the most beautiful passages in scripture. Jesus is described as “the Word” who became incarnate and dwelt among us. In referring to Jesus as the “Word” John is drawing a parallel to the creation account in Genesis. As D.A. Carson explains, “The ‘Word’ in the Old Testament is his powerful self-expression in creation, revelation and salvation .” In doing so John is saying that Jesus existed before all creation, and even had a hand in creation. There are many sources that show this depiction of Christ, and some are even extra-biblical. The Greek word that underlies this is the word logos. The stoics used the word to describe the principle by which everything exists . There are also many places in the Old Testament which describe “the Word” as God’s act in creation. These verses include such passages as Genesis 1:3, Psalm 33:6, and the “word of the Lord” in Isaiah 38:4, Jeremiah 1:4, and Ezekiel 1:6 .
The topic in question is the “Word” and it has huge implications on John’s gospel. It lays the very foundation for his Christology, and describes just who Jesus is and what he has already done. In stating that “the Word was with God and the Word was God” John is giving us a crucial understanding of the Godhead. He is saying that the “Word” is pre-existent before all creation, is with God, and is God. So how is John relatable to the modern reader? The message that he wrote were is still very applicable to us today. We live in a increasingly postmodern society who says that things like Jesus and scripture do not matter. Some will go so far as to say that Jesus never existed despite historical evidence to the contrary. To the modern reader I would say that using John 1 we can see that Jesus was around before creation, was not a created being, was creator of everything that was made, and through him is grace. This grace through faith in him allows us to become the children of God. He calls us to follow him.
1. Carson, D.A. The Gospel According to John. (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Publishing, 1991), 116.
2. Ibid, 114.
3. Ibid, 115.