John 1:1-5 -- In Depth
John 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. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
Who is "the Word"?
In Verse 3, we read that "All things were made by him"(the Word). 1 Corinthians 8:6 says, "... one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things..." Who is "the Word"? Jesus Christ.
In Verse 14, we read that "... the Word was... the only begotten of the Father...." Who is "the Word"? Jesus Christ.
OK. Jesus Christ must be "the Word". But, why is Jesus called the Word?
Luke 5:1 "And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he[Christ] stood by the lake of Gennesaret," What did they come to hear? The word of God. Who did they hear bring the word of God? Jesus. "For he[Jesus] whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him. 35 The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand."(John 3:34-35)
"He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak."(-Jesus, John12:48-50)
John 1:1 "In the beginning was the Word..."
In the beginning of What? Looking at verse 3, we see a creation context. So, perhaps, this will help: Regarding Christ, Paul said, "Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature"(Colossians 1:15).
For those who would like to hear from Ellen:
"The dedication of the first-born had its origin in the earliest times. God had promised to give the first-born of heaven to save the sinner." (Ellen G. White, Desire of Ages, p. 51).
John was instructed by Christ through His angel(Rev1:1-2;22:16) to say that Christ was "the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;"(Revelation 3:14).
John 1:1-2 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,... The same was in the beginning with God."
"Through Solomon Christ declared: 'The Lord possessed Me in the beginning of His way, before His works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth ... When He gave to the sea His decree, that the waters should not pass His commandment; when He appointed the foundations of the earth; then I was by Him, as one brought up with Him; and I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him.'"[Proverbs 8:22-30] (E.White, Signs of the Times, Aug.29, 1900)
John 1:1 "... and the Word was God."
(Psalm 45:6) "Thy throne, O God[elohim], is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre. 7 Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God[elohim], thy God[elohim], hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows."
"Huh?" Some might ask, so let's look at this closer. First, in the Old Testament, who is the elohim with a capital 'G' God? We can find that answer in many OT texts, but I prefer the 1st Commandment => Exodus 20:1 "And God[elohim] spake all these words, saying, 2 I am Jehovah thy God[elohim], who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3 Thou shalt have no other god[elohim]s before me." So the name of the uppercase 'G' elohim God of the OT is Jehovah. Please also note, in verse 3 that there are also lowercase 'g' false elohim "gods". However, those false gods are not mentioned in Ps45:6-7 , which we are currently reading.
So, in Psalm 45:6-7, we see Jehovah speaking to another uppercase 'G' elohim God. For now, let just assume(to be further studied later) for now, that the other God is Jesus. If this is true, then we have this dialog:
(Jehovah speaking): Thy throne, Jesus, is for ever and ever: A sceptre of equity is the sceptre of thy kingdom. 7 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated wickedness: Therefore Jehovah, thy elohim, hath anointed thee(Jesus) With the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
Interestingly consistent with the last part of John 1:1 => "the Word was God", right? But is it true? Let's look at => Hebrews 1:8-9 "But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. 9 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows."
"he saith"? Who is this "he" that is speaking to "the Son"? Answer => Hebrews 1:1 "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son..." The entirety of Hebrews 1 is a story of Christ's Father, as He relates to His Son. But, who is this God? It is the God who "spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets". OK, but, what is His name? Answer => Exodus 6:3 And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.
Some may want input from Ellen:
"Jehovah, our Father, and His Son Jesus Christ are alone to be exalted. The knowledge of God is eternal life to those who receive it." -Ellen White (Ms11-1898.11). "Jehovah, the eternal, self-existent, uncreated One, Himself the Source and Sustainer of all, is alone entitled to supreme reverence and worship. Man is forbidden to give to any other object the first place in his affections or his service." - Ellen White, Patriarchs and Prophets, 305.
So, we see here(even without Ellen's input) that:
- Hebrews 1:8-9 is quoting Psalm 45:6-7.
- Jehovah is speaking to His Son, Jesus Christ.
- Jehovah calls His Son God(elohim in the OT; theos in the NT), which is consistent with John 1:1.
- Jehovah says that He is the God(elohim) of His Son.
What?! Jesus has a God? Yep, here are more Bible texts that make the same claim => Mt27:46; Jn20:17; 1Cor3:23;8:6;11:3; 2Cor11:31; Eph1:3,17; Col1:3; Heb1:9; 1Pet1:3; Rev3:12 . But, yes. We have confirmed(with multiple "witnesses") that "the Word was God"(John 1:1 - last part)
John 1:3 "All things were made by him[Jesus, the Word]; and without him was not any thing made that was made."
The New Living Translation of the Bible gives more clarity: John 1:3 God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him.
We've already seen that, in Hebrews 1, Father Jehovah was interacting with His son. So, let's look at Hebrews 1:2 => "[Jehovah] Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he[Jehovah] hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he[Jehovah] made the worlds;"
By these witnesses(and more), we know that Jehovah created all things through His Son, Jesus Christ.
John 1:4 "In him was life..."
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
John 5:25 "Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. 26 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; 27 And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man."
It would be easy to miss some things here, so I'll point them out => Over 70(maybe 80) times, Jesus spoke of Himself in 3rd-person language. This is called an "Illeism" see:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illeism . In the above passage, we see three examples of this:
vs25) "Son of God" referring to His Divinity;
vs26) "Son" (context strongly suggests "Son of God");
vs27)"Son of man", referring to His humanity.
So, we see Jesus saying that His(the "Son of God") voice will raise the dead to life(vs25). How can He do that? Jesus answers in vs26: "as the Father[Jehovah] hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;". In other words, Jehovah gave His Son the life that enables Him to be able to raise the dead to life. The context here strongly suggests that He was referring to His Divine Sonship(Son of God).
Yes! In Christ was the life of His Father, Jehovah "For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;"(Colossians 1:19).
John 1:4 "... and the life was the light of men."
What is "the life" here referred to? As we saw above, "the life" is the life of His Father, Jehovah. We also know that Paul said:
- God was in Christ(2Cor5:19)
- the love of God, which is in Christ(Rom8:39)
- Jesus: Who, being in the form of God(Php2:5-6)
- Christ thought it not robbery to be equal with God(Ibid)
- God also hath highly exalted him(Php2:9)
- and given him a name which is above every name(Ibid)
- the truth is in Jesus(Eph4:21)
- the will of God in Christ(1Th5:18)
- For in [Christ] dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead(Jehovah's Deity/Divinity) bodily.(Col2:9) - a full study on this here => http://sidnash.org/t/Godhead/Col2-9.php
Where else might "the fullness of the Godhead" dwell?
Ellen White says that, at Pentecost, Christ's apostles "received of the fullness of the Godhead and were fashioned in the likeness of the divine." AA 49.3. You may not agree with this, but please keep reading to see what the Bible says...
Paul says, in Ephesians 3:11 "According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:... 14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. 20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen."
So, yes. The life that was in Jesus(the Deity/Divinity of Jehovah) is "the light of men" because, through Christ, we may also "be filled with all the fulness of God." In case you might doubt that, Peter says it more clearly:
2 Peter 1:1 "Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: 2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, 3 According as his divine(G2304) power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: 4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine(G2304) nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust."
Notice the G2304? That is the Strong's Concordance number of the Greek word that was twice translated "divine" in the above passage, which was also translated "Godhead" in (Acts 17:29). So, that means we can be partakers of the Godhead. I know, that sounds ridiculous, but that's only because there is great misunderstanding about what the Godhead is and because that really is what the Bible says. I have a study on that here => http://sidnash.org/t/Godhead/
John 1:5 And the light shined in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
John 3:19 And this is the judgment, that the light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their works were evil. 20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, and cometh not to the light, lest his works should be reproved.
John 12:36 While ye have the light, believe on the light, that ye may become sons of light. These things spake Jesus, and he departed and hid himself from them. 37 But though he had done so many signs before them, yet they believed not on him:
1 Corinthians 2:14 Now the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him; and he cannot know them, because they are spiritually judged.
Proverbs 1:29 For that they hated knowledge, And did not choose the fear of Jehovah: 30 They would none of my counsel; They despised all my reproof.
When the "light" of Christ's words from His Father "shines" on those who are in the "darkness" of the enemy, they are unable to comprehend it.
Desiring to live by every word that comes from the mouth of Jehovah (Deut8:3; Mt4:4)
-Sid Nash: 03/04/2023. Latest version: http://sidnash.org/t/John1.1-5.html