In the beginning was the Word

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” from the Gospel according to St John.

This section of the Gospel according to St. John is know as the prologue. Many scholars have read, studied, analyzed, and regurgitated this section in a variety of ways. Some think it’s a bit of a hymn, others a poem, still others think it is elaborate prose. Whatever it may be, there are some very important concepts which John will expand later in the Gospel.

The first words, in Greek, are En Arche, In the beginning. We get the words archaic, and archeology from the Greek Arche. John is referring back to Genesis 1:1

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

God speaks the word and creation happens. God says, “Let there be Light.” By the force of God’s Word, the cosmos comes into being.

John says, “In the beginning there was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

I have always found that sentence difficult to understand. In Greek, word is Logos. Logos is more than just a bunch of letters that describe something. The Logos is God, according to St. John. Compare these first phrases:

In Genesis: In the beginning God..

In John: In the beginning… Word…

Looking at the Greek text, that first sentence could be translated a little differently. “In the beginning there was the Word, and the Word was for God, and God was the Word.”

The Word is not something or someone separate from God. The Word is God. In these verses John sets up the premise that Jesus, the Word made flesh, is God. In Chapter 10, Jesus says, “I and my Father are One.”

If you add the Holy Spirit, this is the basis for the Trinity, a word not found in the bible, but used to describe God.

The Creed of Saint Athanasius in the back of your Prayer Book says this:

And the Catholic Faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity,
neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the Substance.

In Genesis 1, “3 And God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness.

John expands on this concept of Light in verse 4 “In him was life,[a] and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

St. Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “For it is the God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.”

The Word or Logos, is life and light of all human beings. Not only does this Light give light to creation, it is the very Life of creation.

John 1:9 says, “The true light that enlightens every human was coming into the world.”

In Chapter 8 of his Gospel, John wrote: 12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Jesus uses the words I AM, which is the Name of God, given in Hebrew as Yahweh. Here he declares that he is God, and he is the light of all humans.

This leads to the phrase in our Gospel in verse 14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father.



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  • May 27, 2020
    • Bible StudyBible StudyTime: 6:00 pm
      Grow your knowledge of the Bible and theology with Fr. John every Wednesday night.
  • May 31, 2020
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