The 2001 Commentaries

Who or What is The Word?

info All commentaries are written by volunteers, readers, or supporters of our Bible translation project. These are not official views of our project; we are not a religious denomination and we do not establish doctrine. These commentaries reflect a variety of views and some disagree with each other.

The Greek word logos is rightly translated as word. However, notice that this Greek word has been given many other applications in English today. For we find it used in such words as ‘log [book]’ ‘logic,’ etc., and it is added to the ends of words (in the form ology) to imply ‘the study of.’ Also notice that logos can mean something even greater than just ‘word,’ for it also carries the meaning, the expression of a thought. So when John called Jesus ‘the Word’ at John 1:1, he was really saying that Jesus is the complete expression of God’s thoughts.

However, when John used the word Logos in the first verse of his masterful work, the Bible book of John; Many have wondered why he used it in the way that he did when he described Jesus as ‘the Word,’ and he referred to him as being ‘God’ or ‘a god.’

Well, if you examine all the first few words in the book of John carefully (especially in the Greek text), you’ll see that he was obviously referencing the words of Genesis 1:1-4, which say:
In the beginning,
The God created the sky and the land.
However, the land was unsightly and unfinished, darkness covered its depths, and God’s Breath moved over its waters. Then The God spoke (gr. eipen), saying,
Let there be light.
So light came to be, and God saw that the light was beautiful.’

As you can see;
Genesis 1:3 tells us that The God spoke, and thereafter, things came into existence through some unnamed person or force.

So, let’s go back to John’s opening words at John 1:1-4, and notice how they dovetail with and explain Genesis 1:1-3:

‘In the beginning there was the Word.
The Word was with the God (gr: Ton Theon) and the Word was god (gr: theos or god-like).
This one was with The God in the beginning, and through him it all came to be.’

Notice that the account in Genesis says that The God spoke things into existence;
And here, John (at John 1:1, 2) is explaining what The God said (what ‘the Word’ was).
So God ‘spoke,’ and ‘the Word’ (Jesus in his pre-human existence) did the creating.

As you can see;
If John 1:1 appears to support the idea of a trinity to some, this is unintentional.
For John was clearly trying to impress his readers with the thought that;
Although Jesus isn’t mentioned in Genesis 1:1, he was there with The God and was himself a powerful god that actually did the work when God ‘spoke’ the sky (or heaven) and Land (or earth) into existence.

And notice that John may have also been explaining the many other instances in the OT (other than the wording of Genesis 1:1, 2) where the words, ‘the Word,’ were talking about Jesus. For, while we were trying to resolve the confusing wording tenses in the writings of the ancient Hebrew Prophets, it became clear to us that the phrase that is usually translated as saying;
‘This is the word of the Lord,’ may once have read,
‘The Word of Jehovah (or Jesus) said this … ’

And if this supposition is actually true (notice that in each of these cases, the prophecies seem to have been speaking of Jesus); Then it appears as though John was also explaining who this ‘Word of Jehovah’ was that is mentioned in so many other Hebrew prophecies.

For example;
Look at Zechariah 11:10-12.
If you examine the words closely;
You will see that this prophecy is in fact speaking about Jesus and it is identifying him as ‘the Word of Jehovah.’

So are we to conclude from what John and the Hebrew Prophets wrote that Jesus’ heavenly name is ton Logos (the Word or Expression of a Thought)?
Probably not.

Recognize that John was just employing an inspired play on words to draw attention to the phrasing of Genesis 1:1, and possibly to many other scriptures.

Rather, Jesus’ pre-human name may have been MichaEl, which means:
Who is Like God.
And John called him ‘the Word,’ in order to point out Jesus’ ancient high (godly) position as the co-worker with God that created whatever things God spoke and that was mentioned in many other prophecies.

Does this mean that Jesus existed before the creation of our universe?
That seems to be what is implied.

For more information, see the commentary, Does the Bible Promise Everlasting Life?

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