Day 4: Words

The Word was first, the Word present to God, God present to the Word. The Word was God, in readiness for God from day one. 3-5 Everything was created through him; nothing—not one thing!—came into being without him. What came into existence was Life, and the Life was Light to live by. The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness; the darkness couldn’t put it out.

John 1:1-5 The MSG

The Word…the “Word” here is Logos. It’s borrowed from Greek philosophy and refers to things like order, meaning, and rationality. More specifically, cosmic order, meaning, and rationality. Like an underlying structure that allows ordered reality to exist.

The word for beginning means vanishing point; a point of convergence; nothingness. A point is defined in the elements as that which has no parts. It literally means the beginning of time, beyond which we don’t have account of… It’s stating that Jesus has been here since before time began.

As used here and generally in Christianity, it’s saying that the Son is the Logos of God the Father. And the Son has existed with the Father from the very beginning of all things. The beginning of John’s gospel is an echo of the beginning of Genesis, where God spoke the world into being.

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

Genesis 1:1-5 KJV

The Word is Christ.

It’s implying the Trinity…for all of eternity, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit have always been in relationship and communication with each other, yet not as three gods…as one God. Thus the term: “Tri” meaning three, and “Unity” meaning one, Tri+Unity = Trinity. It is a way of acknowledging what the Bible reveals to us about God, that God is yet three “Persons” who have the same essence of deity.

In the beginning, Jesus existed, Jesus was with God, Jesus is God. Along with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit wasn’t emphasized because its role was active after Jesus ascended into heaven. All three are one and existed before the beginning of time. The Holy Spirit was always active. It is the Giver of Life and has spoken through the prophets.

What is the Word in this context?

The verse John 1:14 is referring to Jesus, “And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth”— so in the beginning was the Word, and according to John 1:10, Christ was present at the beginning, before the world was made. “All thing came into being through Him, and apart from Him, nothing came into being that had come into being.”

St. John Damascene in his Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, elaborated on this:

“For just as our word, proceeding as it does out of the mind, is neither wholly identical with the mind nor utterly diverse from it (for so far as it proceeds out of the mind it is different from it, while so far as it reveals the mind, it is no longer absolutely diverse from the mind, but being one in nature with the mind, it is yet to the subject diverse from it), so in the same manner also the Word of God in its independent subsistence is differentiated from Him from Whom it derives its subsistence but inasmuch as it displays in itself the same attributes as are seen in God, it is of the same nature as God. For just as absolute perfection is contemplated in the Father, so also is it contemplated in the Word that is begotten of Him.”

St. John Damascene

John described Jesus as God’s “Word” because he believed Jesus perfectly embodied and represented God’s nature, character, and how God feels and thinks about us, mankind—his final creation. A really good short, and informative book about this topic is Jesus: The Revelation of the Father’s Love by Daniel J. Harrington. It is a perfect companion when reading the New Testament.

Jesus = Christ = the Word = God. John is saying boldly that Jesus is God. This is followed later in the bible where Jesus says, “I and the Father are one.” By His words came all that we know, and by His words come light and knowledge, healing and hope.

The gospel of John identifies Jesus is pre-existent. John presents Jesus as distinct from God (the Father) and yet, is God Himself which is an early articulation of the Trinity before it was made dogma in the council of Nicaea in 325 AD, however the Trinity was always the orthodox Christian belief. Jesus tells the Apostles to baptize disciples in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. In the book of Acts however it says the Apostles baptized people in the name of Jesus. When the Apostles baptized people in the name of Jesus, it was with the intent of baptizing them in the Trinity… 

–Click here to read my reflections on the questions asked at the end of the day 4 bible study–

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