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1In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God. 2he was in the beginning with God. 3All things came into being through him, and without him not even one thing came into being that has come into being. John 1:1-3 BLB

We are told in v14 that the logos became flesh. This refers to Jesus and his subsequent conception and birth through Mary. This question seeks to determine if it can be shown biblically that Jesus is not yet, repeat yet, that logos referred to in John 1:1-3 and is the logos only at a later time based on v14?

There is no doubt that John is introducing Jesus as the 'word which became flesh' before v14 as Al Brown has laid out, but this is not necessarily related to v1-3.

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    Is it not enough, by the convention of writing (modern as well as ancient), that the word logos in v14 refers to the same character as in v1? I mean, if I say in v1 "In the beginning was Robert, and Robert was with God, and Robert was God." And in v14 I say "And Robert became flesh and dwelt among us". Isn't it obvious to the reader that Robert in v1 and v14 is one and the same? Aug 7 at 3:28
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    Since the word "logos" has a wide range of meanings can you please tell us how you think the Apostle John is using the word? As it relates to Jesus Christ is the "logos" the spoken word of God? Does the "logos" convey the thoughts and plan of God? And from you question I don't think you can rightly say, "or not being the logos in John 1:1-3 because John 1:1 specifically states, "In the beginning was the "Word/Logos."
    – Mr. Bond
    Aug 7 at 3:48
  • @Grateful we are seeking a biblical basis for such apparent logic. Besides, the text has no correlation with your example. There are two identities not one Robert.
    – steveowen
    Aug 7 at 5:11
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    @Hjan not interested in the God aspect. I hope the question is specific enough to avoid that line.
    – steveowen
    Aug 7 at 5:30
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    I can see why at first blush, people could think the question borderline nonsensical, but thinking a little more, it definitely is not. I think the question makes sense. The start of John discusses creation and the beginning and connection to God. Then by 14 we are talking about the conception and birth of Christ. Is that the same Logos, just because is the same word? Did it join with something to make Christ? I follow and am answering, but it really cannot be a different Logos, and this is actually ultimately clear, but it isnt simple. And also anyone who believes this logos distinction
    – Al Brown
    Aug 7 at 6:28
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Edit: while I still believe the trajectory discussed below is valuable, and appreciate the votes, I believe the other info in this answer is important: https://hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/a/66370/43095 where Perry Webb outlines based on the Greek that, “Basically, Logos/Word in the New Testament does not always mean Jesus as it does in John 1:1-18. The same can be said for light. It does not always mean Jesus, even in John 1.” And a case can be made for the Logos first entering as Christ in 1:9. Importantly, it cannot be viewed as a different Logos though, as proven below.


“We are told in v14 that the logos became flesh. This refers to Jesus and his subsequent conception and birth through Mary. This question seeks to determine if it can be shown biblically that Jesus is not that logos referred to in John 1:1-3 and is the logos only at a later time based on v14?”

——————

It cannot be shown biblically, and I personally do not know of any groups that claim this. While I can understand the OP’s reading of it and the enquiry, a closer examination uncovers the implausibility. If this was at all debatable after a careful read, then I would seek outside confirmation and citation, but we can probably agree. The reason that it cannot be shown biblically is the ongoing bridge from 1 through 14, including at a couple key spots. 1 through 14 quoted below and inline a bit (all NIV)

First to motivate the question, notice that the early verses of John are discussing the time of “the beginning”, then by 3 it’s already up to creation, and 4 says that man is being made in God’s image and it is being emphasized (some may think it is being ‘learned’) that this required the light of the Logos to do so. Exact agreement on that summary of 4 is not needed. Then 5 is in the present tense. But by 14 Logos is being made flesh. Is that only part of the original Logos, the same Logos at all, or a different one, or a combination, or what?

We can make the bridge obvious going forward from 3 and backward from 14. Ultimately the bridge is 6 and 7, John the Baptist. But 9 is the clincher. Via 9, not 14, the question is answered. Jesus is in 10 and The Logos as the Light in 8. Then 9 is the light, the whole light*, and only the light, coming into the world:

9The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. (all NIV)

The challenge was that this fact was not listed in 14, and we had to find it. So it wasn’t immediately clear if it was only the Logos, and/or if it was all of the Logos. The rest of this answer is just the details of bringing Jesus Christ backwards to 10 and the Logos forward to 8, but that’s probably close to obvious by a mere reading of it now that it has been emphasized explicitly.

——————

Even by the OP, 14 is Jesus Christ. Reading 12 and 13 as a unit, 12 is clearly about Jesus Christ Himself and 13 is being born again.

12Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God

10 by itself might be less than completely obvious (or at least disputable) that it is Jesus, but when combined with 11:

11He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.

10He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.

Now trace from 3 to 8. From here just see the main quote, emphasis mine. 3 is clearly the Logos with God, in creation. The almost parallel construction beginning 3 and 4 makes it therefore clear that 4 is as well. “3 Through him all things were made.. 4 In him was life..” Obviously same “him”. Being the same as “him” in 3, “The light” subsequently carries on unchanged from 4 through 8. It probably seems like a no-brainer after all that, but I had the same question.

In Summary: It cannot be shown Biblically from those verses that a different Logos is being discussed.

——————

1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning. 3Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

6There was a man sent from God whose name was John [the Baptist]. 7He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. 8He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.

9The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. [now and hereafter in the world] 10He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God - 13children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

14The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

*“whole” is not entirely correct, but how to settle that specifically is debatable, and debated. And beyond this question anyway.

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    A commendable effort to lay out the logic from your perspective - but a conclusion would be great! +1
    – steveowen
    Aug 7 at 7:23
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    Thanks. The conclusion was: “It cannot be shown biblically“
    – Al Brown
    Aug 7 at 9:33
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    'What is the biblical basis?' . . . . 'it cannot be shown biblically'. . . . . looks fairly conclusive to me also. (I also up-voted.)
    – Nigel J
    Aug 7 at 10:17
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    You should post: “It cannot be shown biblically“ at the end of your post in bold for emphasis!
    – Ken Graham
    Aug 7 at 14:47
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    @user47952 No one can present proof of a negative assertion. Only positive assertions can possibly be proven and as such only positive assertions bear any burden of proof. Your question is an argument from silence where the conclusion is based on the absence of evidence, rather than the existence of evidence. For example, Premise 1, There was no mention of the Braves vs, Rockies game on my local news last night. Premise 2, If the Braves had played the Rockies, my local news would have mentioned it. Conclusion, Braves did not play the Rockies. Al Brown is right, it cannot be shown biblically.
    – Mr. Bond
    Aug 7 at 15:20
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Is Jesus the logos of John 1:1-3? No, let's see why.

Certainly Jesus is the ‘Word of God’. This is without doubt as we are not only told, but it is one of Jesus’ titles, names. (Rev 19:13)

To be perfectly clear. Jesus IS the logos - the logos made flesh. But can we, or can we not, presume to say, 'In the beginning was Jesus'?

As John 1 reads, (BLB)

In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God

This answer will show that Jesus is not the logos mentioned in the time frame of John 1:1-3.

We are told how Jesus is the logos. He is the result of the logos becoming flesh. v14 This is the same event proclaimed by the angel to Mary, the holy baby born to her would be called Jesus.

It follows then that if the logos is not yet flesh, then it isn’t yet Jesus. In v1-3 it is not yet flesh because Jesus is not yet born. So, in the utter silence of the name of Jesus until he is born, we can responsibly rule out Jesus being ‘in the beginning’, i.e. Genesis creation, which v1-3 refers to.

Therefore, the logos of John 1:1-3 is not yet Jesus. Jesus cannot be the logos until he is born of Mary.

We might enlarge the enquiry to another aspect.

1That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our own eyes, which we have gazed upon and touched with our own hands—this is the Word of life. 2And this is the life that was revealed; we have seen it and testified to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us. 1John 1-2

Here we see John again expressing this logos which was with the Father. Again John sets the scene ‘from the beginning’. This ‘which’ (clearly not a person or entity), is ‘revealed’. ‘We have seen it’, ‘we have touched’ is John’s expression of the manifestation of the logos (the which) as Jesus. Who we know is a person, a man, born of Mary.

Jesus is the one prophesied and promised, from the beginning, from the foundation of the world. He was brought into this latter age to die (this the logos of John 1:1-3 could not do), and also to live again as the firstborn from the dead. A pioneer, a forerunner, a first-fruit of all those who would advance from mortality to immortality. Heb 6:20 Col 1:18

Jesus is the living word of God, once he was born and not before. We read in Isaiah 55:11

So will My word be which goes out of My mouth; it will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the purpose for which I sent it.

This is the word and will of God which He sends out to do everything that must be done - it is done according to the plan of His intention.

Jesus is that plan made into a man - God's word and will, yet Jesus has his own will which he had to subject obediently to God's will. This also, the logos of John 1:1-3 could not do.

For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of Him who sent me. John 6:38

(God) in these last days has spoken to us in His son, whom He appointed heir of all things Heb 1:2

Further evidence that Jesus is not ‘in the beginning’ creating everything, as he is appointed heir of it. How could the Creator ‘in the beginning’ be appointed heir? The concept is ridiculous.

And so we have, with the presented scripture, the biblical basis for Jesus not being the logos referenced in the time frame of John 1:1-3

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  • I see now. Btw esp liked “ Jesus is the one prophesied and promised, from the beginning, the foundation of the world. He was brought into the world to die (this the logos could not do), and also to live again as the firstborn from the dead. A pioneer, a forerunner of all those who would move from mortality to immortality. Heb 6:20 Col 1:18”. But i digress. The wording that keeps confusing I think is “ the biblical basis for Jesus not being the logos referenced in the time frame of John 1:1-3”. Because the same logos in 1:1 is the one entering the word in jesus in 1:9. So while I know what yo
    – Al Brown
    Aug 8 at 2:53
  • u mean now, that wording is “does not equals”. But it is the same Logos. Maybe “has not yet become Jesus Christ and christ did not exist before that but the Logos did” or something. Were you the one asking about verses saying Christ existed and I said He said “Before Moses was, I am.” I will add that we are determined to analyze linearly in time and “eternal” arguably does not mean “in time extending forever” but outside of time. Regardless I’ll think about it now that I follow.
    – Al Brown
    Aug 8 at 2:57
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    Exactly, logos is everywhere, and is the reason it cannot be a ‘person’ in one instance without also being Jesus too. Which is why John 1 is so misrepresented. Even with Jesus as the logos, God still has His own ‘word, expression, etc.
    – steveowen
    Aug 8 at 21:31
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    Who is struggling? You guys are the ones makin stuff up! Creeds and substitute church fathers and extra gods the bible never speaks of, but persistently refutes. If the word is WITH it cannot BE God. When it gets too hard to explain all the extra bits, someone pulls the 'mystery card'! Did you read my answer? A 6 yr old could follow that.
    – steveowen
    Aug 9 at 12:17
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    @Al :) so what are you doing with your answer?
    – steveowen
    Aug 11 at 5:49
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Was Jesus the word / logos?

I will not repeat what has already been said in some detailed answers already. It would not be reasonable to interpret Jesus as the word/logos.

John did not write Jesus otherwise it would read;

and Jesus was with God and Jesus was God." – this defies logic.

The Greek term 'Logos' is derived from the root word 'Lego' meaning 'to speak'. The literal translation of 'Logos' is 'something spoken or thought'.

So should read

In the beginning was the 'spoken word, command', and the 'spoken word, command' was with God, and the 'spoken word, command' was Divine.

The LITERAL translation is not only logical but it coincides perfectly with the prologue of the Book of Genesis.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." "And the God said, Let there be light; and there was light. (Genesis 1:1 and 3)

Divine

"Divine" instead of "God" in the last line?. The answer is based upon the usage of Greek grammar. In the second line, the phrase used by John for "God" is 'ho theo', meaning 'the God'. In the last line it is simply 'theo', the definitive article 'the' is not used. Why? Because, it is a predicate of the subject `ho theo'. The predicate is used to denote the nature, quality, attribute or property of the subject. Here ‘the’ in this instance the nature of the God's spoken command was Divine.

In 'New translation of the Bible' (1922) by the famous Dr. James Moffatt, it reads; "the Logos was Divine." And, also in 'The Complete Bible - An American Translation' (Smith-Goodspeed) and 'The Authentic New Testament' by Hugh J. Schonfield.

"it" stands for "Logos" (the divine command that was in the beginning with the God)

John 1:14 (NASB)

And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us; and we saw His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

To explain the above we need to start with John 1:4 - 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

& John 1:9 (NASB)

This was the true Light that, coming into the world, enlightens every person.

Based on the above LITERALLY means;

And the Logos (the God's command, which was from the beginning with God, wherein was the life) became flesh, and dwelt among us,...

The embodiment in flesh was of "Logos" - the God's command, and NOT of the God. The conception of Jesus within the womb of his mother, Virgin Mary, was in reality made possible by an act of God's command - the "Logos". Jesus was neither God nor the physical incarnation of God.

The entire text which reads; "and we be held his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father" is written within parentheses in the Kings James Version. Hence, it is considered as the editor's enhanced notes or addendum.

Some others that assist;

Matthew 19:4-6 (ASV)

4 And he answered and said, Have ye not read, that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh? 6 So that they are no more two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

Isaiah 45:12 (ASV)

12 I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens; and all their host have I commanded.

SOLOMON’S CLAIM:

The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his ways, 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 brought forth; While as yet he had not made the earth. nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world. When he prepared the heavens, I was there, when he set a compass upon the face of the depths; When he established the clouds above; when he strengthened the fountains of the deep; When he gave the sea his decree, that the water 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

MELCHISEDEC:

For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God. Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life, but made like unto the son of God, abideth a priest continually. HEBREW 7.1 & 3.

Finally - 1 Timothy 1:17

17Now to the King eternal, immortal, and invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

Was Jesus who dwelt amongst us - invisible!

There is also a big problem with the Gospel of John https://hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/a/63568/33268

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  • +1 Bang - you've got a lot of the pieces correct IMO. The standard translation of John 1:1 is one of the most misleading in the entire NT. Aug 12 at 21:36
  • It's definitely reasonable; just because you read things differently doesn't make it unreasonable
    – eques
    Sep 21 at 13:52

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