John 1:14 is generally used to say that "God" became "flesh" based on the understanding that "the Word" addressed in John 1:1 refers to God. However, several other texts of Scripture appear to be at variance with this interpretation. I will provide the texts which help clarify the basis of this question, and then invite any Biblical means of explaining how these texts might be shown to agree with each other and not be found in contradiction.
|Text (KJV)||Typical Assumption||Opposed by?|
|In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1)||"the Word" = God||And the Word was made flesh . . . and we beheld his glory . . . . (vs. 14) VERSUS No man hath seen God at any time . . . . (vs. 18)|
|And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)||God became a man (Jesus)||God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: . . . . (Numbers 23:19; cf. 1 Samuel 15:29) AND For I am the LORD, I change not;. . . . (Malachi 3:6)|
Perhaps most Christians believe that Jesus is God. They would also believe that Jesus was seen. But John 1:18 plainly states that no one has ever seen God. If "the Word" is God, and if "the Word" became flesh in Jesus, how can one resolve the apparent contradictions with John 1:18 or with Malachi 3:6 in light of the fact that God says plainly that He is not a man, nor the son of man?
The dilemma is this:
John 1:1 says that "the Word was God." This "Word" is then said in John 1:14 to have become flesh--understood to be Jesus. This is then followed by John 1:18 which says no one has seen God.
A non-Trinitarian who doesn't believe Jesus is God has a problem with John 1:1 where "the Word" is said to be God.
The Hard Place
A Trinitarian who believes Jesus is God has a problem with John 1:18, where it says God has never been seen. (We know Jesus was seen.) Additionally, the Trinitarian who believes God became flesh has a problem with Malachi 3:6 and Numbers 23:19.
As I believe all scripture is inspired by God, and that it should be found to agree with itself on important doctrinal matters like this, any means of bringing harmony out of these apparent discrepancies, inclusive of helping me to understand what the original words may have meant (if not well translated into English), would be welcome.