Monday, November 17, 2008

John 1

I've heard of people saying that in John 1, when it says, "and the word was God", that because, in the Greek, the "the" before God is left out, it should say in the English, "and the word was a god." Basically saying that Jesus is a god, rather than Jesus being fully God and fully man.

We actually talked about this a little bit in the Greek class I am taking at church and here's the tricky part; the way it's written could be interpreted that way, but it could also be interpreted the way it is written as well, but we know based on context that we are speaking of the one any only God. We learned that in Greek the subject of the sentence is given the "the."

John 1:
1 ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ λόγος, καὶ ὁ λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν θεόν, καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος. 2 οὗτος ἦν ἐν ἀρχῇ πρὸς τὸν θεόν.
ὁ λόγος (ho logos) - the word
τὸν θεόν (ton Theon) - the God

Notice, in the portion, "καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος" there is no "the" before θεὸς (Theos - God), the kai is a conjuction (and). But, that is because the author wanted the subject to be, "the word" not "God" or else we would read the sentence, God is the word. That would mean that God is Jesus or God equals Jesus, that they are one in the same and equal in all ways. This is not the case, that is the problem with trying to do a direct word-for-word translation, it just doesn't work. We know that Jesus will sit on the throne at the right hand of God. You could think of it as saying that, everything that God is, The Word (Jesus) is also. Notice verse 2, "οὗτος ἦν ἐν ἀρχῇ πρὸς τὸν θεόν", He was with God in the Beginning, and this time God has the "τὸν" in front of it... it is Jesus who is fully God yet fully man not the other way around. In the context we know that the author, John, is speaking of the one and only God, not just any god. Jesus is fully God, He was with God in the Beginning and through Him all things were created. God is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. They each act separately and perform different functions, yet all make up God. The word became flesh and lived among us. All that was in God was put into human form to live among us as the word. Very symbolic.

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