a man reading indoor

John 1:1-2

by Dr. George Cladis

Exegesis of a Scripture each Week in a Two-Minute Read.

The Prologue of John’s Gospel

John 1:In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.

1Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ λόγος, καὶ ὁ λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν θεόν, καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος. οὗτος ἦν ἐν ἀρχῇ πρὸς τὸν θεόν.

There are several interesting things to point out. The most famous is John’s use of the word “Word” or “Logos.” Some scholars suggest the Greek word Logos never should have been translated into English. “Word” hardly conveys the meaning. Logos could have been left in the text as a transliteration. “In the beginning was the Logos…”. After all, this was done with other words such as baptism, manna and apostle to name only three.

Logos is a packed word (read more here). The idea of Logos grew in antiquity to mean the Mind of God: static, unmoving, and far removed from anything material. The Greeks would have recognized John’s usage of Logos but objected to his upcoming verses that the Logos was involved in creation or became flesh and dwelt among us. That would have blown their minds! The Logos was far too remote to ever do that, and impossible in its nature to become human.

Some have argued that John’s use of such words indicates he wrote his Gospel for the Greeks. Actually, the Gospel has incredible links to the Hebrew Scriptures. The book has deep meaning for both Jews and Greeks.

One other thing to note (more on these verses next week): John’s use of “with”. And this is really cool. In both verses 1 and 2, the word used is πρὸς (pros). Normally, a different word was used for “with” as in, “I am with Lori at home.” That would indicate a static “with-ness”.

πρὸς, on the other hand, is active with-ness. It implies motion. Not only that, it suggests “face to face” motion. The picture here is of a Logos that is in motion with Theos (God), reflecting the very nature of God, the One who would present God’s face to us.

And this is radical stuff: that the “Mind of God” (Greeks) or “Face of God” (Jews) should become flesh and dwell among us. And why? As John reported John-the-Baptism saying, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”

And he still comes to us today. Face to face with YOU through the Spirit.

If you have a moment more, here is Michael W. Smith performing “Agnus Dei” — latin, “Lamb of God.” (Over 15 Million views of this video!).