Exegesis of a Scripture each Week in a Two-Minute Read.
The Prologue of John’s Gospel
Gospel of John
Common Greek Words* to both texts.
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4 in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
1 In the beginning when God created[a] the heavens and the earth, 2 the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God[b] swept over the face of the waters. 3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness.
ἐν ἀρχῇ In the beginning.
ὁ θεὸς God
ἐγένετο create, came into being
[While Logos is not used in Genesis 1 (LXX), note that God “spoke” creation into being. Also, life (zoe) is not in Genesis 1, but all of Genesis 1 is about creating life].
The Eight Day of Creation!
There is soooo much here! But…this is a two minute read. Here we go:
Genesis 1 begins, “In the beginning, God created…”.
Now look at John’s opening. John writes in effect,
“Hey, remember The Beginning? Well, the Logos was there with God from the beginning so, when it says, ‘God created the heavens and the earth’ in Genesis, well, that was God the Logos (the Son) doing the creating.”
John makes his case using the same Greek words* of Genesis the Jews of his time understood. He wrote,
“In the Logos is zoe (life) and that life was the phos (light) of all people.” Notice how these same activities of God are referred to in both John 1 and Genesis 1.
“Remember how God separated the light from the darkness in Genesis,” John argues? “Well, the Light shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot overcome it!”
John begins his Gospel brilliantly, drawing in the interest of both Jews and Greeks, employing their language and world views, but in a radically new way.
God did this amazing creation in the past through the Logos (Jesus); AND, that same Logos is at work now doing a New Creation. John is priming the pump of his listeners, weaving these familiar words together that urge us onward to hear now what God is doing again through the Logos-Made-Flesh creative power.
In Jesus, there is a New Creation — a new YOU! One no longer driven by the idols and sirens of this age, but filled with the Spirit, living out a fuller Life and Light.
NOW, maybe you’ve never noticed this before but: most baptism fonts normally have eight sides symboling that, through the waters of baptism, you and I are re-born on the New Day of God’s creation: the Eighth Day!
To God be the glory!
*The LXX or “Septuagint” was a Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures. The Jews of Jesus’ day were more familiar with the LXX than the Hebrew version because Hebrew was already an ancient language by that time and wasn’t known by the common folks who spoke Aramaic and an everyday shop Greek called Koine Greek.
Cover art: The Library of Celsus in Ephesus, c. 110 A.D.
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