The Incomparable Jesus Christ In The Prologue of John


This Prologue of the Gospel of John, which is from verse 1, to verse 18, is all about “ο λογος (THE WORD)”. It is very hard to understand, how anyone can read this entire passage in John chapter 1, about Jesus Christ, and then continue to deny that HE IS YHWH?


The first words of this Gospel, “εν αρχη ην ο λογος”, speak of the Eternal Existence of “The Word of God”, the Lord Jesus Christ. “εν αρχη” is not the Beginning of Creation, in Genesis chapter 1, which is in verse 3, but eternity past. In his First Letter, John says the same, “That which was from the beginning (ἀρχῆς)” (1:1).


“ο λογος (The Logos)”, answers to the Jewish Aramaic Targum’s use of “מימרא (Memra)”, which is many times used for Yahweh Himself. In Genesis 1:27, the Jerusalem Targum reads, “And the Word (מימרא)  of the Lord Created man in His likeness, in the likeness of the Presence of the Lord He created him”, where “The Word”, is Personal. And, in 16:13, “And Hagar gave thanks, and prayed in the Name of the Word (מימרא) of the Lord”. For Exodus 19:17, Targum Onkelos reads, “And Mosheh led forth the people out of the camp to meet the Word (מימרא) of the Lord”. In Numbers 21:6, the Hebrew text reads, “And the people spoke against God and against Moses”. Onkelos reads, “And the people murmured against the Word (מימרא) of the Lord, and contended with Mosheh”. And verse 6, “And Yahweh sent forth burning serpents among the people, and much people of Israel died”. Of which Paul says, “nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents” (1 Corinthians 10:9). The Jews of the 1st century were well aware of Who “ο λογος”, is, and John says that this “מימרא” in the Old Testamnt, is JESUS CHRIST (Revelation 19:3), Who is YHWH.


Note the use of the verb, “ἦν”, translated “was”. It is in the imperfect tense, of, “εἰμί”, the present tense, “AM”. The imperfect denotes an incomplete action, which began in the past, and continuing in the present time. This is the same as Philippians 2:6, “Who, existing in the form of God”, where we have the Greek present participle, “ὑπάρχων (existing)”, used as the imperfect. Jesus Christ has always been in the “very nature of God (ὃς ἐν μορφῇ θεοῦ ὑπάρχων)”


In the next sentence, John says, “καὶ ὁ λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν θεόν (and the Word was with God)”. We here have two distinct “Persons”, “ὁ λόγος (The Word)”, and “τὸν θεόν (God)”. The use of the Greek preposition, “πρὸς (with)”, which means, “on the side of, towards, in the presence of”, shows that “ὁ λόγος”, is DISTINCT from “τὸν θεόν”. This destroys the heresy that the Godhead (Romans 1:20, θειότης, the Divine Nature), is Unitarian. In John 17:5, Jesus says to the Father, “And now, O Father, Glorify Thou Me with (παρὰ, side by side with) Thine Own Self with the Glory which I had (εἶχον, imperfect, always had) with (παρὰ, side by side with) Thee before the world was (πρὸ τοῦ τὸν κόσμον εἶναι, before the world even existed)”. Here Jesus speaks of His Glory, which He had with God the Father, from all eternity past, which He “gave up” during His Incarnation, and resumed at His Ascension. In Isaiah 42:2, it says, “I am Yahweh. That is My Name. I will not give My Glory to another, nor My Praise to engraved images”. John 17:5 shows the absolute equality of Jesus Christ with the Father.


John goes on to say, “καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος”. These words are a stumbling-block to some, like the Jehovah’s Witnesses, who, because of their theology on Jesus Christ, have translated this, “and the Word was a god”, and in a footnote, “or, ‘was divine’”. The Liberal scholar, Dr James Moffatt, in his New Testament, says, “the Logos was divine”. This reading can be discounted by the fact, that the Greek has a word for “divine”, which is “θείος”, an adjective, “θεὸς”, is a noun! Those who cannot accept the natural Greek reading of “God”, have tried to, unsuccessfully, to argue from the Greek grammar, that, as John does not use the definite article in the Greek, “ θεὸς”, it does not mean “God”, but “god”.

Way back in the 3rd century A.D., we have the theologian, Origen (A.D. 184-253), who wrote on John 1:1, “That there is a difference between ο θεος with the article, meaning God, and θεος without the article, meaning Divine. He says that God Himself is ο θεος and αὐτὸ-θεος (God of Himself): everything else is defined by participation of His Godhead. The Logos, therefore, is fitly called not ο θεος, but θεος simply” (Dr R S Franks; The Doctrine of The Trinity, pp.92-93). Is this distinction a valid one, or the theology of Origen, who taught, “that the essence of the Father and of the Son was not the same, but that there was a difference of essence, thus paving the way for Arianism" (F J Foakes Jackson; The History of the Christian Church, p.163). Does “θεος” mean less than “ο θεος”? In John 1:6, it says, “There was a man sent from God (the Father)”, where the Greek is, “παρα θεου”, and not, “παρα του θεου”. Do we here translate it as “There was a man sent from god, or a god”? We also have in verse 12, “children of God (θεου)”, and 13, “but of God (θεου)”, in neither place does it read, “του θεου”. Should these also be translated as “god, or a god”? Why is there a distinction made between “ο θεος and θεος” for John 1:1, when used for Jesus Christ, but not for the Father? It has to do with theology, and not the Greek grammar.


When John writes, “καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος”, he does not mean that “ὁ λόγος”, is a “secondary god”, as suggested by Origen, and the Jehovah's Witnesses do. We have seen that the use and non use of the Greek article, does not denote a different meaning for “θεος”. What we have is a simple sentence structure. “Every sentence must contain two parts, a subject and a predicate. The subject is that of which something is stated. The predicate is that which is stated of the subject…A predicate noun or adjective seldom has the article” (William Goodwin, Greek Grammar, sec. 890, 956, pp.196, 208)

“General rule, The subject has the article, while the predicate is without it” (William Jelf, A Grammar of the Greek Language, sec. 460, p.120). In John 1:1, the “subject” is no doubt, “The Word”, as it is about Him. The “predicate” in this last sentence, is “θεος”, which is a statement about the “subject”. John is here stating, that “The Word”, is “God”, as much as “The God”, besides (πρὸς) Whom He is. In John 8:54, Jesus says to the Jews, “εστιν ο πατηρ μου ο δοξαζων με ον υμεις λεγετε οτι θεος υμων εστιν”, which is literally, “it is My Father Who Glorifies Me, Who you say that God your He is”. Here, “ο πατηρ μου (My Father)” is the subject, and “θεος”, is the predicate. It is never translated as “god”, or “a god”. So why different in John 1:1, where the grammatical construction is the same?


For the sake of argument, let us suppose that John should have written, “καὶ θεὸς ἦν λόγος”. Had John written this, then he would have meant that “ὁ λόγος”, was identical to “τὸν θεόν”, in the previous sentence. Grammatically, however, he had just written, “καὶ ὁ λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν θεόν”, where the use of the preposition, “πρὸς”, is clear that two distinct Persons are meant. It becomes a contradiction, and confusing, if he wrote, “καὶ θεὸς ἦν λόγος”.


The word order, “καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος”, literally, “and God was the Word”, is not a problem. As we have in John 4:24, where the Greek reads: “πνεῦμα ὁ θεός”, which is literally, “spirit the God”, but translated, “God is spirit”. This does not mean that God the Father, of Whom Jesus is speaking, is The Holy Spirit, but, that He is a “spiritual Person”. Here, like in John 1:1, “θεὸς” we have the predicate of the sentence, “πνεῦμα”, without the article. It is very clear, that John means, “and the Word was God”, and no other reading is correct. Interestingly, the Emphatic Diaglott, by Benjamin Wilson, published by the Jehovah's Witnesses, has in the 1864 edition, in the right-hand version, “and the Logos was God”. In the New Testament by the Unitarian, Dr George Noyes, he translates the Greek, “and the Word was God”, even though, like the Jehovah's Witnesses, he denied that Jesus Christ is GOD.


John 1:2, reads: “οὗτος ἦν ἐν ἀρχῇ πρὸς τὸν θεόν”. This verse begins with the demonstrative pronoun, “οὗτος”, which is in the masculine, singular, literally, “This one”, that is “ὁ λόγος”, Who is God. This verse is not a mere repetition of verse 1, where, “ἐν ἀρχῇ”, refers to “eternity past”, where “The Word” has always existed with “the Father”. Now John has moved on to the “Beginning of The Creation (ἦν ἐν ἀρχῇ)” of the entire universe, which is also “πρὸς τὸν θεόν”, as in verse 1. The next verse, shows that this “ἐν ἀρχῇ”, in verse 2 is the Creation.

Verse 3 reads, “παντα δι αυτου εγενετο και χωρις αυτου εγενετο ουδε εν ο γεγονεν”, which is literally, “all things by Him came into being, and without Him came into being, not even one thing which has come into being”. How anyone can doubt that Jesus Christ is Almighty God, The Great I AM, Yahweh? It is abundantly clear from this passage, and especially from this verse, that Jesus Christ IS The actual Creator. There is not a single part of the whole of Creation, that came into being, apart from His Creative Power. Genesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning, God (אֱלֹהִ֑ים, masculine, plural Created the heavens and the earth”. It does not say, “God Created through Jesus Christ”, as some erroneously teach. As we have seen in verse 2, “The Word” was WITH “the Father”, at The Creation. In verse 3, the Greek preposition, “δι (διά), has the meaning, “together with”, including God that Father. Otherwise we have Jesus Christ as the Sole Creator of the entire universe, and “Greater” than the Father, Who is not also The Creator. In Hebrews 2:10, we read, “For it became him, for (δι) whom are all things, and through (δι) whom are all things, which is for the Father. Are we to understand that the preposition here means that someone Created “through” the Father? If not here, then why in John 1:3? It is clear from Galatians 1:1, that “διά”, is used for two distinct Persons, “but διά Jesus Christ and God the Father (διὰ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ καὶ θεοῦ πατρὸς)”, where it is use for both Jesus Christ and the Father, together. Co-Creators. In Isaiah 54:5, we read, “For your Maker is your husband; Yahweh of hosts is His Name”. Here, “Maker” is the Hebrew, “עֹשַׂיִךְ, which is masculine, plural, “Makers”! And, in Ecclesiastes 12:1, where it reads, “Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth”, here also the Hebrew, “אֶת־בּוֹרְאֶיךָ, is masculine, plural, literally, “your Creators”.


John 1:4 reads, “εν αυτω ζωη ην και η ζωη ην το φως των ανθρωπων”. “In Him was Life and the Life was the Light of men”. There is a reading of the Greek, that also dates from the 2nd century, “εν αυτω ζωἐστιν (in Him is Life). Whichever reading is the original, the meaning is not changed. It is clear, that Jesus Christ is the SOURCE of all life, which is found “IN Him”. We read in Acts 17, “εν αυτω γαρ ζωμεν και κινουμεθα και εσμεν”, “for in Him (God) we live and move and exist”. In Acts 3:15, Peter says of Jesus, that He is, the “αρχηγον” of life. “first cause, originator”, out of Whom we have all life! Deuteronomy 32:39 says, “See now that I, I am He, And there is no god besides Me; It is I who put to death and give life”; and Nehemiah 9:6, “You alone are the LORD...You give life to all of them”, and Psalm 36:9, “For with You is the Fountain (מָקֹור, the Source) of Life”. In 1 John 1:1-2, we read of Jesus Christ, “concerning the Word of life (του λογου της ζωης), the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life (την ζωην την αιωνιον, literally, The Life The Eternal), which was with the Father and was made manifest to us”. In Revelation 1:17-18, Jesus says of Himself, “εγω ειμι ο πρωτος και ο εσχατος και ο ζων”, literally, “I am The First and The Last and The Life”. Of “ο πρωτος και ο εσχατος”, the Unitarian Greek scholar, Dr Thayer, in his Greek lexicon, says, “the eternal One”. The Greek Septuagint Version of the Old Testament, reads in Exodus 3:14, “Ἐγώ εἰμι ὁ ὤν (I am The Eternal One)”. In Isaiah 44:6, Yahweh is Speaking, “I am The First and I am The Last, and beside Me there is no god”. Jesus Christ in Revelation 1:17, 2:8, and 22:13, directly says that He IS Yahweh! In John 14:6, Jesus does not only say of Himself, that He, and He ALONE is THE WAY and THE TRUTH, but that He IS also THE LIFE. All of this says that Jesus Christ IS Yahweh, The Almighty, The Creator of the entire universe. How can anyone think any less?


In verse 13, I believe without any doubt, that this verse, as Originally written by John, is for the Virgin Conception of Jesus Christ, and not the corrupted reading that refers to “Children of God”, the believers. Instead of the reading, “οἳ... ἐγεννήθησαν” which...were begotten), which is in the plural, we have another reading from the early 2nd century, “ὃς... ἐγεννήθη (who...was begotten)”, which is in the singular. The theologian, Tertullian, in the 2nd century, accused the heretic,  Valentinus, of corrupting the singular to the plural. In a very early work, “Epistula Apostolorum”, which was originally written in Greek, and has been dated by some as early as 120 AD, it says:


“In God, the Lord, the Son of God, do we believe, that he is the word become flesh: that of Mary the holy virgin he took a body, begotten of the Holy Ghost, not of the will (lust) of the flesh, but by the will of God” (Chapter 3)


Clearly referring to John 1:13. Regardless of the early Greek manuscripts reading the plural, which has been corrupted at a very early time. We have the singular found in the Old Latin Version, which was made in the early 2nd cent., from the Greek. Also, Irenaeus (130-202); the heretic Origen (185-254); Peter of Alexandria (died 311); Hilary (315-367); Ambrose (339-397); Augustine (354-430). When the reading, “τοῦ θεοῦ Χριστοῦ”, in Colossians 2:2, by Tischendorf, Westcott & Hort, Nestle, etc, the only Greek manuscript that supported it, is the Codex Vaticanus, of the 4th cent., and Hilary, a Latin Church Father! There are 14 different readings for this verse!


The internal Greek grammar is also very strong for the reading, “ὃς... ἐγεννήθη”. Verse 12 does not end, “in His Name”, but, literally, “in Name His (εἰς τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ), “αὐτοῦ”, is the masculine singular. There were no chapter of verse divisions in the Original Books. John goes on to write, “ὃς”, the singular, which connects to the singular “αὐτοῦ”. Then it says, “ἐξ αἱμάτων”, literally, “out of bloods”, in the plural number, which is a reference to the father and mother. The reading “natural descent”, of some translations, does not require the plural, when the singular, “αἵματός”, would suffice, as in Acts 17:26, “And hath made of one blood (αἵματός) all nations of men” (KJV). Then we read, “οὐδὲ ἐκ θελήματος σαρκὸς”, which is, “nor of human desire”. In John 3:6, Jesus says that all humans are “born out of flesh”, so it cannot refer to humans in 1:13. Next, “οὐδὲ ἐκ θελήματος ἀνδρὸς”, “nor of the desire of the male”. If it is to refer to the “New Birth” of the “children of God”, in verse 12, then John would have used, “ἄνθρωπος”, a generic term, which includes both male and female, and not “ἀνδρὸς”, which is masculine, and excludes females. Then “ἐκ Θεοῦ ἐγεννήθη”, “out of God was born”. John uses similar language for Jesus Christ in 1 John 5:18, “ο γεννηθεις εκ του θεου” (He Who was begotten out of God). Verse 14 begins with the Greek conjunction, “Καὶ”, which is used to continue the thoughts. Clearly all of this says the singular reading, for Jesus Christ is the Original.


In verse 14, John says, “Καὶ ὁ λόγος σὰρξ ἐγένετο”. The same “ὁ λόγος”, Who, in verse 1, is GOD, in verse 3 CREATOR, in verse 4 GIVER OF LIFE, here “becomes flesh”, and “lives among us (καὶ ἐσκήνωσεν ἐν ἡμῖν)”. Note, John does not say, “Καὶ ὁ λόγος σὰρξ ἐγένετο”, where the Greek article “ὁ” is also used with the predicate substantive, “σὰρξ. In which case the meaning would be, that “the Word changed into flesh”, and ceased to be “The Word”, because He was “all flesh”. This is what the Greek article would have done in verse 1, where, “καὶ θεὸς ἦν λόγος”, would make Jesus Christ, “The Word”, all of God, and not The Father or The Holy Spirit! The Greek grammar is very exact in what it says. Paul says the same in the Original and best attested evidence, in 1 Timothy 3:16, “without controversy Great is The Mystery of Godliness, God was Manifested in flesh”. This reading is in the 1st century AD, where we have, Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch (AD 35-107), who says in his Letter to the Ephesian Church, Chapter VII, “εν σαρκι γενομενοϛ Θεοϛ” (“God Come in the flesh”; Bart Ehrman; Loeb Classical Library, The Apostolic Fathers, Vol. 1, chapter 7, pp. 226, 227). And in chapter 19, “God became Manifest in a human way” (Θεου ανθρωπινωϛ ϕανερουμενου, ibid, pp. 238, 239).


In John 1:18, we have a very interesting, and Original reading, which is found in a few of the modern Versions of the Bible.


“θεὸν οὐδεὶς ἑώρακεν πώποτε μονογενὴς θεὸς ὁ ὢν εἰς τὸν κόλπον τοῦ πατρὸς ἐκεῖνος ἐξηγήσατο”, literally, “God no one has seen at any time, the Unique God Who is always in close relation with the Father, He has made Him known” (my translation)


The reading “μονογενὴς θεὸς (God)”, instead of “μονογενὴς υἱὸς (Son)”, is found in the oldest Greek manuscripts for the Gospel of John. The Codices P66 (about 200 AD, Herbert Hunger dates it between 100-150); P75 (early 3rd cent.). It is also the reading of, the Codices, Sinaticus (4th), Vaticanus (4th), Ephraemi (5th). Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons (130-200), Clement of Alexandria (150-215), and The Diatessaron, (about 180, from the Greek). We also have the testimony of the early “heretics”, like Valentinus of Egypt (about 140), Origen (185-254), Arius of Alexandria (250-336), who read “θεὸς” in John 1:18. The Unitarian New Testament by Dr Noyes, also has “God”. The Jehovah’s Witnesses, in both their Kingdom Greek Interlinears, read: “θεὸν οὐδεὶς ἑώρακεν πώποτε μονογενὴς θεὸς”, and translate it, “God no one has seen at any time, only-begotten god”. Like John 1:1, their translation has nothing to do with what the Greek grammar actually says. Why would they use “God” for the Father, and then “god” for Jesus Christ? They cannot argue because of the Greek grammar. In both places there is no definite article in the Greek, “Θεὸν, θεὸς”, not, “τὸν θεόν, θεὸς”. It is either “God” in both places, or “god”, there are not grammatical grounds for one “God” and the other “god”.


The adjective, “μονογενὴς”, when used in the Greek Septuagint Version, never has the meaning “Begotten”


Judges 11:34, “Then Jephthah came to his home at Mizpah. And behold, his daughter came out to meet him with tambourines and with dances. She was his only (μονογενὴς) child; besides her he had neither son nor daughter


Psalm 22:20, “Deliver my soul from the sword; Mine only one (μονογενὴς) from the power of the dog”


Psalm 25:16, “Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am alone (μονογενὴς) and afflicted”


Likewise in the other places where used in the New Testament;


Luke 7:12, “Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only (μονογενὴς) son of his mother”


Luke 8:42, “For he had one only (μονογενὴς) daughter, about twelve years of age”


Luke 9:38, “Master, I beseech thee, look upon my son: for he is mine only (μονογενὴς) child”


Hebrews 11:17, “By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only (μονογενὴς) son”


It is clear from the uses here of “μονογενὴς”, that it does not mean “only-begotten”, but, “one and only”, or “unique”.


"the only member of a kin or kind: hence, generally, only, single, unique" (H G Liddell and R Scott; A Greek-English Lexicon, p.1144. Revised Edition)


"only...Also unique (in kind) of someth. that it the only example of its category...'unique and alone'" (W F Ardnt and F W Gingrich; A Greek-English Lexicon, p.529)


“But the word can also be used more generally without ref. to derivation in the sense of “unique,” “unparalleled,” “incomparable,”” (Gerhard Kittel; Theological Dictionary of the New Testament)


"μονογενὴς is literally “one of a kind,” “only,” “unique” (unicus), not “only-begotten,” which would be μονογέννητος, (unigenitus), and is common in the LXX in this sense" (J H Moulton & G Milligan; Vocabulary of the Greek New Testament. pp. 416-417)


Jesus Christ is The UNIQUE God, because He as God from eternity past, became Incarnate, the God-Man, fully God and fully Man, with the exception of any sin. “GOD WAS MANIFESTED IN THE FLESH


In this we have seen, not only the Absolute Deity of Jesus Christ, and His Complete EQUALITY with God the Father; but, also the clear Distinction of Persons between Jesus Christ and The Father, Who are not One and the same Person. Conclusive evidence that the teaching of Unitarianism is a man-made HERESY. The Godhead is indeed One, but eternally Existing Three distinct but equal Persons: The Father and The Son and The Holy Spirit. The Original writing by the Apostle John, in his First Letter, is clear:


For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one” (chapter 5, verse 7)