The Word:
The Deity of Christ
John 1:1-4
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In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word
was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by
him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life;
and the life was the light of men.  (King James Version)

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God; this one was in the
beginning with God; all things through him did happen, and without him happened not even one thing
that hath happened. In him was life, and the life was the light of men,  (Young’s Literal Translation)

1  In the beginning was the Word,+ and the Word was with God,+ and the Word was a god.*+  [Or “was
divine.”] 2  This one was in the beginning with God. 3  All things came into existence through him,+
and apart from him not even one thing came into existence. What has come into existence 4  by means of
him was life, and the life was the light of men. (New World Translation)

One cannot read these introductory words to the Gospel of John without calling to
remembrance the introductory words to the Bible in Genesis 1:1. They also bring to mind
the words of Proverbs 8.

(Genesis 1:1) In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.  (KJV)

(Proverbs 8:22-30) The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set
up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. When there were no depths, I was brought
forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the
hills was I brought forth: While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of
the dust of the world. When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of
the depth: When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep: When
he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the
foundations of the earth: Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight,
rejoicing always before him;  (KJV)

In the beginning, Jesus was equal with God. Through Him, all things were made.

(Colossians 1:12-17) Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the
inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated
us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the
forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were
all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones,
or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before
all things, and by him all things consist.  (KJV)

(Philippians 2:5-8)  Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of
God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him
the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he
humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. (KJV)

(Hebrews 1:1-3) God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the
prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things,
by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his
person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat
down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;  (KJV)

While the Greek lacks the definite article on theos in the clause under discussion, that
doesn't mean the English should be translated with an indefinite article. Greek and English
do not enjoy a one-to-one relationship between their words. There are times in Greek when
the article is present but not translated into English. Likewise, there are places where the
article is not present in the Greek but the English requires it, or in this case, requires
something to show the definiteness of the word.

Example 1: John 18:16 in Greek literally says: "...the disciple, the other, the one known to
the high priest..." That's horrible English. So it gets translated (rightly) as "the other disciple,
who was known to the high priest." As you can see the word order changed coming into
English as well as two definite articles dropping out.

Example 2: John 1:1 contains another example of a time without an article in Greek but
needed in English. It says, "en arche 'en o logos..." that is (literally) "In beginning was the
Word." Notice that there is no definite article before arche. However, even the New World
Translation puts the article there. That is how it should be. To leave it out would cause
confusion in the English "In a beginning was the Word..." That implies that there were
multiple beginnings to the universe, but that isn't what the Bible teaches. It's a difference in
Greek and English. Likewise, the Septuagint of Genesis starts with en arche.
The reason the clause at the end of John 1:1 lacks the article deals with rules of Greek
grammar. English uses word order to drive the meaning of a sentence. We almost always
have subjects first, then verbs, then the objects (excepted Yoda speech is). Greek doesn't
use word order to differentiate between types of nouns. They use word order for emphasis
(Hebrew does the same thing). To tell the difference in the subject and the object (both of
which are nouns), Greek uses case endings. They can then put the object of the verb at the
beginning of the clause with the subject after the verb and still know what the sentence
means. In English, "dog bites man" and "man bites dog" mean entirely different things.

However, in Greek, they would put case endings on the nouns and comprehend the same
meaning even with the word order switched around. In the following example, I am using
case endings here as an illustration. [s] means subject, and [o] means object. In Greek
there is no difference between "dog[s] bites man[o]" and "man[o] bites dog[s]." They mean
the exact same thing. This works with action verbs, linking verbs are different, but the
action verbs show how the Greek usually works.

The clause in question (which uses a linking verb) literally reads kai theos 'en 'o logos
(literally "and God was the Word" but you won't find it translated that way for good reason).
Notice that the word order is switched around with "God" at the front of the clause.
Because the verb is a linking verb, the subject and object use the same case ending, the
nominative. With a linking verb, the part of the clause that would be the object often drops
the article (even though it would use it otherwise), especially when it is in front of the verb
(as here). When the object of a clause is a noun like this, it is called the "predicate
nominative" and Colwell's Rule allows the translation to indicate the definiteness of the
word even when the Greek lacks the article.

In English, we don't put "the" in front of God to show definiteness. We capitalize it. That's
what Greek scholars recognize in this verse.


Pr 8:22-23,30; Joh 17:5; Php 2:6; Col 1:17; 1Jo 1:1-2; 5:7; Re 1:2; 19:13; Ge 1:1; Ps 33:6; Joh 1:10;
Eph 3:9; Col 1:16; Heb 1:2; Re 4:11; Joh 5:26; 8:12; 9:5; 12:35,46; 1Jo 5:11