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Christian Biblical Studies
All Scripture references are to the King James (Authorised) Version
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.
– John 1:1, 2 (KJV) –
AS WITH ITS PARALLEL in the first verse of the book of Genesis, the phrase ‘in the beginning’ of John 1:1 positions the reader at a specific but incomprehensibly remote point in time. It cannot, of course, refer to God’s springing into existence, for He is without origin.
In the Genesis application the creation the preparation of Earth and the solar system is meant. The John application defines the relationship between God and His Logos (‘Word’), setting the stage for the revelation that the mighty Logos became flesh and ‘dwelt among us’ (1:14).
But before the Logos ‘dwelt among us’, he dwelt with, or was allied to God. (See, Parkinson, RVIC 2000, John 1:1: ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God; the Word also was a god.’ Ibid., n. 1: ‘Or, the Word was with the Mighty, and mighty was the Word! which better preserves the emphasis, at little compromise of the literal.’ )
Indeed, Jesus’ own words in John 17: 3 declare the separate identities of God and Jesus (emphasis added):
And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
The Mighty Word
Elsewhere we learn that the God-like Logos was instrumental in the creation work outlined in the Genesis account.
Hebrews 1:8: Unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.
The verse which follows (9), helps to put the statement of v. 8 into context. It reads (emphasis added):
Thou hast loved righteousness and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with oil of gladness above thy fellows.
This passage is a quotation from Psa. 45:7. In both passages the distinction between the Son and ‘God’ is plain. Jesus is called ‘God’ because He is ‘as God’, the ‘God with us’ (Immanuel), without whom ‘was not anything made that was made’ (John 1:3).
The same idea appears in succeeding verses of Heb. 1, specifically vs. 10-12, which St. Paul extracts from Psa. 102:25-27:
Heb. 1 –
10 And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: 11 They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; 12 And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.
Psa. 102 –
25 Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands. 26 They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed: 27 but thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end.