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BEGINNINGS

Scripture references are to the NIV-UK

Q. What is meant in John 1: 1 by the expression, ‘In the beginning . . .’?

A. Jehovah God has no beginning, but exists in infinity, so this particular statement on the origin of time cannot refer to Him (Psa. 90: 2).

Rather, it marks the start of creation – specifically, that of the Logos (‘Word’), Jehovah’s principal Agent and mouthpiece towards all the sentient beings that would come afterwards – the angelic orders and humanity (‘made a little lower than the angels’; Psa. 8: 5).

This simple statement – ‘in the beginning’ – is therefore profound in its implications, telegraphing to a then-remote future the truth that this Logos would prove to be the Saviour of the world.

The Apostle John identifies the Word as Jesus (1: 14):

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

John is not confused on the identity and subordinate nature of Jesus. There is only one supreme God. Jesus is not God, as is made clear in 1 Tim. 2: 6 (NIV-UK):

‘For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus’.

[The ‘beginning’ of John 1: 1 should not be conflated with that of Gen. 1: 1, which introduces the development of the ‘heavens’ and a ‘formless and empty’ earth, events which apparently occurred much later.]

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