What does it mean that the Word is God in Jn.1:1
The Logos was used by the Greeks to denote the creative force, as well as logic and reason.
John used the Greek word Logos to express a Hebrew concept that was used in the Old Testament; it was a Hebraism.
A Greek philosopher named Heraclitus first used the term Logos around 600 B.C. to designate the divine reason or plan which coordinates a changing universe. This word was well suited to John's purpose in John 1.(from The Online Bible Thayer's Greek Lexicon and Brown Driver & Briggs Hebrew Lexicon.)
“John 1:1The apostle does not borrow this mode of speech from the writings of Plato, as some have imagined he took it from the Scriptures of the Old Testament, and from the subsequent style of the ancient Jews”(Adam Clarke's Commentary).
“In Hebrew thought, the dabar was dynamic and filled with a power that was transmitted to those who received it. The term was often used to designate God's communication to his people, as at the beginning of many of the writings of the prophets: “The word of the Lord came.” The whole of the Law, or all of Scripture, could then be referred to as God's Word”(Holman Bible Dictionary- LOGOS).
The common term in the Old Testament for the “word” is dabhar. To the Jews the term “the word” Memra, is an Aramaic term that was used by the Rabbis to mean divine wisdom, which was sometimes distinct from God. They considered the Memra as the agent of creation and also the means of salvation. The word was also a theophany in the Old Testament (the means by which God became visible) such as in The Angel of The Lord. Rabbis said that God always revealed Himself to the prophets by the Word. Calling Jesus the word meant he embodied the full revelation of God to man. We have John writing that this word was both God and with God throughout eternity in the first verse of his Gospel.
In the Jewish Targumim we find the expression of Logos, Memra (word) which is not found in the Talmud. In the Targum by Onkelos it occurs 179 times, in the Jerusalem Targum 99 times and the psuedo Jonathan 321 times. In the Targum on Deut. 26:17-18, it is written, “Ye have appointed THE WORD OF GOD a king over you this day, that he may be your God.”
Some teach the word- logos is not a person but the thought, speech, plan, activity or expression of God.
Then in Eph.6:17: “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;” would mean the sword of the Spirit is this also.
The same John who wrote the gospel writes in Rev 19:13: And He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood: and His name is called the Word of God.” Who is the He? His name is called the word of God, not He is a word (as in speech). The word is a person, this same person is the Son of God in Rev.2:18, and Heb.1:2 God made the worlds through the Son.
The Bible calls the word a he, a him, not a thought, not a speech pattern, he is a person who existed at the same time as the Father. Jn.1:1 states the word was God who is a personal eternal being called the Son, the word is another name for the Son, but he is not A WORD SPOKEN. v.2 says, “He was in the beginning with God, and all things were made through Him.” the word is used to identify the Son of whom the Father made the worlds through (Heb.1). He antedates the beginning because he is the creator who existed before anything was made. He and Him means a person who existed simultaneously with the Father.
John exclusively uses the term Logos (word), he applies it to Christ only in John 1:1, 14; Rev 19:13. A personification of “the Word of God” is found in Heb.4:12. John uses eternal life as a similar metaphor in 1 John. The “Logos is portrayed as a pre-existent eternal being. Jn.1:1, John's uses the imperfect tense in Greek showing continuous duration of existence in the past and continuing into the future. If the word is something issuing forth as speech and then becoming human then it is not deity. It is no more than any other created thing, like a tree or another creature. Then He could not be with God before anything was made; since he too would be made. A word spoken by God cannot be God. For the word to be interpreted as something God spoke would mean that God is not an eternal personal being. God is more than what He speaks. The Bible says he is more than a thought, speech, or a plan in the mind of God. The word is a person, not the person is the word/speech. We find that this word is a title for the Son of God, who is the same in nature as the Father.
“The word (Greek-Logos) is not something spoken as an impersonal it. John's use of the word logos is entirely to be distinguished from the use made of it by Philo of Alexandria and his school of philosophy in the second century B.C. With them the logos was a impersonal idea, conveying the thoughts of God” (W. E. Vine The Epistles of John, p.11).
John 5:39: “You search the Scriptures (the word), for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.” All the Scripture speaks of Christ- He is the word; it represents him as the one who spoke things into existence.
We find that this word is a title for the Son of God. He is more than a thought, a plan in the mind of God. He is called the Word because he is the active cause of the world; it is He who spoke in Genesis (Ps.33:6; Heb. 11).It is He who commanded and (whose “word”) brought all things into existence (Eight times God spoke to create in Genesis (Gen. 1:3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 24, 26). The word expresses the personification of wisdom of God in the Old Testament. In the New Testament Jesus is the embodiment of divine wisdom and the collective knowledge of God (I Corinthians 1:24, Ephesians 3:10-11, Colossians 2:2-3). The term Logos is applied to Christ only, (not to the Father or the Comforter which distinguishes him in the Triunity). In John 1:1, 14; Revelation 19:13; John 1:1. Hebrews 4:12 could possibly be a personification of “the Word of God.”
John uses eternal life as a similar metaphor in 1 John. John also uses the term “the Word” to convey that the Son is the author in Gen.1:1. He is concerned with creation. He is bringing in the Genesis account to show that The Son of God that became flesh was the creator, that he is the true light (Jn.1:9; 1 Jn.1:5). His whole Gospel is teaching Jesus is the Son of God, the word made flesh. That this word, who is a divine person, has come into the world to reveal another person, the Father.John presents the Logos as a pre-existent eternal being. By calling Jesus the Word, it meant he embodied the full revelation of God to mankind in a man. The Word is used in a metaphorical sense, accomplishing God’s will, in much the same way as the phrase the “arm of the Lord,” brings salvation. Thus, the word is a representation, a metaphor for the person of the Son, whom John says is the creator.
We have John writing this word was both God and with God throughout eternity. The phrase “In the beginning” is a reference to when the universe was created. When the time, space universe came into being (Gen. 1:1), this Word was already there in an eternal relationship to the Father (Jn.17:5, 8, 24), He was with God enjoying an eternal relationship with each another. They are not the same in person but are united in their nature; distinct, yet equal.
The word is called truth, Christ is called the word and is the truth. God communicated to man in ancient times by his word through the prophets but now has communicated to us directly through his Son who became a man (Jn.1:14). This word that made all things as the work of his own hands became his own workmanship.
Jn.1:1 He “was with God (face to face) and was God.” In Greek it is an imperfect tense, a continuous action from the past, which continues on. The same person always existed with God, as a person..
John reveals to us in Scripture that this Word, who is a divine person, has come into the world to reveal another person, the Father. The Word was there before the beginning and the Word had been with, toward God (Pros theos) face to face in relationship, And God is the Word. He “was with God (face to face) and was God.”
JESUS IS NOT A SPOKEN WORD, TO BELIEVE IN WHAT IS WRITTEN IS TO
BELIEVE IN THE ONE IT SPEAKS OF (Jn.5:39) Jesus IS the Word of God in the
fullest, truest, and proper sense. To submit to the word written is equal
to submitting to Jesus.
John 1:14 says the word was made flesh, so what became flesh had to be a person! John had started His gospel proving the Word was equal with God and is God (John 1:1), in v.14 this Word was made flesh, implying that he who had pre-existence became the man Jesus. Became in Greek is ginomai- it means to cause, or become.
1 Tim 3:16 “God was manifested in the flesh” John is more specific and tells whom was manifested I Jn 3:8 “the Son of God was manifested” and explains “In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.”( I Jn. 4:9).