John 1:1 is the first verse in the opening chapter of the Gospel of John in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. In the Douay–Rheims, King James, Revised Standard, New International, and other versions of the Bible, the verse reads:
← Luke 24
|Book||Gospel of John|
|Christian Bible part||New Testament|
John 1:1 opens the larger section sometimes described as the "Prologue to John" (John 1:1–18) which deals with Jesus, the "Word made flesh" who "dwelt among us" (John 1:14). The verse has been a source of much debate among Bible scholars and translators.
"Word", a translation of the Greek λόγος (logos), is widely interpreted as referring to Jesus, as indicated in other verses later in the same chapter. This verse and others throughout Johannine literature connect the Christian understanding of Jesus to the philosophical idea of the Logos and the Hebrew Wisdom literature. They also set the stage for the later development of Trinitarian theology early in the post-biblical era.
Tertullian in the early third century wrote:
Now if this one [the Word] is God according to John ("the Word was God"), then you have two: one who speaks that it may be, and another who carries it out. However, how you should accept this as "another" I have explained: as concerning person, not substance, and as distinction, not division.
And a little later:
And that you may think more fully on this, accept also that in the Psalm two gods are mentioned: "Thy throne, God, is forever, a rod of right direction is the rod of thy kingdom; thou hast loved justice and hated iniquity, therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee." If he is speaking to a god, and the god is anointed by a god, then also here he affirms two gods... More is what you will find just the same in the Gospel: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God": One who was, and another in whose presence he was.
Origen of Alexandria, a teacher in Greek grammar of the third century, wrote about the use of the definite article:
We next notice John's use of the article in these sentences. He does not write without care in this respect, nor is he unfamiliar with the niceties of the Greek tongue. In some cases he uses the article, and in some he omits it. He adds the article to the Logos, but to the name of God he adds it sometimes only. He uses the article, when the name of God refers to the uncreated cause of all things, and omits it when the Logos is named God [...] Now there are many who are sincerely concerned about religion, and who fall here into great perplexity. They are afraid that they may be proclaiming two Gods, and their fear drives them into doctrines which are false and wicked. Either they deny that the Son has a distinct nature of His own besides that of the Father, and make Him whom they call the Son to be God all but the name, or they deny the divinity of the Son, giving Him a separate existence of His own, and making His sphere of essence fall outside that of the Father, so that they are separable from each other. [...] The true God, then, is "The God."
Source text and translationsEdit
|Koine Greek||Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ λόγος, καὶ ὁ λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν θεόν, καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος.|
|Greek transliteration||En arkhêi ên ho lógos, kaì ho lógos ên pròs tòn theón, kaì theòs ên ho lógos.|
|Syriac Peshitta||ܒ݁ܪܺܫܺܝܬ݂ ܐܺܝܬ݂ܰܘܗ݈ܝ ܗ݈ܘܳܐ ܡܶܠܬ݂ܳܐ ܘܗܽܘ ܡܶܠܬ݂ܳܐ ܐܺܝܬ݂ܰܘܗ݈ܝ ܗ݈ܘܳܐ ܠܘܳܬ݂ ܐܰܠܳܗܳܐ ܘܰܐܠܳܗܳܐ ܐܺܝܬ݂ܰܘܗ݈ܝ ܗ݈ܘܳܐ ܗܽܘ ܡܶܠܬ݂ܳܐ ܀|
|Syriac transliteration||brīšīṯ ʾiṯauhi hwā milṯā, whu milṯā ʾiṯauhi hwā luaṯ ʾalāhā; wʾalāhā iṯauhi hwā hu milṯā|
|Sahidic Coptic||ϨΝ ΤЄϨΟΥЄΙΤЄ ΝЄϤϢΟΟΠ ΝϬΙΠϢΑϪЄ, ΑΥШ ΠϢΑϪЄ ΝЄϤϢΟΟΠ ΝΝΑϨΡΜ ΠΝΟΥΤЄ. ΑΥШ ΝЄΥΝΟΥΤЄ ΠЄ ΠϢΑϪЄ|
|Sahidic Coptic transliteration||Hn teHoueite neFSoop nCi pSaJe auw pSaJe neFSoop nnaHrm pnoute auw neunoute pe pSaJe.|
|Sahidic Coptic to English||In the beginning existed the Word, and the Word existed with the God, and a God was the Word.|
|Latin Vulgate||In principio erat Verbum, et Verbum erat apud Deum, et Deus erat Verbum.|
|Serbian Cyrillic alphabet||У почетку бјеше Логос (Ријеч), и Логос бјеше у Бога, и Логос Бјеше Бог.|
Codex Vaticanus (300–325), The end of Gospel of Luke and the beginning of Gospel of John
Codex Bezae (c. 400), John 1:1–16
Codex Alexandrinus (400-440), John 1:1–7.
John 1:1 in English versionsEdit
The traditional rendering in English is:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
[It] is clear that in the translation "the Word was God", the term God is being used to denote his nature or essence, and not his person. But in normal English usage "God" is a proper noun, referring to the person of the Father or corporately to the three persons of the Godhead. Moreover, "the Word was God" suggests that "the Word" and "God" are convertible terms, that the proposition is reciprocating. But the Word is neither the Father nor the Trinity … The rendering cannot stand without explanation."
An Eastern/Greek Orthodox Bible commentary notes:
This second theos could also be translated 'divine' as the construction indicates "a qualitative sense for theos". The Word is not God in the sense that he is the same person as the theos mentioned in 1:1a; he is not God the Father (God absolutely as in common NT usage) or the Trinity. The point being made is that the Logos is of the same uncreated nature or essence as God the Father, with whom he eternally exists. This verse is echoed in the Nicene Creed: "God (qualitative or derivative) from God (personal, the Father), Light from Light, True God from True God… homoousion with the Father."
Other variations of rendering, both in translation or paraphrase, John 1:1c also exist:
- 14th century: "and God was the word" – Wycliffe's Bible (translated from the 4th-century Latin Vulgate)
- 1808: "and the Word was a god" – Thomas Belsham The New Testament, in an Improved Version, Upon the Basis of Archbishop Newcome’s New Translation: With a Corrected Text, London.
- 1822: "and the Word was a god" – The New Testament in Greek and English (A. Kneeland, 1822.)
- 1829: "and the Word was a god" – The Monotessaron; or, The Gospel History According to the Four Evangelists (J. S. Thompson, 1829)
- 1863: "and the Word was a god" – A Literal Translation of the New Testament (Herman Heinfetter [Pseudonym of Frederick Parker], 1863)
- 1864: "the LOGOS was God" – A New Emphatic Version (right hand column)
- 1864: "and a god was the Word" – The Emphatic Diaglott by Benjamin Wilson, New York and London (left hand column interlinear reading)
- 1867: "and the Son was of God" – The Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible
- 1879: "and the Word was a god" – Das Evangelium nach Johannes (J. Becker, 1979)
- 1885: "and the Word was a god" – Concise Commentary on The Holy Bible (R. Young, 1885)
- 1911: "and [a] God was the word" – The Coptic Version of the New Testament in the Southern Dialect, by George William Horner.
- 1924: "the Logos was divine" – The Bible: James Moffatt Translation, by James Moffatt.
- 1935: "and the Word was divine" – The Bible: An American Translation, by John M. P. Smith and Edgar J. Goodspeed, Chicago.
- 1955: "so the Word was divine" – The Authentic New Testament, by Hugh J. Schonfield, Aberdeen.
- 1956: "And the Word was as to His essence absolute deity" – The Wuest Expanded Translation
- 1958: "and the Word was a god" – The New Testament of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Anointed (J. L. Tomanec, 1958);
- 1962, 1979: "'the word was God.' Or, more literally, 'God was the word.'" – The Four Gospels and the Revelation (R. Lattimore, 1979)
- 1966, 2001: "and he was the same as God" – The Good News Bible.
- 1970, 1989: "and what God was, the Word was" – The New English Bible and The Revised English Bible.
- 1975 "and a god (or, of a divine kind) was the Word" – Das Evangelium nach Johnnes, by Siegfried Schulz, Göttingen, Germany
- 1975: "and the Word was a god" – Das Evangelium nach Johannes (S. Schulz, 1975);
- 1978: "and godlike sort was the Logos" – Das Evangelium nach Johannes, by Johannes Schneider, Berlin
- 1985: “So the Word was divine” - The Original New Testament, by Hugh J. Schonfield.
- 1993: "The Word was God, in readiness for God from day one." — The Message, by Eugene H. Peterson.
- 1998: "and what God was the Word also was" – This translation follows Professor Francis J. Moloney, The Gospel of John, ed. Daniel J. Harrington.
- 2017: “and the Logos was god” - The New Testament: A Translation, by David Bentley Hart.
The text of John 1:1 has a sordid past and a myriad of interpretations. With the Greek alone, we can create empathic, orthodox, creed-like statements, or we can commit pure and unadulterated heresy. From the point of view of early church history, heresy develops when a misunderstanding arises concerning Greek articles, the predicate nominative, and grammatical word order. The early church heresy of Sabellianism understood John 1:1c to read, "and the Word was the God." The early church heresy of Arianism understood it to read, "and the word was a God."— David A. Reed
There are two issues affecting the translating of the verse, 1) theology and 2) proper application of grammatical rules. The commonly held theology that Jesus is God naturally leads one to believe that the proper way to render the verse is the one which is most popular. The opposing theology that Jesus is subordinate to God as his Chief agent leads to the conclusion that "... a god" or "... divine" is the proper rendering. Some scholars oppose the translation ...a god, while other scholars believe it is possible or even preferable.
The Greek article is often translated the, which is the English definite article, but it can have a range of meanings that can be quite different from those found in English, and require context to interpret. Ancient Greek does not have an indefinite article like the English word a, and nominatives without articles also have a range of meanings that require context to interpret. In interpreting this verse, Colwell's rule should be taken into consideration, which says that a definite predicate which is before the verb "to be" usually does not have the definite article. Ernest Cadman Colwell writes:
The opening verse of John’s Gospel contains one of the many passages where this rule suggests the translation of a predicate as a definite noun. Καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος [Kaì theòs ên ho lógos] looks much more like "And the Word was God" than "And the Word was divine" when viewed with reference to this rule. The absence of the article does not make the predicate indefinite or qualitative when it precedes the verb, it is indefinite in this position only when the context demands it. The context makes no such demand in the Gospel of John, for this statement cannot be regarded as strange in the prologue of the gospel which reaches its climax in the confession of Thomas [Footnote: John 20,28]."
Daniel B. Wallace (Professor of New Testament at Dallas Theological Seminary) argues that the use of the anarthrous theos (the lack of the definite article before the second theos) is due to its use as a qualitative noun, describing the nature or essence of the Word, sharing the essence of the Father, though they differed in person: he stresses: "The construction the evangelist chose to express this idea was the most precise way he could have stated that the Word was God and yet was distinct from the Father". He questions whether Colwell's rule helps in interpreting John 1:1. It has been said[by whom?] that Colwell's rule has been misapplied as its converse, as though it implied definiteness.
Murray J. Harris (Emeritus Professor of NT Exegesis and Theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) discusses "grammatical, theological, historical, literary and other issues that affect the interpretation of θεὸς" and conclude that, among other uses, "is a christological title that is primarily ontological in nature" and adds that "the application of θεὸς to Jesus Christ asserts that Jesus is ... God-by-nature.
John L. McKenzie (Catholic Biblical scholar) wrote that ho Theos is God the Father, and adds that John 1:1 should be translated "the word was with the God [=the Father], and the word was a divine being."
Philo demonstrates that a distinction between ho theos and theos such as we find in John 1.1b-c, would be deliberate by the author and significant for the Greek reader. Not only so, Philo shows that he could happily call the Logos ‘God/god’ without infringing his monotheism (or even ‘the second God’ – Qu.Gen. II.62). Bearing in mind our findings with regard to the Logos in Philo, this cannot but be significant: the Logos for Philo is ‘God’ not as a being independent of ‘the God’ but as ‘the God’ in his knowability – the Logos standing for that limited apprehension of the one God which is all that the rational man, even the mystic may attain to.”
The predicate (God) stands emphatically first, as in 4:24. ‘It is necessarily without the article (theós not ho theós) inasmuch as it describes the nature of the Word and does not identify His Person. It would be pure Sabellianism to say “the Word was ho theós”. No idea of inferiority of nature is suggested by the form of expression, which simply affirms the true deity of the Word. Compare the converse statement of the true humanity of Christ five 27 (hóti huiòs anthrópou estín . . . ).’
Philip B. Harner (Professor Emeritus of Religion at Heidelberg College) says:
Perhaps the clause could be translated, ‘the Word had the same nature as God.” This would be one way of representing John’s thought, which is, as I understand it, that ho logos, no less than ho theos, had the nature of theos.
The rendering as "a god" is justified by some non-Trinitarians by comparing it with Acts 28:6 which has a similar grammatical construction' "The people expected him to swell up or suddenly fall dead; but after waiting a long time and seeing nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and said he was a god."[Ac. 28:6 NIV]. However, it was noted that the Hebrew words El, HaElohim and Yahweh (all referring to God) were rendered as anarthrous theos in the Septuagint at Nahum 1:2, Isaiah 37:16, 41:4, Jeremiah 23:23 and Ezekiel 45:9 among many other locations. Moreover, in the New Testament anarthrous theos was used to refer to God in locations including John 1:18a, Romans 8:33, 2 Corinthians 5:19, 6:16 and Hebrews 11:16 (although the last two references do have an adjective aspect to them). Therefore, anarthrous or arthrous constructions by themselves, without context, cannot determine how to render it into a target language. In Deuteronomy 31:27 the septuagint text, "supported by all MSS... reads πρὸς τὸν θεόν for the Hebrew עִם־ יְהֹוָ֔ה", but the oldest Greek text in Papyrus Fouad 266 has written πρὸς יהוה τὸν θεόν.
In the October 2011 Journal of Theological Studies, Brian J. Wright and Tim Ricchuiti reason that the indefinite article in the Coptic translation, of John 1:1, has a qualitative meaning. Many such occurrences for qualitative nouns are identified in the Coptic New Testament, including 1 John 1:5 and 1 John 4:8. Moreover, the indefinite article is used to refer to God in Deuteronomy 4:31 and Malachi 2:10.
"In the beginning (archē) was the Word (logos)" may be compared with:
- Genesis 1:1: "In the beginning God created heaven, and earth." The opening words of the Old Testament are also "In the beginning". Theologian Charles Ellicott wrote:
"The reference to the opening words of the Old Testament is obvious, and is the more striking when we remember that a Jew would constantly speak of and quote from the book of Genesis as "Berēshîth" ("in the beginning"). It is quite in harmony with the Hebrew tone of this Gospel to do so, and it can hardly be that St. John wrote his Berēshîth without having that of Moses present to his mind, and without being guided by its meaning.
- Mark 1:1: "The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God."
- Luke 1:2: "According as they have delivered them unto us, who from the beginning (archē) were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word (logos).
- 1 John 1:1: "That which was from the beginning (archē), which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the word (logos) of life".
"...was God (Theós)" may be compared with Acts 28:6:
- "But they supposed that he would begin to swell up, and that he would suddenly fall down and die. But expecting long, and seeing that there came no harm to him, changing their minds, they said, that he was a god (theón)."
- "Howbeit they looked when he should have swollen, or fallen down dead suddenly: but after they had looked a great while, and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds, and said that he was a god (theón)." (KJV)
- "But they were expecting that he was going to swell up or suddenly drop dead. So after they had waited a long time and had seen nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and said he was a god (theón)." (NET)
- "Howbeit they looked when he should have swollen, or fallen down dead suddenly: but after they had looked a great while, and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds, and said that he was a god (theón)." (DNKJB)
From the Biblos Interlinear Bible:
hoi de prosedokōn auton mellein pimprasthai ē katapiptein aphnō nekron οἱ δὲ προσεδόκων αὐτὸν μέλλειν πίμπρασθαι ἢ καταπίπτειν ἄφνω νεκρόν - but they were expecting him to be going to become inflamed or to fall down suddenly dead epi poly de autōn prosdokōntōn kai theōrountōn mēden atopon eis auton ginomenon ἐπὶ πολὺ δὲ αὐτῶν προσδοκώντων καὶ θεωρούντων μηδὲν ἄτοπον εἰς αὐτὸν γινόμενον after a while great however they expecting and seeing nothing amiss to him happening metabalomenoi elegon auton einai theon μεταβαλόμενοι ἔλεγον αὐτὸν εἶναι θεόν having changed their opinion said he was a god
From Scrivener's Textus Receptus 1894:
οι δε προςεδοκων αyτον μελλειν πιμπραςθαι η καταπιπτειν αφνω νεκρον hoi de prosedokOn auton mellein pimprasthai E katapiptein aphnO nekron THE YET THEY-TOWARD-SEEMED him TO-BE-beING-ABOUT TO-BE-beING-INFLAMED OR TO-BE-DOWN-FALLING suddenly DEAD επι πολυ δε αyτων προςδοκωντων και θεωρουντων μηδεν ατοπον εις αυτον γινομενον epi polu de autOn prosdokOntOn kai theOrountOn mEden atopon eis auton ginomenon ON much YET OF-them TOWARD-SEEMING AND OF-beholdING NO-YET-ONE UN-PLACED INTO him BECOMING μεταβαλλομενοι ελεγον θεον αyτων ειναι metaballomenoi elegon theon auton einai after-CASTING THEY-said god him TO-BE
Commentary from the Church FathersEdit
Chrysostom: "While all the other Evangelists begin with the Incarnation, John, passing over the Conception, Nativity, education, and growth, speaks immediately of the Eternal Generation, saying, In the beginning was the Word."
Augustine: "The Greek word “logos” signifies both Word and Reason. But in this passage it is better to interpret it Word; as referring not only to the Father, but to the creation of things by the operative power of the Word; whereas Reason, though it produce nothing, is still rightly called Reason."
Augustine: "Words by their daily use, sound, and passage out of us, have become common things. But there is a word which remaineth inward, in the very man himself; distinct from the sound which proceedeth out of the mouth. There is a word, which is truly and spiritually that, which you understand by the sound, not being the actual sound. . Now whoever can conceive the notion of word, as existing not only before its sound, but even before the idea of its sound is formed, may see enigmatically, and as it were in a glass, some similitude of that Word of Which it is said, In the beginning was the Word. For when we give expression to something which we know, the word used is necessarily derived from the knowledge thus retained in the memory, and must be of the same quality with that knowledge. For a word is a thought formed from a thing which we know; which word is spoken in the heart, being neither Greek nor Latin, nor of any language, though, when we want to communicate it to others, some sign is assumed by which to express it.… . Wherefore the word which sounds externally, is a sign of the word which lies hid within, to which the name of word more truly appertains. For that which is uttered by the mouth of our flesh, is the voice of the word; and is in fact called word, with reference to that from which it is taken, when it is developed externally."
Basil of Caesarea: "This Word is not a human word. For how was there a human word in the beginning, when man received his being last of all? There was not then any word of man in the beginning, nor yet of Angels; for every creature is within the limits of time, having its beginning of existence from the Creator. But what says the Gospel? It calls the Only-Begotten Himself the Word."
Chrysostom: "But why omitting the Father, does he proceed at once to speak of the Son? Because the Father was known to all; though not as the Father, yet as God; whereas the Only-Begotten was not known. As was meet then, he endeavours first of all to inculcate the knowledge of the Son on those who knew Him not; though neither in discoursing on Him, is he altogether silent on the Father. And inasmuch as he was about to teach that the Word was the Only-Begotten Son of God, that no one might think this a passible (παθητὴν) generation, he makes mention of the Word in the first place, in order to destroy the dangerous suspicion, and show that the Son was from God impassibly. And a second reason is, that He was to declare unto us the things of the Father. (John. 15:15) But he does not speak of the Word simply, but with the addition of the article, in order to distinguish It from other words. For Scripture calls God’s laws and commandments words; but this Word is a certain Substance, or Person, an Essence, coming forth impassibly from the Father Himself."
Basil of Caesarea: "Wherefore then Word? Because born impassibly, the Image of Him that begat, manifesting all the Father in Himself; abstracting from Him nothing, but existing perfect in Himself."
Augustine: "Now the Word of God is a Form, not a formation, but the Form of all forms, a Form unchangeable, removed from accident, from failure, from time, from space, surpassing all things, and existing in all things as a kind of foundation underneath, and summit above them."
Basil of Caesarea: "Yet has our outward word some similarity to the Divine Word. For our word declares the whole conception of the mind; since what we conceive in the mind we bring out in word. Indeed our heart is as it were the source, and the uttered word the stream which flows therefrom."
Chrysostom: "Observe the spiritual wisdom of the Evangelist. He knew that men honoured most what was most ancient, and that honouring what is before everything else, they conceived of it as God. On this account he mentions first the beginning, saying, In the beginning was the Word."
Basil of Caesarea: "The Holy Ghost foresaw that men would arise, who should envy the glory of the Only-Begotten, subverting their hearers by sophistry; as if because He were begotten, He was not; and before He was begotten, He was not. That none might presume then to babble such things, the Holy Ghost saith, In the beginning was the Word."
Chrysostom: "As then when our ship is near shore, cities and port pass in survey before us, which on the open sea vanish, and leave nothing whereon to fix the eye; so the Evangelist here, taking us with him in his flight above the created world, leaves the eye to gaze in vacancy on an illimitable expanse. For the words, was in the beginning, are significative of eternal and infinite essence."
Council of Ephesus: "Wherefore in one place divine Scripture calls Him the Son, in another the Word, in another the Brightness of the Father; names severally meant to guard against blasphemy. For, forasmuch as thy son is of the same nature with thyself, the Scripture wishing to show that the Substance of the Father and the Son is one, sets forth the Son of the Father, born of the Father, the Only-Begotten. Next, since the terms birth and son, convey the idea of passibleness, therefore it calls the Son the Word, declaring by that name the impassibility of His Nativity. But inasmuch as a father with us is necessarily older than his son, lest thou shouldest think that this applied to the Divine nature as well, it calls the Only-Begotten the Brightness of the Father; for brightness, though arising from the sun, is not posterior to it. Understand then that Brightness, as revealing the coeternity of the Son with the Father; Word as proving the impassibility of His birth, and Son as conveying His consubstantiality."
Chrysostom: "But they say that In the beginning does not absolutely express eternity: for that the same is said of the heaven and the earth: In the beginning God made the heaven and the earth. (Gen. 1:1) But are not made and was, altogether different? For in like manner as the word is, when spoken of man, signifies the present only, but when applied to God, that which always and eternally is; so too was, predicated of our nature, signifies the past, but predicated of God, eternity."
Origen: "The verb to be, has a double signification, sometimes expressing the motions which take place in time, as other verbs do; sometimes the substance of that one thing of which it is predicated, without reference to time. Hence it is also called a substantive verb."
Hilary of Poitiers: "Consider then the world, understand what is written of it. In the beginning God made the heaven and the earth. Whatever therefore is created is made in the beginning, and thou wouldest contain in time, what, as being to be made, is contained in the beginning. But, lo, for me, an illiterate unlearned fisherman is independent of time, unconfined by ages, advanceth beyond all beginnings. For the Word was, what it is, and is not bounded by any time, nor commenced therein, seeing It was not made in the beginning, but was."
Alcuin: " To refute those who inferred from Christ’s Birth in time, that He had not been from everlasting, the Evangelist begins with the eternity of the Word, saying, In the beginning was the Word."
Chrysostom: "Because it is an especial attribute of God, to be eternal and without a beginning, he laid this down first: then, lest any one on hearing in the beginning was the Word, should suppose the Word Unbegotten, he instantly guarded against this; saying, And the Word was with God."
Basil of Caesarea: "Again he repeats this, was, because of men blasphemously saying, that there was a time when He was not. Where then was the Word? Illimitable things are not contained in space. Where was He then? With God. For neither is the Father bounded by place, nor the Son by aught circumscribing."
Origen: "It is worth while noting, that, whereas the Word is said to come1 [be made] to some, as to Hosea, Isaiah, Jeremiah, with God it is not made, as though it were not with Him before. But, the Word having been always with Him, it is said, and the Word was with God: for from the beginning it was not separate from the Father."
Theophylact of Ohrid: "Sabellius is overthrown by this text. For he asserts that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are one Person, Who sometimes appeared as the Father, sometimes as the Son, sometimes as the Holy Ghost. But he is manifestly confounded by this text, and the Word was with God; for here the Evangelist declares that the Son is one Person, God the Father another."
Hilary of Poitiers: "But the title is absolute, and free from the offence of an extraneous subject. To Moses it is said, I have given1 thee for a god to Pharaoh: (Exod. 7:1) but is not the reason for the name added, when it is said, to Pharaoh? Moses is given for a god to Pharaoh, when he is feared, when he is entreated, when he punishes, when he heals. And it is one thing to be given for a God, another thing to be God. I remember too another application of the name in the Psalms, I have said, ye are gods. But there too it is implied that the title was but bestowed; and the introduction of, I said, makes it rather the phrase of the Speaker, than the name of the thing. But when I hear the Word was God, I not only hear the Word said to be, but perceive It proved to be, God."
Theophylact of Ohrid: " Or combine it thus. From the Word being with God, it follows plainly that there are two Persons. But these two are of one Nature; and therefore it proceeds, In the Word was God: to show that Father and Son are of One Nature, being of One Godhead."
Origen: "We must add too, that the Word illuminates the Prophets with Divine wisdom, in that He cometh to them; but that with God He ever is, because He is God. For which reason he placed and the Word was with God, before and the Word was God."
Chrysostom: "Not asserting, as Plato does, one to be intelligence,1 the other soul;2 for the Divine Nature is very different from this.... But you say, the Father is called God with the addition of the article, the Son without it. What say you then, when the Apostle. writes, The great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; (Tit. 2:13) and again, Who is over all, God; (Rom. 9:5) and Grace be unto you and peace from God our Father; (Rom. 1:7) without the article? Besides, too, it were superfluous here, to affix what had been affixed just before. So that it does not follow, though the article is not affixed to the Son, that He is therefore an inferior God.
- John 1:1, Douay-Rheims
- John 1:1, KJV
- John 1:1, RSV
- John 1:1, NIV
- See verses 14-17: "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John bore witness about him, and cried out, "This was he of whom I said, 'He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.'")... For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ."
- Qui si ipse deus est secundum Ioannem - Deus erat sermo - habes duos, alium dicentem ut fiat, alium facientem. alium autem quomodo accipere debeas iam professus sum, personae non substantiae nomine, ad distinctionem non ad divisionem. Adversus Praxeas[permanent dead link] 12.
- Et ut adhuc amplius hoc putes, accipe et in psalmo duos deos dictos: Thronus tuus, deus, in aevum, <virga directionis> virga regni tui; dilexisti iustitiam et odisti iniquitatem, propterea unxit te deus, deus tuus. Si ad deum loquitur, et unctum deum a deo, affirmat et hic duos deos... Plus est quod in evangelio totidem invenies: In principio erat sermo et sermo erat apud deum et deus erat sermo: unus qui erat, et alius penes quem erat. Adversus Praxeas[permanent dead link] 13.
- Origen, Commentary on John, Book II, chap. 2
- The Greek English New Testament. Christianity Today. 1975
- Nestle Aland Novum Testamentum Graece Read NA28 online
- Sahidica 2.01. J. Warren Wells. 2007.January.28 http://www.biblical-data.org/coptic/Sahidic_NT.pdf
- The Trustees of the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin/CBL Cpt 813, ff. 147v-148r/www.cbl.ie. "Sahidic Coptic Translation of John 1:1". Republished by Watchtower. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
- The Coptic version of the New Testament in the southern dialect : otherwise called Sahidic and Thebaic ; with critical apparatus, literal English translation, register of fragments and estimate of the version. 3, The gospel of S. John, register of fragments, etc., facsimiles. 3. Horner, George, 1849-1930. [Raleigh, NC]: [Lulu Enterprises]. 2014. ISBN 9780557302406. OCLC 881290216.CS1 maint: others (link)
- "Translating Sahidic Coptic John 1:1 | Gospel Of John | Translations". Scribd. Retrieved 2018-10-21.
- Библија: Свето писмо Старога и Новога завјета. Београд: Библијско друштво Србије. 2017. p. 1049. ISBN 978-86-86827-31-9.
- Harris, Murray J., Jesus as God: The New Testament Use of Theos in Reference to Jesus, 1992, Baker Books, pub. SBN 0801021952, p. 69
- Eastern / Greek Orthodox Bible, New Testament, 2009, p231.
- Horner, George William (1911). The Coptic version of the New Testament in the Southern dialect : otherwise called Sahidic and Thebaic ; with critical apparatus, literal English translation, register of fragments and estimate of the version. Robarts - University of Toronto. Oxford : The Clarendon Press. ISBN 978-0557302406.
- The Bible : James Moffatt translation : with concordance. Moffatt, James, 1870-1944. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Classics. 1994. ISBN 9780825432286. OCLC 149166602.CS1 maint: others (link)
- "John 1 In the beginning the Word existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was divine". studybible.info. Retrieved 2018-10-21.
- Schonfield, Hugh J. (1958). The Authentic New Testament. UK (1955), USA (1958): Panther, Signet. ISBN 9780451602152.CS1 maint: location (link)
- S. Wuest, Kenneth (1956). New Testament: An Expanded Translation. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. p. 209. ISBN 0-8028-1229-5.
- Zulfiqar Ali Shah (2012). Anthropomorphic Depictions of God: The Concept of God in Judaic, Christian and Islamic Traditions : Representing the Unrepresentable. International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT). p. 300. ISBN 9781565645752.
- For a complete list of 70 non traditional translations of John 1:1, see http://simplebibletruths.net/70-John-1-1-Truths.htm
- Mary L. Coloe, ed. (2013). Creation is Groaning: Biblical and Theological Perspectives (Reprinted ed.). Liturgical Press. p. 92. ISBN 9780814680650.
- Hart, David (2017). The New Testament: A Translation.
- David A. Reed. "How Semitic Was John? Rethinking the Hellenistic Background to John 1:1." Anglican Theological Review, Fall 2003, Vol. 85 Issue 4, p709
- William Arnold III, Colwell's Rule and John 1:1 Archived 2007-04-04 at the Wayback Machine at apostolic.net: "You could only derive a Trinitarian interpretation from John 1:1 if you come to this passage with an already developed Trinitarian theology. If you approached it with a strict Monotheism (which is what I believe John held to) then this passage would definitely support such a view."
- Beduhn in Truth in Translation: Accuracy and Bias in English Translations of the New Testament chapter 11 states: "Translators of the KJV, NRSV, NIV, NAB, New American Standard Bible, AB, Good News Bible and LB all approached the text at John 1:1 already believing certain things about the Word...and made sure that the translations came out in accordance with their beliefs.... Ironically, some of these same scholars are quick to charge the NW translation with "doctrinal bias" for translating the verse literally, free of KJV influence, following the sense of the Greek. It may very well be that the NW translators came to the task of translating John 1:1 with as much bias as the other translators did. It just so happens that their bias corresponds in this case to a more accurate translation of the Greek."
- Dr. J. R. Mantey: "It is neither scholarly nor reasonable to translate John 1:1 'The Word was a god.'"
- Dr. Bruce M. Metzger of Princeton (Professor of New Testament Language and Literature): "As a matter of solid fact, however, such a rendering is a frightful mistranslation. It overlooks entirely an established rule of Greek grammar which necessitates the rendering "...and the Word was God." http://www.bible-researcher.com/metzger.jw.html—see chapter IV point 1.
- Dr. Samuel J. Mikolaski of Zurich, Switzerland: "It is monstrous to translate the phrase 'the Word was a god.'"
- https://books.google.com/books?id=xEvXKTG9Mf4C&pg=PA211&dq=%22new+world+translation%22+falsification&hl=en&sa=X&ei=uJc1UcSfEunqiAeTq4B4&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=new%20world%20translation&f=false Ben Witherington III, The Living Word of God, 2007, Baylor University Press, pp. 211-213.
- Dr. Jason BeDuhn (of Northern Arizona University) in regard to the Kingdom Interlinear's appendix that gives the reason why the NWT favoured a translation of John 1:1 as saying the Word was not "God" but "a god" said: "In fact the KIT [Appendix 2A, p.1139] explanation is perfectly correct according to the best scholarship done on this subject.."
- Murray J. Harris has written: "Accordingly, from the point of view of grammar alone, [QEOS HN hO LOGOS] could be rendered "the Word was a god,...." -Jesus As God, 1992, p. 60.
- C. H. Dodd says: "If a translation were a matter of substituting words, a possible translation of [QEOS EN hO LOGOS]; would be, "The Word was a god". As a word-for-word translation it cannot be faulted."
- "The Article". A section heading in Robert W. Funk, A Beginning-Intermediate Grammar of Hellenistic Greek. Volume I. Second Corrected Edition. Scholars Press.
- Ernest Cadman Colwell (1933). "A definite rule for the use of the article in the Greek New Testament" (PDF). Journal of Biblical Literature. 52 (1): 12–21. doi:10.2307/3259477. JSTOR 3259477. Archived (PDF) from the original on February 21, 2016.
- Jason BeDuhn (2003). Truth in Translation: Accuracy and Bias in English Translations of the New Testament. University Press of America. pp. 117–120. ISBN 9780761825562.
- Daniel B. Wallace (1997). Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics. p. 269. ISBN 9780310218951.
- Wallace, ibid., p. 257
- Panayotis Coutsoumpos. Book Reviews Murray J. Harris. Jesus as God: The New Testament Use of Theos in Reference to Jesus. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books House, 1992. Berrier Springs. MI 49103
- Murray J. Harris. (1992). Jesus as God: The New Testament Use of Theos in Reference to Jesus. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books House.
- Murray J. Harris (2008). Jesus as God: The New Testament Use of Theos in Reference to Jesus (Reprinted ed.). Wipf and Stock Publishers. ISBN 9781606081082.
- McKenzie, John L. (1965). Dictionary of the Bible. Milwaukee, WI: Bruce.
- John L. Mckenzie (1995). The Dictionary Of The Bible (reprinted ed.). Touchstone, New York: Simon and Schuster. p. 317. ISBN 9780684819136.
- James D. G. Dunn (1989). Christology in the Making: A New Testament Inquiry Into the Origins of the Doctrine of the Incarnation (Second ed.). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.
- C. F. D. Moule (1953). An Idiom-Book of New Testament Greek. Cambridge: University Press. p. 116. ISBN 9780521057745.
- Philip B. Harner (March 1973). "Qualitative Anarthrous Predicate Nouns: Mark 15:39 and John 1:1". Journal of Biblical Literature. The Society of Biblical Literature. 92 (1): 75–87. doi:10.2307/3262756. JSTOR 3262756.
- David Barron (an anti-Trinitarian Seventh-day Adventist) (2011). John 1:1 Non-Trinitarian - The Nature and Deity of Christ. Archived from the original on 2012-05-01. Retrieved 2011-10-05.
- Albert Pietersma (1984). Albert Pietersma and Claude Cox (ed.). KYRIOS OR TETRAGRAM: A RENEWED QUEST FOR THE ORIGINAL LXX (PDF). DE SEPTUAGINTA. Studies in Honour of John William Wevers on his sixty-fifth birthday. Mississauga: Benben Publications. p. 90.
- The Journal of Theological Studies, NS, Vol. 62, Pt 2, October 2011. https://www.academia.edu/862541/_From_God_%CE%B8%CE%B5%CF%8C%CF%82_to_God_Noute_A_New_Discussion_and_Proposal_Regarding_John_1.1_and_the_Sahidic_Coptic_Version_of_the_NT_JTS_62.2_2011_494_512
- Genesis 1:1
- Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers on John 1, accessed 22 January 2016
- Mark 1:1
- Luke 1:2
- David L. Jeffrey A Dictionary of biblical tradition in English literature 1992 Page 460 "...in his reference to 'eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word' (Luke 1:2) he is certainly speaking of the person as well as the words and actions of Jesus"
- 1 John 1:1
- Dwight Moody Smith First, Second, and Third John 1991 Page 48 "Of course, were it not for the Gospel, it would not be so obvious to us that "the word of life" in 1 John 1:1 is Jesus Christ. Strikingly, only in the prologue of each is the logos to be identified with Jesus."
- Acts 28:6
- Acts 28:6
- Acts 28:6
- Divine Name King James Bible http://www.dnkjb.net/1189chapters/NT44ACT28.htm
- "Acts 28:6 Interlinear: And they were expecting him to be about to be inflamed, or to fall down suddenly dead, and they, expecting it a long time, and seeing nothing uncommon happening to him, changing their minds, said he was a god".
- "Catena aurea: commentary on the four Gospels, collected out of the works of the Fathers: Volume 6, St. John. Oxford: Parker, 1874. Thomas Aquinas". 1874. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.