Today we start reading the Gospel of John, which is one of the more challenging books of the Bible to understand. But the Bible would soon lose our continuing interest if its meaning was immediately plain as we read it. Often we have to carefully think about what we read to get to its real meaning. This is God’s wisdom in causing it to be written the way it is.
The problem is made greater in a few cases because the translators have had a fixed idea in their minds as to its meaning. John’s Gospel begins by using the word ‘WORD’. “In the beginning was the WORD” In the Greek this is the word Logos. It is sometimes translated as saying [eg John 4 v.47,49] and the lexicon says it primarily means ‘spoken word’
Genesis 1 is all about what God said to create life on earth. All that the people heard in the wilderness was God speaking from the top of the mountain. God was known by his WORD, no one saw God he was only known by his voice.
The translators confuse us in John 1 when they start to use the word “Him” The earliest translations (Tyndale) use the word “it.” The best way is to use the noun instead of the pronoun. “All things were made through a word, and without a word was not anything made that was made” [v.3]
But there is a greater meaning here, a spiritual meaning – that is, that the words of Jesus had the power to bring eternal life to those that accepted them and acted on them. The Jews [v.11] did not accept his words “But to all who did receive him, who believed his name, he gave the right to become ‘children of God’ [v.12]
Do we want to become children of God? Or just live and die as animal beings so that in the end we are no better than other animals? By David Caudery