What Was In The Beginning With God? John 1:1-4, 1 John 1:1-2

 

John 1:1 never says, “In the beginning was the Son, and the Son was with God, and the Son was God.” The text says, “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God.” If we do not assume that the word (logos) is another pre-incarnate God the Word Person beside the Father, then John 1:2 should be translated as “it” or “this was in the beginning with God” rather than “he was in the beginning with God.” For the Son of God was with the Father only in God’s expressed thought (logos) before having a beginning by his virgin begetting.   

 

Trinitarian scholars have had a great influence on the vast majority of Bible translations that we have today. Just as scientists who believe in general evolution often use their personal bias when interpreting the facts of science, so Trinitarian scholars have often used their personal bias in the various translations we have today. For example, in the sixteenth century, William Tyndale (a Greek scholar) translated the first English Bible directly from the Greek text. Prior to Tyndale, all English New Testaments were translated from the Latin Vulgate. William Tyndale translated John 1:2-3 from Erasmus’ Greek text as “IT was in the beginning with God” when referencing the Logos in John 1:1.

 

Why did Tyndale translate the first English Bible directly from the Greek text as “it was in the beginning with God” rather than “He was in the beginning with God?” Tyndale translated the Greek pronouns “houtos” and “autous” as “IT” because nothing in the text of John 1:1 states that the “logos” of God existed as a personal “He” before the incarnation actually occurred. When we turn to 1 John 1:1, we find clarification of the apostle John’s understanding of the word (logos) that was with God in John 1:1. John wrote about an impersonal “That which was from the beginning” in 1 John 1:1 rather than a personal “he” that was from the “beginning.”

 

Scholar Bart D. Ehrman exposed Trinitarian influence in Bible translations when he said, “Erasmus who produced the first Greek New Testament without the trinity in 1516 was forced by the priests to put the trinity in a new edition that was later translated into the King James Version of the Bible (Jesus, Interrupted pp.186-187, The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture / Metzger's The Text of the New Testament, page 101-102).” Tyndale had originally translated 1 John 1:2-4 as “it was in the beginning with God,” but later Trinitarian influence caused the King James Version and subsequent translations to read, “He was in the beginning with God.” Thus we can see that there was clearly Trinitarian bias involved in the translations from the Greek text.

 

The Greek pronouns “houtos” and “autos” are usually translated as “this” or “it” throughout the New Testament unless the context indicates that a person is in view. For example, John 6:60 says, “Therefore many of his disciples, when they heard THIS (AUTOU) said, ‘THIS (HOUTOS) is a difficult SAYING (LOGOS); who can hear IT (AUTOU)?’ ” It is hard to imagine that John 6:60 could be translated as a “he” or “him” in relation to the logos (the saying of Jesus) rather than “this” or “it.” For then the text would read, “Therefore many of his disciples, when they heard HIM said, HE is a difficult SAYING; who can hear HIM.” Obviously, the sayings of Jesus could not be a distinct person beside himself. Nor could the saying (words) of Jesus actually be Jesus himself. Therefore, the Trinitarian translators could not identify Jesus as the logos (the saying), so they translated the text as “THIS” and “IT” in relation to the LOGOS rather than a HE or a HIM. The same logical principal should also apply to John 1:1-3 because the text says nothing of a distinct God the Word Person distinct from God the Father in John 1:1.

 

John 1:1-3, “In the beginning was the word (logos) and the word (logos) was with God” (“was with God” - “pros ton theon” is translated as “Pertaining to God” or “relating to God” in Heb. 2:17 and Heb. 5:1) and God was the word (logos) .... THIS (HOUTOS) was with God in the beginning. All things came to be through THIS/IT (AUTOU) and apart from THIS/IT (AUTOU) not one thing has come to be that has come to be.”

 

The apostle John clarified what he means about the “logos” of God in John chapter one in his first Epistle (logos means “reason,” “logic,” or the “expressed thought”). 1 John 1:1 says, “That which was from the beginning” rather than “He who was from the beginning.” Therefore the word (logos) which was with the Father was not yet a personal child born and son given until the Father’s word (logos) was made flesh (John 1:14) and the Father’s Holy Spirit came down from heaven upon the virgin to produce the Christ child (Luke 1:35; Matthew 1:18-23).

 

John 1:1-3 says nothing about a person actually being with another God person. The text in verse two simply states that the logos (word) was with God in the beginning. The natural reading of the text in verse three simply states that all things were created through the logos (word) listed in verse one which would naturally be interpreted as the Father’s word (the Father’s expressed thought) which pertains to Himself. For Psalm 33:6 says, “By the word of Yahweh were the heaves made, and all the host of them BY THE BREATH OF HIS MOUTH.”   

 

Trinitarian scholars cannot show that the Greek word “logos” ever means a person within the inspired scripture. Since we cannot find a single example anywhere in the Greek New Testament to show that the word “logos” ever actually means a person, we should not assume that the logos of John 1:1 is another distinct God the Word Person without the text actually saying so. Therefore, since Trinitarian Greek scholars should not have assumed that the word (logos) in John 1:1 was another God Person with God, John 1:2-3 should properly be translated as “it” or “this” was in the beginning with God rather than, “he was in the beginning with God.”

 

John 1:1 states that “the Word (logos) was WITH (PROS) GOD. When the apostle John wrote of a person who was with another person, he never used the Greek preposition (pros) as in John 1:1. Hence, when John wrote that the word was with (pros) God, he was not saying that the logos was an actual distinct person with God before that logos was made flesh. If the apostle John had meant that a person (the Son) was actually in view with another person (the Father), he would have used one of the two Greek prepositions, “PARA” or “META,” meaning with. These are the words that he used elsewhere in his gospel narrative to describe a person actually being with another person. For example, in John 1:49 we read: "They stayed with (para) him for the day." Here John used “para” for persons staying “with” (para) another person. Likewise, in John 4:40, we read: “They asked him to stay with (para) them.” Here again we see that John regularly used the Greek word PARA for a person staying with (para) other persons.

 

Many other examples show that John always used the Greek words “para” or “meta” for a person actually being with another person (or other persons), but we never find the apostle John ever using “pros” for a person being with another person(s). 

 

John 14:17 says, “he remained with (para) you.”

 

John 14:25 says, “These things I spoke to you while I was with (para) you.”

 

John further employed the use of the Greek preposition “META” (with) throughout his gospel narrative for persons being with other persons, but he never employed the Greek preposition “pros” for people being with other people. For example, John 3:22 reads, “They stayed with (meta) him.” John 3:25 says that John the Baptists disciples had "a discussion with (meta) a Jew." Here again, the preposition META is used for John’s disciples having a discussion “with” a Jew about purification.


If the apostle John had meant, “in the beginning was the Son, and the Son was with the Father,” he would have used one of the two Greek prepositions PARA or META for a person actually being with another person. Since John used “pros” for God's (logos) plan or purpose being with (pros) God, he had to have meant that His foreknown plan (or message) was with Himself in the same way Paul wrote that the gospel message was with the Galatians in Galatians 2:5.

 

“So THE TRUTH OF THE GOSPEL (not a person but the message) may stay WITH (PROS) you (hymas – a personal pronoun).” Galatians 2:5

 

In a similar way that the apostle John used the “logos” for the predestined MESSAGE which was “PROS” “WITH GOD” in John 1:1, so Paul used the Greek preposition PROS with the personal pronoun “hymas” to show that “the truth of the gospel (the MESSAGE) may stay WITH (PROS) YOU (PERSONAL PRONOUN “HYMAS”).” Thus, the Greek grammar in John 1:1 does not prove that the Greek word “logos” means a distinct person until that word (logos) was made flesh to become a personal child born and son given. Therefore the distinction between the Father and Son is an ontological distinction because the son had a specific time in human history when God also became a man as the human person called Christ Jesus. For our only true God the Father was able to retain His unchangeable divine attributes in the heavens as the “One God and Father” (Ephes. 4:6), while He simultaneously became a distinct human person as a true man (a true Son) through the virgin (Heb. 1:3; Heb. 2:14-17; 1 Tim. 3:16). 

 

John 1:10 shows that the Son was in the world and that the world was created by Him as God before He became a Son.

 

“He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world did not know Him.”

 

Just as a skilled carpenter could say that he was in the house and the house was made alone and by himself, so John 1:10 can say that Jesus as the “One Father” who created all things (Malachi 2:10; Hebrews 2:7; Psalm 8:5-6; Hebrews 3:3-4; Psalm 102:25-27; Hebrews 1:10-12) was in the world as the incarnation of that “only true God” the Father with us as a true man. For the world was made by Him as God before also becoming a true man (a Son). For just a man can say that he built a house by his own power and through his own skills as a carpenter without implying that he built the house as an agent, so God the Father created all things by Himself and through Himself (through His own word and invisible hands).

 

Since God had prophetically spoke as if the Son was already in existence in His prophetic logos (in God’s Mind and Thought – Romans 4:17), the Son can be said to be “pros” with God in His own mind and plan without literally existing with Him as a living Son. For example, Psalm 2:7 says, “You ARE MY SON, this day HAVE I begotten you.” In God's mind, the Son was already begotten as a Son before he literally became that Son through his begetting. God was able to say, “this day have I begotten you” because Romans 4:17 states that God “calls the things which be not as though they (already) were.” In like manner, Revelation 13:8 proves that in God’s sight, the “Lamb” was already “slain from the creation of the world” - before the Lamb of God was actually slain on the cross. Since the Greek word “logos” literally means the “expressed thought” that comes from a person’s mind, it is reasonable to believe that the Son was already with the Father in God’s prophetic mind and plan before the world was actually created.

 

The Interpreter's Dictionary, Volume 4, pages 870-871, proves that the word of God in the Hebrew and Greek texts can be interpreted to describe God’s “whole plan and purpose for mankind.”

 

The word (logos) of God is used of: ‘God's revealed will, or HIS WHOLE PLAN AND PURPOSE FOR MANKIND ...’ ” (The Interpreter's Dictionary, Volume 4, pages 870-871)

 

The only way to harmonize all of the scriptural data is to believe that the word (logos) of God existed with the Father before the incarnation (John 1:1) as His own expressed mind and plan for the ages of humanity which He would accomplish though His future child born and son given. Hence, the Christ child was God’s central “plan and purpose for mankind” “before the world was” (John 17:5) literally created later on in time. Therefore, the scriptural titles, “son of God” and “son of man” refers to the man Christ Jesus who existed “in the beginning” (John 1:1) in God’s expressed thought (logos) before the Fathers word (logos) was later “made flesh” (John 1:14) and before the Father’s Holy Spirit “came down from heaven” (John 6:38; Luke 1:35) to become incarnate as the Christ child via virgin conception and birth.

 

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