| || |The Berean Expositor
Volume 30 - Page 104 of 179 Index | Zoom | |
With a few exceptions, we may tell which is the subject or the predicate of a sentence
by the presence or absence of the article. In all three clauses here it is "The Word" that is
"THE WORD."--He it is Who was in the beginning.
"THE WORD."--He it is Who was with God.
"THE WORD."--He it is Who was God.
Parallel with this last form of expression is that found in John 4: 24: Pneuma ho
Theos. Literally, this would be "Spirit the God", but if we render it so that the English
reader will get the same effect as the original would give to a Greek, we should have:
"God is (as to His essence) SPIRIT" (not, "a spirit"). So in John 1: 1: "The Word was
(as to His essence) GOD" (not "a god").
(2) The absence of the article.--There are some who would translate John 1: 1: "The
Word was a God", because Theos is without the article. The following references,
however, all of which occur in the prologue of John's Gospel, will be enough to show the
incorrectness of such a translation.
"There was a man sent from a God" (verse 6).
"Power to become children of a God" (verse 12).
"Which were born of a God" (verse 13).
"No man hath seen a God at any time" (verse 18).
The last reference, from verse 18, corresponds with that of verse 1, as is seen by the
"The Word was God" (as to His substance or essence).
"No man hath seen God" (as to His substance or essence).
A similar usage of the article, or rather of its absence, is found in verse 14: "The
Word was made flesh." It would be manifestly absurd to translate this "The Word was
made a flesh".
The word Theos is used of God in the Scriptures in three different ways:
Essentially, as in John 4: 24: "God is Spirit."
Personally, as of the Father: "God the Father" (Gal. 1: 1).
Personally, as of the Son: "Unto the Son, He saith . . . . . O God" (Heb. 1: 8).
Personally, as of the Spirit: "The Holy Ghost . . . . . God" (Acts 5: 3, 5).
Manifestly, as of the Word: "The Word was God" (John 1: 1).
In the narrative section of the Gospel John seizes many opportunities to bring into
prominence the controversy concerning the Deity of Christ. These passages will come
before us in their order, as we follow the exposition of the Gospel, but there are three that
most readers will call to mind, that seem to carry the theme forward from argument and
hostility to adoration and worship:
"Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill Him, because He not only had broken
the sabbath, but said also that God was His Father, making Himself equal with
God" (John 5: 18).