The Berean Expositor
Volume 30 - Page 101 of 179
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and occasionally we meet with "for", as in the sentence: "If ye have any word of
exhortation for the people, say on" (Acts 13: 15).
A very suggestive rendering is found in John 13: 28: "Now no man at the table knew
for what intent He spake this unto Him." Observe also the usage of pros in the following
"The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself" (Luke 18: 11).
"They reasoned with themselves" (Luke 20: 5).
"We have peace with God" (Rom. 5: 1).
"What communion hath light with darkness?" (II Cor. 6: 14).
Now we could easily "prove" that pros in Luke 20: 5 implies at least two separate
persons--"They reasoned with themselves"; but can we discover two people in
Luke 18: 11: "He prayed with himself"? Until we can, let us not be deceived by the
show of wisdom that would argue about two separate individuals in John 1: 1, because
the passage reads "The Word was with God." Man faces a mystery when he faces his
own nature. How much more, then, when he is confronted with a revelation that touches
upon the nature of God!
We may perhaps catch a glimpse of the meaning of John 1: 1 by looking at the last
reference in the list above. As II Cor. 6: indicates, there can be no possible communion
between light and darkness. We know that God is light, and that the Word was both light
and life--and so the Word was "with" God.
We can no more introduce separate personalities into John 1: 1 than we can into
Luke 18: 11 or Rom. 7: 15-25.  Moreover, we trust that no one will object to the
argument that uses the nature of man as a guide to the nature of God, for the Scriptures
themselves endorse this viewpoint. Man was made in the image and likeness of his
Creator, and in the realm of grace the "new man" is renewed in knowledge after the
image of Him that created him (Col. 3: 10). Even with regard to the natural man, Paul
could write:
"For what man knoweth the things of man, save the spirit of man which is in him?
Even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God" (I Cor. 2: 11).
Man is a triune being, and is still a mystery to himself. He is but a faint adumbration
of the ideal Being, God Himself, and it is surely unbecoming for him to attempt to
"explain" the nature of the Divine Essence, when he himself has to confess that he cannot
set forth, without the aid of metaphysics, what he discerns regarding even his own
personality. We can at least appreciate something of the intention behind the choice of
"pros" in John 1: 1, when we remember how we use the same idea among ourselves,
without any suggestion of physical proximity. It is our joy occasionally to receive a letter
from a reader whose face we have never seen, perhaps from the ends of the earth, and we
certainly have no "problem" of interpretation when he writes concerning our witness for
the rightly divided Word, that though separated from us by several thousand miles, he is
nevertheless "with" us in our witness.