In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
|SERMONS, ESSAYS AND OPINIONS|
John opens his account of Jesus' life on earth with the beautiful statement of the divinity of Jesus. The traditional text of the verse reads: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The phrase "the Word" (a translation of the Greek word "Logos") refers to Jesus, as indicated in other verses later in the same chapter. This verse, as well as a number of others throughout John and elsewhere in the Bible, set the stage for developments in Trinitarian theology and Christology.
There has been controversy in the past regarding the exact translation. The Greek text reads: Εν αρχη ην ο λογος και ο λογος ην προς τον Θεον και Θεος ην ο λογος. The point of the debate is a grammatical one which has theological repercussion. The standard translation finishes with: And the Word was God. Some people have translated it instead as: And the word was a god. Those who attempt to translate the verse as a god neglect to note a standard Koine Greek grammatical rule, which has been called Colwell's rule - "In sentences in which the copula is expressed, a definite predicate nominative has the article when it follows the verb; it does not have the article when it precedes the verb."
- 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."
|Hebrew||בְּרֵאשִׁית הָיָה הַדָּבָר וְהַדָּבָר הָיָה אֶת־הָאֱהִים וְהוּא הַדָּבָר הָיָה אֱהִים׃|
|Greek||Εν αρχη ην ο λογος και ο λογος ην προς τον Θεον και Θεος ην ο λογος.|
|Latin||In principio erat Verbum, et Verbum erat apud Deum, et Deus erat Verbum.|
|KJV||In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.|
|WEB||In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.|