Further thoughts about the Gospel of John, Chapter 1

In the beginning” – before time began was God. With God was the Word.

Word – attribute of God, That which spoke all things into existence.

Why use “Word“? Why not Power or Breath or some other expression? What does Word designate? What is the ancient Jewish understanding of the use of language? Is it because Genesis says “And God said…” Is that why Word is used? Because by the expression of his voice, things happened? God used words to express His power, to make things come into being, to express His will.

“Ancient Hebrew though used concrete words to describe abstract concepts” – ancient Hebrew research center. Perhaps within this statement is a clue to understanding why the word Word was used.

“glory of a father’s only son” – the son has all the attributes of the father, to him belongs all that belongs to the father for he is the only son.

John 1:22 “What do you say about yourself?” Pharisees want to know who John is, what he is doing here, why does he baptize, has someone told him to do this, gave him permission? Why does he live in the desert? Why do people listen to his voice? Why do they follow him? Perhaps people flocked to John because they were hungry for God. The priest of the Temple were not “feeding” them with the words of God. Perhaps John did. What John was doing was a mystery to the Pharisees, yet they must have attached an importance to it, for they sent representatives to question him. The Pharisees knew the prophesies and saw the people flocking to him. Why didn’t they? The Pharisees saw themselves as protectors of the purity of faith.

John is the son of a priest, a Levite. So he too is a pries,t because he is a descendant of Levi, his tribe. He seeks to purify people by his baptism; he encourages people to change their lives; he prepares them for the coming of Christ.

The priest in the Temple prepared the Lamb to be sacrificed. He made sure that it was unblemished and suitable for sacrifice.

Isaiah 40 was quoted by John – I am the voice of one crying in the desert…make straight the way of the Lord.