...and the word was God, or a god?

A_Son_of_God

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It is known by many that in John 1:1, the Bible speaks of Jesus, calling him the Word of God.

But then the next section says that this word was WITH God, and the word - according to some Bibles - WAS God. But other Bibles state something like "...was A god", or "...was divine in nature". Some believe that only Jehovah's Witnesses believe this, and accuse them of changing the Bible. But this is simply not true.

But what's the issue?

The issue is, either Jesus is being called God or not. Being "a god", or "divine" just states that he was divine in nature, whereas being God means something different.

So in this article, we're going to analyse the language of the part of the Bible it refers to, and clarify it once and for all. Others have done so in the past, and you can refer to one of the articles here.

First of all, let's imagine the scriptural meaning was accurately translated "WAS God". Does this mean God is a trinity? No. Trinity refers to three, but this would only allow a "Binity", as there are only two mentioned. So it isn't an argument that supports the Trinity at all, but only one that - if there was no counterargument - would equate Jesus with God.

Second, we need to consider the idea of the rest of the verse. We see the word was "in the beginning". What beginning? Considering God doesn't have a beginning, it must therefore refer to something else. So, at the beginning of some specific thing that at this stage isn't known, there was the Word, that was with God. So, if it was WITH God, it means it is a separate entity to God. Is that not reasonable? To be WITH someone means that there is a separate entity that a person is WITH.

But then it states - according to the King James Version, the Douay Versions and others - "and the word WAS God."

So, there is a very important reason for analysing this, as the language is very unclear - IF the meaning was that the Word was God, at least.

The Evidence

Here, I'm posting some of the text as written in the Greek languages. Take note though that the Greek part of the Scriptures were written in Koine Greek, and not modern day Greek. Just like how prior to the Babylonian captivity, the Hebrew used was an ancient Hebrew, and not the modern day Hebrew we see now in way of lettering.

1) The way it is written in one interlinear script.

John1-1studybible.png

In the above, we have the breakdown of this scripture, with the English translation written underneath. You will notice that there are four "definite articles", that are circled in the example below. Namely, these definite articles are given the number G3588 in the Interlinear Bible here. Here is a link to the page "G3588", so you can study it for yourself. You will see it is used to demonstrate what is a definite article.

Looking at the below, I have circled this G3588, and you will notice that in this verse, it is used four times. But one of these four is different from the rest. Why? Because the three are in the masculine gender, where the fourth is in the neutral gender. Some languages use gender, and Greek is one of them.

In fact, if you look at the word "God", you will see it is G2316, and although it is written in there twice, both times are different, due to this gender.

John1-1studybible highlighted.png

You will notice on the one with the neutral gender, no "the" is written below it, although if you notice the use of the language, it is important to have a "the" there, making "God" a definite article.

But now note the below. I have highlighted a difference between the words with a definite article, and those that don't have it.

John1-1studybible missing.png

Here you will notice that there is no definite article before the word Theos. Therefore, Theos is an indefinite article in this instance. What does that mean?

It means that it isn't translated "The God", which is how it should be just two words prior to it, but is an indefinite article, meaning "god" as such. A weakened version of God.

In fact, let's look at another time that this was done in the Bible. It is in Acts 28:6, when Paul was bitten by a snake. Here it is:

Acts28-6studybible.png

So, in this account, Paul had just been bitten by a poisonous snake, and the people were expecting him to fall down dead, but because he didn't die, they believed him to be a god.

But the emphasis for our lesson here is the use of the expression "a god", that is used also in the King James Version in this verse. Look below, as I've highlighted the section, showing that the word translated "A God" - and please don't confuse the capitals, as you'll note that ALL words in this section of scripture are written with capitals - is the same as how it is used in John 1:1, which is mistranslated "God".

Acts28-6studybible highlighted.png

Conclusion

So, based on this definite/indefinite article issue, it appears it is more correct to use the term "a god" at John 1:1 after all, as this is how the language defined whether it meant THE God, (or how we in English say "God"), with A God, or a god-like being. Surely, consistency, balanced with the way it is intended to be read by the circumstances around it, are important.

This is why it can be written that the word was both WITH God, and "A god", or of a divine nature, as some other translations have it written, and which Jehovah's people also use, due to it being clear, and not confusing.
 

Moriarty

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Ask yourself a simple question.

What is god to you.

Dont look at the text, they were written by men, don't listen to sermons they are spoken by men.

Listen to your faith and believe what you will.
That way your only listening to one man, yourself and your connection with God.

You dont need any other man to tell you how to have faith.

You need no one else to prove your faith.

In all things, the heart forgives for the heart is faith.
Only rationality or the mind creates doubt.

Stop trying to rationalise belief based on rationality, they co-exist, yet are seperate.
People believe in science yet it is often wrong, religion is true in oneself just as a scientist believes.

Everything in life is opinion..
Nothing is true because we are simple life forms living beyond our intellectual means.
 

Altair

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Ask yourself a simple question.

What is god to you.

Dont look at the text, they were written by men, don't listen to sermons they are spoken by men.

Listen to your faith and believe what you will.
That way your only listening to one man, yourself and your connection with God.

You dont need any other man to tell you how to have faith.

You need no one else to prove your faith.

In all things, the heart forgives for the heart is faith.
Only rationality or the mind creates doubt.

Stop trying to rationalise belief based on rationality, they co-exist, yet are seperate.
People believe in science yet it is often wrong, religion is true in oneself just as a scientist believes.

Everything in life is opinion..
Nothing is true because we are simple life forms living beyond our intellectual means.
Ask your self a simple question..?

When i studied Science back in the 80's i asked MY self a simple question..

Say I have never read the Bible...And someone come up to me in the street and told me of Jesus and the Miracles.

Would I have believed them?.

My answer was NO.
 

A_Son_of_God

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Dont look at the text, they were written by men, don't listen to sermons they are spoken by men.
So...based on that, don't listen to you, because what you wrote was by a man?
 

Billyliar

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Tbh, I'm not bi sexual, but I had a great time in a gay nightclub on ecstasy once, nobody else would let us in, after we had a fight amongst ourselves, but I enjoyed the vibe there,
 

Moriarty

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So...based on that, don't listen to you, because what you wrote was by a man?
As with anything written by man, they are opinions.
Opinions are like a**h****, everyone has one, they are usually narrow, one sided and stink.
 

A_Son_of_God

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As with anything written by man, they are opinions.
Opinions are like a**h****, everyone has one, they are usually narrow, one sided and stink.
There ya go. Based on that, there is absolutely no reason to listen to your opinion.

The article though was about the usage in text. It wasn't about "Should I believe in God?" or, "What kind of idiot believes this or that???", but was about the text that was written. Most people it seems these days will tangentialise - not be on point - because they don't know how.
 

Moriarty

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I voiced an opinion, written by a man, me.
In the same way the bible was written by men historically.
You discount my opinion based on what exactly?

That they dont align with yours?
 

Altair

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There ya go. Based on that, there is absolutely no reason to listen to your opinion.

The article though was about the usage in text. It wasn't about "Should I believe in God?" or, "What kind of idiot believes this or that???", but was about the text that was written. Most people it seems these days will tangentialise - not be on point - because they don't know how.
No reason to listen to someone's opinion?.. Hmm. What a nice person you are. Based on your own belief in a God.

You aught to be more reasonable and open your mind to other possibilities.

There may be NO God or Gods.
 

Moriarty

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No reason to listen to someone's opinion?.. Hmm. What a nice person you are. Based on your own belief in a God.

You aught to be more reasonable and open your mind to other possibilities.

There may be NO God or Gods.
Do you know?

If you do, then youre not scientific, because science is based on what we think we know.
If you know, then you are religious and therefore just as ideologically inclined as a scientist.

If you don't know but accept the possibility, how are you wrong?

There is simply no proof either way, so to discount it is folly.
 

Moriarty

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ladymuck

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What is the definition of a god? According to my dictionary...an idealised icon. Someone others look up to, admire and worship. The Gods of Olympus were regarded as being superior to the common people and credited with supernatural powers. We now realise that most of those powers were actually technological, which we are now able to replicate.
All life comes from energy, which starts as non-physical and then condenses to become matter. This is a process which happens naturally. Do we credit a being with this process or do we then regard 'God' as another word for nature?
Jesus taught about a loving, fatherly God....a spiritual God, rather than a physical god. While on the cross, he cried out..'Father why has thou forsaken me?' Was he expecting a miraculous event to free him from his torment? Was his faith misplaced? Was he teaching about a god which he believed in but didn't actually exist?
 

Confused_Fred

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The definition of a god can vary depending on cultural, religious, and philosophical perspectives. In general, a god is often understood as a supernatural being or entity with power and authority beyond that of humans. Gods are typically associated with divine qualities such as omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence, and they may be worshipped or revered by believers.

However, different religions and belief systems have their own interpretations of what constitutes a god. For example, in polytheistic traditions like ancient Greek mythology, gods were anthropomorphic beings with distinct personalities and domains of influence. In monotheistic religions like Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, God is often conceived as a singular, all-powerful deity who created and governs the universe.

In some philosophical and spiritual contexts, the concept of god may be understood in more abstract or metaphorical terms. For instance, some people view god as synonymous with nature or the universe itself, seeing divine presence or energy in all living things and natural phenomena.

Regarding Jesus' teachings about God, he is often depicted in the Christian tradition as referring to God as a loving and compassionate father figure. Jesus' cry of "Father, why have you forsaken me?" while on the cross is interpreted by theologians in various ways. Some see it as an expression of human anguish and suffering, while others interpret it as a moment of divine mystery or fulfillment of prophecy.

Ultimately, the understanding of God and the nature of divinity are complex and multifaceted concepts that have been explored and debated by theologians, philosophers, and spiritual seekers throughout history. Different individuals and communities may have their own interpretations and beliefs about the divine based on their cultural, religious, and personal experiences.
 

A_Son_of_God

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I voiced an opinion, written by a man, me.
In the same way the bible was written by men historically.
You discount my opinion based on what exactly?

That they dont align with yours?
No mate, that's not what I'm saying. What I'm saying is you just stated that what you said "stinks".
 

Chip_TheViking

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All life comes from energy, which starts as non-physical and then condenses to become matter.
interesting according to the laws of thermodynamics, energy cannot be created or destroyed, only transformed, maybe the Chinese have it right with Buddhism.. being the theory of reincarnation
 

A_Son_of_God

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interesting according to the laws of thermodynamics, energy cannot be created or destroyed, only transformed, maybe the Chinese have it right with Buddhism.. being the theory of reincarnation
Yet, those laws of thermodynamics are restricted to a contained environment. But how do you see reincarnation as being related?
 

Chip_TheViking

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how do you see reincarnation as being related?
I'm not referring to the concept of levelling up in a game or stating this as my belief but consider the law of entropy, it states that in a closed system the total entropy, or disorder of the system will always increase over time
in the context of reincarnation this could be interpreted as reflecting that the soul undergoes a process of growth and learning through multiple lifetimes.. leading to increased complexity and order over time
then theres the first law, AKA the law of energy conservation, stating that energy cannot be created or destroyed, only transformed from one form to another......regarding reincarnation this can be seen as support for the idea that the energy of a persons soul or consciousness continues to exist after death and is reincarnated into a new physical form
Im aware science and spirituality operate under different frameworks and assumptions im just shooting ideas as if as @ladymuck stated, if soul/consciousness/spirit is NRG it cannot be destroyed but only transformed..
then there's the concept of karma suggesting that individuals actions have consequences that may affect their future lives or reincarnations, keeping an open mind the entropy of a closed system that tends to increase, leading to a state of disorder and equilibrium may be seen as reflecting the idea of karmic consequences, I know it's a stretch :D
 
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