- Category: Do we know What we worship?
Theme Text– In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (John 1:1)
1) We studied about God Almighty and Jesus Christ, and also explored questions on Co-Equality and Co-Eternity. We learnt about the Holy Spirit too. Now let us dig into some scriptures that are usually quoted to support a Trinity. Actually people often used to cite a portion of 1John 5:7-8 to support a triumvirate God - For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one (KJV). Why have they stopped doing so?
It’s no surprise they have stopped doing that because today it’s common knowledge that this portion was not part of original scripture. It was spuriously added by a scribe centuries after John died. No modern reputed translation (NIV, NASB, NRSV etc.) includes them.
* The NIV has a footnote that says, ‘not found in any Greek manuscript before the fourteenth century’.
1400 years after Jesus, someone tried to add a trinity to the Bible, but then got caught.
2) Can John 1:1 be used to prove a ‘trinity’?
Since 1John5:7-8 was corrected, people have started turning to John 1:1 nowadays to support a trinity. But there is one obvious problem!
John 1:1 does not teach a trinity, as it does not even mention the holy Spirit.
Can we have a ‘trinity’ with just two parties?
3) But John 1:1 does say ‘the Word was God’. What did John mean by this?
We find an interesting thing about Greek – It does not have indefinite articles (‘a’ or ‘an’).
If you wanted to say ‘I saw a tree’ in Greek, you would say ‘I saw tree’ and everyone would know you meant ‘a tree’. Therefore an English translator would automatically supply the ‘a’.
The Greek text of John 1:1 is as below. (We learnt about theos, the Greek word for god/God before).
‘In the beginning was the Logos, and the Logos was with the theos, and the Logos was [a] theos’.
Should the English translator supply the intended ‘a’ or not?
- It’s remarkable that John uses the definite article in the first part - the Logos was with the theos, but deliberately leaves it out in the latter – and the Logos was [a] theos.
- We notice the translators had no hesitation in supplying the ‘a’ for the ‘a god’ in Acts 28:6.
Applying the principle translators have used all over the New Testament, this should read in English as,
‘the Word was with God (the theos), and the Word was a god (theos).'
Yes, the Logos was with God Almighty in the beginning, and the Logos was a god - a mighty being. It could also be rendered as:
‘the Word was with the Almighty (the theos), and the Word was mighty (theos).'
1John 1:2 confirms this too. The same John wrote both texts about the same time, to essentially make the same point.
John 1:1 says the Word was ‘with the theos’.
1John 1:2 says the Word was ‘with the Father’.
This clearly shows whom John considered the theos (The God Almighty) - the Father.
4) Do any other verses clarify this application further?
As if to help remove any lingering doubt, we find Jesus using the same terminology in John 14:1,
‘Believe in the theos [God], believe also in me [Jesus]’.
He asks the disciples to believe in the theos [God] and also in him. Doesn’t that make it obvious he is not God Almighty, but rather another being?
Furthermore, John says,
‘No one has seen God at any time’, but ‘the only begotten god who is in the bosom of the Father’ has appeared to declare what God is about (John 1:18 NASB)
It’s obvious that John has two gods in mind – God Almighty, the unseen Father, and the son of God, who in his own right is also a mighty being, ‘a god’.
Like John 1:1, John 1:18 distinguishes two mighty beings – God Almighty and the mighty Son (the Word).