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LIFE OF CHRIST I
A Harmony of the Gospels

PROLOGUE
John 1:1-18

In The Beginning - The Logos

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The Prologue is summed up with three thoughts:

1. (John 1:1-5) The Logos
2. (John 1:6-11) The Logos disowned
3. (John 1:12-18) The Logos acknowledged and regained

Vincent adequately demonstrates the similarity of expression throughout these 18 verses:

"The Person whom the Apostles beheld,  Who was proclaimed by John the Baptist,  and in Whom the Church believed,  is none other than He whose existence and supreme greatness have been indicated by the title Logos.   Thus the Prologue forms a compact,  organic whole,  of which the germinal thought is this:  by the Incarnation believers are restored to that communion with the Word,  and that living relation with God,  of which man had been deprived by sin."
John 1:1-18
(1)  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (2)  He was in the beginning with God.  (3)  All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.  (4)   In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.  (5)  And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

(6)  There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.  (7)  This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe.  (8)  He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.  (9)  That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.

(10)  He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.  (11)  He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.  (12)  But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:  (13)  who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

(14)  And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

(15)  John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, "This was He of whom I said, ' He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.'"

(16)  And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.  (17)  For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.  (18)  No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.

(17)  For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

(18)  No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.
(NKJV)

JOHN 1:1

The three clauses contain all that it is possible for man to realize as to the essential nature of the Word in relation to time,  and mode of being,  and character:

1. He was IN THE BEGINNING
2. He was WITH GOD
3. He WAS GOD

At the same time these three clauses answer to the three great moments of the Incarnation in verse 4:

1. He who "was God" BECAME FLESH
2. He who "was with God" TABERNACLED AMONG US
3. He who "was in the beginning" BECAME  (in time)

IN  THE  BEGINNING  WAS:  With evident allusion to the first word of Genesis.

But John elevates the phrase from its reference to a point of time

- in the beginning of creation  -
to the absolute Existence and Pre-Existence before the creation
which is not mentioned until verse 3.

This beginning had no beginning  (compare v.3;  17:5;   Eph. 1:4,   Prov. 8:23).

Eight times in the narrative of creation  (in Genesis)  there occur,  like the refrain of a hymn,  the words:  "AND  GOD  SAID."  John gathers up all those sayings of  God in a single  SAYING - living and endowed with activity and intelligence,  from which all divine orders emanate:  

he finds as the basis of all spoken words, 
THE  SPEAKING  WORD.   (See Col. 1:16, 17)
 
THE  WORD Logos

The root meaning is:  to lay;  then to pick out,  gatherpick up.

This led to the further use:  to gather or put WORDS together  =  TO SPEAK.

Therefore logos is:

1. A Collecting or Collection of things of the mind
2. Of  Words by which they are expressed

Regarding the Inward Thought, it is:

1. The Faculty Of Thinking and Reasoning (Heb. 4:12)
2. Regard or Consideration (Acts 20:24)
3. Reckoning, Account (Phil. 4:15, 17; Heb. 4:13)
4. Cause or Reason (Acts 10:29)

In Revelation 19:13,  the conqueror is named:   THE LOGOS OF GOD

In  I John 1:1 & 2,  that which the disciples saw and touched is called:   THE LOGOS OF LIFE

It was a commonly used theological term at the time;  therefore it was used without explanation.

The  "Word"  In The Old Testament

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HEALER (Ps. 107:20) "He sent his Word, and healed them"
MESSENGER (Gen. 15:1) "The Word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision"
DIVINE PRESENCE (Gen. 3:8) "...they heard the voice (sound) of the Lord God walking..."

LATER JEWISH USAGE

After the Babylonian captivity,  Jewish theologians combined the Theophanies  (visual manifestations of Jehovah) and the  Prophetic Revelations  into a single perception that they called: MEMRA.

MEMRA

1. Memra has the sense of a spoken work or declaration.
   
2. It is used in combination with the personal pronoun:
memri "my word" is equivalent to "I myself"
memreka "thou thyself"
memreih "he himself"

Example:
"There is a covenant between me and thee."
"Kayema bein memri uvein memrika."
   
3. Further, it came to mean the Lord Himself:
"Memra da Yeya" THE WORD OF THE LORD

Example:
And Moses led forth the people to meet with God.  (Ex. 19:17)
"likdamoth Memra da Yeya"  =  "To meet with the Word of the Lord"
Memra = Aramaic = Memra da Yea
Logos = Greek = Logos tou Theou
Word = English = Word  of the Lord
 
4. Memra is used in the Targums* with such intimacy of relation to the Almighty as to render it in many cases as synonymous of the Divine One Himself.

Example:
"By Myself have I sworn"   (Gen. 22:16)
"By My Memra have I sworn"
  * When the Jewish people returned to Jerusalem after 70 years of captivity in Babylon,  they spoke a combination of Hebrew and Arabic,  called "Aramaic".  They no longer understood the pure Hebrew of the Old Testament.  The Targums were the Old Testament Scriptures in Aramaic.  Also,  Aramaic was the local language of Israel during New Testament times.
   
5. The visible manifestation of the  Glory of the Divine Presence,  known in Hebrew as the  Shekinah,  is frequently referred to in the Targums as the Memra.
   
6. In the Hebrew Bible we often read of the  Divine Malak  (Angel)
A. Malak ha-berith - "the Angel of the Covenant"
B. ha-malak ha-goel - "the Angel who redeems"
C. ha-malak Jehovah - "the Angel, the Lord"

Example:
Gen. 16 The Angel-Jehovah appears to Hagar in the wilderness;  speaks to her as God.
And is adored by her as Jehovah that spoke to her.
The Targum paraphrases it:
"And she returned thanks before the Lord, whose Word (Memra) spoke unto her."
Isa. 63:7-10 The Targum of Jonathan recognizes the Redeemer:
 "...and His Memra was their Redeemer."
Mal. 3 In the final book of the Old Testament the same Targum refers to the coming One:
the Angel of the Covenant and the Memra of the Lord.
So it is no accident that the Gospel of John begins: "In the beginning was the Word"
Genesis 1:1-3 opens with the same thought: "In the beginning ... God said"
 
Outline of John 1:1-28

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(1-3) God  
(4) Life THE WORD
(5) Reception THE STATEMENT
(6) Mission JOHN THE BAPTIST
(7, 8) Witness
 

(9) Light
(10-13) Reception THE WORD
(14) Flesh   THE STATEMENT
(15) Witness JOHN THE BAPTIST
(15) Mission
 

(16) Fullness
(16) Reception THE WORD
(17, 18) Revealer   THE STATEMENT
(19) Witness JOHN THE BAPTIST
(20-28) Mission

If you compare verses 1-3, 14,17 & 18, you will find:

(verses 1-3) The Word was God
(verse 14) The Word was made flesh
(verses 17, 18) The flesh (which was the Son) revealed God

If you compare verses 4,9,16, you will find:

(verse 14) In Him (the Word) was life (which was the light)
(verse 9) This true light lighteth every man
(verse 16) Of His fullness (or life), we have all received

If you compare verses 5, 10-13, 16, you will find:

(verse 5) The light (or the Word) could not be comprehended (or grasped in the physical sense of overcoming, or in the mental sense of comprehension or understanding)
(verses 10-13) He was in the world, but not recognized
  He came physically, but was not received
(verse 14-16) Those that do receive Him receive His fullness

If you compare verses 6-8, 15, 19-28, you will find:

His witness was of Christ the Messiah
His mission was to prepare the way before Him

In John 1:1-14 we find that the Word:

Existed in the beginning
Was God
Was with God in the beginning
All things were made (created) through Him
Nothing was made (created) without Him
Life was in Him
That life was the light of men
The light (the Word) shines in the darkness
Was not understood
Gives light to every man (individual)
He was in the world
The world was made (created) through Him
The world did not recognize Him
He came to His own
His own did not receive Him
Those who believed in Him, He gave the right to become Children of God
Became flesh
Dwelt (Lived) among us
Came from the Father
Was full of grace and truth

The Creative power of God,

the Visible manifestation of of the invisible God,
the Malak,
the Shekinah,
the Memra,
the Logos,
the WORD of Jehovah became flesh and gave Himself for us.
This is the THOUGHT,  the very  ESSENCE  and  HEART  of God communicated to us -

and we know Him as Jesus.

 

  

Bibliography

 


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