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Translation Reference

John 1:1

1. Translations

"The Logos (word) existed in the very beginning, and the Logos was with God, the Logos was divine." (Dr. James Moffatt, The Holy Bible, Containing the Old and New Testaments).

"In the beginning the Word existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was divine." (The New Testament, An American Translation, Edgar Goodspeed and J. M. Powis Smith, The University of Chicago Press, p. 173).

To help get a handle on this, Philip Harner listed several different Greek phrases which John could have written (but did not) so that we can compare them with what John did say and thereby better understand what John meant and did not mean to say. The alternatives presented were as follows: ho logos en ho theos: The logos (the Word) and theos (God) are completely equivalent and interchangeable - they are identically the same. This is how most people mistakenly read the verse. If this had been what John had written, then we would not believe in the Trinity today. Rather, we would be monarchists.

2. Opinion of Scholars

Jn 1:1 should rigorously be translated 'the word was with the God [=the Father], and the word was a divine being.'" (John McKenzie, The Dictionary of the Bible by John McKenzie, Collier Books, p. 317).