God’s Plans and Purposes – The Logos in John 1:1 and 1:14
In the beginning was the Word [logos], and the Word [logos] was with God, and the Word was God. – John 1:1
The Word [logos] became flesh, and lived among us. We saw his glory, such glory as of the one and only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth. – John 1:14
The narrative in the first chapter of John speaks of the word [logos] in the beginning and that this 'word' became flesh. Trinitarians consider the 'word' to be a person before it became another person that became the incarnation of God in the flesh becoming fully God and fully man at the same time in hypostatic union of a Trinity of three persons as one God.
However, what many have not considered is that before the institutional church system existed, the notion of ‘logos’ as being a person did not exist. If that is the case, we have to wonder what John intended the word [logos] to mean. We could look at it through many different lenses with the influence of the Greeks, Romans, Gnostics, etc, but then we would be looking at thing from a certain slant or bias.
Defining ‘word’ from the Strong’s Concordance, 'logos' is the embodiment of an idea in an analogy, word, statement or speech.
We have to ask ourselves, do any of these things mean a person?
When we reference other verses in Scripture following the same line of thought, we find that ‘logos’ does not fit what the mainstream Trinitarian tries to impose on the word. The evidence in the following passages that probably most have not considered will hopefully delineate a more accurate and precise understanding of what 'logos' means.
These following Scripture passages have been translated from ‘logos’ to mean an account, cause, matter or reason.
But I tell you that whoever puts away his wife, except for the cause [logos] of sexual immorality, makes her an adulteress; and whoever marries her when she is put away commits adultery. – Matthew 5:32
Therefore the Kingdom of Heaven is like a certain king, who wanted to reconcile accounts [logos] with his servants. – Matthew 18:23
He called him, and said to him, 'What is this that I hear about you? Give an accounting [logos] of your management, for you can no longer be manager.' – Mathew 16:2
You have neither part nor lot in this matter [logos], for your heart isn't right before God. – Acts 8:21
“That is why I came without even raising any objection when I was sent for. And so I ask for what reason [logos] you have sent for me.”
– Acts 10:29
The apostles and the elders were gathered together to see about this matter [logos]. – Acts 15:6
And when Paul was now about to open his mouth, Gallio said unto the Jews, if it were a matter of wrong or wicked crime, O you Jews, reason [logos] would that I should bear with you: - Acts 18:14
The definition of ‘logos’ according to the Encyclopedia Britannica is word, reason or plan.
An example of the definition of ‘logos’ could be someone bringing their ideas, reasoning and plans to an architect on the matter of building a home. The architect would discuss or speak the ‘logos’ of that person and put these plans on a blueprint to bring it to fruition.
The Plan of God from the Beginning
The idea of ‘logos’ is about a plan and a purpose that is conceived in the mind of a person just as God created the heavens and the earth according to His plan. The ‘logos’ in John 1:1 is about God’s spoken plans and purposes through the 'logos' from the 'beginning.' The evidence of God’s plan or 'logos' is evident in these following passages as something that could be 'seen' and 'heard.'
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our own eyes, which we have gazed upon and touched with our own hands—this is the Word of life. - 1 John 1:1
As for you, see that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. – 1 John 2:24
Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment that you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word that you have heard. – 1 John 2:7
And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it. – 2 John 1:6
And now I ask you, dear lady—not as though I were writing you a new commandment, but the one we have had from the beginning—that we love one another. – 2 John 1:5
The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. – Mark 1:1
Just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us – Luke 1:2
When the ‘word’ became flesh, it was when God’s plan and purposes manifested in the words and actions of Christ. Eyewitnesses would attest to the victory that could be found in him and through him. This would be the Gospel message that they had ‘heard from the beginning.’
For by him were all thing created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. – Colossians 1:16-17
The risen Christ is spoken of in this passage is in present tense. Christ 'is' the beginning, not 'was' the beginning. If it was a reference to Genesis 1:1, it would be in the past tense supposing that Christ was the Creator. However, 'is' is in the present tense referring to the redemption and forgiveness of sins through the risen Christ who was 'firstborn from the dead' at that present time at the ‘beginning’ of his resurrection.
The ‘logos’ in John 1:1 was God’s blueprint of the Gospel that would manifest in Christ (John 1:14) as being the predestined plan of God through the Good News.
Throughout the Old Testament, we can read of the predestined plan of God that would one day manifest in the work of Christ. God followed through with His plans and that is why we have the Gospel today.
And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. – Revelation 13:8
Christ would fulfill the purpose of the Passover lamb by his death upon a stake. It was foreordained. It would be silly to understand this passage that Christ was slain way back in the beginning in Genesis during creation. This verse speaks of the intention of God and how He had a plan in mind, His ‘logos.’ The book of John expands of the ‘logos’ of God that would manifest through His Son and then manifest in us too.
The Trinitarian conception of ‘logos’ is that a person became a person of a different nature rather than the 'word' becoming a person in the preconceived plan of God.
Were the readers of John’s Gospel to think that the ‘logos’ was the second person of the Trinity when the book was written?
In the time of John's writing, there was more of a dominance of Jewish believers who would have not strayed from the Shema to a the three-in-one concept. These ideas would come later and fully manifest as dogma in the institutional church system.
The fact is that there is no evidence to suggest that the early ekklesia thought of the ‘logos’ as a separate person apart from the Father as being God. They were not trying to comprehend the supposed incomprehensible 'mystery' of God being more than one person.
The developed logos philosophy came later in the fourth century that evolved from the likes of Tertullian where we see artwork with God having three faces.
The Trinity doctrine did not evolve from concordances, lexicons, dictionaries and translators where we can draw off of today. The different councils did not have the understanding that we can glean from readily available sources, but came from philosophers who were trying to validate their ideas on the substance, nature and persons of God. This is why we get concepts like homousia, hypostatic union, triune and many others. In the end, there supposed conclusions still remain a mystery because ultimately it is illogical and must be supposedly ‘understood’ on the basis of faith.
Hence, we get the big theological mess today of the thousands of different sects and doctrines who all claim to have the truth on the supposed ‘mystery’ of God.
Maybe we need to get back to the simplicity of the context of Scripture without trying to impose our own eisegesis upon it.
That they may know that you alone, whose name is Yahweh, are the Most High over all the earth. – Psalm 83:18
Hear, Israel: Yahweh is our God; Yahweh is one: - Deuteronomy 6:4
Logos, the Spoken Plan of God through His Son
He wore a robe dipped in blood, and his title was the Word [logos] of God. – Revelation 19:13
Everything was created by the spoken 'logos’ of God. Christ was created by the Father by His word. The word became flesh when he was resurrected. This was the 'beginning' of the Gospel. Because of the Gospel, we can become begotten sons of God just as Christ became the manifestation of God's ‘logos.’
For whom he foreknew, he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. - Romans 8:29
Christ became the light to the world. John the Baptist bore witness of the light that would come. The work of Christ makes a provision for all men to become lights in the world who are begotten of the Father. Through the example of Christ as God's word manifested in the flesh, we also can become sons of God. Christ was a man in whom the Spirit of the Father dwelt. The Father also dwells within followers of Christ who have the Holy Spirit. They live and speak by the same Spirit becoming ‘the word made flesh.'
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. – Matthew 5:14
Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. – Matthew 5:16
How are we to understand the ‘word’ [logos] in John 1:1 and 1:14?
It will all depend on what type of lenses you are reading the passage through to come to your theological conclusions.
Here is how we can understand ‘logos’ in light of the evidence.
In the beginning was the word [plan], and the word [plan] was with God, and the word [plan] was God. The same [plan] was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him [the plan]. Without him [the plan] was not anything made that has been made. – John 1:1-2
The word [plan] became flesh, and lived among us. We saw his glory, such glory as of the one and only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth. – John 1-14
By Yahweh's word [plan], the heavens were made; all their army by the breath of his mouth. - Psalm 33:6
Other Considerations Concerning the Beginning
There are a lot of ‘beginning’ verses in the New Testament, but notice that when the 'beginning' refers to the creation event it is stated.
But from the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female. - Mark 10:6
And, "You, Lord, in the beginning, laid the foundation of the earth. The heavens are the works of your hands. - Hebrews 1:10
What is interesting is that there are numerous other ‘beginnings’ that do not refer to the Genesis account. Notice the ‘beginning’ in this passage is something that is heard, seen and touched.
That which was from the beginning, that which we have heard, that which we have seen with our eyes, that which we saw, and our hands touched, concerning the Word of life. - 1 John 1:1
The ‘word’ [logos] is something that tangible from the ‘beginning.’ It is not something that necessitates pre-existence, imaginary or visionary, but could be 'seen' as the manifestation of the Good News. This ‘logos’ from the ‘beginning’ was ‘life.’ It was the Good News that was testified of in a tangible way through the ministry of Christ.
The beginning of the Good News of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. - Mark 1:1
Christ was the beginning of the Gospel and would be the firstborn of many more that would believe in the the Father’s ‘logos’ that they heard through His Son from the ‘beginning’ of his ministry to his resurrection.
He is the head of the body, the assembly, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. - Colossians 1:18
Therefore, as for you, let that remain in you which you heard from the beginning. If that which you heard from the beginning remains in you, you also will remain in the Son, and in the Father. - 1 John 2:24
From here we can refer back to John 1 and connect the dots that could be seen as synonymous with the ‘word of life.’
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him. Without him was not anything made that has been made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. - John 1:1-5
The ‘word’ is something that can be seen, felt and heard. It was heard through Christ’s words given to him from his Father to give new 'life' to others. The 'beginning' of the Good News started with the ministry of Christ and ends with the ministry of Christ.
He who sits on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new." He said, "Write, for these words of God are faithful and true." He said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give freely to him who is thirsty from the spring of the water of life*. - Revelation 21:5-6
It would be reasonable that the ‘beginning’ verses that do not have to do with the Genesis event in Scripture may help connect the dots to what the ‘logos’ really means and how the ‘Word of life’ comes through Christ because he is the ‘beginning’ of the Gospel and the 'beginning' of the new creation.
In conclusion, the 'logos' in John 1 can be seen as the spoken word, expression and thought pertaining to God. The expression is not a person, but the message of the Father through His emissary, Christ our Saviour. Christ manifested the Fathers 'logos' through the Gospel of the Kingdom.
There are many Scripture verses where 'God said.' God spoke creation into existence from the beginning and also Christ who was the beginning of the Gospel.
Many people read Christ into the text in John 1 to be a supposed pre-existent person being the 'word,' but this cannot be supported with the proper exegesis of Scripture. Trinitarian must infer their dogma into Scripture as a means to support their notions of a Trinity.
Christ was in the mind of God as his spoken plan of salvation through the Gospel.
When we also turn to 1 John 1:1 in Tyndale's version, the clarification of the understanding of the 'word' (logos) that was with God in John 1:1 becomes clear. 'It' is impersonal. 'It' is 'that which was fro the begynninge.' 'It' is not a 'he' as being a supposed pre-existent person.
Many of his disciples when they had herde this sayde: this is an herde sayinge: who can abyde the hearinge of it? - John 6:60 TYN
It would not make sense in this preceding passage if 'it' was translated as a 'he' or 'him' in relation to the logos. Christ could not be a distinct person beside himself, nor could the saying of the words he spoke actually be Christ himself. Otherwise, you must throw logic out the window.
We should see that Christ was not a person named 'the Word' because 'logos' is not a person or a being. 'Logos' means, said, spoken, thought or plan. Before anything was created God had a plan and purpose who spoke all things into existence (Genesis 1; Psalm 33:6,9). God told the prophets of his 'logos' for salvation long before His plan came to fruition. The 'logos' was not Jesus, but the word made flesh was Jesus. One cannot replace 'word' with Jesus like many are indoctrinated to do.
In the beginning was Jesus, and Jesus was with God and Jesus was God.
This is a distortion of the words in the Gospel of John to push church dogma. Let us rightfully divide the word of truth instead of imposing our own eisegesis on Scripture.
Do you belive 'logos' is a pre-existent person, or God's foreordained plan that manifested through His Son in the flesh.
- The Preconceived Notions of the Trinity Doctrine in John chapter 1
Many will read John 1:1 with a preconceived notion that 'the Word' is a separate person as God. This does not hold true when the first chapter is examined more carefully and put into context.
- Before Abraham was, I Am
Christ’s claim of ‘I am he,’ or ‘I am the one’ runs like a golden thread all through John’s gospel. Is Christ claiming to be God?
- A Closer look at Isaiah 9:6 without Dogmatic Presuppositions
The purpose of this article will be to explore in more detail Isaiah 9:6 by looking closer at alternative renderings of this verse in an attempt to refute some of the popular notions concerning it.
© 2017 PlanksandNails