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the Word became flesh

20-12-2011 - Posted by Marlijne

Jesus Christ is the Son of God through his conception of Mary. John, in his prologue (1:1-18) goes further back.

And the Word became flesh and tabernacles among us, and we gaze at His glory, a glory as of an only-begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
John 1:14

Before there was “the only begotten of the Father” there was “the word” (Gr. Logos). What does John mean by this? In verse 3, he writes:

All came into being through it, and apart from it not even one thing came into being which has come into being.

We immediately recognize in this statement many expressions found in the Hebrew Bible about creation.

By the word of Yahweh, the heavens were made, And by the spirit of His mouth, all their host.
Psalm 33:6

A little later in the same psalm:

For He spoke, and it came to be; He enjoined, and it stood firm.
Psalm 33:9

God is the Creator and He brought forth all things by His word, His speaking. From the start, God spoke and made Himself known by His word. That is why John 1 begins with:

In [the] beginning was the word, and the word was toward the God, and God was the word.
John 1:1 (literal translation)

John refers here not to a person next to God, but to the fact that God, from the beginning, spoke (“in the beginning was the word”). That speaking referred to God (“the word was toward the God”) and as far that God became known, that was due to the fact that He spoke (“God was the word”). This is, subsequently, confirmed in verse 4:

In it (=the word) was life, and the life was the light of men.

God’s word sounded not only in the beginning, at the creation, but also later among the people; in particular, as it is recorded in the Tanakh. God’s speaking is life, as well as light for humanity (see Ps.36:9).

From the beginning God has spoken (1:1). The creation came to be by God’s speaking (1:3) and subsequently, God’s word enlightened mankind (1:4) for His word is promise! God’s Word (of promise) “became flesh” in the birth of his Son in Bethlehem (1:14).

In short, before the Son was there, there was “the word“, the expression of God.