A Question I Was Asked:

'What is the True Greek-English Interpretation of John 1:1?'

I Was Asked This:

"What is the true Greek-English interpretation of John 1:1? Why such diverse opinion as to what the verse really is?? is the word a god or God?

Also, what does Paul mean in Hebrews 1:8? Is he calling or equating Jesus to God?"



My Reply:

You ask, "What is the true Greek-English interpretation of John 1:1?

Why such diverse opinion as to what the verse really is?? Is the word a god or God?

What does Paul mean in Hebrews 1:8, is he calling or equating Jesus to God?"

Actually there should not be any confusion on these points at all unless you have been allowing 'Jehovah's Witnesses' to confuse you (which, I suspect, you have). Opinion is not really as 'diverse' as you may have been led to believe.

John 1:1 clearly reveals the deity of Christ. Please note:
*The Word was with God, and the Word was God (NKJV).
*The Word was with God, and the Word was God (NIV).
*The Word was with God, and the Word was God (KJV).
*The Logos was with God, the Logos was divine (Moffatt).
*The Word dwelt with God, and what God was, the Word was (NEB).
*The Word was with God, and the Word was God (RSV).
*The Word was with God, and the nature of the Word was the same as the nature of God (Barclay).
*That word was with God and was God (Phillips).
*The Word was with God, and the Word was God (NASB).
*The Word was with God, and the Word was God (ASV).
*The Word was with God, and the Word was God (Douay-Rheims).
*The Word was with God, and the Word was God (Darby).
*The Word was with God, and the Word was God (ERV).
*The Word was with God, and the Word was God (Weymouth).
*The Word was with God, and the Word was God (Young's Literal).

In contrast, the New World Translation (that is, the JW 'Bible') renders this part of John 1:1 in a most unusual way:

'The Word was with God, and the Word was a god.'

This is a clumsy and incorrect way of translating John 1:1 and the JWs only do it for doctrinal reasons (that is: because they accept 'Arianism' which has long been a heresy of established Christianity; Arianism allows Jesus to be God's highest creation, but not God). Please note that every major translation recognises that the original Greek insists that there is no qualitative difference between the Word and God - despite this, the NWT insists on demoting the Word to 'a god.' The indefinite article (that is: a) does not, by the way, occur in the Greek but is inserted by the Witnesses to represent a Jesus who is separate from God. This flawed device simply will not do if one is going to be faithful to the Greek and even liberal Bible scholars have never suggested the downgrading of the Word in the manner in which the 'New World Translation' does (that is, as "a god" - an indefinite article and no capital 'G'). This is a flagrant betrayal of what the Greek very clearly states and puts the NWT at odds with about 40 other English Bibles which have no difficulty in correctly interpreting the Greek text.

In complete contrast, the New Testament is clear about the divinity of Jesus: Matthew 28:19-20;

Ephesians 1:23; John 4:25-29; 6:64-65; 13:11; 19:28; 21:17.

1. He knew their thoughts: Matthew 9:4; 12:25; 22:18; Mark 2:8; 12:15; Luke 5:22; 6:8; 9:47; 11:17;

John 2:24-25; 5:42; 6:6,64-65; 16:19,30; Acts 1:24.

2. He knew the future: Matthew 16:21; 20:18-19; John 2:19,21-22; 12:23-24,32-33.

3. He is Eternal: 1 Timothy 1:17; 6:14-16; Hebrews 7:24-25; Revelation 1:4-5,8,17; 2:8; 21:6; 22:13.

4. He is pre-existent to Creation: John 1:1-3,10; 3:13; 6:62; 8:34-36,58; 17:3-5,24;

1 Corinthians 8:6; Philippians 2:5-11; Colossians 1:13-20; Hebrews 1:2;

Revelation 13:8.

Yes, in Hebrews 1:8, the writer of Hebrews indeed calls Jesus 'O, God.'

Regarding the teachings of Jehovah's Witnesses, this is a good web page to consult.

Robin A. Brace, 2008.

UK APOLOGETICS