Why does the Gospel of John begin with this strange concept of the Word of God who was “with God” and yet somehow also “was God”? Some have tried to argue that the author of this text attempted to borrow concepts from Greek philosophy in order to appeal to his largely Gentile readers. Others push back against this idea, saying that John’s approach is entirely consistent with Jewish beliefs and expectations. On this program the hosts will discuss the opening of John’s Gospel and will seek to interpret it in the light of its early first century Jewish context.
“It’s not easy to wrap your mind around this idea of the Word, who was with God, and who was God. But the angle that I’d like to see that from is to say that maybe John isn’t inventing those categories; maybe he’s using already existing categories that are circulating in first century Judaism.”Shane Rosenthal
TERM TO LEARN
“Of the Eternal Deity of the Son of God”
We believe that Jesus Christ according to His divine nature is the only begotten Son of God, begotten from eternity, not made, nor created (for then He would be a creature), but co-essential and co-eternal with the Father, the very image of his substance and the effulgence of his glory, equal unto Him in all things. He is the Son of God, not only from the time that He assumed our nature but from all eternity, as these testimonies, when compared together, teach us. Moses says that God created the world; and St. John says that all things were made by that Word which he calls God. The apostle says that God made the world by His Son; likewise, that God created all things by Jesus Christ. Therefore it must needs follow that He who is called God, the Word, the Son, and Jesus Christ, did exist at that time when all things were created by Him. Therefore the prophet Micah says: His goings forth are from of old, from everlasting. And the apostle: He hath neither beginning of days nor end of life. He therefore is that true, eternal, and almighty God whom we invoke, worship, and serve.
(Taken from The Belgic Confession, Article 10)