Today, I am reading and commenting on John 1-3.
John is the most mystical of the Gospel writers. John begins by talking about the “Word”. What John means when he talks about “The Word” does not translate well as a single word. Another way that the Greek word translated as “The Word” could be translated is as “The Idea”. That would not be any closer to the meaning John was trying to convey here (actually, it would not be as close), but it contains a part of the idea which “The Word” does not. The concept which John is expressing here at the beginning of his Gospel plays an important role in developing a proper understanding about the meaning of “the Word of God” as used elsewhere in the Bible. While we often use the term “the Word of God” to refer to the Bible, it is very easy to develop an incorrect understanding of what the Bible means by that term when we do so. “The Word of God” is not a static thing. It is a living thing which speaks to us where we are now. When I say this I am not talking about moral relativism. God comes to us where we are, taking into account the society in which we live. I will use slavery as an example. There have been times in history when it was possible for a slave owner to be a godly man, or woman. However, there was never a time in history when it was possible for a person who treated another person as subhuman to be godly, even if that other person was a slave owned by the first. I will further say that a slave owning society falls short of meeting God’s ideal by virtue of allowing that one human can own another. Our modern society falls every bit as short of God’s ideal by its acceptance of the murder of the unborn as the society of the antebellum South fell short by its embrace of race based slavery.