1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning.
3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.
6 There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. 9 The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.
10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God-- 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God.
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
15 John testifies concerning him. He cries out, saying, "This was he of whom I said, 'He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.' " 16 From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, , who is at the Father's side, has made him known.
Overview and Insights
John’s Gospel doesn’t include a birth story, at least not a conventional one like Matthew and Luke. John provides instead a theological introduction to Jesus. He identifies Jesus as the “Word” (logos) who existed before creation with God and is himself God (1:1). In Greek philosophy the “word” was the principle of reason that governed all things. In Jewish history, the “word” was often associated with God’s wisdom (see Proverbs 8–9), but even more directly with God’s personal self-expression. Notice how much John 1:1 sounds like Gen. 1:1:
Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
John 1:1–3 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made.”
In Genesis 1 Go…
The Baker Bible Handbook by J. Daniel Hays, Baker Publishing Group, 2016
One reason why the Gospel of John was symbolized in the ancient church by the eagle is the lofty heights attained by its prologue. With skill and delicacy John handles issues of profound importance. It comes as no surprise, then, that this prologue has been foundational to the classic Christian formulation of the doctrine of Christ. Here divinity and humanity, preexistence and incarnation, revelation and sacrifice are each discussed with deceptive simplicity. This prologue may well have been an ancient Christian hymn. We know of other hymns from the early church, especially in Paul’s writings, and here too is an artful flowing of language and theology.
The initial allusion to Genesis 1 cannot be missed (1:1). John begins by introducing Jesus as the Word (Greek logos). Here he builds …
The Baker Illustrated Bible Commentary by Gary M. Burge, Baker Publishing Group, 2016