The Gospel of John's use of

"the Word" (ho logos)

by Robert Nguyen Cramer,


There is reason to believe that the writer of the Gospel of John drew upon the creation account in Genesis and portrayed the role of "the Word" (Greek: ho logos) as directly corresponding with "the Spirit of God" as described in Gen 1:2. The Gospel of John further develops the creation account as a means of proclaiming of the good news (gospel) of Jesus Christ, so that God may be glorified and articulated.

Genesis 1:1-4 states:

The Gospel of John says that "the Spirit" or "the Holy Spirit" is a "Paraclete" (Greek: Parakletos; English: Advocate, Comforter, Counselor, etc.). 1Jo 2:1 refers to Jesus as "a Paraclete" (Greek: Parakletos; English: Advocate, etc.). In fact Jesus, after speaking of his departure, said that he will pray the Father to send "another Paraclete." He said that this "Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you."

In Genesis the Spirit of God moved over the waters, as light dawned upon creation. As this creation continued to develop, light was followed by the appearance of life.

In John the Word (the Logos) -- the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit -- is God's means of articulating himself and his creation. It brings the light of life (eternal life!) to humanity, speaks to us in the flesh through Christ Jesus, and continues to speak to us through the Paraclete (the Advocate, Comforter, Counselor, etc.).

Speaking of this Paraclete, Jesus said, "When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine." (Joh 16:13-15)

Regarding "the Spirit of God" (Gen 1:2), William Reyburn and Euan Frey (A Handbook on Genesis, NY: UBS, 1997, page 31) comment:

The TEV (1976 edition) translates the last phrase of Joh 1:1 as saying that "the Word" was "the same as God." The REV translates that phrase, "what God was, the Word was." As noted above, the Word speaks to us in the flesh through Christ Jesus. Christ represents the "image" of God (see, of whom it can be said that 'what God is, Christ is' -- the same in quality, though different in office. (See S&H 331:26.)

The text of John 1:1-14



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