Who is Jesus Christ according to John 1:1?

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

John 1:1 NIV, NASB, KJV

Jehovah Witnesses in their anti-trinitarian arguments have proposed that the last phrase in John 1:1 be translated as "the word was a god". The following will show that this is grammatically incorrect according to the greek rules of grammar. And stands correctly translated in the versions widely accepted by the vast majority of the Christian community, namely versions as the KJV, NASB, NIV, and others. Here are examples of different types of greek sentence structure that John could have used:

ho logos en ho theos
"the word was the god"
logos and theos
are equivalent
ho theos en ho logos
"the god was the word"
logos and theos
are equivalent
(same as in 1)
ho logos en theos
"the word was god"
logos was a god or
divine being
ho logos en theios
"the word was divine"
Another way of saying
that the word was a
god or divine being
subject to theos.
ho logos theos en
"the word god was"
logos alone
has the nature of theos
1Jn 4:8,16
Jn 17:17
Heb 12:29
theos en ho logos
"god was the word"
logos has the nature
of theos alone
John 1:1

If John was trying to say that Jesus was a god or divine being, as the Jehovah Witnesses would have us believe, then he would have used #3 or #4. Since John didn't use these forms, the Jehovah Witness translation of this verse (known as "the New World Translation") is incorrect with respect to its translation of this verse.

If he was trying to say that Jesus is equivalent to God as in "the word was with God", whom trinitarians call "God the Father", then he would have used the greek sentence forms #1 or #2. Which wouldn't logically make sense anyway, since John already makes a distinction between that "God" and "the word" (Jesus) by saying that the word was with God. You can't both be with someone and be that person at the same time.

If he used Form #5, he would be saying that Jesus alone has the nature of God the Father, which again would be illogical as it would exclude God the Father having his own nature. However, there are many examples of this form of speech as in
Instead John used form #6 in which Jesus was possessing the same nature as the God the Father and no other nature, but was not equivalent to Him.
A trinitarian perspective on this is that "God" in the phrase "the word was with God", and "God" in the phrase "the word was God", is referring to the same person, namely "God the Father", whom Jesus frequently makes reference to. "The word", being Jesus as you can see in vs 14, may conceptually be referred to as "God the Son" in that he had the same nature as God the Father, but was not simply a different "mode" of God, being rather a distinct separate person from the Father.

This is futher confirmed in vs 3

"Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made." John 1:3

Jesus is not a part of creation. He was never created. For not only does John say that all things were made through him, but makes sure to exclude him from creation by including the phrase "without him nothing was made that has been made". If Jesus was created, he would have had to create himself. It seems clear that John is stating that Jesus is not part of creation. And if not, then he must have the nature of God. For one of God's unique characteristics is that He was not created.

Again the Jehovah Witnesses fall short of this concept, believing Jesus to be merely an angel whom God created at some point.


If a doctrine has no application, then it has little relevance. So what is the application of the concept of the trinity and how would the application differ if the trinity is false?

"The Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him." John 5:22,23

One application of the trinity is to honor the Son, just as we honor the Father.

For example:

Should we pray to Jesus Christ?

Should we worship Jesus Christ?

The Doctrine of the Trinity also affects the Doctrine of Redemption.

I find a common phenomenon that those who reject the trinity, also reject the idea that the Bible proposes that eternal life can be obtained now, in this life time, being obtained as a free gift and not be a person's performance.

I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. John 5:24

Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness. Rom 4:4,5

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-- and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- not by works, so that no one can boast. Eph 2:8,9

The reason why many anti-trinitarians reject these ideas is that they reason that the blood of Christ is simply deficient to forgive sin. If Christ is merely a created being, then it may be reckoned righteous for one created being without sin to pay the penalty for another created being who has sinned. But how can God justify extending that payment to all creation? It is unjust! So, many who hold to the idea that Jesus is merely a created being, find it logically necessary to add on to his blood their own filthy works so as to supposedly make up for the deficiency of his sacrifice. And by doing so are disqualified.

Jesus' Human Nature

Notice the John uses the past tense in the phrase "the Word was God", for though from the beginning Jesus had the same nature as God the Father, the situation changed.

"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." John 1:14

Though he was of the same nature as God the Father, he took on a new nature: that of a human; which is consistent with Phil 2:6,7

"Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness." Phil 2:6,7

From the beginning, Jesus did not have a physical nature. He had not been made of flesh and blood. But then he became a human, born of a virgin by the Holy Spirit and took on a physical nature.

The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources

Edition: Jul 29,2015