What exactly DOES John 1:1 say, anyway?

Disclaimer 1: I do not claim to be a Greek scholar. But I do know how to pay attention to men who are. For this post, I have been very careful to only speak on matters that I have properly researched, investigated, and which I properly understand. Any technical aspects of biblical Greek included in this post are taken from reputable, (small ‘o’) orthodox  sources who have spent years studying biblical Greek.

Disclaimer 2: Any comments not limited to discussion of this particular passage of Scripture will be deleted. If you want to compare the Greek of John 1:1 to another passage, you may do so. But any and all rabbit trails that have nothing to do with the text in question will be swiftly done away with.


Of all the biblical passages that get debated by orthodox and heretic, John 1:1 ranks within the top 3–if not holding the #1 spot. It is one of the clearest declarations of the Deity of Christ, written by one who received revelations from God concerning the end of all things–many of which could not be expressed in the vocabulary of the day. He was the apostle that Jesus loved (John 13:23, John 19:26, John 20:2, John 21:7, John 21:20). He wrote more about the heart of Jesus than any of the other gospel writers.

And to begin his reckoning of the person of Christ, he begins in, of all places, the beginning. He shows us that not only was Jesus there; he shows us that Jesus was with God–and he shows us that Jesus was, indeed, God. However, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society (hereafter referred to as ‘WTBTS’) decided some time back to mistranslate this verse in accordance with their theology, and render it quite wrongly. And so, whenever you get a knock on the door, and the person tells you they are with the Jehovah’s Witnesses (hereafter referred to as JW or JW’s), they will very confidently whip out their little pamphlet entitled “Should You Believe in the Trinity?” and they will tell you why they think that you believe in a pagan God. Therefore, the aim of this post is to give you a biblical basis, founded upon the Greek, for believing in the deity of Christ.

So, what exactly does this verse say? How should it read? Let’s find out. Following is the Greek of this verse:

εν αρχη ην ό λóγος και ό λóγος ην πρoς τoν θεoν και θεος ην ό λóγος
en archē ēn o logos kai o logos ēn pros ton theon kai theos ēn o logos

Let’s take this one phrase at a time and understand what the Holy Spirit is saying to us through the apostle. And before we begin, I would like to make this statement: do not try to take the rules of English grammar and apply them to biblical Greek (hereafter referred to simply as “Greek”). It won’t work. There are some rules that the two have in common, but there were many rules, grammatical structures, verb tenses, noun cases, and other technical aspects of Greek that do not translate exactly into modern (or any other type of) English. We will see this shortly. Continue reading

How do you read Romans 1:16?

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes . . . Romans 1:16

How you read Romans 1:16 tells a lot about you. Which of the following best resembles how you interpret the text?

For I am not ashamed of the gospel (the death burial and resurrection of our Lord and Savior), for it (the preaching of that gospel and absolutely nothing else) is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes (not a superficial shallow mental ascent, but a complete dependence and trust upon Christ) . . .

– Christian

For I am not ashamed of the gifts of the spirit, for they are proof of the power of God and proof of your salvation to everyone who believes . . .


For I am not ashamed of pleading for money, for sowing your faith seed offering is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes . . .

-Word of Faith Charismaniac

For I am not ashamed of Mary, the Pope, and the Mother Church, for they are the power of God and the only way to salvation to everyone who believes and receives the sacraments, attends meritorious masses, is baptized, keeps the law, does good works, purchases indulgences, endures purgatory, etc. . . .

– Roman Catholic

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of the New Earth that we peddle door to door, for the Watchtower is the only ones who speak for God and is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes and exhaustively works their tails off for the Watchtower almost every waking hour of the day for their entire life to obtain Jehovah’s favor, which is not guaranteed . . .

– Jehovah’ Witness

For I am not ashamed of the restored gospel, even though I am ashamed and embarrassed about our church history and the things our church prophets have said (that was just their opinion and they were not speaking for God when they said all those awful things) for the Melchizadek Priesthood which only we have is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes and follows the following conditions as outlined in Gospel Principles pages 303-304 (1997 edition): 1.) We must be baptized and confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ. 2.) We must receive the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. 3.) We must receive the temple endowment. 4.) We must be married for time and eternity.In addition to receiving the required ordinances, the Lord commands all of us to– 1. Love and worship God. 2. Love our neighbor. 3. Repent of our wrongdoings. 4. Live the law of chastity. 5. Pay honest tithes and offerings. 6. Be honest in our dealings with others and with the Lord. 7. Speak the truth always. 8. Obey the Word of Wisdom. 9. Search out our kindred dead and perform the saving ordinances of the gospel for them. 10. Keep the Sabbath day holy. 11. Attend our Church meetings as regularly as possible so we can renew our baptismal covenants by partaking of the sacrament. 12. Love our family members and strengthen them in the ways of the Lord. 13. Have family and individual prayers every day. 14. Honor our parents. 15. Teach the gospel to others by word and example. 16. Study the scriptures. 17. Listen to and obey the inspired words of the prophets of the Lord. Finally, each of us needs to receive the Holy Ghost and learn to follow his direction in our individual lives.

– Mormon

For I am not ashamed of the value found in all religions regardless of whether or not they conflict with one another on core issues , for whatever truth is for you, it is the power of God, gods, goddess, no god, or whatever you believe for a better world to everyone who believes or chooses not to believe . . .

– Universalist Unitarian

For I am not ashamed of shameless church marketing, for the end justifies the means and pragmatism is the power of God for filling seats on Sundays to watch our awesome worship rock band followed by our hip and and oh, so cool pastor and we’re also giving away free gas cards to everyone who attends our local campus . . .

– Seeker-Friendly

For I am not ashamed of supporting any socialist cause or liberal issue, for a woman’s right to choose and a homosexual’s right to marry is the power of selfempowerment for salvation from the oppressive chains that the white, Anglo-Saxon, Capitalist, fascists have placed on the backs of everyone in this nation . . .

– Liberal

Romans? Is that in the Bible?

– Emergent / Emerging

** Update ** This post was picked up by Todd Friel and featured on Way of the Master Radio. To find out more, click here.