John Phillips writes:
kai AND o THE logoV WORD sarx FLESH
egeneto BECAME kai AND eskhnwsen TABERNACLED
en AMONG hmin US kai AND
eqeasameqa thn WE DISCERNED doxan autou HIS GLORY
doxan A GLORY wV AS monogenouV OF AN ONLY BEGOTTEN para WITH patroV A FATHER plhrhV FULL
caritoV OF GRACE kai AND alhqeiaV TRUTH.
Four Statements About the Logos
1:1 – The Word Was (referring to the Word’s permanent condition or preexistence state)
1:1 – The Word was With God (referring to both equality and distinct identity; face to face)
1:1 – The Word was God (clearly attributes the characteristics of deity to the Word)
1:14 – The Word BECAME Flesh (here is introduced a change in the state of the eternal Word)
This is a clear statement about the incarnation.
This was a new dimension of the eternal existence of the Word.
“Became” is in the aorist tense and indicates action at a point of time.
“Flesh” was a way of saying the Word became a man while at the same time rejecting some of the false teaching that was circulating in John’s day concerning the humanity and deity of Jesus.
a) Docetic teaching denied the reality of Jesus’ humanity. They said he only appeared to be human.
With this statement John, for the first time, takes this great cosmic force called “the Word” which is the foundation of the universe and makes a connection to the human man Jesus.
a) means “to pitch a tent, to dwell temporarily”
b) 3:17; 6:38-42; 6:51; 7:29; 8:23; 9:5; 10:36; 16:28
Tabernacle in the OT was made of four layers of coverings. The final covering on the outside that was
visible to the world was the skins of sea cows (dugongs-an
animal in the
d) The same was true for the Word. Outwardly he was seen merely as flesh. But inwardly was the glory of God.
We Have Seen His Glory
The Greek term Logos (logoV WORD) was a Greek philosophical term used to convey the idea of the ultimate Reason and the main principle of the universe that controlled everything.
But, John was not expressing a philosophical idea.
John was telling everyone that he saw the Glory of the Logos.
John says the Logos is real and what John saw was real.
John has taken a Greek philosophical term and used it to express the Jewish Son of God.
This may refer to the transfiguration that is described in detail by the other gospels but is not addressed by John. (Matthew 17:2-8; Mark 9:2-8; Luke 9:28-36)
Most likely John is taking about the glory revealed by Jesus in his life and ministry.
eqeasameqa thn WE DISCERNED
1) the verb translated “Have Seen” or “Beheld”
2) is always used by John and in the NT for seeing with the physical eye.
3) It is not used for seeing visions or to seeing by faith.
4) John is saying he saw the Glory when he saw Jesus.
monogenouV OF AN ONLY BEGOTTEN
1) compound word
a. mono - meaning “one”
b. genes – meaning “kind or species”
2) The compound word literally means “one of a kind”. Thus, “one and only” is a good translation.
3) The Greek means nothing more than “only” or “unique”. It is used in:
a. Luke 7:12 – It is used of the widow from Nain’s “only” son
b. Luke 8:42 - It is used of Jairus’ “only” daughter
c. Hebrews 11:17 – Here we see that Isaac was Abraham’s “monogenh” son, but Isaac was not Abraham’s “only” son, but he was Abraham’s “unique” son. Abraham had several sons, but only one of them was from a promise of God.
para WITH patroV A FATHER
1) The mention of “with a father” along with “one and only” gives us the idea of this word being related to the mentioned father.
2) There is no word “son” in the Greek but the concept is implied from the text.
caritoV OF GRACE
1) Interestingly John uses this great Christian word 3x in the prologue but never again.
2) Meaning – “that which causes joy”
3) It came to mean “goodwill” and “kindness” coupled with the idea that it was given to the undeserving.
alhqeiaV TRUTH - means “real”
1) Truth in our minds and in the Greek use of the word is simply the opposite of the false. In John’s use of the word there is a bigger meaning.
2) In the NT the word imports some of the Hebrew thinking from the OT into the word. It also includes these concepts:
3) Then the word has the idea added to it that God is the source of all of these things found in the NT word “Truth” or “alethinon” (alhqeiaV )
4) Psalm 54:5 says, “Let evil recoil on those who slander me; in your faithfulness destroy them.”
a. This is possible because “Truth” is based on God’s total reliability and his absolute integrity.
5) A good way to understand the NT word truth is to put it in the perspective of God’s reality. God is the creator and so only his reality, or his perspective is “Truth”
6) It is interesting that as this book closes with Jesus saying to Pilate: “In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” To which Pilate responds, “What is truth.” Pilate never received an answer in words but Jesus then went to the cross and was resurrected.
“testifies” is in the present tense indicating the continuance of the witness as if John can still hear the Baptist’s voice.
John B. had spoke of Jesus before and now he says, “This was he. . .”
“surpassed” is “emprosthen” and speaks of positional precedence. Even though Jesus came after John historically his ministry is more important.
In the ancient world chronological order gave things their importance
“before” is “protos” which means first refers to rank of importance. Chief.
kai AND ek tou OF plhrwmatoV autou HIS FULNESS
hmeiV WE panteV ALL elabomen RECEIVED kai AND carin GRACE anti UPON caritoV GRACE
“fullness” is “pleroma”
NIV “one blessing after another is “carin anti caritoV GRACE UPON GRACE”
“Grace for grace” or “grace exchange for (anti) grace”
This grace when it is exhausted is replaced by more grace.
Law is God’s standard of righteousness he holds men to.
Grace is God’s attitude to people who find they can not and turn to him for help.
Jesus life portrayed this.
To the religious zealots he remained a law.
To the broken hearted who humbly came to him for help he was grace.
Moses Compared with Jesus
qeon GOD oudeiV NO ONE ewraken HAS SEEN
pwpote AT ANY TIME o THE monogenhV ONLY BEGOTTEN
uioV SON o WHO wn IS eiV IN ton THE
kolpon BOSOM tou OF THE patroV FATHER
ekeinoV HE exhghsato DECLARED HIM
qeon GOD - with no article this speaks of the nature and attributes of God instead of the person we know as God.
No one has ever seen the essence of God because the natural man can not perceive it.
Jesus has brought this essence of God to us.
kolpon BOSOM – same as John 13:23 with John leaning on Jesus side.
exhghsato DECLARED HIM - verb from “exegesato” were we get “exegesis” which means to explain or to interpret.