Who or What was “with God”? John 1:1

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Who or What was “with God”? John 1:1

A good example to understand what John 1:1 says can be found in our modern-English language when we ask someone: What’s with You, meaning what’s wrong with you and not who is with you.

Similarly in Hebrew the preposition with can be used to describe the relationship between a person and what is in his heart or mind.

Here are some OT examples:

  • In Job 10.12-13, 16 God’s life, love, wisdom, power and even His care are said to be with Him.
  • Isa 40.10; 62.11 “His reward is with Him.”
  • 2K 3:12 to say that “The word of the Lord is with him.”

The same is true for the NT phrase in John 1:1c (pros ton theon) which refers to things and not a person:

  • Heb 2:17; 5:1; Rom 17:15 “things with God”;
  • Acts 24:16 “conscience with God”;
  • Rom 5:1 “peace with God”;
  • 2Cor 3:4; 1 John 3:21 “confidence with God”;
  • 1Thess 1:8 “Faith with God.”

Then there’s John’s own Commentary of his Gospel in 1 John 1.

And I like the way the way the otherwise Nearly Inspired NIV titles this section:

The Incarnation of the Word of Life

1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard,

which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have

touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life.

2 The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us.

3 We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard…

NOTE: 5x which; 2x it; 1 this and 1 what.

So throughout John “the word of God” John 1.1 =

the “words of eternal life” John 6.68 =

“the word of Life” 1 John 1.1-2.