What does John 1:2 mean?
ESV: He was in the beginning with God.
NIV: He was with God in the beginning.
NASB: He was in the beginning with God.
CSB: He was with God in the beginning.
NLT: He existed in the beginning with God.
KJV: The same was in the beginning with God.
Verse Commentary:
Verse 2 continues to introduce Jesus, while countering false views of spirituality. Verse 1 described Jesus as the Logos, meaning "The Word," of God. Jesus is a living message, a definition of God the Father. John also specifies that Jesus did not become God, or rise to the level of God. Jesus Christ was always God, from the very beginning. John 1:1 states that the Word was God, not something separate from God. John 1:2 clarifies that this was true, right from the start. Jesus was not a created being, nor a separate being. He was, and is, identical to God. This is a claim Jesus will make of Himself later in the gospel. In John 8:38, for instance, Jesus claims to speak what He has heard directly from the Father. Shortly after, in John 8:58, Jesus not only claims to have existed before Abraham, He refers to Himself using the name of God: I AM. John will relate several of these "I AM" statements in his book.
Verse Context:
John 1:1–18 is a poetic introduction of Jesus Christ. Jesus is referred to using the Greek word Logos, meaning “The Word.” This passage clearly describes Jesus as identical to God, and co-creator with God. These verses summarize Jesus’ ministry and mission on Earth. The passage also explains how John the Baptist (a different John from the author of this gospel) was sent ahead of Christ to prepare for His arrival.
Chapter Summary:
The first chapter of John introduces Jesus as “the Word,” from the Greek Logos. This chapter clearly describes Jesus as identical to God. After this prologue, the chapter describes Jesus recruiting the first of His disciples, as well as a conversation between John the Baptist and the Pharisees. There are seven names for Christ in this chapter, including “The Son of God,” “The Word,” and “The King of Israel.”
Chapter Context:
The first chapter of the gospel of John equates Christ with God, and introduces John the Baptist. The Baptist specifically points to Jesus as the Promised One. Jesus collects the first five of His disciples. In this chapter, Jesus is given seven descriptive names, including “The Word,” “The Son of God,” and “The King of Israel.” This chapter sets the stage for the rest of the gospel, by giving the reader a sense of who Jesus truly is, and why He has come. The rest of the gospel is an exploration of the claims made in this initial passage.
Book Summary:
The gospel of John was written by the disciple John, decades later than the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. The author assumes that a reader is already familiar with the content of these other works. So, John presents a different perspective, with a greater emphasis on meaning. John uses seven miracles—which he calls “signs”—in order to prove that Jesus is, in fact, God incarnate. Some of the most well-known verses in all of the Bible are found here. None is more famous than the one-sentence summary of the gospel found in John 3:16.
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