Alex has taught at four public schools, been accepted into three honorary societies, and traveled the Americas and Europe. He has his BS.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
— John 1:1 (KJV)
I should begin this commentary by stating that the Gospel of Saint John is my second favorite Gospel, after the Gospel of Thomas. So much is said in the span of so few pages. I have read this Gospel again and again without becoming tired. We begin with the first verse. I should note that I will be using the King James Version for much of this. The King James Version (KJV) is altered from its original publication (which was written in Elizabethan English) to another form of Early Modern English. As a linguist, this is problematic. For our purposes, we will be capable of using it. "In the beginning was the Word" - from John 1:1 (KJV). What is this Word? What is this ΛΟΓΟΣ or Logos? Many Hindus, along with similar ideological perspectives, may argue that the Word is "AUM" or "OM". This is a very important word among many Hindus and Buddhists. It is similar to "amen" in multiple respects. If the Word is "AUM", then who is the Word? Is the Word Krishna? Moreover, is the word "amen"? Would that make the Word synonymous with Jesus? Would "al Amin" be Muhammad? Some consider the Word to be the holy scripture. The book of Doctrine and Covenants reads "Behold, I am God; give heed to my word..." - from Doctrine and Covenants 14:2. That could mean, by an interpretation, to give heed to Jesus. Moreover, in the Pearl of Great Price, under the Articles of Faith, we read that "[w]e believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly..." - from Articles of Faith 1:8. "the Word was God" - from John 1:1 (KJV) Who or what is G-d? Who is ΘΕΟΣ or Theos? Is this our Heavenly Father? Based on the context, I would suggest that this is the Jahovah (YHVH) of the Old Testament. If this is the case, then the Word must be equivocal with Jesus Christ. That doesn't mean that the Word can't still be "amen". The Word of John 1:1 is a mystery to be pondered and meditated upon. Can Krishna be considered? Well, where two beings are one in purpose, are they not one? That is the closest item to an answer as I can offer with confidence. This entire section of the Bible should be compared with Genesis during any thorough study of the text. It is very similar, and I believe that both reference Jahovah.
The same was in the beginning with God.
— John 1:2 (KJV)
We see an emphasis on the connection between the Word and G-d. I testify that Jesus is the Jahovah of the Old Testament. Is he the ALLAH of the Recitation or al Quran? Who knows. I could spend lifetimes studying the scriptures. There is a lot we do not know, even amidst scholars.
All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
— John 1:3 (KJV)
"All things were made by him" - from John 1:3. Here, there is great emphasis on the idea that the Word is the same G-d of the Torah. We can see the parallels again with the book of Genesis or Bereshith. This G-d or Being is a Creator G-d. This is different from lesser gods of other faiths. The initial readers of these texts may have been aware of the gods of their sisters and brothers in other regions.G-ds of creation and destruction tend to appear important to the followers of such G-ds. Now, we know from the readings thus far that the Word is a G-d, and that that G-d is a G-d of creation and capable of making everything.
In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
— John 1:4 (KJV)
Here, the Word is compared to men. This is interesting, as we know that Jahovah of the Old Testament became the Jesus of the New Testament. This reference to light could mark a tribute to Zoroastrianism. Although, my mind is not clear if this is necessarily the case. The possibility is certainly there. The three magi are often thought to have been Zoroastrians. If this is the case, it may have benefited the early church to try to convert Zoroastrians to our cause. Zoroastrians and Jews may have been prime candidates for Christianity. One could gain a new testament without sacrificing all of one's prior beliefs. Such a form of persuasion can be good for conversion.
And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
— John 1:5 (KJV)
The light analogy here could be another call to Zoroastrian tenets. It was also likely a testament and foreshadowing for what would happen to the Savior (i.e. his rejection by his own people). I find a lot of power in this verse. "And the light shineth in darkness" - from John 1:5. Light is an obsession of the human being. Since we discovered fire, we have meditated upon light. It took us from the darkness of the forests and fields, and eventually of our ignorance. It kept us warm in caves, and it kept dangerous animals at bay. The word "guru" literally means something like someone who takes away darkness. Light is an important concept in all cultures.
© 2020 Alexander James Guckenberger