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IN the beginning was the Word, and the
Word was with God, and the Word was 2 God.* This was with God in the beginning. 3 All things were made by him; and without
him was not any thing made that was made.t 4. In him was life; and this life was the light of 5 men.
And the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not.[
* See 1 chap. of John's first epistle, and Prov. viii. 22, The Greek term here translated word, is Logos. The literal rendering is sword.” But this undoubtedly means wisdom, or power; as when it is said, “by the word of the Lord the heavens were made.” That is, by the command, the power, or wisdom of the Deity they exist. By this divine wisdom and power, Christ was directed and assisted. In another place, this evangelist says, "he had the spirit without measure."
+ The learned Dr. Campbell renders this verse and the fourth, thus, "All things were made by it; and without it not a single creature was made. In it was life ; and the life was the light of men.”
Some render the latter clause of the verse thus, and the darkness did not overspread it,” others, "the darkness did not admit it." The literal translation perhaps is, the darkness did not take hold, or seize upon ; that is, did not prevent it. The same word is used in chap. xii, 35.
6 There was a man sent from God,* whose 7 name was John. He came for a witness, even
to give testimony of the Light,† that all through 8 him might believe. He was not that Light, 9 but came to bear witness of that Light. $ The
true Light was that which lighteth every man 10 who cometh into the world. He was in the
world, and the world was made by him, yet the 1l world did not know him. He came unto his 12 own, but his own received him not. But as
many as received him, to them he gave power||
to become the sons of God, even to them that 13 believe on his name: Who were born, not of
blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the
will of man, but of God. 14 And the word was made Aesh, and dwelt
among us (and we beheld his glory, the glory
* That is, was divinely commissioned.
† That is, the divine Logos, which is the light of the world, and gives eternal life to man.
# He was not that great spiritual Teacher, whoun the Jews and the rest of the world then expected.
$ If every man have light given him, it must be through his own neglect that any one perishes. Solomon says, "the spirit of man is the candle of the Lord.”
Or privilege. q It is generally supposed, that John wrote his gospel with a view to some erroneous opinions prevalent in his time. Some who called themselves Christians denied that Jesus Christ was really man; others pretended that the Christ and Jesus were two distinct intelligences; and others taught that besides the Supreme Deity, there were many inferior and subordinate gods, one of whom dwelt in Jesus Christ. Irenæus, one of the earliest Christian writers, informs us, that the heretics of those times affirmed, “that Monogenes (only begotten) was one, the Savior was another, the Logos another, and 'Christ another.” But John proclaimed one
as of the only begotten of the Father) full of 15 grace and truth.
and truth. And we have all received 16 of his fulness, even grace upon grace. The
Jewish law was indeed given by Moses, but 17 grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. No
man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the
Father, he hath declared him.* 18 Joha bare witness of him, and cried, saying,
This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh
after me, is preferred before me ; for he was be19 fore me. And this is the testiinony of John,
when the Jews sent priests and Levites from 20 Jerusalem, to ask him, Who art thou? He
confessed, and denięd not; but confessed, I 21 am not the Christ.† And they asked him,
supreme, Almighty God, one only begotten, Jesus Christ, who came from the bosom of the Father, and who had the holy spirit, or the power and wisdom of God without mea.
This was the Son of God, this the true light, this he who came down from heaven, &e. By Logos is evidently meant the divine wisdom and energy. This was so fully imparted to Jesus Christ, and by it he was so guided and enlightened, that it might be justly said, when Christ performed miracles, it was the Father who dwelt in him; and that what he taught was directly by divine authority and instruction. Here the apostle expressly asserts, that the power and wisdom of God was upited to the man Jesus Christ; or that the divine perfections were displayed by him for the instruction and salvation of the world. See 1 John Epis. i. 1. also chap. x. 28, &c. of this gospel.
* See chap. v. 37 ; xiv. 9, 10; Phill. ii. 6; Coll. i. 15; Heb. i. 3. · To be in the bosom of the Father, must imply a great intimacy with and knowledge of the way and character of God, as well as, that one is an object of the divine love and complacency:
+ The Messiah whom you expect.
What then? Art thou Elijah ?* And he
saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet ?f And 22 he answered, No. Then they said unto him,
Who art thou ? that we may give an answer
to them that sent us. What sayest tlou of 23 thyself? He said, I am the voice of one cry
ing in the wilderness, Make straight the way 24 of the Lord, as said the prophet Isaiah. And
they who were sent were of the Pharisees. 25 And they interrogated him, saying, Why bap
tizest thou then, if thou be not the Christ, nor 26 Elijah, neither that prophet ? | John answered
them, saying, I baptize you with water : but
there standeth one among you, whom ye 27 not; he it is, who coming after me, is prefer
red before me; whose shoes' latchet I am not 28 worthy to unloose. These things were done
in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was
baptizing 29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto
him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, 30 which taketh away the sin of the world. This
is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man,
who is preferred before me ; for he was be31 fore me. And I knew him not : but that he
should be made manifest to Israel, therefore I 32 am come baptizing with water. And John
testified, saying, I saw the Spirit descending
from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon 33 him. And I knew him not : but he that sent
* They supposed Elijah would first come. † The prophet promised by Moses, most probably, # Promised by Moses. ♡ To prepare the minds of the people for the Messiah.
me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit des.
cending and remaining on him, the same is he 34' who baptizeth with the Holy Spirit. And I
saw and bare witness, that this is the Son of
The next day John was again standing, and two 36 of his disciples, and looking upon Jesus as he
walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God. 37 And the two disciples heard him speak, and 38 they followed Jesus. Then Jesus turned, and
saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi,
(which being interpreted, is the same as to say, 39 Master) where dwellest thou ? He saith unto
them, Come and see. They came and saw
where he dwelt, and abode with him that day : 40 for it was about the tenth hour. One of the
two who heard John speak, and followed
him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. 41 He first findeth his own brother Simon, and
saith unto himn, We have found the Messias ;t 42 who is, (by interpretation) the Christ. And he
brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jonah : thou shalt be called Cephas, which is,
by interpretation, a stone. 43 The day following Jesus would go forth into
Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto
This explicit declaration and testimony of John must have had a great effect with the candid and serious among the Jews.
+ The Greek word for Christ, is synonymous with the Hebrew word Messiah.