John 1:1-18 Retranslated

With Translation Notes

By Craig Bluemel

 

At the behest of many people I have decided to provide the following translation of John 1:1-18 as a literal and expanded version.  The {bracketed} words are not a reflection of what is actually in the original Greek text.  Due to copyright infringements and restrictions I was not allowed the benefit of using a Greek-to-English interlinear translation and so I will be the first to admit mine is not necessarily the most fastidious translation around.  However, I sought above all to capture the general intent of the apostle John’s message and you will find this version is not tainted with the usual Christological bias of most all-modern versions of the Bible.  My goal is to facilitate believers that seek to understand the nature of God the Father, His son the man Christ Jesus, and grow in love of the truth.  I hope you are blessed and edified.  Craig

 

The Appropriate Translation

John 1:1-18

 

John 1:1-18 At first the news spread {everywhere} and the news was about God being close at hand and God was involved in what was being said.  2 This same {message} started when God was close at hand.  3 Everyone was being drawn through {this message}; however, none of those being drawn was able to come apart from Him {God}.  4 In it {the message} was {felt} a genuine spiritual life and this spiritual life came to men by revelation of the truth.  5 And the revelation of the truth was appearing amid the obscurity and dimness {caused by sin}, and the obscurity and dimness {caused by sin} could not grasp what it meant.  There came a man sent on a mission from God; his name was John. 7 This one came for the purpose of giving a testimony, intending to testify all over concerning the light, so that all might believe through him.  8 He (John) was not the light, but on the contrary, to testify with regard to the light.  9 The light that is true and genuine IS presently coming into every man {to} spiritually enlighten, and imbue with saving knowledge.  10 He (the light) was {here} in the world and {it was} thru him the world came into {spiritual enlightenment} but the world did not recognize (or become acquainted with) him.  11 He came to his own, and those who are his own did not associate with him. 12 Yet as many make him their own, to them he gives the right to become children of God, even to those who are believing in his name, 13 who were [past tense] begotten, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.  14 So then it came about that the experiential knowledge {of him} was expressed in {our} human flesh, pitching a tent in us, and we give careful, deliberate consideration to interpret the vision of his glory, a glory as of an only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.  15 John was testifying all over about him and cried saying, "This is he of whom I said, 'He who is coming after me has come to be in front of me, for his rank is higher than mine.'" 16 For of that which filled him we all {have} obtained and grace for grace.  17 For the Law through Moses was given; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God; the only begotten Magistrate, Ruler, & Judge who is [presently] in the bosom of the Father, he unfolds Him. TAT

 

Translation Notes For John 1:1

 

John 1:1 At first the news spread {everywhere} and the news was about God being close at hand and God was involved in what was being said. TAT

 

John 1:1 En archeé eén ho lógos kaí ho lógos eén prós tón theón kaí theós eén ho lógos. (Greek transliteration)

 

Below are some notes for those who may be curious how The Appropriate Translation renders key words in John 1:1.  The reason for these notes is not to shoehorn the translation but to show the logic and forethought and study I invested in both Greek and English languages to compile the translation above.  I have formatted these notes out in three sections:

 

1.     John 1:1 – In the beginning = “At first” (En archeé)

2.     John 1:1 – Was the Word = “the news spread” (eén ho lógos)

3.     John 1:18 – The only begotten God = “The Only Begotten Magistrate” (Monogeneés Theós)

 

John 1:1 “At first … En archeé

 

To determine the time frame I began by seeking to understand the meaning of the Greek word translated as beginning (i.e. In the beginning).  The Greek word for beginning is archeé.  Archeé means at first, to begin, to commence or commencement.  Archeé is akin to the same word cognate from whence comes the word, “archangel.”  An archangel is by definition a chief messenger. In Greek archeé has a wide range of definitions and applications and only the CONTEXT determines the correct usage.

 

Archeé can refer to the beginning of anything and unlike Matthew and Luke, the apostle John’s gospel begins at Jesus’ ministry, not at his birth.  Therefore archeé should properly apply to the period of time that commenced or began the messianic activity associated with Jesus’ ministry. When John writes the Greek words, En archeé eén ho logos it is better rendered, “At first the news was spoken {everywhere}…”

 

The reason for this translation is the context; in John 1:1 the antecedent to a text that first mentions the appearing of John the Baptist, “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.” (John 1:6)  Therefore, instead of translating En archeé as in the beginning a more appropriate rendering would read, “At the first,” or simply, “At first,” is sufficient.  What is in view is the imminent appearance of the Jewish Messiah, therefore John’s prologue in John 1:1 is properly rendered as, “At first there was news spreading {about the coming Messiah”.

 

To illustrate how archeé is used elsewhere in John’s gospel as referring to Jesus’ ministry the text of John 6:64 holds an important key, “For Jesus knew from the beginning (archeé) who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him.”  In this text, “from the beginning,” aptly describes the “beginning” of his ministry as the Christ.  Further, in Mark’s gospel we find an IDENTICAL application of archeé with direct association to the beginning of Christ’s gospel (good news herald):

 

Mark 1:1-5 The beginning (archeé) of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; 2 As it is written in the prophets, “Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. 3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.’” 4 John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.  5 And there went out unto him all the land of Judea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins.  KJV

 

The parallels between Mark’s gospel and John 1:6 are glaringly obvious,

 

John 1:6 “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.” (NAS) 

 

Mark’s gospel further supports my rendering of logos as meaning, “the news spoken {everywhere},” in that Mark 1:5 says, “And there went out unto him (John the Baptist) ALL the land of Judea, and they of Jerusalem.”  If that isn’t news spreading everywhere then do tell, what is? 

 

In The Appropriate Translation of John 1:1 I have added in brackets {everywhere} simply because of the implications; anyone familiar with the Jewish sentiment in Palestine during this period of time will attest to the messianic fervor.

 

In fact so anticipatory was the mood amongst Jews that it was not unusual for families to have an empty seat at certain meals, especially Passover, just in case Messiah should happen to visit them.  Young maidens passed rumors of their earnest desire to give birth to the Christ, and all had hopes they might be chosen as the virgin (unmarried young woman) in fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy (Isaiah 7:14).  So considering the atmosphere, it is not a stretch to add “everywhere” to explain how the “word” about Messiah was spreading.

 

The proof does not end here because John continues his use of archeé just a few verses later, in which he writes of the beginning of Christ’s first miracle at Cana of Galilee.

 

John 2:11 This beginning (archeén) of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.  KJV

 

With all of this immediate proof why would any reasonable person insist that John 1:1 relates to the Genesis 1:1 account of creation?  The only possibility is if they were either a novice student of scripture and unfamiliar with basic biblical hermeneutics, or they have already formed an opinion and/or doctrinal position concerning their interpretation of John 1:1-5. 

 

I am not saying archeé never has implications to the beginning mentioned in Genesis, but not in these aforementioned scripture texts.  Jesus adds one more strong argument as proof that archeé in John 1:1 is the beginning of his 3 ½ year ministry when he promises to return as the Parakletos, or Helper in John 15:27 & 16:3-4

 

John 15:27 And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning (archeés).   KJV

 

John 16:3-4 "These things they will do because they have not known the Father or Me.  4 But these things I have spoken to you, so that when their hour comes, you may remember that I told you of them. These things I did not say to you at the beginning (archeés), because I was with you.  NASU

 

Other NT authors also use archeé to indicate the beginning of ministry, such as when Peter describes the “beginning” (archeé) as the Day of Pentecost when the disciples received the Holy Spirit (Acts 11:15).  Paul uses archeé to describe his manner of life as a practicing Jew in Acts 26:4; in fact, this rendering is strong support for my own translation of archeé in John 1:1 as, “At first.”

 

Acts 26:4 My manner of life from my youth, which was at the first (archeés), among mine own nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews.  KJV

 

John 1:1 “the news spread” (eén ho lógos)

 

The Greek words eén ho lógos are properly but poorly rendered as, “the Word,” in the KJV and other Bible versions.  A proper translation does not always imply an appropriate translation.  Just because one potential meaning of lógos is, “word,” does not reason it is enough to translate it as such, especially when the range of use and applications varies dramatically, depending upon the context lógos is used within, and depending upon the prepositions (e.g. en) and verbs used with it in a given passage.

 

In fact, the use of, “the Word,” by most is a woefully inadequate translation because, “the Word,” fails to convey direct relationship of the noun lógos to the overall context of John Chapter One.  The term, “the Word,” is far too generic for this context, it lacks expression, and it is erroneously capitalized, as the Greek text has no such capitalization. The reason for capitalization of course has more to do with the doctrine of the trinity and the doctrine of the deity of Christ than with the actual translation of the word lógos itself.  Bible translators failed to translate lógos when they capitalized “the Word,” but instead, they used the doctrinal bias to render lógos as seemed fitting to them and consistent with the misguided notion that Jesus is the, “Word,” in John 1:1.

 

Lógos is a Greek noun that means simply means intelligence and/or thought expressed by speech (i.e. spoken).  The range of applications is as diverse as it is with archeé and lógos represents how people express their thoughts, particularly when there is a reason behind what is being expressed (i.e. spoken).

 

Since I first released my translation of John 1:1-5 I have come under fire from critics who assume that I have not properly translated ho lógos and these same critics claim there is no substantiation elsewhere for my rendering these terms as the news was spreading.  I humbly submit that not only is this a valid translation but it is the preferred translation, and is validated in numerous other Scripture texts that use identical wording. 

 

For example, in Acts 6:7a in the Amplified Bible reads, “And the message of God increased…” The Greek text of Acts 6:7a reads, “Kaí ho lógos toú Theoú eeúxanen…”  As you can easily see I could have rendered John 1:1 as, “At first the message was spread {everywhere,” and it would convey no more accuracy than my version, which reads, “At first the news was spreading {everywhere}…”

 

Look at Luke 5:15 is yet another parallel example and the NASB translates, “Dé ho lógos perí autoú…” as follows, “But the news about Him…   My rendering of the Greek eén ho logos in John 1:1 reads, ”…the news was spreading {everywhere}.   Notice once again I use brackets to indicate {everywhere} is not actually in the Greek text, but the overall context implies that John the Baptist’s message WAS spread all throughout Judea and Palestine.  Therefore I make no apologies for translating ho lógos as the news spreading. 

 

Lógos means thought spoken or intelligence expressed in words and if many Jewish people of the day were expressing a similar sentiment or thought it is commonly called, “news.”  One main reason people read John 1:1 and are unable to understand how lógos can be rendered differently than the stereotypical Bible versions as, “Word,” is because they lack basic knowledge of synonyms we use in English grammar and as a result do not realize words used in English idioms today don’t necessarily mean the same thing as what was spoken in a different culture and in a different language over 2000 years ago.

 

In grammar a synonym is a word that carries the same or a similar meaning as another word.  Some examples of synonyms for, “news,” are intelligence, reports, rumor, gossip, information, a recent account, and hearsay.  Webster’s Dictionary defines news as: a recent account; fresh information of something that has lately taken place at a distance, or of something before unknown; tidings.  Examples are:

 

·         We have news from Constantinople. 

·         News has just arrived. 

·         This news is favorable.

 

Microsoft® Encarta® Reference Library 2002 defines news as current events: information about current events broadcast; somebody or something interesting: somebody or something considered as being of interest to people in general; something previously unknown: something previously unknown to somebody that he or she is surprised to hear about.

 

If the definitions found in Greek reference works define the Greek phrase eén ho logos in John 1:1 in ways consistent with modern words that convey the same rudimentary meanings, then there should be no objection(s) whatsoever if I select an appropriate and accurate English word such as, “news,” to convey the essential meaning of lógos.  After all, words are merely the means by which thoughts can and are expressed in a variety of applications.  Below you will find the combined definitions taken from popular Greek reference study tools such as Strong's Concordance with Expanded Greek Dictionary, Thayer's Greek Lexicon definitions, & Complete Word Study Dictionary New Testament definitions for lógos. 

 

Immediately following the Greek reference tool’s definitions for lógos is the modern English definitions for the word, “news,” which I used to translate logos in John 1:1.   The English definitions include many of the synonyms for, “news.”  This comparison settles any dispute regarding my choice of words to translate ho lógos in John 1:1.

 

Greek Dictionary Definitions of lógos (NT: 3056) in the New Testament

 


The expression of intelligence

A collection of ideas uttered

A word - the act of speaking, talk

Something said, including the thought

Communication

Rumor (what is talked about)

A matter under discussion

A report

A saying

Continuous speaking

Topic or subject of discourse

Conversation

A continuous account of things

Anything reported in speech

A word uttered by the living voice

What is declared

An aphorism, adage, or cliché

Metonymically the power of speech

Delivery

Oratory eloquence

A kind (or style) of speaking

Tidings

Preaching

Communicated by instruction

An emphatic word as a saying

A declaration or sentiment uttered

 


                         Modern English Definitions of the word, “news”

 


Fresh information

Intelligence

Tidings

Reports

Rumor

Hearsay

Information

Recent account of something new

Gossip

Current events

Information broadcast

Talk of somebody interesting

Talk of something interesting

            News previously unknown

           


The list of definitions above is not exhaustive, but limited to usages that are applicable in the text of John 1:1.[1]

 

There are so many examples in the NT where lógos complies with how I rendered it in John 1:1 I cannot list them all, but one of the most characteristic is found in Matthew 28:15.  This is the story of the resurrection of Christ, and the soldiers that had been appointed by the Jews to guard Jesus’ tomb were bribed by the Pharisees to circulate a rumor to the effect that his disciples had stolen Jesus’ body from the tomb.  The Greek text uses ho logos as follows:

 

Matthew 28:15 Kaí diefeemísthee ho lógos hoútos pará is translated in the NASB as, “This story was widely spread among…”

 

You could just as well have replaced story with any number of the examples listed in either the Greek or English lists above, such as:

 

“This was widely declared among…”

“This rumor was widely spread among…”

“This report was widely spread…”

“This subject was discoursed widely…”

“This sentiment was uttered widely among…”

“This was reported widely among…”

“This NEWS was widely spread…”

 

Lógos is used in John’s gospel quite often for a “saying” because it means the testimony of what someone thinks or has experienced, depending on which form (i.e. – verb or noun) it is used. Below are a few sample verses listed from John’s gospel, since his use of lógos is more relevant.

 

John 2:22 ”…and the message (lógoo) Jesus had spoken.”  AMP

 

John 4:37 For in this the saying (lógos) holds true, one sows and another reaps.  AMP

 

John 4:39 And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying (lógon) of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did.  KJV

 

John 4:41 Then many more believed in and adhered to and relied on Him because of His personal message what He Himself said (ton lógon auto).   AMP

 

Though Luke’s gospel is written from the perspective of a disciple and not an original apostle, nevertheless he combines archeé and lógos to describe the beginning of the ministry of Christ, starting with mention of the birth of John the Baptist in Luke 1:1-4.

 

Luke 1:1-4 Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile an account of the things accomplished among us, 2 just as they were handed down to us by those who from the beginning (archeé) were eyewitnesses and servants of the word (lógou), 3 it seemed fitting for me as well, having investigated everything carefully from the beginning, to write it out for you in consecutive order, most excellent Theophilus; 4 so that you may know the exact truth about the things you have been taught. NASU

 

In the New American Standard Updated (NASU) the footnote about lógou in John 1:3 translates this Greek word literally as, “gospel,” and not as, “word.” This should forever settle and end any dispute as to the meaning of John 1:1; clearly the text means the beginning of the gospel message of Jesus Christ, beginning with the message of repentance first preached by John the Baptist, a forerunner of Messiah. 

 

The apostle John was eyewitness to all that Jesus did and said from the beginning and in fact, his style of writing consistently uses archeé to represent the first span of time when he came to personally follow Jesus at the promised Messiah (or Christ).  1 John 1:1 is a prime example because it is a written epistle (letter) from the apostle John TO the churches and in this introduction he speaks of Jesus as the embodiment of the logos, or news that had been widely circulated amongst Jews in Palestine, all of which were anticipating the coming of the Christ.

 

1 John 1:1-3 That which was from the beginning, (archeés), which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the word (ho lógou) of life; 2 For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us; 3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.  KJV

 

The body of text you just read describes the apostle John’s eyewitness experience with Jesus Christ the man from the FIRST part of his ministry, until the time he was taken up into the heavens, where he is now seated at the right hand of the Father.

 

John 1:1-5 At first the news was spoken {everywhere} and the news was about God being close at hand and God was involved in what was being said.  2 This same {message spoken} started when God was close at hand.  3 Everyone was being drawn through {this message}; however, none of those being drawn was able to come apart from Him {God}.  4 In it {the message} was {felt} a genuine spiritual life and this spiritual life came to men by revelation of the truth.  5 And the revelation of the truth was appearing amid the obscurity and dimness {caused by sin}, and the obscurity and dimness {caused by sin} could not grasp what it meant.   (The Appropriate Translation)

 

The spiritual life that was experienced amongst Jews that were truly the seed of Abraham, by virtue of the sincere faith during the months, weeks and days preceding the appearance of Jesus as promised Messiah must have been awesome.  This is why John 1:1 reads, “At first the news was spoken {everywhere} and the news was about God being close at hand and God was involved what was being said.”  God was truly involved in this news, as John 1:1b says.

 

God was truly, “close at hand,” as rumor of the long-awaited Messiah spread across countryside villages, towns and cities.  Everyone was being drawn through this message; however, none of those being drawn was able to come apart from God because God knew those who were truly His own, and those whose pretense of religiosity was simply a façade for their greed, avarice and lust for power.

 

The message of the Christ was infused with the Presence of Yahweh and the true believers, Jew and Gentile alike, knew what it meant because they felt a genuine spiritual life and this spiritual life came to them by revelation of the truth in scripture, which even proselytes to Judaism could hear read every Sabbath in synagogue.

 

However, the Pharisees, scribes, lawyers, and Sadducees perceived this message spreading like wildfire to be a threat when it came to the door of their life and stony hearts.  And so, in closing, I tell you with great confidence the revelation of the truth was appearing amid the obscurity and dimness caused by the sin of unbelief amongst the religious elite, and the obscurity and dimness caused by sin among these self-righteous gasbags could not grasp what it meant.       

 

John 1:18 = “The Only Begotten Magistrate” (Monogeneés Theós)

 

John 1:18 is one of only a very few scripture verses in the New Testament that mention Jesus as the, “only begotten.” This verse describes him presently residing in the, “bosom of the Father,” as the, “only begotten magistrate, (ho Monogeneés Theós).”  The New American Standard Bible (including Updated version), and the Amplified Bible translate ho Monogeneés Theós as, “the only begotten God,” as absurd as that sounds!  At least the NASB translators remained true to their convictions by rendering Theós as, “God.”  However, since God is never begotten, this verse remains problematic without an alternate application for Theós.

 

John 1:12b-13a says, “…to those who are believing in his name, who were begotten (gennao).  The verb tense in John 1:12b speaks of Christians presently (as John writes) who “are believing,” whereas the verb tense in John 1: 13a uses the past tense, who were begotten to reflect an earlier time when these same Christians were spiritually begotten.  Something as simple as understanding the verbs can help unravel the mystery behind the Greek words used in John 1:18, as you will see.  John records his gospel account to address those born again in past time, perhaps at Pentecost, who are continuing their faith, keeping it active well past the time when Christ ascended on high, and was seated at the Father’s right hand.  The reason we say they were born again is due to the use of words, as being “begotten” or “born” of the will of God, meaning a spiritual birth. 

 

John’s choice of verbs in 1:18 depicts Jesus as, “the only begotten,” who IS IN (present tense) the “bosom of the Father” and is presently unfolding or revealing Him (the Father) to those who believe. 

 

John 1:18 No one has ever seen God; the only begotten Magistrate, Ruler, & Judge who is [presently] in the bosom of the Father, he unfolds Him. TAT

 

Jesus is the Magistrate or Ruler that was “begotten” by the Father at the resurrection and in his present glorified existence; he resides IN the bosom of the Father.  From this position of spiritual royalty (as Magistrate) and personal affection (i.e. in the bosom of the Father), Jesus is presently tabernacled (i.e. pitching a tent) among and in his church (at that time and onward, even now).  Even though no man has ever seen God with his natural eyes (because God is spirit), the only begotten Magistrate unfolds and reveals Him to those who “see” with eyes of faith, and who listen for the voice of the Good Shepherd with the ears of their heart (i.e. their spirit).

 

All that we know about God the Father therefore is seen and expressed in and thru His son Jesus who resides where his Father’s heart is.  Since Jesus is the Christ, those believers abiding in his love are part of his spiritual body collectively, retaining individual expression as members one of another.  Wherever they show forth God’s love in deed and truth, they too reveal the Father’s heart, extending the influence and authority of Jesus the Magistrate, further unfolding and revealing the unseen God to a hurting and spiritually dying world.

 

I translated John 1:18 as, “… the only begotten Magistrate, Judge, and Ruler, who is in the bosom of the Father…” because the best Greek texts render this phrase as, Monogeneés Theós.”  In Greek grammar the definite article is typically used with personal nouns to emphasize identity.  John 1:18 does not include the definite article before the words translated, “only begotten,” and John’s reason for omitting the article is because Monogeneés literally means, sole begotten or the only one born.  Since the meaning of the word implies a unique individual identity, a definite article is not required for emphasis and would be redundant if included.

 

What is puzzling to the theology of the Christian churches espousing the deity of Christ doctrine (or the trinity doctrine) is why Jesus is portrayed here as the only born THEOS, a word typically used for God in the New Testament.  The NASB translates this as, “the only begotten God,” and this is absurd because being “begotten” or “born” implies a beginning. God cannot be born and still maintain His eternal nature; therefore “only begotten God” is an invalid translation. 

A person has to mystify the correct interpretation of John 1:18 if they shoehorn the, “only begotten God,” rendition, since God by definition (throughout Scripture) is eternal.  God’s eternality is unique because it is infinite (without beginning or end).  I translated the Greek words Monogeneés Theós in John 1:18 as only begotten Magistrate, Judge and Ruler because Strong’s Dictionary of New Testament words defines Theós as a magistrate (see below):

 

NT:2316 theos (theh'-os); of uncertain affinity; a deity, especially (with NT:3588) the supreme Divinity; figuratively, a magistrate; by Hebraism, very: (Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright (c) 1994, Biblesoft and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

 

The eternal nature of God (without beginning) dictates the text of John 1:18 must be interpreted figuratively and rendered as only begotten Magistrate, referring of course to Jesus as the glorified son of man.  Otherwise we have a God that is begotten, which contradicts the general tenor of Scripture.  Further, it is commonly acknowledged by most reference works, whether it is the truth or not, that Theos with the article, (ho Theós), refers to God Almighty, but John 1:18 has no definite article for theós; therefore my rendering is the correct one as Magistrate, Judge and Ruler.

 

A Magistrate is a public civil officer, invested with the executive government of some branch of it. In this sense, a king is the highest or first magistrate, as is the President of the United States.  But the word is more particularly applied to subordinate officers, as governors, intendants, prefects, mayors, justices of the peace, and the like (e.g. The magistrate must have his reverence; the laws their authority).

 

Jesus Christ is a man that is glorified and exalted to the position of authority that can best be described as magistratic because he is subordinate to the Father God in all ways, yet he is portrayed throughout the Old and New Testaments as Prince of peace, Lord of lords, King of kings, and so on.  The Septuagint uses Theós interchangeably for the Hebrew elohim, which is the common word for God in the OT. 

 

The Hebrew elohim is not exclusively used in the OT for Supreme Deity; elohim is also used for judges or rulers.  Hence I made the expanded translation to read as only begotten Magistrate, Judge and Ruler simply because it is an alternate definition provided in Strong’s Dictionary of the NT definitions for Theós and for Elohim.

 

Jesus Christ is a truly unique human being and his existence embodies the meaning of unique in the most literal sense.  God was his Father and no man can make that claim.  Jesus defied death itself because God raised him from the grave, and then God took him alive into heaven; not even Enoch or Elijah can make such a claim.  Jesus shares his Father’s throne and he is exalted to a regal position in the kingdom of heaven.

 

No one shares the honorable position that Jesus has been given and even though overcomers will rule and reign together with him, Jesus has forever been appointed as the Head.  Jesus sits at the Father’s right hand, and this position and status and rank is truly unique to him.

 

1 Corinthians 11:3 But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man… and God is the head of Christ.  NAS

 

Even though Jesus is not, “God,” he still deserves our highest honor and respect.  If President George Walker Bush came to your home for dinner tonight, would there be any special preparations in recognition for your guest of honor?  Of course!  This illustrates how important Jesus is and the degree of honor, majesty, power and authority he possesses.  Even George Walker Bush bows his knee before the Lord of glory!  Just because we cannot see him with our physical eyes does not mean we should treat our Lord Jesus with any less honor than the very greatest of rulers.

 

The meaning of Theos (when applied to a man) is properly translated as Magistrate, Ruler, Judge, and King.  In God’s heavenly kingdom Jesus is our Magistrate and our King; he is The Highest Or First Magistrate.  Jesus is the Firstborn Magistrate ruling over the kingdom of heaven in a position of delegated authority as God’s ONLY begotten Son.  At this time not all of mankind is subject to Jesus because we (as humankind) are still living in an age (or eon) whereby the terms and conditions laid forth by the Father dictate voluntary, not compulsory submission to His only begotten Son (Read the entire text of the Book of Hebrews, chapters Two and Three).

 

God the Father alone is the only true God from Whom all things were created and exist and He authorizes Jesus Christ to rule over His creation.  When scripture says Jesus rules over God’s creation, it means he leads, governs and protects those living on the earth that are his “brothers.” Jesus is the Mediator between God and man, making intercession on behalf of those followers that willingly hear his voice and obey him.   In heaven, aka the heavenly Jerusalem, Jesus also commands the spirits of righteous men that have been made perfect thru his blood.

 

Below is the text of Hebrews 2:6-13 and I have added bracketed inserts to help identify and distinguish the difference between God, the Father and Jesus, the man and the only begotten Son of God.  The reason for this is simply to help the reader understand the significance of the position Jesus holds by delegated authority and divine appointment.  Jesus’ role as Magistrate is functional, personal and active; he does not merely sit upon a throne as some puppet king.

 

Hebrews 2:6-13 But there is a place where someone has testified: "What is man {i.e. Jesus} that you {God} are mindful of him, the son of man {i.e. Jesus} that you {God} care for him?  7 You {God} made him {Jesus} a little lower than the angels {literally angels = messengers & refers to the OT prophets; see Hebrews 1:1ff for context); you {God} crowned him {the man Jesus} with glory and honor {as First Magistrate; i.e. Theos} 8 and put everything under his feet."   In putting everything under him {the man Jesus}, God left nothing that is not subject to him {the man Jesus}. Yet at present we do not see everything {voluntarily} subject to him {the man Jesus}.  9 But we see Jesus {the man}, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he {the man Jesus} might taste death for everyone.  10 In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God {i.e. the Father}, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author {the man Christ Jesus} of their salvation perfect through suffering {NOTE: It was GOD Who made the man Jesus perfect thru suffering}. 11 Both the one {the man Jesus} who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family.  So Jesus {the man} is not ashamed to call them brothers.  12 He {the man Jesus} says, "I will declare your {God’s} name to my brothers; in the presence of the congregation I {the man Jesus} will sing your {God’s} praises."   13 And again, "I {the man Jesus} will put my trust in him {God the Father}."  And again he {the man Jesus} says, "Here am I, and the children God has given me."   (From New International Version) {All bracketed inserts, italicization, highlighting & colored font my own}

 

There is coming an age when ALL of mankind will be subject to God’s only begotten Son; the Man Christ Jesus will rule as Magistrate with a rod of iron if need be, whether they like or not.  When this prearranged time or era begins, (which is sometime in the future), God the Father will judge the entire world and its inhabitants THROUGH a man named Jesus, whom He (God) has appointed as First Magistrate.  When this eon starts submission to God’s authorized Ruler will be required and enforced and unavoidable.  Jesus will not be acting alone either because he will be administering the Father’s justice in righteousness thru the members of his spiritual and glorified body of believers that overcame by the word of their testimony and by the blood of the Lamb.

 

Acts 17:30-31 “Having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all everywhere should repent, 31 because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead. "  NAS

 

Jesus is the ruler or magistrate in a position of delegated authority as God’s ONLY begotten Son.  This means he is HEIR to the throne of his Father God, but he is NOT God.  Rather, Jesus holds in his possession the highest honor that can ever be bestowed upon any man in this creation. 

 

Revelation 17:14, 16 …and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with him are the called and chosen and faithful... And on his robe and on his thigh he has a title inscribed, King Of Kings And Lord Of Lords.

 

 


 

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[1] (Microsoft® Encarta® Reference Library 2002. © 1993-2001 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved) (Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary)