How Should One Understand the Words “In the Beginning Was the Word”?

Icon of St. John the Theologian painted in our icon-painting studio

Question: How should one understand the words “In the beginning was the Word”?

Answer: In the first verse of the fourth Gospel, of the Holy Apostle John the Theologian, the Son of God, the second Person of the All-Holy Trinity, is called the “Word.” The Greek word “Logos,” which the Evangelist John uses, signifies not only a word, taken in the normal and direct sense, but also thought or reason. Therefore, applied to the Son of God “Word” also means “Wisdom.” The Holy Apostle Paul says: “we preach Christ crucified… the power of God, and the wisdom of God” (1 Cor. 1:23-24). The expression “in the beginning” (Greek, en arche), has several meanings in the Bible, and in the given text means “always.” This means that the second Person of the Holy Trinity – the Word (Greek, Logos) – is co-eternal with the Father and the Holy Spirit. They are not at all subject to the temporal order, as do all created beings.

In the Old Testament this thought is present in the book of Proverbs: “The LORD possessed me in the beginning of His way, before His works of old” (Proverbs 8:22).


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