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The word was DIVINE.

by Linda Shidell
(Largo, FL)

Dear Paul,
Great article! It was very helpful. I was wondering if you could expound on where and how you came up with the word divine in John 1:1. I don't see it in the Greek. Could you maybe include more info into your piece that would help lead me to your conclusion? Thanks, and keep up the good work.

Comments for The word was DIVINE.

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Oct 07, 2022
by: Paul

Hi PJ. It is not true that there were almost no written materials before Nicea. There are volumes of writings from the church prior to the Council of Nicea, which can all be read at both and These writings quote almost the entire New Testament. There is a fragment called the Muratorian canon that gives a list of canonical books that dates from possibly as early as the second century ( This page,, has 5 or 6 lists of books to be read in the church, given by various authors, most from before Nicea. All of these roughly match our current New Testament.

Feb 23, 2021
by: PJ

I find it very sad that people fail to realize pre-nicene there were basically no written word, but scarce documents written by missionaries. An apostle is a missionary, and the field of sheep simply believed or they did not, that God sent his Son to die for our sin, then we receive the Holy Spirit.
We are then to walk as led of the spirit, and my opinion is the more we try show off our education the less we are in the spirit as written in Eph. 3:19.
I wish we did as Paul said, not to forget the SIMPLICITY of the gospel.
When it comes to Jesus devine it's simple, Jesus is conceived by the Holy Spirit, NOT by human sperm. All born by human sperm are born in sin.

Feb 23, 2021
To Anonymous on the Father and the Son
by: Paul, Webmaster

Your question about the relation of the Father and the Son is too complicated for a short comment here. I cover it very thoroughly at from the early Christian point of view.

But to give you a short answer, the relationship between the Father and the Son is easy to understand if you can grasp the idea that the one God has a Son. Yes, the Father is called the one God, but his Son is divine because he was not created, but born from God. Of course, how God could birth his Son is greater than we can understand.

The illustration the early Christians used was that the Son was begotten from the Father the way a stream is born from a spring. The spring is the source of the stream, the stream and spring are two different things, but the water is the substance of both. Their substance is not divided so that there are two divinities; there is just one divinity. Nonetheless there is a source, the spring, and a product, the stream. So the one God, the Father, is the source of the Trinity, but the Son and the Spirit, though distinct from the Father as the stream is from the spring, yet are not divided from him, but share the same substance.

Feb 23, 2021
The Word Was "Divine"
by: Paul, Webmaster

Hi Linda, has the best explanation, defense, and support of the translation "The Word was Divine." It is exactly the same explanation I received in my first-year Greek class.

The word "God" is being used as an adjective in the phrase. See the part of the article with the heading "The Predicate Coming Before the Subject." The principle is called "Colwell's rule." It is quite arcane, difficult to understand, for someone not well-versed in Greek, but it is not a questionable or controversial rule.

Both my Greek teacher and the web page I just linked want to use "The Word has the character and nature of God" as a translation. That may be good Greek, but it is terrible English. We have a word that means "has the character and nature of God," and that word is divine.

Feb 21, 2021
I agree
by: Anonymous

I really think it jn1:1 Should be "For the word was there from the very beginning, and the word was with Him, and the word was Divine" Why? You see, if you read the whole passage of John, the apostle himself emphasizes that the Father and the Son is different, which is quite contradictory for me. Moreover, In 1 Timothy 2:5, Isaiah 44:6, and Mark 12:29 where Jesus says that there is only one God seems to contradict Jn1:1 more.

Jan 29, 2015
Lot of speculation
by: Paul (Webmaster)

There's a lot of speculation in your post, PJ. I would question your interpretation of probably most of those passages, but there's not much there to talk about. There's nothing conclusive to latch onto. I prefer to have something that appears to have been handed on by the apostles for those verses, and I think what you say here is just too careful and narrow to have any backing.

Nov 20, 2014
harmanize jn.1:1
by: PJ

i believe it would serve better when explaining jn.1:1, that it is put in context of companion scriptures such as prov.8:12-36, and col.1:12-22.
There exist a misconception that the "Father, is the O.T., and the "Son, is the N.T..(see Jn.1:18 comp. w/ Ex.24:10).
However: fact is that the Father gave all power and authority to his Son, referred to as the WORD, to create all things seen and unseen.
In Is. 9:6,that is why Jesus is called our everlasting father,because in Gen.1: when it says that God said;"let there be" that was Jesus speaking, and where it says "Let US make man in our image and likeness, again, that is Jesus,"THE WORD" speaking.
When what the Son created fell, for sake of love, the father had the Son who created it, go fix it, and yet he foreknew humanity would fall, and he'd have to be the redeemer before he ever created. Rev.13.8 Jesus is lamb slain before foundation of the world, and Rm.8:20-humanity was allowed to fall,not because God is evil, but in hope that out of the fallen, many would desire to become his offspring, (Heb.2:9-11-to bring many humans from darkness, to light of glory), different from angels created n the light, different from fallen angels who hated the light they were created in.

Sep 01, 2014
by: Paul (Webmaster)

Hi Steve. Nice to hear from you.

I deleted one of your comments because for some reason it duplicated. I did copy and paste it into a note program in case I missed a change from one to the other. It looked like they were simply duplicates.

Also, I really didn't mean to leave ratings available on these comments. They seem weird to me. So to all of you, if the ratings disappear, it's because I turned off that option.

I'll leave it up for a bit. Maybe it will be beneficial. I really can't see how, though.

Sep 01, 2014
Divine The word I was looking for!!
by: Steven R Eubanks

I have been working on this passage for a while. Thank you Paul for DIVINE that is the idea I have been Looking for.
Here is what I hap looked at on this verse so far... any Help is appreciated.

This is not a final answer I do not pretend to fully understand the incarnation. It is something to think about, when we sort out all the heresy and the Church over reacting to heresy and the Dogma of the later Church we have a lot to think about what do we believe. It it this simple?

A View Of GOD!

Have you ever tried to think through, to see in your mind who God is. This can be a very difficult job. John 1:1 tells us if we look to the original meaning of the ideas behind the words of the verses.

Joh 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
In the beginning= In the origin of the concept of God. Not just of man or even creation we are talking about God. In eternity past of God…
WAS= eternally exist, the eternal self existent, I exist,
The Word= Relational thought of wisdom to maturity as Truth, the essence of God.

and the Word was with God= The Relational thought of wisdom to maturity as Truth was the advantage (or Facing ) God.
the Word was God.= it says, “και θεος ην ο λογος” and The Word was DIVINE (Word meaning, Relational thought of wisdom to maturity as Truth .)
It seems to say “In the beginning was the PLAN of God’s will. In all God Did the Plan was before Him (ie His guide) and the Plan of God’s will was Divine.

Joh 1:2 He was in the beginning with God.
ουτος ην εν αρχη προς τον θεον
This existed in the origin to the advantage of the God.

Joh 1:3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.

We are still discussing God. This is to say or prove that the “Word”, (the description of God from above) is the God that created the world.

Joh 1:4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.
εν αυτω ζωη ην
in him life exist and the life force of truth and love were made manifest to men.

Here the evangelist is saying the eternal God and Jesus united in nature are the
truth made known to man.

Joh 1:5 The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it not.
The Light= The eternal God and Jesus
Shines = are made manifest to the
The Darkness= obscurity / ignorance of spiritual things
and the darkness did not comprehend it = ignorance did not understand i

Sep 01, 2014
by: Linda

Thank you for your explanation Paul, and for the link, which I should have looked at from the start. I understand now why you would use the word divine.

Sep 01, 2014
Reference for Jn. 1:1
by: Paul

Hi Linda,

Thanks for asking. I have a reference, with a link, for "The Word was divine." It is I thought he explained the translation as well as gave scholarly references for it.

Here's the explanation as given to me by my Greek professor. The sentence, kai theos en ho logos, puts an article (the) on Logos/Word, but no article on the word Theos/God. When using a word like "is," in which you can have two subjects, there's a Greek rule that applies. (Example of two subjects: "James is the king," and "The king is James." Both nouns are equal in the sentence.)

Anyway, in a sentence like that in Greek, the word without the article (without the "the") is being used like an adjective to describe the word with the article. So the word "God" is not really being used as a noun in the last part of John 1:1. It is being used as an adjective.

My Greek teacher and others have suggested that the best translation is "The Word has the character and nature of God."

I agree with them that this is an *accurate* translation. I disagree that it is best, as it wastes words. We have an English word that is "God" used as an adjective. That word is "divine."

So I use "The Word is Divine" rather than "The Word has the character and nature of God." Both are correct. The second one, though, is just a way to dodge the word "divine" because people might object to it. Otherwise, the two translations are exactly the equivalent in English.

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