John 1: 1-5 (1)


Reading: John 1:1-5
Blanks: God, life
Words: manifestation, verb, translation

Today, we are going to read John 1:1 in various languages in order to learn about Jesus the Christ, OK?
So, it is going to be very boring.
Hopefully you will survive.

(1) First, we are going to read again in English.
(John 1: 1)
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
Can you understand this?
In the gospel of John, this is how John introduced Jesus.
Jesus is the creative Word of God.
Through this creative Word, God creates everything.

Then many, many years later, this Word became a man living among us.
That is Jesus Christ.
And because Jesus is from God and is God, he can speak what God wants to speak. (pause)

(2) Now, this gospel is written first in Greek.
So, originally it looks like this.
Here they are saying Jesus is the “Logos.”
Saying Jesus is the logos means a lot at that time.

So, this Greek bible is saying that Jesus is the idea, logic and reason of God. (pause)
For Jesus, God designs and plans ahead.
That is what it means that through Jesus, God creates everything.
Jesus is the reason why God creates things.
So, through Jesus, everything is made.

So, if you want to understand the universe, you need to understand Jesus.
If you want to understand human beings, you need to understand Jesus.
Because Jesus is the wisdom that God uses to create the world. (Sirach 24:3-8)
Because Jesus is God’s rational principle.

In other word, God uses Jesus to create us.
So, if we want to think wisely and live peacefully, we need to continually get power and understandings from Jesus.

3) Our Old Testament is written mostly in Hebrew.
Even though John 1:1 is in New Testament, if you read John 1:1 in Hebrew, it looks like this:
בְּרֵאשִׁית הָיָה הַדָּבָר, וְהַדָּבָר הָיָה עִם הָאֱלֹהִים, וֵאלֹהִים הָיָה הַדָּבָר

Jesus is "הַדָּבָר" here.
"Ha-Davar" means the Word or the thing, matter.

What is it saying?
It is saying that God speaks to make things.
When God says something, something happens.
When God says words, things come to exist.
Jesus is that Word, through which everything comes to exist.
So, if Jesus says something for us, it can happen in our life.

6) When Jesus was living in Israel, he spoke Aramaic. (Syriac)
In Aramaic, John 1:1 is like this.
Here Jesus is "Miltha:” ܡܶܠܬ݂ܳܐ.
The Miltha means Word, Manifestation, and Substance.
So, this translation may be saying:
Jesus is the Manifestation of God.
Jesus is God’s spoken thoughts. (pause)

3) Now just curious, how does the Chinese Bible translate this?
太初有道, 道与神同在, 道就是神。
(can anyone read this? anybody wants to read out loud for us)
Jesus is the “Tao (道)” in Chinese Bible:
The Tao literally means the Way.
But it has more profound meanings.

This Chinese bible is saying:
Jesus is the Way of God.
Jesus is God's basic truth, law, and assumption.

So, Jesus is the way that every noble human being must walk upon.
Jesus is the wise path of life, on which wise people walk on and will choose to walk on.

Then through Jesus, our questions will be answered.
Then as we meditate on him, we can understand things.
Then through Jesus, we can realize how we should live our life.
Then, we can live a good life.

Interestingly, in the beginning, Christianity is called the Way.
Because Christians are known as those who believe that Jesus is the way and those who follow the Way of Jesus.

4) What about in a Spanish bible?
How is John 1: 1 translated?
It is like this.
"En el principio era el Verbo, el Verbo estaba con Dios y el Verbo era Dios."
(anybody wants to read)

It says: In the beginning, there was the Verbo.
What is verbo?
What does "Verbo" look like?
Right, it is verb.

This Spanish bible is saying that Jesus is the Verb.
Jesus is the motion and movement of God.
Without Jesus, there is no movement of God, no verb of God.
God moves through Jesus.

So, when we move with Jesus, and have our beings in Jesus, we can truly live in God.
As we move with him, we gain understandings and godly wisdom.
Then we will understand Jesus is God’s principle, basic truth, and law.

Reading the story of Jesus in various languages, we can learn about Jesus.
I hope you try to read the gospel in many languages to understand Jesus.
Reading the Gospel in various languages, you may be able to look at Jesus from different angles, or directions.
Then you may gain more understandings of who Jesus is.
As you meditate on him like this, and pray to him, you can live an amazing life that God is providing for you.

Let’s pray:
Jesus, we have learned about you a little bit today.
You are the governing principle of this world.
You are the most important person in this world.
Help us to understand you.
We pray this in your name.

infinite level of understanding