Example of Bible Study by Verse - John 1:1

Bible Study Verse: John 1:1 (MEV)

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

My Notes: I have read this verse several times. I know almost every Christian has either read or heard this verse at least once in their lifetime. If not, you definitely need to start reading your Bible especially the Gospel of John. All new believers are encouraged to read the Gospel of John first before reading any other Book of the Bible. One day as I was reading this verse, I just got this urge on the inside of me to study this verse more deeply. If you were to look up the word translated as ‘WORD’ in the Strong’s Concordance, you will see that it is the Greek word ‘LOGOS’. ‘Logos’ is a very powerful Greek word. In the Bible, there are two words translated as the ‘Word of God’. The first one is ‘Logos’ and the second is ‘Rhema’. It is very important that you understand the difference between them. ‘Logos’ is the Divine Expression. It is the Eternal Word of God. Indirectly, it is the Written Word of God in the sense that the Holy Word of God was put on manuscripts as holy men of God were inspired and moved by the Holy Spirit to write it down for our benefit. They did not get this revelation from men but from God Himself. In contrast, Rhema is the Spoken Word of God. It is God speaking to an individual either through His written word (The Holy Bible) or through the audible voice of the Holy Spirit or through the inward witness or through the inward voice or through dreams and visions. Time does not permit me to explain all these various methods used by God to speak to individual believers, but I do plan on writing down an article on this subject in the future. To make it simple, some scholars or theologians simply define the difference as Logos is the written word of God while Rhema is the spoken word of God.

I want you to notice something very intriguing about John 1:1. The word “WORD’ is repeated three times. Now I have said this before, but I always feel that there is a need to say it again and again because of its essence. Whenever you see a word repeated two or more times in the Bible within the same verse, it’s a sign from God that He wants you to pay attention to it. It is something of value to God and that is the reason He is having the writer repeat the use of the same word. It is always a good idea to take note of the verse and the word it repeats and when time allows, study it thoroughly. You will be surprised how much revelation you will get by simply following this suggestion.

Now when the Bible says that “In the beginning was the word”, it is not talking about the beginning of the spirit world or spiritual realm. Why? Because it is outside of space, time and matter which means it always existed. The spirit world or spiritual realm is eternal just like the God of the Bible is eternal, therefore it does not have a beginning or end. The word ‘beginning’ indicates the introduction of space, time and matter which are the primary characteristics of the universe in which planet Earth exists. From this, we can clearly understand that John is writing about the beginning of the universe. When the Bible says, “In the beginning was the word”, it is an indication that the ‘LOGOS’ existed before the creation of the universe. The verse continues to say, “the word was with God”. In other words, the ‘LOGOS’ was with God. So, the ‘LOGOS’ and God existed side by side. The verse completes by saying, “The word was God.” In other words, the ‘LOGOS’ was God. We can reread the verse as saying that, “Since the ‘LOGOS’ was God, therefore God was with God.” Now this may sound controversial since there is only one God, but this verse seems to indicate that there are two Gods. To fully understand this mystery, an understanding of the doctrine of Trinity is important. Now this is not something, the Christians made up, but this mystery is revealed throughout the scripture. It simply means that God is one is essence but three in person; just like a triangle has three sides but it remains one triangle. I do not have the time and space to explain this in depth in this article, but I feel there is a need to write a teaching on the doctrine of Trinity in the future.

John 1:1 is very similar to another verse in the Bible which you probably have guessed by now. It is Genesis 1:1 (MEV):

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

My Notes: Notice how both the Books start with the same three words, “In the beginning”. In Genesis 1:1, we learn some fascinating facts about God. First, God is the main character of the Bible. The Bible never tries to defend or prove the existence of God. It simply assumes that God exists. Second, God existed before the universe existed. He is the Creator and the Universe is His Creation. Third, God is self-existent. He exists independently of other beings or causes. Fourth, since nothing existed before God, God created the universe from nothing. This is what the theologians and scholars call EX NIHILO – OUT OF NOTHING! Fifth, God is cause of the universe. As a matter of fact, God is the first cause; no one caused God or created God. That is why it is silly to ask the question, “If God created the universe, then who created God?” Sixth, God is eternal. He does not have a beginning and end. As a matter of fact, the Bible says that God is the beginning and the end (Alpha and Omega). Seventh, God exists outside of space, time and matter. The universe exists within the constraint of space, time and matter. Science has now proved that universe had a beginning. This is what the scientists call the Big Bang Theory which states the universe originated billions of years ago in an explosion from a single point. Since the universe had a beginning, it has a cause which we Christians believe to be the God of the Bible. You see, God cannot be made up of the very thing it creates. Since the universe is made up of space, time and matter, the thing which created it needs to be space-less, time-less, material-less and an intelligent mind which is a clear description of the God of the Bible. To make it simple, the Creator needs to be an intelligent spirit-being. Well, the Bible says that God is spirit and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24 MEV). Hopefully this brings forth some enlightenment to the readers.

One things that I did not define was the identity of the ‘Logos’? Who is the ‘Logos”? Have a look at the following verse:

John 1:14 (MEV) The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, the glory as the only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth.

My Notes: The verse above contains a lot of information. For starters, it tells us that the ‘Logos’ took on flesh and lived among mankind. Since the ‘Logos’ is God, this verse is indicating that God took on flesh and lived among mankind. The verse continues, “we saw His glory’ meaning that the disciples who were with the God-man recognized Him as God because He revealed His identity to them. The verse continues, “the glory as the only Son of the Father”. These words are powerful. Here we learn that the ‘Logos’ is the Son of God namely Jesus Christ. We also learn that Jesus Christ as the ‘Logos’ has a Father. I know this may sound confusing even unthinkable but there are some mysteries I guess we will only fully comprehend once we reach heaven. Let’s leave some room for revelations such as these when we finally reach our eternal home. The word translated God in Genesis 1:1 is the Hebrew word, ‘elohiym (el-o-heem) which is plural. God is mysterious; though the Hebrew word for God is plural, the verb form of which “God” is the subject is singular. This is perhaps a subtle allusion to God's Trinitarian nature: He is three divine persons in one divine essence. This also helps us to get a better understanding of how God can be with God according to John 1:1. It is saying that God, the Son was with God, the Father. The verse concludes by saying that the Son (Jesus Christ) was full of grace and truth. What does it mean, “full of grace”? Grace means unmerited favor or loving-kindness, and this truly defines the nature of our God. Thank God Jesus was full of Grace! The verse also says that He was full of truth. What is truth? This is how Jesus defined truth:

John 14:6 (MEV)Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

My Notes: So according to Jesus, He is the truth but remember He is also the ‘Logos’. What is ‘Logos’? ‘Logos’ is the eternal word of God penned down by Holy men of God and put together in the form of the Holy Bible. To make it simple, the truth is the word of God. If you want to know the truth, there is only one route – READ YOUR BIBLE!

I sure hope the above example of how to study the Bible by verse gives you an idea of how you can do it yourself as the Holy Spirit leads you. Also, feel free to select verses of interest or those which you have a hard time understanding. Always remember that learning is a process and it requires time and effort. As you read and study your Bible daily, you will soon become an expert on the subjects you attend to with diligence. Have a blessed day!