Understanding the true meaning of the Logos in the Prologue of John
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1 John 1:1-3 Interlinear

1 John 1:1-3 Interlinear

 1 John 1:1-3

The prologue to 1 John provides some interesting clues to clarify the Prologue of John. We see from 1 John 1:2, eternal life was with the Father and has now been manifest. Eternal life is not a person but rather a concept. For eternal life having been with (pros) the Father is indicating that it was in view (toward/facing) the Father from the beginning. It is in a similar sense that the Logos (Word) was with (facing toward) God.  Here we examine the Greek and provide a literal and interpretative translation. 

1 John 1:1-3 (NA28)

 1 Ὃ ἦν ἀπʼ ἀρχῆς, ὃ ἀκηκόαμεν, ὃ ἑωράκαμεν τοῖς ὀφθαλμοῖς ἡμῶν, ὃ ἐθεασάμεθα καὶ αἱ χεῖρες ἡμῶν ἐψηλάφησαν περὶ τοῦ λόγου τῆς ζωῆς —

 2 καὶ ἡ ζωὴ ἐφανερώθη, καὶ ἑωράκαμεν καὶ μαρτυροῦμεν καὶ ἀπαγγέλλομεν ὑμῖν τὴν ζωὴν τὴν αἰώνιον ἥτις ἦν πρὸς τὸν πατέρα καὶ ἐφανερώθη ἡμῖν

 3 ὃ ἑωράκαμεν καὶ ἀκηκόαμεν, ἀπαγγέλλομεν oκαὶ ὑμῖν, ἵνα καὶ ὑμεῖς κοινωνίαν ἔχητε μεθʼ ἡμῶν. καὶ ἡ κοινωνία δὲ ἡ ἡμετέρα μετὰ τοῦ πατρὸς καὶ μετὰ τοῦ υἱοῦ αὐτοῦ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ.

Interlinear Table, 1 John 1:1-3

Below is a word for word interlinear table with the Greek, English translation, Parsings and lexicon definition of each word (Concise Greek-English Dictionary of the New Testament, Barclay Newman, supplemented by BDAG)

Greek

Translation

Parsing

Glossary

1  Ὃ

1  What

Pronoun, Nominative, Neuter, Singular

 who, which, what, that; anyone, someone, a certain one

ἦν

was

Verb, Imperfect, Active, Indicative, 3rd Person, Singular

be, exist; happen, take place; live; be located in; remain, stay; come

ἀπʼ

from

Preposition Governing the Genitive

from, away from; by means of; out of; against

ἀρχῆς

of first

Noun, Genitive, Feminine, Singular

beginning, first

what

Pronoun, Accusative, Neuter, Singular

who, which, what, that; anyone, someone, a certain one

ἀκηκόαμεν

we heard

Verb, Perfect, Active, Indicative, 1st Person, Plural

hear; receive news of; give heed to; understand

what

Pronoun, Accusative, Neuter, Singular

who, which, what, that; anyone, someone, a certain one

ἑωράκαμεν

we have seen

Verb, Perfect, Active, Indicative, 1st Person, Plural

see, observe, notice (pass. appear); perceive, understand, recognize; experience; visit, come to see

τοῖς

that

Verb, Imperfect, Active, Indicative, 3rd Person, Singular

the; this, that; he, she, it

ὀφθαλμοῖς

in eyes (view)

Noun, Dative, Masculine, Plural

eye(s)

ἡμῶν

of us

Pronoun, Genitive, (No Gender), Plural, 1st Person

we, us, our

what

Pronoun, Accusative, Neuter, Singular

who, which, what, that; anyone, someone, a certain one

ἐθεασάμεθα

we observed

Verb, Aorist, Middle, Indicative, 1st Person, Plural

see, look at; notice, observe; visit

καί

and

Conjunction

and; and then, then; but, yet, however; also, even, likewise

αἱ

those

Determiner, Nominative, Feminine, Plural

the; this, that; he, she, it

χεῖρες

hands (authorities)

Noun, Nominative, Feminine, Plural

Hand, power, authority; activity; finger

ἡμῶν

of us

Pronoun, Genitive, (No Gender), Plural, 1st Person

we, us, our

ἐψηλάφησαν

we touched

Verb, Aorist, Active, Indicative, 3rd Person, Plural

touch, feel

περὶ

regarding

Preposition Governing the Genitive

about, concerning, of, with reference to; for; on account of

τοῦ

the

Determiner, Genitive, Masculine, Singular

the; this, that; he, she, it

λόγου

of logos

Noun, Genitive, Masculine, Singular

something said (e.g. word; saying; message, teaching; talk, conversation; reasoning

τῆς

the

Determiner, Genitive, Feminine, Singular

the; this, that; he, she, it

ζωῆς

of life

Noun, Genitive, Feminine, Singular

life (literally or figuratively)

καί

and

Conjunction

and; and then, then; but, yet, however; also, even, likewise

the

Determiner, Nominative, Feminine, Singular

the; this, that; he, she, it

ζωὴ

life

Determiner, Accusative, Masculine, Singular

life

ἐφανερώθη

was manifested

Verb, Aorist, Passive, Indicative, 3rd Person, Singular

to render apparent (literally or figuratively): — appear, manifestly declare, (make) manifest (forth), shew (self)

καί

and

Conjunction

and; and then, then; but, yet, however; also, even, likewise

ἑωράκαμεν

we have seen

Verb, Perfect, Active, Indicative, 1st Person, Plural

see, observe, notice (pass. appear); perceive, understand, recognize; experience; visit, come to see

καί

and

Conjunction

and; and then, then; but, yet, however; also, even, likewise

μαρτυροῦμεν

we had testified

Verb, Present, Active, Indicative, 1st Person, Plural

to be a witness, i.e. testify (literally or figuratively): — charge, give (evidence), bear record, have (obtain, of) good (honest) report, be well reported of, testify, give (have) testimony, (be, bear, give, obtain) witness

καί

and

Conjunction

and; and then, then; but, yet, however; also, even, likewise

ἀπαγγέλλομεν

we declare

Verb, Present, Active, Indicative, 1st Person, Plural

to announce: — bring word (again), declare, report, shew (again), tell

ὑμῖν

to you

Pronoun, Dative, (No Gender), Plural, 2nd Person

to (with or by) you: — ye, you, your(-selves)

τὴν

the

Determiner, Accusative, Feminine, Singular

the; this, that; he, she, it

ζωὴν

life

Noun, Accusative, Feminine, Singular

life

τὴν

the

Determiner, Accusative, Feminine, Singular

the; this, that; he, she, it

αἰώνιον

eternal (extensive)

Adjective, Accusative, Feminine, Singular

perpetual (also used of past time, or past and future as well): — eternal, for ever, everlasting, world (began)

ἥτις

which

Pronoun, Nominative, Feminine, Singular

which some, i.e. any that; also (definite) which same: — x and (they), (such) as, (they) that, in that they, what(-soever), whereas ye, (they) which, who(-soever)

ἦν

was

Verb, Imperfect, Active, Indicative, 3rd Person, Singular

be, exist; happen, take place; live; be located in; remain, stay; come

πρὸς

toward

Preposition Governing the Accusative

 (gen.) to, for; (dat.) on, at, near, by; (acc.) to, toward; with; in order to; against

τὸν

the

Determiner, Accusative, Masculine, Singular

the; this, that; he, she, it

πατέρα

was

Noun, Accusative, Masculine, Singular

a “father” (literally or figuratively, near or more remote)

καί

and

Conjunction

and; and then, then; but, yet, however; also, even, likewise

ἐφανερώθη

was manifested

Verb, Aorist, Passive, Indicative, 3rd Person, Singular

to render apparent (literally or figuratively): — appear, manifestly declare, (make) manifest (forth), shew (self)

ὑμῖν

to us

Pronoun, Dative, (No Gender), Plural, 1st Person

to (with or by) you: — ye, you, your(-selves)

3

3 what

Pronoun, Accusative, Neuter, Singular

who, which, what, that; anyone, someone, a certain one

ἑωράκαμεν

we have seen

Verb, Perfect, Active, Indicative, 1st Person, Plural

see, observe, notice (pass. appear); perceive, understand, recognize; experience; visit, come to see

καί

and

Conjunction

and; and then, then; but, yet, however; also, even, likewise

ἀπαγγέλλομεν

we declare

Verb, Present, Active, Indicative, 1st Person, Plural

to announce: — bring word (again), declare, report, shew (again), tell

καί

and

Conjunction

and; and then, then; but, yet, however; also, even, likewise

ὑμῖν

to you

Pronoun, Dative, (No Gender), Plural, 2nd Person

to (with or by) you: — ye, you, your(-selves)

ἵνα

In order that

Conjunction

in order that (denoting the purpose or the result): — albeit, because, to the intent (that), lest, so as, (so) that, (for) to

καί

also

Conjunction

and; and then, then; but, yet, however; also, even, likewise

ὑμεῖς

you (plural)

Pronoun, Nominative, (No Gender), Plural, 2nd Person

you (as subjective of verb): — ye (yourselves), you

κοινωνίαν

participation

Noun, Accusative, Feminine, Singular

partnership, i.e. (literally) participation, or (social) intercourse, or (pecuniary) benefaction: — (to) communicate(-ation), communion, (contri-)distribution, fellowship

ἔχητε

you (plural) could have

Verb, Present, Active, Subjunctive, 2nd Person, Plural

to hold (used in very various applications, literally or figuratively, direct or remote; such as possession; ability, continuity, relation, or condition)

μεθʼ

with

Conjunction

a primary preposition (often used adverbially); properly, denoting accompaniment; “amid” (local or causal); modified variously according to the case (genitive association, or accusative succession) with which it is joined

ἡμῶν

us

Pronoun, Genitive, (No Gender), Plural, 1st Person

us: — our (company), us, we

καί

and

Conjunction

and; and then, then; but, yet, however; also, even, likewise

ἡ κοινωνία

the participation

Noun, Accusative, Feminine, Singular

partnership, i.e. (literally) participation, or (social) intercourse, or (pecuniary) benefaction: — (to) communicate(-ation), communion, (contri-)distribution, fellowship

μετὰ

with

Preposition Governing the Genitive

a primary preposition (often used adverbially); properly, denoting accompaniment; “amid” (local or causal); modified variously according to the case (genitive association, or accusative succession) with which it is joined

τοῦ

of the

Determiner, Genitive, Masculine, Singular

the; this, that; he, she, it

πατρὸς

father

Noun, Genitive, Masculine, Singular

a “father” (literally or figuratively, near or more remote)

καί

and

Conjunction

and; and then, then; but, yet, however; also, even, likewise

μετὰ

with

Preposition Governing the Genitive

a primary preposition (often used adverbially); properly, denoting accompaniment; “amid” (local or causal); modified variously according to the case (genitive association, or accusative succession) with which it is joined

τοῦ

of the

Determiner, Genitive, Masculine, Singular

the; this, that; he, she, it

υἱοῦ

son

Noun, Genitive, Masculine, Singular

a “son” (sometimes of animals), used very widely of immediate, remote or figuratively, kinship

αὐτοῦ

of him

Pronoun, Genitive, Masculine, Singular, 3rd Person

and (with the proper personal pronoun) of the other persons: — her, it(-self), one, the other, (mine) own, said, (self-), the) same, ((him-, my-, thy- )self, (your-)selves, she, that, their(-s), them(-selves), there(-at, – by, -in, -into, -of, -on, -with), they, (these) things, this (man), those, together, very, which

Ἰησοῦ

of Jesus

Noun, Genitive, Masculine, Singular

Jesus (Joshua)

Χριστοῦ

of anointed

Noun, Genitive, Masculine, Singular

Noun, Genitive, Masculine, Singular

Literal Rendering and Interpretative Translations

Both literal and interpretative translations are provided below for 1 John 1:1-3,  The Literal is a based on the interlinear table below the translations. 

1 John 1:1-3, Literal Translation

1 What was from of first,

what we heard,

what we have seen,

that in view of us,

what we observed,

those hands of us we touched,

regarding the word of life, 

2 And the life was manifested,

and we have seen,

and we have testified,

and we declare to you,

the eternal life,

which was toward the Father,

and was manifested to us.

3 What we have seen,

and what we declare,

and to you in order that you also,

participation you could have with us,

and the participation with the Father,

and with the Son of him,

of Jesus anointed.

1 John 1:1-3 Interpretative Translation

1 That which was from the beginning,

what we heard,

what we have seen,

that which was before our eyes,

what we observed,

those authorities that we encountered,

regarding the spoken-wisdom of life, 

2 And the life was manifested,

and we have seen,

and we have testified,

and we declare to you,

the eternal life,

which was in view of the Father,

and was manifested to us.

3 What we have seen,

and what we declare,

to you also in order that you,

 could have participation with us,

and the participation with the Father,

and with his Son,

Jesus Messiah.

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Logos in Reference to God and Creation

The logos is an aspect of God pertaining to God’s intentions (Wisdom). All things come into existence through God’s logos (spoken-wisdom). This is how the original creation (first Adam) was made and this is how Jesus Christ (the last Adam) was made. 

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