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John 1: & Gen. 1

Have you ever tried to translate the original scripture into English? After trying to do this a few times, I found it difficult at times to come up with the correct word to use. I found that many of the original words have different ideas attached to them depending on how they are used and written. Also, when we translate the text do we use a word for word, modern language, or a concept translation?

Using my own method I chose to translate John 1:1 as follows: In the beginning was the voice, the voice was with God and the voice was God. That voice became a man and lived with us.

To understand this verse we need to return to Genesis 1. In the beginning was God. Because God is a spirit, his spirit hovered over the vast space. The mind of God decided that he wanted to create a world, and formed the plan to do so. The mind of God decided on creating the heavens and the earth in a logical manner but was unable to do so on his own power. Likewise neither could his spirit create anything, all he could do was move God from one place to another. To create all things God needed a voice. It was this voice that created all things and without him nothing was created.

God said let us (mind, spirit and voice) make man in our own image, male and female. Man was made of the mind (to do the thinking), the spirit (for movement), and the voice (the voice and body creates what we want to create). Since the sin of Adam, man has been a finite person. We have a beginning and we will have an end. Not only do we have a finite physical body but our mind is also very limited.

There are many scriptures that indicate that God’s wisdom and power is so much greater than we can conceive of or understand. With our limited mind we try to understand God. To do this we use the culture we grow up in, our life experience, and how we interpret life, (what make since to us). Into this mix God has also give us a desire to find him. As a side note here, all cultures have some concept of God although none fully know him.

For those of us who have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, Jesus now lives in us. (Rev. 3: 20, Galatians 2:20). Furthermore we also have the mind of Christ in us, (1 Corinthians 2:16) the mind of God. If this is true then why do we not see God moving in our lives as we have seen him move in the lives of the early followers of Christ? This may be due to trying to understand God with our own understanding and our desire to be in control of our own lives.

How do we allow Jesus to have more control over our lives? For some this is a desire strong enough to overpower all that this world has to offer and to live a life in the power of God. For most of us it is learning to release those parts of our lives that hinder us from being like Christ. This will always involve earnest prayer, studying Gods word, and following what God wants us to do. We may suffer setbacks in our spiritual lives. God will pick us up, dust us off and use that experience to help us grow in His spirit.

May you grow in Christ as you imitate Him.