In Genesis the God of the Bible is revealed as Creator of everything from the tiny atom to the magnitude of space with its billions of galaxies. Thus, it would have been heresy for a Jew to think an angel or any other created being was the Creator. Isaiah confirms that God (Yahweh) is the Creator:
“This is what the Lord, the Creator and Holy One of Israel says…I am the one who made the earth and created people to live on it. With my hands I stretched out the heavens. All the millions of stars are at my command….I, the LORD Almighty, have spoken!” (Isaiah 45:11a, 12, 13b)
So, did the apostles view Jesus as part of creation, or as the Creator?”
When Jesus’ disciples gazed at the stars on dark evenings, they most likely didn’t even dream that the Creator of those stars might be in their very presence. Yet after his resurrection, they saw Jesus with new eyes. And before he left earth, Jesus began to unfold mysteries to them about his identity.
Recalling his Lord’s words, John begins his gospel by revealing who Jesus is:
“In the beginning the Word (logos) already existed. He was with God, and he was God….He created everything there is. Nothing exists that he didn’t make. Life itself was in him and this life gives light to everyone.” (John 1:1, 3-4)
Although scientists now believe the universe had a beginning from nothing, they can’t tell us who was there to start it all. John reveals that before creation, “the Word already existed”, and was “with God.”
So who or what is this pre-existent Word? John’s next words clarify who he is talking about: “the Word was God.
As a Jew, John believed in one God. But John is talking about two entities here, God and the Word. Some groups, who teach that Jesus was created, erroneously translate this passage to mean the Word is a god rather than the God. But New Testament scholar F. F. Bruce writes that “rendering the phrase as “a god” is a frightful mistranslation because the omission of the indefinite article is common with nouns in the predicative construction.”
Therefore, John, under the direction of the Holy Spirit, tells us:
- the “Word” existed before creation
- the “Word” is the Creator who created everything
- the “Word” is God
Thus far, John has told us that the Word is eternal, Created everything, and is God. But he doesn’t tell us whether the Word is a force or a person until verse 14.
“So the Word became human and lived here on earth among us.” He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the only Son of the Father” (John 1:14).
John clearly refers here to Jesus. Furthermore, in his epistle he confirms it:
“The one who existed from the beginning is the one we have heard and seen. We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands. He is Jesus Christ, the Word of life” (1 John 1:1).
John tells us that “nothing exists that he didn’t make.” If nothing existed apart from him, it follows that Jesus couldn’t have been a created being. And according to John, the Word (Jesus) is God.