Happy New Year!
I know I’m a little late, but please don’t hold that against me 🙂
Don’t you just LOVE the refreshing feeling of a new year?! It makes you just want to stretch in the morning and smile that you have a whole new life awaiting you . . . just waiting on you to find and explore it!
Well, what better way to start anew than with digging deeper into the Word of God? I started my new year off, reading one of my favorite books of the Bible, the Gospel of John. The reason it is one of my favorites, is that it is the only of the four Gospels that truly starts with a Bang!
After reading it en Español, I got some new insights and thought I would share them with you.
My favorite verse in the Bible, is actually John 1:1, just for the reason I mentioned above. It starts with such force and power, and really compels the reader to keep reading!
John 1:1 (HCSB)
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,and the Word was God.
BAM!! I Mean . . . That’s what’s up!
Now, here is the Spanish version (the emphasis in both versions was mine), which you may want to refer to later:
1 Antes de que todo comenzaraya existía aquel que es la Palabra.La Palabra estaba con Dios,y la Palabra era Dios.
In the Spanish version, they use the word estaba to say, “was,” as in, “was with God.” In English, we have one way to say “was,” and that is: was. In Spanish though, they have more than one way of saying “was” which is the past tense of “to be.” Without going into a full on Spanish lesson on their usage of preterite and imperfect tenses, just know that this instance of saying the word “was” in that tense is like saying, “The Word was [continually] with God,” as opposed to a singular event that happened only once.
Why is this important? Why does this matter? Shouldn’t this be obvious anyway??
I’m so glad you asked! And answering the questions in reverse order (because, that just seems cooler), we shall see why.
So… Shouldn’t this be obvious anyway?
Yes, I guess it should. However, saying it in English can leave some room for interpretation, or in the least, a bit more scrutiny.
“The Word was with God.” This can lead one to believe that The Word was with God in the beginning, at that singular, momentous event when the world was spoken into motion. But, the next part of the sentence says, “the Word was God.”
So, we can see then that God and Jesus are coexisting beings, yet still “separate” entities based on the first part of the sentence. So, we can further reason that they are united as one, but can be “separate” in body (as in the example of Christ coming to Earth).
[ But really, even then, they were never apart from one another… as God is Omnipresent. Kind of Mind-blowing, I know, right?]
However, the Spanish also use a different form of the verb “was” when describing that the Word was God- they use the verb: era, which can be used to describe an essential quality of the person or thing being described.
So, again we see that even though it “should” be obvious, and “should” be understood- in the English language, we can take the subtleties in an actual verb to mean or “speak” to us in different ways.
In the Spanish version – using the imperfect tense in the first part of the sentence, and the lack of it in the second part- makes it a lot plainer and a lot more concrete, as to what the verse is actually saying.
Why does this matter?
Well, for me, it takes a verse that I LOVE for so many reasons, and brings it to life and gives me a deeper understanding than before.
One of the things I love about this verse, is that it gives us a glimpse of the Trinity. In some religions, or sects of Christianity, the people are taught that the Trinity is a false belief or that it is in a way promoting idolatry.
For instance, in the Jehovah’s Witness’s version of the Bible, The New World Translation, John 1:1 was changed, to read: “The Word was with God and the Word was a god.” The addition of this single article, “a,” changes the verse in such a way as to diminish the power and meaning of it entirely. This could be no further from the truth, which is clearly seen in the original verse, and is especially seen in the Spanish version.
[*As a side note, I personally hold no ill will to Jehovah’s Witness’s; I just find some of their beliefs to be misguided, especially since there were no true Greek or Hebrew scholars to assist with their translation of the Bible.]
Along with many English versions (I like HCSB), many Spanish versions (including TLA) of the Bible were also translated straight from the original Greek and Hebrew manuscripts of the Bible. So, there is really no mistaking the original context or meaning of this passage.
This completely excites me beyond words— which is saying A LOT for me!
Why is this all so important?
This verse and its revelation is important because knowing that Christ IS the Word, that the Word was present in the Beginning and was [is] actually God- helps you to better grasp not only the Trinity, but why it is you believe what you believe about Christ and what further confirms Him as Savior of Mankind.
He is Everything!!
John goes on to write that NOTHING, as in No–Thing, could have been created were it not for the Word, who is also called our “light.”
Could it be that when God said, “Let there be light!” That these words were in fact Christ Himself creating light, or that some of the light emanating from Himself was captured here for us? (Interesting rabbit trail of a thought I had).
Does this make Proverbs 18:21 a even more powerful? Where it reads (emphasis mine):
Proverbs 18:21 a (HSCB)
21 Life and death are in the power of the tongue [ie. words]
To me: Yes!!
Is this theologically sound or proven? Probably Not. I am not a theologian after all, and I have not taken this study further than my own thoughts to either confirm or deny it.
BUT, from my small part of the world, in the small part of the morning, where I sat open to hear what God would breathe into my heart, This is what I heard today. And this is what I (as an average person) am sharing with you now. Take what you will from it, and by all means Expound on it and Share your thoughts!
My Prayer Today:
Lord, let my heart and ears stay ever focused on You, and allow me to be like John the Baptist who described himself as one who cried out in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the Lord.” (John 1:23)
That is my prayer! What’s yours?
God gave John the Most Important message in the world to give – the message of the coming of our Lord and Savior. John was inspired of God to write the words he did, in the precise way he did, in order that he tell us not only of Christ’s coming, but also and more importantly, just Who Christ was and Is!
John knew all of this about Christ without ever having met Him. So there was no conference or conferring on what would be spoken about Jesus between John and Himself. God spoke to John about His son, and John conveyed God’s message to the world!
How will you respond to the message God plants in Your heart?
Versos en Español: