The Living Word


"And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God." (Revelation 19:13)

This uniquely expressive name assigned to Christ, as He returns to Earth in glory, is used also by John in his gospel (John 1:1, 14) and in his epistle (1 John 1:1), referring both to His primeval work of creation and also to His human incarnation. It is well known that "Word" here is the Greek logos. Six times it is applied by John as a name or title of the Son of God (three times in John 1:1), the second person of the Trinity. Actually, John used it seven times, assuming that the disputed verse, 1 John 5:7 ("the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost"), is really a part of the inspired text.

The Greek word logos is a remarkable word, adaptable to many meanings. It is translated in the King James New Testament by about 30 other words ("speech," "saying," "reason," etc.). The lexicons add still other meanings, and some of the Greek philosophers used it to describe the intelligence behind the universe.

As used by John, it becomes much more specific: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" (John 1:1). The Jehovah's Witnesses, rejecting the deity of Christ, like to translate this as "the Word was a god," but all knowledgeable Greek scholars agree that the King James rendering is correct. Then, says John, "the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us . . . full of grace and truth" (John 1:14). Even though "no man hath seen God at any time" (John 1:18), He has become knowable through His Son who has "declared him." Consequently, John also can declare Him to others. "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes . . . and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; . . . That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us" (1 John 1:1, 3). HMM