In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. -- John 1:1-2 (ESV)
Western readers are often confused with this statement:
- Why doesn't John just write "Since the beginning Jesus was God"?
- What is "the Word"?
- How can the Word simultaneously be not God and God?
- Who was in the beginning with God?
Trinitarians use this scripture to support their view that God (Godhead) is a unity of different persons (the Father, the Word and the Holy Spirit). They interpret "the Word", "God" and "the Light" is Jesus. For them John meant:
All things were made through Jesus, and without Jesus nothing was made that was made. In Jesus was (Jesus the) life, and the life (which is Jesus) was the light (which is also Jesus) of men. And Jesus shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
There was a man sent from (Jesus the) God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of (Jesus the) light, that all through him might believe. He was not (Jesus the) light, but was sent to bear witness of Jesus. That was the true (Jesus the) light which gives (Jesus the) light to every man coming into the world.
Jesus was in the world, and the world was made through Jesus, and the world did not know Jesus. Jesus came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.
But as many as received Jesus, to them Jesus gave the right to become children of (Jesus the) God to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of (Jesus the) God.
And Jesus became flesh (human) and dwelt among us, and we beheld Jesus' glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father (who is also Jesus), full of grace and truth.
John bore witness of Jesus and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’”
And of Jesus' fullness (full of what?) we have all received, and grace for grace. For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
No one has seen Jesus at any time (contradiction). The only begotten Son (Jesus), who is in the bosom of the Father (who is also Jesus), he (Jesus) has declared Him-(self).
Those who belief "the Word" is "the promise of God", "God" is "God the Father", "the Light" is "the gospel of salvation" interpret John 1:
In the beginning was the promise of God, and the promise of God was from God the Father, and the promise was (about) God the Father. This was in the beginning with God the Father.
All things were made through God the Father, and without God the Father nothing was made that was made. In God the Father was life, and the life (salvation) was the testimony of salvation of men. And the testimony of salvation shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it (because its true).
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the testimony of salvation, that all through him might believe. He was not that Saviour, but was sent to bear witness of that Saviour. That was the true testimony of salvation which gives salvation to every man coming into the world.
God the Father was in the world (e.g. Genesis 1-3), and the world was made through God the Father, and the world did not know God the Father. God the Father came to His own (e.g. Israel), and His own did not receive Him.
But as many as received God the Father, to them God the Father gave the right to become children of God the Father to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of the Spirit of God.
And the promise of God became flesh (fulfilled) and dwelt among us, and we beheld Jesus' glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
John bore witness of Jesus (too) and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’”
And of the promise of God's fulfillment we have all received, and grace for grace. For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
No one has seen God the Father at any time (except) the only begotten Son (Jesus), who is in the bosom of God the Father, he (Jesus) has declared Him (God the Father).
John is not trying to impress his readers with complex puzzles. John is not trying to proof or to disproof the Trinity. Instead, John bears witness about Jesus (John 21:24). A witness is not supposed to be mysterious, complex, symbolic or confusing.
What is the correct version?
Compare it with...
Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested (show forth/declare) to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know — this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God (the Word), you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it. -- Acts 2:22-24 (ESV)
Stephen's shortened version:
“Brothers and fathers, hear me. The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham...
Yet He (God) gave him (Abraham) no inheritance in it, not even a foot’s length, but promised (gave His Word) to give it to him as a possession and to his offspring after him, though he had no child. And God spoke to this effect...
But tas the time of the promise drew near, which God had granted to Abraham...
You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you. Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who announced beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, whom you have now betrayed and murdered, you who received the law as delivered by angels and did not keep it.”...
But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. And he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”
-- Acts 7:2,6,51-53,55-56 (ESV)
Paul's shortened version:
So Paul stood up, and motioning with his hand said:
“Men of Israel and you who fear God, listen. The God of this people Israel chose our fathers...
Of this man’s offspring God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus, as He promised. Before his coming, John had proclaimed a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. And as John was finishing his course, he said, ‘What do you suppose that I am? I am not he. No, but behold, after me one is coming, the sandals of whose feet I am not worthy to untie.’
“Brothers, sons of the family of Abraham, and those among you who fear God, to us has been sent the message of this salvation...
And we bring you the good news that what God promised (the Word) to the fathers, this he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus....
Let it be known to you therefore, brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and by him everyone who believes is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses.
-- Acts 13:16-17,23-26,32,38-39 (ESV)
Paul's letter to Titus:
Paul, a bondservant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect and the acknowledgment of the truth which accords with godliness, in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began, but has in due time manifested (to make clear/visible/known) His word through preaching, which was committed to me according to the commandment of God our Savior; -- Titus 1:1-3 (NKJV)
As seen above the other apostles called "the Word of God":
|Peter||the definite plan and foreknowledge of God|
|logos||a word (as embodying an idea), a statement, a speech|
|Original Word||λόγος, ου, ὁ|
|Part of Speech||Noun, Masculine|
|Definition||a word (as embodying an idea), a statement, a speech|
|Usage||a word, speech, divine utterance, analogy.|
Let's also consider how the same author of John 1 also applies "the word", transliterated as "ho logos" from Greek, in the same book:
For here the saying (ho logos) holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ -- John 4:37 (ESV)
When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This is a hard saying (ho logos); who can listen to it?” -- John 6:60 (ESV)
Jesus answered them "...you seek to kill me because my word (ho logos) finds no place in you." -- John 8:37
Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I said, you are gods’? If he called them gods to whom the word of God (ho logos) came — and Scripture cannot be broken — do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” -- John 10:34-38 (ESV)
Though he (Jesus) had done so many signs before them, they still did not believe in him, so that the word (ho logos) spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:
“Lord, who has believed what he heard from us, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” (Isaiah 53:1)
-- John 12:37-38 (ESV)
And Jesus cried out and said, “Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in Him who sent me. And whoever sees me sees Him Who sent me. I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. If anyone hears my words (rhēmatōn) and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. The one who rejects me and does not receive my words (rhēmata) has a Judge; the word (ho logos) that I have spoken will judge him on the last day. For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment — what to say and what to speak. And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me.” -- John 12:44-50 (ESV)
But the word (ho logos) that is written in their Law must be fulfilled. -- John 15:25 (ESV)
Jesus spoke these words, lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father... I have given them Your word (logon); and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word (ho logos) is truth. -- John 17:14-17 (NKJV)
This was to fulfill the word (ho logos) that he had spoken. -- John 18:9 (ESV)
This was to fulfill the word (ho logos) that Jesus had spoken to show by what kind of death he was going to die. -- John 18:32 (ESV)
All these verses indicated that Jesus is not literally "the word of God" himself. We have the following clues:
- "The word" is a "teaching" or "instruction" (John 4:37; John 6:60)
- Jesus also has a "word" (John 8:37)
- "The word of God" already came even before Jesus was born (John 10:34; 15:25)
- John seems to refer to "the word" as a fulfilled prophecy (John 12:37, 18:9, 18:32)
- Jesus refers to the Father's "word" as something other than himself (John 17:1,17)
If John believed that "the Word" is Jesus, he would have over and over proof how Jesus is "the Word", but in contrast John never uses any form of "the Word" to directly refer Jesus himself, for example:
When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word (logō) that Jesus had spoken. -- John 2:22 (ESV)
Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me all that I ever did.” So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them, and he stayed there two days. And many more believed because of his word (logon). -- John 4:39-41 (ESV)
Jesus said to him, “Go; your son will live.” The man believed the word (logō) that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way. -- John 4:50 (ESV)
So Jesus said to them... "Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word (logon) and believes him who sent me has eternal life." -- John 5:24 (ESV)
His voice you have never heard, this form you have never seen, and you do not have His word (logon) abiding in you, for you do not believe the one whom He has sent. -- John 5:38 (ESV)
So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word (logō), you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” -- John 8:31 (ESV)
Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but whe sent me. Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word (logon)." -- John 8:42-43 (ESV)
Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon, but I honor my Father, and you dishonor me. Yet iI do not seek my own glory; there is One who seeks it, and He is the judge. Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word (logon), he will never see death.”
The Jews said to him, “Now we know that you have a demon! Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say, ‘If anyone keeps my word (logon), he will never taste death.’ Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you make yourself out to be?”
Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father Who glorifies me, of Whom you say, ‘He is our God.’ But you have not known Him. I know Him. If I were to say that I do not know Him, I would be a liar like you, but I do know Him and I keep His word (logon).
-- John 8:49-55 (ESV)
"I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word (logou), that they may all be one, just as You, Father, are in me, and I in You, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that You have sent me." -- John 17:20-21 (ESV)
According to these definitions from the author himself, we can conclude that "the Word" is not a person at all, but an abstract concept like God's plan, promise, commitment, instructions or command.
And the word (ho logos) of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith. -- Acts 6:7 (ESV)
- logos has many possible meanings - commonly it is translated as "Word"
- John refers 3 times to "THE WORD" (HO LOGOS) in the same sentence which means he was addressing a specific "Word", not just any "word"
- John refers 2 times to God in the same sentence:
- "WITH GOD" (PROS THEON) with a preposition and accusative masculine singular noun
- "GOD" (THEOS) without a preposition and only a nominative masculine singular noun
The Jehovah Witnesses argue that because the last "GOD" (THEOS) not have a preposition, which means it should be translated as "a god". This would change the text to:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with the God, and the Word was a god.
This changes the text to read that there are 2 different "gods". However, some argue the lacking preposition makes no difference and could still refer to "the God".
Why did John wrote "the Word was with God" and "the Word was God"?
From quoting only John 1:1 it is not clear if John referred to 1 or 2 different gods. Because of this confusion, some reason "John is a paradoxical guy and is unable to be consistent":
The issue of the paradoxical relationship of the Son (or "Word") to the Father is faced immediately.... Here is the seeming contradiction of the Word being God and yet not being God. -- Millard J. Erickson (God in Three Persons, p 199)
In other words, "X was with Y" implies X is not Y, but "X was Y" implies X is Y. This seems like a contradiction.
If interpret that the author is contradicting himself in the opening sentence, you probably made a big mistake. The author is probably not stupid. The author should be able to remain consistent in the space of at least one sentence... There was not this tradition of celebrating confusion as mysteries. -- Dr. Dale Tuggy
Most of the time when a New Testament writer refers to "God", he refers to "God the Father".
Whenever [theos or ho theos are] found in the New Testament, we are to assume that ho pater [the Father] is the referent unless the context makes this sense impossible. -- Murry J. Harris (Jesus as God, p 271)
When we apply this logic to John 1:1 we have 2 options:
- In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with the Father, and the Word was the Father.
- In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with the Father, and the Word was divine.
Which option is less contradicting?
In this context "divine" could mean superior to other "words" like Greek philosophies of beliefs or simply "the God Word".
Verse 2 reads:
He was in the beginning with God. -- John 1:2 (ESV)
A possible explanation is that the Greek word "Houtos" (translated as "He") means "This" or "It" according to Strong's Concordance.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. This was in the beginning with God. -- John 1:1-2 (ESV)
But this does not explain why John would repeat himself.
Perhaps this is not a repetition at all. As seen above, in the previous verse, "the Word" is considered "God" and "He" is possibly referring YHVH (God the Almighty) because He is the only person mentioned so far.
In the beginning "The Word" was with "God"... (and then from God's perspective) "God" was in the beginning with "the Word".
Either way, the next few verses reveals attributes of God:
- All things were made through Him (the Father God) (Psalm 33:6-9, 148:5), and
- without Him (the Father God) was not any thing made that was made. (Isaiah 44:24, 45:12)
- In Him (the Father God) was life (John 5:26), and
- the life was the light (1 John 1:5-7) of men.
All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. -- John 1:3 (ESV)
In Genesis 1 we read that God spoke the creation into existence. So if God creates by speaking or commanding, then it makes sense if "the Word" is God's command:
By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.
He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap;
He lays up the deep in storehouses.
Let all the earth fear the Lord;
Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.
For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.
-- Psalm 33:6-9 (NKJV)
Let them praise the name of the LORD, for He commanded and they were created. -- Psalm 148:5 (NRSV)
We cannot create that way because we need materials and resources, but the Almighty God does not need help. When He says something is so, then it is so.
I am the LORD, Who made all things, Who alone stretched out the heavens, Who by Myself spread out the earth; -- Isaiah 44:24 (NRSV)
I made the earth, and created humankind upon it; it was My hands that stretched out the heavens, and I commanded all their host. -- Isaiah 45:12 (NRSV)
All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. -- John 1:3-5 (NKJV)
This aligns with:
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. -- Genesis 1:1-3 (NRSV)
Some argue this proof that God created Jesus first. Others argue that the physical light is not the same symbolic light that John mentions.
Either way, "the Light" was part of God's "Word" (command or commitment) which was necessary to create (or save) lives though Jesus who was granted judgement of life (John 5:22-26) and also calls himself "the life":
Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst." -- John 6:35 (ESV)
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” -- John 11:25-26 (ESV)
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. -- John 14:6 (ESV)
John, the author of the same book, recorded these words from Jesus himself, which states that the Father is the source of life.
For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will. For the Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes Him (the Father) who sent me (the Son) has eternal life.
He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.
Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so He has granted the Son also to have life in himself.
-- John 5:21-26 (ESV)
"The Son" grants access to the "eternal life" of "the Father", but he only gives it to those who believes and "hear" (obey) "the voice" ("the word") of the Son of God will "live".
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. -- John 3:15-16 (ESV)
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. -- John 3:36 (ESV)
Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become min him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” -- John 4:13-14 (ESV)
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. -- John 10:10 (ESV)
Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. -- 1 John 5:12 (ESV)
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. -- John 1:6-9 (NKJV)
Some argue John witnessed about Jesus, which implies Jesus is "the Light".
As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds concerning John:
“What did you go out into the wilderness to see?
A reed shaken by the wind?
What then did you go out to see?
A man dressed in soft clothing?
Behold, those who wear soft clothing are in kings' houses.
What then did you go out to see?
Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is he of whom it is written,
‘Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way before you.’
Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. -- Matthew 11:7-11 (ESV); Mark 1:2; Luke 7:27
Behold, I send My messenger, and he will prepare the way before Me.
And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts.
But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears?
For he is like a refiner's fire and like fullers' soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the LORD. Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the LORD as in the days of old and as in former years.
-- Malachi 3:1-4 (ESV)
But in Malachi 1-2 "the LORD of hosts" is speaking. So to "prepare the way before Me", means to "prepare the way before the LORD (YHVH)", not Jesus.
In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” -- Matthew 3:1-2 (NKJV)
John's agenda was to save people, not to create a Jesus-fan club.
However, John also witnessed about Jesus too:
John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’ ” -- John 1:15 (NKJV)
He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. -- John 1:10-11 (NKJV)
Compared with verse 3 which highlights that God is the only creator and that He alone created everything, we can conclude that "He" of verse 10 cannot be someone else. The purpose of verse 10 is to highlight that although God is the creator, He was rejected by His own, which aligns with Paul's writing:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as **He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world,
- that we should be holy and blameless before Him.
- In love He predestined us for adoption to Himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will,
- to the praise of His glorious grace, with which He has blessed us in the Beloved.
-- Ephesians 1:3-6 (ESV)
In other words, God created people holy and blameless so that we can be his children so that he can bless us and we can praise Him. Sadly, His own people choose to reject Him.
This "He" most likely also refers to "the true light" of the previous verse.
However, some argue that this "He" is Jesus because
- Jesus claimed to be the light (John 8:12)
- Jesus was in the world (John 9:5; 12:46)
- The world did not know Jesus
- Jesus is the Lord, which means the people are his own
- Jesus got rejected
Therefore, they assume "the world was made through Jesus" based on this verse. However,
- God is also known as "the Light" (Psalm 27:1)
- YHVH God is omnipresent and also appeared multiple times to people in the world
- The world also do not know God
- God owns creation
- God's own nation, the Israelites, rejected Him
And as seen above, we know God is the Creator.
John said himself:
This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. -- 1 John 1:5 (NKJV)
Therefore, John 1:10 does not proof that Jesus is the Creator, however many will point out that the next verse could refer to Jesus:
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God to those
- who believe in His name
- who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
-- John 1:12-13 (ESV)
This could refer to Jesus because:
- we need to belief in the name of Jesus, and
- we know Jesus was born as a human
If this verse refers to Jesus, then the previous verse should also refer to Jesus which would make him the Creator.
However, John was not describing Jesus. He was pointing out who has "the right to become children of God".
John could also have meant those who believe in God's name as written by Isaiah:
“My people will know My name; therefore in that day they will know that it is I who foretold it.” -- Isaiah 52:6
And God's children must be reborn of God's Spirit.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. -- John 1:14 (NKJV)
Some argue this means Jesus was reincarnated from God to human.
Another possible explanation is that God's Word or "command" (as seen above) materialized when Jesus was born. In other words, John said that God kept His promise and that He spoke the truth.
John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’” -- John 1:15 (NKJV)
John also bore witness of Jesus:
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who is preferred before me, for he was before me.’ I did not know him; but that he should be revealed to Israel, therefore I came baptizing with water.” -- John 1:29-31
When John says "He was before me" even when Jesus was younger does not necessary mean Jesus pre-existed before John.
The Greek word "protos" translated as "before" can also mean "first", "chief", "leader", etc. For example Matthew 20:27, 22:38; Mark 6:21, 10:44; Luke 11:26.
And of his
fullness(fulfillment) we have all received, and grace for grace. For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. -- John 1:16-17 (NKJV)
The Greek word "pléróma" is often translated as "fullness" or "abundance" but according to Strong's Concordance it more likely means "fulfillment" of God's word or prophecies.
No one has seen God at any time. -- John 1:18a (NKJV); Exodus 33:20
If Jesus is God, then John contradicts himself again:
We have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father... -- John 1:14 (ESV)
The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he (Jesus) has declared Him (God the Father). -- John 1:18b (NKJV)
The only God, who is at the Father’s side, he (Jesus) has made Him (God the Father) known. -- John 1:18b (ESV)
John also mentions "the Word" in Revelations:
Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords. -- Revelation 19:11-16 (ESV)
Some would argue that "the name" in this context means "identity" and that this person on the white horse, which is most likely Jesus as the description suites many of the prophecies about Jesus, is "the Word" himself.
However, "the name" more likely a reference to his authority as Revelation 19:16 reveals his name, or in this case authority, is "King of kings and Lord or lords". That is not the same as a human designation like the name "John" or the name "Jesus". It means he has authority over kings and lords (masters). The first reference of "name" in this scripture also more likely refers to his authority. What use is an identity if "no one knows but himself"? This likely means that he received so much authority from God, that no one fully understand how powerful he is.
So if the first and third "names" means authority, then it only makes sense that the second name would also mean "authority". This changes the meaning to:
He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the authority by which he is called is The Word of God.
It is like the government sending a police officer to arrest a criminal on their behalf. Without an order, the police has no right to arrest anyone. In this case it is Jesus acting by the Word of God to lead God's armies to strike down the nations.
It is pointless to say Jesus comes by his own authority. He is coming in the authority of God, or more specifically, by "the Word of God" which is God's "command" or by His instructions as we had see earlier. This scripture more likely means that Jesus was clothed in a special garment and is acting on the word (command) of God, therefore God's armies are following him.
This is significant, because it means we do not have to fear a trigger-happy worrier who will return as a bloodthirsty loose cannon, but Jesus will return as an agent of God who obediently act according to the instructions of a fair God.