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John 1:1-14 The Passion Translation (TPT)

The Living Expression

In the beginning[a] the Living Expression[b] was already there.

    And the Living Expression was with God, yet fully God.[c]
They were together—face-to-face,[d] in the very beginning.[e]
And through his creative inspiration
    this Living Expression made all things,[f]
    for nothing has existence apart from him!
A fountain of life was in him,[g]
    for his life is light for all humanity.[h]
And this Light never fails to shine through darkness—
    Light that darkness could not overcome![i]
Suddenly a man appeared who was sent from God,
    a messenger named John.[j]
For he came as a witness, to point the way to the Light of Life,
    and to help everyone believe.
John was not that Light but he came to show who is.
    For he was merely a messenger to speak the truth about the Light.
For the perfect Light of Truth[k] was coming into the world
    and shine upon everyone.[l]
10 He entered into the world he created,
    yet the world was unaware.[m]
11 He came to the people he created[n]
    to those who should have received him,
    but they did not recognize him.
12 But those who embraced him and took hold of his name[o]
    he gave authority to become
    the children of God!
13 He was not born by the joining of human parents[p]
    or from natural means,[q] or by a man’s desire,
    but he was born of God.[r]
14 And so the Living Expression
    became a man[s] and lived among us![t]
    We gazed upon his glory,[u]
    the glory of the One and Only[v]
    who came from the Father overflowing
    with tender mercy[w] and truth!


  1. 1:1 Most scholars consider the first eighteen verses of John to be the words of an ancient hymn or poem that was cherished by first-century believers in Christ.
  2. 1:1 The Greek is logos, which has a rich and varied background in both Greek philosophy and Judaism. The Greeks equated logos with the highest principle of cosmic order. God’s logos in the Old Testament conveys his powerful self-expression in creation, revelation, and redemption. In the New Testament we have this new unique view of God given to us by John, which signifies the presence of God himself in the flesh. Some have translated this rich term as “Word.” Though the Greek term logos may be rendered “word,” it would be wrong to think it indicates primarily a lexical unit in a sentence. Logos is more accurately understood as a form of self-revealing or “message.” Jesus Christ is the eternal Message, the creative Word, and the Living Expression of God made visible. He is the divine self-expression of all that God is, contains, and reveals in incarnated flesh. Just as we express ourselves in words, God has perfectly expressed himself in Christ. Jesus is God’s Story.
  3. 1:1 The Living Expression (Christ) fully possesses every attribute of deity held by God the Father (Col. 1:15–20). The Living Expression existed eternally as a separate individual but essentially the same, as one with the Father.
  4. 1:2 The Greek word used here and the Hebraic concept conveyed is that of being before God’s face. There is no Hebrew word for “presence” (i.e., the “presence” of God), only the word “face.”
  5. 1:2 Both Gen. 1:1 and John 1:1–2 speak of the beginning. In Genesis Moses spoke of the beginning of time, but John speaks of eternity past, a beginning before time existed. The Living Expression is Christ who existed eternally as part of the Trinity. He has no beginning, being one with the Father.
  6. 1:3 Or “all things happened because of him and nothing happened apart from him.” The Aramaic is “everything was in his hand” (of power). See Ps. 33:6; Isa. 44:24.
  7. 1:4 See Ps. 36:9. The Aramaic reads “In him were lives” (plural)—not only multiple human lives, but also spiritual life, eternal life, and life in every form. John used the word life (zoe) thirty-seven times in his gospel.
  8. 1:4 Jesus Christ brings the light of eternal life and the full revelation of God (Heb. 1:2–3). The Gospel of John is easily divided into three sections: life (chs. 1–7), light (chs. 8–12), and love (chs. 13–21).
  9. 1:5 The Greek has a double meaning here. (1) Darkness could not diminish this Light, nor could it comprehend it. (2) The darkness can also be a metaphor for the sons of darkness.
  10. 1:6 This is John, the Baptizer. See Mal. 3:1.
  11. 1:9 Or “the True [Genuine, Perfect] Light.”
  12. 1:9 Or “to enlighten everyone.”
  13. 1:10 Or “the world [of humanity] didn’t perceive it.”
  14. 1:11 Or “to his own” (things or people).
  15. 1:12 Or “those who are putting faith into his name.” To “lay hold of his name” means to believe everything he represents and put into practice what he taught in the power of his name.
  16. 1:13 Or “not from streams of blood” (i.e., the blood of a father and mother). Although many translations connect this verse with the children of God (v. 12), the old Latin translation as well as two church fathers, Irenaeus and Tertullian, argue that it is John’s reference to the virgin birth of Christ (also v. 14).
  17. 1:13 Or “from the natural realm.”
  18. 1:13 Or “born out from God.” The Living Expression (message) is now “humanized” (and become the messenger). However, the vast majority of translations and expositors see here not Jesus’ virgin birth, but the new birth of those who became “children of God” in v. 12. Both are clearly presented in the Scriptures.
  19. 1:14 Or “became visible.”
  20. 1:14 Or “live within us.” This is the fulfillment of Isa. 7:14. The “God with us” is Jesus Christ our Immanuel. He is among us in that he is in human form, and is still in human form within the Trinity eternally. The Greek and Aramaic can be translated “he pitched his tent among us.” John’s wording takes us back into the book of Exodus where: (1) God came down and lived in the tent (tabernacle) in the wilderness (Ex. 25:8). (2) God revealed his glory in the pillar of fire and cloud (Ex. 40:38). (3) God identified himself as the One and Only (“I am Yahweh your God . . . You may have no gods other than me,” [Ex. 20:2; Deut. 6:4]). (4) God proclaimed his wrap-around love (Ex. 34:6).
  21. 1:14 The Aramaic is “We gazed upon his preciousness.” John gazed upon Jesus’ unveiled glory on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matt. 17:1–8).
  22. 1:14 The Aramaic is “Unique and Beloved Son.” The Greek word, monogenes, means “of a single [mono] kind [genes].” This word is also used for Isaac in Heb. 11:17 as Abraham’s uniquely precious son, but not his only one.
  23. 1:14 The Aramaic word, taybootha, means “loving kindness or goodness.” The Greek word is charis, which can also be translated, “grace, favor, sweetness, pleasure or delight.” This translation has combined all those concepts in the words tender mercy. Truly, Jesus Christ is full of everything that our hearts crave.
The Passion Translation (TPT)

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Used by permission. All rights reserved. thePassionTranslation.com

John 1:1-14 New International Version (NIV)

The Word Became Flesh

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome[a] it.

There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.

The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.


  1. John 1:5 Or understood
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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