John 1 should blow your mind

Billy Kangas writes:

This passage is often called the “prologue of John.” Some scholars once theorized that this section was a Hymn inserted based on the uniqueness of certain terms (logos and grace in the prologue that appear nowhere else in the Book). This idea doesn’t take into account much of the significance of this passage to the whole. The prologue in John sets the stage for the rest of the book. It shows the areas of focus John takes in Gospel: A) Jesus’ Divine role, and B) the authority of those who believe in God.

Alan Culpepper (“The Pivot of John’s Prologue,” New Testament Studies 27, 1980, 1-31) believes that the prologue is a chiasmus with 12b at the center. I think he might be on to something take a look at the structure:

A vv.1-2 The Word as God and with God
. B v. 3 Creation came through the Word
. . C vv. 4-5 We have received life through the Word
. . . D vv. 6-8 John the Baptist is sent to testify
. . . . E vv. 9-10 Incarnation and the response of the world
. . . . . F v. 11 The Word and his own (Israel)
. . . . . . G v. 12a Those who accepted the Word
. . . . . . . . H v. 12b Authority to become children of God
. . . . . . G’ v. 12c Those who believed the Word
. . . . . F’ v. 13 The Word and his own (believers)
. . . . E’ v. 14 Incarnation and the response of the community
. . . D’ v. 15 The testimony of John the Baptist
. .C’ v. 16 We have received grace through the Word
. B’ v. 17 Grace and truth came through the Word
A’ v. 18 The Word as God and with God

The theme’s of John’s Gospel are laid out right from the get go! But it gets better…


Author: Father Silouan Thompson

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