የዮሐንስ ወንጌል ትርጓሜ /3/ - Commentary on Gospel of John /3/

Who are audiences of the Gospel of John?

The main purpose for John to write the Gospel is to explain the fact that He who revealed in the flesh, Jesus Christ is God in His nature. One of the unique aspects of this Gospel is that it doesn’t follow a typical sequence of events as the other three Gospels do; His conception, lineage, and baptism. It begins from His eternal birth from the Father. John begins by explaining Jesus is with the Father eternally. Thus, Bethlehem is not Jesus Christ’s beginning but rather special place of His revelation in flesh.  From his focus point, John’s audiences are then everyone who needs to believe Jesus is God by Nature.

While Matthew wrote for the Jews, Mark for Romans, Luke for his fellow Gentile Theophilus; John wrote for both Jews and Gentiles to persuade them to believe that Jesus is God by nature. At the time, even two thousand years later, it is not a matter of contention amongst many to believe a historical figure named Jesus Christ had existed. Many even may believe his gruesome death at the Cross, even His righteousness. But to be saved one must believe He is God by nature.  If what was at the Cross was merely a human, His death is simply a martyrdom and not of a Savior.  And death of a merely human being could not have saved the world. By the same token, we cannot say what died on the Cross is the Divine nature; as by nature a Divine does not die.  But Jesus Christ is fully human and fully God; united without mingling, confusion, alteration or transmutation. If He wasn’t God, we would not have said that through His death, God’s love got revealed.

The language John used to explain God nature of Jesus Christ is the language the Jews and Gentiles are familiar with. “In the beginning was the Word” starts John /John 1:1/. The phrase “the Word” is a translation of the Greek “Logos”. It is a widely used phrase for very long time by both Jews and Gentiles and important term in philosophy & literature. One Orthodox scholar referenced Heraclitus, a Greek scholar 500 BC and said “Logos” is the reason God rule over the world and revealed himself to the world.  After Heraclitus, another Greek philosopher Stoic is the one who popularized the word “Logos” between 335-263 BC. These philosophers opened a school in Athens and thought “Logos” extensively. As these philosophical thought spread all over Greek speaking Jews, “Logos” became synonymous with “Wisdom”. In Alexandria, 30 BC – 30 AD, a Jew philosopher by the name of Philo used the Greek translation of the Bible and defined “Logos” as a Divine force that united the visible and the invisible world. Greek speaking Jews who read Philo’s work wrote God is used to reveal Himself to the world through “Logos” or “The Word”.  They used to tell the story that Yahweh revealed Himself to Abraham, Hagar, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses within a burning bush through “The Word” or “Logos”.  Speaking about John they said; when John wrote the Gospel in Greek, he used the familiar word “Logos”.  And explaining John 1:1;  “Logos” or “The Word” though which Yahweh revealed Himself to our Forefathers and Prophets is Jesus Christ that revealed Himself in flesh; nothing else.
“The Word” or “Logos” is the reason for the rise of creation, eternal wisdom, light that revealed God that led our forefathers and the messenger of the Father. Thus John said, “But these are written, that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you might have life through his name”

Hallowed be His name!