First was Meaning*
Godward and Godful**
Entry to all else
Lively and all-enlightening.
Then was Meaning enfleshed
Living among us
Shining bountifully and truthfully
Unquenched by rejection
In the face of Jesus Christ.
No one has ever seen God.
Lively, all-enlightening, Spirited*** Meaning
Enfleshed, rejected, unquenched
Uniquely born of God’s own heart
Powers all who are open
Into godful birth
Making God known.
*This is not an exact translation, not even a paraphrase, but I take it to indicate “Meaning” that endures in John 1:1-18. “Logos” CAN be translated as “Meaning.” That is at least one way in which the passage speaks to me today.
**“When all things began, the Word already was. The Word dwelt with God, and what God was, the Word was” (John1:1, New English Bible). While there is a distinction between the Logos and God, the Logos fully expresses God. In Greek ho theos (with the definite article ho) means “God,” while theos(without the definite article) means “divine (godful) one.”
***Though not here, John attributes this birth to the Spirit (3:5-8). He has not worked out a doctrine of the Trinity, but he’s set the stage for it.