|artwork by Krista Hamrick|
Amplified: [WE ARE writing] about the Word of Life [in] Him Who existed from the beginning, Whom we have heard, Whom we have seen with our [own] eyes, Whom we have gazed upon [for ourselves] and have touched with our [own] hands.
ESV: That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life.
KJV: That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life.
NLT: We proclaim to you the one who existed from the beginning,* whom we have heard and seen. We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands. He is the Word of life.
J. B. Phillips: We are writing to you about something which has always existed yet which we ourselves actually saw and heard: something which we had an opportunity to observe closely and even to hold in our hands, and yet, as we know now, was something of the very Word of life himself!
Wuest: That which was from the beginning, that which we have heard with the present result that it is ringing in our ears, that which we have discerningly seen with our eyes with the present result that it is in our mind’s eye, that which we gazed upon as a spectacle, and our hands handled with a view to investigation, that which is concerning the Word of the life.
Young's Literal: That which was from the beginning, that which we have heard, that which we have seen with our eyes, that which we did behold, and our hands did handle, concerning the Word of the Life.
Pastor John Piper writes: “This is the best commentary on the first phrase of I John 1:1 …"That which was from the beginning..." "From the beginning" means, Christ our Life was when creation began. He is eternal. He had no beginning. He will have no ending. He is not part of creation. In the beginning He is the source of creation. All life comes from Him. He is the spring, not part of the river. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God; all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made"
Pastor Marvin Vincent writes: “The phrase "ho logos tes zoes", the Word of the Life, occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. Though the phrase, the Word of the Life, does not elsewhere occur in a personal sense, I incline to regard its primary reference as personal, from the obvious connection of the thought with I John 1:1…“In the beginning was the Word, — in Him was life.” In Christ life as the subject, and life as the character of the revelation, were absolutely united.”
Word from the Greek logos which means to speak with words; logic, logical, it means something said and describes a communication whereby the mind finds expression in words. Lógos then is a general term for speaking, but always used for speaking with rational content. Lógos is a word uttered by the human voice which embodies an underlying concept or idea. When one has spoken the sum total of their thoughts concerning something, they have given to their hearer a total concept of that thing. Thus, the word logos conveys the idea of “a total concept” of anything. Lógos means the word or outward form by which the inward thought is expressed and made known. It can also refer to the inward thought or reason itself. Note then that logos does not refer merely to a part of speech but to a concept or idea. In other words, in classical Greek, lógos never meant just a word in the grammatical sense as the mere name of a thing, but rather the thing referred to, the material, not the formal part.
St. Augustine said, “[God] gave Himself for a time to be handled by the hands of men.” We have the written record of John, a man who actually did touch Him. We can trust his account—and we can trust that God wants to be near to you and me.
The same God who created the expanse of the heavens, majestic mountains, glaciers, and everything else on earth and holds the whole world together by His powerful Word knows the number of hairs on our heads—and watchfully and lovingly cares about each one of us individually. This one truth is worth rejoicing about all day—God cares about me! I am of infinite value to Him. Nothing happens to me apart from His knowledge. He knows my name, my aches and struggles, and He loves me. We do not have to be afraid, for our Heavenly Father is watching over us. Our part is to stay connected by trusting Him.
Look Up—meditate on I John 1:1 pray to see what it reveals about the character of God.
Look In—as you meditate on I John 1:1 pray to see how you might apply it to your life. Be propelled to ask galvanizing questions about your discoveries: "Because God is_________, I will_____________."
Look Out—as you meditate on I John 1:1 pray to see how you might apply it to your relationships with others. Let the nature of God impact on every relationship, for your good, and for His glory.
* If you liked this post, you'll love this page -- Name Above All Names: Devotions for Lent
How this book came to be...
Krista Hamrick’s beautiful original art print, Name Above All Names Alphabet, has so inspired me. Each of the 26 individual Names she has identified are so special, as Krista has intricately painted, almost like stained glass windows, each one with its Scripture reference. Krista has said, “This is probably the painting that I have most enjoyed researching, designing, redesigning and painting. Beth Willis Miller has expanded upon each name with devotional word studies. By knowing, believing and trusting who God says He is, we can be confident in who He has created us to be.” I so agree with Krista!
My heart has been drawn to do a word study for each of the names included in her art print. Krista and I felt led to publish our Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ …available now on Amazon as a softcover book and as a Kindle book at this link.
Combining the beauty of Krista's artistic excellence with these word study devotionals is perfect for individual quiet reflection or small group Bible studies focusing on the Name Above All Names—Jesus Christ—and His attributes and characteristics.
Review by Michele Morin: “The infinite variety in nature, the curious complexity of human behavior, the synchronicity of multiple systems in our own anatomy — and in the solar system — all point, through general revelation, to the nature of God: multi-faceted, magnificent, and yet mysterious. Special revelation in Scripture picks up where creation leaves off, and Beth Willis Miller has teamed up with artist Krista Hamrick to focus on twenty-six pieces of evidence in Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ. The result is an alphabetical collection that resembles a twenty-six sided gem, each facet reflecting a slightly different hue of the nature of God the Son. From Alpha and Omega to King of Zion, each devotional highlights the Scriptural basis for the name in multiple translations and then provides commentary on the verses. Beth applies the truth and then invites her readers to join her in a prayer that turns the truth into a paean of praise. No mere academic exercise, the point of Name Above All Names Devotional is threefold:
Look up – Meditate on the name and what it reveals about the character of God.
Look in – I am propelled to ask galvanizing questions about my discoveries: “Because God is ___________________, I should therefore _______________.”
Look out – Let the nature of God impact on every relationship, for your good, and for His glory.
With full-color art work and space for notes, Name Above All Names Devotional is a treasure for devotional reading, a resource for serious study, and a thoughtful and inspiring gift for loved ones.” (review by Michele Morin)