#101 John & The Light of the World

Yeshua Jesus, John, & Nicodemus: A Master's Class in Cosmology

Class 101: John and the Light of the World - John 1:1-4

All Christians can agree that John 3:16 is the very core of all Scriptures. In one short verse, Yeshua Jesus succinctly compacted everything he did into one verse. It is universally known, especially since the spread of Christianity and the KJV Bible began!


John opens his Gospel with 1:1-14 as a retelling of Genesis 1. In this passage, John is using the Genesis 1 creation story as the context of understanding what Yeshua Jesus taught about our existence. He introduces the main theme Yeshua Jesus focused on throughout his life and minsitry: The Theology of not only Salvation, but the nature of two worlds: Our Physical World, and Spirit World -- [Link to Image of Creation]

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. (Joh 1:1-14)

Take note of the bolded words. Christianity reads this passage and applies Spirituality to it, which is certainly the main point. Yet the construction of this passage is specifically copying Genesis chapter1! And Western Evangelical Christianity has interpreted Gen 1-2 as a physical creation narrative; but is it? Let's look at them side by side and compare the two with bolded words:

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness He called “night.” And there was evening and there was morning, one day.

-Gen 1:1-5

In this passage we most often take light as the physical light made up of photonic energy. Commentaries and theology books delve into deep arguments about how and what the light was dividing and why. The Genesis passage is treated as a stand-alone passage and its focus is on physicality.

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 came into being through Him, and apart from Him not even one thing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of mankind. And the Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not grasp it. A man came, one sent from God, and his name was John. He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the Light, but he came to testify about the Light. This was the true Light that, coming into the world, enlightens every person. He was in the world, and the world came into being through Him, and yet the world did not know Him.

(Joh 1:1-10)

This passage is clearly seen as a theological explanation of creation. It is patently clear that John is speaking of Yeshua Jesus of the "Light" of the world, as John records later what Yeshua said of himself over and over again.

Question: If the above comparisons are true, then why do we, the the Evangelical Church, continue to emphasize the original Genesis account as a specifically physical creation narrative when the Gospel of John clearly shows its theological meaning? Why does not every commentary and study Bible not have a big fat note saying "Let there by Light" is Yeshua Jesus stepping into the world as the master craftsman of creation?

The Biblcal Scriptures is full of places where we say "This Old Testament passage is interpreted in the light (pun intended) of this New Testament passage." Why do we not see this in the case of "Let there be Light" as John so clearly says?

Answer: Becuase we, the modern Evangelical Church, has chosen to fight a culture-war over the creation story. We are "defending the faith from godless evolutionists!"

In the process we have failed to show the real meaning behind those first few verses of Geneisis:

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness He called “night.” And there was evening and there was morning, one day.

In the beginning God is Elohim - the Ti-unity godhood, made of of three persons: YHWH Father God as the genetive planner. Spirit is the energy for the creation. Yeshua Jesus is the Light - or craftsman who gives meaning and purpose to creation. Let there be light may indeed be the "big-gang of physical creation, but according to John, it is the reason and purpose of creation: "This was the true Light that, coming into the world, enlightens every person."