According to the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society Jesus is not God and therefore to say “and the Word was God” is to say Jesus is the Father, but that is a misrepresentation of what Christians believe. This information is not set out to prove the doctrine of the Trinity but rather the Deity of Jesus Christ. If you want to examine the doctrine of the Trinity check out our Trinity section here.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1, NASB)
The Word according to what John the apostle wrote is Jesus Christ: “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14, NASB) It is very clear that Jesus and the Father are not the same personage. Another thing that is clear is Jesus came from the Father. Jesus was sent by the Father into this world and at the same time came voluntarily. (John 3:16, Philippians 2:6-8)
In The Beginning…
Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Jesus was the first to be created by God. Therefore, according to the Jehovah’s Witnesses Jesus at one time did not exist. However, John gives the Biblical truth that Jesus is before all things, namely eternal. The statement “In the beginning” is stating Jesus is before all things.
“1 What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life 2 and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us” (1 John 1:1-2, NASB)
John writing to Christians wrote “What was from the beginning” in reference to Jesus Christ. John goes on to write, “the eternal life”, which is very significant. Christians are given eternal life in the sense of being saved, but Jesus is “the eternal life” in the sense of being eternal!
“12 “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. 13 “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” 14 Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. 15 Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying. 16 “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.” 17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost. 18 I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book. 20 He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. 21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.” (Revelation 22:12-20, NASB)
John wrote the book of Revelation to the Christian Churches. In the closing chapter of Revelation John records the eternal identity and nature of Jesus Christ. John writes the following concerning Jesus:
1.Jesus is the “I am” and He is coming quickly.
2.Jesus is coming to bring both judgment and rewards.
3.Jesus is “the Alpha and Omega”.
4.Jesus is “the first and the last”.
5.Jesus is “the beginning and the end”.
6.John identifies this One who is coming quickly twice as being Jesus. (Verses 16 & 20)
“17 When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, 18 and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.” (Revelation 1:17-18, NASB)
John actually got to see Jesus in His glory in the heavenly realm and he fell flat on his face, and Jesus encouraged him and said “Do not be afraid”. Jesus in His glory said to John, “I am the first and the last”, thus stating He is the Eternal One. Comparing Revelation 1:17 & 22:13 with Isaiah 44:6 the obvious conclusion is that Jesus is Jehovah God: “Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: `I am the first and I am the last, And there is no God besides Me.” (Isaiah 44:6, NASB) The LORD or Jehovah says, “I am the first and the last”, just as John wrote concerning Jesus in Revelation 1:17 & Revelation 22:13, thus showing the Deity of Jesus Christ as God.
Back to John 1:1 and “In the beginning was the Word”. It is clear that this is not saying Jesus is the first to be created but before all things the Word (Jesus) was and is eternal. This truth is clearly shown throughout John’s writings.
The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society has misled many people with unbiblical theology concerning the true identification and nature of Jesus. Unfortunately many Jehovah’s Witnesses have not had Christians who were able to share these basic truth’s with them, therefore many Jehovah’s Witnesses have wrong conclusions and views concerning John 1:1. Our prayer is that this information is understandable and informative for both Christians and Jehovah’s Witnesses. If you have any questions or comments concerning this information or other issues please contact us.