The words at the end of verse 1 (και θεος ην ο λογος) are correctly translated “and the Word was God”. Because of the absence of the definite article (i.e. “the”) in the Greek, some translators (particularly JWs) believe that it should be translated “and the Word was a god”. However, in Greek the absence of the definite article does not necessarily indicate that a word is indefinite. In this case, the article precedes “Word” (ο λογος) probably to indicate that it is the subject of the clause, i.e. “and the Word was God”, not “and God was the Word”.

The idea that God could be identifed with his attributes was well understood in New Testament times. In saying that God’s creative word “was God”, John was not saying anything that a 1st Century Jew would disagree with.

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