There is no doubt that Jesus is God in the flesh according to the gospel of John. From beginning to end this gospel goes to great lengths to explain how Jesus is both God and Man, and yet not the Father nor the Holy Spirit. Enjoy this in-depth teaching on John 1:1;18 in light of John 5:16-47.


(1) John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

(2) John 1:18, “No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.”


(a) In the beginning was the Word (Son / Jesus),

(b) and the Word (Son / Jesus) was with God (the Father),

(c) and the Word (Son / Jesus) was God (in Nature & Quality of Essence).

Therefore, “God / Theos” can be interpreted in two different ways in John; once as a person (the Father in 1:1b) and another time as a quality (divine in 1:1c).

  1. In John 1:1b, “God / Theos” is describing the person of the Father.
  2. In John 1:1c, “God / Theos” is describing the nature of the Son.


The way scholars determine the application of “God / Theos” is based on the usage in the context. For example;

(1) If John 1:1c meant, “the Word was the Father” (as Modalists / Oneness Pentecostals teach) then it would be contradicting the previous section (1:1b), because a person (the Word) cannot be facing ( with / “pros”) themself, this requires a different person.

Incorrect: In the beginning was the Son, and the Son was with the Father, and the Son was the Father.

Correct: In the beginning was the Son, and the Son was with the Father, and the Son was God in nature like the Father.

(2) Likewise, if 1:1c meant, “and the Word was [a] god” (as Arians / Jehovah Witnesses teach) then it contradicts monotheism by introducing a different God than the Father that can be seen and worshipped as YHWH (Deut. 6:4 / Gen. 16:13; 18:1 / Ex. 3:1-15; 33:11), the grammatical rules of how to handle a “predicate nominative” (which “God / Theos” is in 1:1c; learn more about the grammar here from Dr. White), and the greater context summarized in John 1:18, “No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God…” For a more detailed defense of the reading “Only begotten God” see Dr. Wallace’s notes here.

Incorrect: In the beginning was the Son, and the Son was with the Father, and the Son was another god like the Father.

Correct: In the beginning was the Son, and the Son was with the Father, and the Son was God in nature like the Father.

JOHN 5:16-47

16 So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders began to persecute him. 17 In his defense Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.” 18 For this reason they tried all the more to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God. [John 1:1; 14 & Mark 2:27-28/Exodus 31:14-17]

19 Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. [John 1:14 & Philippians 2:5-11] 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed. 21 For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it. [Genesis 2:7, Psalm 36:9, & John 1:3-4] 22 Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, 23 that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. [Psalm 98:1-9, Isaiah 3:13-14, & Genesis 19:24] Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him. [Revelation 5:11-14]

24 “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life. 25 Very truly I tell you, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. 26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. 27 And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.

28 “Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice 29 and come out—those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned. [Daniel 12:2 & Ezekiel 34:20-31] 30 By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.

31 “If I testify about myself, my testimony is not true. 32 There is another who testifies in my favor, and I know that his testimony about me is true.

33 “You have sent to John and he has testified to the truth. 34 Not that I accept human testimony; but I mention it that you may be saved. 35 John was a lamp that burned and gave light, and you chose for a time to enjoy his light.

36 “I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to finish—the very works that I am doing—testify that the Father has sent me. [Isaiah 61:1-3] 37 And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me. You have never heard his voice nor seen his form, 38 nor does his word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent. [Exodus 33:11; 20 & John 1:18] 39 You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me to have life.

41 “I do not accept glory from human beings, 42 but I know you. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts. 43 I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him. [Exodus 3:14, Judges 13:18, & John 8:58/Isaiah 43:10] 44 How can you believe since you accept glory from one another but do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?

45 “But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set. 46 If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. [Deuteronomy 18:15-16] 47 But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?”