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John 1:1-15 Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (RSVCE)

The Word Became Flesh

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.[a] He was in the beginning with God; all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life,[b] and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness,[c] and the darkness has not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came for testimony, to bear witness to the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness to the light.

The true light that enlightens every man was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world knew him not. 11 He came to his own home, and his own people received him not. 12 But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God; 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father. 15 (John bore witness to him, and cried, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, for he was before me.’”)


  1. 1.1 John begins by giving his Gospel a theological background. By speaking at once of “the Word” he implies that his readers are familiar with the term. To Gentiles it indicated some form of divine revelation or self-expression. Jews would equate it with the divine Wisdom described in Proverbs, which already appears as something more than a divine quality and has some relationship with the visible world. In Sirach and Wisdom the idea is further developed. In the last-named book, Wisdom appears as a pre-existing person, taking part in the creation of the world and having a mission to reveal God to his creatures; cf. Wis 7.22–8.1.
  2. John 1:4 Or was not anything made. That which has been made was life in him
  3. 1.5 light . . . darkness: One of the familiar themes of the Gospel.
Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (RSVCE)

The Revised Standard Version of the Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1965, 1966 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


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