The word “with,” used twice in these three short verses, conveys two concepts according to Jamieson, Fausset and Brown’s Commentary: “That He had a conscious personal existence distinct from God as one is distinct from the person He is with; and that He was associated with Him in mutual fellowship.”
A most important point needs to be made about verse 3. It says nothing was made without Him. So was Jesus created? No, because had Jesus been made, He would have had to create Himself! Nothing means just that: nothing. Both the Father and the Word—who came to earth as Jesus Christ—have existed for eternity.
In John 1:1-2 “Word” is translated from the Greek logos. A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, revised and edited by Frederick William Danker, defines logos as “a communication whereby the mind finds expression, word.”
Logos is the Greek word for “word.” Readers in John’s day would have been very familiar with the term. It was also well-known as a specialized term in ancient philosophy and theology. Philo, a Hellenistic Jew from Alexandria who lived about the time of Christ, wrote extensively about it. However, John used it in a different way—to refer to a second Being at God’s level of existence!
Another source defines logos as “word, thought, reason, speech, declaration, logic, revelation, reckoning, expression of thought” (Zondervan’s Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible). Since these definitions do not directly indicate personhood, some have concluded God’s thoughts or utterance constituted the Word, and His thoughts became the incarnate Christ. However, the Word is referred to as being with God in the beginning.
In John 1:4 we read, “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” This shows the Word was not just a “thought” or “utterance”; the Word also had life. So, in these early verses of John’s Gospel, we find John applying a familiar term, logos, to a living Being who existed with the Father from the beginning, before the world was created.
Although we do not find “Spokesman” as a definition of logos, Jesus Christ is described as One who speaks on behalf of the Father. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, He spoke the mind and thoughts of His Father (John 3:34; Hebrews 1:1-2). The Bible is the written Word of God, and Jesus Christ is the living, personified Word of God—a separate Being who was sent to speak the words of God.
We find three elements applied to Jesus Christ in these first few verses of John 1: existence, relationship and identification. He existed in the beginning with the Father and experienced a close relationship with Him. He is identified as the Word, yet another name for this great Being whom we call Lord and Savior.