I have heard that the word “he” and “him” is not a proper translation in
John 1:1, but that it is the word “it.” If so, then “it” is a reference
to the word logos and would not be a person, so, in a sense is not God.
Is this true?

Let me begin by saying that I am definitely far from being an
expert in Greek. Please take whatever I say with a grain of salt and plan
on doing some more of your own research. Actually, I assume you are
referring, not to John 1:1, but to John 1:2, where the verse reads, “He
was with God in the beginning.” The word translated as “He” here is the
Greek houtos, which most literally would be translated as “This one.” The
word does refer back to logos. So the passage could read, “This one (ie.
the logos) was with God in the beginning. If I am not mistaken, it could
have been translated as either he or it, depending on the context.

Why, then, is it translated as “he” rather than “it”? Could
this be some sort of conspiracy to push a particular theological agenda?
I already said that the context determines the translation. If one moves
down just a few verses, one comes to John 1:14, which reads, “The Word
became flesh and lived for a while among us. We have seen his glory, the
glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and
truth.” This passage inescapably identifies the logos of John 1:1 as
Jesus Christ, the Son of God. In John 1:14, the Word (logos) is
definitely male in gender, which determines the context for John 1:2,
demanding the word “he” not “it.”

I am sure that you could get a more thorough and scholarly
treatment of the Greek from another source, but I suspect that this is
more or less what you will get from anyone who knows the Greek well, is
fair-minded, and does not have a particular theological axe to grind. In
conclusion, I suspect that the person whose work you read is trying to use
Greek grammar to push a particular theological agenda. The claim that the
word translated as “he” could in some cases be translated as “it” is true,
but to say that it demands “it” or even to say that the context implies
“it” is not supported by the passage.

John Oakes

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