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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