John's Gospel

The Way It Happened

John 1:4-5, The Light of Life (Father and Sun)

In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

//Think the title of today’s post contains a typo? Nope. I want to talk about the Sun, the light of life.

Today’s verse comes from John, the book of the Bible that most influenced the development of Trinitarian beliefs. Jesus, says John, came down from heaven, from the Father, bringing life … bringing light.

Note the wording of verse five: “the darkness has not overcome it.” This wording, from the New International Version, differs a little from the King James Version, which tells us the darkness did not comprehend the light. But the NIV is the more accurate translation; it’s not that the light could not be comprehended, but that it could not be extinguished.

With that in mind—a light coming from Heaven which cannot be extinguished—I found the explanation of third-century theologian Tertullian about the relationship between Father and Son to be insightful, as he compares Jesus the Son to a ray from the Sun:

“When a ray of the sun is projected from the sun it is a portion of the whole sun; but the sun will be in the ray because it is a ray of the sun; the substance is not separated but extended. So from spirit comes spirit, and God from God as light is kindled from light…”

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