The Word

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There are two types of “word”—the Living Word and the written word. The passage in the first chapter of John's Gospel refers to the Living Word, but when we say in the Liturgy “This is the word of the Lord” following the Gospel reading, we are referring to the written word.


The Greek for “Word” in the passages in John 1 is “Logos.” This has an intricate meaning it would seem. It conveys “wisdom”, “reason” and “Creator.” The Greek for “Creation” is “Logikos.” “The Word” is synonymous with “The Son.”

In John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God”, this indicates that the Son was always in existence, was co-eternal, coequal and one in divinity with the Father. The word “with” tells us that, as Son, he was a distinct person from the Father and in communion with the Father.

In John 1:3 “All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made”, this indicates that the Word (Son) is co-Creator of all things with the Father. Psalm 33:6 “By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and all the hosts of them by the breath of His mouth.” “Through Him” is significant, the Son was not “created by” the Father but by “generation from” the Father. Thus, the heavens and earth are works of the One who made them, while the Son alone is born from the Father. Even when He comes in human flesh he remains forever God, the Creator.

The Holy Spirit

The Spirit is mentioned in Genesis 1:2 as “hovering over the waters” at creation. Will, operation and power are seen to be one in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit—the same Holy Spirit who descended at Pentecost. In the Old Testament the Spirit is seen to be an instrument of Divine Action both in nature and in the human heart. In the New Testament the Spirit is an operative power in Christ's conception and ministry. Pentecost was seen as the outpouring of the Spirit on the Church, prophesied by Joel (see Acts 2:16 and Joel 2.28-32).

It is the presence of the Holy Spirit, which makes the Christian's body the temple of God (1 Cor. 3:16)

It is held that the mode of the Spirit's procession in the Godhead is by way of “spiration” not “generation.” (Oxford Dictionary of the Church, Holy Spirit).

The word “spiration” indicates something to do with “breathing”, as in “inspiration” and “expiration.”


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