For more information on the translation by Gerald Vann click here
In the beginning was the Word
and the Word was with God
and the Word was God.
For the Word of God,
the Wisdom of God,
is the Son of God:
and before the world was made and time began
always God lived
and the Son was with the Father.
It was through the Word
that all things were made:
through him life is given
to all that is,
through him the light of understanding
is given to all men.
For his life is light:
a light shining out in the darkness.
And the darkness cannot master it.
A man was sent by God –
John was his name –
to proclaim the coming of the Light
and bear witness to the Light
that all men might believe in the Light.
He was not the Light:
he was to bear witness to the Light.
The true Light, the Word,
who gives light to all men
came down into the world.
The Light came and shone out into the world.
But the world would not welcome the Word,
the darkness would not receive the Light;
the Son came to his own people
but his own people turned him away.
(The Prologue, Vv 1 – 11)
He who comes from above
is above all men.
He who comes from the earth
is himself earthly
and must speak the language of the earth.
He who comes from heaven
speaks the words of God,
given him in full measure
by the Spirit of God:
he speaks of what he has seen and heard.
The world will not accept his words;
but those who do accept them
acknowledge and declare in so doing
that the words of God are true.
For the Father loves his Son
and so has given all things into his hands.
He then who believes in the Son
has within himself the life which is eternal;
he who refuses to believe
will never see that life:
it is God‘s wrath that lives within him.