Faith, Religion & Scripture, Notes & Essays by David Rodeback

Reading the New Testament (Week 3)

This week’s reading is John 1. the first chapter of my favorite Gospel. (Sometime I should try to articulate why it’s my favorite.)

A quick note about the author: Before his apostolic ministry, John was a fisherman by trade. It was the family business, which was successful enough that they had “hired servants” (Mark 1:20).

John 1

John 1:1-5

Here are the first words of John’s book:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

The same was in the beginning with God.

All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. (KJV John 1:1-5)

It’s practically poetry, but what does it mean? We’ll turn shortly to the Joseph Smith Translation (JST) for help, but first let’s make what we can of the King James Version (KJV).

Faith, Religion & Scripture, Notes & Essays by David Rodeback

Short Take: “Our Daily Bread” – The Source of All Life

Author's Note
My neighbor and I are writing short columns for our monthly ward (congregation) newsletter, focusing on the New Testament in 2015. Here’s my “short take” for the month.

In the scriptures Jesus both prays and teaches prayer. His best-known instruction is what we Christians call the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13; Luke 11:2-4; 3 Nephi 13:9-13).

In this model prayer Jesus praises his Father and acknowledges his own subordinate place – as we might well do from our lowlier position. He asks for big things: “Thy kingdom come,” and so forth, showing that he knows and is committed to the big picture. Then he turns to daily needs: forgiveness, protection from evil, and food.

“Give us this day our daily bread,” he says. But why should I ask for it? Don’t I buy it – and the minivan and fuel I use to haul it home – with money I earn by working?

I might feel independent, but in truth our dependence on God is total.

Paul said, “He giveth to all life, and breath, and all things. . . . In him we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:25, 28).

King Benjamin said, “[He] is preserving you from day to day, by lending you breath, that ye may live and move and do according to your own will, and even supporting you from one moment to another” (Mosiah 2:21).

Much later, the Lord himself explained that the power of God “is in all things [and] giveth life to all things” (D&C 88:13) and “enlighteneth your eyes” and “quickeneth your understandings” (D&C 88:11).

By asking – or thanking – God for my daily bread, I acknowledge him as the ultimate source of all life, including mine.