What does John 1:14 really mean?

In order to support the Roman Empire's interpretation (brutally enforced by the Roman Catholic church for over 1,000 years) of Jesus and his life, sectarian institutions and their teachers provide us with many mistranslated verses from the Bible. One of the most-quoted of these is John 1:14.

Here is the translation of John 1:14 according to the King James Version:
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. (John 1:14 KJV)
Contrasting this translation is this verse from the Gospels of Jesus - translated from the original Greek without sectarian influence:
Wisdom appeared within a physical body and dwelled among us. We saw its magnificence - the magnificence of the Confidential Representative sent by the Creator - full of loving mercy and truth. (John 1:14 Gospels of Jesus)
Let's carefully review each translation and compare them:

'And the Word was made flesh...' (KJV)
'Wisdom appeared within a physical body' (Gospels)

"The Word" or "Wisdom" is translated from λόγος (logos). There are two generalized contexts - one which pertains to something spoken, and the other which pertains to reasoning. Thayer's lexicon indicates an immediate translation within the first context would be "teachings" or "doctrine." Noting that the context spoken here is one of "things pertaining to wisdom or knowledge." The second context relates to reasoning, which relates to "to make a reckoning, to settle accounts."

Understanding the metaphorical context of John 1:14, "the Word" has little real meaning. We might ask, "what word is that?" Is it a single "word"?

Or is it a particular teaching or doctrine? The meaning of λόγος (logos) leans on the latter, but then we miss the second context - one relating to knowledge or wisdom.

When a doctrine or teaching comes from the Supreme Being, how do we describe it? With just one "word"? Such a translation contradicts the very nature of the Supreme Being - that He is wise and fair. Therefore, the better translation would be from the Gospels of Jesus - Wisdom.

The word "flesh" from KJV is translated from the Greek word σάρξ (sarx). This can mean "flesh" but it can also mean "the body of a man" according to the lexicon. What is the context indicating? "The body of a man" or "flesh" indicates something of a worldly nature - something that is from the material world. A physical body.

Since this verse discusses something (wisdom) of a spiritual nature transmuted into something within a material form, we can see an appropriate translation from the Gospels being, 'Wisdom appeared within a physical body' (Gospels)

This actually makes more sense anyway. Can "flesh" be "dwelling among us"?

Because Jesus took on a physical body to teach within the physical realm, he embodied the wisdom coming from God through His doctrine, related to coming to know and love the Supreme Being. This is the message of the Supreme Being: The teachings of Jesus are coming from the Supreme Being. Jesus confirmed this elsewhere:
“My teaching is not my own. It comes from the One who sent me." (John 7:16)

'...the glory as of the only begotten of the Father...' (KJV)
'...the magnificence of the Confidential Representative sent by the Creator...' (Gospels)

The Greek word μονογενής (monogenēs) can only mean "sole" or "one and only" when referring to a physical family. Is this referring to Jesus' physical body? If so, then such a translation to "only begotten" would mean that God only created Jesus and did not create anyone else. Such an interpretation would mean that none of us are children of God. It would indicate that only Jesus is created by God.

From the Septuagint, we find the word that means “only” or “solitary” is μονοτροπος (see Psalm 68:6). This would differentiate from the word μονογενής used in John 1:14.

Additionally, the word μονογενής translates to "unique" or "incomparable" from the Hebrew Wisdom of Solomon (7:22), written in Alexandria around 100 B.C.

The true meaning of μονογενής also becomes evident from other Greek works. For example, a Greek poem written by Parmenides in the fifth century B.C. uses the word μονογενής to describe someone who was "unique" (Frag. 8.3-4).

These indicate that the word is not describing someone who is the only begotten person. It is describing someone who has a unique or special position with God - one who is representing the Supreme Being.

Furthermore, it is offensive to think the Supreme Being can only beget one child. This is equivalent to impotency. Humans can have many children but God can only have one son? That is a ridiculous interpretation created by early Roman Catholic leaders in an obvious attempt to create exclusivity. As the sanctioned church of the Roman Empire, they wanted to control the people and create the one single religion in order to dominate religious thought. That's why they also murdered so many people who didn't follow their brand of religion - they were fanatics who sought to control through power and violence.

Jesus himself refuted this idea of being the "one and only" son or child of God, even according to sectarian translations:
"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God." (Matt. 5:9 NKJV)

John 1:14 does not use the word translated to "son"

In fact, the word "son" in John 1:14 has been inserted later by sectarian translators. There is no word within the original Greek verse that can be translated to "son." It thus has been added in by sectarian translators to appease this notion of Jesus being the only "son of God" - which is not only wrong - it is offensive to the Supreme Being, who created everyone. (Learn more about the translation to "son" in other places of the Bible.)

'Father' versus 'Creator'?

The King James Version translates the word πατήρ (patēr) to "Father" while the Gospels translate it to "Creator." Which is right?

Well, both are right. God is the Father of everyone. But the translation to "Father" assumes a more limited view of the Supreme Being. It is seeing the Supreme Being from a materialistic point of view.

πατήρ (patēr) means, according to Thayer's lexicon:

"generator or male ancestor -
-either the nearest ancestor: father of the corporeal nature, natural fathers, both parents
-a more remote ancestor, the founder of a family or tribe, progenitor of a people, forefather
-fathers i.e. ancestors, forefathers, founders of a nation
-one advanced in years, a senior"

"Father of the corporeal nature" refers to the physical body. God is more than this. Because God is above the realm of the physical - as indicated by Jesus' teachings - His powers are superior to those of the physical realm. Therefore, to translate His reference to the lowest common denominator - i.e., "father" which is limited to the physical body - seriously short-changes the Supreme Being.

Given the definition above and the recognition of God's superior nature, the more appropriate translation of this Greek word when referring to God would be "Creator." This indicates God's position not only as creating all the physical bodies, but also creating everything in the physical and spiritual realms. Basically, creating everything.

'...full of grace and truth.'
'...full of loving mercy and truth'

The Greek word χάρις (charis) can certainly mean "grace." But according to Thayer's lexicon, it can also mean:

"good will, loving-kindness, favor - of the merciful kindness..."

This brings about a broader meaning to the word. God granting us "grace" by sending Jesus is certainly appropriate. But by sending Jesus, God is also granting us loving mercy. That is, He is loving us and He is being merciful to us simultaneously.

By sending Jesus, the Supreme Being is giving us a lifeline to return home to Him. Through Jesus' teachings, He is providing us the means to return to our original nature - one of His loving servants.

Jesus represents the Supreme Being, and as such we can accept him as being non-different from God in the aspect of representation. But this is based upon a relationship: An intimate relationship as indicated in this verse. An intimate relationship that requires two individuals who love each other.

Just imagine if the wife of a president went out to speak on behalf of her husband. Would the people think the wife is the husband? Certainly not. But they will understand there is an intimate relationship between them. And because of that intimate relationship, the people will understand that the wife is representing her husband the president as she speaks to the crowd.

And should the wife of the president say something about a policy, one can assume that this is the position of the president as well.

But it doesn't mean they become the same person.