in first (in time or rank, here assumed to be "in time") was the logos (something spoken) and the logos was toward the deity and deity was the logos
Let me say at the outset that I don’t know Greek and Latin (but I do know English and Esperanto), and that I’m just trying to get my head round this Bible verse, John 1:1. Out of the four sections below, I think I lean towards Section 3.
1. Translations with “God was the Word”:
- St Jerome, Latin Vulgate Bible (382-405):
in principio erat Verbum et Verbum erat apud Deum et Deus erat Verbum
- John Wycliffe, translating from the Vulgate (14th century):
In the bigynnyng was the word, and the word was at God, and God was the word.
- William Tyndale, translating from Greek (1526):
In the begynnynge was that worde, and that worde was with god: and god was thatt worde.
- Gerrit Berveling, el la helena originalo, La Bona Mesaĝo de Jesuo laŭ Johano (1992):
En la komenco estis la parolo, kaj la parolo estis ĉe Dio, kaj Dio estis la parolo.
2. Translations with “The Word was God”:
- Geneva Bible (1560):
In the beginning was that Word, and that Word was with God, and that Word was God.
- Bishop’s Bible (1568):
In the begynnyng was the worde, & the worde was with God: and that worde was God.
- Authorized King James Version (1611):
In the beginning was the Word, & the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
This is the most common rendering in English.
- La Nova Testamento (1912):
En la komenco estis la Vorto, kaj la Vorto estis kun Dio, kaj la Vorto estis Dio.
3. Translations which regard θεoς as a qualitative noun:
- James Moffatt (1934) — translating θεoς rather too weakly, it seems to me, as an adjective:
The Logos existed in the very beginning,
the Logos was with God,
the Logos was divine.
- New English Bible (1961):
When all things began, the Word already was. The Word dwelt with God, and what God was, the Word was.
- Good News for Modern Man (first edition, 1966):
From the very beginning, when God was, the Word also was; where God was, the Word was with him; what God was, the Word also was.
This rendering (to my regret, actually) didn’t last long, and was quickly changed to:
Before the world was created, the Word already existed; he was with God, and he was the same as God.
— and lastly, in 1992, it became a “Section 2” rendering:
In the beginning the Word already existed; the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
- Revised English Bible (1989):
In the beginning the Word already was. The Word was in God's presence, and what God was, the Word was.
4. Translations going to extremes one way or the other:
- The Amplified Gospel of John (1954):
In the beginning [before all time] was the Word [Christ], and the Word was with God, and the Word was God Himself.
- New World Translation (1961):
In [the] beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god.