1. Exposition

To what does “was from the beginning” refer?

1 John 1:1 (ESV)

1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life

At first glance this appears to refer to the time before the creation of the world, but in this text the phrase may be used differently: it may refer to “the Word of life.” Indeed, the passage makes it clear that this refers to the Word of life, the person Jesus Christ, for the author mentions “seeing and touching,” something that goes beyond merely a reception of the message. The disciples of Jesus Christ did not hear, see, and touch the gospel but they heard, saw, and touched Christ.1