1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
and the Word was with [face-to-face personally with] God
The word “with” here carries the idea of in company with. The Word was in conscious, personal, and eternal fellowship in the Trinity. He was a Person in living relationship and communication with the Trinity. The Father and the Son were in close proximity in eternity past. The Word was in God’s eternal presence. The Word and the Father had absolute imminent relationship within the Trinity. Jesus as the Word had a special fellowship within the Trinity.
The word “with” identifies the Word as a separate entity from God the Father. The Son was a separate entity from the Father. The distinction was not one of essence but of person. There was no opposition between the Father and the Son. They were completely oriented to each other. The Greek word “with” expresses both equality and distinction of identity in fellowship with God.
The Greek for the word “was” in this phrase shows that the Father and Son existed constantly in the past together (imperfect tense) in eternity and in their absolute state of being.
The Son continually exists in eternal fellowship with the Father.
The idea that Jesus was “with God” is an affirmation of His separate personality. The Father was one personality, the Son another, and the Holy Spirit yet another personality.
The Word or the Son did not simply co-exist with the Father, but He lived in active fellowship with Him. The Word was no mere attribute of God or an emanation from God. He was preexistent to creation with the Father (Jn 1:15, 18, 30; 3:13, 16, 17, 31; 6:38; 8:58; 17:5, 24). The “Word” was both separate from the Father and was God Himself (next phrase in the text).
The Word was “in the bosom of the Father” from all eternity:
No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him. (John 1:18)
The Council of Nicea in AD 325 condemned Arianism, which is similar to the heresy of Jehovah’s Witnesses today. This heresy denied that the Son was either eternal or immutable.