It is not uncommon for Biblical Unitarians to claim that the “Logos of Life” in 1 John 1:1-2 who was “with the Father” was God’s Plan and not God’s Son. The basis for this claim is the very first word in John’s first letter, the Greek word “O.” Most English Bibles translate “O” as “that which” or “What” (as a neuter relative pronoun). Here is how the modern cursive Greek texts render the opening clause: Ὃ ἦν ἀπ᾽ ἀρχῆς, (Lit. “What was from beginning”).
However, biblical Greek presents a similar problem as is found in biblical Hebrew. The original autographs of the Hebrew did not contain the vowel points. These were added more than a millennium after the last of the Old Testament books were written by the Masoretic scribes. These scribal additions can make distinctions between words that were spelled exactly the same in the original Hebrew but can have different meanings. The choice of which vowel points to add is up to the scribes who interpreted the text and added the vowel points according to how they understood the text.
Biblical Greek has a similar situation. Certain words are spelled exactly the same in the old uncial (all caps) form of writing in which the New Testament was composed. The accent and breathing marks were added to cursive copies in the eighth or ninth centuries after the New Testament was composed. Occasionally two different words (which are spelled exactly the same) can provide two different meanings in a particular passage. That is the situation we face in the first verses of 1 John.
The Greek letter “O” (omicron) is a word in Greek, the first word in John’s first epistle. It can be either the nominative, masculine, singular, article (“the one”) or the accusative, neuter, singular, relative pronoun (“that which”). In much later cursive Greek, the relative pronoun had the accent mark added, but the masculine definite article lacked the mark. Frequently which of these was intended by the writer could be determined by the gender of the noun which it modified. However, this is complicated when the masculine definite article is used independently, as a masculine personal pronoun (he who), something that occurs relatively frequently in the New Testament. For example, 1 John 4:4 reads, μείζων ἐστὶν ὁ ἐν ὑμῖν ἢ ὁ ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ (lit. “Greater the One who is in you than the one who is in the world”). Another example 1 John 2:13 ἐγνώκατε τὸν ἀπ᾽ ἀρχῆς (lit. “you know the One who is from the beginning”). The singular masculine definite article is exactly the same word, but ὁ is in the nominative case indicating the subject of the clause while τὸν is in the accusative case indicating the direct object of the verb “know.”
Most English translations render the first words of 1 John 1, (which was originally written in uncial – all caps) as O HN, as “That which was from the beginning” (supposing the neuter relative pronoun). However, the same words O HN are found in Rev. 1:4,8; Rev. 4:8; Rev. 11:17 & Rev. 16:5, where they are translated as “the One who was.” Each of these occur in the clause, ἀπὸ ὁ ὢν καὶ ὁ ἦν καὶ ὁ ἐρχόμενος (lit. “from the One who is, the One who was, and the One who is to come”). Given that this language was also from John, it is better to translate 1 John 1:1-2 as follows:
1 John 1:1-3 (LGV) 1 The One who was from the beginning, the One we have heard, the One we have seen with our eyes, the One we examined and our hands handled regarding Logos of Life, 2 (and the Life was made apparent, and we have seen, and we witness and report to you the age-enduring Life who was with the Father and was made apparent to us). 3 The One we have seen and have heard we report also to you so that you also may have fellowship with us. And yet this fellowship of ours is with the Father and with His Son, Jesus the Anointed. 4 And we write these things to you so that your joy may be having been filled.
Biblical Unitarians have also claimed that in John 1:1, the phrase, καὶ ὁ λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν θεόν (“and the Word was with God”) cannot refer to the Word as a Person because the preposition πρὸς (with) is never used of a Person being with God. But they are incorrect. 1 John 2:1 states, παράκλητον ἔχομεν πρὸς τὸν πατέρα Ἰησοῦν Χριστὸν (“advocate we have with the Father, Jesus Christ“). This clearly refers to Jesus’ present location at the Father’s right hand. In the above passage, “the age-enduring Life which was with the Father,” is Logos of Life. In John 1:1, the Logos was “with the Father” and yet Logos “was God” (a personal noun). The same One is now our “advocate with the Father.” The opening verses of 1 John are a commentary on the opening verses of John’s Gospel. And both, interpreted literally, require that “Logos” was a Person.