Title in Greek: “According to John”
[Note: no title in original; title added in 2nd century]
In (the) beginning was the word (logos), and the word was towards the god (theos), and the word was god. The same was in (the) beginning towards the god. All (things) through him became (came to be), and without him became not one that has become. In him was life (zoe), and the life was the light (phos) of human beings; and the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not apprehended (overcome) it.
There came to be a human being, sent from god--his name is John; the same came for witness, that he might witness about the light, that all might believe (trust) through him. That one was not the light, but that he might witness about the light.
He was the true light, which lightens (photizei) every human being (anthropon) coming into the world (kosmos). In the world he was, and the world came to be through him, and the world did not know him. He came unto his own (people, things), and his own (people) did not receive him. But as many as received him, he gave to them power (authority) to become children of god, to those believing (trusting) in his name--who not out of bloods nor out of the will of flesh nor out of a man’s will--but (on the contrary) were out of god born.
And the word became flesh and tented among us, and we beheld his glory, glory as of the only-begotten from (the) father, [full of grace and truth]. John witnessed about him and cried out saying, ‘This was he of whom I said: The one coming after me has become before me, because he was prior to me.’ That out of his fulness we have all received even grace instead of grace. For the law was given through Moses, the grace and the truth came (came to be) through Jesus Christ.
God no one has seen at any time; (the) only-begotten god, he who is (ho on) in the bosom of the father, that one has declared (him).
Note: Verses 1, 14, and 18 are central, and frame the meditation. “Be” verbs are used of the Logos, Life, LIght until verse 14, when “became” is used: “The Word [who IS] became flesh...” Verse 18, the final verse, contains far more in the Greek than can be translated. Key here is the Greek “ho on,” which is, I submit, a deliberate borrowing from Exodus 3 in the Greek version (LXX): “I AM the Being” or “I AM HE WHO IS” (ego imi ho On). Introducing Exodus 3’s great revelation of God (“I AM WHO AM” translates the Hebrew) already in the Prologue to his Gospel prepares the reader for the 14 or so “I AM” self-revelations of God-in-Christ in the text, all of which echo Exodus 3: I AM....Hence, One is the God, and One is the Revealer of the God, for he IS (one with) God.
Hence, I would tentatively translate Jn 1:18 in this way:
God no one has seen at any time; the only-begotten God, HE WHO IS in the bosom of the Father, He has interpreted Him.