John 1:4

In him was life (en autwi zwh hn). That which has come into being (verse 1 John 3 ) in the Logos was life. The power that creates and sustains life in the universe is the Logos. This is what Paul means by the perfect passive verb ektistai (stands created) in Colossians 1:16 . This is also the claim of Jesus to Martha ( John 11:25 ). This is the idea in Hebrews 1:3 "bearing (upholding) the all things by the word of his power." Once this language might have been termed unscientific, but not so now after the spiritual interpretation of the physical world by Eddington and Jeans. Usually in John zwh means spiritual life, but here the term is unlimited and includes all life; only it is not bio (manner of life), but the very principle or essence of life. That is spiritual behind the physical and to this great scientists today agree. It is also personal intelligence and power. Some of the western documents have estin here instead of hn to bring out clearly the timelessness of this phrase of the work of the Logo. And the life was the light of men (kai h zwh hn to pw twn anqrwpwn). Here the article with both zwh and pw makes them interchangeable. "The light was the life of men" is also true. That statement is curiously like the view of some physicists who find in electricity (both light and power) the nearest equivalent to life in its ultimate physical form. Later Jesus will call himself the light of the world ( John 8:12 ). John is fond of these words life and light in Gospel, Epistles, Revelation. He here combines them to picture his conception of the Pre-incarnate Logos in his relation to the race. He was and is the Life of men (twn anqrwpon, generic use of the article) and the Light of men. John asserts this relation of the Logos to the race of men in particular before the Incarnation.