There is a question that keeps recurring in Christian thought: "Is Jesus subordinate to God?" Since the question of whether a human is subordinate to God is, at face value, absurd, sometimes the related question is asked instead, "Is the Word of God subordinate to God?" This is considered an equivalent question by those who believe that Jesus is the incarnate Word of God. The second framing of the question may come closer to the point, since the intended question tends to be less about Jesus' humanity and more about the eternal nature of God and of the Word of God.
Here we look at some examples of how the early church came to understand the Word of God in relation to God, focusing on some writers from the 100's AD:
And His Son, who alone is properly called Son, the Word, who also was with Him and was begotten before the works, when at first He created and arranged all things by Him, is called Christ, in reference to His being anointed and God’s ordering all things through Him (Justin Martyr, died around 165 AD)
But this Offspring, which was truly brought forth from the Father, was with the Father before all the creatures, and the Father communed with Him; even as the Scripture by Solomon has made clear, that He whom Solomon calls Wisdom, was begotten as a Beginning before all His creatures and as Offspring by God, who has also declared this same thing in the revelation made by Joshua the son of Nave (Nun) (again Justin Martyr, died around 165 AD)
But the Son of God is the Logos of the Father, in idea and in operation; for after the pattern of Him and by Him were all things made, the Father and the Son being one. And, the Son being in the Father and the Father in the Son, in oneness and power of spirit, the understanding and reason (νοῦς καὶ λόγος) of the Father is the Son of God. But if, in your surpassing intelligence, it occurs to you to inquire what is meant by the Son, I will state briefly that He is the first product of the Father, not as having been brought into existence (for from the beginning, God, who is the eternal mind [νοῦς], had the Logos in Himself, being from eternity instinct with Logos [λογικός]); but inasmuch as He came forth to be the idea and energizing power of all material things. (Athenagoras of Athens, died around 190 AD)
In these examples, the idea that the Son is the Word of God is taken fairly literally, in context of some different philosophical and theological ideas about the Logos (λόγος). I have not seen any areas of tension between these writings and the Bible, though as the Catholic Encyclopedia notes there are some areas of tension between these writings and later orthodoxy.
To be continued ...