This text is so misunderstood and has been misused to support a teaching that totally opposes what the text actually says. Let us examine the text briefly in the original Greek:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God (yeon 2316), and the Word was God (yeov 2316).
A very casual look at the original text tells us that the two words translated as “God” in that text are not identical. The first one is a noun (Yeon) referring to the Father, and the other is an adjective (Yeov) which refers to Jesus. You can tell the difference between the two by looking at the last letter of the two words. It is for this reason that many translations render the verse in a way that recognizes this fact. For example, translations by James Moffatt, Hugh J. Schonfield and Edgar Goodspeed render it: "...and the Word was divine."
Other variations also exist. Today's English Version reads: "...and he was the same as God." The Revised English Bible reads: "...and what God was, the Word was.“
As you can see, different translations give it a meaning in harmony with the original. Thus this text is telling us is that the Word, Christ, is divine just like the Father (possessing the „God-nature‟). It does not tell us that Christ is God the Father, one and the same person.
that He gave His ... Son...
If Jesus was not actually God's Son, then what sacrifice did the Father make? Whom did He give? Another God? A friend? A colleague? This does not demonstrate love on the Father's part, but rather selfishness, in sending another, rather than coming Himself! Yet the whole point of John 3:16 is the love of God (the Father)."God so loved the world ..." If we embrace the idea of three Gods in one, or one God in three (the trinity), then which one are we talking about here? All three? Or only the Father?” God so loved ... that He gave His ... Son..." Did the Father give His Son? Did the Holy Spirit give His Son? Did the Son give His Son? These questions are ridiculous, and yet, they need to be asked in order that we may clearly see what the text is saying. God is the Father. It is He who gave His Son. It is He who had a Son to give. The Son is not the God who gave His Son, neither is the Holy Spirit that God. The focus of this text is the love of God; but we must understand that this refers specifically to the Father. It is His love which is being emphasized here. It is He who is God. (1 Cor. 8:6)