Re: Logos

On Mon, 21 Nov 1994, Jim Beale wrote:
> Thanks you friends for the translation of the phrase
> kakou korakos kakon won. That was very helpful (unfortunately
> the story was a little bit of a let-down...)
> Since we are discussing John 1:1, would it be possible
> to get your opinion on the translation of Logos?
> It seems to me that "Word" is acceptable but perhaps
>  "Wisdom" would be better? 
> Any thoughts?

Any good commentary on this passage will advise, I think, that LOGOS is 
richer than any single word used to translate it can convey. One 
"literary" commentary worth looking at (although it gives no 
explanation), is in the opening scene of Goethe's Faust, where Goethe 
begins translating it as "In the beginning was the Word," and ends up, 
after several other suggested versions, with "In the beginning was the 
Deed." That's perhaps stretching LOGOS, although since part of its 
resonance is from the OT word DABAR, that's not really altogether wrong, 
either. But a one-world all-encompassing English word there isn't, IMHO. 

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO 63130, USA
(314) 935-4018
cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu  OR cwc@oui.com