Re: Logos

For what it's worth, my vote goes with Carl W. Conrad. 

(1) Logos is basically untranslatable by any single English noun. James 
Moffatt's 1913 translation of the NT (does anyone apart from me ever still 
look at this?) took that line and kept "Logos" untranslated in the English. 

Part of the problem is that Word instantly pulls us towards Greek philosophy
while Wisdom reminds us of Gnosticism. Without doubting that there are real
influences from both, I don't think the source of John's thought can be 
reliably found in either. If I was forced to translate Logos, I might opt 
reluctantly for Name, taking my cue from OT verses such as Isa 30:27, 
Exod 23:21, Ps 20:1, etc.

(2) Logos certainly carries heavy overtones of action/deed so the parallel 
with Goethe's "Faust" is highly resonant and not misleading. 

(3) The OT concept of divine Wisdom, as in Prov 8:22ff, is clearly close kin 
to what John is trying to express. But by the time the Fourth Gospel was 
written, Sophia was a word which had been largely captured by gnostic 
Christianity, which could explain why John prefers the mysterious Logos. 

The Revd. William Raines   ||   Telephone: 061-224 1310
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