Date: Sun Sep 07 1997 - 10:48:04 EDT
The context for Jn 1:1 has been described by Rolf as either "linguistic" or
"theological", which on this list probably holds true. Whether Rolf intended
to include Greek "theology" (meta-physics) under his "theology" I can't say,
but I know that most people do not understand the term so broadly. But, I
think that the proper extra-linguistic context is not Christian "theology"
but Greek natural philosophy. With reference to what I call the Standard
Model, the scientifical paradigm which reigned for thousands of years and
as exemplified in _Timaeus_, Jn 1:1 is hardly puzzling.
Interpreting in light of the Standard Model, "the God" is Plato's Forms or
Ideas or "self-moved" and the Logos ("a god") is the Demiurge. Although
"the God" is prior in a sense, both are gods (as is standard Greek practice)
and both are essential to creation.
For those who interpret by the rule of faith, this external reference
might seem irrelevant. But, in this case, especially, external reference
is justified, because the Prologue was prepended to _According to John_
for a specific purpose, i.e. to establish Jesus as the Logos, one
of the earliest of Greek meta-physical concepts with many mythological
proxies. To do this required some violence to the pure Greek conception,
i.e. the Logos incarnated as an individual human, rather than as the Creation
as a whole.
I want to add that I think this has been a wonderful thread. I am
partial to this particular topic, but I am impressed that so many different
viewpoints have been considered, so civilly, and with so little argument
based solely upon personal theology. I don't think this would've been
possible before the list was reorganized over a year ago. I think the list
has come a long way in the right direction.
Will Wagers email@example.com "Reality is the best metaphor."
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