Re: ALLOS and Jn. 1:1c (Anarthrous Subject)

Date: Fri Sep 12 1997 - 20:34:39 EDT

David writes on 9/12/97:

> Will wrote:
> >Dear B-Greeks,
> >
> >I don't see an important difference between Cindy's view that
> >EIMI + PROS signifies parts of a complex unity and the other view
> >(Rolf's?) that it signifies separation. The notion of parts of a whole,
> >obviously, supports both views, i.e. there are "parts" and they
> >comprise a "whole". Emphasizing one or the other aspect does not
> >negate the other.
> >
> >The best word for the whole in Jn 1:1 is *syzygy*.
> >
> >Looking elsewhere in According to John for a comparable construction
> >will probably be fruitless, because the incarnation places Jesus outside
> >the syzygy (in our world), i.e. *while* walking the Earth, he is not PROS
> I find the first paragraph of this post helpful. However, I cannot say
> that for the remainder of this post. First, in what sense is John 1:1 a
> syzygy? Is this some sort of biological analogy for Will? If so, in
> what sense?

It describes a syzygy in the sense of two things which together form a
whole. "The god" and "a god", together, have the power of generation,
i.e. Form plus Soul.

Although the same paradigm is used in ancient biology, this application is

> Second, the Johannine view of reality may be somewhat different from
> Will's. In what sense was Jesus PROS TON QEON prior to the Incarnation?
> That has been the topic of considerable debate/discussion in the recent
> threads on John 1.

I sincerely hope that John and I have different views, as I consider that
quite a lot of explaining has been done since his day. Paradigmatically,
"Jesus" is never PROS TON QEON, because Jesus is flesh--the incarnation
of the logos. The "logos" is PROS TON QEON because it is not.

If it makes you feel any better, a corollary is that the logos *is* PROS
TON QEON throughout the gospel, indeed, throughout creation, for without
the syzygy there is no Cosmos. Equally, the logos pervades Creation,
including the flesh of Jesus. This is, in fact, the role of logos--to mediate
the divine and the mundane. According to the ancient paradigm, that is.

> Furthermore, how does the Johannine narrative world represent Jesus'
> relationship with the Father? Obviously, Jesus has come from "outside"
> the narrative world of the Gospel; he has descended. And, he is going
> to ascend to the Father via crucifixion/exaltation. However, in John's
> presentation, Jesus, by a variety of narrative techniques, lives on the
> boundary of the narrative world in union with the Father (beyond that
> world).

My remarks are confined to the Prologue, which is clearly related to
contemporary Greek natural philosophy and metaphysics. The meaning
of "logos" is not to be found in Jn so much as in all the foundational
Greek philosophy preceding it.

> So, it appears to me that Will's cavalier statement that Jesus is not
> PROS TON QEON in the Gospel greatly oversimplifies the rather complex
> narrative structures of the Johannine portrait.

First, I'd like to make it clear that I am not now, nor have I ever been, a
supporter of Charles I (Chuck him out!). Second, it is complex because it
is a grand unified theory developed over hundreds, if not thousands, of
years compressed into a few verses. Third, I think the greater
oversimplification (and distortion) lies not in viewing the concept of
logos in its proper place in history, but in giving John the first, last, and
only Word on it.

Will Wagers "Reality is the best metaphor."

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