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

From: David Perkins (
Date: Sun Sep 14 1997 - 18:48:57 EDT

In response to my post relating the Prologue to the narrative world of
the Gospel, Will said:

>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.

The Johannine narrator sets the table in his Gospel with the Logos
concept. To ignore the remainder of the Gospel divorces this text from
the larger whole and makes its understanding dependent on your
reconstructed historical/philosophical background rather than on the
Johannine writer's (or writers') interpretive narrative.

Also, this statement begs the question. That is exactly the point you
must establish. Just which school (s) of thought does John depend
on/draw from/resonate with? You only have named one and you have assumed
that as THE answer.

>> 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.

How did Charles I get into this discussion?
Also, the "it" to which you refer is not the same "it" to which my
snipped comment refers. The Johannine portrait of Jesus stands within
the Gospel itself, not over hundreds of years of complex development.
Our attempts to understand it, well that's a rather contorted narrative
exercise in itself. Your "it," the philosophical speculations behind the
Logos concept (assuming they are Greek speculations and leaving aside the
question as to what extent they are in view here), is itself a
reconstruction. So, why are we to vote for you over Charles I?

David W. Perkins
Good Shepherd Episcopal Church
PO Box 2172/806 Concordia
Vidalia, LA 71373
318 336-7405

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