RE: Translation for O LOGOS (John 1)?

From: Jeffrey Gibson (
Date: Fri Oct 10 1997 - 17:50:25 EDT

On Fri, 10 Oct 1997, Carl W. Conrad wrote:

> I think Peter is really quite right here: at least if you say, "In the
> beginning was the LOGOS," people (at least those who haven't dug into the
> background and interpretative history of the word) will understand why they
> don't understand it.
> I've always been fascinated by that scene near the beginning of Goethe's
> "Faust" where Faust in his study ponders the proper translation of EN ARCHi
> HN hO LOGOS, begins by translating hO LOGOS as "the Word," progresses
> through several intermediate stages and ends up translating hO LOGOS as
> "the Act." And that's not really so strange considering the role assigned
> the LOGOS in creation in the prologue and the fact that at least one of the
> background elements entering into the meanings of hO LOGOS must be the OT
> range of senses of the DABAR-YHWH.
Didn't Faust go on (or was it in one of the intermediate stages) to toy
with THE PURPOSE as one of the better translations of hO LOGOS? If one
sees John as alluding to the Word revealed in Jesus as a conterpart to
what Lady Wisdom is and does ala Wisdom of Solomon, this rendering gets
closer to the heart of the matter than anything I've seen.

Jeffrey Gibson

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