Date: Sun Oct 12 1997 - 23:28:46 EDT
Here's a "traditional" gloss on John's use of "logos" at the beginning of
his Gospel as a friendly counter to recent suggestions.
"Logos" at the beginning of John is best translated--must be
translated--"word," anything else much less "soul" or idea" can only drift
off into some kind of Hellenism & away from John's own intent.
The employment of "logos" here by John derives first or primarily from the
Hebrew "debhar Yahweh," the word of the lord" [Yahweh="I am the One who is"
Ex 3:14] and from His *speaking*, & not from anything Hellenistic or Stoic.
The Stoics, it is true, speak of the wise man's final assimilation to god in
immortal wisdom, &c, by following nature (the "natural law") & living
according to the logos (Argument), but Jesus is not this but God become flesh
& sent from before "time" to us to live according to the spirit, i.e., the
fulfilment of the divine law of Moses &c. We need not have ever heard of
Zeno or Chrysippus or Stoicism in general to follow John, who constantly
alludes to the OT throughout his writings.
Compare the beginning of Micah (1:1) e.g., & that of Hebrews (1:1) for the
context of the beginning of John (1:1; cf. 8:58). John (NB: author of the
vision of the Last Things in Jesus Christ) alludes here in his Gospel of
Jesus Christ to before the beginning of the Torah or Law (Genesis 1:1ff),
i.e., to the beginning of the beginning, specifically where it is there
written "And God said" (1:3, before the 1st day; 1:6, before the 2nd day;
1:9, before the 3rd day and 1: 11, during the third day; 1:14, before the
fourth day, &c&c... This word of God is become a man of flesh & deed (John
1:14), not a soul or an idea or a Platonic "argument," but the creating
command of God, (Who is His Father, as, in a worldly analogy, thought to
speech or act) which has made all things, per John 1:3-5; Genesis, loc cit.
Guy Story Brown
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