RE: Translation for O LOGOS (John 1)?

From: Jonathan Robie (
Date: Mon Oct 13 1997 - 06:58:06 EDT

I rather suspect that every Bible translation committee has this same
discussion, and eventually decides to translate "the word" after realizing
how many legitimately different ways there are to understand hO LOGOS. John
does not really define his use of the term, so we look to other background
that we presume John had to guess at what he meant.

But John's use of the word clearly would have gone beyond the original use
anyways - and exactly what he meant by that should be left to the reader and
the commentaries as much as possible. Incidentally, I still like a
definition of hO LOGOS that Carl once gave here on the list:

"Jesus is what God wanted to say."

But translating the verse "In the beginning was the statement" doesn't
really bring out that meaning any more than translating it "In the beginning
was the soul" really conveys the meaning Will sees to the normal reader.
Either of these calls for further explanation. And so does "In the beginning
was the idea".

In fact, "In the beginning was the LOGOS" or "In the beginning was the word"
does pretty much the same for me. All of these make me ask, "what does that
mean?". And that is probably good.


Jonathan Robie
POET Software, 3207 Gibson Road, Durham, N.C., 27703

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