The Subject

Date: Tue Feb 10 1998 - 22:01:58 EST

Jeffery Gibson said:
<< Latent Arius supporters unite! It seems we have no spilled over into
 the very debate that Arius and his followers summed up in the little
 ditty that they used to sing in the streets of Alexadria:
 If you want the logos doctine,
 I can serve it Oh so hot!
 O there was a time, yes there was a time
 when the Logos/Son was not!

I don't beleive any of us are concerned with the doctrines of Arius. We are
talking about the possible meanings EN ARKHi may have in John 1:1 and
elsewhere. We are particularly interested in any relationship to Genesis 1:1,
as this seems to be John's point of reference.

Setting John 1:1 aside for a moment, it seems that when ARKHi is used in
relation to the works of creation it always refers to the physical universe or
some specific physical creation. Whether or not this is the case with John
1:1, I nor anybody else can say for sure. But I believe the aforementioned use
of ARKHi, and the fact that John draws from Genesis 1 to make his point, leads
to my previously stated opinion.

However, I also believe it is quite possible that EN ARKHi refers to a time
period that extends from a time prior to the creation of the physical
universe, up to the creation of humankind. Both views are discussed and
illustrated in my book.

Two things can be stated with some degree of certainty: 1) John does not say
the LOGOS is eternal, and 2) he does not say the LOGOS is a created being. He
simply says that the LOGOS existed during the time referred to in Genesis 1:1,
which wasn't too much for anyone familiar with the Hebrew (or LXX) Bible to
accept, in view of Genesis 1:26.

Greg Stafford
University of Wisconsin

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