Re: Meanings of logos

From: Maurice A. O'Sullivan (
Date: Fri Mar 06 1998 - 11:26:30 EST

At 09:59 06/03/98 EST, you wrote:
>Dear scholars,
>Could someone give to me the basic rules for interpreting and
>differentiating between _logos_ as it applies to Jesus Christ, the oral
>traditions, or to God's written word?
>Also, could you confirm if any of the early manuscripts made use of
>capitalized letters?
>I participate on another list and your replies will benefit them as well
>as myself.
>appreciatively yours in the service of His Majesty,
>David Anderson
>At 09:59 06/03/98 EST, you wrote:
>Also, could you confirm if any of the early manuscripts made use of
>capitalized letters?
ALL mss. were written in "capitalized letters" to begin with, with no
spacing between the words..

Your sentence above would have looked like this:


Here is a short note on the distinctions:

All Greek and Roman manuscripts, ancient and medieval, are classified
either as majuscule, that is, written in large letters, or as minuscule,
written in small letters. Majuscule writing is subdivided into (1)
capitals, either square capitals, carefully formed with angles to resemble
inscriptions carved on stone, or rustic capitals, drawn with somewhat
greater freedom with oblique and short cross strokes; and (2) uncials,
modified capitals, in which curves are favoured and angles avoided as much
as possible. Minuscules resulted from the rapid writing of majuscules under
cursive influence; the letters became changed in form and reduced in size,
but minuscule writing is, in most instances, distinct from cursive writing.

You will find something similar under the heading "paleography" in any
encyclopedia or text-book.

One of the best introductions to the subject is:
Metzger, Bruce M., Manuscripts of the Greek New Testamant: an introduction
to paleography (Oxford University Press 1981)

In this Metzger states:
" the earliest dated miniscule manuscript known to us today was written in
835, probably in Constantinople, and it contained the four Gospels".
So for the first eight centuries of Christendom, you question would have
been meaningless.
On your principal question -- about LOGOS, I can only suggest you consult
the Anchor BIble Dictionary, where the entry for LOGOS has the following

A. Logos in Greek Philosophy
B. Logos in the Septuagint
C. Logos in Hellenistic Jewish Speculation
D. Logos in the New Testament in General
E. Logos in Johannine Literature
1. Logos in the Prologue of the Gospel of John
2. Logos in the First Epistle of John
F. Logos in Second-Century Christian Literature

I realise that may not answer a specific query <g> but for a specific query
there really is no subsitute for the hard slog of wading through a lexicon
such as Bauer. Ardnt,& Gingrich or Louw-Nida and finding the verse you have
in mind.


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