Re: Humpty Dumpty

From: Edgar Foster (
Date: Thu Mar 19 1998 - 17:04:01 EST

Chuck Stevens wrote:

>>Edgar Foster comments, on 19 Mar 1998 at 8:57AM:<<

<<The reason I don't agree is that (1) LOGOS did not carry the
semantical baggage in Heraclitus' day that it later came to have in the apostle John's

>>Hmmm. I can't but wonder how much semantical baggage "LOGOS" carried up until
the time John 1 was written!<<

That is a different question, friend. By the time the Gospel was written, Judaism
had been fertilized (to use Carl's terms) with Hellenistic ideas. Because of this
development, many believe that John actually based his concept of the LOGOS along
Hellenistic-Judaistic lines. Yet, there is no unanimous consensus as regards these
ideas. For the view that John includes elements of Hellenism in his writings, see

>>I have always been under the impression that the introductory portion of the Gospel
of John represents the *establishment* of a new shade of meaning for the word. Is
there evidence of this "semantical baggage"'s existence (In NT literature or elsewhere)
prior to the writing of John 1?<<

John evidently based his idea of the LOGOS upon a previous model of the LOGOS found
in either Jewish, Grecian, or Hellenistic-Jewish ideas; but John's description of
the LOGOS also diverges from those Logonic delineations antecedent to the writing
of the fourth Gospel.

BAGD says: "It is the distinctive teaching of the Fourth Gospel that this divine
'Word' took on human form in a historical person, that is, in Jesus" (478-479).

Edgar Foster
Lenoir-Rhyne College
Hickory NC

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