Re: LOGOS in John and SOPHIA in Proverbs

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Wed Oct 28 1998 - 06:23:16 EST

<x-flowed>At 5:48 PM -0800 10/27/98, nameno noname wrote:
>Dear Friends
>First I'm a new at that maing list. It may be reasonableto present
>I'm not a scholar in Biblical scriptures but only a lover of God's
>I'm an Egyptian Cardiologist, living in Egypt as well, Being of
>(noname)is just due to security purposes because I share in many Human
>rights activities to protest against religious persecution of Copts
>(Christians of Egypt).
>My native language is Arabic as all Christians in the Arab world, but
>I studied in addition to English (Being a Physician) the Coptic
>language which is too much identical in its alphabet and
>pronounciation to the Greek. This made studying the New Testament
>Greek unsupported very easy for me. Being in personal love relation
>with the Bible, I studied the Greek for better knowledge of the Bible.
>This is a brief introduction
>Second: I want to discuss with you the points of similarities between
>(LOGOS) in John 1 and SOPHIA in Proverbs 8 and 9. I have studied many
>and many similarities to the extent that I'm convinced that (Sophia)of
>the Proverbs is a prophecy fullfilled in (Logos)of John.
>If you need the study, I can post it to whom it may concern.

Dear "nameno noname"

In the first place, let me say that you are welcome to this list, which
exists for discussion primarily of the Greek text of the Bible and the kind
of Greek language employed in the Greek Bible. I do want to make clear to
you, however, two matters about our list that are important:

(1) Our "list netiquette," which was sent you as part of the welcome
message at the time of your subscription to the list, makes clear, I
believe, that we expect participants to give their real names either in the
"From" line of the headers of the message or in a "signature file" form at
the conclusion of their message. It would appear that your choice of
"nameno noname" is a deliberate avoidance of this personal identification
that we ask for. Although you tell us something about yourself, which is
very good, you still don't tell us who you are by name, and as a group we
feel more comfortable exchanging messages with persons whom we can
recognize by at least by name.

(2) You declare an interest in the LOGOS doctrine of John 1 and its
relation to the Hokhma/SOPHIA themes in Proverbs, which are also to be
found in the other Wisdom literature of the Hellenistic era. You will
notice that there's the beginning of a thread on this very topic and a
couple responses by Greg Stafford to it which offer comments on the
relationship of the theme also to the first-century writings of the
Alexandrian Jew Philo. But as Greg notes, we try to be very careful here to
keep a sharp distinction drawn between discussion of theological matters on
which list-members hold widely-differing opinions (and please note also
that list-members are not required to be religious believers) and matters
that are clarifications of the Biblical Greek text itself. That is to say,
we avoid discussion of theological issues as such--for reasons that have
become abundantly clear during several rounds of discussion of the opening
verses of John 1, in the course of which sharply-opposed interpretations of
important words and phrases have been offered in sometimes heated
exchanges. So we try hard to steer clear of theological controversy and
limit discussion to questions bearing on how the Greek text may
legitimately be understood.

With regard to the LOGOS doctrine, however, let me add that there is
abundant evidence for elements from both Greek cultural and Jewish cultural
traditions being involved in the background of the doctrine as it appears
in John 1, but that even on this matter there are broad differences of
opinion on the relative importance of the influences from those two
traditions and even from others in the ancient world. Consequently it has
to be admitted, I believe, that this whole matter of LOGOS doctrine and its
antecedents has been much discussed by scholars and non-scholars, and that
even among those who are or have been held to be "scholars," there's a wide
range of differing opinion about this cultural background of the doctrine;
even the bibliography that could be compiled on this matter is immense.

Let me repeat, then, you are welcome to our list, but please try to abide
by our list's guidelines as you participate.

Best regards,

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Carl W. Conrad
Co-Chair, B-Greek List
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649 OR

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