From: Will Wagers (
Date: Mon Nov 09 1998 - 17:12:47 EST

Gentle Scholars,

In Greek myth and philosophy, Logos is the intermediary of all creation.
Logos is the *bond* between spirit and Matter. As such, Logos *must*
partake equally of the two natures--spirit and flesh, Man and God, Same
and Different, Non-Being and Being, Form and Matter. This is its philosophical
and theological function. It is rather like a soap molecule which must
have *both* hydrophilic and hydrophobic ends in order to bind water and oil.

It is curious that so many are discussing the meaning of PRWTOTOKOS,
without wondering of whom or what. Who is the mother? After all,
"first born" means of a--literal or figurative--womb. God is the father of
Logos because he is the source of all Forms, i.e. the principles of
organization which are applied to Matter in creation. Matter is the mother,
providing the unorganized, physical material of creation. Logos, as son of
both, has both natures. Neither Matter nor Form can, in and of itself,
*create*. Both are required in any created thing. Logos, having both natures
is the first entity capable of *creating* physical entitities simply and
by shaping (or animating) Matter. Thus, Logos is Lord of Creation, Lord of
etc. Logos is the equal of God in that it contains, but is not the source
of, all

Consequently, it is only through a personal misunderstanding of the
philosophical background that a Hellenistic writer would have sought to
declare Logos a member of either set--Forms or Matter--*exclusively*.
Therefore, the "partitivity" of PRWTOTOKOS should not be a theological issue
at all, since it would only mean a text in question is emphasizing one or
the other side of the dual nature, rather than contradicting it. Or, in this
unique case--Logos--, partitive and non-partitive are equally correct
philosophically and theologically, although one may make more sense
than the other to the passage in question.

In other words, the confusion is built into the concept, not the grammar;
for Logos is something which is not a "thing", something which exists but
does not exist, which was born but uncreated. English fails us in this
situation just as Greek and Koine did our intelectual forebears.

And, incarnating the Logos adds further levels of complexity in that no
strict segregation is made between Logos and Jesus, rather their attributes
tend to be all jumbled up in one fuzzier concept, i.e. are we talking about
Logos as Man (partitive) or Logos as God.

(I hope this gets in before the ever-vigiliant Carl shuts down this
fascinating enterpreise.)

Will Wagers "Reality is the best metaphor."

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