Re: "In the beginning was the word" (Jn 1:1a)

From: Steven Craig Miller (
Date: Tue Feb 22 2000 - 15:29:01 EST

<x-flowed>To: Jason Hare,

<< We are all taught in the most basic Greek that LOGOS means "word,
statement, purpose, etc." That is no shock. I think what you have said
makes sense, but why are you against the translation "word?" What do you
have against it? >>

The only thing I have "against it" (to use your phrase) is simply that it
is possible that the English term "utterance" might do a better job of
expressing the author's intent at John 1:1 than the English term "word."

Also, I suspect that, even in other passages where we find the English term
"word," it does not refer to a "word" (in its narrow sense) but is most
commonly used metaphorically. For example, at Mark 2:2, we find: << ... and
he was speaking the word to them >> (Mark 2:2d NRSV). I think it fairly
obvious that here TON LOGON refers to a spoken message. Mark 2:2d might be
better translated as: "... and he was speaking the message to them."

-Steven Craig Miller
Alton, Illinois (USA)
FWIW: I'm neither a clergy-person, nor an academic (and I have no post-grad

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