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

From: Wayne Leman (
Date: Tue Feb 22 2000 - 21:23:10 EST

Joe listed some non-primary meanings of "word", including:

>3. a short talk or conversation: May I *have a* word *with* you?. [and
>another example I would add:] *have the last* word


"Let's have a word of prayer."

which always turns out to be much longer than a word!


>Hence, I would conclude that, absent any contextual clues that indicate the
>use of an appropriate English idiom in which 'word' is to be taken in an
>extended or metaphorical sense, to translate LOGOS as 'word' is misleading.

I agree, Joe. We need to translate according to the meanings words have for
our target audience, not how we exegetes *think* the words should mean, or
might mean in some infrequently used sense, as listed in a thorough

I am grappling with trying to translate LOGOS of John 1:1 into a tribal
language. I *know* that their word for "word" isn't exegetically accurate,
but that's what they think the word means, given their exposure to the
prestigious national language. I've toyed with the idea of translating LOGOS
as "Interpreter", which in their language literally means "The one who
speaks for (another)".

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