From: Steven Craig Miller (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Thu Feb 24 2000 - 08:35:04 EST
<x-flowed>To: Jason Hare,
<< That is, "And the LOGOS became flesh and 'tabernacled' among us, and we
beheld his/its glory, the glory as of the/an unique-one from the Father,
full of grace and truth." This goes beyond speculation. John wrote that the
LOGOS in flesh is Jesus. (Again, sorry for the theology, but this is what
the text calls for.) He goes on to say that John (the Baptist) testified
about him (v. 15) and that, while law came through Moses, that same grace
and truth "we" beheld came through Jesus Christ (v. 17). Again, context is
proven to be king and speculation can stop. ***LOGOS in flesh (in John's
estimation) equals Jesus.*** >>
Obviously verse 14 refers to Jesus, but IMO traditional interpretations of
this verse completely misunderstand what John has written. A good parallel
can be found at Sirach 24:8.
<< "Then the Creator of all things gave me a command,
and my Creator chose the place for my tent [SKHNHN].
He said, 'Make your dwelling [KATASKHNWSON] in Jacob,
and in Israel receive your inheritance'" >>
(Sirach 24:8 NRSV [bracketed Greek words added]).
Just as "wisdom" could have been thought to have "dwelt" in Jacob, so also
could the LOGOS be thought to have "dwelt" in Jesus. The rest of John's
gospel makes clear that this author did not think of Jesus as God's LOGOS.
If context is "king" (as you say), then it surely would be wrong to twist
this one verse while ignoring all the others which I've cited. Since these
other passages are perfectly clear, and it is obvious that this author did
not think that Jesus was God's LOGOS, then our task should be to try to
understand this one verse in light of the rest of John's gospel.
Although SOFIA was personified, it would be fallacious to assume that SOFIA
was a "person," so that the "person" SOFIA was merely the person Jacob.
Likewise, it would be fallacious to assume that merely because the
Johannine gospel seems to personify God's LOGOS in the prologue, that this
necessarily means that God's LOGOS was a "person" which also went by the
name "Jesus." From a grammatical point of view, there is no justification
for assuming that the author of the Johannine gospel ever thought that
Jesus was God's LOGOS, and yet there are a number of passages in his gospel
which makes it absolutely clear that Jesus was not God's LOGOS.
<< Again, context is proven to be king and speculation can stop. >>
I completely concur with that sentiment! But for me the "context" does not
end with John's prologue, but IMO the whole Johannine gospel must be seen
to be part of the context as well!
-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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