So, I had asked a related question that was closed for it's lack of Scripture to apply a hermeneutically approach to, so I've re phrased to scripture which is very important to the Christian faith: How do we understand the words of Scripture? I believe literally in John 1:14 "the WORD (Logos) was made flesh" in the person of the man Jesu(s) the Christ; Thus, I exegetically understand this Word is in reference to that spoken of in John 1:1 , this all is easy exegetical exercise, we don't have to leave the book of John. But what is John speaking of as the WORD? I then must define the Word by an out side source from John? One can not rely on the Greek language for this concept, you can not chronologically implore Greek culture or philosophy or mythos. For me, for the record, I arrive at what the WORD is and means by defining Logos by use of the Greek LXX which renders Christ as the literal mediating voice of YHWh. But what say ye?
John was a Jewish theologian expressing Jewish ideas in Greek terms, not Greek philosophy. So "The Word" would not be a concept but a person, as you note, and that person can only be "The Messiah" - Hebrew or "The Christ" - Greek. So I feel that Hebrew thinking and theology must be used to explain the N.T. and how the Jewish Messiah became Flesh. I do hold to your idea that the Greek LXX was part of God reveling his self to mankind which pointed to the Christ/Messiah.
There is a HUGE literature on this subject of the "LOGOS". So here we will only briefly view the highlights.
The interesting thing about this passage is what John did NOT say.
- John offers no explanation about this "Logos" (= "word" in most versions); therefore, it was clearly understandable to his intended (presumably Greek) audience. "Logos" is a deeply significant Greek word that has invaded almost all modern languages in various forms (English: logic, geology, philology, etc.) As is well known, "word" is a most inadequate translation - idea, concept, thought might be better (but misleading) but originally meant a "communication whereby the mind finds expression", or, "computation, reckoning" (BDAG #1 & #2).
- Despite the above, it would be misleading (but technically possible) to translate John 1:1 as, "In the beginning was the thought and the thought was with God … ". He wanted to convey more than this because Jesus was a person not just an idea.
- John did NOT say, "In the beginning was Jesus, and Jesus was with God and Jesus was God … ". He clearly wanted to convey much more than this, including that Jesus created by mere thought!! (v3) This makes Jesus far greater than any pagan god that could even be imagined.
- John selected his words carefully. Another Greek word, "rhema" literally means, "word" (that which is spoken), was NOT used by John - God created by even less than speaking things into existence - by using LOGOS, Jesus thought things into existence!
Therefore, what did John say?
- Jesus was separate from God but with God
- Jesus created all things by the power of thought
- Jesus was God
- Jesus became flesh (ie, human) and lived among us.
John's masterpiece of literary economy achieved all this (and much more) in such few words! It was perfectly crafted to bridge the divide between Hebrew and Greek thought.
For some further material on Jesus as the LOGOS, see BDAG article on Logos #3 which also includes some fascinating material about pagan ideas of divinity personified and called Logos.
The Apostle John already interprets for us what it meant in John 1 in the opening of his first Epistle: What (ὅ) was from the beginning (cf. John 1:1), what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have beheld, and our hands have reached out for concerning the word (λόγος) of life (cf. John 1:4). And the life was revealed, and we have seen and bear witness and proclaim to you the eternal life which was with the Father (cf. John 1:2) and was revealed unto us." So we can clearly see here that the word of John 1 is not a person as John calls it a "what" but God's divine plan of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God which was in God's divine council and plan before the world was created (1 Pet 1:20, Rev 13:8, Matt 25:34) and was later revealed in the person of His anointed King (the word [God's divine plan] was made flesh). And notice what John 1:4 says regarding the word: "ἐν αὐτῷ ζωὴ ἦν, καὶ ἡ ζωὴ ἦν τὸ φῶς τῶν ἀνθρώπων· (In it was life and the life was the light of man)." However, if you keep reading on through the next few verses you'll notice that the light is personified as being Jesus. In other words, Jesus is the light within the λόγος (God's divine plan/decree).
In regards to the word being called "God," we must look at the original Greek text in order to gain proper understanding: "Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ λόγος, καὶ ὁ λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν θεόν, καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος" ("In beginning was the word, and the word was with the God, and θεὸς was the word"). The word for God here in the third clause ("θεὸς") is to be understood here in the adjectival sense since the words "θεὸς" and "ὁ λόγος" (the word) are joined together by the verb "ἦν" ("to be") but the first subject (θεὸς) lacks the definite article. So "ὁ λόγος" (the word) is not being identified as "θεὸς" but is described as being within the sphere and likeness of "θεὸς". An example that might help one understand this in English is if I say "the preacher is the man" I add the definite article before the word "man" and I thereby identify "the preacher" with some definite man I have in mind. But if I remove the definite article and say "the preacher is man" what I mean is that the preacher is in the sphere and likeness of man. He is "man-like." The same things applies with "the word" of John 1. "ὁ λόγος" here in John 1:1 is being described as "God-like" or "divine."
Mackintosh's discussion of λόγος
The following is from Hugh R. Mackintosh's discussion of the word logos in his book The Doctrine of the Person of Jesus Christ (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1912, reprinted New York: Chales Scribner's Sons, 1942), pp. 115-18.
We hold then that what St. John required and sought for was a term worthy to express the absolute nature of Christ, in whom the eternal, self-revealing God was incarnate; and that this seemed to be furnished by the contemporary religious thought, in which the Logos-conception had become familiarly established. He perceived its extraordinary value for the expositor. More significantly than any other word it gave expression to that aspect of Christ's life and work which he regarded as supreme. In addition to its place in Old Testament thought, it had received from Hellenism a certain cosmic width of meaning, and thus furnished a point of contact—this every missionary must appreciate—between Christianity and current modes of religious speculation. He chose it therefore as peculiarly fitted to recommend the Light and Life which had appeared in Jesus; but in choosing it he took full precautions to ensure by his exposition that its Christian import should not be overshadowed by former associations.
So, after seeing for a few days the differences in thought here there seems to be a question as to if I can even ask such a question no matter how I phrase it. The answers gotten, to me indicate a heavy leaning on historical possibility and philosophy qualified by learned men of reputation (eisegetical?). But I've not seen Scripture to answer Scripture (exegetical). Among the first answers I had got before I had rephrased this important question is that all reading of Scripture should be defined by exegeting a prior Scripture to give meaning to what we read and have faith in...along those lines. If we let Logos be defined by philosophy Logos becomes non-sense in search of a greater good or purpose, it's not Logic ( just read some Aristotle). If we understand " John 1:1 In the beginning was the WORD (Logos) and the WORD was with God, and the WORD was God. As God's Logic we are lead to Creation, we are lead to Noah's God who revealed him self by his voice and judgment, in fact we are lead to the Logos of the LXX in compare to that Hebrew culture John was tell about. The Logos is the WORD /DeBaR / דּבר of YHWH revealed by what YHWH says / AMaR / אמר, and then we can start to understand Christ's person by understanding the world his creative force made and what his mediating WORD has commanded. We see Christ as the Logic or Rational of YHWH as taught in his Law. That's my approach, I just wanted to know how others understand the words of scripture. Thanks for the forum
In Beginning was the Word or Saying.
“In Beginning” has no definite article as it is speaking of Jesus being the Beginning. Jesus was the first to have the Saying of God within Him and He relayed that message to mankind whose foolish heart became darkened about the nature of God even though it was already manifest within man. (Romans 1:19).
John 1:1 KJV (1) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
In (no “the” is present) Beginning God created the heavens and the earth. there is no definite article found here: "in Beginning....
In Jesus…the Beginning of the creation of God…all things were all things in Heaven and earth created through.
Genesis 1:1 KJV (1) In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
The Word is the “Saying” that was in the Beginning…in Jesus. It is a saying/message for all mankind about the divine nature of God of which Jesus was the express image of.
The “Beginning” is Jesus who had the Saying about God and Jesus is that the exact express image of God in this world as He lived it.
He is the “brightness “ of His glory and the “express image” of His person as He lives the Saying.
Hebrews 1:2-3 KJV (2) Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; (3) Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
The Saying was made flesh for all to see. Jesus …the Light of the world.
John 1:14 KJV (14) And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
Jesus is the “Beginning of the creation of God” (Revelation 3:14).
The Word or Saying was “with”…or toward…God. This Saying is about or pertaining to God’s nature. It was “toward” God as it is about Him. It pertains to God.
The Word was God as those who do the Saying share fellowship with God. Elohim is plural as we share communion with God when we live the Saying of Life.
This Saying/Word of Life is found 1st John 1:5.
This is the message which we (the apostles) heard of Him (the Beginning which is Jesus) and they declare unto us: that God is Light and in Him is no darkness at all.
1 John 1:5-7 KJV (5) This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. (6) If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: (7) But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
The Saying is found in Genesis 1:3 where the Beginning (Jesus) states the very first words of God...the words that pertain to His nature: that God is Light.
Elohim….He IS Light.
The Hebrew word “hayah” in the context of this verse means “to exist” as God IS Light and always has been Light and will always be Light. He does not “become” Light as He IS Light.
“And there was light”: It is mankind that is commanded to become light as God is Light so that we may communion/fellowship with Him. We turn from darkness unto Light. His Light shines within our once-darkened hearts when we hear His voice speaking His knowledg.
From Interlinear Scripture Analyzer 2 Basic :