LOGOS IS THE WORD
In the Gospel of John, we find one of the most familiar scriptures in all of the Bible.
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."
Central to this scripture, is the concept of "Word," a very inadequate rendering of the original Greek term "Logos", which was one of the most important concepts of the Hellenistic world. Remember, the New Testament was orignially written in Greek, not English. What we have in the moderen Bible is Greek, translated down into the less adequate Latin, and then translated into English.
In ancient Greek, Logos has many meanings, but none of them is truly to be understood as "Word," which is based on a translation of a translation. So the writer of the Gospel of John is really not actually saying the "Logos" is "the Word" but sadly this is the translation we have been given. When the Greek NewTestament was translated into Latin, "Logos" became "Verbum"; and when the English King James translation was made from the Latin version, "Verbum" became "Word," twice removed from the original text.
The Greek word LOGOS "Logos" designates the power of "reason," the pattern or order of things, the principle of relationship, and an organized articulation of something. In general, it has the following meanings:
1) Order or pattern
2) Ratio or proportion
3) Oratio, a discourse, articulation or account, even a "sermon"
4) Reason, both in the sense of rationality and in the sense of an articulation of the cause of something
5) Principle or cause (logoi ="principles," "ratios," "reasons")
6) A principle of mediation and harmony between extremes
"Logos", as a principle, is the natural order of things, the principle of reason, relation, and harmony, which exists both within the natural fabric of the universe and within the human mind.
The Greek understanding of the "logos" is mystical and cosmological thought, including early Christian thought, the idea of The "Logos" in a cosmic sense encompassed all of these meanings and refers to the underlying Order of the Universe, the blueprint on which all creation is based. In short, the mind and order of God.
In ancient Egypt, the "Logos" is related to the principle of Nous or Universal Intellect, the "repository" of all the cosmic Forms and principles on which creation is based. And as the image of Divine Intellect, humanity is itself the living, incarnate image of the "Logos." Notice, "humanity" and not just one person.
The author of the Gospel of John is saying that in the beginning with God was NOT a human or fleshly man but a harmony and natural order of things. That in the beginning with God was an ordered pattern and blueprint for all creation in the mind of God. And in so doing there existed a relationship between the invisible realm of pure Spirit and Energy (God) and the realm of physical existence and matter. Both were in harmony.
In the beginning with God was this harmony and order and reason of God that will be manifested later in the creation. This "Logos" was not a man but a emanation from God of Himself an an extension of His image that would mediate between the realm of pure Spirit and the realm of matter (mankind). It would be through this "Logos" (masculine) and the "Sophia" (feminine) that God would manifest His invisible presence into the physical and visible world of mankind and He chose to do it within His creation (mankind).
The writer of John was describing the "light" of God in the form of the "Logos" among mankind and illuminated the way and ways of God to every man in the world. Sadly the world knew not of this "Logos" or "Christ within them" therefore we see the need for such teaching:
Col 1:26-27 26 "Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: 27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is CHRIST in YOU, the hope of glory." (KJV)
John chapter one when referring to "the Logos" is not referring to a human being named Jesus but rather to a Spiritual Dynamic and Religious Concept within every person. The Logos which is "Yahweh's Salvation" Remember also, thats the phrase "God Saves" or "God Is Salvation" was derived from the Hebrew aleph-bet (alphabet) sybolic letters YHWH (Yod Hey Vav Hey). These letters collectively mean "God Is Saviour." From these letters called the Tetragramaton," we get the words YAHWEH, JEHOVAH, YEHOVA, YAH, YESHUA, JOSHUA, and in Latin IESUS, and in Greek IESOUS. The letter "J" does not exist in Hebrew or Greek and wasn't even added to English until the 1500's.
So, in summary, the word "Word" comes from the Greek, "Logos." The Greeks used Logos for the spoken AND unspoken word, the word still in the mind, the reason. When applied to the universe, Greeks were speaking to the rational principle, the divine reason, or plan, which coordinates the entire cosmos, that governs all things. Knowing also the Greek word for God was "Theos", the original writing of the Gospel of John stated:
"In the beginning was the Logos, and the Logos was with Theos, and the Logos was Theos."
Just a thought ...
~Justin Taylor, ORDM., OCP., DM.