The Gospel of John and the True Meaning of the Logos- Unit 3
THE GOSPEL OF JOHN AND THE TRUE MEANING OF THE LOGOS
There are many ways to understand the concept of the “Logos” and how the ancients and the writer of the Gospel of John understood it. Be not mistaken. Christendom teaches Jesus as God and the Logos figuratively as the “word” of God. There is no historical evidence to support this meaning. However there is definite historical evidence to support the word Logos as having a mental connection with the mind of God.
The diverse denominations of Christendom have taken the word LOGOS at John 1:1 and consigned Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God to being a mere ‘messenger’ a figurative voice of God, called “the Word” While there has been an effort to attach much more to that by Bible scholars who surmise there must be a deeper meaning most of the general readership sees only the “spokesman” aspect due to the use of the expression “The Word” in lieu of the expression “LOGOS” used by the original writers.
THE MEANINGS OF LOGOS.-HAVE WE UNDERSTOOD IT CORRECTLY AS It WAS UNDERSTOOD BY THOSE WRITING IN THE FIRST CENTURY?
The prologue to the Fourth Gospel, the Gospel of John, which begins with the unforgettable line “In the beginning was the Word,” is instinctively recognized by many readers as one of the most profound passages in all the sacred texts of humanity. This writing describes the nature of the “Word” as a cosmic forming principle, its mission, and the manifestation of the Word in the figure of Jesus, the avatar of the Christian faith. Unfortunately, despite the beauty and profoundness of the Prologue, most modern readers have not been able to unlock its inner meaning, for they have never been given the necessary key.
We have already demonstrated that the Hebrew Scriptures (O.T.) make a connection where Jesus Christ is personified as the wisdom of God in the book of Proverbs. ‘Wisdom’ (Hebrew) or ‘Logic’ (Greek) is a mentally based concept. It has to do on its highest levels with the mind of God and on lower levels with the minds of men.
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 saying the “Logos” is “the Word” but sadly this is what translators have fostered on readers of the most popular bible versions.
Among its many meanings, “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:
“Logos” has the same meaning as both the Latin words “ratio” and “oratio”. “Ratio” is the principle of Reason in its many senses, yet it is also ratio in a mathematical sense, as in continued geometrical proportion. “Oratio” is a discourse, an articulation, a setting forth of the “ratio” or nature of things. “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. Now understand the prior sentence “darkened” is a very, very important concept in understanding the use of “logos” in the Gospel of John as we will see shortly. The key words in the above definition is “reason,” “relationship,” and “harmony” both in the natural world and within the human mind or figurative heart. It is the faculty whereby one thing is related to another through “analogy”, or the power of “proportional insight.” (Analogia in Greek refers to continued geometrical proportion).Of no less importance in 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, the ‘Mind of God’.
Jesus Christ as the only begotten Son of God who personified God’s wisdom (Hebrew) or God’s logic (greek) is also appropriately described as “The Logos”.
Christ as the Logos
Renowned theologian N.T. Wright characterizes “Word” (logos) as being incomprehensible in human language. He claims that through belief the Logos will transform people with its judgment and mercy. Theologian Stephen L. Harris and others say the author of John adapted Philo’s concept of the Logos, identifying Jesus as an incarnation of the divine Logos that formed the universe (cf. Proverbs 8:22-36).
Although the term Logos is not retained as a title beyond the prologue, the whole book of John presses these basic claims. As the Logos, Jesus Christ is a god in self-revelation (Light) and redemption (Life). He is a god to the extent that he can be present to man and knowable to man and the risen Christ is adored and respected by Thomas, who fell at his feet saying, “my Lord and my god.”
Yet the Logos is in some sense distinguishable from God, for “the Logos was with God. God and the Logos (Christ) are two beings, so greatly unified so as to be seen as ‘one” The Logos is effectually the ‘Mind of God” and it is through Jesus Christ that we come to discern God’s mind so that we too can be in harmony with it in the fullest sense possible for a human being.
Christianity must always remember that it is the religion of the “Logos.” It is rooted in the Mind of God. Only creative reason, which in the crucified God is manifested as love, can really show us the way. In the so necessary dialogue we Christians must be very careful to remain faithful to this fundamental line: to live a faith that comes from the “Logos,” from creative reason, and that, because of this, is also open to all that is truly rational. Unfortunately, there is today a very powerful intelligent spirit being who has actively opposed humans from knowing the mind of God, much less acquiring any semblance of it for themselves.
He has actively been building for himself a following for thousands of years, beginning with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden based not on the ’Logos’ ( Mind of God) but rather based on His own mind as opposed to the Creator and his only begotten Son Jesus Christ.
This force, Satan the devil and his spirit directed minions have interfered with that original relationship based on the Logos (mind of God) between God and his human creation. The Logos has been usurped by the Mind of Satan through every sort of deception the father of the lie is capable of.
There has been a battle raging for the minds of men since the beginning of man’s history on earth. Satan the devil employs deception under the subheading of ignorance and confusion designed to bring men under his control and to keep them there. God almighty and his Son, Jesus counter with logic and reasoning bolstered by the word of God and the Holy Spirit of God.
It is the purpose of this site to help all lovers of YHWH, his enthroned Son and the truth they represent to gain the skills necessary to liberate themselves from the darkness authored by Satan’s Mind. It is God’s will that his people escape captivity by Satan’s word and flee into the freedom and light of God’s mind as reflected by “the Logos” of John 1:1.
We will continue to present ways and means by which lovers of truth can employ God-given mental skills and remove the rust from them so that they might be sharp for the purposes of distinguishing truth from falsehood.
The next unit will provide ways in which to identify deceivers who use the Bible as a means toward their own ends and not for the Lord’s purposes.