In the beginning was the Logos

Juan...I admire your efforts in attempting to define the meaning of the "word".

But I have come to posit and believe that "word" used in this biblical context is a symbolic representation for what must have been truly unique about Jesus...his genome. No other definitions or explanations about these opening passages of John make any sense to me any more, other than this explanation.

Jesus came to that time from the future to show us what we all must become. And that time is running out right about now, in our time, I believe.


Before His "genome" (e.g. human version), He existed. So, what is the problem?
Hi Q:

There's no problem here, I'm only expressing my opinion.

I agree, the timeless spirit of Him existed and exists, but it became incarnate and tangibly present in the world only when the genome grew and flourished into a human being. This is what all the stories that we know and love have come from.

Oh..I also base my assumptions on research done sometime ago and published in Biblical Archaeology Review to the effect that both books in the Bible have numerical patterns underlying the word compilations and arrangements making up their more obvious substance in literary terms. In other words, the bible underneath it all gives the appearance of being composed of compiled series and sets of coded large number groupings that exhibit coherent patterns, just as genomes would be if digitized.

The rapidly merging collaboration of cybernetics and genomic research in today's world of science and technology tells us that what I assume is probably eventually feasible. My guess is large scale practical applications about 400 years from now, but probably substantially before then.

Nice to hear from you Q.

Kindest Regards, Thomas!

Just finished my essay ... breaks into song ... glad you can't hear, the only singing I can do is dischordants ...
You are not alone in the singing department. Congratulations, just the same.

Wise man!
"Think of the Lord in goodness, and seek him in simplicity of heart. For he is found by them that tempt him not: and he sheweth himself to them that have faith in him." (Wisdom 1:1-2)
As for being wise, I suppose I will find out in due time...but thank you for the vote of confidence. I like the verses, but I am not familiar, are these from the book "Wisdom of Solomon?" I don't recall right off, but that may be a Catholic thing, or perhaps an intertestament aprocrypha thing?

I probably should dig out my old philosophy text, that's where my notes are on this subject of the Logos.-jt3
Can I have a copy? :)
Just got done looking, and besides wrecking one of the shelves in my apparently too flimsy to hold the stacks of books on it bookshelf, I didn't accomplish what I set out to do. I found my philosophy text, but not the handout the teacher gave us. Having taken a critical thinking course by the same prof (for intents and purposes the same class), but couldn't find my critical thinking text...<shrug...sigh> What can I say?

(Maybe we should look at Colossians sometime? 1:12-20, very Stoic!)
Lead the way, whenever you are ready!

I did print out a little material about the Stoic philosophy... -jt3
I'm just finishing an essay on Wisdom Literature, specifically on a comparison of Proverbs and Wisdom. My direction is that Proverbs is Hebrew (and regional), Wisdom is Greek, and influenced by Stoicism, Platonism, etc.

The theology is no different, but the lexicon of Greek opens up the mythopoeic Hebrew of an Immanent and Personal God to an inspired contemplation of the Transcendent Principle and the immortality of the soul by theosis.

(Good grief, I've just read that back before posting, do I always come across as such a smart****? You've got to admit it sounds really impressive! I only wish my essay was half as good. )

My next essay is on 'Matthew and the synoptic problem' so that'll be 'solved' in four weeks – but if we want to continue with the Logos, I'm all for it, and anything you've got, I'll devour it!
I can see someone saying the Hebrew is regional, whereas the Greek would encompass more the Hellenized world...seems pretty obvious to me. I do wonder though, the influence Solomon may have had during his reign throughout the regions he traded with via the Phoenicians / Tyreneans. Perhaps there is a latent influence in some remote areas, perhaps a corner of Africa (Ethiopia?) or maybe the British Isles (Celtic Ireland). An influence so remote as to be mostly forgotten.

But Alexander's Greek Hellenized a far larger portion of the world for a much greater period, even influencing those that eventually conquered it in turn (like the Romans). I think that says a great deal about weight of force; Solomon influenced by trade and peace whereas Alexander conquered by force and influenced by compulsion. Even if that compulsion was far more amicable than most conquerers.

As for you coming across as a "smart****," I wouldn't worry about it too much, we love you just the same. :) The smart****es to worry about are those that are smart****es just to be smart****es. You're definitely not one of those.

Best of luck on the Matthew essay, although I doubt you really need it. I have every faith and confidence you will do just fine.

As for the Logos, I'm afraid I am at a bit of a standstill for the moment, let's see what China's posts refresh my memorys of...
Kindest Regards, China Cat!

We were talking about seperating the Greek and Jewish influences. Messiah is a Jewish idea, Logos Greek. But I find that what makes the Logos-Christ concept work in my mind is the synthesis of the Genesis creation myth and the Logos concept. God speaking through the agency of the Logos becomes the mechanism of the creative and sustaining matrix of life.
OK, I think I'm with you so far, and in agreement...

I can't help thinking of other creation myths where the Creator sings life into existence. I was thinking of that when I mentioned that the gematria of the the Greek name Jesus works out to a numerical value of 888, and that the ratio, or logos (little l) of the whole tone between the two tetra chords, or perfect fourths, that make up an octave is, coincidentally,.888. When I think of the Logos, I'm thinking of that agency, or pattern of force, that brings harmony to life and encourages everything to expand and grow. What's interesing about the the whole tone placed between the two chords is the anaolgy of Christ being the connection between the original "song" of creation, and the "new song".
Love the quote, awesome. I think I can see what you are saying with the music / math "patterns," I have heard of many different coincidental (or not) mathematic intrigues concerning the Bible. What in another context might be called "numerology."

One more interesting little thing that ties in with the musical analogy is that the whole tone between the two perfect fourths is itself discordanent. Which reminds me of Jesus saying that he comes not to bring peace, but with a sword. Maybe that's pushing the analogy too far.

I dunno, the Logos is such a huge an all-encompassing's hard to know where to begin. "The principle that makes everything work"? I can't come up with an adequate description. When I think of it I think of physics, and pythagorean stuff, and what makes an arch hold a building up. Mathematics, and music theory, and art, and proportion. What the metaphysical "structure" of the cosmos might be.
Yes, yes, and if I am understanding correctly, this is understood, subtlely or openly, within Judaism. Aside, but if one considers "The Tao of Physics" in combination with understanding the "multi-god" pantheon of the Hindu faith walk is in reality various "faces" of one G-d, then Hinduism would be in accord and agreement as well.

What I don't undrstand is what a Jewish messiah's connection to that might be. Why would the thing that makes everything work come as a human, and how does his death fundamentally change the existing order? I mean, the connection with creation metaphysics works out nicely, but all this other stuff about being a savour, sacrificial lamb, etc.... I don't understand the tie-in.
This is where I get lost too. The thought that springs to mind is the passage that says something like the wisdom of men is as foolishness to G-d...that it pleased Him to (something) with foolishness. Oh, this failing memory, and I'm too tired to look it up just now. Even if I could quote the passages correctly, they are only platitudes that still leave the question wide open. But I sense that this may be one of the mysteries we are not meant to fully grasp...admittedly that is taken by faith.

There are many questions about the whole messiah thing that I don't understand. Why the sacrifice?, other than sacrifice was common practice throughout the whole western world of the time (and for all I know, maybe the eastern world as well). The timing of the sacrifice of Messiah was impeccable, if the story happened as written. There is no way a person could orchestrate their own execution in such a perfectly timed manner, to die at the same point in time the Passover lambs were being slaughtered in preparation for the Highest Sabbath of the year. So the association with the slaughtered lamb I understand, even if I don't fully grasp the need or the consequence.

OK, I'm tired and my mind is not turning like I need it too to I'm gonna call it a night for now. Thanks for the discussion...hope to carry it forward soon! :)
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=+1]Hello all,[/SIZE]

I was happy to see a reference to the Logos of Heraclitus in the OP as that is one of my favorite topics of speculation.

[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]I am of the opinion (as is the author of the quote below) that Heraclitus equated "fire" with God. [/FONT]

[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]6. Fire as God[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Heraclitus identifies Logos or fire as God; this follows from the fact that fire is eternal and the source of all things. He says in fr. 67, "God is day night, winter summer, war peace, satiety hunger [all the opposites, this is the meaning]; he undergoes alteration in the way that fire when it is mixed with spices, is named according to the scent of each of them" (Hippolytus Ref. 9. 10). God as fire becomes all things in the same way that fire takes the scent of the spices thrown into it. Everything is a modification (through condensation or rarefaction) of this divine, intelligent fire. It follows that what appears to be wrong in the cosmos is, from God's perspective, right, since all things are from God and are God: "To God all things are beautiful and good and just, but men have supposed some things to be unjust, other just" (Fr. 102, Porphyrius I Iliadem IV 4). In order to be rational, to conform to Logos, human beings must change their reactions to what they wrong perceive to "unjust" things or events, since all things are actually "just," insofar as they are from God and are God.[/FONT] Link


[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]I also believe that Heraclitus equated Fire with energy as demonstrated by the astonishing similarity of these two quotes:

"All thing are an equal exchange for fire and fire for all things, as goods are for gold and gold for goods" Heraclitus

"Energy is the ultimate convertable currency." Brian Greene, String theorist.

Next, speech is a function of the rational left brain, which is itself the seat of logical reason, and I believe that this is the reference made in the definition below from the OP:

3056. lŏgŏs, log'-os; from 3004; something said (incl. the thought); by impl. a topic (subject of discourse), alsoreasoning (the mental faculty) or motive, by extens. a computation; spec. (with the art. in John) the Divine Expression (i.e. Christ):---
account, cause, communication, x concerning, doctrine, fame, x have to do, intent, matter, mouth, preaching, question, reason, + reckon, remove, say(ing), shew, x speaker, speech, talk, thing, + none of these things move me, tidings, treatise, utterance, word, work.

So what do I piece together from all of this? Logos=Fire=Energy=Mind.

It is my opinion that energy/mind/Logos compromises the whole of Nature, and this includes ourselves.

So when the Bible states (as do many religions) "in him we live and move and have our being", I can only agree.
Can someone verify this - I read that this passage from the beginning of John's gospel is almost identical to a passage in the Upanishads. The implication being that this concept is not indigenous to Christianity, and maybe should not be there at all.

If it is accepted, I take Word to mean, roughly, Expression. God at the core is known only to himself. To create, to communicate, to perform, he uses a "person", aspect, force etc which is his expression, the way he is known outside himself.

If this aspect somehow can enter God's creation to influence it from within then that could be Jesus, or it could be, perhaps, the Dalai Lama, or another. But there would still only be one The Word. I don't know. I'm only putting this forward as an idea. This is not the same as an avatar BTW.
Thomas said:
(Juan said) I probably should dig out my old philosophy text, that's where my notes are on this subject of the Logos.
Can I have a copy? :) (Maybe we should look at Colossians sometime? 1:12-20, very Stoic!)

This is the direction I would like to go as well, although I don't believe I'm qualified to lead the discussion. I re-read the portion of Colossians you mention, and then I found this under Stoicism on Wiki:
For the Stoics reason meant not only using logic, but also understanding the processes of nature—the logos, or universal reason, inherent in all things.

Stoicism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"Universal reason." Or natural law I guess. This is what I'm thinking of in terms of the Logos Christ. Not just reason, but that from which reason derives: meta-reason, or something.

I'm trying to avoid the syncretic pudding, but it seems that this concept is at the crossroads of a lot of different ways of thinking about the essence of the cosmic fabric, or whatever.

Col 1:12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:

Im rather partial to the words of Christopher Bamford on the Word from his book the "Voice of the Eagle, the Heart of Celtic Christianity, John Scotus Eriugena's Homily on the Prologue to the Gospel of St. John:"

"For what St. John proclaims, in the first instance, is not Jesus, the human historical being...but an immaterial, abstract, irrational, cosmic and divine principle or Logos...logos derives from the Greek logein, 'to say aloud or utter.' But logein also and perhaps originally meant 'to lay gather and bring together, to collect, to harvest, to store.' The primordial utterance or Word-Logos-is therefore the storehouse or granary, the place where the Father lays down, gathers in, and collects. It is the place of all places-the place where all things are placed that is itself no place. In this sense the Logos or Son is the home of all things, where all things are made. The Word is their resting place and place of repose, where all things return to find themselves at home.

The Word then is divine consciousness, the seed of consciousness, a superessential being who thinks without otherness or object. By consciousness here, we may understand the metaphysical formative power of distinction. From this power all knowing derives and receives its form-which means that no true knowing is ever representation or denotation and that all true knowing is creation. The Word as knowing is a vessel wherein the true meaning of all things are stored. More accurately put, it is the infinite origin of the truth contaiing, as a seed contains the plant, all the meanings constitutive of it.

Above all, the Word is where I take my stand when I stand at the center and origin of all. The Word is where I am when I am who I am. When, giving up all, I find myself carried into the heart of the meaning of the world, then it is by the grace of the Word that-beyond space and time-I am sustained in its arms and at its breast...For the Word is the ground and preserver of the world. There, where all things find their home-ground, is my home-ground too."

Alot of words about the Word.:) earl
Hi Friends,

I haven't read through the whole thread, but thought you might also enjoy this excerpt from a Baha'i prayer, which also mentions how creation began through a 'word'. ;)

"I testify unto that whereunto have testified all
created things, and the Concourse on high, and the
inmates of the all-highest Paradise, and beyond them
the Tongue of Grandeur itself from the all-glorious
Horizon, that Thou art God, that there is no God but
Thee...through Whom the letters B and E (Be) have been joined and
knit together
(Baha'u'llah, The Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 95)

"I testify, moreover, that with but a movement of Thy Pen Thine injunction "Be Thou" hath been enforced, and God's hidden Secret hath been divulged, and all created things have been called into being, and all the Revelations have been sent down."
(Compilations, Baha'i Prayers, p. 229)

fascinating stuff (imho)

I refer to the essay "The mystic word "OM" by Swami Prabhavananda in "Vedanta for the Western World" edited by Christopher Isherwood, published by Viking Press, NY (1960).

"The Greeks first conceived of the Logos as a bridge over the gulf that separates man and God... Hereclitus was the first was the first to break away from a purely physical conception of creation... With Plato the theory of the Logos underwent a complete transformation. He regarded the Logos, or Word, as the supersensual image, the 'idea' or 'thought' in God, word and thought being inseparable. And the visible universe, he thought, is the imperfect shadow of the idea, the Logos...

"This verse (In the beginning etc) is almost identical with a verse in the Vedas: "Prajapatir vai idam agre asit - In the beginning was Prajapati (Brahman); Tasya vag dvitiya asit - With whom was the Word; Vag vai Paramam Bhrahma - And the Word was verily the Supreme Brahman."

The author then equates and differentiates this Logos with the word "OM". "It is God, and by its aid man may realize God".

I don't know if this book is still in print, but I would certainly recommend reading it as an important aid to the understanding of the start of John's gospel.

Earl...wonderful post. You are a truly wise man.

It all makes more sense to me now when I recall the words spoken to Moses on Siani, "I am that I am", or alternatively since I've found that both interpretations are likely to be authentic,"I am (the one) who brings all things into existence".

Yes..and the Greeks were on this thread likely as not when Gnostic beliefs were passed about. Knowing is surely the center of all. The 'dreamer's dream' as Peter Gabriel would sing much later.

A really great thread everyone !!

Kindest Regards, Inhumility!
What are these numbers, which you all understand, and I don't? Would somebody explain for me, please?
I didn't mean to overlook your question last night. The numbers are the Strong's Concordance numbers, in this case for the Greek words. One would use the Strong's to look up a word in a Bible verse, find the number, and match the definition. That is one way a student can look to understand the actual words used and what the accepted general meanings are without actually going through the trouble of learning the languages of Greek and Hebrew (a short cut that saves many years of instruction.) In this way one can see how various words are used in the Bible. One classic illustration would be the English word "hell." In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word is "sheol" and roughly means "the grave." In the New Testament, however, there are three different words with three different meanings that are translated into English as "hell." This is elaborated on elsewhere, so I will not repeat the lesson here. I bring it up only to show why the Strong's is used and the reason why, because in this instance the word translated in English to "the Word" carries a great deal of nuance in the original Greek that is lost in translation.
Deut 6:5 "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might."

Jesus said...

Luke 10:27 "...Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.

Does the addition by Jesus of "mind" in the NT have anything to do with the developing Logos concept?

(don't really know how to phrase it...)
Does the addition by Jesus of "mind" in the NT have anything to do with the developing Logos concept?

I'm not sure we can push the connection that far, but you are in the right area. Certainly Luke had an Hellenic education, and so to disregard the mind in the constituent of the person would have been something of an oversight for him. The Logos is Johannine, and he may have drawn on HellenoHebraic sources for the concept, Philo of Alexandria for one, rather than directly from the Greek.

The Hebrew mentality did not give quite the primacy to mind as did the Greek, but that is not to say they were unaware or ignored it, they simply expressed it differently – the heart:

"And thou shalt speak to all the wise of heart, whom I have filled
with the spirit of wisdom," (Exodus 28:3)

"I have put wisdom in the heart of every skilful man," (31:6)

"And all the men that were wise of heart, to accomplish the work of
the tabernacle," (36:8)

So the Hebrews saw 'wisdom' as practical, and their anthropology is a practical anthropology, rather than speculative which I think we can say defines in some part the Hellenic mind.

Afterthought ...

We cannot equate the Hebrew 'heart' to the Hellenic 'mind' entirely, without offence to the Hebrew notion ... the heart comprises the whole person, as well as the core of being, or essential nature (which the Hellenic mind does not), and this was carried into Christianity and, subsequently, Western thought. So we qualify a feeling, knowing, etc., with 'in my heart' or moreso, 'in my heart of hearts' suggests, to me at least, a much deeper and meaningful knowing then when we say 'in my mind'.

But yes, I think we can say the Lucan thought, along with the Johannine, the Stoic, etc., are all philosophical streams that fed the idea of the Logos.

Certainly the Christians saw they had much in common with the Stoic ideal. The four virtues of stoicism, for example, are wisdom, courage, justice, and temperance ...

Wisdom says "If anyone loves righteousness, Wisdom's labours are virtues; for she teaches temperance and prudence, justice, and courage." (8:7) and the author being an Alexandrian Jew, there is no doubt he would have been schooled in Stoic philosophy.

The author of Wisdom (as the author of Proverbs) hypostasises 'Wisdom' and so 'prudence' replaces her in the Stoic quaternary.

Deut 6:5 "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might."

Jesus said...

Luke 10:27 "...Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.

Does the addition by Jesus of "mind" in the NT have anything to do with the developing Logos concept?

(don't really know how to phrase it...)
Well, when I think of Mind and The Word, I think of how much more Mind is connected to "listening," {and "understanding,"} rather than to "speaking."