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Logos (pronounced /ˈloʊɡɒs/ or /ˈlɒgɒs/; Greek λόγος logos) is an important term in philosophy, analytical psychology, rhetoric and religion.

Heraclitus (ca. 535475 BC) established the term in Western philosophy as meaning both the source and fundamental order of the cosmos. The sophists used the term to mean discourse, and Aristotle applied the term to rational discourse. The Stoic philosophers identified the term with the divine animating principle pervading the universe. After Judaism came under Hellenistic influence, Philo adopted the term into Jewish philosophy. The Gospel of John identifies Jesus as the incarnation of the Logos, through which all things are made. The gospel further identifies the Logos as divine (theos).[1] Second-century Christian Apologists, such as Justin Martyr, identified Jesus as the Logos or Word of God, a distinct intermediary between God and the world.[2]

In current use, Logos may refer to the Christian sense, identifying Jesus with the Word of God, though in academic discussions the term is more directly used in a rhetorical discussion.

Contents

Etymology

In ordinary, non-technical Greek, logos had two overlapping meanings. One meaning referred to an instance of speaking: "sentence, saying, oration"; the other meaning was the antithesis of ergon (ἔργον) or energeia (ἐνέργεια), meaning "action" or "work", which was commonplace. Despite the conventional translation as "word", it is not used for a word in the grammatical sense; instead, the term lexis (λέξις) is used. However, both logos and lexis derive from the same verb legō (λέγω), meaning "to count, tell, say, speak".[3] Logos also means the inward intention underlying the speech act: "hypothesis, thought, grounds for belief or action." [4]

The primary meaning of logos is: something said; by implication a subject, topic of discourse, or reasoning. Secondary meanings such as logic, reasoning, etc. derive from the fact that if one is capable of legein (λέγειν; infinitive of legō), i.e. speech, then intelligence and reason are assumed.

Its semantic field extends beyond "word" to notions such as "thought, speech, account, meaning, reason, proportion, principle, standard", or "logic". In English, the word is the root of "logic," and of the "-ology" suffix (e.g., geology).[5]

Use in ancient philosophy

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Heraclitus

The writing of Heraclitus (ca. 535–475 BC) was the first place where the word logos was given special attention in ancient Greek philosophy.[6] Though Heraclitus "quite deliberately plays on the various meanings of logos",[7] there is no compelling reason to suppose that he used it in a special technical sense, significantly different from the way it was used in ordinary Greek of his time.[8]

This LOGOS holds always but humans always prove unable to understand it, both before hearing it and when they have first heard it. For though all things come to be in accordance with this LOGOS, humans are like the inexperienced when they experience such words and deeds as I set out, distinguishing each in accordance with its nature and saying how it is. But other people fail to notice what they do when awake, just as they forget what they do while asleep. (Diels-Kranz 22B1)

For this reason it is necessary to follow what is common. But although the LOGOS is common, most people live as if they had their own private understanding. (Diels-Kranz 22B2)

Listening not to me but to the LOGOS it is wise to agree that all things are one. (Diels-Kranz 22B50)[9]

Aristotle's rhetorical logos

Aristotle defined logos as argument from reason, one of the three modes of persuasion. The other two modes are pathos (Greek: πάθος), persuasion by means of emotional appeal, and ethos, persuasion through convincing listeners of one's moral competence. An argument based on logos needs to be logical, and in fact the term logic derives from it. Logos normally implies numbers, polls, and other mathematical or scientific data.

Logos has some advantages:

  • Data are (ostensibly) difficult to manipulate, so it is harder to argue against a logos argument.
  • Logos makes the speaker look prepared and knowledgeable to the audience, enhancing ethos.

The Stoics

In Stoic philosophy, which began with Zeno of Citium c. 300 BC, the logos was the active reason pervading the universe and animating it. It was conceived of as material, and is usually identified with God or Nature. The Stoics also referred to the seminal logos, ("logos spermatikos") or the law of generation in the universe, which was the principle of the active reason working in inanimate matter. Humans, too, each possess a portion of the divine logos.[10]

Philo of Alexandria

Philo (20 BC - 50 AD), a Hellenized Jew, used the term logos to mean the creative principle. Philo followed the Platonic distinction between imperfect matter and perfect idea. The logos was necessary, he taught, because God cannot come into contact with matter. He sometimes identified logos as divine wisdom. He taught that the Logos was the image of God, after which the human mind (νοῦς) was made. He calls the Logos the "archangel of many names," "taxiarch" (corps-commander), the "name of God," also the "heavenly Adam", [11] the "man, the word of the eternal God." The Logos is also designated as "high priest," in reference to the exalted position which the high priest occupied after the Exile as the real center of the Jewish state. The Logos, like the high priest, is the expiator of sins, and the mediator and advocate for men: ἱκέτης ("Quis Rerum Divinarum Heres Sit," § 42 [i. 501], and παράκλητος ("De Vita Mosis," iii. 14 [ii. 155]).[12] “The Logos is the first-born and the eldest and chief of the angels.” [13]

Use in Christianity

Christ the Logos

The Greek word Logos (λόγος) is traditionally translated as “Word.” French translations sometimes use “Verb” which has a dynamic quality. The English “Message” or “Expression of the Mind” may also be appropriate attempts to convey the nuance of the Greek concept. The Jewish-Alexandrian theologian and philosopher Philo wrote extensively about the Logos in ways that are reminiscent of New Testament theology. For instance, his teaching that “For the Logos of the living God being the bond of every thing, as has been said before, holds all things together, and binds all the parts, and prevents them from being loosened or separated” echoes echoes Colossians 1:17.

Christians who profess belief in the Trinity often consider John 1:1 to be a central text in their belief that Jesus is God, in connection with the idea that the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are equals.

The Fourth Gospel may give answers to three groups: Jews, Gnostics, and followers of John the Baptist.

  • Jews. To the rabbis who spoke of the Torah (Law) as preexistent, as God's instrument in creation, and is the source of light and life, John replied that these claims apply rather to the Logos.
  • Gnostics. To the Gnostics who would deny a real incarnation, John's answer was most emphatic: "the Word became flesh."[Jn 1:14]
  • Followers of John the Baptist. To those who stopped with John the Baptist, he made it clear that John was not the Light but only witness to the Light. [Jn 1:6ff]
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 God in self-revelation (Light) and redemption (Life). He is God to the extent that he can be present to man and knowable to man. The Logos is God,[Jn 1:1] and the risen Christ is worshiped by Thomas, who fell at his feet saying, "My Lord and my God."[20:28] Yet the Logos is in some sense distinguishable from God, for "the Logos was with God."[1:1] God and the Logos are not two beings, and yet they are also not simply identical. In contrast to the Logos, God can be conceived (in principle at least) also apart from his revelatory action─although we must not forget that the Bible speaks of God only in his revelatory action. The paradox that the Logos is God and yet it is in some sense distinguishable from God is maintained in the body of the Gospel. That God as he acts and as he is revealed does not "exhaust" God as he is, is reflected in sayings attributed to Jesus: I and the Father are one"[Jn 10:30] and also, "the Father is greater than I."[14:28] The Logos is God active in creation, revelation, and redemption. Jesus Christ not only gives God's Word to us humans; he is the Word.[1:14] [14:6] He is the true word─ultimate reality revealed in a Person. The Logos is God, distinguishable and thought yet not separable in fact.

Frank Stagg, New Testament Theology.[14]

Christian apologist Justin Martyr (c 150) identified Jesus as the Logos. He portrayed Jesus not as "the Maker of all things" but as "the Angel of the Lord", subject to the Maker of all things.[15] Justin wrote that the Logos had distributed truth to all people, that it had taken human form in Jesus to teach the truth and to redeem humanity from demons, and that Jesus was therefore worthy of worship as on in second place to God.[16]

Early Christians who opposed the concept of Jesus as the Logos c 170 were known as alogi.

John 1:1

The Gospel of John begins with a Hymn to the Word which identifies Jesus as the Logos and the Logos as divine. The KJV, NKJV and other major, modern-day versions render the last phrase, "the Word was God." 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[17] (cf. Proverbs 8:22-36).

The Bible of Jehovah's Witnesses contains the controversial rendering of John 1:1 as "...the Word was a god" (New World Translation—NWT).

At John 1:1 there are two occurrences of the Greek noun the·os' (god). The first occurrence refers to Almighty God, with whom the Word was ("and the Word [lo'gos] was with God [a form of the·os']"). This first the·os' is preceded by the word ton (the), a form of the Greek definite article that points to a distinct identity, in this case Almighty God ("and the Word was with [the] God").

On the other hand, there is no article before the second the·os' at John 1:1. So a literal translation would read, "and god was the Word." Yet we have seen that many translations render this second the·os' (a predicate noun) as "divine," "godlike," or "a god." On what authority do they do this?

The Koine Greek language had a definite article ("the"), but it did not have an indefinite article ("a" or "an"). So when a predicate noun is not preceded by the definite article, it may be indefinite, depending on the context.

The Journal of Biblical Literature says that expressions "with an anarthrous [no article] predicate preceding the verb, are primarily qualitative in meaning." As the Journal notes, this indicates that the lo'gos can be likened to a god. It also says of John 1:1: "The qualitative force of the predicate is so prominent that the noun [the·os'] cannot be regarded as definite."

So John 1:1 highlights the quality of the Word, that he was "divine," "godlike," "a god," but not Almighty God. This harmonizes with the rest of the Bible, which shows that Jesus, here called "the Word" in his role as God's Spokesman, was an obedient subordinate sent to earth by his Superior, Almighty God.

There are many other Bible verses in which almost all translators in other languages consistently insert the article "a" when translating Greek sentences with the same structure. For example, at Mark 6:49, when the disciples saw Jesus walking on water, the King James Version says: "They supposed it had been a spirit." In the Koine Greek, there is no "a" before "spirit." But almost all translations in other languages add an "a" in order to make the rendering fit the context. In the same way, since John 1:1 shows that the Word was with God, he could not be God but was "a god," or "divine."

Joseph Henry Thayer, a theologian and scholar who worked on the American Standard Version, stated simply: "The Logos was divine, not the divine Being himself." And Jesuit John L. McKenzie wrote in his Dictionary of the Bible: "Jn 1:1 should rigorously be translated...'the word was a divine being.'"

Among the challenges with either translation is the application of Colwell's Rule. While critics of the deity of Jesus use this rule to demonstrate the use of John 1:1 is a weak argument, the converse can also be stated. The lack of an article ("the") does not necessitate the translation "a god". Colwell's Rule does not determine the definiteness verses the indefiniteness ("the" verses "a") so the translation must be taken in the context of the text.[18]

John's placement of the Word at Creation reflects Genesis, in which God (Elohim) speaks the world into being, beginning with words "Let there be light."

Translation Comparisons
Translation A ("God") Translation B ("a god," "divine")
1611 "the Word was God" King James Version (Authorized Version)
1808 "and the word was a god"—The New Testament, in An Improved Version, Upon the Basis of Archbishop William Newcome's New Translation: With a Corrected Text, London.|
1864 "and a god was the Word" — Emphatic Diaglott (J21, interlinear reading), by Benjamin Wilson, New York and London.
1867 "and the Word was God" Darby Translation
1898 "and the Word was God" Young's Literal Translation
1928 "and the Word was a divine being." La Bible du Centenaire, L'Evangile selon Jean, by Maurice Goguel.
1935 "and the Word was divine" — The Bible—An American Translation, by J. M. Powis Smith and Edgar J. Goodspeed, Chicago.
1946 "the Word was God" Revised Standard Version, to be understood as identifying Jesus as divine.[19] 1946 "and of a divine kind was the Word." Das Neue Testament, by Ludwig Thimme.
1950 "and the Word was a god"—New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (version of the Jehovah's Witnesses), Brooklyn.
1954 "and the Word was God Himself" Amplified Bible
1958 "and the Word was a God." The New Testament, by James L. Tomanek.
1960 "and the Word was God" New American Standard Bible
1973 "the Word was God" New International Version 1975 "and a god (or, of a divine kind) was the Word." Das Evangelium nach Johannes, by Siegfried Schulz.
1978 "and godlike kind was the Logos." Das Evangelium nach Johannes, by Johannes Schneider.
1995 "and was truly God" Contemporary English Version
1996 "and the Word was God" New Living Translation
1998 "and it [the divine word] was what God was"—Scholar's Version, meant to convey general meaning rather than literal translation, from the Jesus Seminar[20].
2001 "and God was the word" Wycliffe New Testament
2001 "and the Word was God" English Standard Version

Translations

Logos is usually translated as "the Word" in English Bibles such as the KJV.

Gordon Clark (1902 - 1985), a Calvinist theologian and expert on pre-Socratic philosophy, famously translated Logos as "Logic": "In the beginning was the Logic, and the Logic was with God and the Logic was God." He meant to imply by this translation that the laws of logic were contained in the Bible itself and were therefore not a secular principle imposed on the Christian world view.

The notorious question of how to translate logos is treated in Goethe's Faust, with Faust finally opting for die Tat, ("deed/action").

Some Chinese translations of the Gospel of John have used the word "Tao (道)".[21]

The term Logos also reflects the term dabar Yahweh ("Word of God") in the Hebrew Bible.

In Roman Catholicism

On April 1, 2005, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (who would become Pope Benedict XVI just over two weeks later) referred to the Christian religion as the religion of the Logos:

Christianity must always remember that it is the religion of the "Logos." It is faith in the "Creator Spiritus," in the Creator Spirit, from which proceeds everything that exists. Today, this should be precisely its philosophical strength, in so far as the problem is whether the world comes from the irrational, and reason is not, therefore, other than a "sub-product," on occasion even harmful of its development or whether the world comes from reason, and is, as a consequence, its criterion and goal. The Christian faith inclines toward this second thesis, thus having, from the purely philosophical point of view, really good cards to play, despite the fact that many today consider only the first thesis as the only modern and rational one par excellence. However, a reason that springs from the irrational, and that is, in the final analysis, itself irrational, does not constitute a solution for our problems. Only creative reason, which in the crucified God is manifested as love, can really show us the way. In the so necessary dialogue between secularists and Catholics, 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.[22]

Catholics can use logos to refer to the moral law written in human hearts. This comes from Jeremiah 31:33 (prophecy of new covenant): "I will write my law on their hearts." St. Justin wrote that those who have not accepted Christ but follow the moral law of their hearts (logos) follow God, because it is God who has written the moral law in each person's heart. Though man may not explicitly recognize God, he has the spirit of Christ if he follows Jesus' moral laws, written in his heart.

Jung's analytical psychology

In Carl Jung's analytical psychology, the logos is the masculine principle of rationality and consciousness. Its female counterpart, eros (Greek, love), represents interconnectedness. Carl Jung used the term for the masculine principle of rationality. A form of government where 'words' are the most important thing is called logocracy.

Similar concepts

In modern philosophy

Early 20th century movements towards specificity of operational definitions have developed an analog to logos in the concept of world view (or worldview) when used as Weltanschauung (German pronunciation: [ˈvɛltanˌʃaʊ.ʊŋ]) meaning a "look onto the world." It implies a concept fundamental to German philosophy and epistemology and refers to a wide world perception. Additionally, it refers to the framework of ideas and beliefs through which an individual interprets the world and interacts in it. The German word is also in wide use in English, as well as the translated form world outlook. (Compare with ideology). Weltanschauung is the conceptualization that all ideology, beliefs and political movements are both limited and defined by this schemata of common linguistic understanding.

The idea is similar to Apollinarism.

See also

References

Notes

  1. ^ May, Herbert G. and Bruce M. Metzger. The New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocrypha. 1977.
  2. ^ "Christology." Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005
  3. ^ see entries for "λόγος" and jdm "λέγω (B)" in Liddell, Henry and Robert Scott. 1996. A Greek-English Lexicon. Revised by H.S. Jones and R. McKenzie. Ninth edition, with revised supplement. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
  4. ^ LSJ s. logos, lexis.
  5. ^ Oxford Dictionary definition: -logy repr. F. -logie, medL. -logia, Gr. -logíā, which is partly f. lógos discourse, speech, partly f. log-, var. of leg-, légein speak; hence derivs. in -logia mean either
  6. ^ F.E. Peters, Greek Philosophical Terms, New York University Press, 1967.
  7. ^ K.F. Johansen, "Logos" in Donald Zeyl (ed.), Encyclopedia of Classical Philosophy, Greenwood Press 1997.
  8. ^ pp. 419ff. , W. K. C. Guthrie, A History of Greek Philosophy, vol. 1, Cambridge University Press, 1962.
  9. ^ Translations from Richard D. McKirahan, Philosophy before Socrates, Hackett, 1994.
  10. ^ Tripolitis, A., Religions of the Hellenistic-Roman Age, pages 37-38. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing.
  11. ^ comp. "De Confusione Linguarum," § 11 [i. 411]
  12. ^ Jewishencyclopedia.com
  13. ^ UTM.edu
  14. ^ Frank Stagg, New Testament Theology, Broadman, 1962. ISBN: 978-0805416138
  15. ^ In the account of the Angel of the Lord who visited Gideon (Judges 6), the visitor is alternately spoken of as "the Angel of the Lord" and as "the Lord". Similarly, in Judges 13:13, the Angel of the Lord appears, and both Manoah and his wife exclaim: "We shall certainly die because we have seen God. Justin interpreted as Christ the angel who spoke with Abraham in Genesis 18, and argued for the divinity of Christ by saying: "(T)here is ... another God and Lord subject to the Maker of all things; who is also called an Angel, because He announces to men whatsoever the Maker of all things — above whom there is no other God — wishes to announce to them" (Dialogue with Trypho, 56). For a detailed study of the significance Justin saw in the title of "Angel" given to the Messiah in the Septuagint version of Isaiah 9:6, the then most widely known version of that text, see Günther Juncker, "Christ As Angel: The Reclamation Of A Primitive Title", Trinity Journal 15:2 (Fall 1994): 221–250.
  16. ^ "Justin Martyr." Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005
  17. ^ Harris, Stephen L., Understanding the Bible. Palo Alto: Mayfield. 1985. "John" p. 302-310
  18. ^ Wallace, Daniel B. Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1996. p. 5-6.
  19. ^ May, Herbert G. and Bruce M. Metzger. The New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocrypha. 1977. p. 1286
  20. ^ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_Seminar
  21. ^ Me.com
  22. ^ Cardinal Ratzinger on Europe's crisis of culture, retrieved from Catholiceducation.org

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

LOGOS (Aoyos), a common term in ancient philosophy and theology. It expresses the idea of an immanent reason in the world, and, under various modifications, is met with in Indian, Egyptian and Persian systems of thought. But the idea was developed mainly in Hellenic and Hebrew philosophy, and we may distinguish the following stages: i. The Hellenic Logos. - To the Greek mind, which saw in the world a e60pos (ordered whole), it was natural to regard the world as the product of reason, and reason as the ruling principle in the world. So we find a Logos doctrine more or less prominent from the dawn of Hellenic thought to its eclipse. It rises in the realm of physical speculation, passes over into the territory of ethics and theology, and makes its way through at least three well-defined stages. These are marked off by the names of Heraclitus of Ephesus, the Stoics and Philo.

It acquires its first importance in the theories of Heraclitus (6th century B.C.), who, trying to account for the aesthetic order of the visible universe, broke away to some extent from the purely physical conceptions of his predecessors and discerned at work in the cosmic process a Aoyos analogous to the reasoning power in man. On the one hand the Logos is identified with yvkµrt and connected with Slim, which latter seems to have the function of correcting deviations from the eternal law that rules in things. On the other hand it is not positively distinguished either from the ethereal fire, or from the and the avayKf according to which all things occur. Heraclitus holds that nothing material can be thought of without this Logos, but he does not conceive the Logos itself to be immaterial. Whether it is regarded as in any sense possessed, of intelligence and consciousness is a question variously answered. But there is most to say for the negative. This Logos is not one above the world or prior to it, but in the world and inseparable from it. Man's soul is a part of it. It is relation, therefore, as Schleiermacher expresses it, or reason, not speech or word. And it is objective, not subjective, reason. Like a law of nature, objective in the world, it gives order and regularity to the movement of things, and makes the system rational.3 The failure of Heraclitus to free himself entirely from the physical hypotheses of earlier times prevented his speculation from influencing his successors. With Anaxagoras a conception entered which gradually triumphed over that of Heraclitus, namely, the conception of a supreme, intellectual principle, not identified with the world but independent of it. This, however, was vas, not Logos. In the Platonic and Aristotelian systems, too, the theory of ideas involved an absolute separation between the material world and the world of higher reality, and though the term Logos is found the conception is vague and undeveloped. With Plato the term selected for the expression of the principle to which the order visible in the universe is due is vows or aocbta, not Aoyos. It is in the pseudo-Platonic Epinomis that Aoyos appears as a synonym for vous. In Aristotle, again, the principle which sets all nature under the rule of thought, and directs it towards a rational end, is vows, or the divine spirit itself; while Aoyos is a term with many senses, used as more or less identical with a number of phrases, ou €v€Ka, ivEpyaaa, ivr€X aa, ovwia, e hos, popcIA, &c.

In the reaction from Platonic dualism, however, the Logos doctrine reappears in great breadth. It is a capital element in the system of the Stoics. With their teleological views of the world they naturally predicated an active principle pervading it and determining it. This operative principle is called both Logos and God. It is conceived of as material, and is described in terms used equally of nature and of God. There is at the same time the special doctrine of the Aoyos o'7rep,uartn6s, the seminal Logos, or the law of generation in the world, the principle of the active reason working in dead matter. This parts into Aoyos orcpµartKoi, which are akin, not to the Platonic ideas, but rather to the Xlyot 'vuXot of Aristotle. In man, too, there is a Logos which is his characteristic possession, and which is ivBcaeeros, as long as it is a thought resident within his breast, Cf. Schleiermacher's Herakleitos der Dunkle; art. Heraclitus and authorities there quoted.

but irp040parcos when it is expressed as a word. This distinction between Logos as ratio and Logos as oratio, so much used subsequently by Philo and the Christian fathers, had been so far anticipated by Aristotle's distinction between the g w Xo'yos and the Xoyos iv rff Ox?j. It forms the point of attachment by which the Logos doctrine connected itself with Christianity. The Logos of the Stoics (q.v.) is a reason in the world gifted with intelligence, and analogous to the reason in man.

2. The Hebrew Logos. - In the later Judaism the earlier anthropomorphic conception of God and with it the sense of the divine nearness had been succeeded by a belief which placed God at a remote distance, severed from man and the world by a deep chasm. The old familiar name Yahweh became a secret; its place was taken by such general expressions as the Holy, the Almighty, the Majesty on High, the King of Kings, and also by the simple word "Heaven." Instead of the once powerful confidence in the immediate presence of God there grew up a mass of speculation regarding on the one hand the distant future, on the other the distant past. Various attempts were made to bridge the gulf between God and man, including the angels, and a number of other hybrid forms of which it is hard to say whether they are personal beings or abstractions. The Wisdom, the Shekinah or Glory, and the Spirit of God are intermediate beings of this kind, and even the Law came to be regarded as an independent spiritual entity. Among these conceptions that of the Word of God had an important place, especially the creative Word of Genesis i. Here as in the other cases we cannot always say whether the Word is regarded as a mere attribute or activity of God, or an independent being, though there is a clear tendency towards the latter. The ambiguity lies in the twofold purpose of these activities: (1) to establish communication with God; (2) to prevent direct connexion between God and the world. The word of the God of revelation is represented as the creative principle (e.g. Gen. i. 3; Psalm xxxiii. 6), as the executor of the divine judgments, (Hosea vi. 5), as healing (Psalm cvii. 20), as possessed of almost personal qualities (Isaiah lv. I 1; Psalm cxlvii. 15). Along with this comes the doctrine of the angel of Yahweh, the angel of the covenant, the angel of the presence, in whom God manifests Himself, and who is sometimes identified with Yahweh or Elohim (Gen. xvi. 1r, 13; xxxii. 29-31; Exod. iii. 2; xiii. 21), sometimes distinguished from Him (Gen. xxii. 15, &c.; xxiv. 7; xxviii. 12, &c.), and sometimes presented in both aspects (Judges ii., vi.; Zech. i.). To this must be added the doctrine of Wisdom, given in the books of Job and Proverbs. At one time it is exhibited as an attribute of God (Prov. iii. 19). At another it is strongly personified, so as to become rather the creative thought of God than a quality (Prov. viii. 22). Again it is described as proceeding from God as the principle of creation and objective to Him. In these and kindred passages (Job xv. 7, &c.) it is on the way to become hypostatized.

The Hebrew conception is partially associated with the Greek in the case of Aristobulus, the predecessor of Philo, and, according to the fathers, the founder of the Alexandrian school. He speaks of Wisdom in a way reminding us of the book of Proverbs. The pseudo-Solomonic Book of Wisdom (generally supposed to be the work of an Alexandrian flourishing somewhere between Aristobulus and Philo) deals both with the Wisdom and with the Logos. It fails to hypostatize either. But it represents the former as the framer of the world, as the power or spirit of God, active alike in the physical, the intellectual, and the ethical domain, and apparently objective to God. In the Targums, on the other hand, the three doctrines of the word, the angel, and the wisdom of God converge in a very definite conception. In the Jewish theology God is represented as purely transcendent, having no likeness of nature with man, and making no personal entrance into history. Instead of the immediate relation of God to the world the Targums introduce the ideas of the Memra (word) and the Shechina (real presence). This Memra (= Ma'amar) or, as it is also designated, Dibbura, is a hypostasis that takes the place of God when direct intercourse with man is in view. In all those passages of the Old Testament where anthropomorphic terms are used of God, the Memra is substituted for God. The Memra proceeds from God, and retains the creaturely relation to God. It does not seem to have been identified with the Messiah.' ' Cf. the Targum of Onkelos on the Pentateuch under Gen. vii. 16, xvii. 2, xxi. 20; Exod. xix. 16, &c.; the Jerusalem Targum on 3. Philo. - In the Alexandrian philosophy, as represented by the Hellenized Jew Philo, the Logos doctrine assumes a leading place and shapes a new career for itself. Philo's doctrine is moulded by three forces - Platonism, Stoicism and Hebraism. He detaches the Logos idea from its connexion with Stoic materialism and attaches it to a thorough-going Platonism. It is Plato's idea of the Good regarded as creatively active. Hence, instead of being merely immanent in the Cosmos, it has an independent existence. Platonic too is the doctrine of the divine architect who seeks to realize in the visible universe the archetypes already formed in his mind. Philo was thus able to make the Logos theory a bridge between Judaism and Greek philosophy. It preserved the monotheistic idea yet afforded a description of the Divine activity in terms of Hellenic thought; the Word of the Old Testament is one with the X6yos of the Stoics. And thus in Philo's conception the Logos is much more than "the principle of reason, informing the infinite variety of things, and so creating the World-Order"; it is also the divine dynamic, the energy and self-revelation of God. The Stoics indeed sought, more or less consciously, by their doctrine of the Logos as the Infinite Reason to escape from the belief in a divine Creator, but Philo, Jew to the core, starts from the Jewish belief in a supreme, self-existing God, to whom the reason of the world must be subordinated though related. The conflict of the two conceptions (the Greek and the Hebrew) led him into some difficulty; sometimes he represents the Logos as an independent and even personal being, a "second God," sometimes as merely an aspect of the divine activity. And though passages of the first class must no doubt be explained figuratively - for Philo would not assert the existence of two Divine agents - it remains true that the two conceptions cannot be fused. The Alexandrian philosopher wavers between the two theories and has to accord to the Logos of Hellas a semiindependent position beside the supreme God of Judaea. He speaks of the Logos (1) as the agency by which God reveals Himself, in some measure to all men, in greater degree to chosen souls. The appearances recorded in the Old Testament are manifestations of the Logos, and the knowledge of God possessed by the great leaders and teachers of Israel is due to the same source; (2) as the agency whereby man, enmeshed by illusion, lays hold of the higher spiritual life and rising above his partial point of view participates in the universal reason. The Logos is thus the means of redemption; those who realize its activity being emancipated from the tyranny of circumstance into the freedom of the eternal.

4. The Fourth Gospel

Among the influences that shaped the Fourth Gospel that of the Alexandrian philosophy must be assigned a distinct, though not an exaggerated importance. There are other books in the New Testament that bear the same impress, the epistles to the Ephesians and the Colossians, and to a much greater degree the epistle to the Hebrews. The development that had thus begun in the time of Paul reaches maturity in the Fourth Gospel, whose dependence on Philo appears (I) in the use of the allegorical method, (2) in many coincident passages, (3) in the dominant conception of the Logos. The writer narrates the life of Christ from the point of view furnished him by Philo's theory. True, the Logos doctrine is only mentioned in the prologue to the Gospel, but it is presupposed throughout the whole book. The author's task indeed was somewhat akin to that of Philo, "to transplant into the world of Hellenic culture a revelation originally given through Judaism." This is not to say that he holds the Logos doctrine in exactly the same form as Philo. On the contrary, the fact that he starts from an actual knowledge of the earthly life of Jesus, Numb. vii. 89, &c. For further information regarding the Hebrew Logos see, beside Dr Kaufmann Kohler, s.v. " Memra," Jewish Encyc. viii. 464-465, Bousset, Die Religion des Judenthums (1903), p. 34 1, and Weber, Ji dische Theologie (1897), pp. 180-184. The hypostatizing of the Divine Word in the doctrine of the Memra was probably later than the time of Philo, but it was the outcome of a mode of thinking already common in Jewish theology. The same tendency is of course expressed in the "Logos" of the Fourth Gospel.

while Philo, even when ascribing a real personality to the Logos, keeps within the bounds of abstract speculation, leads him seriously to modify the Philonic doctrine. Though the Alexandrian idea largely determines the evangelist's treatment of the history, the history similarly reacts on the idea. The prologue is an organic portion of the Gospel and not a preface written to conciliate a philosophic public. It assumes that the Logos idea is familiar in Christian theology, and vividly summarizes the main features of the Philonic conception - the eternal existence of the Logos, its relation to God (7rpds rem OE 6v, yet distinct), its creative, illuminative and redemptive activity. But the adaptation of the idea to John's account of a historical person involved at least three profound modifications: - (1) the Logos, instead of the abstraction or semi-personification of Philo, becomes fully personified. The Word that became flesh subsisted from all eternity as a distinct personality within the divine nature. (2) Much greater stress is laid upon the redemptive than upon the creative function. The latter indeed is glanced at ("All things were made by him"), merely to provide a link with earlier speculation, but what the writer is concerned about is not the mode in which the world came into being but the spiritual life which resides in the Logos and is communicated by him to men. (3) The idea of X6yos as Reason becomes subordinated to the idea of Xl yos as Word, the expression of God's will and power, the outgoing of the divine energy, life, love and light. Thus in its fundamental thought the prologue of the Fourth Gospel comes nearer to the Old Testament (and especially to Gen. i.) than to Philo. As speech goes out from a man and reveals his character and thought, so Christ is "sent out from the Father," and as the divine Word is also, in accordance with the Hebrew idea, the medium of God's quickening power.

What John thus does is to take the Logos idea of Philo and use it for a practical purpose - to make more intelligible to himself and his readers the divine nature of Jesus Christ. That this endeavour to work into the historical tradition of the life and teaching of Jesus - a hypothesis which had a distinctly foreign origin - led him into serious difficulties is a consideration that must be discussed elsewhere.

5. The Early Church. - In many of the early Christian writers, as well as in the heterodox schools, the Logos doctrine is influenced by the Greek idea. The Syrian Gnostic Basilides held (according to Irenaeus i. 24) that the Logos or Word emanated from the vas, or personified reason, as this latter emanated from the unbegotten Father. The completest type of Gnosticism, the Valentinian, regarded Wisdom as the last of the series of aeons that emanated from the original Being or Father, and the Logos as an emanation from the first two principles that issued from God, Reason (vas) and Truth. Justin Martyr, the first of the sub-apostolic fathers, taught that God produced of His own nature a rational power (Suvapcv Tiva Xoyuciv), His agent in creation, who now became man in Jesus (Dial. c. Tryph. chap. 48, 60). He affirmed also the action of the Xoyos r,repµaruK s, (Apol. i. 46; ii. 13, &c.). With Tatian (Cohort. ad. Gr. chap. 5, &c.) the Logos is the beginning of the world, the reason that comes into being as the sharer of God's rational power. With Athenagoras (Suppl. chap. 9, to) He is the prototype of the world and the energizing principle (LSia Kai Evipyeca) of things. Theophilus (Ad Autolyc. ii. 10, 24) taught that the Logos was in eternity with God as the MIT ' s EvSc6Beros, the counsellor of God, and that when the world was to be created God sent forth this counsellor (vi,µ(ovXos) from Himself as the Xoyos 7'p041opu06s, yet so that the begotten Logos did not cease to be a part of Himself. With Hippolytus (Refut. x. 32, &c.) the Logos, produced of God's own substance, is both the divine intelligence that appears in the world as the Son of God, and the idea of the universe immanent in God. The early Sabellians (comp. Eusebius, Hist. Eccl. vi. 33; Athanasius, Contra Arian. iv.) held that the Logos was a faculty of God, the divine reason, immanent in God eternally, but not in distinct personality prior to the historical manifestation in Christ. Origen, referring the act of creation to eternity instead of to time, affirmed the eternal personal existence of the Logos. In relation to God this Logos or Son was a copy of the original, and as such inferior to that. In relation to the world he was its prototype, the 1Na 1.5e&,, and its redeeming power (Contra Cels. v. 608; Frag. de princip. i. 4; De princip. i. 109, 324).

In the later developments of Hellenic speculation nothing essential was added to the doctrine of the Logos. Philo's distinction between God and His rational power or Logos in contact with the world was generally maintained by the eclectic Platonists and Neo-Platonists. By some of these this distinction was carried out to the extent of predicating (as was done by Numenius of Apamea) three Gods: - the supreme God; the second God, or Demiurge or Logos; and the third God, or the world. Plotinus explained the Xoyoc as constructive forces, proceeding from the ideas and giving form to the dead matter of sensible things (Enneads, v. 1.8 and Richter's Neu-Plat. Studien). See the histories of philosophy and theology, and works quoted under HERACLITUS, STOICS, PHILO, JOHN, THE GOSPEL OF, &C., and for a general summary of the growth of the Logos doctrine, E. Caird, Evolution of Theology in the Greek Philosophers (1904), vol. ii.; A. Harnack, History of Dogma; E. F. Scott, The Fourth Gospel, ch. v. (1906); J. M. Heinze, Die Lehre vom Logos in der griech. Philosophie (1872); J. Reville, La Doctrine du Logos (1881); Aal, Gesch. d. Logos-Idee (1899); and the Histories of Dogma, by A. Harnack, F. Loofs, R. Seeberg. (S. D. F. S.; A. J. G.)


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(Gr. Logos), one of the titles of our Lord, found only in the writings of John (John 1:1-14; 1 John 1:1; Rev. 19:13). As such, Christ is the revealer of God. His office is to make God known. "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him" (John 1:18). This title designates the divine nature of Christ. As the Word, he "was in the beginning" and "became flesh." "The Word was with God " and "was God," and was the Creator of all things (comp. Ps.33: 6; 107:20; 119:89; 147:18; Isa. 40:8).

This entry includes text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897.

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