from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. In Presocratic philosophy, the principle governing the cosmos. In Stoicism, the active, material, rational principle of the cosmos
- n. Among the Sophists, the topics of rational argument.
- n. In Aristotelian philosophy, the appeal to reason.
- n. A form of rhetoric in which the writer or speaker uses logic as the main argument
- n. The word of God, which itself has creative power; a hypostasis associated with divine wisdom
- n. The creative Second Person of the Trinity, which simultaneously is Himself God and also with God the Father.
- n. Graphic representations of an aligned set of sequences, such as DNA binding sites or protein sequences. Called logos because a given graphical representation aggregates disparate elements, much as does an artistic corporate logo.
- n. Plural form of logo.
Philo used the term logos more than thirteen hundred times in his writings that are still available for us.5 The Logos is the instrument of mediation for a transcendent God who—following the Greek philosophers—was pure spirit being who was unable to have contact with the physical universe he had created.
There is disagreement about exactly what Heraclitus meant by using the term logos, but it is clear from
It appears that he took the concepts of speech, ratio, and intelligence that were all contained in the word logos and personified them in his use of Logos as a technical term.
The term logos, by the time of John, had had a long philosophical history, and it is to that history and to Greek philosophy that we should turn in order to understand it, and to put it into its proper context.
Similarly, such a Gentile and a Jew would have noticed a similarity between Philo's use of the term logos, and John's.
Philo, Ronald Williamson tells us, used the term logos "very frequently", but "partly because the ideas it was used to express are difficult and complex ones, and partly because Philo's own thought is also profound and complex, it is difficult to give a clear and coherent statement of Philo's thought in this area".
I just realized that I am not being as helpful as I could: my suggestion is merely that the term logos should be translated consistently throughout the verse and that its meaning is best captured by a word or phrase that speaks to the creative gesture that God made in the Beginning.
That said, John's use of the term logos would certainly have been familiar to his Greek-speaking audience.
The scholar Faust, meditating in his cell, translates the first line of the Gospel According to John, “In the beginning was the word logos”; then, dissatisfied with the description he says “the feeling,” which also does not quite do; finally and definitively he chooses to reinterpret it as “the deed.”
Behind our English term word lies the Greek word logos.