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ὁ λόγος in John 1:1 is the Torah.

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  • ὁ λόγος in John 1:1 is the Torah.

    Modern scholarship is finally catching up. Here is a portion from a scholarly article. I suggest a full reading:


    ...That Philo’s conception of Logos has a real and profound analogy with the rabbinical understanding of Torah is recognized by Martin Hengel, who agrees in this regard with Kurt Schubert. While Schubert allows for the possibility of a direct dependence of the midrashic statement on Philo, Hengel is of the opinion that Philo and the Midrash draw on an early common tradition.4 Daniel E. Gershenson summarizes the usage of the concept of Logos as follows:

    The Word of God (devar Adonai) appears in the Bible as divine teaching, i.e., medium of revelation and guidance, … the instrument of creation … and the instrument that controls nature. The Word of the Lord is identified directly with Torah in Psalm 119 (passim), and the attributes of the Word or Torah (Psalm 89; 119) are ascribed to Wisdom in the first nine chapters of Proverbs. Indeed, Torah and Wisdom are identified in the apocryphal books Ben Sira (24:1-21, 22 ff.) and Wisdom of Solomon (6:18 ff.) in all the same aspects … Philo applies the term logos, or the holy logos, to Scripture itself, i.e. the Law (IV Quaestiones et Solutiones in Genesis 140; Som. 229) … It is sometimes the same as wisdom (I L.A. 65, etc.), because it is the most inclusive expression of the thoughts and ideas of God, which in turn are identified with the Law, or the Torah, with the pattern of all creation and with the law that directs and maintains all things. Philo’s identification of logos with Wisdom and Torah parallels the identification of Torah and Wisdom and the Word of God in rabbinic literature, and conforms to the roles assigned to each in Scripture and rabbinic sources.5

    C.H. Dodd recognized that it would be legitimate to identify Logos with Torah.6 Gerhard Kittel, too, saw a close connection between Logos and Torah in the prologue of John; quoting Otto Proksch, he considered the two terms to be interchangeable.7 Raymond E. Brown has stressed what he calls the “Semitic background” of the prologue’s use of “the Word” and mentioned in this connection, among other things, the “Personified Wisdom” and the “Jewish speculation on the Law (Torah).”8 Dodd, Kittel and Brown, however, came to different conclusions from those outlined below.

    If it is generally recognized that Wisdom equals Torah and that Wisdom equals Logos, it seems, on the grounds stated above, quite possible to close the triangle and conclude that Logos equals Torah. If a Jew heard about “The Word,” ὁ λόγος, in such an absolute use, he could hardly help but think of the Torah. In John 10:35 γραφή (Scripture, i.e., the Torah), is placed in parallel with νόμος and λόγος; in John 5:38-39 τὸν λόγον is paralleled with τὰς γραφάς, and in John 15:25 we find the same combination of λόγος, νόμος and Scripture (ὁ λόγος ὁ ἐν τῷ νόμῳ αὐτῶν γεγραμμένος). These verses from the Gospel of John itself provide support for the equation of Logos and Torah. Further support is found in the combination of the verb τηρέω) (“to observe”) with λόγος, as τηρέω is frequently used in connection with words for commandments or prescribed festivals. See John 8:51, 52, 55; 14:23 f.; 15:20; 17:7; 1 John 2:5.
    by Jacobus Schoneveld

    I found the footnote 9 to be interesting:

    The word order makes the traditional translation “and the Word was God” unlikely. In that case we would have expected καὶ ὁ λόγος ἦν ὁ θεός. Brown (op. cit.) remarks in his commentary on this verse that the grammatical rule that predicate nouns generally lack the article cannot be invoked here to prove that an identity of λόγος and θεός is meant, since the “I am” formulae (Jn. 11:25, 14:6, etc.) that imply identity, and to which “the Word was…” in the prologue is akin, have the article. Philo makes a clear distinction between ὁ θεός (with article) and θεός (without article). The former is God Himself, the source of divinity, with which Philo never identifies the λόγος. The latter, however, is used by Philo to indicate the λόγος, understood as the divine energy working in the world. I have therefore chosen “Godlike” for the translation, although even this is not entirely satisfactory. The New English Bible paraphrases: “What God was, the Word was.”

  • #2
    John 10:35 --

    εἰ ἐκείνους εἶπεν θεοὺς πρὸς οὓς ὁ λόγος τοῦ Θεοῦ ἐγένετο, καὶ οὐ δύναται λυθῆναι ἡ γραφή ,ὃν ὁ Πατὴρ ἡγίασεν καὶ ἀπέστειλεν εἰς τὸν κόσμον ὑμεῖς λέγετε ὅτι Βλασφημεῖς, ὅτι εἶπον Υἱὸς τοῦ Θεοῦ εἰμι;
    John 10:35

    First thing I noticed here is that Jesus did not consider ὁ λόγος in this verse (pre-flesh Logos) to be himself , so anyone who identifies this ὁ λόγος (which we first encounter in John 1:1) as Jesus is contradicting Jesus himself.

    Notice here Jesus defines ὁ λόγος τοῦ Θεοῦ as a thing (specifically as the Counsel of God, the Scriptures , the Torah), and not as a person. Jesus is not in this verse saying the following:

    If he called them 'gods,' to whom I (i.e. the word of God) came--and Scripture cannot be set aside--

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by John Milton View Post
      Modern scholarship is finally catching up. Here is a portion from a scholarly article. I suggest a full reading:




      by Jacobus Schoneveld

      I found the footnote 9 to be interesting:
      The logos which came to the prophets concerning the Messiah did need to be someday fulfilled. The logos which those prophets spoke was the good news concerning the coming Christ. Fulfillment of this logos meant this logos would need to become reality in the fullness of time - flesh.

      BSR - good news
      BSR - flesh

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Servant of the Lord View Post

        The logos which came to the prophets concerning the Messiah did need to be someday fulfilled. The logos which those prophets spoke was the good news concerning the coming Christ. Fulfillment of this logos meant this logos would need to become reality in the fullness of time - flesh.

        BSR - good news
        BSR - flesh
        Basar (flesh) and bsóret (gospel) are not the same words.
        I have permission to post on the Biblical Languages forum, as per email correspondence with Diane S.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Jameson View Post

          Basar (flesh) and bsóret (gospel) are not the same words.
          Totally unrelated eh?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by John Milton View Post
            John 10:35 --



            John 10:35

            First thing I noticed here is that Jesus did not consider ὁ λόγος in this verse (pre-flesh Logos) to be himself , so anyone who identifies this ὁ λόγος (which we first encounter in John 1:1) as Jesus is contradicting Jesus himself.

            Notice here Jesus defines ὁ λόγος τοῦ Θεοῦ as a thing (specifically as the Counsel of God, the Scriptures , the Torah), and not as a person. Jesus is not in this verse saying the following:
            Whether or not you believe in Logos as being the Text, or in general, the Commands of YHWH, and specifically the NT "Word" or gospel...this definition actually falls under the Semitic Dominant Meaning of "Logos."

            What God speaks forth. As opposed to the minority definition Semitically. A replacement NAME for YHWH Elohim the Tetragrammaton now being "too sacred" to be said out loud by normal men.

            Comment

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