by Jay Atkinson

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1.

When the apostle John speaks of the Word here, it is the Greek word Logos. The word Word in the Bible is translated from two Greek words, Logos and Rhema. Logos is a word used to describe the reason of God, those things that are put together in thought, collected together and expressed as words. Logos is the Greek word that logic is derived from. As you collect your own thoughts, you are using the gift of reason that God has given to you, part of the divine nature given to all as being created in His image.

The Bible is a collection of the Words of God revealed to man through His prophets and recorded. Logos is to be interpreted as to the thinking of God but also in the speech of God. That divine speech is spoken through His servants here on earth through the gift of prophecy. Jesus is the Logos as well as the entire canon of scripture. The Rhema is the method that God uses to communicate His Word to us in revelation, word of knowledge and prophecy for the edification of others. This divine Logos inspired the biblical writers through the Holy Spirit and continues to work by leading the reader to true understanding, and reveals the hidden meaning of the texts.

By the time John was ready to start his gospel, the term Logos was the common way of referring to God's revelation of Himself. The philosophy of Philo of Alexandria was extremely popular in those days. His philosophy was drawing heavily on the allegorical interpretation of Hebrew scripture and so compelling that it was starting to get more attention than the message of Jesus. The thinking world was using the term Logos to indicate the revelation of the "unknown God", and John seized it as a terrific opportunity to present the truth of Christ. John began his gospel with "in the beginning was the Logos." Without any apology the Son of Thunder states bluntly in effect: This Logos that people are referring to is a person. He is a specific person and I am going to identify Him for you. He is none other than Jesus, the anointed one, the Christ of God.

The Logos, or reason of God, became flesh and dwelt among us, Jesus for sure. The testimony of Jesus is simply our relating the good news of Jesus and of the good things that Jesus has done for us. For those of us that have truly been called, we are all called to give testimony of our faith, all called to the marriage supper and to be among the faithful with a testimony of Jesus. If this is true for us, then it only follows that we should all desire to have that spirit of prophecy. It is not all that complicated; it is simply God speaking His Word through us as we relate the gospel to others who needs to hear the word. If Jesus is the Word and He truly lives through you, your word of testimony is the Spirit of Jesus speaking through you. It is in having the mind of Christ and then speaking your mind in truth and Spirit. Once you are able to do this, the Lord will give you the confidence to speak His word to believers and non-believers alike.

The Greek word philosophy translates to the "love of wisdom." The Logos in Greek philosophy, was the divine ordering principle. It fitted the new or strange into the scheme of things. For the early church, the term Logos, which was extensively employed by Christians as they thought about the relation of Christ to God was thought to have come perhaps by way of both Stoicism and Platonism. For Aristotle, as for Plato, man possesses logos, the power of speech and reasoning. This does not mean that everything man does is rational; it simply means that man alone of animals possesses reason, which gives him the capacity of organizing his various activities by means of thought in a way no other animal can.

Charles Spurgeon once spoke of the Logos saying, "So, brethren, especially is it with the Incarnate Word. We are in the habit of calling the Bible 'the Word of God.' I suppose that is accurate enough... of this incarnate Word, this everlasting Logos, we may say that he standeth for ever. Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever."

Justin Martyr came to Christianity through Platonism, and he made the first serious attempt to reconcile Philosophy to the gospel by combining St. John's Logos with the Logos of Philo and the Stoics, a second divine principal, through which God created, and communicated with, the world.

Paul Tillich taught that every theology includes three elements. The first is Theos, God, or rather God in so far as He makes himself manifest, the element of revelation, The second is Logos, rational discourse about what God communicates when he communicates himself. And the third is kairos, the proper moment in time, the time when a theologian must speak to his own age. Christ is a cosmic figure, the very crown and summit of the creation, the logos or principle of creation which was in the beginning, the "last thing"; or principle of judgment which shall triumph at the consummation of all things. Only a Logos which takes into account the historical reality of Jesus can open the way for a total Christology capable of dealing with the changing face of history.

Starting from an examination of the world and the life within, Greek thought had arrived at the conception of an active central idea. This central idea represented the unity of the supreme principle of the world, of thought and of ethics; but it also represented, at the same time, the divinity itself as a creative and active power as distinguished from passive. Because the human soul stems from the 'divine source', continued Philo, it is capable of conceiving of the nature of divinity itself (emphasis mine.) This human ability to conceive of divinity could be done in two ways: through the spirit of prophecy, or through inner mystic meditation.

When Philo speaks of "the divine Logos", his thought is predominantly of the divine Reason and not of the divine Word. Always, from the beginningless beginning, there has been God. And always there has been Another with him, who is to God what a man's word and thought are to a man; through whom God acts; and by whom he expresses himself. It is the Logos who creates; and all things that exist were made by him. Jesus became the Word of God, the light of reason, and memory, and conscience, and hunger for God. These things are gifts to us from the Logos, and proofs that always he is striving to break in to us, seeking to lead us farther on. Solomon: "Does not wisdom cry."

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