Defining “Logos”

6a00e008d62947883400e5535a7acd8834We are going to begin by defining our terms, and we are going to start by defining the least controversial of the two: logos

As a Christian, I was always handed one passage of Scripture and told that logos is “word” is Jesus. John 1:1 was the proof text. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with the passage mentioned, I will quote it here.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (ESV)

God, here, is referring to Jesus, as shown a few verses later.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (1:14)

But this does little for a Western mind to define the full extent of the idea behind logos. The author of the book of John is saying something a lot bigger than that the means employed by God to create the cosmos became a living, breathing entity and made his home here with us. As crucial as this idea is for the Christian religion, this is only making an esoteric statement with no real practical application. Essentially, what John was doing was redefining logos entirely.

Logos does indeed mean word, but it refers to the rational or the logical. “Scientific discourse” if you will. A systematic way of looking at the world and breaking it down to make it somewhat understandable.

John is also saying that the logical is compatible with the spiritual. The two go hand-in-hand. In a literal sense, John says here, the logical and spiritual are indeed on the same path as one another; that they can even exist in equal measure in the life of a man.

Keep this in mind as we move next time into a definition of mythos.

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