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What is the Logos?

Logos is a Greek word literally translated as "word, speech, or utterance." However, in Greek philosophy, Logos refers to divine reason or the power that puts sense into the world making order instead of chaos. It is the idea of a word uttered by a living voice that embodies a concept or teaches a doctrine. It is how ideas are communicated and brought to life.

Hebrew philosophy had a similar concept to the Greek Logos where life-giving God Himself was referred to in the terms "the Word of God." In Genesis 15:1, the Bible states, "After these things, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: 'Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great'." Jewish rabbis used this phrase, "the Word of God," to refer to God Himself. In fact, ancient Hebrew editions of the Old Testament changed Exodus 19:17 from "Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God" to "…to meet the Word of God." So both Greek and Jewish philosophy used the expression "Word" to refer to God, His divine reasoning, and His connection with the world.

In the Gospel of John, John writes "In the beginning was the Word (Logos), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" (John 1:1). John appealed to his readers by saying in essence, "You've been thinking, talking, and writing about the Word for centuries and now I will tell you who He is." Thus John introduced Jesus in terms his audience understood, showing that Jesus is God. He wrote that the Word was "in the beginning" meaning He is eternal; that He was "with God" in heaven equal to God before coming to earth; that "all things were made through him" (John 1:3) showing that He is Creator and is Himself an uncreated being (note, too, the similarities between John 1 and Genesis 1); and that He "became flesh and dwelt among us" (John 1:14) showing Jesus to be God incarnate. It is not until verse 17 that John names this Logos as Jesus Christ. He wanted his readers to engage with the realities of what they meant when they spoke of the Logos or "Word of God" and how all those things are fulfilled in the person of Jesus.

Jesus is God Himself who brings life and order to the chaos of our world. His incarnation was how God connected with the world, and John used the phrase Logos to help his audience connect with Jesus in a way that made sense to them.


Related Truth:

What does it mean that Jesus is the Word of God? What are John 1:1, 14 talking about?

What does John 1:14 mean when it says the Word became flesh?

How are both Jesus and the Bible the Word of God?

Is Jesus Christ God?

Jesus' mission – What was it?


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