Master of Theology (ThM)
Primary Subject Area
Yoon, Seokil, "The Meaning of the LOGOS in John 1:1-18" (2008). Masters Theses. 76.
The term λ ό γ ο ς in the New Testament is a very important word in the Bible, because it indicates the Messiah, Jesus Christ, who was predicted in the Old Testament (OT). Nevertheless, many people still do not know the meaning of the term λ ό γ ο ς . One cannot successfully study ancient philosophy or literature without understanding the term λ ό γ ο ς . The term has been used with various meanings by ancient philosophers since 500BC.1 Thus, this study will start with an examination of the meaning the term λ ό γ ο ς held for OT prophets, philosophers from ancient Greece, Hellenistic Jews, Church fathers, and finally, modern theologians. In the second chapter, this study carefully considers the background of John’s Gospel, the issues of authorship, and date. The prolegomena of John’s Gospel includes issues such as audience, place, narrative, etc. Only the authorship and date are looked at in this study, because they are the most important issues. Many books in the Bible do not name their author; the Fourth Gospel is one of them. All documents have a writer or writers, however, as did the Fourth Gospel, a writer who was inspired by God (II Tim 3:16). Further, all things created or made have a date of origin. The Bible is included in that category, and the Fourth Gospel is as well. The date tells us about the culture, politics, economy, society, and the major issues of that time. Therefore, both the authorship and date are considered in the second chapter. The third chapter is an exegetical study of John 1:1-18. John’s Gospel wanted to introduce non-Christians to the true God, to know, believe in, and accept Him (20:31). Whoever would know Jesus Christ should know the true meaning of λ ό γ ο ς in John’s 1 Joel B. Green, Scot Mcknight, and I. Howard Marshall, Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospel (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1992), 481. ２ Gospel, because it explains the character and nature of Jesus Christ. For these reasons, the third chapter will examine the meaning of λ ό γ ο ς in 1:1-18, i.e. the Greek text. The final chapter is focused on the christology of λ ό γ ο ς . Christological controversies and many heresies have existed from early times, in spite of the fact that John’s Gospel explained adequately the concept of λ ό γ ο ς . Many modern theologians also developed their christology using the term λ ό γ ο ς , but deviating from the true truth found in John’s Gospel. Chapter four will consider their christology, and interpretation of λ ό γ ο ς . When the concept of λ ό γ ο ς in John 1:1-18 is misunderstood, a pillar of Christianity is shaken. Orthodox Christianity rests upon this christological pillar; indeed it is arguably the cornerstone of the entire edifice. Therefore, a correct understanding of λ ό γ ο ς is vital for the faith. This study looks at some early and modern heresies that have resulted from a misunderstanding of the term λ ό γ ο ς , comparing them against the truth found in John’s Gospel, and other books in the Bible. This study offers a surer way to understand the meaning of λ ό γ ο ς , and with it, a surer way of understanding who Jesus Christ is.