The Logos and Apostle John by Robert A. Herrmann Ph.D.

For a collection of theological documents, there can be no greater sacrilege than adding or removing words so as to uphold a doctrine not specifically stated elsewhere. The most well-know New Testament addition occurs in 1 John 5:7. The King James Version (KJV) would have us believe that John wrote the following that only appears in the much later Vulgate manuscripts.

For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word (Logos), and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, . . .

Of course, no such statement occurs in the oldest Greek manuscripts. These manuscripts state literally

And the spirit it is (which is) testifying, for the spirit is truth, (seeing) that three (there) are (that are) testifying, the spirit, and the water, and the blood, and the three are for one (thing).

As a nothing example, the KJV and most other translations imply that "logos" is a code-word for the supernatural entity termed the "pre-existent Christ." One place where John associates this term with Jesus is in Rev 19:13, where he writes, after describing the actions of an entity, that "His name is called the Word of God." John wrote this about a supernatural entity. The term logos as used here is an identification and all that needs to be determined is what John was identifying. In John 1:1-14, the term "word" is used in most translations for the Greek logos. It is clearly used in this manner to uphold the notion of the per-existent Christ. But, from the Greek, looc has no such meaning.

The following translation of John 1:1-14 uses the most basic and consistent forms that have been traced to the common first century Greek. This is done so as to eliminate doctrinal biases.

According to the article 2, the major question is whether John wrote his portions of the Scriptures in some poetic code-language that would only be understandable by a later generations? The Holy Ghost that guided his writings is certainly capable of stating a concept in clear and concrete terms, terms that would, indeed, be totally understood at the time John wrote 1:1-14. The ideas and language used by Justin in his description of the pre-existent Christ were most certainly understandable and usable by John. But, it's claimed, that the Holy Ghost did not supply John with a claimed major piece of Christian doctrine. "In the beginning was the word (logos)."

The term logos has a long, long history, especially throughout Greek philosophy. But, the most straightforward and comprehensible meaning at the time of John and in the form he uses it is that it represents a "complete logical account" relative to something. It can be but a "mental" accounting. The notion of logical means "an orderly" account. What is the "something" this accounting represents? As will be established from the most ancient Greek manuscripts in existence, this account is God's "conditional salvation account" and it existed when the universe began.

John writes "And the logos was toward the God." (Notice the past tense.) In this case, the Greek word for "toward" (pros) is a connective of the accusative case denoting "direction toward" and has been translated by such words as "to, for the sake, for the purpose of, pertaining to." Is it too much of a stretch to understand this statement as "The account pertained to (the) God"? The Bible is a linguistic model for God's operative behavior. This includes purely mental processes. Hence, this is God's "mental" account of "something". John tells us exactly that the mental logical account has as its underlying bases "God" when he writes "God was the logos." (Again notice the past tense.) (As will be seen, the use of the past tense is necessary since it is but an "account" and is not as yet realized in objective reality. It existed prior to its realization.) The missing Greek article would indicate that this account contains an "essence" of God, or that it is an account that has as its underlying basis some indispensable attributes of God, attributes that have always existed.

The account was not the "complete account" of God, in general, but is only relative to special attributes. Indeed, as will be more clearly shown shortly, these are the human-like attributes of God, and as implied by Genesis 1:26, God created the entire universe just so that He could populate the earth with entities that had similar, but highly weakened, attributes of this same type. John actually states that the "agent" that created the universe has the underlying attributes represented within the logos, when he writes, "All come into being through [the agent represented by] it and apart from it not even one thing came into being which has come into being." So, the entity that has these attributes is further identified as the creator God. Further, such a universe has a condition attached. The created entities can make choices. This is why this salvation account is conditional. I point out that an "account" or "narrative" cannot be a "him," in general. But, the Greek allows the word "it" to be translated into these forms if the context requires this meaning. Changing the term into a masculine pronoun significantly altersn in meaning and, appears, to change the original intent of what John writes. Writing a masculine pronoun for what is an "it" is done throughout orthodox Bible translations. This procedure tends to force the reader to accept the term "word" as a code-word of a pre-existent Christ.

The next verses John writes show the true significance of this account, since "In it was life, and the life was the light of men." This clearly refers to what John knew was the purpose of the account, it was the salvation account that was totally relative to the "light" which he now identifies. Verses 5 - 13 clearly identify the "light" as the forthcoming man Jesus Christ, the attributes He will display and the salvation truths He will present.

Of great importance is verse 14 "And the logos became flesh." The previous mental account is now materially realized and becomes objective reality. The account is the entire pre-designed conditional salvation account - the incarnation and everything there after. This account details the one and only one road to salvation and also describes the most complete set of Godhead manifestations that can be perceived by humankind within the physical universe. He displays His Son of God or Christ attributes. Notice that many of these attributes were not displayed during Old Testament times. This is an exact example of the "tri-category model" in that human comprehension is restricted to a specific list of divine attributes. When God displays these attributes, they often fall into three distinct categories. Obviously, these attributes are not those of distinct entities but are attributes of the single spirit we call God.

The orthodox Church uses the term "Word" as an additional "name" for Jesus based upon Biblical verses such as John 1:14 or Mark 16:20. Logos neither signifies this in John 1:14 nor Mark 16:20, where the whole account is an obvious meaning. But, in Rev 19:13, John wants us to know that the entity he describes has, among others qualities, the same attributes as those displayed when God manifested Himself as the Son of God. Further, God's complete account or plan for salvation is a major part of His attributes. Hence, He also represents the Word (plan) of God. This entity is the glorified Jesus and the entire list of glorified Jesus attributes designates all that humankind can ever perceive or understand about God both in the physical and supernatural worlds.

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Adversus Trinitas

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