Τι σχέση έχει ο ιωάννειος «Λόγος» με το «Λόγο» της ελληνικής φιλοσοφίας; / Johannine Logos compared with Greek philosophy Logos

The ‘Logos’ occurs in the earliest period of Greek philosophy in Heraclitus, and then especially in Stoicism. Here it is the cosmic law which rules the universe and at the same time is present in the human intellect. It is thus an abstraction, not a hypostasis. Therefore, although the Stoics too, spoke of the Logos, and although they too could say that the Logos was ‘in the beginning’, nevertheless, with their impersonal, pantheistic World Soul they meant something quite different from the Johannine Logos. Platonism also uses the concept. Its view of the ‘real’ being (in the Platonic, idealistic sense, of course) may come nearer the Johannine view, but it still has nothing to do with a hypostasis, and the idea of the Logos’ ‘becoming flesh’ is quite unthinkable for the Platonist. We must guard against being led by the terminological analogy to read into Greek philosophy the late Jewish or Johannine understanding of the Logos. Even Augustine knew that the complete entrance of the Logos into history and humanity is utterly foreign to Platonism, although formal similarities did lead him to remark that with somewhat different expressions the Platonic books say the same thing about the original Logos that John teaches in his Gospel (Confessions, 7.9). Actually, of course, the similarity between the two is more one of terminology than of content itself.

Οscar Cullmann, The Christology of the New Testament, σελ. 251, 252.

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