About the origin of the Logos concept / Περί της προέλευσης της έννοιας του Λόγου

The theory of a divine Word that was creative was actually developed well before the author of the fourth Gospel wrote. This can be seen in the ancient targum, or paraphrase of Genesis, Neophyti I, Palestinian Targum Manuscript in the Vatican Library, published in Madrid-Barcelona by Alejandro Diez Macho in 1968. Everywhere that the text of Genesis had “God,” in Hebrew Elohim, this targum had “the Word of God,” in Aramaic memra, which was the translation of the Hebrew dabar.

This Hebrew word dabar was translated into Greek sometimes by logos and sometimes by rema–another example of the double translation we have already examined.

The one responsible for the Greek version of the fourth Gospel, of course, translated the Hebrew dabar with the Greek logos. There has been an enormous amount of useless speculation over this word logos. The influence of Greek philosophy on the composition of the fourth Gospel has been discerned in it; the influence of Philo and indeed that of Neo-Platonism have been among the influences cited. This kind of supposed influence has been one of the principal arguments for assigning a date as late as the second century for the composition of this Gospel. It would have been much simpler all around if it had only been realized that logos was a simple translation of the Hebrew dabar.

Claude Tresmontant, The Hebrew Christ, σελ. 217.

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2 thoughts on “About the origin of the Logos concept / Περί της προέλευσης της έννοιας του Λόγου

  1. I agree…I think there has been so much useless speculation of the Greek worldview’s understanding of Logos when if we understand the Old Testament root of John and the NT, it would resolve this unnecessary dilemma

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