RE: [John_Lit] John 1:1-10 - my proposed translation
>>I wonder if Logos should be retained and not translated at all.<Bill>
Hi Liz. It is always nice to hear from you on a list.
While it is an activity doomed to be fraught with compromise, translation is
in general a productive activity. We just have to be realistic about what we
hope to accomplish. There is no substitute for reading the original
language(s) as no translation can map perfectly.
>>Philo speaks of the Logos as the Son of God (sorry, I forget where).<B>
My efforts at understanding a Philo background to John 1 were not met with
anything to be excited about. I think that the Philo connection is way
overrated. However, I would love to see any citations that you or anyone
else deems important.
>>I don't think it is in contradistinction to the Torah.<B>
The Torah is never denigrated in the NT but certainly made subservient to
the broader authority of God. I came across this recently and found it
interesting in this regard:
(ISV) You examine the Scriptures carefully because you suppose that in them
you have eternal life. Yet they testify about me.
>>In Proverbs 8, all things are made by Wisdom, H.oh.ma.<B>
"by" as in "by means of?"
>>Both Hohma and Sophia are unfortunately feminine, while Logos carries muchthe same meaning of Wisdom and is masculine. So I think that except that
Torah is feminine, it can be equated with Logos.
Is the Torah presumed to be female or only grammatically feminine?
Is the LOGOS male or only grammatically masculine?
There seems to be a great deal of confusion between grammatical "gender" and
sexuality in the readings I have seen of John 1!
>>The pre-existent Torah is the pre-existent Logos. John has Jesus say "I amthe way," which is what Jews say about the Torah. Halaka is "the way."
I have provided evidence that John is referring to the utterances in Gen 1
which are recorded in the Instruction (Torah) but are not what I would call
part of the Torah. ISTM that the Torah is, for John, a witness to the
gospel, not in itself the way.
>>John is saying that Jesus is the carnalization of the pre-existent Torahby which God made the world.
This is, IMHO, the question of Torah versus utterance aside, usually taken
way too literally - as if Jesus' flesh is what the Torah used to be. Ie:
that the Torah became human flesh. Rather, I see it as the utterance of God
being made by a life:
Heb 1:1 God, who long ago spoke on many occasions and in many ways to our
forefathers by means of the prophets,
Heb 1:2 has at the end of these days spoken to us by means of a Son, whom
he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the systems of
- --- Bill Ross <BillRoss@...> wrote:
> <B>Can you provide us with any evidence for this
> My stated premise for my translation of "utterance"
> has not been addressed.
> Let my restate it for closer scrutiny...
> When John says "EN ARKH" ISTM that most translators
> understand him to be
> saying "Once upon a time..."
statement? I have some handbooks on the Gospel of John
written by translators, some commentaries in which the
commentators give their own translations and discuss
what they mean by them, and some works by John scolars
like C.H. Dodd who discuss Jn. 1:1, and none of them
give any hint that they have the understanding you say
"most translators" do.
So could you produce something from a translator that
shows that "Once upon a time" is what ytasnaltors
understand John to be saying in 1:1?
whereas I hear him
> saying "Ladies andNow I'm really confused. Are you saying that it is
> gentlemen, if you would, please turn in you
> Septuagint to page 1. I am going
> to tell you who is being referred to by the word
> "us" in "Let us make
John's intent to say that God made the world through
the male and the female he created in Gen 1:26?
>But this is expressly what he does not say about
> The main think that John is expounding, I believe,
> is that in Gen 1,
> everything that was made, without exception, was
> made in conjunction with
> the utterance, "let there be...".
"man". There is a conspicuous absence of the let
there be phrase in the section of Gen 1 where God
creates "man, both male and female" in his image.
>You are missing a clause here. Is your fundamental
> In the course of this discussion, I realize that my
> objection to "the word"
> (non-capitalized only) is not so much linguistic as
> it is to the baggage
> that the term is made to carry - that it is a
> reference to something from
> Greek philosophy rather than God's word(s).
> So, I ask, is my fundamental interpretation, that EN
> ARKH refers us to Gen
> 1, and "PROS TON THEON" refers us to "let us
> make..." and "by means of hO
> LOGOS everything was made" refers us to "Let there
interpretaion what? Reasonable? I don't see how it
could be. What possible lingusitic or allusive
connection could there be between "he was with God"
and the divibe declaration of intent to make humankind
in God's image in Gen 1:26? And it becomes even more
unlikely given how Dr. Gibson has shown how all that
John says about the LOGOS in John 1:1 is what Jews
were saying about the Torah.
R. Robert Jenkins
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