Re: [John_Lit] Re: Info on Logos in John and Philo
- This is in response to Kare Sigvald Fuglseth's post of 9-27. Point 1.
There are the following correspondences between the Logos, as the true High
Priest, as described by Philo in Flight and Finding (F&F) 108-14
and the Baptist's description of Jesus in John 4:27ff:: (1) both are
Son of God, (2) both are Christ, (3) both have received the Spirit as Sophia
from God, (4) both have been made Viceroy over all things by God, and (5)
each is betrothed. The similarities are so striking that, I think, the
burden of proof lies on one who denies that the Baptist identifies Jesus as
being the Logos as the True High Priest in John 4:27ff..
Point 2. John the Baptist was not the only one who, upon reading what
states in F&F (108-14), came to the conclusion that the Logos is the
Bridegroom of the bride. In particular, this was also done by the Jewish
author of Joseph and Asenath: (J&A).
For example, in J&A (VI), Asenath states, "Or how shall Joseph the son of
God see me, for that on my part I have spoken evil things about him? Alas
me miserable! whither shall I go away and be hidden, because he himself
seeth every hiding-place, and knoweth all things, an no hidden thing
escapeth him by reason of the great light that is in him?" Here, Joseph is
said to be Son of God and to have a great light within him. Similarly, in
F&F (108-114), the Logos, as the true High Priest, is Son of God and his
faculty is illumined with a brilliant light". Thus, in this work, Joseph
symbolizes the Logos as true High Priest.
This conclusion is re-inforced in J&A (V), "Joseph came in seated in
chariot of Pharaoh; and there were yoked four horses white like snow and
golden bits, and the chariot was of pure gold." Here, Joseph is identified
as being the Viceroy of God over all things. The four horses are the four
elements he has mastery over and he is in the second chariiot to signify
that he is King in the sense of being God's Viceroy. That Joseph is King in
the sense of being the Viceroy over all things means that he is the Logos,
as true High Priest: who, in F&F (108-14). is declared to be King in the
sense of being God's Viceroy.
Having read F&F (108-114), how did the author of J&A interpret Philo's
declaration that the Logos, as the true High Priest, is betrothed to a
virgin? We find the
answer in J&A (XV), where the Archangel Michael tells Asenath, "Be of good
cheer, Asenath, the virgin and pure, lo! the Lord God hath given thee to-day
to Joseph for a bride, and he himself shall be thy bridegroom for ever. And
no more henceforth shalt thou be called Asenath, but thy name shall be 'City
of Refuge,' for that in thee many nations shall seek refuge...". There you
have it: he interpreted it to mean that the Logos, as the true High Priest,
is the Bridegroom
of the bride!
To this last citation from J&S (where Asenath, as the bride of the Logos
as the true High Priest, is said to be a city of refuge for many nations),
Revelation 21:9-10 "I will show you the bride--the Lamb's wife. And he
carried me away in Spirit to a high and great mountain, and showed me the
great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of the heaven from God".
Note that, here, the bridegroom of this city of refuge, i.e., the Logos as
the true High Priest, is said to be "the Lamb". How can this be unless the
the idea expressed in Revelation 21:9-10 believed there to be linkage
between F&F (108-14), where the
Logos, as the true High Priest, is said to be betrothed to a virgin and F&F
the sacrificial ram is said to be a logos or Logos?
Maplewood, MN USA
----- Original Message -----
From: "Kåre Sigvald Fuglseth" <kaare.fuglseth@...>
Sent: Wednesday, September 27, 2000 5:45 AM
Subject: [John_Lit] Re: Info on Logos in John and Philo
Frank McCoy argues that there is a direct link between the Philonic divine
logos and the Philonic sacrificial ram on the one side and the Johannnine
logos and the Johannine angus dei on the other ("John the Baptist
identifies Jesus as being Philo's Logos as described in Flight and Finding
Philo uses logos as hypostasis in several ways and some of these seem to be
underlying the way the author of John uses it, in John 1 as well as several
applications of it, e.g. the logos as light (cf. Somn. 1:75 on Gen 1:3). To
say that there is direct connection between the two writers is of course
not easy and demands more than some common ideas. As Peter Phillips put it
on this list earlier: John's Logos is a slightly different kettle of fish.
Philo reads the sacrificial ram in an allegorical way, but I really doubt
that Philo identifies the sacrifices as the hypostatic Word of God in the
passages McCoy quotes. In QE 2:101 it is the function of the horns that
leads Philo to an understanding of the function of the divine logos, O(
QEI=OS LO/GOS, not the the animals themselves.
Regarding John 3:27ff, I also found it difficult to see a connection to the
high priest, although the pre-existence of Jesus is clearly present. I also
find it difficult to read the bridegroom metaphor allegorically in the way
McCoy suggests. The point is simply that John the Baptist, compared to
Jesus, is the best man and *not* a bridegroom.
Very little has been written on this subject according to Radice and Runia
Philo Bibliography, and the reason is probably that there is little to
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- Frank MCoy wrote (in part):
>There are the following correspondences between the Logos, as the true HighNo, when the text does not explicitly state this claim, the burden of proof
>Priest, as described by Philo in Flight and Finding (F&F) 108-14
>and the Baptist's description of Jesus in John 4:27ff:: (1) both are
>Son of God, (2) both are Christ, (3) both have received the Spirit as Sophia
>from God, (4) both have been made Viceroy over all things by God, and (5)
>each is betrothed. The similarities are so striking that, I think, the
>burden of proof lies on one who denies that the Baptist identifies Jesus as
>being the Logos as the True High Priest in John 4:27ff..
lies one the one who reads the text differently. To say that there are
similarities between to writings is easy enough (a common "pool"), to say
that the one writer is dependent on the other is difficult.
No doubt, there are common aspects in the way Philo describes the Hight
Priest as Logos and in the way John describes Jesus as Logos. However, to
say that John has read Philo or that the author of the novel Joseph and
Asenath has read Philo, needs profound literary correspondences, not just
some common ideas or metaphors that have different meanings within their
contexts. Note for instance that Philo finds the original text of Num. 35
incomprehensible and since Moses cannot be suspected to have written
nonsense, this passage must have another meaning (Fug. 108), which is quite
different from saying that the High Priest *is* Son of God.
In John 3:27 (not John 4) John the Baptist, or from 3:31, Jesus?, does not
refer to the temple cult in any way, and that is perhaps the main
difficulty if you want to argue that *John* presents Jesus as High Priest?
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Fax : + 47 75517798
The Philo Concordance Project at