Recently, I've been racked at the possible ways this belief might be construed when someone says it. I suspect that the primary Biblical basis for it is John 1, but as we know, there can be many interpretations for just a single verse, depending on your assumptions and starting points.

So when a Christian says "Jesus is the Word", what is an overview of the various beliefs that this Christian may ascribe to?

NOTE: I do not want to focus on general christological overviews. I realize this question is indeed a christology question, but I want to be sure that answers focus exclusively on what Christians mean when they say this phrase and how that relates to their theological perspective (which you don't have to explain, just name).

  • Logos can include that which is spoken but must always include the thought and intention behind. Thus, The Logos of God exists in the mind of God prior to utterance. To say that Jesus is the Word (Logos) made into flesh is to say that Jesus is the incarnation of God's thought and intention regarding creation with a special emphasis upon mankind (uniquely created in God's image). May 24 '20 at 14:58

Historically there are two options:

  1. There is only one Logos, both Christ and Scripture are one in nature. But this lead to a problematic question, How Christians explain their belief that Christ is worshiped and Scripture is not while both are identical in nature as God's singular Word?

    Matt Gutting in a chat room discussion refer to Catechism of Catholic Church,

    102 Through all the words of Sacred Scripture, God speaks only one single Word, his one Utterance in whom he expresses himself completely:1

    You recall that one and the same Word of God extends throughout Scripture, that it is one and the same Utterance that resounds in the mouths of all the sacred writers, since he who was in the beginning God with God has no need of separate syllables; for he is not subject to time.2

    103 For this reason, the Church has always venerated the Scriptures as she venerates the Lord's Body. She never ceases to present to the faithful the bread of life, taken from the one table of God's Word and Christ's Body.3

    Catechism of Catholic Church, 102-3.

  2. Gnostic's plethora of Logoi (one personal and another impersonal). Which also lead us to a problematic question, How do Christians differentiate themselves from Gnosticism?

    Tertullian discussed how Gnostics distinguish among plethora of Logoi between the personal Logos incarnate and the impersonal Scripture to be of different natures. Valentinian Gnostic such as Theodotus of Byzantium,

    Therefore when the Saviour came, he awakened the soul and kindled the spark. For the words of the Lord are power. Therefore he said, “Let your light shine before men.” And after the Resurrection, by breathing the Spirit on the apostles, he was blowing off and re moving dust like ashes, but kindling and giving life to the spark.

    Theodotus of Byzantium quoted by St. Cyril of Jerusalem.

1 Cf. Hebrew 1:1-3.
2 St. Augustine, En. in Ps. 103,4,1:PL 37,1378; cf. Ps 104; Jn 1:1.
3 Cf. Dei Verbum 21.

  • Should the links be different?
    – fгedsbend
    Mar 18 '15 at 19:14
  • I asked them together in my question. Is that ok? Mar 18 '15 at 19:21

A modern and up to date Ancient Greek lexicon is the recent Greek Lexicon edited by Fred Danker [a] says this of λόγος in John when used of Jesus:

a non-vocalized communication’, word—a. by metonymy(a) the divine idea (ὁ λόγος) is perceived as a definitive expression in the person of Jesus Christ J 1:1, 14; 1 J 1:1; Rv 19:13. (Danker, F. W. 2009, Concise Greek-English Lexicon of the new Testament. Chicago: The University of Chicago)

Note that it's important to make sure that a gloss references the word in the target text, as is done here.

To call the Son of God the "word" can mean that he is the representative of God who explains Him to others.

He is called "the Word" because that is his function, by way of metonymy. (a) When the Son "exegetes" the Father at John 1:18 it is a good example of that and is probably directly related. Many consider verse 14 and verse 1 to be related via chiasm.

In short, the name indicates that he is used by God to speak for Him.

In the OT, Aaron was the "mouth" for Moses to speak to Pharoah. That is metonymy as well.

[a] Danker was Lutheran.

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