The Idea of the Logos as a Cultural Bridge
Updated: Oct 9, 2019
John used the concept of the Logos to communicate who Jesus was to those influenced by the Greek culture and philosophy of his day. A favourite Stoic term was the Logos – John used this philosophical term as a title for Jesus Christ. A Greek philosopher named Heraclitus first used the term Logos around 600BC to designate the divine reason or plan which coordinates a changing universe. The term Logos means ‘word’ or ‘reason’.
The Jews used the term memra (Aramaic) in the expression ‘the word of the Lord’. John recognised the Greek Logos and the Jewish Memra as describing essentially the same valid theological truth. Therefore, he represented Jesus Christ as the fulfilment or the outworking of both words when he wrote, “In the beginning was the Logos, and the Logos was with Theos, and the Logos was Theos . . . The Logos became flesh, and lived for a while among us” (Jn. 1:1, 14). With this vital juxtaposition of both Greek terms Theos and Logos in relation to Elohim and Jesus Christ, Christianity presented itself a fulfilling or continuing rather than destroying something valid in Greek culture and philosophy. And so the idea of the Logos acted as a bridge over which the gospel could cross over into the Greek world.
What are the cultural bridges over, which the gospel may cross in our own culture?