D a n i e l D r u m m © 2 0 0 7
The angels of peace weep bitterly. The roads are ruined,and no one travels the Way. The covenant is made void.
Isaiah 33: 7-8
What the concept of the Logos - theologically translated as the Word - meant in Christ’s day, and the relationGreek philosophy had to Christianity, can be read in a brief selection from the
Cliff Notes to the New Testament
before the main text is read. It is included at the start of the appendix. Otherwise it might be felt that the statementsmade in the text about Light and Reason don’t relate to Christianity. It is strange that later centuries have practicallyerased the role that reason (logos) and the mind or understanding (nous) play in connecting man to the Logos. TheLogos was known anciently as Reason, or the acting Ideas, Order, or Intelligence of God. The claim that Jesus wasGod was made primarily because John said in the opening lines of his Gospel that Jesus was the Logos, a conceptfrom Greek philosophy. Other quotes like, “Why do you call me good? There is One who is good and He is God”(Mt 19:17; Mk 10:18; Lk 18:19), coupled with Jesus’ claim that he was not blaspheming when he called himself the Son of God, because
who is taught by the Spirit is a Son of God (Jn 10: 2-6; Rom 8:14,16; Jn 6:45;Heb 8: 6-1; Psalm 82: 1, 6-7) argue against it. So what the Logos meant in Greek philosophy, and in Philo, calledthe Thirteenth Apostle, whose ideas helped shape early Christian thought, is important to understand.“God is Truth, and his shadow is Light.” Philo, who was familiar with this saying of Plato’s, called the Logosthe shadow of God; and the Apostle John identified the Logos as “the true Light which enlightens everyone com-ing into the world.” The Logos was conceived as “apportioned into an infinite number of parts in humans”
, with the reasoning capacity of the human mind being a portion of the all-pervading Divine Logos.The mind itself was a special gift to humans from God and has a divine essence (from Hillar’s notes on Philo in theappendix p.22).In the Various Notes section (p.21) which follows the Cliff Notes In the appendix are statements from differentreligious and noetic traditions that amplify the text, and indicate that other traditions than the Christian are similarlyaware of many things Jesus and the Apostles taught.Following that are the ideas of a Jewish philosopher of Christ’s time, Philo
(20 B.C.-50 A.D.)
, with whom Paul andJohn seem familiar (p.22). His ideas form an extraordinary link between Jewish and Greek thinking, and perhapshelped enable the Apostles to communicate to their varied audiences. If Jesus’ words about manna are accuratelyreported they sound unaccountably like Philo’s. Philo
attempted to relate Greek philosophy with Jewish revelationand was influential in early Christian thinking. He was even called the 1th Apostle. The selections on Philo includ-ed in the notes are by Marion Hillar, from the
Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
.Following the notes in the appendix every Biblical reference cited in the text is included in full (p.24). Theyare arranged in order and in columns so you can flip back and forth to the text. Following that are a few specificBiblical references that concern overcoming death (p.29).
February 25, 2007
Please send any questions or comments to Humata@aol.com. Include “Light of Life” in the subject header.
Frontispiece: Moses at the Well of Be’er- from Dura (Europas), detail of the wall-painting from the Synagogue at Dura.Columbia University Art Database, http://www.mcah.columbia.edu/cgi-bin/dbcourses/item?skip=140
The greatest Church Fathers attest... there is... an ontological link or bond (sungeneia)connecting the human present with the divine future. As Zizioulas, discussing JustinMartyr, summarizes: 'The permanent sungeneia between God and man through themedium of nous leads us to take the idea of logos, employed by Justin in a christologi-cal sense, as the bond between God and the world, between truth and the mind. Christ,as the logos of God, becomes this very link between truth and the mind, and the truth of philosophy is nothing less than part of this logos."'
- Edward Moore, STD, PhD