Theopolis Podcast: Jesus the Word (The Gospel of John)

Peter Leithart and I are once again joined by Jeff Meyers for a discussion of Jesus as the Logos in our new series on the Gospel of John.

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2 thoughts on “Theopolis Podcast: Jesus the Word (The Gospel of John)

  1. I can’t tell if I’ve already posted this, or if the internet is being buggy.

    The idea that “logos” should primarily be understood as a calque of the Hebrew “דְּבִיר”, and that the primary referent of logos is therefore the Holy of Holies, seems unlikely to me. (Though, there probably is reason to see that as in the background somewhere.) There are two issues. First, there was already a perfectly good, though obscure, Greek word that could have been used for “דְּבִיר”, namely, the LXX’s transliteration, “δαβιρ”. Had John used δαβιρ, the exact meaning would have initially been difficult–even a Scripturally literate Greek would have heard it as a Bible word–but precisely that difficulty would have driven interpreters to the use of the word in the LXX, and perhaps, ultimately, to the Hebrew Scriptures. And in both places, its usage is relatively clear (though that “logos” could theoretically serve as a calque is not). Second, a Scripturally literate Greek would not have been able to hear “logos” as a calque of “דְּבִיר” (and indeed, they did not), precisely because the LXX used the transliteration “δαβιρ”, and though its usage was relatively clear, its etymological connection to a Hebrew word that could theoretically be translated “logos” was not clear.

    Indeed, the suggestion that the primary referent of “logos” is the holy of holies, (which I have heard but you didn’t make here), seems to come close to a claim that John wrote his gospel in a private Apostolic language. Rather, if we want to trace a Biblical precedent, it seems we should either see the prophetic voice of LORD, or to Psalm 119’s use of logos to refer to Torah.


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