[lit-ideas] The Word

  • From: "veronica caley" <molleo1@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 4 Aug 2009 10:02:23 -0400

There were two Biblical/theological treasures in the Detroit area.  One was 
Rabbi Sherwin Wine the other is Rev. Harry Cook.  The former died in an 
unfortunate accident in Morocco about two years ago. Rev. Harry barely escaped  
excommunication from the Episcopal Church for heresy.  He is now retired, but 
writes two documents a week.  He is free on line.  Also, both these men read 
the Bible in the various languages at or near the time they were written.

I asked him about Mike's question and this is what he wrote:

  "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was 
Dear Veronica:

    The above sentence comprises the first line of the document known as 
"According to John," to make an accurate translation of the Greek "Kata 
Iohahnays."  The word we translate as "in the beginning" (archay) means 
something like "rule" or "to have begun." "In the beginning" is not the best 
translation. I think it is translated that way to make it appear to be a 
reprise of the Hebrew "bayrahsith" as in Genesis 1:1" "In the beginning."
    The word "Word" is the Greek "logos," which has multiple meanings -- and in 
this context means something like the "universal intelligence" or "creative 
     JOhn whoever "John" might have been) to say that the logos was "with" and 
"was" God was to lay a foundation for what would come next, i.e., his 
identification of Jesus Christ with the logos, as in verse 14 of the first 
chapter: "And the Word (logos) became flesh and dwelt among us."
    According to John is the most aggressively theological of the four 
canonical gospels. It comes nowhere close to reporting events. It is an 
ideological tome from the beginning to the end, and as long as it is read and 
interpreted as such, no harm is done.


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