Logos

The New Testament describes an aspect of God known as the Word, or in Greek the Logos. Some would say that the Logos is a person within the Godhead. Others would describe the Logos as the words of God- His speech. Others, such as those in Greek thought, would describe the Logos as a creative force. Who is the Logos? What do the scriptures say?

John 1:1  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

In English, Logos is translated Word. Because of this, many Bible readers see this definition of Logos, Word, as the main aspect of Logos. Writers have described the Logos as the words of God, or His speech (Bernard, p. 60). The Logos is also described as the plan of God. The Logos is described as a play in the mind of a playwright (Bernard, p. 60). I’ve heard the description “My word’s with me”. This makes the Logos a philosophical idea. My words are not me. My plans are not me. My thoughts are not me. They come from me. I formulate them based on my own ideas and understandings, but no one can say they’ve met me just by reading my writings. I do believe these descriptions are partially describing the Logos, but as we’ll see from scripture, the Logos is much more than this.

The scriptures say that the Logos was Theos; the Word was God- not just a plan in the mind of God.

The Greek word Logos means thought, plan, mind, reasoning, word, center of consciousness, speech. Strong’s’ entry for Logos from the New Strong’s Complete Dictionary of Bible Words is:

3056. Logos, log’-os; from 3004; something said (including the thought); by implication a topic (subject of discourse), also reasoning (the mental faculty) or motive; by extension a computation; specifically (with the article in John) the Divine Expression (i.e. Christ):- account, cause, communication, x concerning, doctrine, fame, x have to do, intent, matter, mouth, preaching, question, reason, + reckon, remove, say (-ing), shew, x speaker, speech, talk, thing, + none of these things move me, tidings, treatise, utterance, word, work.

Spiros Zodhiates describes the Logos as speech, intelligence, reasoning, etc (HGKWSB, entry 3056).

The Logos is all of these: the thought of God, plan of God, mind of God, reasoning of God, word of God, and center of consciousness of God. The Logos is the fullness of God. The Logos is all the fullness of God. The Logos is God. Not part of God; not a person within God; but completely, fully God.

How is the Logos God? God has two aspects of presence: specific presence and omnipresence. His omnipresence did not sit on the throne in heaven. God did not place his omnipresence in a theophany (an appearing of God such as the pillar of fire or the burning bush). When God was in a theophany, the universe was not emptied of the presence of God. When God spoke, He spoke from a specific place. God’s specific presence was what appeared to Moses. His specific presence went with Moses in the desert.

Exodus 33:14  And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.

This presence that we see in theophanies was not another person. This specific presence was the Logos, the Word, all the fullness of the Godhead. This specific presence was with the omnipresence of God, but wasn’t another God or person- it was God. Not two Spirits, not two persons. It was God thinking and acting from a specific place and still filling the universe at the same time. The Word was the specific point that God was speaking to Moses from the burning bush while the Spirit of God filled the universe. It was how God told Noah to come into the ark. The omnipresence of God was not confined to the ark. The specific presence of God was in the ark. The specific presence of God was in the Holy of Holies in the tabernacle. It is how God walked in the Garden of Eden. This specific presence was the image that Moses saw.

Exodus 33:17-23  17 And the LORD said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name.  18 And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory.  19 And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.  20 And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.  21 And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock:  22 And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by:  23 And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.

A common teaching for this verse is that Moses saw a theophany. I’d like to point out a few problems with this teaching. First, Moses was speaking to a theophany face-to-face when he asked to see God’s Glory. God responded that no man could look upon His face and live. The next event is Moses seeing the hinder parts of God. Then, God comes out of a cloud and stands on the rock face-to-face with Moses again. It would be illogical for God to tell Moses that he couldn’t look upon the face of a theophany while Moses was looking upon the face of a theophany. Also, what would be the point of God placing His hand over Moses’ face and then reveal the hinder parts just to stand on the rock with him a moment later if all Moses saw was another theophany? This could not have been a theophany. It had to be the spiritual image of God.

Kenneth V. Reeves describes the Logos as the image of God, which he calls the Word-image (The Supreme Godhead, p.53). Reeves points out that God has an image, shape, or form (The Supreme Godhead, p.53).

Genesis 1:27  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

John 5:37  And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.

Philippians 2:6  Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

Moses saw the image of God.

Hebrews 11:27  By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.

Some will argue that a spirit doesn’t have an image. The argument is that even angels do not have a spiritual shape and they did not see an image of God because spirits are invisible. I would say a spirit has a spiritual image that spirit beings can see. There are many examples in scripture of spirit beings being seen when God allows it.

Numbers 22:22-23  22 And God’s anger was kindled because he went: and the angel of the LORD stood in the way for an adversary against him. Now he was riding upon his ass, and his two servants were with him.  23 And the ass saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Balaam smote the ass, to turn her into the way.

2 Kings 6:15-17  15 And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do?  16 And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.  17 And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.

The scriptures also describe Lucifer before his fall.

Ezekiel 28:13-14  13 Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.  14 Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.

We were made in the image of God.

Genesis 1:27  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

These verses are describing spiritual shapes and images, showing that God and the angels had a spiritual image.

Another argument is that God could not have an image because it would make two. God in omnipresence and specific presence doesn’t make two anymore than God in a theophany while His omnipresence fills the universe makes two. Two aspects of God’s presence, with the specific presence being His spiritual image, don’t make two anymore than God in Christ makes two.

Reeves describes the Word as God revealed in time and creation (The Godhead, p.20). The Logos is the aspect of God by which He created all things.

John 1:3  All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

The Logos was made flesh.

John 1:14  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Jesus is the Word, the Logos, made flesh. Anything we can say about the Word, we are saying about the deity of Jesus. Jesus is the thought of God, plan of God, mind of God, reasoning of God, Word of God, center of consciousness of God, image of God, and the specific presence of God. The deity of Jesus is all the fullness of the Godhead.

Colossians 2:9  For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

Since the Deity of Jesus is all the fullness of the Godhead, the Logos must be all the fullness of the Godhead.

Jesus is the image of God.

Colossians 1:15-17  15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:  16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:  17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

This passage describes the Logos perfectly. The Logos is the image of God, the Creator, and He is before all things as the great and mighty God Himself.

Jesus was a two-fold being: he was deity and he was humanity. He was 100% God, and he was 100% man. Jesus was not a second person in the Godhead. As God, he was the only God there is, manifest in flesh to become the sacrifice for our sins.

1 Timothy 3:16  And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

2 Corinthians 5:19  To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

As a man, Jesus was the Son of God. God could not die, so He was manifest in flesh to offer Himself as our sacrifice for sins. The term ‘Son’ refers to the humanity or the humanity and deity of Jesus, but it never refers to deity alone (Bernard, p. 82).

The Logos is not the only aspect that God operates from. God is more complex than that. We see God operating from His omnipresence.  This is how God spoke from Heaven at Jesus’ baptism and how the Holy Ghost is imparted to believers. The Logos is not the only aspect of God, but it is fully God. If we allow the scriptures to explain to us mysteries such as the Logos, we will not come up with ideas such as the Word being a person within the Godhead. Instead, the scriptures will show us that the Word is simply God reveling Himself to us.  What does this mean? The scriptures are showing us that Jesus is the one God manifest in flesh. Jesus is not a part of God or a person within God. Jesus is all the fullness of God. The Deity of Jesus, the Logos, is the one and only God that created all things; the only God there is.

References

Bernard, David K. (1983) Oneness of God, The.

            Hazelwood: Word Aflame Press

Reeves, Kenneth V., (1971). Godhead, The

            Granite City: Kenneth V. Reeves

Reeves, Kenneth V., (1984). Supreme Godhead, The

            Hazelwood: Word Aflame Press

Strong, James (1996). New Strong’s complete dictionary of Biblical words, The

            Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers

Zodhiates, Spiros (2008). Hebrew-Greek key word study Bible.

            Chattanooga: AMG Publishers

David K. Bernard The Oneness of God  

Kenneth V. Reeves The Godhead, The Supreme Godhead

5 Comments

  1. Hi Randy. This is the view I hold of the Logos. I think Oneness has tied its hands behind its back by teaching it is just Gods thought or plan. I only know of a few teachers like Ross Drysdale teaching it the way we see it. Do you know of any others? Good article.

  2. Hi Mike. Thanks for your comments. I agree that we tie our own hands by referring to the Word as a thought in the mind of God, or even a play in the mind of a playwrite. The closest to my view is Kenneth V. Reeves. I just go one step further in my description of the Logos as all the fullness of the Godhead. Reeves is my favorite Oneness author on the Godhead. I highly recommend his books:

    Kenneth V Reeves

    I feel that his books are essential reading.

    Randy

  3. Thanks for the good scholarly work.  It’s an easier argument all around before the incarnation, to think of the logos as a unity but then God/Man Jesus starts talking to God the Father, loving the Father, Wanting to Please the Father (not his inner self).  He raises his eyes to the skies when he prays…to himself?  How does that work?  I confess that I don’t think trinitarian theology does exact justice to what the scriptures say about the person of God whom we should really expect to be much more complex than a ‘big man.’  A person has a personality and Jesus is talking to someone he perceives to be “up there” and who has a will that might be different than his own. More details please on this. thanks

  4. Chuck when Jesus prayed to the father. That was the flesh praying to God. That was the man praying to His creater.

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