This study is a close companion of the Memra study. Let us begin with a look at the word, “word” itself.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. 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. –John 1:1-14
The Greek expression for word is (λογος) logos. It is pronounced log´ (as in log cabin) aus (as in Aussie). The spelling is λ, lambda (“l”) ;ο, omicron (short ŏ) ;γ, gamma (g) ;ο, omicron (short ŏ) ς, final sigma (s).
Today we think of a word as a string of characters written or printed on paper or some other medium. The ancient Greeks, however, understood their expression for word much differently than we do now. Their understanding was much fuller than ours. Here are a few ways they understood it:
Liddell-Scott Greek Lexicon:
The word or that by which the inward thought is expressed
the inward thought itself
That which is said or spoken: A word, words, language, talk
In word, in pretence
In deed; in reality
A word, saying, statement
A saying, maxim, proverb
An assertion, promise, a resolution,
By common consent
Speech, discourse, conversation
Right of speech, power to speak
The thing spoken of, the subject or matter
A proposition, position, principle
A reason, ground, plea
Account, consideration, esteem, regard
Comprising both senses of thought and word
A word, uttered by a living voice, embodies a conception or idea
What someone has said
The sayings of god
Decree, mandate or order
Of the moral precepts given by god
Old testament prophecy given by the prophets
What is declared, a thought, declaration, aphorism, a weighty saying, a dictum, a maxim
The act of speaking, speech
The faculty of speech, skill and practice in speaking
A kind or style of speaking
A continuous speaking discourse – instruction
Anything reported in speech; a narration, narrative
Matter under discussion, thing spoken of, affair, a matter in dispute, case, suit at law
The thing spoken of or talked about; event, deed
Its use as respect to the mind alone
Reason, the mental faculty of thinking, meditating, reasoning, calculating
Account, i.e. Regard, consideration
Account, i.e. Reckoning, score
Account, i.e. Answer or explanation in reference to judgment
Relation, i.e. With whom as judge we stand in relation
Reason, cause, ground
I give all of these examples to show how rich and varied the Greek thought was about their expression for the word. Such was equally true of the Hebrew. Of course, the context will always reveal in which sense the word is being used.
For example, in Genesis is repeated the phrase “and God said.” God spoke and things came into existence where there was nothing before. The Hebrew expression for “said” in the phrase “and God said” is (אמר) ‘amar. The word is part of the phrase, ויאמר אלהים, wayomer [or wayyamar] elohim, (“and said God”). This Hebrew word also had many and varied definitions, mostly similar to the Greek thought. In English, as well, we have a rich and varied concept of the word. A few examples are: to say, to mention, to think, to intend, and to command. Let us, however, stick with the Greek, for from the Greek we learn that Jesus is the Word.
I remind you that the context will always reveal in which sense the word is being used.
Logos comes from the Indo-European (Aryan) root l-e-g. We see it in the Greek lego, to speak. The etymology of the word, legos, is thus: it meant “to lay;” then “to pick up or to gather;” then “to select and put together;” hence “to speak.” When we speak, we select (choose between) words and put them together in an intelligible manner forming speech. Thus we could say that the verb form of logos, means to choose between (because we choose between the words in our vocabulary to form speech).
We find the form, l-e-g, in many words. It is the l-o-g in logos; the l-e-c in intellect; the l-i-g in intelligent and intelligible. Intelligent comes from the Latin inter (between) and the Latin lego (to choose or to select). Thus,in its etymology, intelligence meant to choose between, very much like the Greek word logos.
Genesis tells us that in the beginning God created everything. He said or spoke and things were created. The New Testament tells us that the Word was with God and that the Word was God (John 1:1). It also tells us that the Word became flesh. The Word was God so God became flesh (John 1:14). That flesh is Jesus Christ, Immanuel in the Old Testament, Emmanuel in the New. Its meaning is God with us. (Matthew 1:23).
God created by the spoken Word. He spoke and creation occurred. It is important to understand the act of creating. When an artist designs, a painter paints, a musician writes music, an author writes words, or a sculptor sculpts, these things are conceptualized by using language. The artist sees his picture before painting just as the sculptor sees his ultimate product before beginning to sculpt. These things are expressed by the artisan in concepts understood by words. The artisan creates eyes, ears, legs, trees, flowers, animals, etc., in words in his mind’s eye before beginning-much like I have done with these very words written here.
We understand the completed art objects the same way-with language. We see the representations of objects in art and understand what we are seeing in words. We know what an eye is, or a horse, or a cloud when we see it. How do we know them? We know them with the words of language that represent them.
Language is the medium through which we create, innovate, or develop ideas; ideas that become reality. An aeronautical engineer uses language to visualize a concept in his mind, then he puts his concept on paper and eventually his concept becomes an aircraft. Throughout the process, language is used to comprehend all that he does. In fact, language is the universal medium through which we transform our intentions into concrete things.
In our current view of things (the naturalistic1view) we assume that language evolved from sounds, grunts, etc., that is, what our primitive ancestors uttered, into the spoken, written, and understood language of today. That language is a bunch of sounds formed together through experience to create speech is a pragmatic view. In this concept, language came from something unintelligible and evolved into something intelligible. So, according to the naturalist, language evolved from meaninglessness to meaningfulness in a natural, systematic way over the eons.
Such pragmatism is simply untrue. Just as humans did not evolve by accident over ages and ages, neither did language. In fact, language was the driving force of creation. God spoke things into existence. Language was from before the beginning. It is, therefore, a gift from God. God gave it so that we could have and understanding of Him; so we could understand our world; so that we could love God and one another and interact with Him and each other.
It is a violation of the Second Law of Thermodynamics, or the Universal Law of Increasing Entropy, for things to move from disorder to order. The law tells us that the opposite is true. It tells us that all things in nature seek equilibrium. In other words, things move from order to disorder, not vice versa as the naturalists would have us believe. For the naturalist to assert such a thing is to contradict himself. If nature seeks entropy, then how can the macroevolution of living things or the macroevolution of language be a fact? If entropy is natural, then how can the supposed naturalist believe in Darwinism, which teaches the opposite of entropy? It is a contradiction of terms. (Please note that I am not speaking of microevolution, which I would call adaptation).
Language is what separates us from animals. Yes, animals make sounds that are intelligible, but they have no in-depth language like humans do. Certainly some animals (such as some primates, dolphins, whales, birds, etc.) have a well developed set of words, but none has an extensive language like humans. Undoubtedly, we have had some success at decoding animal sounds that have meaning, but that does not constitute language as we understand it. Again, even if it is a very primitive form of language, it is God-given.
My dogs have certain expressions, mannerisms, and sounds they make that I can readily interpret, but that is not language. Birds have different calls for different situations. For example, Cardinals chirp at feeding time and sing at other times. Yet, these things do not constitute language like humans have.
In this understanding of our language (remember, we are discussing logos in this treatise), we need not limit it to our linguistic conventions. Those conventions define a string of symbols conforming to the rules of grammar. Our language is so much more than simple grammatical rules. We understand our world through our language. When we think, our thoughts are not necessarily grammatically correct. Our thoughts come in concepts that we understand through words. As a writer, when I brainstorm, I ignore the rules of grammar and write down my thoughts, which are sometimes jumbled to the point that no one else but me would comprehend the meaning. In fact, if I let the notes sit for a few hours, I can no longer comprehend them because I have left that train of thought. The point is that language is much, much more than just the written words we read that conform to grammatical rules.
The creation of the world by the Word of God is the beginning of, nay; it is the essence of our intelligence. God spoke and the world became. This act of creation makes possible all of God’s relations with his creation, especially with mankind. If God had not created us, then there would be no interaction between us, because we would not exist. God not only created the world and all that is in it, including us, he also created our intellect. He created our understanding. He gave us our language.
The act of creation began with the intent of God to create. I will remind you that one sense of the Greek word, logos, is reason, or intent. As discussed before, painters, sculptors, writers, musicians, etc., begin a project with intent. They intend to create something out of some medium. Then they put their intent into practice and ultimately create the finished product, whether it is a painting, a sculpture, a poem, or a symphony. The product began with a thought, which was expressed in words in the mind of the artisan. The words were then concretized into actual objects by the actions of the artisans.
God’s very thoughts, expressed in language, were spoken and the speaking of them caused the creation to come into existence. Our understanding of these things, though not complete, is the product of God’s creating the universe and our intellect and our language. God spoke and things appeared. The language He gave us allows a good, if not perfect, understanding of these things. God gave us the ability to do this, which allows us to have a relationship with Him. The words we speak, our language, were a gift of God. He created in us the ability to speak and to think. Our very intellect comes from God and not from natural selection.
Not only did God create the world, he made it intelligible to us. As an aside, let us consider this: did God make it intelligible to dogs or to fish or to worms? No, he only made it intelligible to humans. Why? Well, because it pleased Him to do so (Revelation 4:11),for His glory (Isaiah 43:7), and because He wanted to have a relationship with us (Ephesians 3).
Language is a divine gift. Through it, we can understand the creation, and ultimately God Himself. Our understanding of God will never be perfect in this life. But when we see Him we will understand fully (1 Corinthians 13:12). While in this life, however, we can gain a good understanding of God, not only through his Word, but through his creation as well.
Through His Word, which is expressed in His Son and in the Scriptures (Hebrews 1:1-2), we can gain a wide understanding of God and of what He wishes for us. This is because of the gift of language God lovingly gave us.
Jesus, the Divine Logos, fulfilled the scriptures. The Old Testament scriptures were understood in one way before the advent of Christ, and through His advent came to be understood in a more perfect way. For example, the Israelites in the Pentateuch understood blood sacrifice in the terms of bulls, goats, birds, etc. When Jesus came, He made our understanding of blood sacrifice to be complete. We now understand that the blood of animals was incomplete and did not completely cleanse our sins, but only did so temporarily. The High priest had to go into the Most Holy Place annually and offer a blood sacrifice for sins. But the blood of the perfect sinless Divine Logos, Jesus Christ, cleanses us from sins permanently.
Because of the Divine Logos, we also have a more complete understanding of the religious convocations or festivals of the Old Testament. They all pointed to the coming of Christ and His sacrifice for our sins. Tabernacles pointed to the Advent of Christ when He tabernacled among us (John 1:14). Passover pointed to the shedding of the blood of the Divine Lamb (Jesus Christ) and symbolically placing His shed blood on the lintels of our hearts, causing the forgiveness of our sins. Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah or New Year) points to His return in triumph as the King of kings and of our gathering to Him at the end of the age. All of the festivals, Yom Kippur (Atonement), Shavuot (Pentecost/Harvest), Hanukah (Lights), Purim (Lots), etc., including the Sabbaths and new moons were fulfilled in Christ. With His Advent, our understanding of these things is more complete.
Through the Word of God, we have an understanding of His desires for us. He desires us to be sinless, and to spend eternity with Him. Through the written language in the scriptures, we understand how to accomplish these things. His Word reveals to us that we are sinners who, by ourselves, are without hope of eternal fellowship with God. His Word teaches us how to enter into that fellowship with Him. It teaches that only through Christ, the sinless Son of God and His shed blood and broken body can we enter into that fellowship.
Similarly, the creation itself tells us of God. We know through the creation that it was designed. We know through the Word Who designed it, but through the creation itself we can also discover God. The song, How Great Thou Art, gives several examples of this. When we look up into the heavens and consider the myriads of stars, we discern God. The power and the expanse of the universe reveal Him. The woods and forest glades reveal Him. The lightning and thunder reveal Him. The songs of birds reveal Him. The babbling brook reveals Him. The grandeur of the mountains reveals Him. The gentle breezes reveal Him. A blade of grass, the human eye, and the bright sunshine all reveal Him.
O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder,
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.
When through the woods, and forest glades I wander,
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.
When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur
And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.
And when I think, that God, His Son not sparing;
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.
When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation,
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart.
Then I shall bow, in humble adoration,
And then proclaim: “My God, how great Thou art!”
Then sings my soul, My Savior God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Savior God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!
Words and Music by Stuart K. Hine
© 1981 by Manna Music Inc. International
Copyright Secured. All Rights Reserved
Since the creation reveals to us that God exists, then it should also cause us to seek Him. Of course, with naturalism pervading all that we teach, read, watch and hear, it is difficult to seek Him. In the past, all peoples had some knowledge of God through His creation. Some did not truly seek Him and formed religions of their own, but all observed the revelation of God though the creation. That is why they knew about Him and that is why they formed their own religions, because they found Him in the creation. Yet, though they knew He existed because of the creation, they did not seek out His Scriptures, so they professed false religion. Having said this, I firmly believe that if a person truly seeks Yehovah God, no matter his location or what his situation is, then God will reveal to that person all that is needed to be saved. Yes, that means that somehow, God will give that person access to the Scriptures
The 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith puts it this way, “Although the light of nature and the works of creation and providence manifest the goodness, wisdom, and power of God so much that man is left without any excuse, they are not sufficient to provide that knowledge of God and His will which is necessary for salvation.” It goes on to say that therefore God revealed Himself and His truth to us in writing–the writing of the Holy Scriptures.
Because of the Word that God spoke, we are able to seek and find God. The Divine Logos that God spoke did not return to Him void. It caused creation. It also gave us our language, and our ability to communicate with God and to understand Him. Through our words, God is revealed to us and we can comprehend Him, though not fully. It allows us to have fellowship with God, and ultimately to spend eternity in His presence. It is the Divine Word of God that provided us with language and words, which are the universal medium of our understanding of the creation and the Creator.
If you have found God through His Son Jesus Christ, then this addendum is not for you. If not, please read on. Since God is revealed through His creation, do you not think that it is time to seek Him? If yes, do you know where to seek Him out? First, seek Him through His word, that is, through the Bible. If that is not very helpful, seek others who profess Faith in Christ. They can help you understand the Bible and they can point you toward God. Find a bible believing church and attend it. Send me an email and I will try to help you find Him. There is no reason to not seek Him. I have shown several avenues through which you may seek Him. Choose one of those avenues. Do it now.
- The philosophy of Naturalism assumes that nature is all there is; that nature is the totality of reality. It assumes that nature can only be understood through scientific investigation. It assumes that the supernatural does not exist, and it deemphasizes the metaphysical. In other words, it is a flawed philosophy, for the supernatural does exist for God is outside of nature. The metaphysical is also a fact of life. Though our thought processes are physically composed of electrical impulses in our brains, our thoughts themselves are not physical; they are metaphysical because they transcend the physical. Hence naturalism makes a wrong assumption about the supernatural and the metaphysical. In making such an assumption the philosophy of naturalism exposes itself as fraudulent. ↩