. When John as an old man living in Ephesus, at the urging of Christians there sat down to write about his experiences with Jesus fifty years prior, like any good communicator, he wanted to do so in a way that would connect with those he hoped would read his work. He wanted those in the sophisticated metropolis of Ephesus, one of the great cities of the Roman world, to understand just who Jesus was, why He’d come, and why it mattered. And he wanted to introduce Jesus in a way that would pique their curiosity and engage their minds—not only his kinsmen the Jewish community in Ephesus, but also the Romans and Greeks who had been influenced by centuries of philosophy but who did not know God. And guided by the Holy Spirit, this is what he came up with. He’d introduce Jesus to his readers as the “Logos”—translated in English versions as the “Word”.
It’s important to remember when trying understand the Bible that it was written in a specific historical/cultural context. So his opening line– designed to capture the attention of his first century readers, was, “In the beginning was the Logos, and the Logos was with God, and the Logos was God.” Why did he write that? Well, several centuries before John’s time, there lived a philosopher by the name of Heraclitus. This philosopher who’d lived and taught in Ephesus, and whose ideas were well known in the first century world, is the guy who first used the term “Logos” with a specialized philosophical meaning. After him other important philosophers, like Plato for example, picked it up and used the term similarly. And still later, in the first century, in Jesus and John’s time, the well-known Jewish philosopher Philo was using this term in a similar way in his writings. To these philosophers, “Logos” was the ultimate reason, the original intelligence and cause for everything. Philosophers have always been struggling with BIG questions, Who are we? How did we get on this planet? What is the meaning and purpose of life? etc. When Heraclitus, Plato and others theorized about the origins of the universe, and the origin of life, they used the term “Logos” for the reason our world exists, the ultimate cause that brought everything that is into existence, and the rational intelligence that makes it all work together. “Logos” was the term they chose to identify the unexplainable, impersonal, force that they believed must be behind everything that we see and that makes the ordered universe work. So do you see why this term was ideal for John to use to introduce Jesus to his world, to grab the attention of his readers?
With that in mind John chapter 1 makes a lot more sense, doesn’t it? John is using a term his readers would have been familiar with but taking it to a new place. He’s essentially saying, “You know the Logos, the power and intellect responsible for our ordered universe? It’s not an impersonal, unknowable mind force out there somewhere way beyond us. The Logos is a Person! And for a time he was here among us in flesh and blood. And I knew him
As I Apostle Charles I know Christ so do you the words that have been spoken and all is corrected.