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Exegetical Forum discuss In the beginning was logic... in the The Scriptures forums; Gordon H. Clark translated the following, "In the beginning was Logic, and Logic was with God, and Logic was God.... In logic was life and ...

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    In the beginning was logic...

    Gordon H. Clark translated the following, "In the beginning was Logic, and Logic was with God, and Logic was God.... In logic was life and the life was the light of men."

    Is "logic" a proper translation for logos?
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    No. While logic is one possible gloss for logos, it is much more broad in its semantic range than simply logic. Word (as translators have always read it. For example, even the Vulgate translates it verbum (word) instead of ratio (reason, logic)) is more in line with the immediate and broader Johannine context, as well as the surrounding context of the Bible.

    The immediate context, echoing Genesis 1, stresses the spoken word and its power to bring things into existence-to give them life, which light does. If readers survey John, they'll find that John is interested in Christ's divinely spoken words, which command respect and submission. John is very much interested in the reoccuring themes of personal trust and belief in the words of Jesus. Read 1 John/John and meditate on what he has to say about words and belief. He is the Word, and his words are the Father's (John 14).

    The passage's similiarity to Genesis 1 is so strong that one cannot overlook it. The logos, with the Father, has made everything, and, as creator of everything, he is coeval with the Father; his words are just as authoritative. To insert logic here-although an important tool in Reformed theology-is to move away from what John is saying. Words are very fuzzy things sometimes, especially with words that have so many meanings. Think, for example, of the sentence: he is green. Is he greedy? Is he sick? Is he envious? Has he been painted green?--or even all of them being true at the same time, I guess. The important thing is context, because it will determine what green really means.

    Also, if you have the current BDAG, take a look at it. BDAG quite successfully locates the meaning of a word in its time and place; it avoids the anachronistic semantic fallacy. Therefore, there is good reason to avoid the translation "logic."
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    I concur with Joshua.
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    The translation of logos into logic is too Hellenistic. The major influence for John appears to be the Hebrew Bible and not the Intertestamental period.
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    Jason,
    I agree with Clark based on his argument in his book, The Johannine Logos". He points out that the word "Word" really is not the best translation. Reason, Wisdom (See Proverbs 8) and Logic are all better.
    (Citing the Vulgate, IMO, is not helpful since it is not reliable in translating other words either, like "justify"). Also, consider Proverbs 3:19, "The LORD by wisdom founded the earth: By understanding He established the heavens". And consider Prov. 8. Remember, John didn't use the English word "Word". He used the Greek word, "Logos". As, was pointed out above John was a Hebrew, so he may very easliy had Gen. 1 and Proverbs 8 in mind when writing the word Logos. Unfortunately with the Vulgate translation, being an early and widely used translation the word verbum or "Word" stuck and sadly no one has looked twice at it since Clark to my knowledge. If a person rejects Clark's argument without having read his book then he doesn't know what he is talking about. Clark's ability with Greek and language in general should not be dimissed without careful consideration.
    Also, perhaps our current, modern ideas of logic have been so minaturized and technicalized that we think to use such an idea in John 1 is appalling. But, if Logic is the way God thinks and Clark has very compelling arguments for that, then we need to reconsider the "tradition" of using the word "Word" to translate Logos. Please read Clark's book "The Johannine Logos".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Snyder View Post
    Also, perhaps our current, modern ideas of logic have been so minaturized and technicalized that we think to use such an idea in John 1 is appalling.
    This is a good point. The culture has become anti-intellectual in general, and much of the Church has equated logic (philosophy, reading...learning in general), instead of the improper use of logic, with evil. Although I don't know why our translations chose "word" and don't know Clark's argument, I do think that one should get past a knee-jerk reaction.
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    BTW,
    What is a word anyway but a tag for a thought. If you think of a word it usually reflects an idea and will have various meanings within a particular context. So words are thoughts and God being omniscient doesn't have a stream of disconnected words in His mind but rather a coherent body of knowledge. He is not insane or irrational which a person who just thinks "words" without any connection would be. So, just what does it mean to call Jesus the WORD of God? Does it mean He is God's REVELATION since words reveal thoughts?? And if He is God's revelation the next question is "Revelation of what?". Answer: He reveals God. But for that to mean anything, it must be in propositions otherwise we end up as mystics who can't communicate anything to one another and that is not Christianity. So, as we use the suffix "ology" at the end of words to describe the reasoning of, the wisdom of, the study of something, e.g. biology, theology, anthropology, etc. so, Christ is the Logos of God, He is THEOLOGY, the study of, the wisdom of, the revelation of GOD.
    Chew on that for a while....
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    In this era of human consciousness and thought, "logic" has acquired a meaning that does not express what "logos" meant when John used it.

    I think "word" is better, as Christ is the expression of the Father, "the express image of his person" (Heb 1:3), and again, "the image of God" (2 Cor 4:4).

    When David says, "thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name" (Ps 138:2), he is saying, by the Holy Spirit, that the spoken expression of God is paramount. For Christ to be designated "the Word" is fitting, from Genesis 1:3 ("God said"), to Hebrews 1:1, 2 ("God...hath spoken unto us by his Son"), to Hebrews 1:3 ("upholding all things by the word [rhema] of his power"), to Revelation 19:13, 15 ("his name is called The Word of God...and out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword").

    It is written as well, "the sword of the Spirit, which is the word [rhema] of God" (Eph 6:17). For an English equivalent which approaches logos, I think word is the best that can be found, especially as it correlates so profoundly with the myriad uses of the word word throughout Scripture.

    It seems to me "logic" is a lame little signifier in this respect.

    But Jim, I do have Clark's book, and I will look though it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CarolinaCalvinist View Post
    This is a good point. The culture has become anti-intellectual in general, and much of the Church has equated logic (philosophy, reading...learning in general), instead of the improper use of logic, with evil. Although I don't know why our translations chose "word" and don't know Clark's argument, I do think that one should get past a knee-jerk reaction.
    One thing to remember, logos was/has been translated as Word and not logic since way before anti-intellectualism invaded the church. So one quite a burden to say that one can do better translation.

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    Steve,
    I'm glad you have Clark's book and are willing to read it. Too many people automatically dismiss Clark's argument without ever even reading it let alone studying it. Clark walks through the entire gospel of John looking at most if not all of the occurences of logos and he also looks at rhema as well. You may have to read it a couple of times. We studied this book at our Sunday evening study at our church and took several months to carefully work our way through it. I hope it will be as much a blessing to you as it was for us.
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    CT,
    Have you read Clark's book, "The Johannine Logos?" If you haven't I highly recommend it and you'll see that Clark has good reasons to translate logos other than "word".
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerusalem Blade View Post

    I think "word" is better, as Christ is the expression of the Father, "the express image of his person" (Heb 1:3), and again, "the image of God" (2 Cor 4:4).
    How does that make the translation "word" better? An image is a visual representation and a word is not. By your argument it seems like "word" would be one of the worst translation choices. Clark's references to Proverbs 8 which Jim has copied here speak of Christ in a more directly intellectual sense.

    Also, if it is so obvious that "word" would be the best rendition, why do you think John chose the word logos instead of rhema, as in the verse you quoted? Just wondering what your thoughts are.

    Quote Originally Posted by ChristianTrader View Post
    One thing to remember, logos was/has been translated as Word and not logic since way before anti-intellectualism invaded the church. So one quite a burden to say that one can do better translation.
    There's no finite verb in the first clause of your second sentence so I'm not sure what you meant there.

    I don't think history means a whole lot. If you want to talk about it having been so translated long before the rise of anti-intellectualism, one could note that it was first translated "word (verbum)" by the Romans. I was just saying that people's reaction to Clark's proposition that "logic" may be a better rendition is colored by our place in time.

    Another thing: logic is a direct cognate of logos, unlike "word" which comes from the German wort.

    By the way, I've listened to several lectures by John Robbins and I remember him saying that the translation "word" isn't wrong, just that it is one of many possibilities. Again, see the references to Proverbs 8.
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    What profit is there to rendering it logic instead of word?
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    Davis,
    In Clark's book he points out that the word "word" is a poor translation and he shows why. He points out that the words wisdom and reason would be better translations. Elsewhere he makes the point that one could accurately translate logos into logic and he shows why. One of his main reasons for doing so is to combat the thorough anti-intellectual, irrational bias of our culture including the church.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CarolinaCalvinist View Post
    How does that make the translation "word" better? An image is a visual representation and a word is not. By your argument it seems like "word" would be one of the worst translation choices. Clark's references to Proverbs 8 which Jim has copied here speak of Christ in a more directly intellectual sense.

    Also, if it is so obvious that "word" would be the best rendition, why do you think John chose the word logos instead of rhema, as in the verse you quoted? Just wondering what your thoughts are.



    There's no finite verb in the first clause of your second sentence so I'm not sure what you meant there.

    I don't think history means a whole lot. If you want to talk about it having been so translated long before the rise of anti-intellectualism, one could note that it was first translated "word (verbum)" by the Romans. I was just saying that people's reaction to Clark's proposition that "logic" may be a better rendition is colored by our place in time.

    Another thing: logic is a direct cognate of logos, unlike "word" which comes from the German wort.

    By the way, I've listened to several lectures by John Robbins and I remember him saying that the translation "word" isn't wrong, just that it is one of many possibilities. Again, see the references to Proverbs 8.

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    "Word" is not a poor translation. It's excellent.

    John's point is that Jesus is the Revelation enfleshed, the Incarnation of God's Word. He fulfills the Word of OT Revelation, embodying it and taking it beyond what could have been imagined. "Thus saith the Lord," "And God said," "The Word of the Lord that came to..." Words, words, words.

    It's not translation to render "logos" as "logic", but interpretation. I'd even say reduction, because logic is only one use of words and language. Certainly there is more to the OT than propositions.

    I'm not even going to dispute with GClark as to whether he does us all a service by bringing out just such "a" force from the word "logos". Thank you for the monograph. But to say that "logic" is the proper translation is vastly overstated.
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    Bruce,
    Clark is NOT saying that logic is the proper and only translation of logos. He said it is a possible one as is reason, wisdom and many others. Have you read his book? If you haven't you should check it out.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Snyder View Post
    Bruce,
    Clark is NOT saying that logic is the proper and only translation of logos. He said it is a possible one as is reason, wisdom and many others. Have you read his book? If you haven't you should check it out.
    Jim
    Jim,

    Allow me to quote myself:
    I'm not ... going to dispute with GClark ... he does us all a service by bringing out just such "a" force from the word "logos". Thank you for the monograph.
    Please allow me to quote you
    Clark ... points out that the word "Word" really is not the best translation. Reason, Wisdom (See Proverbs 8) and Logic are all better.
    I can appreciate the argument, or the presentation that presents new insight, or brings something neglected out of a passage or a word. But my point was that "Word" is not a poor translation. It is an excellent translation. And I don't agree that these other glosses are, in fact, "better". I think such renderings would end up hiding more nuance than they reveal, by bearing down in one particular direction. "Word" is better, precisely because it is a broader term, with the wider semantic range.

    I guess we'll just have to differ.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Contra_Mundum View Post

    I can appreciate the argument, or the presentation that presents new insight, or brings something neglected out of a passage or a word. But my point was that "Word" is not a poor translation. It is an excellent translation. And I don't agree that these other glosses are, in fact, "better". I think such renderings would end up hiding more nuance than they reveal, by bearing down in one particular direction. "Word" is better, precisely because it is a broader term, with the wider semantic range.

    I guess we'll just have to differ.
    Well-said.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Contra_Mundum View Post
    "Word" is not a poor translation. It's excellent.

    John's point is that Jesus is the Revelation enfleshed, the Incarnation of God's Word. He fulfills the Word of OT Revelation, embodying it and taking it beyond what could have been imagined. "Thus saith the Lord," "And God said," "The Word of the Lord that came to..." Words, words, words.

    It's not translation to render "logos" as "logic", but interpretation. I'd even say reduction, because logic is only one use of words and language. Certainly there is more to the OT than propositions.

    I'm not even going to dispute with GClark as to whether he does us all a service by bringing out just such "a" force from the word "logos". Thank you for the monograph. But to say that "logic" is the proper translation is vastly overstated.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BaptistInCrisis View Post
    Bruce - couldn't say it better.
    I agree with one qualification. Every translation is an interpretation.
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    Messrs Forrest and Buchanan have hit the nail on the head. It only remains for someone to drive it all the way in by pointing out the immediate link to creation in John 1:1, "in the beginning," and the mediation of the Logos for effecting it in ver. 3, thus providing an articulation of the "Elohim amar" of Gen. 1.

    Gordon Clark's fundamental error was his belief that God thinks. Logic requires process, but God does not know by process. Logic is a created entity. The second person of the Trinity is uncreated.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Snyder View Post
    One of his main reasons for doing so is to combat the thorough anti-intellectual, irrational bias of our culture including the church.
    This becomes such a mantra for Clarkians. When challenged with the Church's historical use of terms, they'll go to this guard: yeah but this culture is anti-intellectual.

    We don't re-interpret words to suit the culture of the 20th Century. We also ought not go overboard and presume that because there are the impious who deny intellect, reason, and logic that we are somehow pious in affirming that intellect, reason, and logic are all that is conveyed in Scripture.

    Frankly, this is the typical arrogance of men who pridefully assert that their interpretation is superior to the testimony of the Church for centuries. One would like to think that Confessional Christians would be more circumspect.
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    Quote Originally Posted by armourbearer View Post
    Gordon Clark's fundamental error was his belief that God thinks. Logic requires process, but God does not know by process. Logic is a created entity. The second person of the Trinity is uncreated.

    Insightful and very true! This point needs to be stressed more, I think. Epistemology is wrong-headed from the start if it doesn't realize that God is ontologically different, wholly other. He has, nevertheless, revealed himself by words and ultimately his only begotten Word. For such a being, I'm compelled to believe and trust, even when human logic (a very important and necessary human tool) comes to a stand-still in explaining mysteries.
    J

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    Robert Gundry's book on John's Prologue is worth reading - a must for anyone working in John's gospel today. He provides a convincing canonical/theological argument for logos in John 1; not only does he provide some of the best exegesis of the Prologue to date, he treats the prologue as a lens for reading the rest of John's story. The basic thesis for the book is that John is NOT recycling language from Greek philosophy, but treating the logos motif with a concept now termed "context carryover" (see JETS, two issues ago on the Old Testament in the Gospel of Mark [sorry forgot the title]).
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    Quote Originally Posted by CarolinaCalvinist View Post
    How does that make the translation "word" better? An image is a visual representation and a word is not. By your argument it seems like "word" would be one of the worst translation choices...

    Also, if it is so obvious that "word" would be the best rendition, why do you think John chose the word logos instead of rhema, as in the verse you quoted? Just wondering what your thoughts are.
    David, in response to your post #12: We err if we construe “image” – (Greek, charakter) – in Hebrews 1:3, and “image” – (Greek, eikon) – in 2 Corinthians 4:4 to refer to what you term “a visual representation.” That is not the meaning of the usages of “image” in these two instances (see post #8). Perhaps my starting a new paragraph after this sentence hindered my being clear,

    I think "word" is better, as Christ is the expression of the Father, "the express image of his person" (Heb 1:3), and again, "the image of God" (2 Cor 4:4).

    For my next sentence was,

    When David says, "thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name" (Ps 138:2), he is saying, by the Holy Spirit, that the spoken expression of God is paramount.

    I quote from Spiros Zodhiates, “The Son is the eikon of God indicating the revelatory character of the incarnation (2 Cor. 4:4; Col. 1:15).” And of my next use of “image” he says, “Occurs only in Heb. 1:3 where it [charakter] is translated ‘express image,’ referring to Jesus Christ. Here He is described as ‘the exact image of His [God’s] essence’ [SZ’s translation]. Whatever the divine essence is, Jesus is said to be its perfect expression.” (The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament, [AMG: ISBN 089957663X], pp. 512 & 1468.)

    My point is, “image” in these two cases is not visual but refers to Christ representing God’s heart and essence. And that the verbal manifestation of this revelation God says is quintessential. Consider, God reveals His glory and His will to us by the Holy Spirit through His word.

    Rhema is a far more limited word than logos, referring as it does to the teachings of God (in the usage I am thinking of) rather than the expression of His Being.

    Thus, word is the best translation choice for logos.

    I hope this clarifies my thought.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerusalem Blade View Post
    David, in response to your post #12: We err if we construe “image” – (Greek, charakter) – in Hebrews 1:3, and “image” – (Greek, eikon) – in 2 Corinthians 4:4 to refer to what you term “a visual representation.” That is not the meaning of the usages of “image” in these two instances (see post #8). Perhaps my starting a new paragraph after this sentence hindered my being clear,

    I think "word" is better, as Christ is the expression of the Father, "the express image of his person" (Heb 1:3), and again, "the image of God" (2 Cor 4:4).

    For my next sentence was,

    When David says, "thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name" (Ps 138:2), he is saying, by the Holy Spirit, that the spoken expression of God is paramount.

    I quote from Spiros Zodhiates, “The Son is the eikon of God indicating the revelatory character of the incarnation (2 Cor. 4:4; Col. 1:15).” And of my next use of “image” he says, “Occurs only in Heb. 1:3 where it [charakter] is translated ‘express image,’ referring to Jesus Christ. Here He is described as ‘the exact image of His [God’s] essence’ [SZ’s translation]. Whatever the divine essence is, Jesus is said to be its perfect expression.” (The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament, [AMG: ISBN 089957663X], pp. 512 & 1468.)

    My point is, “image” in these two cases is not visual but refers to Christ representing God’s heart and essence. And that the verbal manifestation of this revelation God says is quintessential. Consider, God reveals His glory and His will to us by the Holy Spirit through His word.

    Rhema is a far more limited word than logos, referring as it does to the teachings of God (in the usage I am thinking of) rather than the expression of His Being.

    Thus, word is the best translation choice for logos.

    I hope this clarifies my thought.

    Steve
    Steve,

    That does clarify things a lot. Thank you. I was unaware of the subtleties in the original languages.

    Quote Originally Posted by JJF View Post
    Insightful and very true! This point needs to be stressed more, I think. Epistemology is wrong-headed from the start if it doesn't realize that God is ontologically different, wholly other. He has, nevertheless, revealed himself by words and ultimately his only begotten Word. For such a being, I'm compelled to believe and trust, even when human logic (a very important and necessary human tool) comes to a stand-still in explaining mysteries.
    Can you guys expound on this more? Why does God have to think differently from us in order to be ontologically different? What would you say it means that we are created in God's image? Clark says it is the rational thought processes of our minds.

    Quote Originally Posted by SemperFideles View Post
    Frankly, this is the typical arrogance of men who pridefully assert that their interpretation is superior to the testimony of the Church for centuries. One would like to think that Confessional Christians would be more circumspect.
    Hey Rich,

    I wasn't trying to be arrogant when I made that statement. In fact, I didn't even say that I was making an argument. I just said that it is something to keep in mind.

    I would think that it's also possible to pridefully assert something just because it's confessional and assume that that makes it better. This is something I'm still studying for myself but I know that we often like to use the "who are you to go against church history?" argument when it suits our purposes. I'm glad Luther didn't succumb to that reply to his teachings. If the Confession is wrong about something shouldn't it be changed? That's all that the Clarkians are proposing.

    Again, I'm not necessarily arguing for Clark here. I just hate the way people turn up their noses on this board sometimes. It's just as arrogant as I've seen the Clarkians often conduct themselves.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CarolinaCalvinist View Post
    Hey Rich,

    I wasn't trying to be arrogant when I made that statement. In fact, I didn't even say that I was making an argument. I just said that it is something to keep in mind.

    I would think that it's also possible to pridefully assert something just because it's confessional and assume that that makes it better. This is something I'm still studying for myself but I know that we often like to use the "who are you to go against church history?" argument when it suits our purposes. I'm glad Luther didn't succumb to that reply to his teachings. If the Confession is wrong about something shouldn't it be changed? That's all that the Clarkians are proposing.

    Again, I'm not necessarily arguing for Clark here. I just hate the way people turn up their noses on this board sometimes. It's just as arrogant as I've seen the Clarkians often conduct themselves.
    If the Confession is wrong, David, then it is not up for you to simply assert it's failure at that point, standing apart from a Synod or Council to reform it just for yourself. We might as well jettison the idea of Reformed confessionalism and let each man decide where the Confession needs to be changed for himself.

    This is not an argument for the infallibility of the Church but for the authority of the Church. It is arrogant, when the Church has uniformly testified to the interpretation of passage, to insist on a new meaning primarily for the doctrinal epistemology that is undergirding that insistence. Unless you'd like to rescind your subscription to the Confession on who settles such matters then you're the party on the outside of Reformed orthodoxy and not me. I have nothing to defend on this board to uphold the Church's right to settle matters of controversy and not philosophers or academia. Go to an Anabaptist board and make such impious claims all you want there.

    Bringing Luther (or Calvin) into your argument does not help your case in the least. They were not inventors of new theology, interpreting the Scriptures on their own and presuming to think their views superior to the testimony of the entire corpus of the Church fathers. They were reformers not revolutionaries.

    Finally, I asserted nothing. I confessed something.

    Clarkians come to the floor in the 20th Century and assert that the whole of the Church has testified incorrectly and that Word should be logic and that the Bible is propositions and nothing else. THAT is arrogant. They have no authority to dictate any such thing.
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    My tiny two cents:

    I was thinking about the translation (and interpretation) of "Logos" a couple of weeks ago, and came to the firm conclusion that the fundamental grid to be used in understanding this term is Genesis 1.

    I know that's obvious. All of us certainly made that connection from our first days as a Christian, namely, John 1:1-5's grounding in Genesis 1:1.

    However, for me, personally, I always made that connection, deemed it too obvious, and started sifting through the literature on Heraclitus and Hellenism, Proverbs 8, Clark's "Logic/Reason", etc.

    Like I said, though, it was a couple weeks ago that I just thought, "What's the point Scripture is trying to make?" And John is clearly calling us back, not primarily to Proverbs 8 (and certainly not to Greek philosophy), but to Genesis 1, both with the first two words of his sentence, and with the further emphasis on the word's role in creation.

    So that much, at least for me, is "locked in." As far as, speculation aside, *exactly* what "the word" means in the context of Genesis 1, I'm up in the air. I like the thought of "revelation", and clearly that is a major theme of John's (from memory, but I believe John 1:18, John 14:8, et al.), but the emphasis in Genesis seems to be on the creative power of the word.

    However, I suppose if you think of "creation" in terms of Romans 1:20, namely, that it reveals the invisible things of the visible God, then you could nicely and Biblically see the theme of "revelation" rooted in Genesis 1 itself, namely, that the Word was performing and executing the creation decrees of the Godhead, and was the principle force in constructing this theater of God's glory.

    At least that's where I'm at. Everything else (Proverbs 8, the "word" in the Old Testament) would be a fleshing out of that central exegetical claim. Of course, I'm rather talented at being dead-wrong, so who knows.


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    Quote Originally Posted by SemperFideles View Post
    If the Confession is wrong, David, then it is not up for you to simply assert it's failure at that point, standing apart from a Synod or Council to reform it just for yourself. We might as well jettison the idea of Reformed confessionalism and let each man decide where the Confession needs to be changed for himself.

    This is not an argument for the infallibility of the Church but for the authority of the Church. It is arrogant, when the Church has uniformly testified to the interpretation of passage, to insist on a new meaning primarily for the doctrinal epistemology that is undergirding that insistence. Unless you'd like to rescind your subscription to the Confession on who settles such matters then you're the party on the outside of Reformed orthodoxy and not me. I have nothing to defend on this board to uphold the Church's right to settle matters of controversy and not philosophers or academia. Go to an Anabaptist board and make such impious claims all you want there.

    Bringing Luther (or Calvin) into your argument does not help your case in the least. They were not inventors of new theology, interpreting the Scriptures on their own and presuming to think their views superior to the testimony of the entire corpus of the Church fathers. They were reformers not revolutionaries.
    Hey Rich,

    I don't have an argument. Those were just some thoughts I had about the basic framework of things. Thanks for explaining all of that to me. I'm not trying to overthrow confessional orthodoxy!! I've only been in a confessional church for half a year so I'm getting used to the way all of this works.

    What you said does raise some questions in my mind about "the Church" making decisions at synods and councils. We can't really do that anymore, can we? So just how exactly would some kind of change take place? We could have the testimony of a PCA synod or an RPCNA synod but not a uniform decision by the "Church." So what would happen if one denomination were to uphold a change like the one Clark proposed? That doesn't seem like it would be enough to fit your definition of the necessary Church approval.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CarolinaCalvinist View Post
    What you said does raise some questions in my mind about "the Church" making decisions at synods and councils. We can't really do that anymore, can we? So just how exactly would some kind of change take place? We could have the testimony of a PCA synod or an RPCNA synod but not a uniform decision by the "Church." So what would happen if one denomination were to uphold a change like the one Clark proposed? That doesn't seem like it would be enough to fit your definition of the necessary Church approval.
    I'm not sure how the mechanics of it might work.

    I think part of the reason the Presbyterian Churches keep fragmenting, however, is for the reason of non-Confessionalism. It either occurs because a Church completely departs from the Confession eventually and people feel impelled to leave or, increasingly, people want to take what still amounts to a personal opinion that they've super-added to the Confession and form a Church around it (because all Presbyterians should embrace the WCF and Clarkianism or the WCF and theonomy or the WCF and X,...)

    It's not that I don't appreciate the discussion of whether the word might be interpreted in such a fashion but the spirit of the man doing it. Incidentally, I didn't initially quote you and I wasn't addressing you or fully anyone in this thread in my initial post. My issue, though, is that some Presbyterians latch on to some relatively new idea and become so committed on to it that they don't even realize they have become insistent and schismatic to the point that they resemble anabaptists in their willingness to just jettison the entire rest of the Church. Either that or they'll sit in a seat of judgment and call those that Christ has purchased with his blood all sorts of names and, instead of seeking unity, constantly undermine it.

    I'm simply amazed at the passion that some give to some of these pet doctrines given the paucity of treatment in Scripture and the lengths they'll go to enforce that view - even if it means saying that our unifying confession is bunk when they don't like it or saying things like: "You know, the Church throughout history has interpreted this as Word but the better translation is Logic...."
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