I am currently studying Philo the Alexandrian Jew, 1st cent. CE, with particular interest in his use the the term LOGOS. I intend to trace the development of this concept from Heraclitus to St. John the Divine through Philo.
I am also interested to note other concepts that resurface among the Eastern Greek Christian Fathers in Philo.
Is anyone else interested in any of this?
I also have a linguistic question, and that is, what dialect of Ancient Greek did Homer use? Also, what Heraclitus?
richard, May I assume that you have discovered that ΛΟΓΟΣ does not mean WORD? If so, good for you! A most interesting approach you are taking with Philo. Is this a Master's or Doctoral thesis? Sounds as if it is. Please keep us posted and I will check some of my sources which are more directed at Hellenistic philosophical terms being used to describe Orthodox Christian ecclesiology.
Yes, I know about "Logos" (I wish I knew how you got that in the right alphabet).
Actually, it isn't for a thesis, though if I save the information right, it might be able to turn into one. My master's thesis is on the philioque controversy, but that is gist for another mill (though, since it regards Hellenism, it is appropriate to this place as well, I believe).
No, this question and persuit is to satisfy my inordinate curiosity. I am a protestant Christian who, for the last few years has been studying Christianity from the perspective of what is called "eastern" Orthodoxy to my great delight and benifit.
My own protestantism is biased against philosophical explanations of scriptural truths, so it has taken me this long to begin to examine them from this perspective. I know that the Fathers pointed out that the church did not philosophise as the philosophers did, and I imagine that is what the original Reformers were trying to drive at against the so-called sholastics.
Sorry to bore you with all that. Let me just say that in studying scripture and the immediate tradition surrounding it I was struck by the fact that Apollos of Alexandria makes his first appearance (to our knowledge) in Ephesus where Heraclas had lived and taught; that St. John the Divine (aka "theologian" in the empirical sense) had gone to live (with the Lord's mother, I believe, and perhaps was the first bishop there?), and that Philo, also of Alexandria, was their contemporary, and had a lot to say about the Logos in his attempt to relate Mosaic scripture to Hellenistic philosophy.
It is possible that Apollos had studied Philo, and taken his doctrine to Ephesus -- I wonder about an Alexandria-Ephesus connection, and that it might have gotten to St. John and used by the Holy Spirit in the Apostle's enlightenment (both of himself, and through his writing, of us). Of course all this is conjecture, I am looking to see how much can be established objectively.
I do not have Philo in Greek yet, but I have him all in English, and I have the Philo Index and will be looking for all its references to Logos.
But, short answer: yes, I know that for Philo, Logos is Plato's intelligible world, the basis or underpining of his sensible one (and is therefore "creature"), and also that for the language in general, logos is more than simply "verbum."
richard, You certainly are taking a bite from a very big pie! As to ΛΟΓΟΣ (I'll email you on Greek font rendering), you've made a start with Plato; however, you must be cautious as the Early Church Fathers used familiar terms from Hellenistic philosohy to describe Christian concepts, and translations can be a hindrance. Sometimes what may seem a static definition of a word may not be as intended in its ecclessiastical use. "Logos" is one of those words. (we'll take this off-forum as well). Another example could be the word "incarnate" as used in the Nicean-Constantinopolitan Creed. The holy fathers of the 1st and 2nd Ecumenical councils rendered the statement of faith in Greek. It was then translated into Latin. The Latin word "incarnatio" (from which we get 'incarnation') actually means something like 'enfleshment.' The Greek word that is more generally used to describe this keystone event is (ενανθρωπήσαντα) or enanthropoisis, which means the 'enmanment.' The word 'man' in this case refers not to man as opposed to woman (that would be andras), but to man as opposed to nonhumans. Anthropos means humankind, and is a word used for both men and women. Thus 'enmanment' might be a better choice of translations. (Preceding two sentences purloined from Again magazine article). As you can see, a subtle difference but one which could have major impact on undertanding (re: Oriental Christology vs Eastern Orthodox). Perhaps we'll exchange email off forum?)
Thank you for the encouragement. Still new to this forum, I am in need of technical help.
I began this conversation here, in "Hellenism" even though my questions would do as well in "Interpretation" because I have been following up on Hellenism in general as it affected Judaism. Also, I read a book called "Christ the Eternal Tao" in which the author made a particular point of Heraclitus' philosophy of the Logos paralelling Lao Tzu's philosphy of the Tao. What he had to say about Philo's middle Platonism was intriguing, and so I thought to follow it up.
I also have a particular interest in the psychology of the Church Fathers (or of anybody, actually) as it is related in the Greek dialects. All this to further my own understanding of the Christian Scriptures, not to mention the Fathers' instructions in spirituality.