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“A Greek word, of great breadth of meaning, primarily signifying in the context of philosophical discussion the rational, intelligible principle, structure, or order which pervades something, or the source of that order, or giving an account of that order. The cognate verb legein means ‘say,’ ‘tell,’ ‘count.’ Hence the ‘word’ which was ‘in the beginning’ as recounted at the start of St. John’s Gospel is also logos.
The root occurs in many English compounds such as biology, epistemology, and so on. Aristotle, in his Nichomachean Ethics, makes use of a distinction between the part of the soul which originates a logos (our reason) and the part which obeys or is guided by a logos (our emotions). The idea of a generative intelligence (logos spermatikos) is a profound metaphysical notion in Neoplatonic and Christian discussion.”
— Nicholas Dent, “Logos,” in The Oxford Companion to Philosophy, 511-512.
On John’s use of logos in the prologue to his gospel, William Temple writes that the Logos “alike for Jew and Gentile represents the ruling fact of the universe, and represents that fact as the self-expression of God. The Jew will remember that ‘by the Word of the Lord were the heavens made’; the Greek will think of the rational principle of which all natural laws are particular expressions. Both will agree that this Logos is the starting point of all things.”
— William Temple, Readings in St. John’s Gospel (London: Macmillan, 1939) 4, quoted by Millard J. Erickson in The Word Became Flesh: A Contemporary Incarnational Christology (Baker, 1991), 26.