Paul’s Doctrine Of The Logos -- By: George M. Cummings

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 071:283 (Jul 1914)
Article: Paul’s Doctrine Of The Logos
Author: George M. Cummings

Paul’s Doctrine Of The Logos1

George M. Cummings

John’s doctrine of the Logos has always been a favorite one with theological and apologetic writers. Special attention is directed to it to-day, in view of the fact that John’s Gospel has become the battle-ground of Rationalist and Conservative. Rarely, if ever, however, do we see any reference to a Pauline doctrine of the Logos; or even the suggestion of a possibility of there being such a doctrine. Hence the novelty, interest, and importance of this inquiry.

It seems to the writer strange that, with the diversities of renderings on the part of translators of the New Testament, the term Logos in Paul’s writings is never suggested—as far as he knows—as referring to Jesus as the fulfillment of the protevangelium. But that Jesus is the promised “seed,” the Logos, seems to be plainly taught by Paul, not only in Gal. 3:16, but elsewhere in his Epistles.

We find the term five times in the Pastoral Epistles: 1Tim. 1:15; 3:1; 4:9; 2 Tim. 2:11; Tit. 3:8. Now it must be borne in mind that, although these Epistles were written late in Paul’s life (apparently between the years 65 and 68), they precede by some years (probably twenty-five) the Gospel of John. Consequently, if Paul’s reference is to the Son of God (and there is at least room for argument that such is the

case), his view is preliminary to John’s, and suggestive, rather than supplementary.

It is all but certain that John had in mind the first verses in Genesis when he penned the prologue of his Gospel.2 But had John- read the Pastoral Epistles? It is not at all unlikely that he had seen those to Timothy, as Timothy had been a bishop in Ephesus; and John, later, had labored and died there. Naturally, if opportunity afforded, he would consult these Epistles which shed light on the condition of the early church in that city, and were probably current there. That he had seen also the Epistle to Titus is not improbable; it certainly is within the range of possibility.

But whether or not Paul suggests the term to John, there are certain tests by which may be approximately determined the Messianic meaning of the phrase translated (R. V.), “Faithful is the saying,” the phrase which occurs in each of the five texts mentioned. These tes...

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