Jesus as the embodiment of the Logos (John 1:14)

John 1.14 is one of the climactic exclamation points within the prologue. It is at this juncture that the personified Wisdom/logos becomes flesh and ‘tabernacles’ among humanity (Καὶ ὁ λόγος σὰρξ ἐγένετο καὶ ἐσκήνωσεν ἐν ἡμῖν). Consider the following parallels with Moses and the Torah:

He (Moses) became the embodiment of the Law and also the logical divine foreknowledge. (Philo, De Moses 1.162 [αὐτὸς ἐγίνετο νόμος ἔμψυχός τε καὶ λογικὸς θεία προνοίᾳ])


So at once the king (Moses) is indeed the Law’s embodiment. (Philo, De Moses 2.4 [ὡς εὐθὺς εἶναι τὸν μὲν βασιλέα νόμον ἔμψυχον])

Important quote by James D. G. Dunn:

“Prior to v.14 we are in the same realm as pre-Christian talk of Wisdom and Logos, the same language and ideas that we find in the Wisdom tradition and in Philo, where, as we have seen, we are dealing with personifications rather than persons, personified actions of God rather than individual divine beings as such. The point is obscured by the fact that we have to translate the masculine Logos as ‘he’ throughout the poem. But if we translated logos as ‘God’s utterance’ instead, it would become clearer that the poem did not necessarily intend the Logos in vv.1-13 to be thought of as a personal being. In other   words, the revolutionary significance of v.14 may well be that it marks not only the transition in the thought of the poem from preexistence to incarnation, but also the transition from impersonal personification to actual person.” –Christology in the Making, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1996) 243, emphasis his.


5 thoughts on “Jesus as the embodiment of the Logos (John 1:14)

  1. Psalm 33:6,9: ” By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth….For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.” So, all things were made by the Word of God, just as John tells us in John 1:1-3.

    Isaiah 55:10-11: “…as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”

    The Word came forth from God’s mouth when God declared that his Son would be born, became flesh in Jesus, and returned to him (the ascension) not void, but having accomplished all which God pleased (“It is finished!”)

    So, in many of Jesus’ hard sayings, he is talking about this very Word of God by which he himself was manifested. Unfortunately, some people took him more literally than was written.

  2. The verse that is the KEY to the understanding of John chapter 1 is verse 18. It says that no man has seen God at any time… God is invisible because He is Spirit. Jesus was visible. He was NOT God but rather His son. If you believe that Jesus was God, then you CAN’T believe that God raised him from the dead and as a result, you are not yet saved. Read THIS >>

  3. James Dunn appears to have some interesting writings
    At least the topic of this book interest me. .The Holy Spirit and Christian Origins: Essays in Honor of James D. G. Dunn

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