JohnSWilson3 Blog


Some thoughts on the “logos” in Paul’s letters to Timothy
January 24, 2011, 1:11 am
Filed under: R - First Letter to Timothy

Have been thinking about Paul’s use of the word “logos” in his letters to Timothy, his church planting associate. Here are some ideas that have come to mind.

About a month or 2 ago I had read 1 Timothy and found Paul often quoting “faithful is the logos,” “sanctified through the logos, “nourished by the logos” and now in 2 Timothy seeing “of being healthy logos,” “the logos of God has not been bound,” “proclaim the logos” and then in chapter 2:14-15 to see “the logos of truth” in connection with those not hearing. This last description of the use of “logos” sounds an awful lot like what the author of the letter to the Hebrews (perhaps Paul?) was saying about hearing his voice and not hardening our hearts.

I think Paul is definitely intending on speaking about more than the scriptures to his church planting associate since he uses another word “sacred letters,” “scripture,” “scrolls,” and “parchment” later in the letter. Of course logos generally means “saying” or “expression of thought” while “rhema” refers to that which is “spoken or written.” For a church planter to help a church live by Christ’s life, by the Logos of God, who is our life, think Paul’s point is pretty clear that church planters (those with an apostolic function in the body) must live solidly on the foundation of having spiritual sight, hearing Christ and living by Christ’s life above all else so that they can help His body do the same.

In 2 Timothy Paul does make a point of bringing out the importance of scripture. Scripture according to Jesus testifies to Himself, it also provides the history of God helping His church to put off the flesh and put on Christ, letters by apostles to show how to live by His life and what it looks like not to live by His life, and that all of God’s thoughts and conclusion are summed up in Christ. Think this a bit different than just reading and applying the Bible and doing what the Bible says. There is so much to learn in Christ through experience of His life in His body. It is all about living by Christ’s life together, hearing Him and being taught by Him, since the truth is in Jesus.

Each member in the body of Christ has a measure of Christ to share with one another as He flows through each to build up one another by His Spirit. Paul shared in his letters what many of these functions in the body were that he saw as Christ organically manifested His life through His people. Not all have the same gift but all in the body of Christ have Christ as their real life and are called to hear Him, be taught by Him, because the truth is in Jesus. Let us follow the promptings of His Spirit as He talks to us, the Logos of God. And when we follow His speaking to our hearts He will always bear the fruit of love through us to others.

The literal text is from Alfred Marshall in “The Interlinear KJV-NIV Parallel New Testament in Greek and English”

Word meanings from “Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words.”

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2 Comments so far
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Great study, John. You definitely gave me a new way to look at Christ as God’s “expression of thought”.

Comment by Peter

you are welcome brother!

Comment by John Wilson




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