Sometime between 65 and 100 AD a man by the name of John, the Apostle, took up his pen and wrote the original account of this translation you hold in your hands. John was a Jew, but he wrote in Greek, the trade language of the day. Referring to himself as “the disciple whom Jesus loved,” John was without doubt Jesus’ most intimate associate, and thus uniquely qualified to write this account of his Lord.
When John first met Jesus he was introduced as “the Lamb of God” from the preaching of John the Baptist, an expression that had special meaning to the Jews. Later on he came to know him by his given name, “Yeshua,” not an uncommon name in that day, which through transliteration into English became “Jesus.” But John learned something about this man that was far more significant than his earthly name, and he introduced him in this account as O Logos.
It would be misleading to give this Greek word one English meaning, because it is used to convey several ideas. As a common term in ordinary narrative it may mean “word,” “speech,” or “utterance.” But in reference to Jesus, John did not use it as a common term. He used it as a philosophical term. As noted by one scholar, “The Hebrew Targums or paraphrases of the ancient scriptures; the Wisdom literature of Judaism, both in Palestine and Alexandria; the speculations of Philo; the philosophy of Heraclitus, and that of the later Stoics, all use the idea of the Logos to explain the mysterious relation of God to man”1. Another writer noted, “The answer to the antinomies of the Greek philosophies, as the philosophers taught, was a conception called logos.”
At the close of this account by John he states his purpose in writing it. “These (things) have been selected and written down to help you believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, so that you may receive eternal life as the result of believing in his name.” Since John’s concern was to give a Divine explanation for the philosophical questions being discussed in his day concerning the idea of God and his relation to man he used the term the philosophies were using to identify who Jesus was. In that sense logos meant much more than “word” as is commonly used today. It was a revelation of who God is and how he has entered the human race in the Person of Jesus to answer the questions being commonly asked by the philosophers. John’s Gospel is therefore about the Logos Man, and to communicate the same relevance in today’s culture we have titled it, “The Answer,” because Jesus indeed is The Answer to everything human beings want to know about God.