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Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Jedi Knight, Jun 22, 2010.
Ok, I like to discuss what are the different meanings for Logos vs Rhema.
Ok,so any Sunday school teachers here? :smilewinkgrin:
I'm a SS teacher but also a Greek teacher. You've asked a difficult question. Both words have a very wide range of meaning, overlapping in many if not most cases. Rhema occurs in 67 verses in the NT and logos appears in 316 verses. Do you have any particular passage in mind?
What specifically do you want to talk about?
Do you want to talk about the nature of their usage? The constructions in Pauline versus Johanine texts? The implications for Christological versus Pneumatological theology? Jesus' usage? The theology of both in light of their respective texts?
I mean just wanting to talk about something is admirable but you need to help us with what exactly you mean.
During John’s time the Greek word for “the Word” was logos and had a variety of meanings which differed among philosophers. John used the various philosophies of “the logos” among those in the world and brought them together to show that Christ was “the logos”.
“The Logos" as it is used in scripture, is only found in the prologue to John’s gospel (John 1:1-18). John brings together the philosophies among the people of the day and names “the logos” as Jesus. Logos was used in many ways among philosophers, but not as John used the word. John shows that Christ is far more than the combination of “the logos” philosophies in the world.
Before John, “the logos” (The Word) was described as:
· embodying the divine will.
· the personified wisdom.
· being among the Hellenists and Hellenistic Jews who were vainly philosophizing on the relations of the finite and infinite.
· conceived and residing in the mind.
· comprising both senses of thought and word.
· the divine reason that acts as the ordering principle of the universe.
· a force
“The Logos” in John’s gospel is a person, with a consciousness of personal distinction. The philosophers in the world taught a logos that was impersonal. To make Jesus a mere speaker or messenger of the message would be to put Him of the same level as the apostles.
Well when I was a young believer and I read Mathew 4:4 where Jesus said "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God". I found out "word" was actually Rhema not Logos which put a whole new meaning to the text for me. Several times John's gospel uses rhema as in "If you remain in me and my "words" remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you." Rhema is a spoken word"direct" from God personally to you and not just text
in whole. Anyways Bill Gothard put it "A rhema is a verse or portion of Scripture that the Holy Spirit brings to a person’s attention with application to a current situation or need for direction."
Jesus said it again in John 6:63 "The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life". Seems to make scripture more meaningfull in their application. Reading the scriptures in modern translations or King James for that matter doesn't really show the difference. Has it helped you in some way to know "or apply" the different meanings?
Sorry, but I don't think the linguistic data supports this theory of the difference between the two words. And for sure Bill Gothard is no Greek scholar! The word rhema is many times used when it is not a spoken word direct from God. Look at Matt. 5:11 for just one example.
That was a given!.:smilewinkgrin:
Where the "word of God" appears in the KJV it is logos in the majority, but it is also from rhema several times; therefore they seem to be synonomous in this usage.
I came up with a theory once:
// The term RHEMA always means THE BIBLE = the Written Word of God while the term LOGOS always means THE MESSIAH = the Human Word of God. \\
This did not check out to be true. The terms 'Rhema' and 'Logos' are interchangabe where they have the same meaning. There is not a thing rright about this theory :-((
But the following is still true:
Here "word" is clearly the written law. Here the English "word" is from the Greek "Logos".
Joh 15:25 (KJV1769ish edition, e-sword.com edition):
But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.
Well I see Rhema as a direct word from God Himself. Logos as the written word. Jesus said the words I speak to you are spirit and are life. Again Rhema is used here....not written "Logos". Pratical level...as we study Gods word "Logos" and a passage seems to jump out at us and even a second time through confirmation "no coincidences" is a rhema from God.
Both these greek words are translated "Word" in our English Bible. Logos often refers to the whole revelation of the Word of God. Rhema refers to a statement or part of the logos. Examples: Jesus proclaims in John 17:1, "Thy Word is truth," He uses the term logos. However, the logos is comprised of many rhemas, all of which is truth. Romans 10:17 in stating the basis of faith, does not use the larger term logos but rather the specific term rhema. Therefore, the basis of biblical faith is specific truth. The foundation of faith is not merely general; it is specific - the rhema of God (specific truth). (Engine Truths- J. Van Gelderen)
John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word (logos) is truth.
Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word (rhema) of God.
In Jn 1:1 Jesus is the summation and more of all philosophical ideas of logos at the time John's gospel. Jesus was in eternity past and continuing on in the present. He extends from eternity past to the present. John brings together every possible philosophical idea of logos and declares it to be Jesus. Then goes on to declare Jesus as much more.
Here are definitions from a recent Greek-English dictionary, the Anlex (Analytical Lexicon), which I have found to be accurate:
ῥῆμα , ατος , τό (1) as what has definitely been stated, with focus on content, (single) word, saying, utterance (MT 27.14); often translated according to the context: prediction or prophecy (MT 26.75), command or direction (LU 5.5), threat (AC 6.13); plural, as a unified communication sermon, proclamation, speech (LU 7.1); message (JN 3.34), teachings, doctrine (JN 5.47); (2) Hebraistically, as a happening thing, matter, business, transaction (MT 18.16; LU 1.37)
λόγος , ου , ὁ related to λέγω (arrange in order); (1) as a general term for speaking, but always with rational content word, speech (MT 22.46); often opposite ἔργον (deed) (1J 3.18); (2) with the specific translation depending on a wide variety of contexts; (a) question (MT 21.24); (b) prophecy (JN 2.22); (c) command (2P 3.5); (d) report (AC 11.22); (e) message, teaching (LU 4.32); (f) declaration, statement, assertion (MT 12.32), opposite μῦθος (legend); (g) plural, of words forming a unity of expression discourse, speech, teaching, conversation (MT 7.24); (h) of what is being discussed subject, thing, matter (MK 9.10); (3) of divine revelation; (a) word, message (of God) (JN 10.35); (b) commandment(s) (MT 15.6); (c) of God's full self-revelation through Jesus Christ the Word (JN 1.1); (d) of the content of the gospel word, message (LU 5.1); (4) in a somewhat legal or technical sense; (a) accusation, matter, charge; (b) account, reckoning (RO 14.12); (c) reason, motive (AC 10.29)
Logos = written word
Rhema = utterance, spoken command, etc.
"So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." where "word" = rhema.
So, it's more like, "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing comes when God says so."
Nice feed back gang. I think this is where the Word of Faith movement try to claim "I got a word from God" to mimic a true rhema from God.
Both words can mean either thing. In Matt. 7:24-28, logos is very clearly the spoken sayings of Jesus. In Eph. 5:26, rhema appears to be the written word of God.
Each of these words has a wide range of meaning and must be translated according to context, not by concordance. ("Concordance" in translating is when you translate every occurance of a word by the same word in the target language.) :type:
Forgive me if I don't recall every example, so I may not be 100% accurate on this. But as far as I can remember, when I say rhema is connected to an utterance/command, I mean as in "make it so" not as in "you people must do the following," which would be closer to a "saying" or "teaching" or law (Matt 7:24). IMO, that's why logos is used in Matt 7:24.
"Washing of water by the word", to me, is the word of Christ to "make it so", not the word that she reads. After all, in that verse, Jesus is doing all the action, not the woman who is being cleansed.
Sorry, but in Greek syntax, "command," whether "make it so" or "you must do", is portrayed by verbs, and not nouns like logos and rhema. There is nothing inherent in a Greek noun that shows verbal characteristics like a command. (Languages are different here. Japanese syntax also uses verbs for commands, but Chinese needs an auxiliary word to the verb.)
This is interesting speculation, but I don't know how you can prove it. The Greek rhema in Eph. 5:26 is a dative of means (called an "instrumental" in some grammars). It simply means that the "word" is the means by which the washing was done, it doesn't describe the action of the verb.