[B-Greek] LOGIKOS - again...
iver_larsen at sil.org
Sun Jan 11 04:06:47 EST 2004
> Philip Brown wrote:
> >The following statement from BDAG supports Troels' suggestion it is to be
> borne in mind that LOGIKOS means spiritual not only in the sense of
> PNEUMATIKOS, but also in contrast to 'literal', w. the mng.'metaphorical'
> (cp. Pel-Leg. p. 20: the bishop is the shepherd TWN LOGIKWN PROBATWN TOU
> CRISTOU; Eus., HE 1, 1, 4 EK LOGIKWN LEIMWNWN; s. DMcCartney, ZNW 82, '91,
> 128-32, w. emphasis on Hellenic connection of reason and verbal
The quote above is from the third edition which we often designate as BAGD.
In that edition, the suggested translation for Rom 12:1 is "spiritual
Michael Tarver wrote:
> From Philip's quote one might think BDAG supports
> Troels' interpretation as "figurative" for LOGIKOS in Romans when they
> actually put term in the context of:
> "pert. to being carefully thought through, thoughtful LOGIKH LATREIA a
> thoughtful service (in a dedicated spiritual sense) Ro 12:1 (the cognitive
> aspect anticipates the phrase EIS TO DOKIMAZEIN hUAS TI TO QELHMA
> TOU QEOU;"
This must be a quote from the recent 4th edition (which I have not bought
yet). At first glance I thought that BDAG has radically changed from the
previous view of BAGD, but on reflection, I think it is simply looking at
the word from a slightly different angle. If it is possible to combine the
two angles, we are probably closer to the intended meaning.
I don't believe that "thoughtful service" is an adequate translation in
English, but "the spiritual dedication sense" is good.
The phrase THN LOGIKHN LATREIAN hUMWN is grammatically and semantically
linked primarily to what precedes and secondarily to what follows:
12:1 PARAKALW OUN hUMAS...PARASTHSAI TA SOMATA hUMWN QUSIAN ZWSAN, hAGIAN,
EUARESTON TWi QEWi, THN LOGIKHN LATREIAN hUMWN.
The church in Rome consisted of Jewish Christians who were used to lots of
physical sacrifices and Gentile Christians who were used to sacrifices to
idols. Paul is urging a new way of thinking that involves sacrifices of the
mind instead. I don't mean giving up one's mental faculties, but handing
over one's whole life to the service of God, rather than just some of one's
possessions. This sacrifice is first and foremost an inner, heart process,
or mind process. This is why Paul goes on to express the need for a mental
paradigm shift - ANAKAINWSIS TOU NOOS - for both Jews and Gentiles. Paul has
explained about that paradigm shift in many other places in the NT, most
noticeably in 2 Cor 3. But we also find the shift from the frustrating, old
service under the law as described in Romans 7 to the new spiritual service
under grace as detailed in chapter 8.
The words used for the new kind of spiritual, mental sacrifice are very
parallel to words used for the former physical sacrifices. They were to be
hAGIA, holy (without blemish) and with a pleasing aroma to God. The LXX uses
EUWDIA for a pleasing aroma, but it also uses the verb EUARESTEW to describe
Enoch who "walked with God" (Gen 5:22,24), Noah who "walked with God" (Gen
6:9), and the command of God to Abraham to "walk blamelessly before God"
(Gen 17:1). Abraham himself says that he "walks before God" (EUHRESTHSA) Gen
24:40. In Gen 39:4 the same Greek word translates a Hebrew word for Joseph
serving his master (doing his will in a pleasing way). In Gen 48:15 Jacob
testifies about Abraham and Isaac that they walked before God (EUHRESTHSAN).
ALL SEVEN occurrences of this word in Genesis refer to the famous men who
did the will of God in a commendable way or "walked with God". I think it is
likely that Paul alludes to this by using the word EUARESTOS to describe the
kind of walk that a Christian is supposed to demonstrate before God, a life
pleasing to God and doing the will of God as the last word of v. 2 also say:
TO QELHMA TOU QEOU, TO AGAQON KAI EUARESTON KAI TELEION.
So, I think Paul uses the word LOGIKON to describe how to serve God in order
to indicate that it is a service that very much involves the mind and heart,
or the spiritual part of man. It is first and foremost an inner service of
the heart, not an outward service through traditional rituals. All religious
people are attracted to rituals, but walking in a way pleasing to God has
nothing to do with rituals, but all to do with giving one's whole mind,
soul, heart and everything to his service.
The true service for God is both logical, mindful and spiritual. When it
comes to translation, it is impossible to get all of this into one word, and
that is not needed, because the context of the two verses paint the picture.
I still think that "spiritual" is the better translation if we restrict
ourselves to one word, better than thoughtful, rational or reasonable. The
change from "physical" or ritualistic service under the Old Covenant to
"spiritual" heart service under the New Covenant is pervasive in the NT.
Instead of physical sacrifices, we present spiritual sacrifices, instead of
a physical land of inheritance we get a spiritual land of inheritance (the
Kingdom of God), instead of a physical circumcision there is a spiritual
"circumcision of the heart", instead of laws written on physical tablets of
stones, we have inner, spiritual laws written in the heart, etc.
The same concept is found in 1 Pet 2:2. Like a baby craves for physical,
normal milk, the Christian is to crave for the spiritual, inner nourishment
of the heart and mind that comes from Christ (through the Holy Spirit). So,
as a translator, I would use "spiritual" in both places in English (and -
for Troels - "åndelig" in Danish. The Danish NLT which is in press is doing
More information about the B-Greek