In the first chapter of his Gospel John told the Greek world that the God of nature existed before creation, then became flesh in the Person of Jesus.

Monday, 12/31/12
Our Gospel, which is the first chapter of the Gospel according to John, is concerned with the Word. We must understand what the Word meant to the Greek audiences for whom John wrote this Gospel.

In ancient times the Greek people had believed in Zeus and the other gods living on Mount Olympus, but the great philosophers Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle brought them to believe in a single God.

A century after those three great philosophers, another influential philosopher named Zeno came along. When the established schools of Plato and Aristotle kept Zeno from teaching in their academy, he addressed his followers from the steps of that academy: and since the Greek word for steps was stoa, people called Zeno and his followers the Stoics.

Now, following Plato and Aristotle, the Stoics taught that there was only one God. What was different about their teaching was that they saw God not as standing apart from nature, but as the beautiful core of nature and humanity. They taught that we all become more Godlike by becoming less a matter of material. They said we did that by developing the scholarly and artistic sides of our human nature, so that the Logos is allowed to shine forth. So, the religious outlook of the Stoics was a good thing. It had people disciplining themselves to become learned and virtuous.

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