Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




The term "logos" is employed in various ways in the Johannine literature, most famously in the Prologue of the Gospel of John. There the Logos is said to have existed in the beginning, to be with God, to be God, and to have become flesh in Jesus Christ.

Ed. L. Miller maintains that the body of the Gospel of John was composed first, then the First Epistle, and finally the Prologue. He contends that we can trace an increasing christological significance in the use of the term "logos" as we proceed from the body of the Gospel through the First Epistle to the Gospel Prologue, in which the Logos is explicity identified with Jesus.

Urban C. von Wahlde asserts that the Gospel of John as it has come down to us went through three editions to reach its final form. It is his position that the First Epistle of John was written before the composition of the third edition of the Gospel, when the completed Prologue was prefixed to the Gospel.

My objective in this dissertation is to explore whether or not the position of Ed. L. Miller can be seen as complementary to that of von Wahlde--that is, can we trace the development of an increasing Christological significance for the term "logos" in the Johannine tradition, starting with what von Wahlde has identified as the first edition of the Gospel, then proceeding through the second edition, I John, the third edition of the Gospel and finally the Prologue, where this development seems to culminate in the explicit identification of the "logos" with Jesus Christ? By examining the use of "logos" in the three editions of the Gospel and in I John, we shall determine whether or not there was a linear development from the portrayal of Jesus who proclaims the word to the declaration that Jesus is the Word.

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