No Comment, Quotation — March 16, 2008, 12:00 am

In the Beginning. . .

mosaic

?? ???? ?? ? ?????,
??? ? ????? ?? ???? ??? ????,
??? ???? ?? ? ?????.
????? ?? ?? ???? ???? ??? ????.

????? ??’ ????? ???????,
??? ????? ????? ??????? ???? ?? ? ???????
?? ???? ??? ?????,
??? ? ??? ?? ?? ??? ??? ????????.
??? ?? ??? ?? ?? ?????? ??????,
??? ? ?????? ???? ?? ?????????.

??????? ????????,
???????????? ???? ????,
????? ???? ????????
????? ????? ??? ?????????,
??? ????????? ???? ??? ?????,
??? ?????? ??????????? ??’ ?????.

??? ?? ??????? ?? ???,
???’ ??? ????????? ???? ??? ?????.
?? ?? ??? ?? ????????,
? ??????? ????? ????????,
????????? ??? ??? ??????.

?? ?? ????? ??,
??? ? ?????? ??’ ????? ???????,
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??? ?? ????? ????? ?? ?????????.

???? ?? ?????? ?????,
?????? ?????? ???????? ????? ???? ????????,
???? ??????????? ??? ?? ????? ?????,
?? ??? ?? ??????? ???? ?? ????????? ??????
???? ?? ????????? ?????? ???’ ?? ???? ???????????.

??? ? ????? ???? ??????? ??? ????????? ?? ????,
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At the origin was the Word,
And the Word faced God,
And the Word was God;
This faced God at the origin.

Through Him all things came to exist,
And without him nothing that exists existed.
What existed in him was vivifying,
And the vivification was a light to men,
And the light shone into the darkness,
And the darkness did not cope with it.

He was in the universe,
And through Him the universe existed
Yet the universe did not recognize Him.
He came to his chosen ones,
Yet His chosen did not welcome him.
But to all those who did welcome him
He gave the privilege of being God’s offspring.

And the Word became human flesh
And bivouacked with us.
And we have seen his splendor,
A splendor of God’s only Son,
Supreme in favor and fidelity.

Since of his supremacy
We all have our share,
Favor answering favor.

John 1:1-14 (ca. 90 CE)(English transl. Garry Wills, following Raymond E. Brown, The Gospel According to John)


The italicized words form the “staircase” of linkage in a style common to early Church hymns. The thesis presented by Brown and advanced by Wills is that the Gospel of John originally began with the account of John the Baptist which starts after verse 14. In later editions, however, an early Church hymn was affixed to the beginning. The hymn text was modified at four separate points to provide transition to the story of the Baptist and to avoid the confusion that the textual juxtaposition might otherwise have created.

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