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

In the Beginning. . .


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Single Page

More from Scott Horton:

Conversation March 30, 2016, 3:44 pm

Burn Pits

Joseph Hickman discusses his new book, The Burn Pits, which tells the story of thousands of U.S. soldiers who, after returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, have developed rare cancers and respiratory diseases.

Context, No Comment August 28, 2015, 12:16 pm

Beltway Secrecy

In five easy lessons

From the April 2015 issue

Company Men

Torture, treachery, and the CIA

Get access to 165 years of
Harper’s for only $45.99

United States Canada



August 2016

A Sigh and a Salute

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Four in Prose

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Don the Realtor

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Atlas Aggregated

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Origins of Speech

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Four in Verse

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content


Martin Amis on the rise of Trump, Tom Wolfe on the origins of speech, Art Spiegelman on Si Lewen, fiction by Diane Williams, and more

In Havana, the past year has been marked by a parade of bold-faced names from the north — John Kerry reopening the United States Embassy; Andrew Cuomo bringing a delegation of American business leaders; celebrities ranging from Joe Torre, traveling on behalf of Major League Baseball to oversee an exhibition game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cuban national team, to Jimmy Buffett, said to be considering opening one of his Margaritaville restaurants there. All this culminated with a three-day trip in March by Barack Obama, the first American president to visit Cuba since Calvin Coolidge in 1928. But to those who know the city well, perhaps nothing said as much about the transformation of political relations between the United States and Cuba that began in December 2014 as a concert in the Tribuna Antiimperialista.

Illustration by Darrel Rees
Don the Realtor·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

"If you have ever wondered what it’s like, being a young and avaricious teetotal German-American philistine on the make in Manhattan, then your curiosity will be quenched by The Art of the Deal."
Photograph (detail) © Polly Borland/Exclusive by Getty Images
The Origins of Speech·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

"To Chomsky...every child’s language organ could use the 'deep structure,' 'universal grammar,' and 'language acquisition device' he was born with to express what he had to say, no matter whether it came out of his mouth in English or Urdu or Nagamese."
Illustration (detail) by Darrel Rees. Source photograph © Miroslav Dakov/Alamy Live News
A Sigh and a Salute·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

"Si told me that various paintings had spoken to him, but he wished they had been hung closer together 'so they could talk to each other.' This observation planted a seed that would come to fruition years later in his mature work."
Artwork (detail) by Si Lewen
El Bloqueo·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

"Amid the festivities and the flood of celebrities, it would be easy for Americans to miss that the central plank of the long-standing cold war against Cuba — the economic embargo — remains very much alive and well."
Photograph (detail) by Rose Marie Cromwell

Amount traders on the Philadelphia Stock Exchange can be fined for fighting, per punch:


Philadelphian teenagers who want to lose weight also tend to drink too much soda, whereas Bostonian teenagers who drink too much soda are likelier to carry guns.

Nuremberg’s Neues Museum filed a criminal complaint against a 91-year-old woman who completed a crossword puzzle that was in fact a $116,000 piece of avant-garde Danish art.

Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!


Mississippi Drift


Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'

Subscribe Today