1. Philosophy.
    1. In pre-Socratic philosophy, the principle governing the cosmos, the source of this principle, or human reasoning about the cosmos.
    2. Among the Sophists, the topics of rational argument or the arguments themselves.
    3. In Stoicism, the active, material, rational principle of the cosmos; nous. Identified with God, it is the source of all activity and generation and is the power of reason residing in the human soul.
  2. Judaism.
    1. In biblical Judaism, the word of God, which itself has creative power and is God's medium of communication with the human race.
    2. In Hellenistic Judaism, a hypostasis associated with divine wisdom.
  3. Christianity. In Saint John's Gospel, especially in the prologue (1:1-14), the creative word of God, which is itself God and incarnate in Jesus. Also called Word.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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