Logos refers to logical appeal, and in fact the term logic evolves from it.
Plato allowed his characters to engage in the conceit of describing logos as a living being in some of his dialogues.
Each of these two groups had its own history associated with the concept of the Logos, and each could understand John's use of the term from one or both of those contexts.
In Christianity, various doctrines about logos were also developed.
Especially for the Hellenists, however, John turns the concept of the Logos on its head when he claimed "the Logos became flesh and dwelt among us" (v. 14).
The Greek word ?????, or logos, is a word with various meanings.
Logos, therefore, designates both the material substrate itself and the universal, mechanical, "just" way in which this substrate manifests itself in, and as, individual things.
Gordon Clark famously translated Logos as "Logic" in the opening verses of the Gospel: "In the beginning was the Logic, and the Logic was with God and the Logic was God."
The Stoics developed the notion of logos and conceived it as the principle that gave life and order to all beings in the universe.
By using the term logos, he meant the principle of the cosmos that organizes and orders the world that had the power to regulate the birth and decay of things in the world.
Logos normally implies numbers, polls, and other mathematical or scientific data.
Logos was the most universal among all things in the world, an intermediary between the transcendent God and the created world.
In ancient philosophy, Logos was used by Heraclitus, a Pre-Socratic Greek philosopher.
By the time of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, logos was the term established to describe the faculty of human reason and the knowledge men had of the known world and of other humans.
The Jewish philosopher Philo of Alexandria (Philo Judaeus) tried to explain the relationship between God and the world by applying the Stoic concept of logos.
The development of the Academy with hypomnemata brought logos closer to the literal text.
Within Eastern religions, there are ideas with varying degrees of similarity to the philosophical and Christian uses of the term logos.
The cosmos was, as he saw it, constantly changing, and he conceived logos as the organizing principle of change.
From the beginning, Christianity has understood itself as the religion of the Logos, as the religion according to reason.
Five concepts with some parallels to Logos are the Tao, the Vedic notion of rta, the Hindu and Buddhist conception of dharma, Aum (from Hindu cosmology), and the Egyptian Maat.
Heraclitus also used the term Logos to mean the undifferentiated material substrate from which all things came: "Listening not to me but to the Logos it is wise to agree that all are one."