Seventeens in Scripture (3)

Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ Λόγος, καὶ ὁ Λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν Θεόν, καὶ Θεός ἦν ὁ Λόγος

En archē ēn ho Lógos, kai ho Lógos ēn pros ton Theón, kai Theós ēn ho Lógos
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Seventeen words, in both Greek and English. This is the marvellous poem that opens John’s gospel and is sometimes called the ‘Hymn to the Logos‘.

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Reflect or Reshape?

When my dad was diagnosed with cancer, he was keen to investigate both conventional and alternative medicine. As a consequence, he sent me off on his behalf to a course in ‘German New Medicine’.

The brainchild of oncologist, Dr Geerd Hamer, it looks upon cancer as a ‘disease of the soul’—and thus not only physical in nature but also psychological and spiritual.

The physical aspect looks back at a moment of trauma, usually a year or two in the past. The psychological component is about the words the person speaks over themselves at that moment of trauma. And the spiritual component of it looks at why those particular words were chosen and at long–term issues of forgiveness.

Ever since I did the course, I’ve got phonecalls from various people who know I attended, asking what the handbook suggests were the words that could initiate a particular disease. I’ve yet to have anyone disagree with what I’ve uncovered; in fact, mostly a dozen lightbulbs have gone on all at once for anyone who has asked.


According to Geerd Hamer, who looked at over 40 000 patients to formulate his theory, the words we speak over ourselves at a moment of trauma have immense power.

There is nothing new in the idea that words have power. In the first chapter of Genesis, God creates the heavens and the earth by the power of the spoken word.

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Traditionally the last words of John the beloved disciple were ‘Little children, love one another.’ It seems a likely story because, after all, he says just that so often in his epistles.

However, it’s worth remembering that Jesus gave him and his brother James the nickname Boanerges, usually translated Sons of Thunder, but perhaps more correctly rendered sons of rage.  So the story that he grabbed his clothes and fled the public baths when he realised the Gnostic teacher Cerinthus was in the same building, just in case God’s wrath was about the turn the place to a cinder, is not altogether far-fetched.

The gospel of John was, in the second century, of uncertain status. Helms points out that some Christians believed it had been written by the apostle as an anti-gnostic anti-Cerinthian work while others considered it had been written by Cerinthus himself!

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