In the Beginning…
Since I started this blog quoting the Gospel of John, I might as well segue into this inquiry with the beginning of John:
In the beginning was the Word… John 1:1 (ESV)
I quote this not for its philosophical or theological meanings at this time but instead for the common Merriam-Webster American English dictionary meaning of “word”, namely, “a sound or combination of sounds that has a meaning and is spoken or written.” See M-W.com. Yes, I understand the original verse was most likely written in Koine Greek, and the original Koine Greek word for “Word”, Logos, means much more than common “words.” However, I like the verse’s apparent implication that “words” are important bases to begin. I am aiming for as much clarity as I can muster in this inquiry; thus, for the sake of clarity, I will begin, like many of the statutory laws and contracts I read everyday, by defining the meanings of words most material to this inquiry. For the sake of a cohesive inquiry, I will primarily rely on the online version of the Merriam-Webster Dictionary (“M-W.com”) because it is easily accessible from all my electronic devices, it is ubiquitous, and I relied on its earlier hard copy versions to learn American English since grammar school. I am sure the substantive reasons for choosing M-W.com or another dictionary are broad and interesting subjects of inquiry, but I will save those for someone else or for a later date.
Let’s begin my defining “definition” with a painting I viewed last month at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.