The Ancient GreekLogos” (λογος) really is untranslatable. In some contexts, the meaning is fairly straightforward, as in mathematics when it means a “ratio” between two quantities. It can, however, mean much more, particular in philosophy and religion. At the beginning of the Gospel of John, logos is used in its pure, unadulerated, Gnostic mystic glory: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.”(where Word =logos)

In Goethe’s play, Faust, there is a scene where the learned Doctor Faust is seen in his study attempting to translate the Gospel of John, but is unsatisfied with the traditional translation ...

Goethe, Faust, Faust Study

'Tis written: "In the beginning was the Word!"
Here now I'm balked! Who'll put me in accord?
It is impossible, the Word so high to prize,
I must translate it otherwise
If I am rightly by the Spirit taught.
'Tis written: In the beginning was the Thought!
Consider well that line, the first you see,
That your pen may not write too hastily!
Is it then Thought that works, creative, hour by hour?
Thus should it stand: In the beginning was the Power!
Yet even while I write this word, I falter,
For something warns me, this too I shall alter.
The Spirit's helping me! I see now what I need
And write assured: In the beginning was the Deed!

Goethe, Faust, Studierzimmer

Geschrieben steht: Im Anfang war das Wort!
Hier stock ich schon! Wer hilft mir weiter fort?
Ich kann das Wort so hoch unmoeglich schaetzen,
Ich muss es anders uebersetzen,
Wenn ich vom Geiste recht erleuchtet bin.
Geschrieben steht: Im Anfang war der Sinn.
Bedenke wohl die erste Zeile,
Dass deine Feder sich nicht uebereile!
Ist es der Sinn, der alles wirkt und schafft?
Es sollte stehn: Im Anfang war die Kraft!
Doch, auch indem ich dieses niederschreibe,
Schon warnt mich was, dass ich dabei nicht bleibe.
Mir hilft der Geist! Auf einmal seh ich Rat
Und schreibe getrost: Im Anfang war die Tat!