If Jesus is the ‘Word of God’ Can We Call the Bible the Word of God?

Even as a lover of books, this might be one of the most terrifying pictures I've ever seen.

Even as a lover of books, this might be one of the most terrifying pictures I’ve ever seen.

“The Bible is not the Word of God, Jesus is. John says he is the Eternal Logos, the true Word spoken from all eternity, and to put such a focus on the Bible as the Word of God is to take it off their point: Jesus. In fact, it’s tantamount to bibliolatry–elevating the Bible to the 4th person of the Trinity.”

Ever heard something like that before? It’s become a truism among many of the Christian internet set, and something like it has been popular in theological circles for some time now.

I must admit, when I first heard the slogan myself, I was thrown off a bit. I mean, John does identify Jesus as the Logos, the Word, of God from all of eternity–the truest and deepest reality Father is eternally speaking. What’s more, it’s true that from time to time you can run across someone in a fundamentalist church who treats the Scriptures as if they were dropped from heaven and yet remain utterly oblivious to its central content. I can begin to see what motivates some to adopt it.

However, after the initial appeal, it appears to me that this is a mistaken move that many (though not all) use as a lead-up to falsely pitting Christ against the Scriptures. In fact, I’ve come to see this as sadly little more than a rhetorical sleight of hand, passing itself off as serious theology.

A Word About Words – The first is concerned with the basic nature of language and the simple text of the Bible. It should be an obvious point that words or phrases can, quite comfortably, have more than one proper use, or an expanded lexical range. For example, the phrase “God’s will” can refer to God’s will of command expressed in his explicit commands, but it can also refer to God’s will of decree by which he governs history. Both meanings are appropriately designated by that phrase, and context will usually clarify any confusion on that point. It ought to be uncontroversial to say the same thing is true of the phrase “the Word of God.”

At the most straightforward level, the phrase “The word of God” just means “a word God has spoken.” We find hundreds of references to God’s speech (“the word of the Lord came to”) littered throughout the canon, whether in the Law, the prophets, or the wisdom literature. Every time God spoke to Moses, he heard “the word of God.” Every time a prophet prophesied and used the phrase “Thus says the Lord”, they were speaking the “word of God.” Over and over, we see the preaching of the Gospel in Acts described as the “word of God.” That Jesus Christ is the eternal Logos of God does not change the fact that it is entirely appropriate to speak of the utterances of Jeremiah or Isaiah as the “word of God.” How much more then for the totality of all that God has “breathed out” by his Spirit?

For those worried about confusion on this point, this is why sometimes theologians have gone out of their way to distinguish what they mean by the phrase, specifying “the Word of God incarnate”  (ie. Jesus) or “the Word of God written” (ie. the Bible). They know very clearly that one has certain properties that the other doesn’t. For instance, the Son of God doesn’t have the properties of being made up of 66 books by various authors over a period of a thousand years or so. On the other hand, the Bible doesn’t have the property of being eternally-generated by the Father, or being incarnate, crucified, risen, and ascended in glory. Straightforward enough.

So when the author of Hebrews speaks about the Son’s unique revelatory function he says “In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe” (1:1-2), it’s important note that he doesn’t follow that up with, “so now that we have this final Word let’s not call those previous communications ‘God’s Word.'” The conclusion simply does not follow.

Which brings me to the next point: the Word’s own view of the words. 

Jesus and the Bible

Christ himself presents us with the Word.

What Did Jesus Say? I’ve written before that it’s rather misleading to pit Jesus against the OT, or the “red letters” against the black letter sections of the Bible, given his own view of it. Once again, consider:

Is it not written in your Law, “I said, you are gods”? If he called them gods to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be broken— do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, “You are blaspheming,” because I said, “I am the Son of God”? (John 10:34-36)

Not only is Jesus not squeamish about equating the Old Testament Scripture with the “Word of God”, he re-emphasizes their inviolability and authority by adding that they can’t be “broken.” Passages like this could be multiplied ad nauseam. In this he is followed by all of the apostles.

But instead of just repeating myself, J.I. Packer has some wisdom for us on this point:

But who is this Christ, the Judge of Scripture? Not the Christ of the New Testament and of history. That Christ does not judge Scripture; he obeys it and fulfills it. Certainly, He is the final authority of the whole of it. Certainly, He is the final authority for Christians; that is precisely why Christians are bound to acknowledge the authority of Scripture. Christ teaches them to do so.

A Christ who permits His followers to set Him up as the Judge of Scripture, One by whom its authority must be confirmed before it becomes binding and by whose adverse sentence it is in places annulled, is a Christ of human imagination, made in the theologian’s own image, One whose attitude to Scripture is the opposite to that of the Christ of history. If the construction of such a Christ is not a breach of the second commandment, it is hard to see what is.

“Fundamentalism” and the Word of God, 61–62 (HT: Matt Smethurst)

In other words, if Jesus identifies the Scriptures as God’s Word, why are we so squeamish about following suit?

The Trinitarian Word – Finally, this approach is confused because in doesn’t see that the Bible is the Trinitarian Word of God. Michael Horton calls our attention to the Trinitarian coordinates of inspiration in The Christian Faith. Reminding us of the structure of all trinitarian actions he writes “In every work of the Godhead, the Father speaks in the Son and by the perfecting agency of the Spirit.” (pg. 156) The Bible is the “Word of God” because in all the Law, the narratives, the Psalm, Prophets, Gospels, and Epistles we hear the Father testifying to the Son (John 5:39) by way of the power of the Spirit (2 Pet. 1:21).

We can see something like this understanding in Heinrich Bullinger’s Second Helvetic Confession. After calling attention to the locus classicus establishing this doctrine (“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching,for reproof,” etc. (II Tim. 3:16–17), Bullinger puts it this way:

SCRIPTURE IS THE WORD OF GOD. Again, the selfsame apostle to the Thessalonians: “When,” says he, “you received the Word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it, not as the word of men but as what it really is, the Word of God,” etc. (I Thess. 2:13.) For the Lord himself has said in the Gospel, “It is not you who speak, but the Spirit of my Father speaking through you”; therefore “he who hears you hears me, and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me” (Matt. 10:20; Luke 10:16; John 13:20). (Chap. 1)

In a sense, it is only as we acknowledge the Bible as the Word of the Father about the Son that we truly see the Son as the Father’s own True Word. It is through the testimony of the Word of God written that we recognize Jesus as the Word of God Incarnate. What’s more, given the current illumination of the text by the Spirit we ought say with Bullinger that “God himself spoke to the fathers, prophets, apostles, and still speaks to us through the Holy Scriptures” about the Son.

At this point I think it becomes clearer that to pit Jesus as the Word of God incarnate against the Bible as the Word of God written is a false choice. It’s not only confused both at the level of language, not the attitude towards the Scripture taught to us by Jesus, but at the deeper level I fear it leads many to denigrate the diverse testimony of God to Christ in Scripture all in the name of elevating him.

So then, is Jesus the Word of God? Yes and Amen. Should we still speak of the Bible as the Word of God? Of course we should–Jesus told us to.

Soli Deo Gloria

55 thoughts on “If Jesus is the ‘Word of God’ Can We Call the Bible the Word of God?

  1. Indeed! You are spot on, Derek!

    The Word of God is Jesus Christ, first and foremost.

    But He comes to us in preaching and teaching (about Himself).

    In Baptism and the Lord’s Supper (tangible Word of God).

    And in the Bible. Word of God coming to us.

    • A big problem comes with ‘What is Cannon?’ The differences between what is considered Canon by different religious institutions is obvious. Further, is vulgate Canon? Don’t we all judge what is of the Word by what we ‘hear?’

      • THE BATTLE OF THE BIBLE TRANSLATIONS BY STEVE FINNELL

        Are there translations of the Bible that are not trustworthy? I know of one or two translations out of sixty-plus English translations that are not trustworthy. Many take the position that the King James Bible is the only dependable translation of God’s word.

        A TRANSLATION COMPARISON.

        KING JAMES BIBLE (KJV)
        THE LIVING BIBLE-Paraphrased (TLB)
        NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE (NASB)

        John 3:16 For God so loved world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.(KJV)

        John 3:16 For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son so that anyone who believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (TLB-P)

        John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, the He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. (NASB)

        You will notice in the KJV and the TLB-P use lower case when translating, he and him. The NASB uses He and Him when talking about God and Jesus. Should God and Jesus be capitalized? Of course. Does that mean that the KJV and TLB-P are not trustworthy translations? NO IT DOES NOT. All three translations say the same thing.

        Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. (KJV)

        Acts 2:38 And Peter replied, “Each one of you must turn from sin, return to God, and be baptized in the name Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; then you also shall receive this gift, the Holy Spirit. (TLB-P)

        Acts 2:38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (NASB)

        Notice all three translation say that in order to have your sins forgiven you must repent and be baptized. Some deny that repentance and baptism are essential for sins to be forgiven. MEN DENY THIS, NOT BECAUSE OF INACCURATE TRANSLATIONS. THEY SIMPLY CHOOSE NOT TO BELIEVE IT.

        Men are not going to be lost because of faulty translations. Men are lost because they refuse to believe in the translations they trust.

        99% of all translation are trustworthy.

        JUST PICK A TRANSLATION AND BELIEVE WHAT GOD SAYS.

      • It is interesting that you chose Acts 2:38, but in the KJV you forgot to put a comma between “Repent and be baptized….”

        There is a reason why this comma is placed there. Repent and be baptized is NOT a compound predicate. Repent and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost is. A hint is that “ye” is a Second person plural. Both Repent and Receive is Second Person plural. “Be Baptized” is Second person SINGULAR. In other words Repent to get the gift of the Holy Spirit and thus salvation, but as to that one that DOES Repent, you BRO need to be immersed because that represents Jesus’ death burial and resurrection that brings real remission of sins (not the water) to the eyes of men or testimony to men of that effect.

        Repenting is the salvation because on the other side of the coin of repenting is having faith in the saving act of Christ alone, but the immersion is the testimony for the world, whether saved or unsaved of that fact and it sets you apart from the destruction that will occur when Jerusalem is destroyed at the end of the 40 years “this generation” which Jesus calls evil or wicked. Verse 40 says “Save yourselves from this untoward GENERATION.” Only that generation is involved in the so called “unpardonable sin” which is basically the non elect Jews seeing the works of the Holy Spirit and committing to the idea that they were from Satan, thus blaspheming the Holy Spirit, so they will DIE before that generation is completed as did that wicked and evil generation that fought against God during the Exodus. It is interesting that the first generation used the children as an excuse for their unbelief while the generation of Jesus’ peerage wished to bring the blood of the to be crucified Jesus on the head of their children so that Jesus had to invoke the law of ignorant homicide (causing a death accidentally) for those who did not commit the unpardonable sin but still needed to flee to the city of refuge which happened to be Jesus. God does not want us to mess with the innocent children apparently for things they have no control over. When Jesus said, “Father forgive them for they KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO” was the point of time when Jesus so invokes that law Moses wrote of. That is why the Jews of today have no special curse apart from that which Moses speaks of concerning disbelief in God in not listening to God’s voice, and the result of not listening to the voice of THE PROPHET God had Moses prophesy of who would be meek like Moses so not GOD speaking in thunder and appearing as consuming fire (Jesus said in John 5:37 that the Father bore witness of him but they did not hear a voice nor see his shape referring to the request of the children of Israel pleading Moses not let them see the fire nor hear that terrible voice of God anymore during the giving of the law in Deuteronomy 18:15-20 when Moses promised the coming Prophet). Instead Jesus would be JHVH speaking gently as a meek man or a man with strength having a way with God the Father but not using that power to destroy folk at that time. BUT as God gave the Children of Israel a time to fulfill their boast that they would do everything Moses hears Jesus say to the saving of their air breathing lives and a right to BE in the land (which they could not do) or else die early and fail to maintain their presence in the land, the disobedience to the word of Jesus resulted in many dying before the time (and also not being a part of the good resurrection) but at the end of the generation, they would lose their land again till the time we are now witnessing when coming into the land in unbelief until seven years after the rapture of the church age saints when Jesus comes again to save a third of the Jews and setting up the thousand year kingdom during the time of the “this generation” sees all the signs mentioned in Matthew 24 many of them signs from heaven denied the “this generation” of Jesus’ peerage. Ironically, Jesus’ generation were they willing to be obedient to His voice would have been that future “this generation.” But alas they rejected Jesus and thus postponed their victory almost at the very door, but for the sake of the gentiles, this was a boon. Jesus was aware that there would be a failure so when the Jews required or asked for a SIGN to believe him, it was a sign FROM HEAVEN they asked for and Jesus refused to give them a SIGN FROM HEAVEN opting for a sign of Jonah concerning three days and three nights as per the prophecy of Daniel concerning the time after the 69th week of years at the cutting off of the prince. Matthew 24 talks of that short generation, though of forty years, but in that at the commensement of the generation at the rapture of the church age saints to the seven years afterwards when Jesus amongst multiple signs FROM HEAVEN and in heaven comes to earth to set up the thousand year kingdom. I don’t want to hear from the Preterist stating “no such thing” because their “this generation” argument has already, as discussed just now, been destroyed by their oversight of the “SIGN FROM HEAVEN” request of the Jews denied by Jesus.

      • Below is the conclusion to a fascinating account of the formation of the canon of the Bible. It is a must read!

        To read the full article, click on this link:

        http://infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/NTcanon.html#XI

        Strangely, this is essentially where the story ends. It is most curious that there was never any pronouncement by any central authority such as the Pope in all of Christian history as to which books belonged in the Bible, until 1443 A.D. at the conclusion of the Council of Florence–yet this only carried weight in the West. This pronouncement excluded Laodiceans and included Hebrews, thus effectively ratifying the 27 books that had been the staple of orthodox opinion since the 4th century A.D. (M 240). This no doubt arose because for the first time in almost a thousand years scholars were once again starting to question the authenticity of certain books in the canon, for example the authorship of Hebrews. A telling case is that of Erasmus, who, after being chastised by the Church, renounced his rational doubts about this and various Biblical books, on the ground that “the opinion formulated by the Church has more value in my eyes than human reasons, whatever they may be” (Response to the Censure of the Theology Faculty at Paris, 9.864; M 241). No freethinker he. No one can trust the opinions of such a man. Nevertheless, the canon of Florence was still not enforced by threat of excommunication until the canon was made an absolute article of faith at the Council of Trent in 1546 A.D. Almost all the Protestant churches followed suit within the next century with essentially identical conclusions (M 246-7), dissenting only by excluding the OT apocrypha held as canonical by the Catholics.

        But it is worth adding an interesting irony: for with the Reformation the history of canonization came almost full circle. Luther wrote prefaces on the books of his Bible, and ordered the books consciously in descending degrees of credit (M 242-3), and his entire scheme reveals a pervasive criterion: everything that agrees with Paul and preaches Christ is a priori true and to be held in highest esteem, while everything else is to be doubted. And he repeats the argument from fatigue: though he explains why certain books like Hebrews and Jude are to be doubted–namely, they contradict the teachings of Paul–he goes on to declare that he does not want to remove them from so venerable a collection. Thus, not only dogmatic presupposition, but mere tradition wins the canon–not objective scholarship. The irony is that Luther is almost a twin of the heretic Marcion, who was, if you recall, the first man in Christian history to propose a canon. For Marcion believed that only Paul’s doctrine was true–although he was in a better position to be more consistent about this by rejecting all books that contradicted Paul. And it is well known that Luther was rabidly anti-Jewish–as was Marcion. Though the two men differed on many key points, in a small sense the Reformation effectively re-launched the old Marcionite heresy, at the very end of the process of canonization that Marcion had begun.[9]

  2. We judge Word of God by what it does. It convicts of sin, and of righteousness.

    It accuses…it exposes…it drives to Christ and creates faith. No matter if Paul said it…or if Herod would have said it.

  3. Hey guy,
    Your second last sentence is hard to parse b/c of the inclusion of the word ‘both’. I dunno if there’s something more you intend to say there. Otherwise, great piece. Thanks for writing a good midday read🙂

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  6. The Bible is the archive of all the testimony of what is the mind of God in that which He desires us to know, and the schema of interpretation has no theological name I recall in that it appears to be underdeveloped but in TWO corollaries it is found on the lips of both Moses and Jesus and a passel of other apostles, disciples, prophets and other Holy Spirit gifted or inspired writers in about the following forms.

    Corollary One – In the mouth of one witness shall no man be put to death. This is similar to Jesus’ “If I bear witness of myself my witness is not true,” and the more correct translation of 2 Peter 1:20, “This first knowing that every prophecy of scripture is not of its own interpretation.

    Corollary Two – In the mouth of witnesses, two or three shall a matter be established (or a man put to death for a capital sin). Such matter is doctrine, judgment, confirmed testimony, truth, or in the Greek coined by the Apostle Paul, EPIGINOSCO/EPIGNOSIS (verb or nown) which is knowledge upon knowledge.

    Doctrines that are determined by this law intuitively used by those otherwise under impressed with the Biblical statements of these could be the TRINITY (a doctrine with a Latinized name rather than a Bible name in that this doctrine is not normally stated but is developed by using two or more scriptures to develop it) and the RAPTURE (another Latinized name for a doctrine not stated directly with a name but understood by comparing two or more scriptures).

    In fact Doctrine is NOT usually found established throughout all of scripture but are individual testimonies given by the prophets to which we with one of the several remaining gifts of the Spirit left the churches today called the discernment of spirits, which is NOT a gift to find bad spirits from good spirits but the words of the witnesses in the Bible examined by a single judge, confirm with our examination. Doctrines that ARE found in the Bible are those things called TRADITIONS only found in the Bible that started out being the combined testimony of the Apostles who were ordained witnesses of what Jesus said and did, the gospel being one of those traditions that began to be put in the archive we call GOSPELS which are actually the words of eyewitnesses of what Jesus did. Paul seems to be the one first beginning to see to putting spoken tradition into words in the New Testament.

    Joseph seems to be the one that Moses first indicated being aware of the concept of two or three things establishing a matter when he interpreted the twofold dream of Pharaoh, saying that the dream is actually one but that God in doubling it twice established the matter and it is sure and bound to come to pass. But the first doubled testimony is actually that of the Creation accounts, some folk ridicule, and that of the Flood.

    Paul throughout his 1 Cor. 13 love chapter being actually a part of a study from chapter 12 beginning with “I would not have you ignorant” to the end of Chapter 14 where he says “but if one is ignorant let him be ignorant still.” Here Paul prophesies a soon termination of some of the marvelous sign gifts to the Jews and the revelatory gifts of Holy Spirit enhanced memory of eyewitnesses of what Jesus said and did and prophecy, leaving agape or unconditional love as the only credibility giving gift left the churches until the rapture or the end of the church age, when in the last seven years of God’s dealing with sinful Israel, prophets and various gifts reappear. The end of the “this evil generation” of Jesus’ peerage in 70 AD terminated the marvelous sign gifts to the Jews led by tongues, then special miracles and special healing. Eyewitness knowledge by the Apostles/disciples and prophecy ended in the person of John the Apostle in his last archiving testimony or his death.

    This last is that referenced by Paul in 1 Cor. 13:10 when in this resolved ellipsis statement of the verse says, “But when the complete (archived) testimony is come then the testimony in part (EK MEROUS – defined in 1 Cor. 12:27 as a member in the body of Christ, and in the form ANA MEROS or BY COURSE explaining the manner of testimony in the setting of the Second Corollary of the law of Multiple Witnesses) shall be done away with.

    Paul puts a scientific tinge to it when he equates this law with the three dimensional interpretation of the testimony of two eyes as an analysis of the fruit of two witnesses of any type, prophecy, revelation or whatever, in 1 Cor. 13:12.

    All this to say that this testimony is sometimes called the WORD OF KNOWLEDGE (eyewitness testimony) or a WORD OF PROPHECY, or WORD OF WISDOM after the discerner of spirits gets through with it. By the way spirits used here are the fruit of such testimony in the form of words as in what Jesus said, MY WORDS ARE SPIRIT AND LIFE. All of this is the WORD OF GOD.

    • Jesus is the incarnate word of God. I don’t see many people explaining about Jesus this way. But our fore fathers were familiar with it as we see in the Christmas hymn ” O come all ye faithful”. Every year we sing “Word of the father now in flesh appearing”

      The father God honored his word above all his names (Psalms 138:2). None of the words of God is spoken in void. It accomplished its purpose and returns to the father (Isaiah 55:11)

      Isaiah who prophesied about the birth of Jesus has also mentioned it in Isaiah 9:6-8 (particularly verse 8). Jesus is the word of God who became flesh or the word of God took the form of a man and was born in Bethlehem as a baby John 1:1-3, 14, I John 5:7; Rev 19:13, Hebrews 4:12, 13 (note these two verses talk about the word of God verse 12 starts with the word of God; verse 13 says nothing is hidden from ‘his’ eyes and not ‘its’ eyes.

      He is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of God’s being Colossians 1:15; Hebrews 1:3. That’s why Jesus said whoever has seen him has seen his father. This is the reason why he is also called the son of God!

      Because God created everything with his word, we also read that God created everything through Jesus (John 1:3; Hebrews 1:2; Colossians 1:16). In II Peter 5-7, it clearly says that the world was created by God’s word and through the same word it is going to be judged. We read in John 5:22 that the father has handed over the authority to judge to Jesus!

      Jesus was sent to this earth to fulfill some actions in this earth decided by the father (Jesus does not do anything on his own will) John 5:19- 21; John 17:4; John 4:34; John 12:49, 50; John 6:37,38; John 5:36; John 15:10,15; John 5:17; John 6:45; Hebrews 10:7-10; John 14:10.

      Father God has given authority over everything to Jesus (John 3:35; Colossians 1:16; John 5:27; John 13:3; I Peter 3:22; Ephesians 1:20 – 23) but after Jesus defeats all the enemies he will hand back the authority to father God (I Corinthians 15:24 – 26).

      Because Jesus is the word of the father God, the word that comes out of the father God’s mouth is first conceived in the thoughts of the father God. Then it is spoken out. This is the very reason Jesus said his father is greater than him (John 10:29). This is also the reason why Jesus said he does not know the hour of his coming. Because Jesus is the word of the father, the word is realized only when it is articulated. That does not make Jesus any inferior to the father God. By commonsense will anyone say that a person’s word is greater or lesser than the person himself. The relationship between Jesus and the father is also similar.

      Jesus is the incarnate word of God. The Bible is the inspired word of God. The Bible is the word of God written down by the inspiration of the holy spirit for our benefit (II Timothy 3:16, 17). This is why the Bible says we are born again through the word of God (I Peter 1:23). That’s why the Bible has got the same power which Jesus had!

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  9. A quote from two theologians are relevant to this topic.

    “Faith in God’s promise presupposes that God is who his promise reveals him to be, and thus it places God’s revelation of himself right at the heart of the theological task.” — Carl Trueman (The Trustworthiness of God: Perspectives on the Nature of Scripture)

    “The presentation of Jesus as the truth incarnate, as the Word of God, is critically important, and certainly something to rejoice over—but it is a relatively rare theme compared with the biblical emphasis on the truthfulness of God’s words when he speaks.” — D.A. Carson (Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church)

    To add my own thoughts, which reflect what is written in this blog, it is important to remember that Jesus is never quoted as saying “I am the Word of God” (though he did make other ‘I am’ statements). That was said by John. And John said, “These things are written so that…” Like those in the Old Covenant who preached as witnesses for I AM and his word, so John and the Apostles of the New Covenant preached as witnesses of Jesus Christ and his word.

  10. Funny thing: I’ve been concerned about this issue, not because it might devalue the Bible, but that it might elevate the Bible too highly. It seems to me that if both Jesus and the Bible are called the Word of God, the problem should be how to avoid equating the Bible with Jesus himself.

    But thanks for clearing things up for me, Derek.

    • The making of the difference is rubbish. What you have clearly is that the Bible is the testimony of the mind of God of all that which He desires us to know. In that most of the discussion found in the Old Testament is actually given by JESUS, the WORD, HIMSELF. The trinity is replete in the Bible and to a point that it embarrased the folk who translate it making plurals of singular words and vice versa to indicate that ELOHIM means GOD, when in fact it means GODS in the plural sense of the trinity. We have GODS who is named JHVH. HAELOHIM actually means ALL THE GODS, again in the plural sense, but we have individual members of the Trinity, each ONE actually named JHVH, speaking and sometimes speaking of the other member of the TRINITY. You can speak of each SINGLE member of the Trinity as THE ONLY GOD who is the father, THE ONLY GOD who is the WORD or SON , and THE ONLY GOD, who is the RUAH or Holy Spirit. You can never really say that JHVH is the only God…in fact the Shma found in the Toray has it the other way. It has it that GODS is ONE JHVH. “JHVH our GODS is ONE JHVH.”

      The fact is the Bible, in that there are no more prophets during the church age since John the Apostle until the rapture when the church age ends, and the last seven years before the Millennium has prophets and others with special Holy Spirit like gifts like the early churches had, is the ONLY source of knowledge about JHVH our GODS, and we respect it in THAT light, don’t worry about someone making an idol of it, leave THAT in GODS’ hands.

      If the Bible is the mind of Christ, what is your problem about confusion?

      I know of folk, family, who denounce the Bible in lieu of their own GIFT OF KNOWLEDGE, PROPHECY or REVELATION. NOW THAT is a problem.

      • Hi Stephen,

        Your first sentence indicates that you have a problem with what I said, but I’m not able to discern exactly what that problem is. Perhaps you could express yourself more clearly?

        I suspect we’re agreed on all major issues here. My comment was simply about needing to avoid equating the Bible with Christ himself, given the fact that they’re both called Word of God.

        If your concern is that I’m drawing a distinction between the *authority* of Christ and the Bible, then you don’t need to worry about that. The Bible has the authority of Christ.

      • Hey James,

        That you were not thinking EVERY word of the Bible, thus the Bible itself, is Jesus, and in worshipping Jesus you might kiss the Bible as well, I understand now.

        I guess I was addressing the thought that your reply had hinted at, more than what you might have believed.

        However, I was actually trying to show that where ever you saw in the Old Testament, the word of the LORD to this or that prophet, It was Jesus who was doing the talking. Sometimes He spoke of Himself, sometimes He was speaking for His Father, and it really gets tight sometimes to actually determine who is speaking to or of whom without a Hebrew Bible before you. You may already know these things, but it was a point I wanted to press.

        The other thing is probably found in a post I made further up on this list (or earlier), is the underdeveloped doctrine that the Bible is actually an archive of testimony, containing actually a limited number of real doctrines. Usually folk seek a verse, one verse or so or even several passages in context and presume that it is teaching doctrine, especially in the prophecies, not knowing that the Bible schema of interpretion is that in the mouth of two or three witnesses (or scriptural testimonies) shall a matter be established. In fact to take ONE verse at all times to be doctrine is warned against by Peter in this other corollary of that Schema I mentioned where Moses says in the mouth of one witness shall no man be put to death, where Peter says in 2 Peter 1:20 in this corrected translation, “this first knowing that every prophecy of scripture is NOT OF ITS OWN INTERPRETATION.” This is completely opposite from the false translation that prophecy of scripture is not of someone’s private interpretation, the false warning of some Catholic like magisterium. In fact this mistranslation is actually found in the Latin Vulgate influencing Tyndale and those making the Geneva and KJV translations into English.

        Even Jesus said this, “If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true” and then goes to show that there are several other witnesses that verify His words. How this Schema of interpretation in two corollaries is found throughout the scriptures without too much comment by teachers of the words is startling and without this knowledge becomes a genesis of much error we know of today.

        But these ideas only touch on what you mention, I just wanted it to be thrown out there for others to know in reading us that the Bible is a marvelous authority in our lives and we know nothing of Jesus without it, unless we were in the “this generation” of Jesus’ peerage and of the Apostles, or in the period beyond the rapture when there is no church but prophets, 144,000 witnesses, angels and others Joel mentions of concerning before that great and notable day of the Lord. Sorry If I worried you a bit…but I hope we are square now.

    • James, you were on the right track. Please DO NOT let this be the end for you and think it’s cleared up. Study John 1:1-8, read all the passages in the ENTIRE bible that say the word of God and interchange that with ‘Jesus/Melchesidak[sic]’ and then ‘the bible/bible’ see if they still make sense. Finally, let it start to sink in that there was NO bible when the scriptures were being written. No compilation of books and none of the writers knew the others were writing. You were right James, Christianity is elevating the bible to a place of godhood equal to God, the Word and the Holy Spirit. Someone on THIS post commented “That’s why the Bible has got the same power which Jesus had!”…

  11. Scripture is certainly inspired by God and can reveal the words of God. Furthermore, the Holy Spirit who testifies about Christ and reveals the thoughts of the Father towards us, can certainly use scriptures to reveal Logos to us. And it wouldn’t be difficult for me to imagine that God already knew how much humanity would be both literate and illiterate at various points throughout history. All that to say, I am glad God is not limited to revealing himself only through his written words, but that he can reveal Himself (including Christ) through nature, dreams, visions, etc. I would imagine those who came into an awareness of and relationship with God through non-literary means are as well.

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  14. Congratulations on making things confusing. I have a head ache after reading all this apologetic dung. Why do religious people insist on using big words and carnal understanding to justify THEIR beliefs and then claim they are correct, using scripture that agrees with THEIR point? We all know there’s scripture to counter every point.
    Only a fool would equate scripture to Jesus Christ, The living God.
    The scriptures couldn’t save the Jewish people, and it won’t save you bible worshipers.
    Jesus Christ IS the Word of God. The bible is dead scripture. Scripture is scripture. Scripture is not the word of God.
    The only ones who call scripture or the bible “the word of God” are those who use the bible to manipulate people and those who are manipulated by these people.
    The gospel is very simple, it’s Jesus Christ and the promise of His Holy Spirit. Seek the gift of The Holy Spirit. He’s not in a building or a book and only Jesus can baptize us with His Spirit.

    Jesus saved me from my sins literally over night in Feb 2012. I was saved from a 25 year pornography addiction, a 20 year daily pot smoking addiction and my life long tv addiction literally over night.
    6 months later He relieved me of my 14 year cigarette addiction. Praise Jesus.
    No scriptures, no religion, not a church program or “accountabity” partner or group. The Word of God Jesus Christ Himself is what saved me.

    Quit all this foolish non sense of apologetics, humble yourselves, and get your focus on Jesus and preaching Jesus. Preaching the bible is “the word of God” is not doing anything to help the lost. It’s binding their minds on a book. It’s blasphemy. It’s idolatry and causing people to stumble.
    Jesus alone is The way, The truth and The life. I bare witness to the reality of Jesus Christ, He is alive and wants to give His gift of The Holy Spirit to all.
    Most professing “Christians” would rather have the scriptures and religion.

    May Jesus bless you all with His Truth

    • “May he bless you in ambiguous ways untethered to any common testimony that can be investigated by all bearing the Messiah’s name.” What the flip are you on about? What “truth” do you gesture towards that finds no anchor in the testimony if the prophets and apostles? You use a phrase from the fourth gospel to fire some broadside at Scripture and denigrate its witness. Absolutely brilliant. At last, a true reformer!

      • Ian, I assume your comment is geared toward me. Can you repeat it, but this time with smaller words so a simpleton like myself can understand. Jesus spoke in parables but He has the courtesy to explain them to simpletons such as myself.
        If you can’t understand what” I’m the flip I’m talking about”, I apologize but I don’t speak pompous.
        The simple confound the wise.Theres only one Truth, His name IS Jesus Christ. He’s not confined to a book and has The Power to manifest Himself to who ever and whenever He pleases.

      • Christian charity as outlined in Scripture would probably demand I be courteous and explain what I was saying, but now that I know Jesus hasn’t confined himself to one book I think he’s telling me through Mein Kampf that doing so would be weak and undignified.

        That was a joke. But what’s not a joke is how that can follow pretty easily from what it seems like you’re saying. Because your position seems incoherent to me. You appeal to Scripture to know certain things about Jesus (that he’s the way, the truth, and the life, that he has the courtesy to explain his parables [which he doesn’t do most of the time, p.s.], that he is Lord, etc.) and then turn around and belittle its authority and usefulness as the testimony of the Lord. Maybe I’m the simpleton, I just don’t get it.

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  16. Ian
    The scriptures have their purpose, i am not “against” the scriptures. They point to The Word of God. The scriptures testify that many would be for ever learning and never coming to The Truth. There is no theology exam when we stand before Jesus. Many know about Him but few take the time to sit at His feet to get to know Him. The bible is not the feet of Jesus. This why He will say to many “Go away, i never knew you”

    “Ye stiff necked and uncircumsized in hearts and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost” the letter kills, The Spirit gives life. All these testimonies are in the bible. The bible doesn’t point to itself.

    The only time Paul had to “quote” scripture was when he was trying to reason with the pharisees and other scripture worshippers. Why can’t the majority of professing “christians” figure this out? I’ll tell you why, cause they’ve been taught by man that the bible is living, inherant, infallible, holy and the final authority on all matters, they’ve been taught that it’s the word of God like “in the begining was the bible, and the bible was with God and the bible was God”
    They are bound to a physical book.They all deny it, but the fact is’ some are minipulated by it and others make a living using it to manipulate others.
    Same spirit running religion now that crucified Christ.

    God can and does exist outside the confines of religion and the bible. If the bible dissapeared off the face of the earth, does God still exist?

  17. The Bible today is the only authority that we can rely on concerning what desires us to know and do of God’s will. God/Jesus/Holy Spirit can absolutely do anything they want, but it appears that He does not speak to prophets today, but through the WORD we call the Bible. Jesus, in preparation for us, and we are indeed a parentheses, according to an earlier written plan found in the Hebrew scriptures, the cat’s meow today, but still a parentheses, Jesus established eyewitnesses of what He is going to do and say, and He rehearses that which God told Him He would do (Micah 7:14, John 1:20) and the time limit of the marvelous sign gifts he would perform while alive and the remainder of the forty years before the destruction of the temple in August 70 AD. HOWEVER, there was a lingering into our solid parentheses we call the church age (there is NO Universal, Invisible Church, and the organization ceases at the rapture) when John with only the Holy Spirit enhanced remembrance of what Jesus said and did, or his eyewitness he penned into his gospel of John, and prophecy, which he penned in the last book of prophecy, Revelation, that made up John’s ministry as the single survivor of the destruction of Jerusalem. Jesus in the two gospel accounts where he said he was sending prophets, wise men and scribes into the world (in one account) and simply sending prophets and APOSTLES (defined by the other account as wise men and scribes) in another count establishes the fact that his teaching found through testimony of eyewitness testimony and prophecy and corroborating witnesses of tongues, special healings, and special miracles would be documented in writing. In that the words of the prophecy were considered SPIRIT whether given aloud during the forty years between the death of John the Baptist in March of 31 AD and August 70 AD when the temple was destroyed or written down as Paul began to do concerning the individual testimonies and the established doctrines found in the traditions of that established with the testimonies of two or three living apostles and certain disciples that establishes a matter, that law of multiple witnesses established by Moses in the Torah and repeated several times by Jesus, especially in Matthew 18 and in John, we can rest assured that in the absence of a stated prophecy today, we still have the word of God, in that Jesus says “my words are SPIRIT and LIFE in John. We no longer have living Holy Spirit inspired members in particular (EK MEROUS) of the Body of Christ giving Holy Spirit inspired testimony according to the law of two or three witnesses that establishes a matter, as they were doing in the time of Paul (1 Cor. 14), but we still PRIVATELY can take two or three witnesses of scripture and determine doctrine STILL according to the law of Multiple Witnesses, a thing that Paul was looking forward to, knowing that ALL that which God desires us to know will be found in our scriptures today. We DO have to be aware of the warning found in this correctly translated 2 Peter 1:20 that “this first knowing that every prophecy of scriptures is NOT OF ITS OWN INTERPRETATION,” This is just like the warning Moses gave when he said, “in the mouth of one witness shall anybody be put to death,” or when Jesus said, “If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.” Jesus then repeats “their law” that in the mouth of two witnesses etc..

  18. “It appears that He does not speak today” is your opinion. I don’t care much for the opinions of others. Do you Truly believe He IS the same yesterday, today and forever? He does speak, He never stopped speaking, people choose a book instead taking the time to listen. The book is convenient, it serves mans purpose, when you get tired of it, you close it, when you don’t like what it says, you skip to the next verse or chapter or you can just misinterpret it. Heck, you can even re write it and make money off it if you want. There’s one for everyone.
    God does not submit to a book nor does He submit to the interpretations of a book by man.
    There are no loopholes with God, one Truth unwavering, that Truth IS Jesus Christ. Jesus Is come IN the flesh.
    Is He IN you?
    Thank you for allowing me to testify Derek.
    Hallelujah most Hight. Thy Kingdome come, Thy will be done.
    Thank you Jesus for The Gift of The Holy Sprit.

    • Stephen, your comment sounds like that of my sister, who is dead recently from breast cancer. She also claimed that Jesus/Holy Spirit speaks to her and she does not need the Bible. She was ignorant of the Bible in any other language and she seemed to have a feminist opinion against Paul who seemed not to allow a WOMAN to speak in the assembly…so she manufactured all sorts of supposed problems with him and therefore dismissed the Bible for an internal light. She also believed that He told her that with positive thought and holistic medicine she would be free from her disease that she refused treatment for and thus died, albeit, supposedly long after the time the doctors suggested she would die. Such a belief murdered my sister, and is why I reject this concept. Nevertheless, the Bible DID reveal that the last testimony would come, and it seemed that it was in the writings of John the Apostle in about 90-95 AD or thereabouts, but after that for the church age there would be no more prophetic testimony, and no more prophets. After the rapture when there will be no longer any church, God will deal with His ethnic people, the Jews for the last seven years specified for such dealings, and there will again be prophets and Holy Spirit manifestations, and then Jesus will come down with the church saints in glory and deal with the gentiles and save a third of the unsaved Jews in Jerusalem and Judah portion of Israel. All the grief between religions, it appears, seems to come from the false prophets from Muhammad through Joseph Smith, Oral Roberts and Pat Robertson, pretty much as the Bible had suggested, and why we were told to beware of such prophets which in this age since John the Apostle would be the only “prophets” available…false ones. As for Jesus speaking, He speaks through his word, in that this is the mind of God of what He wants us to know, and there are things we are NOT to know and this is HIS will, the only absolute free will on either side of creation. THIS understanding indeed comes from the Bible and it is in direct knowledgeable contradiction to the folk claiming they know things internally that would be the equivalent of NEW knowledge or whatever that this extra-Biblical.

      By the way, it is difficult in understanding from this posting format who is answering whom. Give me a clue if anyone is actually replying to my comments until I figure out the secret to tell.

    • I kinda regret pole vaulting into this ditch.

      Stephen, I can’t escape my intuition that you’re fighting tooth and nail against a problem that’s never actually existed. The Lord speaks today, yes; he addresses his people through the words he first delivered to the prophets and apostles. The Spirit illuminates these once-spoken words and breathes out a fresh word for us from these testimonies. The Lord has covenantally bound himself to these testimonies and these testimonies alone, but this isn’t the same thing as the “confinement” you disparagingly describe it as. You also err in your description of Paul’s “quotations” of Scripture argument: Paul consistently demonstrates how his gospel is consistent with the narrative of Israel’s Scripture, not only when assaulting “Scripture worshipers.” Moreover, his use of Scripture illustrates the point I’m making: Paul never treats Scripture as some inert mass of letters; he consistently writes that Scripture “says” (present tense). The inscripturated Word isn’t a dead letter- it’s the megaphone of the Lord. If you or I, or anyone, believes they have a direct line with Jesus through the Spirit that bypasses the Scriptures, they’re wrong. Period. I think I’m done here.

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  20. I am a former Christian. I loved being a Christian. I loved Jesus and I loved the Bible. I used to love witnessing to non-believers and loved defending my belief in (the Christian) God and orthodox/conservative Christianity. Then one day someone challenged me to take a good, hard look at the foundation of my beliefs: the Bible. I was stunned by what I discovered.

    1. The Bible is not inerrant. It contains many, many errors, contradictions, and deliberate alterations and additions by the scribes who copied it. The originals are lost, therefore we have no idea what “God” originally” said. Yes, its true—Christians can give “harmonizations” for every alleged error and contradiction, but so can the Muslims for errors in the Koran, and Mormons for errors in the Book of Mormon. One can harmonize anything if you allow for the supernatural.

    2. How do we know that the New Testament is the Word of God? Did Jesus leave a list of inspired books? Did the Apostles? Paul? The answer is, no. The books of the New Testament were added to the canon over several hundred years. Second Peter was not officially accepted into the canon until almost the FIFTH century! So why do all Christians accept every book of the New Testament as the word of God and reject every non-canonical “gospel”? Answer: the ancient (catholic) Church voted these books into your Bible. Period.

    There is nowhere in the OT or the NT where God gives men the authority to determine what is and what is not his Word. If Second Peter was really God’s Word, the entire Church should have known so in the first century.

    3. Who wrote the Gospels? We have NO idea! The belief that they were written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John is based on hearsay and assumptions—catholic tradition. Protestants denounce most of the traditions of the Catholic Church but have retained two of the most blatant, evidence-lacking traditions, which have no basis in historical fact or in the Bible: the canon of the NT and the authorship of the Gospels.

    The only shred of evidence that Christians use to support the traditional authorship of the Gospels is one brief statement by a guy named Papias in 130 AD that someone told him that John Mark had written a gospel. That’s it! Papias did not even identify this “gospel”. Yet in 180 AD, Irenaeus, a bishop in FRANCE, declares to the world that the apostles Matthew and John and the associates of Peter and Paul—Mark and Luke—wrote the Gospels. But Irenaeus gives ZERO evidence for his assignment of authorship to these four books. It is well known to historians that it was a common practice at that time for anonymously written books to be ascribed to famous people to give them more authority. For all we know, this is what Irenaeus did in the case of the Gospels.

    The foundation of the Christian Faith is the bodily resurrection of Jesus. If the story of the Resurrection comes from four anonymous books, three of which borrow heavily from the first, often word for word, how do we know that the unheard of, fantastically supernatural story of the re-animation of a first century dead man, actually happened??

    Maybe the first book written, “Mark”, was written for the same purpose that most books were written in that time period—for the benefit of one wealthy benefactor, and maybe it was written simply as an historical novel, like Homer’s Iliad; not meant to be 100% factual in every detail, but a mix of true historical events as a background, with a real messiah pretender in Palestine, Jesus, but with myth and fiction added to embellish the story and help sell the book! We just do not know for what purpose these books were written!

    I slowly came to realize that there is zero verifiable evidence for the Resurrection, and, the Bible is not a reliable document. After four months of desperate attempts to save my faith, I came to the sad conclusion that my faith was based on an ancient superstition; a superstition not based on lies, but based on the sincere but false beliefs of uneducated, superstitious, first century peasants.

    • That’s too bad Gary, that’s what happens when one puts his faith in a book or religion. God exists outside the confines of books and religion. Now that you’re free from a book and religion, perhaps you will receive the revelation from God that Jesus Christ IS indeed real and alive and does free the captives. It happened to me. I always believed IN God, not in a book or religion kinds way. Was never sure of who Jesus was in the grand scheme of things.
      But i received The Revelation of who Jesus IS from The only One who can reveal it. Overnight, i was freed of my 25yr porn addiction, 20yr daily pot smoking addiction and my lifelong tv addiction. 6 months later, Jesus freed me from my 12yr cigarette addiction.
      Jesus IS real, Father YHWH IS real, don’t loose Faith, get out of the flesh and into The Spirit. For years you’ve been lied to by men and mans interpretations of a book. Go straight to God in prayer, He know’s your thoughts.

      Next time you have a nightmare, call on the name of “Jesus” and see what happens, you’ll learn quick how The Name of Jesus is very powerful.

  21. If the Bible is the inspired Word of God, why would God have the author of one inspired book copy almost word for word an entire chapter from another inspired book of the Bible? II Kings 19 and Isaiah 37 are identical. Read them for yourself.

    • Gary,
      It’s easy to set up a priori assumptions of what we think inspiration should look like given a generic sense of divinity, it’s another thing to receive a set of texts as the givenness of inspiration by a very specific God. No theology of Scripture worth its weight bypasses the historical particularities within which each text arose. 2 Kings 19 and Isaiah 37 accomplish different things in the different books of which they are parts. When the Chronicler makes use of material from the books of Kings he puts them to use to expose different facets of salvation history or to highlight YHWH’s faithfulness to the covenant in spite of x, or to demonstrate how this king failed to live up to the Deuteronomic standard, what have you. We have to deal with specificities, not preconceptions of what inspiration must look like to be true because our criteria will almost certainly be arbitrary and suffused with a theology of glory. Your test case is far from a knock down- it easily fits within an orthodox view of Scripture. I don’t say that as an “Aha!” but as a “You can still hold onto this with integrity, my friend!”

      • My dear friend,

        There is always a harmonization, isn’t there?

        I say this with no malice but with exasperation: If I could put before you the DNA-verified skeletal remains of Jesus of Nazareth, would you then accept that the Christian story is false?

      • Of course I would- I affirm with Paul that my faith would be in vain! But where in the world would you ever obtain a verifiable sample for testing against this hypothetical cadaver no one’s produced? It simply doesn’t divide up as neatly as you now presume it to.

      • It was a hypothetical. But, one hundred years ago if you had told people men would walk on the moon, they would have committed you to an institution for the insane. We should never underestimate the human will to discover.

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  24. Perhaps there is a difference between “wordS” of God and “the Word” of God.
    Often when a prophet encountered the Lord in the OT, the text reads something like, “the Word of God came to….” much like your NT example above, Derek. Thus to say the “Word of God” came to someone is to say they had an encounter with the Spirit of God – who then speaks words – words from God – to them.
    Thus, I can see scripture as containing words of God, which came by means of the Word of God coming to people as they encountered Him. I hope my nuance is coming across.

    • Rachel
      You nailed it.
      The bible IS the wordS of God but not God. Why do men so resist and refuse to call them the wordS of God and insist on calling them the bible the Word of God.
      The bible NOWHERE speaks of the wordS of God as the Word of God and is VERY clear as to Whom the Word of God is. Why is it OK to usurp that name and use it for something else?
      It is rightly called a bible because a bible is a collection of writings. It is not one word, it is many words. Calling it the Word of God is indefensible.

      While Derek Rishmawy makes some valid points on the distinction of words, he misses the point of his opening paragraph. If pastors and preachers made a distinction as he does, I may not have such a problem with calling the bible the word of God. I have never heard a preacher make that distinction and they seem to thrive on the confusion.

      The problem, aside from idolatry, of calling the bible the Word of God, is that whenever scripture mentions God’s word, it is assumed that it is speaking of the bible. It is not. The bible is not sharper than a two edged sword.

      Spurgeon and Tozer and others have rightly stated that the bible without the Holy Spirit’s understanding is just a book. That does not demean scripture, for scripture is the only place to look to verify any speaking He may do. Scripture says that the Shepherd speaks to His sheep, and they HEAR His voice. The bible says that we must live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. It is not the bible that leads us into all truth, but the Holy Spirit, Who most often uses the scriptures. It is very dangerous and foolish to demean or make less of the scriptures, for He spoke them, But they are mere words until He brings life to Him, which He does.

      Here is the problem
      if A=C
      and B=C
      and C=D
      then A=D
      If A, the bible = C the Word of God
      and B, Jesus Christ = the Word of God
      and if C, Jesus Christ is God
      then the A, the bible is God, and that is blasphemy.
      Rather than justify nuances or word meanings we should stay away from any areas that cause confusion. The Word of God is far to Holy to be give the same name as a book.

      I agree that the picture of the book hugging the woman is scary, but that is exactly the view that most have of their bibles.

      God thinks names are a big deal, and so should we.

      • That was a great description by Reb, I rarely enjoy comments but that was insightful. Reformation is good, radical reformation is better. About 10 years ago I would have given the same layout as the author. After reading various prenicene authors I found that calling the Bible “the Word of God” would be totally foreign to them. The concept of logos goes all the way back to Thales of Miletus (VII century b.C.) who claimed to reject myth in favor of logos then it goes on down to Philo of Alexandria (Hellenized Jew) before it hits Christianity. The early church believed that Greek philosophers had laid the foundation just as the Hebrew prophets had with the Chokmah, the personification of wisdom. The Greeks were much more descriptive of logos, it was a major theme in their writings along with rhema. The claim that the Logos had become flesh/Jesus Christ probably had the greatest evangelistic impact of all among the Greeks. To protestants Logos has little meaning to them but the Bible has become “THE Word of God”. Somewhat like the Virgin Mary and Jesus to Roman Catholics, the Virginity of the Virgin must be defended at all costs. The Bible no doubt is holy but those who call it the Word of God as if equal with the Logos Theos may be reformed to a certain extent but stopped in their tracks at certain radical intersections. God the Word is a big deal in early Christianity and He did “fall” from heaven unlike the Bible.

        “Not one of the created and subject things should ever be compared to the Word of God…” “Those persons hold a far more appropriate [view of Christ] than do those others who equate the begetting of the eternal Word of God to the begetting of words to which men give utterance. For they assign to Him a beginning and course of production similar to their own words. If that were true, in what respect would the Word of God – yes, God Himself, since He is the Word – differ from the words of men? For He would follow the same order and process of generation” – Irenaeus A.D 180

        There are many many quotations like this among “the most authentic commentators”. John Wesley stated that concerning prenicene writings.

        Would Jesus be upset with me if I believe that He is the Word of God and the Bible contains the words of God and is written by men of God? I hope all the brothers and sisters who read this are edified, it is not my intention to upset or to simply contest with others.

        No I am not a wacko, well maybe a little. I have been preaching and planting churches for 25 years in Mexico🙂

        May the Word be with you, Jason
        thevillageglobal.org

  25. I appreciate the lively discussion. I’ve found that there are at least 5 different ways we can define the ‘word’ or ‘word of God’.
    1. A specific message(from God) to an individual or group (lk.3.1-9,5.1)
    2. Jesus (John 1.1,14; Rev.19.13)
    3. The Spirit of Christ (Col.1.25-28)
    4. The Bible (Christians today)
    5. A message contained within the Bible (Christians today)

    Each context may use a different meaning. One of the preceding fits better than the others for each context. And a couple don’t make any sense from a historical perspective. I’ve put my bible study into a video presentation: http://www.toanunknownGod.com

    • Jesus says in John that my words are SPIRIT and they are LIFE. The gift of discernment of SPIRITS is still with us today and is the gift of the teacher and pastor to use the Schema of Interpretation, in want of a theological term the TORAH LAW OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES THAT ESTABLISHES A MATTER in two corollaries, to establish doctrine, and even for judgment concerning church discipline as far as Matthew 18 is concerned. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 14 that the PROPHETS have some authority over the SPIRITS which are subject to the prophets in recommending the Law of Multiple witness for discussions in the church, and since John says that Revelation contains the WORDS of this PROPHECY and that the TESTIMONY (0r WITNESS) of Jesus is the SPIRIT (word) of PROPHECY, we might consider that JESUS is indeed the WORD OF GOD and the words found in the Bible that point to JESUS are words found in that archive of TESTIMONY called the BIBLE (a book) or THE WORD OF GOD, a title of the compilation identifying JESUS as the WORD OF GOD. It would be hard to say if John tells us that the TESTIMONY of JESUS is the SPIRIT (word) OF PROPHECY that the Bible , an archive of eyewitness testimony concerning what Jesus said and did according to the promise in John that they will have a Holy Spirit remembrance of that eyewitness in identifying JESUS with the WORD or WORDS OF TESTIMONY that the WORD OF GOD, as title and reference to JESUS cannot be identified with Jesus Himself. We know this literary device to equate a title with the subject and it would be silly to “worship” the Bible as a separate entity apart from the very substance of what JESUS IS, and this will not be what we mean when we say the BIBLE is the WORD OF GOD (when it reveals the reality of JESUS who is THE WORD OF GOD).

      • I appreciate your quick response. It is difficult to discuss these things with my church-going friends without them labeling me as some radical liberal or heretic. My main point is that the popular WOG passages, that most of us christians use, are used incorrectly. For example, He.4.12 is either referencing a God-like being or it is not. If it is Jesus, or the Spirit of Christ, then it is a part of the Godhead. If it is not, then what is it? A message? A message saying what?
        The ‘word’ or WOG is used frequently. I believe it was something that the first century christians would have understood. I believe that the Spirit was helping the first century churches (through the letters)… so what would have been their reference point for the WOG?
        I agree, that the Bible is the WOG in a sense, like a good friend who tells you the truth. But isn’t the Bible the product of the Spirit, like the Earth is a product of God?

  26. Derek, great post! I shared it to my FB page and some friends also found it helpful.

    Found something else like it this morning in Calvin:

    For John at once attributes to the Word a solid and abiding essence, and ascribes something uniquely His own, and clearly shows how God, by speaking, was Creator of the universe. Therefore, inasmuch as all divinely uttered revelations are correctly designated by the term “word of God,” so this substantial Word is properly placed at the highest level, as the wellspring of all oracles. Unchangeable, the Word abides everlastingly one and the same with God, and is God himself.
    (Institutes I.xiii.7)

  27. “In the beginning was the bible, and the bible was with God, and the bible was God. The bible was in the beginning with God. All things were made through the bible, and without the bible nothing was made that was made.” Sounds a bit funny, eh?

      • Why do you find it so difficult to say the bible is the wordS of God. Why insist that it is the Word of God? You are making a composite of things (bible) to be one thing. The word “bible” itself means “collection”.

        Here are some problems with it the title you defend
        Scripture never calls the entirety of scripture the Word of God, only Jesus is referred to as the Word of God. I find it exceedingly relevant that it is in the same place in scripture as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

        I think that when a preacher says, “let us turn to the word of God” people should automatically think about turning to Jesus and what He may have to say through a book, instead of placing a book between His authority and that of a book. The authority of Jesus can lead us to a word of God in that book, and then im part its transforming power. That is the ONLY way that scripture has value when empowered by the Spirit of Christ.

        your use of ” If he called them gods to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be broken” is a diversionary use. You are seeming to say ” If he called them gods to whom the BIBLE came—and Scripture cannot be broken” and you know that is silly. Note that scripture as stated in this verse makes the distinction between the word of God and scripture. The entire exchange was over Jesus’ statement “I and my Father are one.” and they sought to stone Him. It seems evident to me that when He refers to the word of God, it is a self-reference that doubly condemns their actions. He is the Word of God that came and spoke the scripture and He is the one they want to stone. It certainly adds more impact to that verse and is also accurate, for He, from the beginning, was the Word that was with God, and was God. Also, adding to the credibility of that interpretation is that the incident is found in the book of John, who made much about Jesus being the Word of God. Yet, we blithely refer to the bible as the Word of God, as if it is OK to give something else the same name as the name God chose for His Son. We do not honor Him when we persist in using such a holy name for something lesser. Even if that lesser thing is a great thing.

        Scripture ALWAYS uses the word of God in reference to SPECIFIC scriptures or individual messages brought forth and written down. We also know that the bible does not contain all the words that God spoke to men. Certainly, Jesus said much more than what was recorded, for scripture tells us so.

        The other problem with calling the whole of scripture the bible. It infers that God is done speaking. I am not referring to the gifts continuing, but to the words spoken by Jesus, according to John
        Joh 10:16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
        Joh 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
        Re 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

        How much more frequent is the question “have you read your bible today” than “Have you heard or talked to Jesus today”? The bible points constantly to a living and ongoing active relationship with God through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. That is not the emphasis the Christians are fed today. God did not only provide us with everlasting truth, more so, we became one with Him. I think we should be paying more attention to our oneness with Him, instead of placing the bible at the front of the line. I find that when I start participating in my oneness with Him, He draws me into the scriptures and reveals Himself in far more real and personal ways that starting with the bible and hoping to find Him there.

        So many adherents of the bible =the Word of God reject and can not enjoy that conversational hearing of His voice (which will never contradict scripture). In doing so, they upend the entire message of God Who did everything mentioned in scripture for the sole purpose of establishing a relationship with His people that exceeds the one He had with Adam. We are one with Him, Adam was not.

        So, tell me, why can’t we call it the wordS of God, which it more accurately is. Such a reference in now way detracts from the validity of scripture that the bible contains. Why is there such a strange clinging to the title THE BIBLE as the Word of God. Seems we are more willing to fight over the honor of the bible more so than the honor of God. I would much rather discuss God and His Person, His ways, His Kingdom, rather than some book and what it should be called, regardless of how holy and profitable that book is. I know that as holy and profitable that book is, it pales in comparison to the Holiness of God. Let us get our focus back on God and not allow even a hint of confusion regarding the Word of God, which He has reserved unto Himself for Jesus, the Christ.

        I do not object when someone one says, “let us turn to the word of God” when they are referencing a specific verse or passage, for those wordS of God are what make up the bible. God says He has exalted His name above all names, so why place any other name so close to the Word of God (Jesus) so as to cause the smallest amount of confusion?

        Or why not say, the scriptures, instead of the bible. That is accurate and without dispute.

        I honor and value the bible because the mind of God was the Inspiring Author of the scriptures. But I refuse to dishonor the name that God has given Himself, because tradition has said so. Calling the bible the Word of God was not the idea of God. I don’t go to scripture to find God. I go to scripture because God has found me and reveals Himself there. He comes first, not the bible. The bible is not all there is to Christianity, He is the All in All, the One and Only. Thinking of the bible as the Word of God divides affections. Knowing that He is the Author and focusing on the Author rather than what He wrote, makes me know the Author, more than studying and parsing words.

        And finally, the entire idea that the bible is the Word of God and was referenced as such in scripture is beyond ridiculous. The contents of the bible were not settled until hundreds of years later. Can you point me to one place where even the OT was SPECIFICALLY and CLEARLY referred to as “the Word of God”

        I also believe that this is true
        Mt 12:36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
        Since there is no scripturally suggestion that we should call the compilations of the wordS of God, the bible, I consider the phrase to be idle words (and often idolatrous words). I know of those who talk more of loving the bible than they do of loving God (and I have no doubt that the do love God, also). That can not happen when God is made preeminent above His written words.

        Since I know that there can be no argument with calling the bible the “wordS of God” or “the scriptures” I will have a clear conscience on that day. I don’t know if others will.

        You wrote a good article, but you missed the essence and importance of the issue. Why can’t the book be referred to as the wordS of God, or the scriptures? It is true, it is honest, it leads to no confusion, no idolatry, no displacement of the rightful title of THE WORD OF GOD referring SOLELY to Jesus the Christ.

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