As a Christian, I constantly hear about the term “Word of God”, but what does that really mean? Sure, it might mean the bible, but isn’t there more to that? What makes a letter from Paul to the Romans a word of God? Wasn’t it written by man? These are some questions that I will try to clear up, but let me forewarn you, I am not a pastor, or a theologian, merely a man who digs into the bible seeking questions and answers.
The first thing that I want to point out is the first mention of the “Word” in regards to a timeline. In John 1:1 it says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”. Since the written bible we have in our hands right now didn’t exist in “the beginning”, he must be talking about Christ. Why do I say this? Well, in the beginning, before Creation, only God existed, so Father, Son and the Holy Spirit existed together, one of which was called “Word”.
In John 1:14, it continues “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth”. Obviously this refers to Christ because of the nature of his coming into this world, being born fully man, but fully God, and living perfectly so that He could die for us. There is no doubt here. But the question now is why is Christ refered to as “Word”. He never actually wrote any scripture himself. His apostles wrote directly of their experience with Christ through the Holy Spirit, so the Holy Spirit technically provides more “Word” of God characteristics than Christ, doesn’t it?
I would argue no, Christ is the Word of God. Besides explicitly stating so in John 1:14 (quoted above), by his mouth, the voice of God is heard. By his example, the law was upheld perfectly. It’s for those reasons that Christ easily defines the “Word of God”.
The Old Testament clearly holds its own in regards to the “Word of God”. It clearly states in Exodus 32:16 that the “Ten Commandments” we know of today were from God. “The tablets were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tablets.” In my mind, I can hear skeptics saying that any book could have the words “This is the word of god” written in it and it doesn’t make it the word of God by its own admission. I fully agree with that statement, but peer review is a great concept to ensure accuracy of written works.
I’m not talking about the Jewish Scholars and church leaders during the time the Old testament was compiled. While they are certainly considered peers and their opinions noteworthy. The mere fact that we have to rely on a sinful human to validate Gods word is ridiculous. The peer review I am talking about is still a man, but also God himself. Yes, Jesus validates the old testament by never denouncing it while on earth.
Our God, who sent Jesus down to earth to die for us because of His love for us, would not by nature withhold any errors in the old testament from our knowledge because it goes against his nature. Christ came to save the world, so why wouldn’t he point out books of the bible that shouldnt be there? He didn’t say anything to this regard because they are inerrant.
The New Testament is written from a couple different “Word of God” sources. First, the holy spirit was given to the disciples as promised by Jesus in John 14:26, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you”. So now, using the word of God, the disciples were able to write of Jesus’ ministry in the gospel. As for Paul, he too was given the Holy Spirit and given the “Words of God” to be included into the New Testament.
Also, there are prophets in the new testament. Consider words spoken by Moses (Deut. 18:18-20) or Jeremiah(Jer 1:9). according to those verses God gave them words to speak, as if from God himself. Even though a man spoke the words, they are still considered the “Word of God” since God spoke through the man.
In Genesis, the phrase “And God said” occurs often during those six days of creation, followed by a day of rest. Whats important to note here is that whenever “And God said” occurs, something amazing happens. Let there be light, water, earth, sun, moon, stars, animals and people. There was only God and his creation. I believe that this is the most powerful “Word of God” example, but it is also the least accessible to us. I don’t know of anyone who actually heard God speak to them, but rather through the Holy Spirit. I know that when God speaks, his will is done, there is no hesitation, because he is God. You could relate it to the Kings of old, who would create “decrees” that would exist throughout their kingdom, which in essence were laws, but could not be refuted because the law came directly from the top.
There is so much to the Word of God and there is no way to sum it up in a single post, or a dozen, but I will write a few more posts on this topic because it has been on my heart a lot lately.