EXPLORING THE WORD
Jesus and the WordWilliam Brenner
Is the Word of God equal to the Bible and equal to Jesus Christ? Jesus referred to Himself as the Word. As Christians, we believe the Bible to be the inspired Word of God. Are these terms interchangeable? There is a clear overlap in their usage. Related Hebrew words used in the Old Testament such as peh or mouth, are used to express divine communication and are generally translated in English as "word" in their contexts. The Bible specifies that God's word are declarations that came directly from God Himself through appointed men. Moses and Joshua received their instructions from the mouth of God and as such were declared to be the very Word of God.
God's word is always described as being truth, and standing the test of time. Jesus also declares Himself to be The Truth. The emphasis is on what is said, and how God expresses his own personality and character. God is always what is said, and His Word is the supreme means of God making Himself known to men. Logos as used in the phrase, "the word of the Lord came" in 2 Samuel 24:11, denotes God's message to the prophets for proclamation to His people.
There is little significance to various differences in meaning between various New Testament Greek references to the Word, whether that refers to the inspiration of God's Word in Scripture, or to the person of Jesus Christ Himself. The preached word of the gospel is spoken of in the same terms as the communication delivered to them by God, and through Jesus to His apostles. The Word of God is proclaimed orally by the first witnesses of the gospel to the exalted Christ in Revelation 19:13. The reference is associated with the logos doctrine or any application of it. Word is used as a sense of Christ as the incarnate Son of God, the very same Word that was in the beginning at the creation of the world in Genesis. From the beginning of the Bible to the end, the meaning is consistent.
The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. How else can this be interpreted except that the Word is the very same person of Jesus Christ? Jesus took on a second nature as a human being and lived among men, the very God-man who came to provide our salvation. We can with some detail discover how Jesus is present in every book of the Bible, never apart from the single story of man's fall and redemption through the Word of God in the person of Jesus. In that sense, the Bible is the Word, inspired from cover to cover by God. Jesus also described Himself as the Truth, declaring the reliability of the Scriptures, deserving of our trust.
So in short, the Bible, the Word of God, and Jesus Himself are thoroughly interconnected in ways that differ only in form as it is being expressed. Their essence remains the same. If we want to know Jesus, we must know the Bible. If we want to know God, we will find that He has revealed Himself in His Word. If we want to know the Bible, we need to know Jesus and trust in Him. Without these inspired divine revelations, we cannot know God at all.
The Word of God and the Word of the Lord appear in distinct contexts, but in particular to Jesus Christ through God's chosen spokesmen and biblical writings. We do not need to look outside of the Bible to discover who God is, or who Jesus is.
The differences between these terms are almost inconsequential. Jesus is the Word of God, and the way that God has made himself known to us in His Person, His proclamations in the apostolic writings, and in the truth in written form in the Bible.
Image Credit: Name; "Title"; Creative Commons
Tags: Biblical-Truth | Calvinism-Tulip | Jesus-Christ | Theological-Beliefs
comments powered by Disqus