Should "Bible" = "Word of God"?

Actually, Jesus never mentioned the Bible, which did not exist in the time of Jesus,

And the Bible never claims to be, in its entirety, the
Word of God.

Jesus did refer to specific quotes of God found in the scriptures.

Just as a newspaper quoting Trump does not make the entire newspaper the “Word of Trump,” quotes of God included in the scriptures does not make the Bible, in its entirety, the Word of God.

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I noted when Andy began to speak about the Bible not as a unit, but as multiple witnesses.

He said, in a sermon years later, than no one noticed the change. But I did. And I welcomed it.

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Oh, no, have you been hanging out with @Relates? You guys should start a club to fight for your common cause.

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So long as what happens in fight club stays in fight club.

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Oh yeah! As long as it involves a secret handshake. Or a decoder ring or something since we never actually get to see each other.

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Well, from sometime back I’ve heard scholars referring to it as a “library” more than a book. So I’m pretty sure Andy isn’t on uncharted territory.

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@fmiddel, @Daniel_Fisher

The Bible is clear. John 1:1-4 (NIV2011)
1 In the Beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 He was with God in the beginning.
3 Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made.

Jesus Christ is the Word of God. On the other hand the Bible is the word of God. Jesus is not the Bible, but the Bible is derived from Jesus, the Word/Logos, the Second Person of the Trinity. The problem has been that many Evangelicals have confused the two which makes Jesus dependent on the Bible, which is not true.

Another Biblical view on this question is found at the beginning of Hebrews Hebrews 1:1-4 (NIV2011)
1 In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways,
2 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.
4 In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.
The unnamed gospel writer is saying that God spoke to the Hebrews (our ancestors) through God’s words, the Hebrew Covenant,) but now God has spoken by God’s Word (God’s Son.) The difference is between speaking indirectly and speaking directly to us. Also God’s words are good, because they are from God, but not perfect because they are not God. God’s Word is perfect because He is God, the Second Person of the Trinity.

The writer was talking to ethnic Jews who were Christians, but were tired being persecuted by the pagan authorities and being rejected by their unconverted relatives. They were tempted to go back to Judaism which was persecuted and was based on the word of God. Hebrews told them that they could not go back without being condemned by God and that God’s salvation through Jesus Christ was well worth the pain and suffering of persecution in this world.

This does not mean that no Jews are saved, but that Christians who reject Christ for Legalism are saved. The biggest danger of accepting the Bible as the Word of God is that it put the Old Covenant on the same footing as the New Covenant, which leads to Legalism.

@Christy, this is a ad hominem argument that is both a fallacy and ungracious. Sadly @MarkD and @Mervin_Bitikofer seem to have fallen for it.

Lighten up, Roger - there is no argument being advanced (from me) - just a little fun at my own expense. I actually agree with you that Jesus is God’s Word, though I don’t see a need to make a huge deal of fighting against evangelical culture that also uses that common parlance for the Bible as well. Smile a little sometime!

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@Mervin_Bitikofer, Sorry to disagree with you. It would be nice to go along to get along, But

  1. When is it right to have some “fun” at the expense of other people and at the expense of the truth.
  2. Historically you could have advised Jesus “to lighten up” on the Pharisees when He lit into them for their bad theology.
  3. It is clear to me that “evangelical culture” has torn God’s People apart and has brought the nation that I love next to God’s People to the edge of destruction.

These are not ordinary times.

It was not an ad hominem argument. It was playful banter, because you two are the only people I know who insist you cannot capitalize Word when referring to the Bible, or that it is somehow wrong to refer to the Bible as the word of God. Which I still think is silly.

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I apologize for any offense given. I took it as playful banter by Christy intended to de-escalate tensions. No judgement of either of you was intended.

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The English word “Bible”? correct. He never mentioned that. Of course, neither does anything else in the Bible itself ever mention “the Bible.”

He often enough mentioned the Scripture; and his references go well beyond only those “quotes” where God is explicitly speaking, for instance his quotes of psalms.

Yes, I think it is…

And he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition! For Moses said, Honor your father and your mother’; and, Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’ But you say, ‘If a man tells his father or his mother, “Whatever you would have gained from me is Corban”’ (that is, given to God)— then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother, thus making void the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And many such things you do.”

The Bible is very clear that it is has been influenced falsely by the ads of the priests, scribes and Pharisees. See Malachi 2:7-9, Jeremiah 8:8-9, and Ezekiel 2:1-7 for examples. Since God, nor the Word of God (Jesus) penned, edited, copied nor published the Bible we cannot confirm that the document left to us is free from error nor free from omissions.

The word of God traches us that we are to rest on the Sabbath, but the Word of God taught us that we are to do good on the Sabbath, even if it involves work.

The word of God teaches us that we are to be circumcized and obey the Torah. The Word of God taught us that the people of God are to believe that Jesus is Lord (God,) be baptized, and follow Jesus Christ.

Jesus is able to overrule the word of God because Jesus is the Word (Logos) of God, the Way, the Truth, and the Light.

@MarkD,

Thank you for your apology. I appreciate and accept it.

Do you think that it is silly for people to be concerned that some Christians confuse the Bible, the word of God, with Jesus Christ, the Word of God? I hope not.

This is not the first time we have talked about this so you should understand the issue before you make you dismiss our concern as silly. This is why you should not make ad hominem attacks on others.

There is a long practice of capitalizing words that refer to God in the Bible and our language. That is why the “Word” of God is capitalized in John 1:1. Is that silly?

Is it for no non-silly reason that the Bible capitalizes the “One and Only” in John !:14? Why do people, like Jack Ham, always capitalize the phrase “the Word of God” when they are referring to the Bible and not to Jesus?

Daniel, since Jesus never mentioned the Bible, what did you mean by your statement:
“And Jesus says the word of God is the Bible…”
?

Jesus certainly referred to the Words of God in scripture, but expanding that description to every word in the canonical texts seems a leap far past what is written.

Thanks

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Roger, I think the confusion from treating the terms “Bible” and “Word of God” interchangeably is far from a silly topic.

One of the things I find difficult to reconcile with the Biblical text is Durbin’s claim of Biblical inerrancy.

Anyone who has done a side-by-side study of the synoptic gospels will see some minor errors in facts and details. These minor errors are not important in the grand scheme, but they do disprove the doctrine of inerrancy.

Fortunately, the Bible never claims inerrancy and our faith is not founded on having a perfect, infallible set of documents.

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Probably they’re using “Word of God” as a name (though adding “the” before it makes it more like a title). Just like Adam as a name can refer to a city (Joshua 3:16), a man (Genesis 5:3) or all humankind (Genesis 5:2), so also the Word of God can be used as a title for both the Bible and Jesus. I agree it is confusing, but it within normal English usage.

Uncapitalized, to say “The Bible is God’s word” is making a claim about the Bible, declaring it to be a message from God. Flipping it around isn’t equally valid. God’s word is not the Bible because God’s speech is a larger category than just Scripture. God spoke to create, continues to speak through creation, spoke through prophets (with only some of those oracles being written down as Scripture), and most clearly spoke through Christ Jesus in the flesh (and again Scripture records only some of this revelation according to, for instance, John 21:25). One could also add the revelation of the Holy Spirit to believers that, according to Scripture, goes beyond what is recorded in Scripture (e.g. Matthew 10:19–20).

In Scripture, the word of God probably doesn’t refer to the Bible as often as we tend to read it that way. For instance, Hebrews 4:12 says that “the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword”, and this is often applied specifically to the Bible. However, later in Hebrews it says that “By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God” (Hebrews 11:3). Does this mean that Scripture created the universe? Not according to Genesis 1! If we define the word of God as God’s speech which encompasses more than just what is found in the Bible, that same definition fits well in both verses as well as all the other Hebrews references. Scripture contains much that was already the word of God before it was written.

That definition also seems to fit the other New Testament references to the word of God (aside from when it refers to Jesus in John 1 and Revelation 19:13). It is a term for what God has said, whether through prophets (regardless of whether it is later written down), through Jesus (including what he said and did that is not recorded in the Bible), through the God-given utterances of believers, through divine speech revealing God’s will (such as speaking the universe into existence), and through Scripture.

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No, I think it is silly that you insist that capitalization equals theology. It doesn’t. You don’t know anything about my christology by whether or not I capitalize the Word of God as a book title referring to the Bible.

No, it’s not silly to capitalize Word in John, but you will notice the phrase Word of God does not occur in John. Jesus is the Word. He is never referred to in the Bible as “God’s Word” or the “Word of God.” The only time the Greek expression that translates the “word of God” occurs, (like in the verse Daniel cited above) it refers to God’s message, not Jesus.

Since Bible is capitalized as a book title in English, and word of God is a synonym for Bible in common English usage, it is not surprising or concerning that people apply the capitalization rules for book titles to it as well. I don’t personally, unless it is actually a book title, like Translating the Word of God by Beekman and Callow. It is totally appropriate to refer to the Bible as “God’s word” because it is God’s message to humanity.

Ken Ham? People don’t typically call Jesus “the Word of God.” They call him the Word if they are referring to the Logos. There just simply isn’t this case where people are capitalizing Word of God for the BIble and referring to Jesus as the word of God. Both the Word of God and the word of God mean the Bible almost every single time in typical English usage. References to Jesus as the Word leave off the “of God” part, just like in the Bible.

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If they are using the Word of God as the name of the Bible, they are misusing is, because it is not the name of the Bible. I honestly do not think that so many people are making this error.

I agree that the Word of God is a title. It is a title that rightfully only belongs to Jesus Christ, John 1:1.