Disclaimer: About This Blog

THIS BLOG IS: my personal journey of how I am rethinking some of my spiritual beliefs.
THIS BLOG IS NOT: intended to point fingers at people who I think are wrong.
I do not believe the final judgement will be based on how many correct answers we get on a theology exam. I believe many people throughout history have had genuine relationships with our Lord and Saviour Jesus, despite holding questionable beliefs and practices. I make no claim to having it all figured out or being your judge. If we end up disagreeing over these topics I pray we can find a way to demonstrate grace.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Stop Calling The Bible The Word Of God

If you believe in the authority of the Bible, please quit calling it the Word of God. Please read it and see what it says about the Word of God.  Many Christians believe the Bible is the final authority for faith, religious practice, and morals.  Yet for some reason they call the Bible the Word of God.

Where am I going with this?

Please consider this question if you call the Bible the Word of God.
  • Why do you call these 66 books the Word of God?
  • Does the Bible tell you to call itself the Word of God?  Or did tradition?
  • Did the Holy Spirit tell you to call the Bible the Word of God? Or did someone else teach you this?

I see the Bible teaching us that Jesus is the Word of God. (John 1:1-14)

There are other cases where the terms "Word of God" or "Word of the Lord" simply means that God is speaking to someone. (1 Kings 12:22, 1 Chronicles 17:3, Matt 15:4-6, Luke 3:2, Luke 5:1, Luke 11:28, Mark 4:33). 

The "Word" also seems to be a message that believers shared with others (1 Cor 15:2, Col 1:4-6, 2 Tim 4:2, Acts 13:44-49, Acts 15:35)

The Bible teaches that the Word of Christ lives in us and speaks to us. (Rom 10:8-9, Col 3:16, James 1:21-24, 1 John 2:14)

The Bible also teaches that the Word is something that is alive and active.(Heb 4:12, 1 Pet 1:23)

But I don't see the Bible teaching that the Word of God is a book that people read, study and follow.



So if you believe in the authority of the Bible, please quit calling the Bible the Word of God!

If you think tradition should trump Scripture on this one, keep calling it whatever you have been taught by those around you. :)

I do believe God speaks to us as we read the Scriptures with a listening heart. But He also speaks to us at other times. I think the Word of God is simply whenever God speaks to us. Jesus is also called the Word. He was and is God's message to us. Is that the Word we are listening to?

My concern is that by calling the Bible the Word of God, some have promoted the idea that Christians should follow a book instead of living in a natural relationship with a living God.  Following the book called the Word of God  will lead you to a religion.  Following the person "Word of God" will lead you to everlasting life.

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12 comments:

Miguel Labrador said...

I think we have to be careful in going to either extreme. Jesus is the Word, and the scriptures are His words. Jesus said, "If you abide in me AND my words in you."

Further, I find that 1 Peter 1:25 makes this holistic concept a bit more clear - "BUT THE WORD OF THE LORD ENDURES FOREVER." And this is the word which was preached to you." Granted the "word" there is rhema, but logos and rhema are practically synonymous.

Jonathan said...

Thanks Miguel, as I mentioned, a case can be made for calling the message of Christ the "Word".

Lysa Humildad said...

Have you read Speaking of Jesus by Carl Medearis? I think you would appreciate it.

Jonathan said...

My wiser half says this post sounds bossy. So please bear with me. I'm simply tying to make a point. Of course people are free to call the Bible whatever they want, and if they love Jesus they are my brothers.

If we call the Bible the Word of God because it is a collection of books that share the message of God, shouldn't we call many things the Word of God? There are many books out there that share the message of God.

When people "preached the Word", as recorded in Scripture, I don't think it was that they were reading from our Bible. The Word referred to the message, the not the medium.

Jonathan said...

No Lysa, haven't heard of it. I just read the amazon description now, looks good. Thanks for the book recommendation. Did you like it?

Lysa Humildad said...

I loved it. The author seems to be in the midst of a paradigm shift in his relationship with the Lord which is very similar to yours (and mine). Holy Spirit had been speaking to me the very things he addresses in the book.
He explains it in a very simple, easy to understand, difficult to argue with manner! :)

p.s. your post sounded firm & forward...most of your posts do. ;)
yeah, softening our approach is probably a good thing...your "other half" sounds like a wise woman :)

Jonathan said...

Thanks Lysa for your honesty. I have been trying to soften my posts some this year, but yeah this one was kinda blunt. Likely not as effective. Thanks.

frank said...

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word became....
INK!

Jonathan said...

Frank that would fit well in my Playdough Scripture series.

Lysa Humildad said...

that's pretty hilarious!

Lysa Humildad said...

Indeed it would!

Al said...

I've been thinking about commenting on this, but haven't until now.

I agree completely. Many have turned the Bible into an idol when God told us to have no other gods beside him.

Many have misrepresented the Bible as being dictated words from heaven itself--but still managed to put their own spin on its interpretation.

And at the same time, many ignore the simple, teachings and example of Jesus himself in favor of a few sentences chosen in order to back up their particular doctrines.

And don't feel obligated to soften what you are passionate about. Sure, many of Gods prophets were killed, but they couldn't help but speak what they believed to be a very important message.