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Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Matt Black, Jan 30, 2009.
Have a look here and discuss!
There is a theological distinction typically made between the "Word of God", and the "Word of God Written". The Word of God Written is obviously the Scriptures as contained in the Old and New Testaments. Jesus Christ is the eternal Logos (Jn. 1:1) and is appropriately called the "Living Word".
I hope this helps.
On what basis are the Scriptures to be described as "The Word of God" (I know we have Heb 4:12 as an example but it is not clear that that applies to written as opposed to spoken words eg: through the prophets).
Jesus is often quoted as saying that the things written are authoritative as the very words of God. For example He says, "It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." (Mt. 4:4) See also, (Lk. 4:48; 10:26, John 12:16, and particularly Luke 24:13-35)
Repeatedly we find both Jesus and the Apostles' making an appeal to the Words of God how they were written in the laws and the prophets. As they understood them as God's Words, we should follow their example as New Testament Christians.
I hope this helps.
But I'm not sure that that amounts to a description of 'The Bible' (at least not as we currently have it). Bits of it, may be.
Are you asking about the matter of canoncity? How we came to have the Bible?
No, I'm more asking for a definition of "The Word of God" and whether or not that has equivalence with the Bible on my bedside table.
Ok. Sure. Then I'd refer back to my orginal response. In one sense we understand the Word of God as the Bible. In other words, as men wrote, they were under the inspiration of God's Holy Spirit. They wrote what He wanted them to - leaving room for personality, etc. yet fully inspired. In another more technical sense, Jesus Christ is the Word of God incarnate The Logos of Jn. 1:1). He is the manifestation of all the Word of God Written point us towards. It's culmination, it's fulfillment. But both the Bible, and Christ are the "Words of God" - the Word of God Written, and the Incarnate Word, respectively.
I hope this helps.
Matt, which bits of the Bible do you think may be the Word of God. Please explain why you suspect that they may be.
I love the question but I won't end up where you do.
On one hand I agree with the following statement in the article you posted:
"To begin with, God does not speak in any language. Not even Hebrew."
But, as Tevye in Fiddler on the roof says, "on the other hand" I think he is wrong. God speaks every language but doesn't need language to speak.
The Bible is the word of God. But the word of God is more than the Bible. Here is where most on this board will part ways with me.
Jesus is the Word so the word is obviously more than the Bible. I have been given words to speak that I think God gave me. After saying them I was moved by the content of them for they were truths that I had not considered before. However, they were in agreement with scripture and did not add to scripture.
Here is where we part for I do not think God has revealed new truth since the scriptures were finished. Jesus is not only the WORD, but he is the truth as well. When the "truth" that has been handed down is evaluated, even a simple painter like me can discern what is going on.
What often draws people to looking to the "church fathers" is basically similar to saying that the further upstream you go, the purer the waters should be. This is true for the Anabaptist that I know. I think the Church of Christ thinks this way as well.
This argument makes a convincing case that these early Christian writers were in the best possible position to interpret and understand what the inspired writers had in mind when they wrote the New Testament. However, I disagree with that premise for I have the same Holy Spirit in me as they did.
I think this is the word of John:
This is the word of the Devil
this is the word of a man who had leprocy
I'm sure there are many many others.
My belief is : Jesus is "The Word of God" ; "The Holy Bible" contains words about "The Word".
How do you know those are the words of John?
How do you know those are the words of the devil (indeed, how do you know there IS a devil)?
How do you know those are the words of the leper?
Not being difficult, but, for those who question whether some or all of the Bible is the word of God (or the words of God), I wish you would enlighten us as to the method you use to come to your conclusions.
Very easy. Though in some schools of thought it goes beyond the pale but I'll put it out there.
1) I opened the bible
2) I read the bible
3) The quotes I indicated were predicated by: "John said:"; "the Devil Said:", "The lepor said:"
4) I then determined for the basis of this discussion that if the bible is considered to accurately record the events expressed in it then I would trust its recording which indicates that other people said these things in the bible and none of them were identified as God.
As far as knowing there is a Devil in the context of the conversation I may assume that given X = the bible is accurate then the character known as the Devil which is in the bible is an actual person or being. However, in most mathmatics X is the variable so if you do not count the bible as being accurate we would have to try to determin the existance of the devil outside of the bible. Which ultimately would be another thread.
What do people mean when they say Jesus it the word of God? Plato believed that a lessor deity created the cosmos and also identified that deity as Logos because in philosophy the spoken word is the enacting of the idea thus power is in the word. So God imagined (idea) spoke (enacting the idea) the act itself a divine substance being the devine in activity then created the result of the idea. Yet philosophy also calls God the original mover thus is not moved of itself and connot be moved but everything is effected around it: the source. But if the word is moved by the idea of God would it not then be less then God since it is moveable? And Plato I think would deminish the word to demurge status. So keeping in mind the trinity and its consept what do people mean that Jesus is the word? If he is homoosious with the father then he too would be the first mover. Was the Gospel of John too much influenced by Philo and his love for greek philosophy? Or was John saying something about Jesus and if he was what was he saying and again what do people mean that Jesus is the word of God?
I think John understood the Hellenistic limitations of the philosophical idea of Logos. But he understood the Greek mind well enough to know the suggestion of Christ as the eternal "Word" would convey the right message. Bearing in mind the gnostic tendencies (particularly the heresy of docitism) of the 1st century, it appears John is trying to make a connection between the physical and the spiritual (something Plato would never concieve). The eternal and the temporal. God in the Flesh. The Word Incarnate.
I hope this helps.
Historical fact leads me to believe the scriptures we have to-day were passed down quite accurately. Hence the Bible we know to-day certainly contains the very words of those who contributed to those manuscripts.
Personally, my experience in the word established a spiritual fact to me. Be twice-born. It happened and I am here. There must be some truth to it, or I am a hoax.
The history of Jesus has been established by an empty tomb and the events of that time prove to me it was so as recorded in that Bible.
Did God speak a language? I am not sure He spoke in Hebrew, Aramaic or any other known language. I believe He spoke in a language known to Moses, if we only call it God-speak...or was it the angels who spoke. Through some means of verbal communication He gave the message to Moses and others in time.
Whilst I am not a strong believer in preservation, I have no reason to doubt that we had an accurate record of God's word in the original manuscripts. I have reason to believe that the early Fathers were dedicated enough to rightly transfer those records to us in their copies. Follow that down through history and we end up with the Bible we hold to-day.
Yes, I believe the Bible is the word of God. Jesus being the Word is a whole other thing and not to be confused with the Bible.
You make a very interesting point. John knew the audience to which we wrote. So used the best term in the context of what he was speaking about with regard to Jesus. Yet the term in the culture of the very audience which he addressed had obvious limitations. How were these limitations with deffinition accounted for to his audience? We see the prevalence of gnostics in the early church. Some gnostic ideas even carry down to this very day. So how do we reconsile Johns use of the term Logos in the culture of his day with it being the inspired word of God?
"So how do we reconsile Johns use of the term Logos in the culture of his day with it being the inspired word of God?"
~ The same way we understand all of Scripture to have been written to a historically contemporary audience. We interpret (rightly divide) it, and apply it for us today. This is, in one sense, the primary function and role of a minister.
It sounds like speculation. If I believe this is how the contemporaries understand those words but 2,000 years later I could be wrong wouldn't then dividing rightly the word of truth be like speculating? For instance Hyteriae is a social club in Rome 2,000 years ago. However, our understanding of Social club and the Romans view are quiet different. Hyteriae are like a combination of Union, religion, insurance, stakeholding, type society. But we have to use different items just to explain it and then not fully so we can only speculate on its meaning to the people of Jesus day. Ecclesia or a gathering of those called out (like the Roman senate) is in our modern context a church but not with the original conotation that it had to the greeks. So it becomes problematic with definition and how the modern church understands it. So are ministers who are rightly dividing the word of truth speculating based on their own persecptions and ideas with in our modern context rather than the context of the original readers of the text?