Is the Bible the "Word of God"?

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Grizzly660, Jun 20, 2003.

  1. Grizzly660

    Grizzly660
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    Please don't think I'm a heretic for asking this! [​IMG]

    Psalm 119:89 says "For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven."

    God's Word is stettled "in heaven" and we read in the Bible so many times that "the word of the Lord" came to so-and-so. How can we call The Account of God's Word being received "God's Word."
    Can't we more accurately call the Bible a written account of God's Word and its reception?
    Just thinking logically- If David spoke of God's Word, how can David speaking about God's Word be considered "God's Word"?

    (Again- I'm not a heretic!) [​IMG]
     
  2. Pastor Larry

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    You are making an distinction without a difference. The source of the word is what is being referred to, not the medium. The Bible is God's word because its source is God. To say it is a record of God's word is not a distinction that makes much sense, unless you are trying to deny basic orthodox theology about Scripture.
     
  3. ColoradoFB

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    Sorry Grizzly. We are already gathering the firewood to burn you at the stake! :eek:
     
  4. Grizzly660

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    I'm trying to do no such thing. :(
    I'm just discussing my thought openly, with caring brothers and sisters.

    If I wrote, "Pastor Larry said this.." nobody would say that my writing was "the word of Pastor Larry." I'm distinguishing the "Word of God" from the written "Word of God."

    Thoughts?
     
  5. Rev. Joshua

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    Karl Barth's position was that the Bible only becomes the Word of God when interpreted in a community of faith under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. I'm inclined to agree with that view, and I think the Gospel of John in particular supports it.

    Joshua
     
  6. mesly

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    Joshua, can you provide reference(s)? Thanks.
     
  7. Rev. Joshua

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    I can't find a specific reference on Barth, but I seem to remember getting that from his Homiletics.

    I do have a handy reference from Bultmann on the same topic:

    Bultmann, Rudolf. Essays: Philosophical and Theological. Translated by James C. G. Greig. London: SCM Press, Ltd., 1955, p 92.

    (I just happened to remember citing it once [​IMG] ).

    If I remember correctly, Bultmann and Barth would disagree on the accessibilty of God, with Bultmann leaning more heavily towards God's otherness precluding real connection or understanding. Please don't quote me on that - since I've spent more time with Bultmann's critical work than with his theology.

    As for the Gospel of John, in chapters 14-17 the general context of Jesus' teachings to his disciples is that they don't understand him but will with the presence of the Holy Spirit (e.g. 14:25-27).

    Also, there is a persistent pattern in Scripture of people not understanding the Scriptures or Jesus' own words unless Jesus is present to explain them. (Notice that it's not until the very end of the last chapter of Luke that Jesus opens the disciples mind to understand the Scriptures.)

    Joshua
     
  8. Pastor Larry

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    I rather think they would, especially if I directed you to write something. I would be the source of them.

    The view that Joshua refers to is the existentialist view. The problem with it is that it detracts from the message. It become the word only when it says something to the individual, when he or she has an encounter with it. It is a form of post modernism long before it was chic to be post modern. The word of God is the word of God and is authoritative regardless of its reception or understanding. It does not become the word of God when someone interprets it in a community of faith. It became the word of God when it originated from him.
     
  9. John Wells

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    Peter said, "that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God" (2 Pet. 1:20-21).

    All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. (2 Timothy 3:16, NIV)

    There is, in the first place, the term graphic inspiration. The term graphic comes from a root which means "to write." And the expression "graphic inspiration" simply means that the Holy Spirit inspired, moved, holy men to write the Word of God. Men not only spoke God's Word, but they were also used to write down the Word of God.

    But that term, which is certainly quite sufficient in itself, because of attack proved to be insufficient. It was not enough merely to say that men were moved by the Spirit to write the Word of God. Another term came into use as a description of inspiration, a term designed to make the meaning of inspiration more explicit. That term is plenary. Plenary inspiration means that the Bible is fully inspired, that is, totally inspired, inspired in all its parts. That limitation is designed to make it impossible for men to say that they believe the truth of inspiration and at the same time to deny that the Bible is in its entirety the written record of God's Word. It is designed to make it impossible for anyone to say that the Word of God is only in the Bible, so that parts of the Bible are the Word of God and parts of it are not the Word of God. Plenary inspiration insists that the Bible is from beginning to end the written record of the Word of God, the Word of God in all its parts. One cannot go through the Bible picking and choosing what part is the Word of God and what part is not the Word of God, or deciding that one part is inspired and infallible while another part is not inspired and infallible. It is all or nothing!

    In the third place, there is the term verbal inspiration. This term also has become necessary because there were and are those who even with the term plenary wanted to say, inconsistently, of course,--that the thoughts of the Bible were inspired, but the expression of those thoughts, the language, the words, in which those thoughts were conveyed, was not inspired. The expression of the thoughts, the language, was left to human writers and is fallible. Now I say again: there is actually no room for any such notion in the concept of inspiration, and especially not in the idea of plenary inspiration. It is simply inconceivable and utterly inconsistent to make such a separation between thoughts and words. But due to the fact that men have very inconsistently attempted to make that distinction, it became necessary to use the term verbal. Verbal inspiration emphasizes that inspiration is such that the Bible is in its very expression, words, language, completely the Word of God.

    The Bible is the only court of appeal in this discussion. Let us remember this!

    The Belgic Confession, in Article 7
    "Neither do we consider of equal value any writing of men, however holy these men may have been, with those divine Scriptures, nor ought we to consider custom, or the great multitude, or antiquity, or succession of times and persons, or councils, decrees or statutes, as of equal value with the truth of God; for the truth is above all; for all men are of themselves liars, and more vain than vanity itself."
     
  10. go2church

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    I have begun to use the term the Word of God when refering to Jesus, the usage and imagary of John's Gospel is so rich I love it. And then using the term the Word's of God when refering to the Bible, seems to carry with it the intended reference and authority in 1 Timothy 3
    Any thoughts?
     
  11. Word Traveler

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    Amen, and Amen!! [​IMG] In Christ, WT
     
  12. Pastor Larry

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    I think that Jesus is the Logos, but I really can't see how that is relevant here. Obviously, the word "logos" is used in many different ways (word, purpose, reason, etc). The context determines what is in view. I cannot see the reason to connect Jesus as the Word of God with the Bible as the word of God. Different contexts ... different meanings.
     
  13. Istherenotacause

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    Plenary inspiration covers it. That won't let the devil have a foothold, now that's something to ponder.
     
  14. Artimaeus

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    It is not heresy to think of the "word of God" as MORE than the Bible. God spoke words not recorded in the Bible just as Jesus did and those words are also the word of God. It is heresy to say that God's word is LESS than the Bible.

    I Chron 17:3 And it came to pass the same night, that the word of God came to Nathan, saying (Was this the Bible coming to Nathan? I don't think so.)

    Prov 30:5 Every word of God is pure: (Verbal, plenary Inspiration)

    Acts 6:2b-7...It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables. 3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. 4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word. 5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch: 6 Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them. 7 And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith. (The first instance is the Bible but, the second instance isn't because it increased.)

    Acts 12: 24 But the word of God grew and multiplied. (Obviously more than just the physical word of the Bible)

    Acts 19:20 So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed. (More than words)

    Luke 4:4 And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God. (Every word that God speaks and every word that Jesus speaks)

    Luke 5:1 And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, (I love this verse, the people were trying to hear the scriptures and didn't realized that they were literally hearing the Word of God teach the word of God)

    Heb 11:3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. (Creation wasn't accomplished by the Bible but by what God said merely by His say so)

    I Pet 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. 24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: 25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you. (Just as God spoke the world into existance He spoke and I was saved. It is HIS word that saves me. Just as we might say to one another when we don't know for sure if what someone says is true or not, "Well, I'll just take your word for it". Salvation is taking God's word for it The Bible isn't a power in and of itself, it is only a power because God backs it up. He is over and above and more than the Bible.)

    In conclusion, the Bible is a circle of truth (all of it) inside a bigger circle of truth (God).
     
  15. Ben W

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    The word of God is the Bible.

    The Word is Jesus.

    John 1:1 In the begining was the Word.
     
  16. Grizzly660

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    John Wells- Thank you for the great info! It was precise and helpful. [​IMG]

    But, IMHO Artimaeus poses a very interesting thought!
    Is the Bible ALL Truth or is it SOME (or even MOST) Truth? :confused:
    It can't be ALL Truth, because Jesus IS ALL Truth.
    Was Jesus The Bible made flesh? I don't think so, because we didn't have the entire Canon of Doctrine when He came. The most anyone could say is that He was the OT made flesh, but John didn't say that.

    So, I'm left thinking that THE WORD OF GOD is something MORE than just the Bible. It's infallible and accurate, not denying any creed or Scripture, but only a part of the whole.

    If this is the case, then what does that mean?
    If we were to take this understanding of the Bible would it hurt anything or would it be beneficial in any way?
    I guess I need to ask 2 questions:
    1) What's the harm/benefits of seeing Jesus as THE WORD and the Bible as only part of THE WORD?
    2) What does this line of thinking logically lead us to next?
    [​IMG]
     
  17. John Wells

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    Jesus as "The Word:" Christ is the revealer of God. His office is to make God known. “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him” (John 1:18). This title designates the divine nature of Christ. As the Word, he “was in the beginning” and “became flesh.” “The Word was with God " and “was God,” and was the Creator of all things.

    Bible as "The Word of God:" The Bible so called because the writers of its several books were God’s organs in communicating his will to men. It is his “word,” because he speaks to us in its sacred pages. Whatever the inspired writers here declare to be true and binding upon us, God declares to be true and binding. This word is infallible, because written under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and therefore free from all error of fact or doctrine or precept. All saving knowledge is obtained from the word of God. In the case of adults it is an indispensable means of salvation, and is efficacious thereunto by the gracious influence of the Holy Spirit. -- Easton's Bible dictionary

    Word of God spoken: God has spoken and used select individuals (prophets) to speak His Word at various times. The Bible records a lot of this but it seems prudent to assume that not every Word of God has been captured in writing. The main point, as noted above, is that all "saving knowledge" is contained in the Bible and is sufficient for living the Christian life and for salvation! ;)
     
  18. Sularis

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    Actually John 1:1 is a darn cool passage

    much like Hebrews 6:4

    It is the only clear Trinity passage that I know of

    The rest tend to me more Dualistic, but you can add them up

    Actually Joshua - despite the fact i think yer nuts half of the time - Id like to see that passage from Barths so Id appreciate ya diggin around fer it - New job - new money - my library is going to grow
     
  19. dherder

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    I am convinced that the Bible is God's word. I'm equally convinced that Jesus Christ is God's Word. Let me also add that I'm also convinced that the Bible is NOT a "download" (in computer terms) of everything God knows. It contains everything God intends for us to read, study, memorize, and meditate while we are on this earth. It is consistent with God's character.

    In short, we will not truly understand the word of God until we meet (face the face) the Word of God. "For now we see through a glass darkly, but then face to face..."

    David
     
  20. Jim1999

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    Allow me to share this quote from a Barthian student:

    "What he (Barth) shares... is the conviction that the divine reality is to be known directly in acts of awareness. But where Buber thought that the eternal Thou was to be glimpsed in I-Thou relationships, and Otto in numinous counters of awe, mystery, wonder, fascination, the the mystics in the prctice of meditation, Barth spoke of God's revelation of himself in his Word. For Barth, the Word of God manifests itself in three forms: the words of the preacher, the word written in scripture, and Jesus of Nazareth, called the Word in the Gospel of John." (Christ, Grillmeir, vol I p, 130.

    Barth's error was in making the objective scriptures subjective; from imperical to experiential; from concrete evidential to inner experience or emotion.

    Whilst Barth did not intend to depart from what the scripture teaches, his followers did, and thus corrupted the objective word of God, we call the bible. In order to validate some scientific theories, they reject this objective word and simply say, that particular part of the bible does not speak to science, and is therefore, not the direct communication of God. A very dangerous contemplation.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     

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