The Word of God Is the Bible

By Dave

Here's where I step where angels fear to tread! After years of believing and teaching that the Bible is the Word of God, I have realized that the Bible itself doesn't actually teach that.

"WHAT?!?!?" I can hear some of you saying... "Don't you know that David said, 'Your word I have hidden in my heart that I might not sin against You (Psalm 119:11)...' or 'Your word is a lamp unto my feet (Psalm 119:105)?'. Or again, "Don't you know that 2 Timothy 3:16 says, 'All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction...' and that 2 Peter 1:20-21 teaches that the prophecy of Scriptures were given to holy men by the Holy Spirit?".

Of course I know those verses. And I accept every word of them as absoultely true. So, you might ask, how can I say that the Bible doesn't teach that it is the Word of God?

To answer that, let's begin with the idea of "the word of God" in the Old Testament. If one does a computer search of the Old Testament looking for the phrase "word of God", one will find that it most often occurs in the context of a spoken word from God, given through one of His prophets. For example, "The word of God came to Shemaiah... (1 Kings 12:22)" or " happened that night that the word of God came to Nathan...(1 Chronicles 17:3)". The Hebrew word translated "word" is the word "dabar" and, according to the Enhanced Strong's Lexicon, occurs 1439 times in the Old Testament. It's translated as "word" 807 times, as "thing" 231 times, "matter" 63 times, "acts" 51 times, "chronicles" 38 times, "saying" 25 times, "commandment" 20 times, and miscellaneously 204 times.

Harper's Bible Dictionary, in its definition of the word "word," says; "The Bible itself is not infrequently referred to as the Word of God by Christians. It is important to note, however, that the expression 'word of God' in Scripture does not usually refer to the written word at all, but rather to God's or His emissaries' speaking and inspiration."

Now, according to 2 Peter 1:20-21, many of the things God spoke to (and through) His prophets were recorded in writing, and were passed along from generation to generation. These prophetic utterances and the detailed historical accounts of God's dealings with His people have become our Scriptures. Naturally, if God is speaking, His people want to be able to remember what He said and preserve His words! The result is a set of writings that contain the words that He spoke.

Paul wrote to Timothy that "all Scripture is given by inspiration of God" (2 Timothy 3:16). What exactly does that mean? The word "inspired" in the original Greek is the word "theopneustos". The New International Version uses a very literal meaning when it translates the word, "God-breathed". The Greek word comes from the words "theos" (God) and "pneo" ("blow" or "wind"). The picture we are given through the use of this word (the only time it is used in Scripture, by the way) is that God Himself breathed upon those who were writing as they wrote, and supernaturally directed their words as they penned the Scriptures. Operating through their personalities, their experiences, and their human senses, He directed every word they chose on a level that transcended even their own understanding, and the result is a Divinely inspired set of writings. That makes the Scriptures - in their original languages of Aramaic, Hebrew, and Greek - inspired by God. It makes the Bible the words of God, and therefore authoritative and the standard by which all things spiritual must be judged.

But what does this God-breathed, inspired, authoritative Book teach about "the Word of God?"

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men" (John 1:1-4). Was the world formed through the Bible? Was the King James Version in the beginning with God? Is life in the Bible? Paul wrote that the words written in our Bibles can kill (2 Corinthians 3:6)!

John goes on to say further in Chapter 1, "...And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." (>John 1:14)

What does the Bible itself teach us about the Word of God? Is it really a book? I'll let you draw your own conclusion, but mine is that the word of God is a Person - Who is living and powerful and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, ... discerning the thoughts and intents of the heart...and nothing is hidden from His sight... (Hebrews 4:12-13).