We hear the phrase, “the Word of God!” quite often. And, we quote Paul who told Timothy that, “All Scripture is inspired by God . . .” But, what is that Word of God or Scripture? The fourth-century Vulgate? The 1560 Geneva Bible? The 1611 King James Bible? ‘Our Daily Bread’ devotional? None of them, actually.
The Scripture Paul referred to is the Torah, or Old Testament, available in Hebrew and in Greek in the first century. It was what the Bereans used to hold Paul accountable for his teachings of the prophetic fulfillment of the coming Christ by Jesus.
The word (lower-case ‘w’) represents the words spoken by God as when He spoke the world into existence or when He spoke of the coming Christ and our reconciliation with God through Him. In fact, the Word (upper-case ‘W’) is the manifestation of the reconciliation word(s) of God (i.e. Revelation 19:13).
So, what is the Bible and where does it come into play if not necessarily the Word of God? It’s a collection of ancient texts consolidated by groups of men after much arguing and debate; it contains the Torah and many first and second-century documents.
The Old Testament Torah is a collection of oral traditions, historical documentation, personal reflections of wisdom and love and lamentations, and prophecies – both current to the times and futuristic in nature. These were inspired by God and written by men.
The New Testament is a similar collection of historical and eyewitness accounts, letters full of wisdom from apostles, and prophetic and apocalyptic literature. The Gospel accounts of Jesus’ life, death, resurrection, and ascension were reiterations of what was spoken of or influenced by Jesus as was the Revelation given to John later. This collection was also recorded by men.
We’re creatures of free will and of differing intelligence levels and backgrounds. So, it’s truly amazing that God entrusted us to record anything related to Him or our Christ. But, despite that and the transliterations, translations, and interpretations that have introduced minor discrepancies in today’s Bible, the core words of God that promise hope of the future through the Word – our Christ – stands untarnished and remains intact.
What Word do you subscribe to?