Sunday, November 06, 2005

The 'Word of God'

Every time the prophets say 'the Word of God came to me...' they don't mean the Bible.

The Psalms equate the Word of God with God's instruction, but doesn't relegate it to scripture or the Bible.

John 1 describes the Word of God as Jesus.

Hebrews says the Word of God is sharper than a two-edged sword, but again a specific reference to the Bible as such is nowhere to be found.

Somewhere else the phrase 'Word of God' was linked to the Bible only.

About here is where 1 Timothy 3:16 comes in. I'm guessing that a Christian who cites this verse does not then cite a verse in the Koran which contains similar verses about scripture being 'God-inspired' and uses it to prove that the Koran is what it says. It's circular logic for starters (the Bible is God-inspired because it says it is). Secondly, which scripture? The apocrypha? The Gospel of Thomas? The Catholic, Orthodox, or Protestant Bible? The Old Testament?

The Word of God is living and active. The Bible DOES say that. And we keep listening with the words of our spiritual ancestors at our side to make sense of what it might be saying to us. But as a text where genocide is endorsed among other things, that's much harder to swallow.

Related entry: The Bible: Faith's Family Album

1 comment:

niebuhrian said...

I have just begun the struggle with the Presbyterian tradition over saying "this is the Word of God" after reading scripture in a worship service. It is amazing the nit-picky things that arise in my heart when I read new material. My guess is that it is a reaction to the way that the term is thrown around these days, and the illogical applications that seem to follow the moniker.

I like this train of thought. Especially, the "which scripture" question. It is funny, in a sense, how some believe that God quit speaking around nineteen hundered years ago when the last of the authors wrote their orginal texts. Nevermind the additions made as it was copied through the years, or the way the books were chosen, and so on.

The Bible is a funny frightening thing depending on how one wields it in the world.

grace and peace