Is the Bible the Word of God?
The bible is not the WORD OF GOD. And if we believe it as such, then we have made the bible into an idol. The bible has become the Church’s idol. It is the Golden Calf of our day. The ancient Hebrews had taken the God of their forefathers and formed him into their image. They made him take on their identity because they could not grasp to what extent the WORD OF GOD was present with them. Yes, indeed it has been said for thousands of years that the ancient Hebrews were fools for doing so, but my dear friend so are we.
Just as the Hebrews, we have made the WORD OF GOD into our image – the bible. And by doing so have not elevated God, but relegated him to the lowliest place. Our misappropriation of authority has inevitably resulted in our inability to distinguish between what we THINK God requires of us, and what God ACTUALLY requires of us. This misappropriation has resulted in our use of superfluous language.
The bible is not the WORD OF GOD. However, our elevation of the bible to almost divine status has seemingly resulted in the Church believing it is to be the moral authority over the world – as though they speak for God. We have equated the language of the bible with the Words of God. This has seemingly resulted in the bible being used as a weapon of power to oppress others. Incredibly, the Church’s oppression has not been limited to the secular world, but has even been used as a weapon to oppress its own people.
But, Jesus never oppressed anyone!
When we assert that the bible is the WORD OF GOD we are diminishing what it means to possess the WORD OF GOD. The bible is a book. Just like any other book it contains words, propositions, stories, ideologies, and philosophies. But it contains something that is far greater than any other book that has ever been written. It contains testimonies. But not just any testimony. It contains testimonies about God – not just about any God, but the living God. It contains testimonies about who God is, and who man is; and who man is in light of his discovery of God.
God has revealed himself in history. Scripture testifies to that revelation. Scripture is not revelation in and of itself. Rather, it is a testimony to the revelation that has occurred. The bible is what we learn from; it is what we abide by; and it is what strengthens our faith.
The Bible is not the WORD OF GOD. It has no special powers and it is not magic. Sacred scripture means nothing if it is not alive inside the individual. Embodied, fully embraced. This does not mean that we take apart or dissect the bible in such a way that we are able to extrapolate metaphysical truths about the world around us. That is not the intent of the bible. Rather, the intent of the bible is to provide context for who we are as human beings, who god is as God; and how God has acted throughout history. It is a testimony to our lord Jesus Christ.
The WORD OF GOD is a moment that a human being encounters. It is Jesus Christ in his full glory and revelation. The WORD OF GOD occurs through a compilation of acts that bring forth the WORD OF GOD within the individual – prayer, reading and meditating on sacred scripture, fellowship, and worship.
Encountering the WORD OF GOD changes us – it makes us whole. It gives us strength and power. Words on a page do not give us strength; they do not give us power. It is only when we embody those words on the page that we truly become like the WORD OF GOD. It is what Jesus did. He did not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it. That means he embodied the law. He was sinless, he was perfect. He embodied the law in the truest, purest form of what is meant by “the law”. Likewise, we must embody scripture. It must become a part of us, our lives, and our identity; for the truth of God was not found in words or propositions or abstract ideas, but in the truthfulness that exists when we live out the WORD OF GOD on the world stage.
The bible is not the WORD OF GOD. The WORD OF GOD is Jesus Christ.