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Saturday, March 21, 2015

The Word of God

"The Word of God We believe that Scripture, both the Old and New Testament is God's revelation..." --United Church of God, http://www.ucg.org/fundamental-beliefs-info/
"The Living Church of God bases its beliefs on the Holy Bible, the inspired Word of God." --Living Church of God, https://www.lcg.org/statement-of-beliefs.shtml
"The Philadelphia Church of God believes and teaches the Bible is the full Word of God..." --Philadelphia Church of God, https://www.pcog.org/about/pcg-beliefs
"The whole Bible is the divinely inspired Word of God..." --Church of God International, http://cgi.org/about/

Like many of the folks in other Christian denominations/organizations, Armstrongites underscore their belief that the Bible is The Word of God (as evidenced by the above quotes); but what does the Bible itself say about what constitutes the Word of God?

Interestingly, the terms "word of the Lord" and "word of God" are used in both the Old and New Testament to denote a spoken or orally delivered message as opposed to anything written down on a scroll or book. Here are just a few of the many examples that demonstrate the truth of this assertion (King James Version throughout):

"Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, neither was the word of the LORD yet revealed unto him." (I Samuel 3:7) Strange, surely he would have been exposed to the written works of Moses and Joshua under Eli's tutelage?

"Then came the word of the LORD unto Samuel, saying..." (I Samuel 15:10)

"And it came to pass that night, that the word of the LORD came unto Nathan, saying..." (II Samuel 7:4)

"For when David was up in the morning, the word of the LORD came unto the prophet Gad, David's seer, saying..." (II Samuel 24:11)

"And the word of the LORD came to Solomon, saying..." (I Kings 6:11)

"And, behold, there came a man of God out of Judah by the word of the LORD unto Bethel: and Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense. And he cried against the altar in the word of the LORD..." (I Kings 13:1-2)

"Then the word of the LORD came to Jehu the son of Hanani against Baasha, saying..." (I Kings 16:1)

"And the word of the LORD came unto him (Elijah), saying..." (I Kings 17:2)

"And the woman said to Elijah, Now by this I know that thou art a man of God, and that the word of the LORD in thy mouth is truth." (I Kings 17:24)

"And Isaiah said unto Hezekiah, Hear the word of the LORD..." (II Kings 20:16)

"Then said Hezekiah unto Isaiah, Good is the word of the LORD which thou hast spoken." (II Kings 20:19)

"Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness." (Luke 3:2)

"And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret..." (Luke 5:1)

"And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness." (Acts 4:31)

"And when they were at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews: and they had also John to their minister." (Acts 13:5)

"Which was with the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man; who called for Barnabas and Saul, and desired to hear the word of God." (Acts 13:7)

"And the next Sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God." (Acts 13:44)

"Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles." (Acts 13:46)

In this connection, it is interesting to note that the "Great Commission" was envisioned as a message that was to be delivered orally. (Matthew 28:19-20) It is important to remember that there wasn't any New Testament available to the early church. "It was necessary for the message to be delivered orally because many of those people couldn't read or write," my conservative friends will protest. Hmmmm, then how did this stuff eventually get committed to writing? Sorry folks, the Bible itself suggests a very different understanding of what does and does not constitute the Word of the Lord or Word of God!

1 comment:

  1. In our post-wiki world it doesn't matter any more. We now have access to info only leaders and scholars once had. Ask an educated-Christian (not an oxymoron, just a moron) or Muslim what they think of Wikipedia - they hate it! But I love asking them :-)