What Is the Word of God?

The Word of God Is the Truth That the Scriptures Seek to Convey

Although it has become commonplace for Christians to think of the Scriptures as the Word of God, the original Greek and Hebrew/Aramaic text of the Scriptures is not, in and of itself, the Word of God. The Truth is, the Word of God is the Truth that the written text of the Scriptures seeks to convey. The point is, any statement, no matter whether it is written or spoken, carries a meaning and significance that can be misconstrued or misinterpreted by anyone who hears or reads it. That happens all the time. People often make statements that are misunderstood by others, which results in a distortion of the message the author or speaker was trying to convey.

Unfortunately, this happens when people read the Scriptures as well. Because much of the biblical text is ambiguous and hard to understand (especially in the Hebrew Scriptures), people fail to comprehend the message that God seeks to convey. More often than not, people choose to speculate about the meaning and significance of what they read. This results in a gross distortion of the Truth of the Word of God.

Wherever there is a distortion of the Truth, the Word of God is not present, because the Word of God is Truth and nothing but Truth. Therefore, logic dictates that the Word of God is not automatically understood just by reading or hearing the words of the Scriptures. If a person fails to grasp the meaning and significance of what they hear or read, they have not heard or read the Word of God.

Contrary to what most people believe, the Word of God has always existed apart from the Scriptures. Think about it logically. How else could the Word of God have existed in the very beginning when the Scriptures didn’t?

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.
(John 1:1–2) —NASB

If the Word of God was not already in existence before the Scriptures were writtten, how could a man like Enoch have acquired sufficient knowledge to “walk” with God for three hundred years? The fact that “God took him” indicates he must have known something about God long before the Scriptures were written:

Then Enoch walked with God three hundred years after he became the father of Methuselah, and he had {other} sons and daughters. So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.
(Genesis 5:22–24) —NASB

More than that, how could Noah have been a “preacher of righteousness” to his generation when there were no Scriptures around to explain the message he should preach?

For if God did not spare the angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment; and did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; …
(2 Peter 2:4–5) —NASB

The only logical answer to these questions is, the Word of God existed long before the Scriptures were written. It is true that the Word of God eventually made its way into the Scriptures, but the Truth of the Word of God was intentionally concealed in the Scriptures by Moses and the other Prophets of Israel. They concealed it by their use of parables, parabolic images, and Hebrew idioms.

The fact that the Word of God is concealed in the Hebrew Scriptures explains why the Apostle Paul often referred to the Word of God as a “hidden” mysteryThe Mystery—which must be explained to True Believers by those whom God has legitimately called as Teachers:

Of {this church} I was made a minister according to the stewardship from God bestowed on me for your benefit, that I might fully carry out the {preaching of} the word of God, {that is}, the mystery which has been hidden from the {past} ages and generations; but has now been manifested to His saints, to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
(Colossians 1:25–27) —NASB

The fact that the Word of God is not easily discerned by those who read the Scriptures is also demonstrated by what Jesus said and did after His Resurrection:

And He said to them, “O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and enter into His glory?” And beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures. … And they said to one another, “Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?” … Now He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.
(Luke 24:25–27, 32, 44–45) —NASB

In that passage, Luke reveals that Jesus found it necessary to explain the hidden message of the Scriptures to His disciples. He also reveals that Jesus had to “open their minds” so that they could understand the Truth He was teaching them. This tells us the Word of God cannot be seen or deduced just by reading the biblical text. If it were that simple, the Pharisees—who were diligent students of the Hebrew Scriptures—would have undoubtedly understood the Truth. Yet Jesus makes it clear they understood very little of the Word of God. Unfortunately for them (and many in our own day), knowledge of what is written in the Scriptures does not automatically equate to knowledge of the meaning and significance of the Word of God. Let the reader understand.


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