Is the Bible the Word of God?

Is the Bible the Word of God?
The Bible never claims to be the Word of God; nevertheless, multiplied thousands of honest-hearted believers insist that the Bible is the Word of God. So,"What is the Word of God?"
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Is the Bible the Word of God?

The Word Is Not Seen

When God speaks through a man at a specific time for a specific situation, that is the living Word of God being spoken. And as long as it applies to the situation, it lives. If, however, it is written down, and the time for the application of that Word passes, then it becomes a dead letter which God may or may not choose to use in another situation later.

In Acts 16, Paul did not read Scriptures aloud to the Philippian jailer when he delivered the Word of God to him and his household. Paul had heard from God and was communicating to the jailer what he had heard, and the jailer was being called upon by Paul to believe the Word of God that had come to him. When Paul, referring to the Second Coming of Jesus, wrote to the congregation in Corinth, “this we say unto you by the Word of the Lord,” he did not mean that he was telling them about something he had read in the Bible. He meant that God had revealed to him the fact of the Second Coming of the Lord. That was the Word of God because that is what God had told Paul.

When the Bible says that “The Word of the Lord came to John in the wilderness” (Lk. 3:2), should we think that someone traveled into the wilderness to bring John a Bible? Of course not. Or when we are told that Jesus gave the Word of God to his disciples (Jn. 17:8), should we think that he gave them copies of the Bible? I know we are told that the Word of God came “by the hand of Jehu, the son of Hanani” against Baasha and his house (1Kgs. 16:7), but that doesn’t mean he was carrying a Bible in his hand. It means that God used Jehu to deliver His message to Baasha, and it was something said, not read.

On one occasion, Paul was forbidden by the holy Ghost to carry the Word of God into the Roman province called Asia (Acts 16:6, today’s Asia Minor); nevertheless, among the numerous Jewish communities in that region, it is safe to assume that many copies of the Scriptures were there. That David was to be anointed King of Israel (1Chron. 11:3) was not something Samuel found written in Moses’ Law. David’s name is not found in any of the books of Moses. The Word of God that came to Israel concerning David came from God’s mouth to Samuel, and then from Samuel’s mouth to all Israel.

Moses “showed the Word” to Israel (Deut. 5:5). Samuel “showed” young Saul the Word of the Lord (1Sam. 9:27). God showed His Word to Jeremiah (Jer.38:21) and to all of Israel (Ps. 147:19). And Israel was called upon by Jeremiah to “see” the Word of God (Jer. 2:31), as well as by Isaiah (Isa. 2:1). None of this means that the Word of God was Scripture that could be seen physically. In every one of these cases of the Word being “shown”, what was being “shown” had never even been heard, much less written down.

When the prophet Samuel told the young man Saul to stay with him a while, “that I may show thee the Word of God ”, there was no Scripture that Samuel could have pulled out of his pocket that would have said, “Saul, you have been chosen to be king over Israel.” Had those Scriptures existed, the whole nation would already have known who had been chosen as king, without Samuel’s guidance. And even though the Levites were blessed with the service of God for “observing” the Word of God (Deut. 33:9), it is incomprehensible that God blessed them for simply looking at the Bible.

We are told that those in Jerusalem who received the Word from Peter were baptized (Acts 2:41). Does anyone really believe that Peter handed out Bibles and then baptized people? John was exiled to the island of Patmos because of the Word of God (Rev. 1:9), and he hadn’t even written the book of Revelation yet! While on the island, John bore witness to the Word of God that came to him by writing down what he had heard from God (Rev. 1:2). But what he wrote was not the Word. What he had heard and experienced from God was the Word. The book is his testimony, his faithful account of the things Christ Jesus showed him (Rev. 1:19).

The Word of God that comes to a man may be recorded on paper by that man (cp. Josh. 8:35; 2Thess. 3:14), but the message written is not the Word of God. It is a record, a testimony of the Word that came from God, a testimony that may be accurate or inaccurate, believed or rejected. It is unwise to despise the Word of God, regardless of how one is shown it, whether through vocal or written testimony. When Philip took the Word of God to the Samaritans, they received it (Acts 8:14), and it was a joyful event, but Philip was not passing out Bibles in Samaria.