I’ve had quite a few conversations about whether the Bible is the Word of God, and whether we should believe it, or read it. Usually it is because someone has seen a TV show on the Bible, or read something on the internet about discrepancies. And of course everything on TV and the internet is true…..!! So here are a few thoughts of mine. This is by no means an authoritative, conclusive discussion…. Just my thoughts.
We are all familiar with words, but what is a word. The most common definition is:
- “a unit of language, consisting of one or more spoken sounds or their written representation, that functions as a principal carrier of meaning” , such as, bird, run, blue,
However, that is not the only definition – I found several more.
- a short talk or conversation, ie. I’d like a word with you.
- news; tidings; information, ie. We received word of his death.
I believe we can approach the Bible, using the second set of definitions. Let me explain.
First of all, the Bible was originally written in Hebrew (Old Testament) and Greek (New Testament). Since relatively few people read Hebrew or Greek today (at least in America), it has been translated into many different versions. We are most familiar with the English language versions. For years, the most widely accepted and “official” translation has been the King James Version.
The King James Version was written 1604 – 1611, commissioned by King James I of England. It is a beautiful translation, familiar to many people. However, the English language has changed quite a bit in 400 years. For example, I have never met anyone who says “How art thou”, instead of “hello”, or… you get the idea. For this reason, it is often difficult to understand. Unless you are very familiar with that translation, the meaning can get lost in translating King James English into today’s language.
Secondly, Jesus spoke Aramaic… the common language of Palestine in New Testament times. For this reason, we can be fairly sure He never said “Verily, Verily”, or “Blessed are the poor in spirit”… at least not in those words.
So, do we just ignore Scripture? Can we trust it? I believe using those two other definitions of “word” helps us answer those questions.
Imagine for a moment, that your boss calls you into his office to “have a word with you”. This can mean a whole host of things.
- He may want to explain something.
- He may want to encourage you.
- He may want to rebuke you.
- He may give you the history of a project, and his plans for the future.
- He may give you good news… or bad news.
The Bible is definitely the Word of God. He wants to communicate with us. He wants to explain things to us. Sometimes he encourages; sometimes he rebukes. But always, he wants to talk to us.
So, did Jesus say “Verily, Verily, I say unto you…” Probably not.
Does he mean “Listen to me, I’ve got something very important to tell you”? Most definitely.
Did He say, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Light. No one comes to the Father but through Me”? Probably not in those words. Remember, He spoke Aramaic.
Did He mean “Let me show you how to get to the Father. I am the only one who knows how to get there because I am the only one who came from there. NO ONE else came from the Father, so NO ONE else can show you how to get there. I will show you the way. I am your Guiding Light, you won’t stumble around in the dark when you are with me.” Most definitely.
Do we ignore the “words” of Scripture. I don’t think so. Even though the Bible has been translated over and over throughout the years, its message has not changed. A word may change here and there, but the message of the Bible has not changed. I just read the other day about another fragment of ancient Scripture being found.
If it says that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God – He is. If it says that Jesus is God and man – He is. If it says that “all things work together for good for those that love God and are called according to His purpose”… they do. If it says that “Nothing can separate us from the Love of God”… it can’t.
Just how can we know what He’s telling us?
Be teachable…willing to be taught.
Not understanding something
is very different from not believing it.
Believing is a choice. Understanding is a process.
Many, many times I’ve read something that makes no sense to me at all. I ask the Lord to explain it to me, and “put it on the shelf”. Later, I’ll find it fits in with something else I’m reading, or it starts to fit in with other puzzle pieces up on “the shelf.”
Like I said, God wants to talk to us!
Thank you for listening to my thoughts. Let’s explore God’s Word to us together!
3 thoughts on “The Word of God, and Why It Is Important”
What a great way to explain the word of God. Every argument I’ve ever heard implies that Christians claim that the bible is word for word from God’s mouth. It makes much more sense when you think of “word” using the alternative definition. I am definitely going to share this blog with everyone I can think of. Please keep sharing with us!
Enjoyed the mountain out of mole hill. It is so easy to do.
I love reading through your website. Regards!