If Jesus Is The Word Where Does That Leave The Bible?
The Apostle John had a gift for describing what we may call in the 21st century “the Big Picture.” Rather than start his account of Christ’s life with a genealogy (Matthew) or with a historical narrative (Luke), John begins his gospel with an cosmological understanding of what had occurred that even Douglas Adams could appreciate;
* that God created everything in existence
* that very same God had just entered the world as a mortal man.
* that the God who became man was the keeper of Life and Light and darkness could not stand against Him
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life,and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome
John 1: 1-5
In light of this incredible declaration by John many Christian’s initial association with “the Word” is not Jesus…but the Bible!
Understand that for years I had been taught, and later taught others, that the Bible was the Word of God! Jesus and the Bible were interchangeable! When someone said they were “studying the Word” we knew they meant the Bible, not Jesus!
And if Jesus is infallible, well the Bible must be as well!
In Catholicism, there is a dogma of “papal infallibility” whereby the pope holds and defines doctrine for their church. However with the Protestant Reformation a new authority or “infallibility” was needed.
Examine many evangelical churches Statements of Faith and it is quite likely that the Bible is not simply the highest textual authority for guiding and governing Christianity.
It is inerrant!
Hey, I LOVE the Bible. I have a very high view of scripture and believe it to be inspired by the Holy Spirit. The scriptures points to and reveals Christ.
Having said that though the following would seem quite ridiculous to me:
In the beginning was the Bible, and the Bible was with God, and the Bible was God. Scripture was with God in the beginning. Through the Bible all things were made; without the Bible nothing was made that has been made. In the Bible was life,and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome.
Brian Zahnd writes a great blog piece on the topic and says:
The Bible is the word of God that bears witness to the Word of God — Jesus Christ.
The Logos-Word became flesh — not a book.
Jesus is God. The Bible is not.
The Bible did not create the Heavens and Earth — the Word (Christ) did.
We worship Jesus; we do not worship the Bible.
The Bible is not a member of the Trinity.
The Bible is not God. Jesus is God.
The Bible is not perfect. (There are parts of it we now regard as obsolete; e.g. Levitical codes.)
Christ is the perfection of God as a human being.
What the Bible does infallibly is point us to Jesus Christ.
There is one mediator between God and man…and it’s not the Bible.
The Bible is the inspired witness to the true Word of God who is Jesus Christ.
Brian Zahnd – Scripture as Witness to the Word of God.
I use the the Bible to understand and know The Word but these days I’m careful not to confuse one with the other!
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