The Word of God

One of the most common, and most vehement, arguments in which I find myself with other people who call themselves “Christian” regards the Bible as the “Word of God”. This post will demonstrate why that belief is both untrue and unjustified. Although I am an Aramaic primacist, as much as possible I shall use Greek references in this text so as to avoid confusion for the Literalists, who are (almost certainly) without exception Greek primacists.

First, quite simply, the Bible is not a word. “The” is a word. “Bible” is a word. By definition, “The Bible” is a BOOK (it’s Greek); however in this case it is not just “one book”, nor even a single anthology of books, but a collection of anthologies. The first anthology is the Torah, or “The Law” (by tradition, authored by Moses); the first five books of the TaNaKh (the Hebrew Bible, called by Christians “the Old Testament”). Then there are the Nevi’im, or “Prophets”; generally self-titled by their authors. Next there are the Ketuvim, or “Writings”, a miscellany of Hebrew treatises. Finally, there is the Peshitta, or “Direct Transmission”, which the Christians call the “New Testament”. So the Bible is, in fact, many many words.

Second, it is one thing to say that the Bible is divinely-inspired. There is even a Semitic idiom, “written with the Hand of God”, which means “perfectly executed”–which could be used to describe the Bible. But to say that the Bible is the Word of God is to deny the free will, the humanity, of the authors–and therefore to deny the very basis of Christianity, which requires free will for salvation.

Third, “Word of God” is a very poor translation. The Greek words involved here are “λόγος του θεού” (“Logos tou Theou”). While “tou Theou” certainly means “of God”, “Logos” does not mean “word” in the sense that this argument intends. That term is λέξη (“Leksis”). One may see this in modern English: Biology (“bios logos”) is not the “word of life”; it is the “logic of life”. Psychology is not the “word of the mind”, but the “logic of the mind”. Hell, “logic” does not mean “words”!

Let me finish by illustrating the point through a simple word-substitution; the Literalist reader may then perform this same exercise with any use of the term “Word of God” in the Bible. From the NSRV:

John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

Now, let us make a substitution:
John 1:1 “In the beginning was the (Unit of Language), and the (Unit of Language) was with God, and the (Unit of Language) was God.”

Now, let us make a second substitution:
John 1:1 “In the beginning was the (Reason/Logic), and the (Reason/Logic) was with God, and the (Reason/Logic) was God.”

God did not bring forth the universe by speaking some unit of language into the formlessness and void, which no one else would have heard–nor, certainly, did He do this by tossing about an anthology which was not compiled until about 170 A.D. God brought forth the world by imposing reason and logic on the primal chaos. In fact, God is the reason and logic of the universe.

Published by Little-Known Blogger

I spent the first years of my life in a trailer park outside of a tiny town in rural Missouri. I grew up to be a long-haired, gun-hating, military-hating, Presbyterian super-liberal. Well, perhaps the “growing up” happened later. While in high school, I was on the cross-country and wrestling teams, and actually won my weight-class in a State powerlifting competition. I went on to attend college on a Bright Flight scholarship, where I promptly became an atheist. I trained for a few years in Shotokan karate and Cheng-system taijiquan before training in my first real martial art, Hwarang-Do, under the late Franklin Fowlkes (later the Founder and Grandmaster of the Five Elements Martial Arts System). I married an older Taiwanese woman my junior year, got divorced in short order, and dropped out of college. After completing my AA in Psychology, I decided I needed a complete change of scenery and joined the U.S. Marine Corps (having early been assured that there was no way that a skinny liberal like me would ever survive Boot Camp). Contrary to what the Hipster Zombies will tell you, this did not “brainwash me into being a Conservative”. Instead, it made me a very unhappy, short-haired liberal, surrounded by guns and the military. However, I spent my whole contract (after schools) on the island of Okinawa, where I was exposed to points of view not dominated by the American liberal media. During this time, I taught ESL classes as a side-job, trained under some of the highest-ranking masters of karate on Okinawa, and discovered the practice of Buddhism. I also spent some time in Korea, where I got to train in hapkido. It was during this period that I came gradually to realize how stupid and evil American liberalism actually is. This was partly due to my Military Police command sending me to Small Arms Instructor school, which gave me more exposure to guns than I could ever have imagined—thus negating my idiotic liberal distaste for them. After the active-duty portion of my Marine Corps contract was over, I worked several jobs, from security contracts to operating a forklift in a warehouse. In 2002, however, when the invasion of Iraq was getting under way, I signed up with the Missouri Army National Guard, and have remained with them since, continuing as a Military Policeman. I am also full-time corrections officer, a member of the Anglican Church, and at one time was an Instructor Candidate in Dekiti-Tirsia Serradas Kali (until my instructor moved away). My hobbies (beyond blogging) include strength training, shooting sports, martial arts, creating digital art, and being a huge science and science-fiction geek.

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