Daniel P. Barron

How do you know that Jesus is literally the Bible?

Wednesday, January 8, 2020 

Someone asked Darwin:

How do you know that Jesus is literally the Bible? In John 1:14 it says, "the Word became flesh and took up residence among us." This is obviously referring to Jesus. However, I would argue that this verse doesn't mean that Jesus is equal to the Bible. The Greek word used for "the Word" in here is "Logos." Logos simply mean "spoken word," and is used many times in Scripture to refer to just things people had said. i In contrast, "graphēn" is the Greek word used for "Scripture" in other parts of the New Testament. ii This seems to indicate that John 1:1 iii is not referring to Jesus as "the Bible," but instead is personifying Jesus as the "Word" to symbolize how he was the revelation of the good news of God's glory to men. iv

In John 10:35 v Jesus uses logos for graphe. Also, Mark 7:13; vi John 8:55; vii 17:17; viii Romans 9:6; ix 1 Timothy 4:4; x Hebrews 4:12; xi Revelation 17:17 xii at least include the written word. xiii Moreover, you can see in the Septuagint xiv the use of logos for the written word in Exodus 34:28 xv and Deuteronomy 10:4. xvi There logous is used for the Ten Commandments, which is a clear reference to the written word. Furthermore, the written word is not so far removed from the spoken word, for the written word is the written form of the spoken word of God.

For example, logos is used in Deuteronomy 32:47 xvii xiv for "this word" xviii and the context is both the words xix Moses spoke that day and the words xix of "this law." Also, further examples of logos in the LXX can be found in Psalm 119 xx in verses 9, xxi 16-17, xxii 28, xxiii 42, xxiv 74, xxv 101, xxvi 147, xxvii 160-161 xxviii all in the plural, and in the singular, verses 25, xxix 65, xxx 81, xxxi 89, xxxii 105, xxxiii 107, xxxiv 114, xxxv 154. xxxvi

My point was not that logos is never used to mean something other than just "spoken" or "written" words. My point was that from John 1 alone, you cannot claim that Jesus is equal to the Bible. Scripture is often referred to as "logos" because it is literally made up of words, but that doesn't mean that whenever the word logos is used, it means "the Bible." Most of the time, the words logos just means "words" or "word," either spoken or written.

Is Jesus the Word of God? xxxvii

Yes he is. But that doesn't necessarily mean that Jesus is equal to the Bible. Logos is used many other times in Scripture to refer to things other than Jesus. i

Is the Scripture the Word of God? v

Many things are the "word of God." Every time a prophet speaks in the Old Testament, they are speaking the "word of God." The Old Testament law is considered the "word of God." But my point is that "word of God" doesn't mean "Bible." The Scripture is God's word, yes. But when I say "God's word," I could be referring to an individual book of the Bible, I could be referring to an answer to prayer, or I could be referring to the words of Jesus. Again, "word of God" doesn't necessarily mean "the Bible." And it almost never means "the Bible in its entirety."

The Word of God is indeed not limited to Genesis-Revelation. xxxviii The Heavens declare His Word. xxxix Wisdom xl cries out to men xli and all men everywhere are without excuse. xlii xliii It is all "the Word of God." xliv We must all give account to Him, Christ. The word of God.

How would you translate the word "logos" in these verses? Matthew 5:37, Matthew 10:14, Matthew 12:32, and Matthew 18:23?

Feel free to look for yourself.

Could you maybe just tell me, because I don't feel like reading a 500 page pdf right now.

Matthew 5:

37 But let your word be, yes yes,1 no no.2 But what is more than these is from the evil one."3

  1. (nai nai) - "yes yes"
  2. (ou ou) - "no no"
  3. See also James 5:12. For bad examples of swearing, see Matthew 23:16-22; 26:72-74. God swears (e.g. Psalm 89:35-36; Isaiah 45:23; 62:8; Jeremiah 22:5; 44:26; 49:13; 51:14; Amos 4:2; 6:8; 8:7; Acts 2:30; Hebrews 3:11; 4:3; 7:21, NT passages have same Greek word for swear). Angels swear (e.g. Daniel 12:7; Revelation 10:6). Men swear (Genesis 31:53; Nehemiah 13:25; Isaiah 65:15-16). Jeremiah 12:16-17 parallels obedience with swearing, and reveals "as the Lord lives" = swearing. "As the Lord lives" is stated many times by God (e.g. Numbers 14:20, 23, 28; Deuteronomy 32:40; Jeremiah 22:24) and men (e.g. 1 Samuel 19:6; 20:3; 28:10; 1 Kings 1:29-30). Note also Hebrews 6:13-18 (Genesis 22:15-16). Finally, only those who swear (the right way) abide with God, Psalm 15:4 (see also 63:11).

Matthew 10:

14 And whoever does not receive you nor hear your words, when you go out of the house or that city, shake off the dust from your feet.1

  1. Acts 13:50-51

Matthew 12:

32 And he who speaks a word against the son of the man, it will be forgiven him. But he who speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, not in the now1 age nor in the one about to be."2

  1. nun (nun) - "now" - Received and Critical Text have (toutô) "this."
  2. (mellonti) - "about to be", used in this way e.g. Acts 16:27 (see also Luke 7:2; John 4:47 "at the point of")

Matthew 18:

23 For this reason, the kingdom of the heavens is like a certain king who desired to settle a matter1 with his servants.

  1. (logon) - "a matter"

So my point in bringing up those verses was to show that "logos" doesn't always mean "Jesus" or "the Bible." It also can simply mean a spoken or written word. We really don't know if those verses you referenced (Revelation 19:13, John 1:1) are talking about the Bible as a whole, or just generally talking about the something that God says --even outside the Bible. A third option is that the Bible is using "the Word" as an analogy and not literally; this would make sense for John 1:1.

If you believed the Word of God, you'd know. xlv Do you believe Christ is the Wisdom of God? xlvi

  1. citing https://biblehub.com/greek/strongs_3056.htm ^ ^
  2. citing https://biblehub.com/greek/strongs_1124.htm ^
  3. citing (RSV) John 1:

    1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.


  4. citing https://www.gotquestions.org/Jesus-Word-God.html ^
  5. John 10:

    35 If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken),

     ^ ^

  6. Mark 7:

    13 making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do.”


  7. John 8:

    55 Yet you have not known Him, but I know Him. And if I say, ‘I do not know Him,’ I shall be a liar like you; but I do know Him and keep His word.


  8. John 17:

    17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.


  9. Romans 9:

    6 But it is not that the word of God has taken no effect. For they are not all Israel who are of Israel,


  10. 1 Timothy 4:

    4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving;


  11. Hebrews 4:

    12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.


  12. Revelation 17:

    17 For God has put it into their hearts to fulfill His purpose, to be of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled.


  13. graphe ^
  14. LXX ^ ^
  15. Exodus 34:

    28 So he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights; he neither ate bread nor drank water. And He wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments.


  16. Deuteronomy 10:

    4 And He wrote on the tablets according to the first writing, the Ten Commandments, which the Lord had spoken to you in the mountain from the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly; and the Lord gave them to me.


  17. Deuteronomy 32:

    47 For it is not a futile thing for you, because it is your life, and by this word you shall prolong your days in the land which you cross over the Jordan to possess.”


  18. logou ^
  19. logous ^ ^
  20. speaking of the written word, the “law of the Lord” vs 1 ^
  21. Psalm 119:

    9 How can a young man cleanse his way?
    By taking heed according to Your word.


  22. Psalm 119:

    16 I will delight myself in Your statutes;
    I will not forget Your word.
    17 Deal bountifully with Your servant,
    That I may live and keep Your word.


  23. Psalm 119:

    28 My soul melts from heaviness;
    Strengthen me according to Your word.


  24. Psalm 119:

    42 So shall I have an answer for him who reproaches me,
    For I trust in Your word.


  25. Psalm 119:

    74 Those who fear You will be glad when they see me,
    Because I have hoped in Your word.


  26. Psalm 119:

    101 I have restrained my feet from every evil way,
    That I may keep Your word.


  27. Psalm 119:

    147 I rise before the dawning of the morning,
    And cry for help;
    I hope in Your word.


  28. Psalm 119:

    160 The entirety of Your word is truth,
    And every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever.
    161 Princes persecute me without a cause,
    But my heart stands in awe of Your word.


  29. Psalm 119:

    25 My soul clings to the dust;
    Revive me according to Your word.


  30. Psalm 119:

    65 You have dealt well with Your servant,
    O Lord, according to Your word.


  31. Psalm 119:

    81 My soul faints for Your salvation,
    But I hope in Your word.


  32. Psalm 119:

    89 Forever, O Lord,
    Your word is settled in heaven.


  33. Psalm 119:

    105 Your word is a lamp to my feet
    And a light to my path.


  34. Psalm 119:

    107 I am afflicted very much;
    Revive me, O Lord, according to Your word.


  35. Psalm 119:

    114 You are my hiding place and my shield;
    I hope in Your word.


  36. Psalm 119:

    154 Plead my cause and redeem me;
    Revive me according to Your word.


  37. Revelation 19:

    13 He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.


  38. Scripture, the Bible ^
  39. Psalm 19:

    The heavens declare the glory of God;
    And the firmament shows His handiwork.
    2 Day unto day utters speech,
    And night unto night reveals knowledge.
    3 There is no speech nor language
    Where their voice is not heard.
    4 Their line has gone out through all the earth,
    And their words to the end of the world.

    In them He has set a tabernacle for the sun,
    5 Which is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
    And rejoices like a strong man to run its race.
    6 Its rising is from one end of heaven,
    And its circuit to the other end;
    And there is nothing hidden from its heat.

    7 The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul;
    The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;
    8 The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
    The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;
    9 The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;
    The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
    10 More to be desired are they than gold,
    Yea, than much fine gold;
    Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
    11 Moreover by them Your servant is warned,
    And in keeping them there is great reward.

    12 Who can understand his errors?
    Cleanse me from secret faults.
    13 Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins;
    Let them not have dominion over me.
    Then I shall be blameless,
    And I shall be innocent of great transgression.

    14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
    Be acceptable in Your sight,
    O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.


  40. His Word ^
  41. Proverbs 8:

    Does not wisdom cry out,
    And understanding lift up her voice?
    2 She takes her stand on the top of the high hill,
    Beside the way, where the paths meet.
    3 She cries out by the gates, at the entry of the city,
    At the entrance of the doors:
    4 “To you, O men, I call,
    And my voice is to the sons of men.
    5 O you simple ones, understand prudence,
    And you fools, be of an understanding heart.
    6 Listen, for I will speak of excellent things,
    And from the opening of my lips will come right things;
    7 For my mouth will speak truth;
    Wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
    8 All the words of my mouth are with righteousness;
    Nothing crooked or perverse is in them.
    9 They are all plain to him who understands,
    And right to those who find knowledge.
    10 Receive my instruction, and not silver,
    And knowledge rather than choice gold;
    11 For wisdom is better than rubies,
    And all the things one may desire cannot be compared with her.

    12 “I, wisdom, dwell with prudence,
    And find out knowledge and discretion.
    13 The fear of the Lord is to hate evil;
    Pride and arrogance and the evil way
    And the perverse mouth I hate.
    14 Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom;
    I am understanding, I have strength.
    15 By me kings reign,
    And rulers decree justice.
    16 By me princes rule, and nobles,
    All the judges of the earth.
    17 I love those who love me,
    And those who seek me diligently will find me.
    18 Riches and honor are with me,
    Enduring riches and righteousness.
    19 My fruit is better than gold, yes, than fine gold,
    And my revenue than choice silver.
    20 I traverse the way of righteousness,
    In the midst of the paths of justice,
    21 That I may cause those who love me to inherit wealth,
    That I may fill their treasuries.

    22 “The Lord possessed me at the beginning of His way,
    Before His works of old.
    23 I have been established from everlasting,
    From the beginning, before there was ever an earth.
    24 When there were no depths I was brought forth,
    When there were no fountains abounding with water.
    25 Before the mountains were settled,
    Before the hills, I was brought forth;
    26 While as yet He had not made the earth or the fields,
    Or the primal dust of the world.
    27 When He prepared the heavens, I was there,
    When He drew a circle on the face of the deep,
    28 When He established the clouds above,
    When He strengthened the fountains of the deep,
    29 When He assigned to the sea its limit,
    So that the waters would not transgress His command,
    When He marked out the foundations of the earth,
    30 Then I was beside Him as a master craftsman;
    And I was daily His delight,
    Rejoicing always before Him,
    31 Rejoicing in His inhabited world,
    And my delight was with the sons of men.

    32 “Now therefore, listen to me, my children,
    For blessed are those who keep my ways.
    33 Hear instruction and be wise,
    And do not disdain it.
    34 Blessed is the man who listens to me,
    Watching daily at my gates,
    Waiting at the posts of my doors.
    35 For whoever finds me finds life,
    And obtains favor from the Lord;
    36 But he who sins against me wrongs his own soul;
    All those who hate me love death.”


  42. Romans 1:

    18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,


  43. Hebrews 4:

    12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.


  44. Revelation 19:13 ^
  45. John 8:

    47 He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God.”


  46. 1 Corinthians 1:

    24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.


9 Responses

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