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Thread: The Word of God?

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    The Word of God?

    Greetings. I have recently returned to this site after a long time. As I have been reading your posts, I hear people often referring to the Bible as the Word of God. Iíd like to ask you to help me understand what you mean by that.

    Does that mean you believe God wrote the Bible? If I read the Bible, am I reading the words that God himself has spoken?

    Or is it just a religious platitude that people use because they some satisfaction in believing it or discussing it with other religious people?

    I should say that I am very interested in hearing the words of God. I want to know what God says, because that will allow me to understand what God thinks. Will you please post some words of God that I can read so that I can know what God has said? Thank you in advance.
    Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same.

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    I just came back after a long hiatus myself

    The term "Word of God" actually has multiple connotations within scripture. However, the most basic and literal connotation does refer to the scriptures, since they are believed to record God's words and interactions with humanity.

    Romans 3:2 ...the Jews have been entrusted with the very words of God.

    Matthew 15:5-6 But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is ‘devoted to God,’ 6 they are not to ‘honor their father or mother’ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition.

    2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, ...
    If you have material wealth, but do not give to those in need, then the love of God is not in you. Whatever you have done for the least of these you have done for HIM. To give to the poor is to lend to the LORD.

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    Thank you Csuguy. So, based upon the passages you provided me, I can gather a couple things. The words written in the Hebrew Bible are the words of God, and all scripture is the word of God. So, in the case of the verse from Timothy, it must also mean that scriptures not yet written at the time would also be the Word of God, like all verses written after 2 Timothy, to include the Apocalypse of John, aka the Revelation.

    Would anyone disagree with that?
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    Catholic people believe that the Bible is the Word of God, as are the writings of the Popes and other saints, if I’m not mistaken, and other Christians believe that the Bible and the works of Joseph Smith are also the Word of God. So, from a Christian standpoint, I guess it’s fair to say that all sacred writings of Christians are the Word of God then.

    I just wanted to get some perspective on that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guyver View Post
    Greetings. I have recently returned to this site after a long time. As I have been reading your posts, I hear people often referring to the Bible as the Word of God. Iíd like to ask you to help me understand what you mean by that.

    Does that mean you believe God wrote the Bible? If I read the Bible, am I reading the words that God himself has spoken?

    Or is it just a religious platitude that people use because they some satisfaction in believing it or discussing it with other religious people?

    I should say that I am very interested in hearing the words of God. I want to know what God says, because that will allow me to understand what God thinks. Will you please post some words of God that I can read so that I can know what God has said? Thank you in advance.
    The Holy Bible contains God's words to all men. Here are some verses that show that.

    2 Peter 1:20-21
    20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

    John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

    Matthew 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

    Acts 3:18 But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.

    Acts 3:21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Guyver View Post
    Catholic people believe that the Bible is the Word of God, as are the writings of the Popes and other saints, if Iím not mistaken, and other Christians believe that the Bible and the works of Joseph Smith are also the Word of God. So, from a Christian standpoint, I guess itís fair to say that all sacred writings of Christians are the Word of God then.

    I just wanted to get some perspective on that.
    Many men have written many words. Many, like Joseph Smith, have garnered followers, but they aren't Christians. The Bible is different. I would say it's impossible that any man could ever produce such TRUTH that has brought LIFE to so many people down through the ages of time. People write a lot ABOUT THE BIBLE, but nothing will ever take it's place.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Guyver View Post
    Thank you Csuguy. So, based upon the passages you provided me, I can gather a couple things. The words written in the Hebrew Bible are the words of God, and all scripture is the word of God. So, in the case of the verse from Timothy, it must also mean that scriptures not yet written at the time would also be the Word of God, like all verses written after 2 Timothy, to include the Apocalypse of John, aka the Revelation.

    Would anyone disagree with that?
    Yes - there is no cut off time period for what constitutes as scripture. That said, in context Timothy was obviously referring to the OT scriptures. Within Catholicism and Orthodox traditions, extra-biblical sources like the Church Fathers and councils can be treated with as much or more authority than the scriptures themselves.
    If you have material wealth, but do not give to those in need, then the love of God is not in you. Whatever you have done for the least of these you have done for HIM. To give to the poor is to lend to the LORD.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Guyver View Post
    Greetings. I have recently returned to this site after a long time. As I have been reading your posts, I hear people often referring to the Bible as the Word of God. I’d like to ask you to help me understand what you mean by that.

    Does that mean you believe God wrote the Bible? If I read the Bible, am I reading the words that God himself has spoken?

    Or is it just a religious platitude that people use because they some satisfaction in believing it or discussing it with other religious people?

    I should say that I am very interested in hearing the words of God. I want to know what God says, because that will allow me to understand what God thinks. Will you please post some words of God that I can read so that I can know what God has said? Thank you in advance.

    Often times, the reader is unable to determine what the true intent of 'The Word' may be, just by reading an English translation.

    Consulting the original Biblical languages provides the proper interpretation...

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    I agree that having a good understanding of the original language would help to some degree. Especially considering the wide variety of English bible translations and the significant variance within each one. Some of these variations actually render opposite meanings from the intent of the original language.

    But in my mind, these things are not as looming as the problems with the actual Old Testament itself in its presentation of God. It just provides the poorest of understanding regarding God....at least the one I believe in. But whatever, to each his own right? I mean, when you get right down to it, with respect to Christianity at least, thatís how it is anyway.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guyver View Post
    I agree that having a good understanding of the original language would help to some degree. Especially considering the wide variety of English bible translations and the significant variance within each one. Some of these variations actually render opposite meanings from the intent of the original language.

    But in my mind, these things are not as looming as the problems with the actual Old Testament itself in its presentation of God. It just provides the poorest of understanding regarding God....at least the one I believe in. But whatever, to each his own right? I mean, when you get right down to it, with respect to Christianity at least, that’s how it is anyway.
    I'd say the presentation of God in the OT is the same as the NT. Both present God as loving and wanting what is good for us. He is merciful towards the repent, but reserves judgement for the wicked. Of course, the OT centers around the sinful Jewish people, while the NT centers around Christ and the early church. The NT just so happens to focus on a time and group of people that are following God's will for the most part. Even the NT contains judgement and death, however.

    Or in what manner(s) do you think the OT does a poor job presenting God?
    If you have material wealth, but do not give to those in need, then the love of God is not in you. Whatever you have done for the least of these you have done for HIM. To give to the poor is to lend to the LORD.

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    It is interesting that the Old Testament itself doesn't claim to be The Word of God. It definitely quotes God, and makes it clear when it is doing so- which implies that the rest of the text isn't actually God's word.

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    Quote Originally Posted by glorydaz View Post
    The Holy Bible contains God's words to all men. Here are some verses that show that.

    [INDENT]2 Peter 1:20-21
    20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

    John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
    Thank you for your response glorydaz. I shortened it a touch for space. First, I would like to disagree with your first statement. The Holy Bible does not contain the words of God to all men. In the case of the Old Testament, specifically the Laws of Moses.....they were not intended for all men. Moses made it clear on a number of occasions that the words of this law were intended for the Hebrews only. I'll just cite one example.

    "These are the words of the covenant which the Lord commanded Moses to make with the children of Israel in the land of Moab, besides the covenant which He made with them in Horeb."

    Next, we have scientific evidence of people living all around the planet at the time of this Bible writing, especially in North and South America, Australia, Europe, Asia, etc.... and these people not only never heard these words, but obviously were not the intended audience. So, that is my disagreement with your first point that the bible contains the words of God for all men.

    On your other points.....what you and CSUguy have offered is that the Bible testifies of itself that it is the word of God. The Bible itself makes that claim of itself. Now, in any other case, many people would not be inclined to automatically accept such a claim without some other type of evidence to go along with it. That's why in my opening post I asked people to present some words of God that I could study.

    In any event, the point is that making a claim of oneself is not really very helpful. Even Jesus said this when he said that if he testified of himself his testimony meant nothing. I offer that the Words of God himself should be intuitively obvious to any intelligent casual observer as they would be so special as to be self-apparent.
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    Quote Originally Posted by chair View Post
    It is interesting that the Old Testament itself doesn't claim to be The Word of God. It definitely quotes God, and makes it clear when it is doing so- which implies that the rest of the text isn't actually God's word.
    Yes, thank you for responding. You have a point here....I think it should be highlighted. In one case, the bible quotes God directly, by saying....."And God said....."

    So, that would be the bible claiming to contain a direct quote from God speaking. Therefore, we could examine all these bible quotes, and see what God has to say. God, being obviously so completely magnificent in every way, would certainly have a "way with words" so to speak.

    Next....the bible contains "prophecies" which are indicated as also the Word of God because the scripture records something like this.... "And the Word of the Lord came unto him saying....."

    The bible presents this also as a type of "Word of God" in that God is supposedly speaking directly through the prophet, as if the prophet were a kind of "mouthpiece" for God. As above, these words could be examined and if God indeed did say them - they would be really, really special.
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    Quote Originally Posted by csuguy View Post
    I'd say the presentation of God in the OT is the same as the NT. Both present God as loving and wanting what is good for us. He is merciful towards the repent, but reserves judgement for the wicked. Of course, the OT centers around the sinful Jewish people, while the NT centers around Christ and the early church. The NT just so happens to focus on a time and group of people that are following God's will for the most part. Even the NT contains judgement and death, however.

    Or in what manner(s) do you think the OT does a poor job presenting God?
    I thank you for asking. I would like to first make a complete disagreement with your statement that the presentation of God in the bible is the same in the OT and the NT. In the OT, God is a "Man of War" and in the New Testament God is referred to as the "God of love and peace." 2 Cor 13:11

    Those two things are not the same at all. I have much more to say about this, but my computer just informed me that this website is not secure. I will not be able to post with this computer, and this will limit me somewhat. I would like to come back and answer your question with more detail if possible.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guyver View Post
    Catholic people believe that the Bible is the Word of God, as are the writings of the Popes and other saints, if Iím not mistaken, and other Christians believe that the Bible and the works of Joseph Smith are also the Word of God. So, from a Christian standpoint, I guess itís fair to say that all sacred writings of Christians are the Word of God then.

    I just wanted to get some perspective on that.
    I guess if you're looking at it from a non-Christian perspective, although I think your conclusion is probably too general to be of much good in assisting any understanding of Christianity.

    The words of the Apostles are the Word of God, that's the long and short of it for Catholics, and also I believe for Orthodox Christians. Catholics believe that if ever there is a difference between the papacy's Apostolic oral tradition, and any other bishops,' then the papacy's is the standard against which all the others should be compared, and how the others should be 'fine tuned' or 'touched up.'

    Quote Originally Posted by csuguy View Post
    ... Within Catholicism and Orthodox traditions, extra-biblical sources like the Church Fathers and councils can be treated with as much or more authority than the scriptures themselves.
    Nothing is treated with more authority than the Scripture in Catholicism.

    The words of the Apostles are the Word of God. 1st Thessalonians 2:13 KJV The Apostles yes wrote, but they also spoke; they taught, and they also approved, this latter Apostolic authorization is the reason why the New Testament contains books and epistles not written by any Apostles, like Mark and Luke and Acts. These were approved by the Apostles, so the Apostles authenticated them as the Word of God.

    The Apostles instituted the office that would be tasked with preserving the Word of God for posterity, the office of Bishop. The bishops themselves teach that one pastorate presides over all the others, Peter's Roman pastorate, the Pope being the current holder of this office. The papacy is given the charism of infallibility to authenticate already existing ancient teachings as Apostolic, not to ever invent or introduce new teachings as the Word of God.

    Before the Schism that still today divides the world's thousands of validly ordained bishops, all of the bishops participated either directly or by proxy in a number of Church councils. These councils were a 'comparing of notes' between the bishops, comparing what each of theirs own received Apostolic oral traditions were with one another. The councils therefore separated deficiencies in their Apostolic oral traditions and anathematized them, purifying the Apostolic oral tradition as a whole for all of the bishops then, and for all the future bishops who had not even been born yet.

    Quote Originally Posted by Guyver View Post
    ... the problems with the actual Old Testament itself in its presentation of God. It just provides the poorest of understanding regarding God....at least the one I believe in....
    I think by nature. I think the Old Testament was really written for just One---the Son. It was written to Him. He then revealed the Father in a way that He was not revealed in the Old Testament. And the Spirit also now reveals the Father (along with the Son) in a way that He did not reveal the Father in the Old Testament (the Old Testament being authored by the Spirit).

    Quote Originally Posted by chair View Post
    It is interesting that the Old Testament itself doesn't claim to be The Word of God. It definitely quotes God, and makes it clear when it is doing so- which implies that the rest of the text isn't actually God's word.
    'Depends entirely upon what you mean by "God's word." If you just mean when God is quoted, then yes, you're certainly right. But if it is the Word of God even when He Himself isn't directly being quoted, then that's another thing.

    Because of the Christian belief that Christ is God, and that Christ confirmed the Old Testament as the Word of God, many Christians have a different view on the Old Testament perhaps than you do.
    "Those who believe in Christ" are all the Christians, Catholic or not.

    @Nee_Nihilo

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