Word of God covers the whole field of God's revelation of Himself. His Word is the essential mode whereby God intervenes in the world: Through it He creates the heavens and the earth (Gn 1); through it He reveals Himself to men (Jn 1:114); and by its proclamation the history of the ch. develops and is fulfilled (Acts 4:29, 31). The term is used in a special way of Jesus Christ, who is the Heart and Center of God's revelation. In addition, the NT uses Word of God of (a) the OT law (Mk 7:13); (b) a particular passage from the OT (Jn 10:35); (c) in a more general sense, God's revealed will, or His whole plan of salvation (Lk 11:28; Ro 9:6); (d) the word preached by Jesus (Lk 5:1); (e) the Christian message (Acts 4:31): and (f) all that goes on in a cong. in terms of worship, proclamation, and life (Acts 6:7). The application of the Word of God to Scripture as the written Word is derived from use b above. While theologians distinguished bet. the incarnate, the proclaimed, and the written Word, all 3 testify to the purpose of God in creating, saving, and sanctifying His people. The uniqueness of the Bible consists of the fact that it is our source book of knowledge on what God has done within history for the redemption of mankind. From beginning to end the Scriptures are anchored in Jesus Christ (Jn 5:39), to whom all the prophets, apostles, and evangelists testify. The Lutheran* Confessions, therefore, speak of the Bible as the prophetic and apostolic Word.
See also Holy Scripture; Inspiration, Doctrine of; Grace, Means of; Logos; Revelation.
R. Abba, The Nature and Authority of the Bible (Philadelphia, 1958); O. Cullmann, The Christology of the New Testament (Philadelphia, 1959); W. Keller, The Bible as History (New York, 1956); P. Schumm, The Clearness and Sufficiency of Scripture in Abiding Word, I, 5866. MHS
Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
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