Re: The Whole Bible Revealed in Zechariah (was Re: NT truth (formerly inerrancy?))

From: George Murphy <gmurphy@raex.com>
Date: Sun Jan 11 2004 - 22:14:43 EST

richard@biblewheel.com wrote:
>
> From: "George Murphy"
>
> > richard@biblewheel.com wrote:
> > >
> > > Hi Don,
> > >
> > > Thanks for the additional clarification. Most of your post concerned the
> > > fact that the phrase "Word of God" often means *more* than just
> Scripture. I
> > > don't know why you bothered writing all that, because I said exactly the
> > > same thing in my last post! Let me repeat. There seems to be three
> > > fundamental referents to the phrase "Word of God" in Scripture, which
> are
> > > often conflated:
> > >
> > > 1) The Eternal Living Word: the Lord Jesus Christ
> > > 2) The Power of God manifest physically
> > > 3) The Written Word: sometimes individual Scriptures, sometimes the
> whole
> > > Bible.........................................
> >
> > I am jumping into the middle of this discussion because I think that there
> are
> >
> > important points being missed.
> > 1st, a serious discussion of this topic can't be confined to occurrence of
> the
> > precise phrase "Word of God" in scripture but must be sensitive to ways in
> which clearly
> > related phrases are used. E.g., the creation account of Gen.1 never uses
> the phrase
> > "Word of God" but the creative effect of "And God said ..." is clearly
> related to it.
> > 2nd, 1) & 2) above are not distinct. It's clear, e.g., that the language
> of
> > Jn.1:1-18, which is the classic text in which Christ is the Word (but not,
> N.B.
> > literally "the Word of God") is related to the powerful creative "word" of
> Gen.1.
> > 3d - a point frequently ignored - the oral proclamation of the "Word of
> the
> > LORD" by the prophets and the proclamation of Christ is the Word of God.
> The apostles
> > were proclaiming Christ, and thereby effectively bringing about faith,
> before the NT
> > scriptures were written. See, e.g., Rom.10:9-17, especially the last
> verse.
> > 4th, God's Word is accomanied by God's Spirit: Irenaeus called them the
> two
> > "hands" of God.
> > 5th, recognition of the Bible as, in an appropriate sense, the Word of God
> does
> > not determine the literary genre of any of its parts.
> >
> > I take the liberty to quote here (as I probably have before) part of
> Article 2
> > of the constitution of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America - not
> because I think
> >
> > that that status must compel acceptance but because it's a a very good
> statement of the
> > different aspects of the _one_ Word of God. (Karl Barth's treatment of
> the topic makes
> > similar distinctions.)
> >
> > "a. Jesus Christ is the Wor1d of God incarnate, through whom everythin g
> was
> > made and through whose life, death, and resurrection God fashions a new
> creation.
> > b. The proclamation of God's message to us as both Law and Gospel is the
> Word
> > of God, revealing judgment and mercy through word and deed, beginning with
> the Word in
> > creation, continuing in the history of Israel, and centering in all its
> fullness in the
> > person and work of Jesus Christ.
> > c. The canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the writtn
> Word
> > of God. Inspired by God's Spirit speaking through their authors, they
> record and
> > announce God's revelation centering in Jesus Christ. Through them God's
> Spirit speaks
> > to us to create and sustain Christian faith and fellowship for service in
> the world."
> >
> > & again I emphasize that these are not 3 different Words of God but 1:
> Jesus
> > Christ is proclaimed on the basis of Scripture.
> >
> > Shalom,
> > George
> >
>
> George,
>
> Thanks for the input on this. Its exactly what I had hoped for. I asked for
> refinement of the three points from other list members because I wrote them
> "off the cuff" in the context of specifically accomodating Don's exclusive
> definition of the Word of God as the "power of God physically manifest." I
> certainly would have written things differently if I were going to formulate
> a systematic theology of the Word.
>
> I agree with everything you wrote, except "these are not 3 different Words
> of God but 1" - I am confused because this does not differentiate Jesus
> Christ as the living Word of God from the Bible as the written Word of God.
> Did I miss something?

        The Bible functions as the Word of God when it proclaims Christ and/or supports
the proclamation of Christ. ("The whole of Scripture is one book, and that one book is
Christ" - Hugh of St. Victor.) But it does _not_ function as the Word of God when used
in other ways - as a club with which to beat infidels over the head, as a science text
to tell about the structure or age of the earth, as a timetable for the end of the
world, &c. The Bible isn't unique in this regard. If I imagined that The Origin of
Species was really a coded critique of Victorian society, I would not be reading it as
"the word of Darwin" - in spite of Darwin's authorship - because I wouldn't be using it
for the purpose for which Darwin intended it.
                                                Shalom,
                                                George
                                                                
 
George L. Murphy
gmurphy@raex.com
http://web.raex.com/~gmurphy/
Received on Sun Jan 11 22:27:59 2004

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Sun Jan 11 2004 - 22:27:59 EST