Don’t mix up “Word of God” and “Bible”

Christians should avoid referring to the Bible as the Word of God.

The Word of God is far more than the Bible. The Bible reports about the Word of God in human language. Like a love story is not the same as love, the Bible is not the same as the Word of God. The Word of God is bigger and more complex than any human culture can grasp. It cannot be formulated in human language as a collection of texts.

Confusing both concepts can lead to bible idolatry.

This old vocabulary problem is still an issue in 2020 because some important traditional liturgical formulas mix up both concepts. For example a lecturer might conclude a Bible reading with words like “Praise be to the word of God” or “Acclamons la Parole de Dieu” or “Wort des Lebendigen Gottes” or “See on Jumala Sõna”.

Consider that John 1:14 says that the Word was made flesh, not it was made book. And 2 Cor 3:6 says “He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant–not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”

The confusion of both terms has deep roots. The Old Testament often uses Word of God when referring to the Holy Scripture because the Phariseans considered and propagated the Holy Scripture as the primary medium used by God when talking to his people. Which is one of the main points of their controversy with Jesus.

Among Christians, the expression Word of God can refer to Jesus Christ or the Good News, but not to the Bible.

Will of God

The assumed plan God has for humanity and the whole Universe.

Synonyms: God’s plan or God’s will or divine law.

Word of God
  1. The assumed immutable eternal message spoken by God to all humans.

  2. A divine message perceived by a particular human.