The Word

The Word

Christendom, as a whole, uses the term “The Word” in numerous different contexts and instances, often without describing what this term means. The predominate inference that one can infer as to the meaning of this term connects directly to the Bible. We know the Bible as, “the living Word of God.” The presumption of this connection is a valid thought and is most certainly true. It is in no way the aim of this article to combat, or belittle, this understanding of the term as being fallacious. Through careful observation of Scripture it becomes apparent that this term could also infer something entirely different. Words are used to convey a thought, but the question arises as to what does one do when words cannot adequately transport the intended inference due to the fact that the subject of the thought cannot be confined to the expressiveness of an eloquent expatiation.

In one’s search for the definition of “The Word” it is imperative that the quest begins with words themselves. The definition of “word” is: a single distinct meaningful element of speech or writing, used with others (or sometimes alone) to form a sentence and typically shown with a space on either side when written or printed. To simplify the discussion, words are symbols connected to a particular meaning. The word dog infers a four-legged canine animal; this “symbol” can be further defined by stating a specific type of dog, but can never escape the confines of the classification of “dog.” Here one can see the idea of intention of a word which is the, “general properties of a word; the qualities possessed in common by all objects that the term covers,” and the extension of a word which is, “all things to which the word applies; what it includes or covers (specifically).” With all of this in mind it is essential to understand that at the end of the day a word is simply a symbol that connects the hearer or reader, to the subject of the thought.

On the topic of logic and critical thinking the question arises as to what is truth, or how does one determine truth? From a Biblical perspective, all truth stems from God. The Bible teaches over and over again that God is truth and that all truth derives directly from him. “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). There is a liberty that comes when one grasps the truth. From this point, we can directly look at John 14:6-7, “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, You would have known my Father also. From now on you know him and have seen him.” At this point, Jesus is directly declaring himself as “the truth” that is a title that directly applies to God. Here one sees the direct monotheistic connection between the fact that Jesus is the Almighty God. (While this article is not intended to discuss monotheistic thought directly, it is important to the conclusion of the discussion.)

Looking back at words. This article has used words to convey a thought, but as the thesis argues, what does one do when words are not enough to convey the grandeur of the subject. This is in fact the precarious predicament when in comes to using words to express God. How does one convey the limitlessness of an all-present God, when they must use words that are limited to their very definition? How does one convey the notion of a limitless God to a limited humanity? Perhaps the best understanding is comprised in the idea that one cannot describe the indescribable, but is this even true?

The good news in the discussion is this, God knew the frailty of humanity and supplied “The Word.” John 1:1 says "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:14 says, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” The postulation of this entire article is succinctly found in the connection of John 1:1 and John 1:14. God knew that even in man’s vast vocabulary every word would never do in describing his love, grace, mercy, power, and perfection. So God supplied “The Word” that makes all other words unnecessary. As Colossians 2:9 says, “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” Every description of a limitless, infinite, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient God can be summed up in one simple word, Jesus.