Friday, February 9
My focus on words would not be complete without mention of the Bible being called the Word of God—and of Christ being called the Word. The Greek word “logos” has been a key theological word going back to the first century. Why was this Greek word chosen as a synonym for the Bible and for Christ? Translations of this Greek word include discourse, message, or reason, as well as “word.” It was used at least 1000 years before the New Testament was written. Psalm 33:4 says “For the word of the Lord is right and true; he is faithful in all he does.” The use of “word” here is significant. It means that God is both the source of all truth and the revealer of truth. The wording of this verse could also indicate that the “word” is a person, although that might be debatable. In any case, the Septuagint (Greek O.T.) uses the word “logos” in this verse, which could be the source of its use in the N.T. The earliest use is found in Luke 1:2. Luke said he was not an eye witness to Christ’s ministry, but he made a careful investigation of what was handed down from eye witnesses who were “servants of the word,” i.e., the Apostles. A few years later, John speaks of Christ as the Word (John 1:1). Both Luke and John wrote their gospels in Greek; both would have been familiar with the word “logos” in Psalm 33:4. But why would they use the word “word” (logos) in reference to Christ? I believe it was to identify Christ as the consummate messenger, sent by the Father with the ultimate message. And that would be why Jesus focused on being sent from the Father—with less focus on being God—during his ministry. Believing that he was God’s special messenger would induce the Jews to listen to the message, and it would logically follow that he was their Messiah, and that he was God. The end result would be that they would accept him as their redeemer.