I need help responding to a friend. I asked where in the bible it says that the bible alone. He then mentioned John 1 where it says In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. And it is later revealed that Jesus is the Word made flesh etc.
So with his logic he pointed out that if we believe that the ‘Word’ is the bible, then the Word or the bible, obviously is enough?
This was actually that confusing I didn’t know how to respond!
So my questions are:
Is the Word = the Bible?
Does Scripture = Bible? Because not all scripture is in the bible, right?
And how do I respond to what my friend is saying; can the ‘Word’ be both the ‘bible’ and ‘Jesus’ at the same time?
Thanks so much in advance. I do need some help here haha. God bless.
The Word is the second Person of the Blessed Trinity, not the Bible. The Bible indeed is the “Word of God,” but not in the sense that it is the second Person. We are equivocating on the word “Word.”
Now, if he claims that the Bible is the second Person of the Trinity, then we may have a problem…
The Word is the teaching of Christ, the “Word made Flesh.”
Christ left us His Church, not a book. His Church, the universal Catholic Church, gave us the Bible. There was no single “Bible” in the early Church until the Catholic Church defined it. This fact alone points to the need for a Church with teaching authority. The protestant concepts of each man interpreting scripture on his own, each man perhaps founding his own church, are foreign to the Apostolic Church.
The Word was with God and the Word was God. If that “Word” meant the bible, then that would mean that the bible is God. This clearly being false, “Word” in that verse does not mean the bible.
So the Word is enough, in the sense used in that verse, but that is because the Word is God, and God is enough. But unless and until we die and go to heaven, we will not be in perfect communion with God. No matter how good we think our relationship with Jesus is, we are flawed and it isn’t perfect because we aren’t perfect, so we do not “have the word” to the extent that it is enough to need nothing else. Because of this, the Word gave us a Church guided by the Spirit to keep reminding us who the Word is, and to guide us to Him.
Further, if the Word was enough in the sense of either scripture alone or personal relationship with Jesus, then everyone who had them would agree on what enough meant and what was in it. But they don’t. So neither can be sufficient.
So, this is quite logical and I will mention this to him. Hope it goes well.
One question that nobody answered yet is: Does scripture = bible? Or are there scripture that is not included in the bible?
This is because we were discussing whether they mean the same thing and I couldn’t come to a conclusion (I just didn’t know how to explain the Catholic understanding)…
Lastly, just to reaffirm, the Word = Jesus who is God. Before, during and after His time on earth. And when He was on earth, that is when the Word became flesh?
Generally speaking, scriptures are simply any written works that are thought of as holy or inspired. Muslims have scriptures, Jews have scriptures, Christians have scriptures, etc. The Bible contains the writings that Christians believe to be inspired by the Holy Spirit. So in a Christian sense, I guess the Bible is the collection of true scriptures (this is just my understanding- I might be wrong).
But in any case, the Catholic Bible and the Protestant Bible are going to be different because we recognize different sets of scriptures as inspired (Luther threw out the Deuterocanonical books).
Hope that helps!
John 1:1 states “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
let us continue to John chapter 1 verse 14 “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.” And in verse 18, here is what is said about the Word “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.”
Verse 14 and 18 tells us that the Word was made flesh and is the begotten Son of God.
Ask him, is the Bible a spirit who became flesh?
Is the Bible the only begotten Son of God?
If he says that the Word is both Jesus and the Bible at the same time.
Ask him, 1.) do you practice and preach everything that Jesus did and said?
Since he said that Jesus and the Bible is the Word, 2.) is everything that Jesus did found in the Bible?
If he answers NO to question number 2, then obviously, Jesus and the Bible cannot be one and the same. Because if we follow his line of reasoning, if Jesus and the Bible is one and the same, then everything that Jesus has done should be in the Bible right?
If he answers YES to question number 2, cite John 20:30 “And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book” and John 21:25 “There are many other things that Jesus did. If every one of them were written down, I suppose the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.”
If he answered YES to question number 1, ask him how he practices those things that were done and said by Jesus but not written.
The previous verses I mentioned show that there things not written in the Bible. After all, further research will tell you that the 1 Corinthians is not actually the first letter written by St Paul to the people in Corinth but the second.
Acts 13:33 mentions the existence of “second psalm” but we only have one book of Psalm in the Bible. Ask him where it is? Did he hide it? Hehe!
In Acts 20:35, St Paul says that Jesus said " It is more blessed to give than to receive."
Ask him, where did Jesus mention or say these words in the 4 gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John)?
He will not be able to cite you where… because it was not written there. So how did St Paul know that Jesus said this? Certainly not by reading about it…
…what your friend lacks is a formed judgment… if I were to say that 2 + 2 is 4, would that statement exclude any other which comes to the same solution (ie: 2 times 2, 80 minus 76, 3.5 plus .5…)
The Word, Christ, is Revealed in Scriptures. In that finite sense the Word is the Bible.
Yet, the Word existed with God and was God from the Beginning (not to confuse this with some origin or creation theory), so would that mean that the Bible existed with God and was God from the Beginning?
When the Word Became Flesh, He, the Emmanuel (God-with-us) did not employ scribes to organize the texts of the Old Testament and write the new texts that would comprise the New Testament. And, Jesus did not reveal all to His Apostles:
12 I still have many things to say to you but they would be too much for you to bear now. 13 However, when the Spirit of truth comes he will lead you to the complete truth, since he will not be speaking of his own accord, but will say only what he has been told; and he will reveal to you the things to come. (St. John 16:12-13)
Just this specific passage details the Bible’s existence: not with God from the Beginning!
The Word–the Sacred Scriptures as Jesus:
'It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh has nothing to offer. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. (St. John 6:63)
Jesus Gives Himself to us (He is Spirit) in His Word (the Bible) this is what makes the Bible the Word of God, and, since Jesus is the Word, in this essence the Sacred Writings are Jesus–but note that the flesh refers to all that is corporeal so the physical structure known as the Bible is basically as the Old Covenant’s Arch of the Covenant: it is a place of dwelling for God not God!
Interestingly enough, those that want to claim the Bible as enough (sola Scriptura) fail to understand that Jesus is saying that His Word is Spirit and Life (not the flesh of the bound texts)… and they flatly ignore or reject Christ’s Word when it conflicts with their held beliefs… as the Bible alone/enough.
Just look at the Understanding and Teaching of the Apostles:
**14 Through our gospel he called you to this so that you should claim as your own the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15 Stand firm, then, brothers, and keep the traditions that we taught you, whether by word of mouth or by letter. ** (2 Thessalonians 2:14-15)
…the Holy Spirit was Revealing more and more to the emerging Church–here we find the inception of Holy Tradition: (Stand firm: Traditions Taught: Orally and Written). One important point to consider is that St. Paul speaks of the Gospel (yeah as Christians understand them) while they were yet written and disseminated as we came to know them as part of the Bible; the Apostles were not Guided by the Holy Spirit to compile the Bible as yet!