The Meaning of The Word (Online Bible Dictionary)

The Meaning of The Word (Online Bible Dictionary)

The meaning of The Word can be confusing even in Christian circles; here are 3 key aspects to simplify your understanding...

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If you are like me, you may find yourself scratching your head over the use of the meaning of The Word in Christianity.

There is actually a very good reason for this. Namely, the term is used correctly in multiple contexts. To help you understand, I have complied a list of the top three uses for the term. I hope they give you some clarity and/or validation...

#1: "The Word" is THE BIBLE

First, "the Word" is often used to refer to the Bible itself. This use of the term tends to be the most logical. We can think of the words on the page of the Bible... or even how the Bible is filled with the words of God. In addition, there is an element of scripture memory referring to the words in the Bible. For example, in Deuteronomy 30:14 we read "No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it".

There is one more facet tied to the use of "the Word" as the Bible that I have come to appreciate. You will likely hear a fellow Christian talk about being "in the Word". In this case, we are simply talking about making sure we read the Bible... that we read His words revealed to us in the Bible.

#2: "The Word" is THE LAW

The term "The Word" also is used to represent "the law", or God's law.

I like to think of this use of the term as a subset of the first one discussed above. Within the Bible ("the Word"), God's law is revealed and discussed frequently. But the entire Bible is not ONLY the law.

You can find lots of examples of the use of the term in this context when God first delivers the law to Moses in the Book of Exodus throughout the Old Testament. "The word of the law" is frequently discussed by many of the prophets (e.g., Jeremiah, Ezekiel) as they continually remind the wayward nation of Israel of its broken commitments to God.

Of note, before the law was officially delivered to Moses in the book of Exodus, "the Word of God" tended to be in reference to His words spoken, literally, to our Biblical ancestors.

#3: "The Word" is GOD HIMSELF

The last major context for the term "the Word" is that it refers to God himself. As it says in the opening of the book of John:

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it... And the Word became 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." (John 1:1-5, 14)

Many of us accept that God is omnipresent, meaning always in existence. God has been described as the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. Here, John clearly links "the Word" as God and Jesus as "the Word becoming flesh".

If we tried to substitute our other contexts "the Bible" or "the law" becoming flesh, it wouldn't make sense. No... John is clearly stating that "the Word" is God Himself, and that God become flesh in Jesus. So how is "the Word" a synonym for God? Allow me to illustrate how I have come to understand this complicated context...

Think of anything you want in your life to become a reality. Think of the ideal relationships you want to have... think of a dollar number in your savings account... think of that new house... think of that place in the world you'd rather be than where you are right now...

Now speak the words to make it happen!

You see, that's exactly what God did when He created all things. His essence imagined all things and "SPOKE" them into existence. You and I fight barrier after barrier to make things a reality with our words. Yet, all things are possible for God. His power is unceasing and unchallenged. And thus, the power of His words to design and create reality are evidence of the power of His words... or rather, "the Word".

I hope this top three list helps you understand the the meaning of The Word and how it is used in Christian conversations better. If you have any thoughts, comments, or suggestions, I'd love to hear from you in the comments section below. God bless you...

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