Reading this past summer I was inspired by the vision of the two Words from heaven.

The Bible is the first, God’s Living Word. “God’s word is living and active. It is sharper than any two-edged sword and cuts as deep as the place where soul and spirit meet, the place where joints and marrow meet. God’s word judges a person’s thoughts and intentions” (Hebrews 4:12 God’s Word Translation©).

God’s written Word (which includes the stage at which it may have been an oral telling of the activity of God on earth) rightly finds a place of value in a life of faith in Jesus Christ. This gave and gives the Chosen people (including Israel, but never limited to them) a source to keep them on the right path with a focus on the redeeming Creator. In it God reveals the Divine Self, both in the immediate culture and time of the Hebrew people, and also the future when God (as Jesus of Nazareth) would come to personalize the Bible as life rather than just written sentences. Even during the time that we call the Old Testament, when the Hebrew Bible was the only Scripture, it served as a way God spoke to believers. The New Testament declares that the promise of the Messiah was fulfilled in Jesus.

The second Word, then, is Jesus, The Word. “In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1 God’s Word Translation©). Jesus can’t be memorized, edited or reprinted, and, despite the arrogance of religious institutions, cannot be translated into different versions! We experience Christ in life rather than as something to study.

While the Living Word still carries great value since God is exposed to human view in it, The Word supercedes it because we actually experience God personally as real and living. So even if someone has no Bible they are still able to interact with the Divine. “What can be known about God is clear to them because he has made it clear to them. From the creation of the world, God’s invisible qualities, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly observed in what he made” (Romans 1:19-20 God’s Word Translation©).

I think about the doctrine of sola scriptura (“by Scripture alone”, meant to relegate religious doctrine and canon law to an inferior position). Of course, all religious doctrine, creeds and edicts are inferior to The Bible. To fall under the mighty hand of God, however, is fearful in itself and enough. The Bible gives encouragement to submit to God, but when the written Living Word becomes the object of mere study it actually leads away from the Author!

Nothing is better than living life with The Word. “I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live I live by believing in God’s Son, who loved me and took the punishment for my sins” (Galatians 2:20 God’s Word Translation©).

Yet the written Word is Living, and an inspiring revelation about The Word. “Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you’re going. So how can we know the way?” Jesus answered him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one goes to the Father except through me. If you have known me, you will also know my Father. From now on you know him through me and have seen him in me” (John 14:6-7 God’s Word Translation©).