Logos. This is the Greek word that we find in the first chapter of John’s Gospel as He makes the sweeping and epic declaration that Jesus Christ was, and is, both the “Word” (logos) and God. Though we translate the word logos as “word”, in Greek it’s meaning has little to do with a simple noun or verb, it is about logic and reason and a sensible progression of thought. I bring this up because when we reference the Bible as “The Word of God”, at least part of that statement is a claim to a coherent and understandable movement of thought. And as Jesus is the One referred to specifically as “the Word made flesh” a great deal of that has to do with His identity as the embodiment of God’s story, the grand narrative of creation, fall, redemption, creation.
At the intersection of these two points, Jesus and the Scriptures, I believe we find a key clue to understanding the divine nature of the Bible. The Scriptures, Old and New Testaments, are all given to us by God; this is the unabashed claim that orthodox Christianity makes. But, to be sure, this claim rests uniquely on the person and work of Jesus. Without Jesus coming, living the life that He lived, dying the death that He died, and then resurrecting from the dead the Bible would be a very different sort of book. Jesus’ quotation of the Old Testament, and His obvious respect for and allegiance to the writings of the Law and Prophets validates them in a special way. Then, subsequent to His resurrection, the Messianic choosing of the apostles, and then Paul, gives a special credence to the writings of those men. Jesus, who was “The Word”, by example and anointing, authenticates the divine power and importance of “The Word” in its written form.
The reason that the “logical” aspect is so important is also found in Jesus. Starting with Genesis 3:15 the Old Testament begins telling a story that is, in a way, missing a main character. Perhaps we see this character sharing a meal with Abraham, perhaps He shows up to talk to Joshua just before they overtake Jericho, there are other moments that we think we see Him but it’s hard to be sure. But in the Gospels suddenly the story finds it fulfillment and climax as there is no doubt that the One, the protagonist that the world has been waiting for, shows up in bizarre and unexpected fashion. If the Bible is a book about moral platitudes and ethical theories then it is one of the most bloated works on those subjects ever written. There is no reason to have genealogies in an ethics textbook. To attempt to pare the claws of the Lion’s story by assuming that He came to finally show the world how to be “good” is to deem impotent the entire story line that the Scriptures assume. Jesus didn’t come to simply offer a better way to “do life”, He came to stake His cosmic claim as King of Israel, King of the Earth, and King of the Universe. Within the context of His royal declaration He offers us new life, new hearts, and new eternal living arrangements because of His great love for those He rules over and His desire for relationship with His subjects (not to mention the astounding language that would have us believe that we can become a part of that royal family through loving adoption)
The Bible is a logical progression that finds its fulfillment, its apex, and its purpose in Jesus. The Old Testament points toward Him, the New Testament looks intently back at Him; and that is why the book is The Word of God. Its divine claims are hinged on the proof of Jesus’ divinity. Its divine power is inextricably linked to His divine power. The Bible is the “Word”, Jesus is the “Word”. The Bible is our spiritual sustenance, Jesus is the Bread of Life. The Bible offers us eternal truth, Jesus is the “way, truth, and life”. As far as its claim to be given to us by God, the Scriptures rest their boasts upon the historical man Jesus who Himself claimed to be, and then proved that He was, God.