Friday, February 28, 2014

"The Word of the Lord" as Used in the New Testament

posted 9/12/14

In the Old Testament the phrase "the word of the LORD" or "the word of Jehovah/Yahweh" is frequently used. Sometimes it describes a supernatural being rather than merely a propositional message from Jehovah. For example, when God called Samuel (1 Sam. chapter 3). Verse one connects visions with the coming of "the word of Jehovah." Implying that a being named the word of Jehovah often arrived with a message (compare verse 7). Verse 10 states, "And the Jehovah came and stood, calling as at other times..." This suggests that the word of the Jehovah was a being who could stand and is Jehovah Himself. There are other examples that could be pointed out in the Old Testament and an argument could be made that that "word of Jehovah" was the pre-incarnate Christ. Nevertheless, the point of this particular blog is different.

The New Testament's use of the phrase "the word of the Lord" often doesn't distinguish between it being a message from Jesus or a message from God. As some of the following list of verses show. The fact that the New Testament writers were fine and comfortable with that is consistent with a belief that Jesus is Jehovah Himself. So, it wouldn't matter if the message was specifically from the Father or from the Son since both are Jehovah even though they are not the same person (though are the same being).

Ps. 119:11  "Thy word have I laid up in my heart, That I might not sin against thee."

Col. 3:16a "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly..."

Isa. 40:8  "The grass withereth, the flower fadeth; but the word of our God shall stand forever."

Matt. 24:35  "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away."

 Using the American Standard Version:


22:61  And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how that he said unto him, Before the cock crow this day thou shalt deny me thrice.
In this instance it's clear that the phrase refers to a statement by Jesus while on earth.


8:25  They therefore, when they had testified and spoken the word of the Lord, returned to Jerusalem, and preached the gospel to many villages of the Samaritans.

11:16  And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized in the Holy Spirit.
The above verse probably refers to a statement by Christ while on earth. Notice that the verses in Acts below could be referring to the message of Christ (i.e. His Gospel and their Gospel), or about Christ or from/of the Father, or of the Father through Christ. The ambiguity is best consistent with a Trinitarian or Modalistic understanding.
13:49  And the word of the Lord was spread abroad throughout all the region.

15:35  But Paul and Barnabas tarried in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also.

15:36  And after some days Paul said unto Barnabas, Let us return now and visit the brethren in every city wherein we proclaimed the word of the Lord, [and see] how they fare.

16:32  And they spake the word of the Lord unto him, with all that were in his house.

19:10  And this continued for the space of two years; so that all they that dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks.

19:20  So mightily grew the word of the Lord and prevailed.

1 Thessalonians

1:8  For from you hath sounded forth the word of the Lord, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but in every place your faith to God-ward is gone forth; so that we need not to speak anything.

4:15  For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we that are alive, that are left unto the coming of the Lord, shall in no wise precede them that are fallen asleep.

2 Thessalonians

3:1  Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run and be glorified, even as also [it is] with you;

1 Peter

1:25  But the word of the Lord abideth for ever. And this is the word of good tidings which was preached unto you.

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