by Bil Aulenbach

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What’s the “Word of God?”

Often when someone finishes reading a passage from the Bible, they’ll say, “The Word of God.” I find this confusing. What does that mean?

Perhaps the reader is quoting a letter from Paul, John, or James. I imagine this practice started because sometime in the church’s early history, someone found a letter written by Paul, who never met Jesus but put forth some strange ideas. Centuries later, this letter was compiled with other writings to create the New Testament, which was then inserted into another, bigger book called the Holy Bible. At some point, people started calling everything in the Bible the Word of God.

Why? The epistles of Paul are simply letters he wrote expressing his views. How does a letter become the Word of God?

I don’t like Paul. I think he badly distorted the primary message of Jesus (agape) as by propagating the idea that Jesus was the “sacrificial lamb of God” who died for our sins. This is a terrible idea. I’ll never believe that. It qualifies as child abuse. If someone sacrificed his son today, many folks would call for the execution of the offender.

I have a hard time calling Paul’s writings the Word of God. I would rather call them the strange ideas of a strange little man.

Never in my wildest imagination would I call Revelation, the last book in the Bible, the Word of God. I have tried to understand it for years. Like the book of Daniel, it doesn’t make any sense. What does all that fantasy have to do with Jesus and his message? Nothing!

The best I could do after reading such drivel is to say “The word of weird.” And I would be fine if I never read Revelation again for the rest of my life.

I have an issue with attributing everything in the Bible to God. Whose god? The Jewish one, the Muslim one, the Hindu ones, or the fundamentalist one?

Some suggest that the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim gods are the same, but I have difficulty finding the similarities between them.

A god who supports people dressing in explosive vests and blowing up innocent folks is not a god I would be interested in.

The god who believes that taking an eye for an eye is the way to resolve issues is not a god that I want.

The god who supports genocide because of some half-baked idea that the Second Coming will happen in Jerusalem is not a god but a monster from my vantage point.

My point is this: please do not end any reading of Bible verses by saying “The Word of God.” The Bible is not any god’s word! Every word in the Bible was written by human beings with their own biased interpretation of a god.

But I give readers permission to say such things as “I didn’t understand a word of what I just read” or “Huh?” or “I really like this reading!” or maybe just “No comment!”

 

Image courtesy of Masterbutler (CC BY 2.0)

One Response to What’s the “Word of God?”

  • Bil,

    I couldn’t agree with you more! I do not like Paul either. I believe he distorted the message of Jesus (Agape) and made it into a sacrifice…which it was never intended to be. Salvation theology is a man made theology. It may have been great at selling indulgences but it sure wasn’t the message of Jesus.

    The Bible is the words of men..many men…who all had different ideas of what the the message they were giving was all about. They certainly are not presenting the “Word of God”. I believe God attempts to speak to each of us in that “still small voice” Jesus described. But each of us have the option of following God’s persuasive still small voice or going our own way…the way of selfishness.

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