To the Word, co-eternal with the Father and the Spirit,
born of the Virgin for our salvation,
let us, the faithful, give praise and worship.
For he willed to be lifted up on the cross in the flesh,
to suffer death and raise the dead
by his glorious resurrection.
—Ton Synanarchon Logon, Resurrectional Apolytikion, Tone 5
First of all, the bible is not technically God’s Word.
Christ, the Divine Logos, is God’s Word.
That’s what Logos means, as everyone knows.
Second, the bible is the written icon (or image) of the Word of God.
It no more fell out of the sky from God’s lips than did Jesus.
Jesus had to be born into the human world
as a man through a woman’s body.
The bible had to enter the human mind
as a body of literature written by a multitude of seers.
You already know this too.
I’m just organizing the thoughts.
Third, every limitation voluntarily accepted by the Christ
when He incarnated as a man is applicable
in its own frame of reference
to the written icon of the Word of God.
Both suffer a diminution or reduction in the process
of being translated from heaven to earth.
In neither case does this veiling of glory
diminish or dilute the absolute Truth of the Word of God in any way.
Fourth, the bible is infallible in its unity and infallible in its parts,
but the application of this infallibility always depends
on the intervention of the Holy Spirit,
who alone knows how, when and where to apply it.
Without the intervention of the Holy Spirit,
the bible cannot be known as infallible,
indeed cannot be known at all for what it is.
A medicine may be infallibly effective,
but if it is not applied or ingested in the right way,
at the right time, and in the right place,
it can have even the opposite effect, possibly becoming lethal.
Only the physician knows how to apply it in every case.
The Holy Spirit lives in the Church,
and the Church lives in the Word of God.
And what of the use of proof texts and the like,
which can be applied in sometimes disastrous ways
by persons who have not ingested the whole of scripture
by constantly and daily feeding upon it without mixing it,
but who rather begin to teach their partial understandings
(some of which may be wholly true, others wholly false)
without being first built upon the sure foundation of faith?
It is not how educated and learned one is
that qualifies one for understanding and interpreting
the written icon of the Word, nor is chronological age a criterion.
Spiritual maturity rather than chronological age,
practical application, even incarnation, of the scripture’s tenets
rather than academic prowess or a prodigious memory,
these are what put a man in the place where the Word of God
can employ him as an agent of divine Truth.
Remember who the Word of God is,
and do not trifle with the arguing spirits.
Rather apply yourself to knowing and living the Word,
who is alive and active,
and in so doing demonstrate on the battlefield of your own body
the victory of Christ, who is Truth come unto His own in you,
and by thus receiving Him,
receive also the power to become
the son or daughter of the Most High.
Originally posted June 3, 2009.