Multiple meanings of logos (word)
The confusion is partly derived from the 3 primary meanings of logos in the New Testament. See Lexham Bible dictionary entry on logos by Douglas Estes, a Protestant Bible scholar:
- Logos in its standard meaning designates a word, speech, or the act of speaking (Acts 7:22).
- Logos in its special meaning refers to the special revelation of God to people (Mark 7:13).
- Logos in its unique meaning personifies the revelation of God as Jesus the Messiah (John 1:14).
In John 1:1, the 3rd meaning is used (as in John 1:14), but when Christians colloquially calls the Bible the "word of God", the 1st and 2nd meanings are used. Note, that in John 1:1 the "Word" is capitalized, denoting a Person, not a thing, so the Bible translator directs us to use the 3rd meaning.
Bible, Scripture / graphḗ, rhema, and logos (1st and 2nd meaning)
Therefore, the Bible is NOT God. The Bible is a collection of books considered to be sacred by the Christian community, and its status as sacred writing is reflected in the Greek word graphḗ translated "Scripture" in English, used in verses such as 2 Tim 3:16:
Every Scripture (graphḗ) is God-breathed and profitable for instruction for conviction, for correction, and for training in righteousness.
"word of God" is a frequent synonym to Bible / Scripture because Christians believe that a Biblical author (per 2 Tim 3:16 above) is inspired to receive God-breathed speech / rhema, (see also Got-Questions article on rhema) through the gift of prophecy that prompted the author to combine it with his/her own thoughts that under God's divine guidance resulted in the inerrant logos (word as embodying an idea) which were later committed to writing (graphḗ). Thus each word in the Bible is a combination of Divine source (rhema) and human thoughts, but the process is protected by God himself so the written words can in a sense be "God's written words" (graphḗ / Scripture).
God the Son / God the Word (2nd person of the Trinity), Jesus, and logos (3rd meaning)
In the Prologue of the Gospel of John (John 1:1-18), frequently given the pericope title such as Prologue: Christ, the Eternal Word (see NLT translation), logos is used in the 3rd meaning to refer to the 2nd person of the Trinity, who is named God the Word or God the Son, the 1st person being God the Father, and the 3rd person being God the Holy Spirit.
In John 1:1, it is God the Son/Word (NOT the Bible) who existed from the beginning, who was with God the Father, and who was identified by John as having the same nature of the other 2 "persons" of the Trinity. In one Trinitarian theology, we can understand (through the analogy of knowing) that God the Son/Word is eternally generated, meaning that the One God who Knows produces Knowledge in His Mind. That is why "God the Son" is synonymous with "God the Word" (God the Word is Knowledge & Wisdom personified, literally!!).
In the previous section, God the Holy Spirit has already been speaking God's mind to Biblical authors to direct the production of Scripture / Bible.
But prophecies & Scripture are NOT enough to save us, so the Triune God decided that God the Son / Word took on flesh (human nature) (John 1:14) so this Knowledge/Wisdom becomes visible to us (personified) as Jesus. Thus Jesus speaking is identical to the Holy Spirit speaking through prophetic gift to Biblical author, since the source is the same God. But since Jesus has a human nature, his speech accompanied by his action becomes a more effective revelation FOR US (because human knowledge by nature has to be mediated through human senses), just as a King's ambassador is more effective in communicating what's in the King's mind rather than the King merely sending a letter.
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