Are the Scriptures and the Word of God Two Different Things?

Are the Scriptures and the Word of God two different things? There are those that believe that the two are absolutely the same and then there are those who believe that the two are very different. Maybe part of the disagreement has to do with there being no passage of Scripture that explicitly says “the Scriptures are the Word of God” or “the Word of God is the Scriptures.” At the same time, there is no Scripture that makes a distinction between the Word and the Scripture.

God’s Word and the Scriptures

Is there a difference between the Scriptures and the Word of God? Here are the Scriptures that demonstrate the unity of the Word and the Scriptures:

(1) First, Jesus identified the “the Word of God” as “Scripture” and “written in your Law,” and He also noted that “Scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:34–35). Jesus’s word demonstrate that the Word and the Scripture are essentially the same. However, the only difference between the Word and the Scripture is that the Scripture is written and the Word is either written or spoken.

(2) Jesus is the Word (1 John 1:1–4). The Word and the Gospel are the same (Eph 1:13). By that Gospel, we are saved being that the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation (Rom 1:16; 1 Cor 1:18, 15:1–4). That inspired writers recorded the Gospel message in the Scriptures. The Word is in the Scriptures (1 John 1:1–4; Rev 1:2–3).

(3) In 1 Corinthians 14:36–37, the Word of God is clearly the message being taught concerning matters of decency and order in the assembly. That message contained the written commands as Paul revealed, “I am writing to you are a command of the Lord.” In the next chapter of 1 Corinthian 15:1–4, Paul noted “the Gospel” being “that Word” that he preached “according to the Scriptures.” The Word is written. “Write” is the Greek word grapho, which is the verb form of Scripture, graphei. John also plainly stated that the Apostles wrote “concerning the Word of Life” (1 John 1:1–4). John confirmed that Revelation is the written Word of God that one reads (Rev 1:2–3).

(4) Peter revealed that “we,” John and himself, have the “word of prophecy,” and he wrote generally of “prophecy of Scripture” in reference to Scripture written by “we” who are John and Peter excluding the martyred James (2 Pet 1:19–21). Scripture is the written Word. Peter spoke of the wisdom given to Paul, which is the Word that Paul wrote in his letters, which are Scripture (2 Pet 3:15–16).

(5) The Word of God is also called the mystery that came by revelation (Col 1:25–26). Paul wrote so that those who read would know the mystery of Christ (Eph 3:3–4). Again, the Word is written as revealed Scripture.

(6) Jesus referred to the Scriptures as “the commandment of God” that the Pharisees rejected, and He referred to the Scriptures as “you have made void the word of God” (Matt 15:3–9; Mark 7:6–13).

(7) Jesus declared to Satan, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'” (Matt 4:4; cf. Deut 8:3). Where are the words that come from the breath of God? Jesus quoted Scripture as the source. Furthermore, the apostle Paul revealed that the Scriptures are God’s breath or God-breathed. Paul declared, “Every Scripture is God’s breath and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness. That the person of God would be complete, furnished completely unto every good work” (2 Tim 3:16–17).

There is no difference in message between the Word and the Scriptures, because the Scriptures are simply the written Word of God. There is a slight difference between the Word and the Scriptures.

The Word Spoken and Written

There is a good parallel for this conclusion. This parallel is as a preacher writes a complete manuscript of his message before or after preaching, and the message that he preaches is more than the manuscript. What is the difference between this man’s word and his manuscript? There is no difference in message except the manuscript is the written message that he preaches. Likewise, the Word is not bound to the page, but the Scriptures are the only source of the written Word.

The Word is the Flesh and on the Paper

The Word is not bound to the written page as even the Word came in the flesh (John 1:14). The Word and the Scriptures are as complete as each other. As Jesus is fully God and fully human in the flesh so are the Scriptures fully God’s Word and fully human.Writings are written to present a message, and the Scriptures are sacred “writings” guided in writing by Christ’s Spirit. For the Scriptures, the written message is the Word. Messages do not have to be written, but in this case, the Scriptures present no other message than the Word of God, and the Word of God is completely revealed in the Scriptures. Therefore, the Scriptures are the written Word, and the Word is found in the inspired writings — the Scriptures.

About Scott J Shifferd

Minister, church of Christ in Jacksonville, FL. Husband and father of four. Email: ScottJon82[at]
This entry was posted in Christ, Christianity and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to Are the Scriptures and the Word of God Two Different Things?

  1. Innocent says:

    Sorry for being a late comer.
    In the OT God said to Joshua (jos1 v1-9) do not let this book of the law depart from you….). The book(Scriptures) was to to teach Joshua & help Him succeed. In John however Jesus said I will ask the Father to send the Holy Spirit and He will teach you & make you succeed. In Ephesians He is said to be the word of God.
    In the John 5 Jesus make a clear distinction between the word and the scriptures as in below
    John 5:38  And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he sent, him ye believe not. 
    John 5:39  Ye search the scriptures, because ye think that in them ye have eternal life; and these are they which bear witness of me; 
    One can have a clear understanding of all scriptures, actually one can know all scriptures like in the above case in John (Pharisees) without the word. The word in the scriptures is only refereed to as two things.
    John 1 as Jesus Christ Ephesian 6 as the Spirit. The word Lives and was there from the beginning John1.1 and the scriptures were first written by Moses( 1st 4 books of the bible)
    How can some thing that was there be said to have been written by man.
    Another main distinction is that the devil know scriptures in and out but the word does not dwell in him. For you to be able to overcome the devil you do not need to be carnal (scriptures alone) but spiritual ( like Daniel who understand the scriptures in accordance to the word of God) Daniel 9.
    If you have time read all five books written by John, He uses these words distinctly.

    Do Good, Do No Harm & Stay in Love with God

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Rod McCarthy says:

    We see a very brief but good explanation of “THE WORD” In Hebrews 4:12

    For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart …

    But the first time we see mention of the word is in Genesis 1:3
    And God said…

    Then we see the word mentioned several times in the OT for example Jeremiah 32
    Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah…

    Then in John 1
    And the word became flesh (past tense, meaning it was something else before see Genesis 1 above).

    Then we see it in the NT happening to Peter (rise and eat), to Phillip (go next to the chariot), and to Paul (Why do you persecute me).

    So we have two things described in the bible…The scriptures; and the word of God, these are 2 different things, but in churches they are seen as one.

    We need both in our lives. The word of God is named in the book of revelation and his name is written on his thigh, the person is identified as Jesus.


  3. selorm says:

    God bless you all and gives you strength and wisdom as you are responding to 1 Timothy 4, 13 and pray that the spirit Himself guides as you are teaching the scriptures.


  4. Tumelo says:

    The scriptures are the word of god but we need we need the spirit of God to reveal the scriptures so that we can understand the word of God


    • Thank you for your comment.

      We know that the Spirit speaks to us through the Scriptures as the Scriptures testify (2 Pet. 1:20-21, Acts 1:16, 28:25, etc.). The Spirit certainly reveals by revelation the Gospel (Eph. 3:1-5).

      What do you mean by “we need the spirit of God to reveal the scriptures so that we can understand the word of God”?

      God bless your growth in the Word.


  5. Shalom!! I really believe that the word of God is different from scriptures.
    Jesus is the word of God whiles the scriptures talks about Him the word of God. John 5:39


  6. Reblogged this on Seeing God's Breath and commented:

    This is still true. God’s Word is found within the Scriptures.


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