reading proverbs

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.