Thoughts of the Word

This article was generating from the rich insights Richard Murray (which btw, if you aren’t following him on FB you should. If you don’t do FB, find out if he’s on another SM platform. His insights are amazing!) I did however add and put in my own insights as well. It’s fascinating to me to understand the different uses of the Greek words, which in my opinion, we in English erroneously use the same word, “word” at times. This leads us to misunderstand what the original readers would have clearly understood. On that same train of thought, which would lead to a different discussion, it’s interesting to know that Augustine, who was the chief influence on the Western Church was not a fan of the Greek language, for he was a Latin speaker. Therefore, it’s worth noting what he had to say and interpret from the sacred text in contrast with men like Origen, Gregory of Nyssa, and who spoke and understood Greek as their mother language. But, I digress. Most Western Christians, particularly in evangelical circles use the three below Greek words synonymously with the English word, “word.”      

Scripture – Graphe (γραφὴ)

Divine Insights – Rhema – Word / (ῥῆμα)

Word/Expressed Essence of God – Logos (λόγος)

When the New Testament refers to the Bible as a whole, it uses the word “Scriptures,” which is the Greek word “Graphe.” Jesus continually referred to the entirety of the Old Testament Bible as “the Scriptures.” This included the Law, the Prophets, and the wisdom Writings, all of which formed the Bible as it then existed in Jesus’ day. “You study the Scriptures (Graphe) thoroughly because you think in them you possess eternal life, and it is these same scriptures that testify about me.” John 5:39. (Also see Matthew 21:42, 22:29; Mark 14:49; 15:28; Luke 24:32, 45). 

When the New Testament uses the term “Rhema-Word,” it refers to divinely inspired insights. It represents a divine devotional truth “quickened by” God and then “expressed through” the heart and mouth of man. “The Rhema-Word is near you, in your mouth, and in your heart : that is , the Rhema-Word of faith, which we preach.” Romans 10:8. “So faith comes from hearing and hearing by (or through) the word [Rhema-Word, of Christ, ῥήματος Χριστοῦ]” Romans 10:17. “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word (rhemati) that proceeds from the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4. (also Luke 4:4). Interesting, because I always understood this to be the scripture, which it obviously is not referring to.

It’s also interesting that Colossians 3:16, which says “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you” It’s using Ὁ λόγος, which is referring to Jesus, and is synonomous with the Spirit of Christ, which is synonomous with the Holy Spirit of God. So Paul is in essencence telling them all to allow God’s Spirit/Jesus/the Father to live or reside in them abundantly through wisdom by instructing and teaching one another by spriitual songs and hymns through having thankful hearts to God.

The point of this article is to show that the Bible does not constitute the “Word of God” in the way it’s commonly used today and we should be able to identify in the Scriptures or Graphe (γραφὴ) when it’s referring to something outside of itself with the uses of Rhema – Word (ῥῆμα) or the Expressed Essence of God – Logos (λόγος).

I hope to add to this discussion of these different uses in the future. But for now, it’s good to consider these different words from the Koine Greek that are being used in our NT text and the Septuagint (Greek translation of the OT) as well.