At the very heart of the tradition of referring to an English translation of the scriptures as “the word” is an intertwining of false teachings that are promulgated within christianity. It is part of the larger issue of christians who regard their English translations as equal to, and usually in place of, the Holy Spirit. And, that is largely because they have never actually heard the Holy Spirit, so they replace Him with something else.
It is an unfortunate deficiency in most English translations that fails to delineate between two different things, calling them both by the same thing, thereby, conflating them erroneously. By equating scripture with the Holy Spirit, who alone can confirm that someone has received the covenant and has been made a child of Yah, christians are often guilty of idolatry, but don’t even realize it.
The WORD, which in Hebrew is “dabar,” and in Greek is “logos,” refers to a living being who speaks as Elohim (which is comprised of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit). The “dabar” is the one throughout the Old Testament who came and spoke to the prophets, testifying to their spirit in dreams and visions. He is the Holy Spirit, and He has never changed, which means, He continues to testify to the spirit of man in the same way He always has (Acts 2:17, Romans 8:16).
In the New Testament, the Greek word that is equivalent to “dabar” is “logos.” In John 1, we see that the “logos” was WITH Elohim in the beginning, and He WAS Elohim. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are ALL Elohim. The one who was in John the Baptist before he was even born was the “logos,” the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the “logos” who must be received to have the privilege of being children of Yah (John 1:12).
Then, in John 1:14, Messiah is delineated as the “logos made flesh.” He is the Word who came and dwelt among men. But, He HAD to go away because of the wedding traditions, so another was sent in His place to be the Word (logos) to the bride. He is the Holy Spirit, and only those who have received Him are Yah’s children. And, that does not happen by man’s will, but by the will of the Father, and in His timing. Those who believe in and confess Messiah Yahoshua before men (endure in belief) SHALL BE (future condition) saved.
What has gotten conflated in English translations is the Hebrew “imrah,” which, in Greek is “rhema.” Those refer to actual literal words, commandments, or instructions. They are merely physical words—they are not alive, in any sense of the meaning. They are just words. The words (rhema) that comprise the scriptures were inspired by the Word (logos), who is the Holy Spirit. The inspired words (imrah/rhema) are the actual original words in Hebrew and Greek. Those are the scriptures.
What we have in English are translations of the scriptures—the best guesses of men for the literal meanings of those inspired Hebrew and Greek words. However, as precise as any translation might be, the literal meanings are not the ultimate purpose of the scriptures. You see, any human has the ability to process the literal meanings of words, but only those who are led by the Holy Spirit can discern His meanings within those words.
The spiritual meanings of scripture are their primary purpose. We see in Luke 24:45 that the disciples had known the literal words (rhema) of scripture, but, in that verse their eyes had to be opened to understand the meanings of the Word (logos), who is the Holy Spirit. Without Him, the words might as well be a phone book, for their true meanings are spiritual. And, 1 Corinthians 2:14 explains that the things of the Spirit (His meanings within the scriptures) can only be discerned by those who are led by Him.
By conflating the two things, christians often put the scriptures in the place of the Holy Spirit, and claim that the scriptures confirmed their salvation. That is not even possible, as words are not alive—and only that which is alive can personally confirm someone’s salvation.
No, your English bible is NOT the Word—it is NOT the “physical Word,” nor is it the “written Word.” It is neither the dabar/logos, nor is it the imrah/rhema, for the inspired words (rhema) are the original words (rhema) that the writers of scripture were inspired to write by the Word (logos) Himself.
Your English bible is a translation of the imrah/rhema, which are just words. The words (imrah/rhema) of Yah in scripture were inspired by the Word (dabar/logos), who is the Holy Spirit. Your English bible is merely a translation of those words.
To understand the spiritual meanings in scripture that came from the Holy Spirit, one must be led by Him. Not being led by Him is the reason there are more than 41,000 christian denominations who all claim to understand the scriptures, but who peddle different interpretations that disagree with one another. The Holy Spirit’s truths are singular; He doesn’t give varying versions of His truths to different people.
Christians who are in a fringe camp that teaches the King James Version was inspired by the Holy Spirit, and also teach that those English words are “inerrant,” and that the KJV is the only acceptable translation (they teach “KJV Only”), are guilty of idolatry, and are usually quite cult-like in their beliefs. The fact that ANY translation is ultimately a work of man means that there is NO translation that is inerrant or inspired.
To place anything that is created (and all translations are created by men) above the Creator is idolatry, and that is precisely what KJV-Onlyists do. They are guilty of idolatry. But then, anyone who equates the words of scripture (imrah/rhema) with the Word (dabar/logos) walks a dangerous line that, at the least, borders idolatry.
Anyone who claims he is saved because of some passages of scripture is equating the work of the Holy Spirit (living being) with some words that were fashioned by men—even if those words accurately represent the literal meanings of the original words (Hebrew/Greek). There is no scripture anywhere that can confirm that someone has received the Holy Spirit, and those who do not have the Holy Spirit are none of Messiah’s (Romans 8:9).
For more information: Christianity’s Holy Spirit–Some Water and a Book