Word of god

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The word of God is understood to be a revelation given by God to people , especially when it is available in written form as Holy Scripture . The designation of a script as the word of God is often synonymous with its inspiration or normativity, combined with the definition of a scriptural sequence as a "canon" (yardstick).

In the monotheistic tradition and theology , the word of God is important. This article explains how to understand “Word of God” from a theological perspective.


In Judaism , it is primarily the Torah , traced back to the prophet Moses , that is viewed as God's instruction to his people Israel , but other prophets were also recognized as conveyors of God's word. In addition, the entire Tanakh is understood as the word of God.

In Hellenistic Judaism and especially with Philo of Alexandria , the word of God is connected with the concept of logos, which comes from Greek philosophy , and - similar to divine wisdom - becomes a mediation between God and the world (including the mediator of creation).


In Christianity , the Jewish holy scriptures of the Old Testament and the scriptures belonging to the Christian New Testament are called the Word of God or the Bible . In addition, in the prologue of the Gospel of John, the term word (Greek logos ) is related to Jesus Christ himself, who functions as the mediator of creation and, as the incarnate Word of God, stands at the same time in the God relationship of a single Son to the Father and redeems the world on behalf of this Father ( 1 JohnEU ), ( 1 John 3:16  EU ), ( Revelation 19:13  EU ).


In the Catholic understanding the word of God exists in written form in the Holy Scriptures and in oral form in the Apostolic tradition . The latter serves as a guideline for the valid interpretation of the Bible. In practice, this happens in the exercise of the church teaching office .


According to the Reformation view, the word of God can only be found in the Bible ( sola scriptura ), the center of which is Jesus Christ . The word of God is fundamental to the Reformation understanding of the church . According to this, the church is that community of believers in which the word of God is purely proclaimed and the sacraments are properly administered. All people are considered to be believers who are justified as sinners in front of God solely by the belief ( sola fide ) awakened by hearing the word of God in justification in Jesus Christ ( solus Christ ) solely by grace ( sola gratia ) ( simul iustus et peccator ). The sacraments are also understood as a vivid form of the word of God, but they only have their effect in connection with the word proclaimed.

Law and Gospel: Especially according to Lutheran teaching, the word of God is differentiated according to law and gospel . Law means the address of God to man, which confronts him with his ought and allows him to be recognized as a sinner who is absolutely unable to fulfill what is demanded of him. Against this background, the second address to the sinner appears as the Gospel , which refers him to the fact that in Jesus Christ all the requirements of the law have already been fulfilled and that he only has to trust it completely in order to be just before God ( evangelical freedom ).

Karl Barth: In the dialectical theology of Karl Barth the Word of God is understood as the fundamental of the world and different in their identifiable revelation. This revelation has its center in the Christ event, from which everything else is derived. Therefore, for Barth, Jesus Christ alone is the word of God in the true sense. In a secondary sense, the Bible, as the testimony of Christ, is also the word of God.

Analyzes of the relationship between the “Bible” and “Word of God” are based on the statements of the Bible and show that the term “Word of God” occurs in the Bible in three ways: For prophetic sayings, for the central message of salvation (the “Gospel”) ) and sometimes for Jesus Christ.


According to the orthodox understanding, the Word of God is not the Holy Scriptures, but the second hypostasis of the Most Holy Trinity and thus Jesus Christ himself.


In Islam , the Koran ( Qur'an ) is regarded as the "uncreated word of God" that was dictated to the prophet Mohammed by the archangel Gabriel .

The prophet Isa bin Maryam ( Jesus , son of Mary ) is also nicknamed “Word of God” in Islam (Koran 4: 171), which means his preaching of the Gospel ( Indschil ). The term Indjil appears twelve times in the Koran (3: 3, 3:48, 3:65, 5:46, 5:47, 5:66, 5:68, 5: 110, 7: 157, 9: 111, 48 : 29, 57:27).

The Torah ( Taurat ) (5: 110) is also considered the word of God in Islam, as is the Book of Psalms ( Zabur ) (4: 163; 17:55).

Of course, the Muslims believe that only the Koran represents the unadulterated word of God, while the other holy books were written after the death of the respective prophets. In Islam there is therefore a belief in a “real” Torah and a “real” Gospel, which have been lost.


Baha'ullah , the founder of Bahaitums , has left extensive writings, which are the Bahai as the Word of God. These scriptures consist of books, treatises, letters, poems, and prayers. The writings of the forerunner Bab are also seen as the word of God. Bahāʾullāh claims to be the youngest link in a chain of God's messengers and thus the one promised in earlier religions. He also recognizes the religious founders who preceded him as being sent by God. Thus, the holy scriptures of the other revealed religions are also considered the word of God for the Baha'i.

See also


Web links

Wiktionary: God's word  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Franz Graf-Stuhlhofer : Words of God in the Bible. Against an undifferentiated equation of the Bible and the Word of God . In: Journal for Theology and Congregation, Vol. 16 (2011), pp. 66–89, ISSN 1430-7820 .  
  2. Interview with an Indonesian Orthodox monk priest (2011)
  3. Writings. In: bahai.de. National Spiritual Council of the Bahá'ís in Germany, archived from the original on January 19, 2013 ; accessed on March 27, 2019 .
  4. Bahá'u'lláh - the glory of God. In: bahai.de. National Spiritual Council of Bahá'ís in Germany, archived from the original on October 9, 2009 ; accessed on September 14, 2019 .