Section 5—Is the Bible the word of God?

Is the Bible (Old Testament) the Word of God?

I didn’t have to live very long before I realised that TRUTH is subjective! One person’s truth is another person’s fiction.

My first real encounter with subjective truth was at seven years old when I challenged the existence of Father Christmas. My mum held out for some considerable time, “Father Christmas is real to those who believe in him” was her stock answer. It satisfied me for a short while but my questions still persisted. Eventually the TRUTH was out, no he did not exist and the myth had grown out of stories and traditions. The story of Father Christmas is a lovely story…but it is a story!

Without the knowledge of centuries of discovery how would you explain the existence of God? The ancient world had its share of brilliant minds just as we have today, but those minds examined and expanded within the context of the age. Throughout the ages theories have been explored and developed and the theory of God and His involvement with the world (albeit a small section of the then known world) have been recorded and preserved for future generations. As I see it, the Old Testament is a collection of ideas, contributed by numerous individuals who, within the limits of the age, were striving to record the Truth as they understood it.

As we discussed in the God in History section it is my opinion that the Old Testament is a history book of the Jews, filled with traditions, myths, etc. I am sure it was the Truth as seen by the writers at the time, but “The Word of God”? Not as I understand it.


  • How would you describe the writings of the Old Testament?
  • Do you think it has anything relevant to teach us in the 21st century?

Is the Bible (New Testament) the Word of God?

For me one of the outstanding passages in the New Testament is found in John 1 verse 14:

The Word became flesh and lived among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the Fathers (only) Son, full of grace and truth.

This passage reinforces the message of The Incarnation…God within humanity, God with us. That power or presence, spark of life, spirit within, however you want to refer to it, abided within each one of us from conception to death, that is, as I understand it, “the word made flesh”.

In Jesus, we have the example of humanity and divinity combined, body and spirit, “our God contracted to a span, incomprehensibly made man” (Charles Wesley).

It could therefore be said that the New Testament is “The Word of God” as seen through the life, teachings and example of Jesus, the once and for all time revelation of humanity and divinity, God and Humankind as one!

There is a big difference between knowing about something and knowing it. A simple example is parenthood, people can tell you what it’s like, you can read books on the subject, you can have regular contact with other people’s children but nothing prepares you for the overwhelming experience of becoming a parent.

I believe that through the reading and study of the New Testament it is possible to get to know about Jesus and during the process of that investigation it is possible, and hopefully probable, that through the power of our inner spirit we shall get to know Jesus. The actions of Jesus show a true reflection of his character and his teachings enable all humanity to know the potential of a life lived in the presence of God, made known to us through Jesus.


  • Is your experience of Christianity enhanced by reading the New Testament?
  • How would you identify “The Word of God”?
  • Do you have personal experience of God speaking to you?

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You can find the next section of this study here.