One of the titles of the second person of the Trinity, indicating perhaps that by his acts and teachings God is revealed, somewhat as thought is by words,
1Jo 1:1; 5:7; Re 19:13. "The word of the Lord" was a common phrase in the Old Testament, always denoting some revelation of Jehovah. Long before the coming of Christ, the Jewish paraphrasts of the Bible used "The Word" in the passage where Jehovah occurred in the original; and the term was familiar to Jewish writers as the name of a divine being, the Son of God. To show its true meaning and its application to our Savior, was of great importance to John, the last of the inspired writers, in whose later years certain errors as to the person of Christ, borrowed from Eastern philosophy, had begun to creep into the Christian church. He describes "The Word" as a personal and divine Being, self-existent, and coexistent from eternity with the Father, yet distinguished from him as The Son, the creator of all created things, the source of all life and light to men, and in the fullness of time incarnate among men, Joh 1:1-3,14. John's gospel is full and clear respecting the divinity of Christ, Joh 20:31.
Apart from the personal use of 'Word' as a title of Christ (see Logos), its Biblical interpretation presents few difficulties. Both in the OT and in the NT the original terms employed may pass from the meaning 'speech' to signify 'the subject matter of speech.' In some passages there is uncertainty as to whether the tr should be 'word' or 'thing.' For example, 1Ki 11:41 Revised Version margin has 'or words, or matters' as alternatives to 'the acts of Solomon.' In Ac 8:21 'thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter' probably means' in the matter in dispute,' which was the coveted power of imparting the gifts of the Holy Spirit; but the Revised Version margin 'word' is preferred by some expositors, who think that the reference is to the word preached by the Apostles and its attendant blessings (cf. Mr 1:45; Lu 1:2). The English Version retains 'word' in Mt 18:16 and 2Co 13:1, although De 19:15 reads: 'At the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall every matter be established.'
J. G. Tasker.
WORD. Sometimes the Scripture ascribes to the word of God certain supernatural effects, and often represents it as animated and active: "He sent his word and healed them," Ps 107:20. It also signifies what is written in the sacred books of the Old and New Testament, Lu 11:28; Jas 1:22; the divine law which teaches and commands good things, and forbids evil, Ps 119:101; and is used to express every promise of God, Ps 119:25, &c, and prophecy or vision, Isa 2:1. This term is likewise consecrated and appropriated to signify the only Son of the Father, the uncreated Wisdom, the second Person of the most holy Trinity, equal to and consubstantial with the Father. St. John the evangelist, more expressly than any other, has opened to us the mystery of the Word of God, when he tells us, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him, and without him was not any thing made that was made," Joh 1:1-3. The Chaldee paraphrasts, the most ancient Jewish writers extant, generally make use of the word memra, which signifies "the Word," in those places where Moses puts the name Jehovah. They say, for example, that it was the Memra, or the Word, which created the world, which appeared to Moses on Mount Sinai, which gave him the law, which spoke to him face to face, which brought Israel out of Egypt, which marched before the people, and which wrought all those miracles that are recorded in Exodus. It was the same Word that appeared to Abraham in the plain of Mamre, that was seen of Jacob at Bethel, to whom Jacob made his vow, and acknowledged as God, saying, "If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, then shall the Lord be my God," Ge 28:20-21. The manner in which St. John commences his Gospel is strikingly different from the introductions to the histories of Christ by the other evangelists; and no less striking and peculiar is the title under which he announces him