Christian Philosophy & Culture

The Word (Logos) of God & The Holy Bible

The Holy Bible contains the Word of God. God speaks and man listens. This is the truth. This phrase, however, does not give the whole truth about the Revelation of God in the Holy Bible, because the Holy Bible describes God's salvific works for man and mankind, interprets them and offers their true meaning to men. The Holy Bible is "God's word" for our benefit. God acts and speaks in the Holy Bible and we do not just listen but participate in what God does for us.

God's salvific works and their interpretation are held for our benefit within the Liturgy. This is the will of God. Christian worship is incomprehensible outside the framework of God's Last Will and Testament with us. God's Last Will and Testament is a historical fact which is repeated in the Liturgy with the "anamnisis" (remembrance) and correctly interpreted by the Readings and the Homily. The Divine Eucharist is the core of this "anamnisis" (remembrance). The liturgical or other Readings aim at interpreting the meaning of the Liturgy or the Sacraments, that is of the salvific acts of God for us, in the Eucharist, Baptism, Marriage, Ordination and others.

The Liturgy and the Holy Bible are, therefore, inextricably linked. We cannot properly understand the one without the other. Furthermore, the study of the Holy Bible outside the framework of the salvific mystery taking place during the Liturgy is possible to transform the Word of God into the word of man. The Word of God has one direction: from God to man or mankind, while the word of man is directed from one man to the other. The word of man is the word of the world and the philosophers and is self-contained and self-evident. The Word of God is based on the power of God and is not self-contained and self-evident as the word of man appears to be. The word of man is our word, while the Word of God is the Word that God Himself wants to give to men. The Word of God is not based on man, but on the one who gives the word to men. The Word of God is not what we are spiritually or politically or socially, but what we are asked to be. It is an invitation for repentance and transformation. The Word of God judges man and puts man under judgment. Thus man comes into communion with God through the word. There is unity during the incarnation of Logos in Christ who is the path, the life and the truth. Man does not become the Truth through the Word of God but approaches or better comes into communion and is united with the truth. Furthermore, the Word of God is not a timeless truth for man outside the borders of common reality, but it is the taking of a stand within history and the specific circumstances and needs of man. The Word of God, therefore, is incarnated in the specific states of men within the Church. Man accepts or rejects the word. When man rejects the word, then they fall under another "master", because they lose their freedom. When man accepts the word, they participate in the truth. Origenes presents the Holy Bible as the incarnated Word of God. It approaches man not only as illumination but as power as well ("for the kingdom of God is not in word but in power" 1 Corinthians 4:20 ); it brings revolution and not only peace.

The Revelation of God is concluded in history and develops around a centre which illuminates it. From Jesus Christ and His work, the whole history of Divine Revelation is summarised in God's experience as the principle of the world and human history that loves, saves and leads mankind to its historical perfection despite the fact that the illogical, failure, despair, perversion and evanescence exist in men's lives and peoples' histories. This salvific content is concisely performed by the Divine Eucharist. History and Eucharist are inextricably linked.

The Revelation of God's truth is not only the meaningful sight of reality acquired by history against the lying, corruption and death but the realisation of the ability to realise this meaning by conquering the negative powers of life within faith. The Revelation is essentially the creation of a new possibility for life for man or mankind. This possibility is not characterised only as a victory over the negative elements of life brought forward by a single person, completely independent from the others - that is completely independent from human relations- but its main aim is the relations themselves and the negative conditions of these relations in order to form a true "communion" of men. The revelation is a "communion" in the Eucharist. The new sight of God in the Old Testament, the disclosure of the God-Man personality of Jesus Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit in the Church are not just simple pedagogical "types", standards and examples for teaching the posterior generations, but milestones for new spiritual creations, new sources of power for the life of the world. Revelation - history- salvation are inextricably related. The salvation of mankind in history is a mysterious process and procedure, a live continuation of the past into to the present within the Sacrament of the Eucharist. Within this Sacrament of continuation, the faithful can experience the initial event of revelation since the boundaries between the past and the present are essentially abolished. The legacy of the revealed truth means that man can participate and be part of the communion in seeing the reality that makes someone a member of new mankind, of the " new creation". "For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power" (1 Corinthians 4:20 ). The Gift of God for the man, who has been created "in the image" of God but bears the burden of any kind of weaknesses, is not only the truth itself. The gift is completed with the preservation of the truth within tradition, mainly the Eucharist. In the same way, the "familiarization" of all the faithful with the truth within faith is a gift and present of the Holy Spirit.

If we take into consideration the specific historical conditions at the time when Irenaeus wrote, we can say that he sees this tradition as the ability of the Church to interpret the revealing fact or the truth through revelation included in the holy texts in a unified way. The Truth is received, kept and preached or delivered. The unity of the Church is possible due to the power of tradition. The interpretative principle of the Church is not found in biblical texts but in the conditions that created, preserved, recorded and recognized them, that is, within the continuation of the Eucharist communion.

Recapitulating we could say the following: a) the truth in theology aims at the completion of man and human community; b) while man seeks the truth, the truth essentially encounters man not so much in the dimension of the intellect but in the depths of the complex character of historical experience in which man and human community, starting from this encounter and upon experiencing the Eucharist communion, are guided to discovering their "over-historical" dimension; c) The truth, as an encounter from the meaning and as a path towards this meaning, is "tradition" that is the experience, under certain conditions, of the mystery of the creative love of God leading to completion within the experience of God's people as they follow the path towards their historical completion. The truth, as an encounter from God and a path leading to Him, needs interpretation.