It is straightforward to establish that Christian Scriptures, now collated as the Bible cannot be referred to as The Word of God. In this respect, it is sufficient to cite Revelation 19:13, and John 1:1 (words in brackets mine in spirit of an amplified reading of Christian Scriptures).
And He (Jesus) is arrayed with a garment covered with blood, and His name is called, The Word of God (YLT).
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (YLT).
If The Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is The Word of God, it is impossible that Christian Scriptures, collated as ‘The Bible’ is The Word of God.
The Reconciliation from Jesus Himself?
You search the Scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness to me; yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life (John 5:39, RSV).
The Lord Jesus Christ affirms that Christian Scriptures does not coincide with His Person, only has character of ‘witness’ to the truth of His Person.
What then about all of the allusions to preaching of ‘the word of God’ in the Book of Acts of the Apostles? Do all of those allusions not imply that Christian Scriptures has character of the Word of God?
Well then, let us consider characterization of ‘the word of God’ in Acts 6:7, 12:24, 19:20, & Romans 1:16.
And the word of God did increase, and the number of the disciples (those believing in the good news of Jesus Christ) did multiply in Jerusalem exceedingly; a great multitude also of the priests were obedient to the faith (YLT).
And the word of God did grow and did multiply (YLT).
And many of those who had practised the curious (magic) arts, having brought books together, were burning them before all; and they reckoned together the prices of them, and found it five myriads of silverlings; so powerfully was the word of God increasing and prevailing (YLT).
For I am not ashamed of the good news (gospel) of the Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation to every one who is believing, both to Jew first, and to Greek (YLT).
It is clear from the Scriptures cited that the phrase, ‘word of God’ refers to the effect of the preaching of the good news of Christ on the lives of those who heard the gospel. In Acts 6:7, the qualitative effect — the effect on lives, is dichotomized from the effect on aggregate numbers of disciples. In Acts 19:20, it is the effect on the lives of the believers — the willingness to give up their magic arts — that is termed the effect of the word of God. The effect of the word of God refers then to transformation of believers into new creations in Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).
For concreteness, note that at timing of events recorded in either of Acts 6:7, or Acts 12:24, Apostle Paul having yet to preach to the Corinthians, with 1&2 Corinthians rightly regarded as his first set of Epistles (probably written while he taught for two years at Ephesus — Acts 19:10), and preceding all other Books of the New Testament, we know for a fact that none of New Testament Scriptures had yet to be written. It is unequivocal then that the phrase, ‘word of God’ could not have referred to New Testament Scriptures. It is of course normative that, having been applied to current events, it neither could have referred to Old Testament Scriptures.
The phrase, ‘word of God’ in the Book of Acts does not refer to either of New or Old Testament Scriptures; rather refers to the life changing effect of preaching of the gospel on believers.
Why then have, or do Christians refer to Christian Scriptures as the ‘word of God’?
Well, because just as man believed the earth to be flat, this because, inclusive of Aristotle, many wise men thought it so to be, but only until Galileo Galilei indisputably established fallacy of the belief, so also many Christians refer to Christian Scriptures as the word of God, simply because many great men of God, rather unconsciously, and honestly, coined an inappropriate terminology for the Bible.
It is true that the Bible contains words spoken directly by God, Father of The Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Note, however, that whenever people spoke for God, they made it very clear that they were speaking for God. Whenever also that it was God speaking directly, this was made eminently clear. In this respect, consider the following.
They are going down in the extremity of the city, and Samuel hath said unto Saul, “Say to the young man that he pass on before us (and he passeth on), and thou, stand at this time, and I cause thee to hear the word of God (1Samuel 9:27).”
And it cometh to pass on that night that a word of God is unto Nathan, saying (1Chronicles 17:3).
Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5).
Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said: “Who is this who darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me. “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding (Job 38:1–4).””
Jesus, therefore, said to them, “When ye may lift up the Son of Man then ye will know that I am he; and of myself I do nothing, but according as my Father did teach me, these things I speak (John 8:28).”
Whenever it is God speaking, or when man (for instance, The Lord Jesus Christ) declares explicitly that he or she speaks words received from God, Christian Scriptures explicitly declare this to be the case.
We arrive then at an important question, namely, “if Christian Scriptures is not ‘the word of God’, what exactly are Christian Scriptures?”
I already have shown that The Lord Jesus Christ asserts that Christian Scriptures testify to the reality of His Person, testify that He is The Way, The Truth, and The Life (John 14:6). Let us, however, also hear from Apostle Paul, about how exactly to regard Christian Scriptures.
And because from a babe the Holy Writings (Holy Scriptures) thou hast known, which are able to make thee wise — to salvation, through faith that is in Christ Jesus (2Timothy 3:15).
Christian Scriptures, equivalently Holy Writings, equivalently, Holy Scriptures, are written so you arrive at knowledge of truth, so you become wise as to how to receive salvation from God, Father of The Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Throughout the New Testament, the Old Testament is referred to as ‘Holy Writings’, or ‘Writings’, equivalently, ‘Scriptures’, not as the word of God. This is exactly the character of New Testament Scriptures — Holy Writings inspired or commissioned by The Holy Spirit, but penned by men just like you and I.
In this respect, note that none of the Apostles claimed to be teaching, in their Epistles, anything new. Rather, all asserted that they were enunciating, or elaborating on teachings of The Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, such that believers could arrive at a clear and deep understanding of the teachings.
It is matter of fact and spiritual reality that there is nothing taught in any of the Epistles that cannot be traced to teachings of Jesus Christ documented in the Gospels.
With the Gospels written by different men located in different regions of the world, and the Epistles penned by other men also located in different regions of the world, we arrive at the profundity that The Father of The Lord Jesus Christ practiced, way before emergence of any true science, the robustness of evidence from multiple sources:
who do not use exact same terminology;
who do not use exact same stories;
who teach the same principles from many different perspectives;
but who as yet say exactly the same things.
How do we arrive at consensus on any scientific claims today?
Well, many different persons examine the claims from many different perspectives. When the claim is robust to all of the different perspectives, we conclude that the scientific claim is robust.
Christian Scriptures, written by many different men, at different times, at different locations, with different perspectives all, in their core essence declare exactly the same thing, that God, Father of The Lord Jesus Christ loves man with an everlasting love; that if man seeks life, He has provided life to man in context of faith in Jesus Christ; and that the man who finds he is unable to treat his or her neighbor right, yet refuses help proferred by The Father condemns himself or herself, as such is deserving of judgment from The Father. Apostle John and The Lord Jesus Christ state these truths, respectively, as follows in 1John 5:11–12; and John 3:19.
And by the way, if every country in the world reserves the right to determine how people gain access into their country, how is it that man who is reasonable can demand that God allow man determine how to access life that only God can give?
And this is the testimony, that life age-during did God give to us, and this — the life — is in His Son; he who is having the Son, hath the life; he who is not having the Son of God — the life he hath not (YLT).
And this is the judgment, that the light hath come to the world, and men did love the darkness rather than the light, for their works were evil (they did not have any delight in giving up of their evil works) — YLT.
Christian Scriptures contain eternal truths that enable us be wise as to how to relate with God; how to arrive at fellowship with God; how to receive salvation from God; and how to reign in life with God. Christian Scriptures are Scriptures — Holy Writings — that are designed to ease our path to God.
We do not have to confer on the Bible that which it is not in order for it to be to us what The Father has designed it to be.
It is Jesus, our Lord and Savior who is ‘The Word of God’. The Life we desire is in Jesus, not in Christian Scriptures. Christian Scriptures are given to show us the path to Jesus. When we read Christian Scriptures, we receive life only because the Writings having been inspired or commissioned by The Father, The Father promises that those who read, and those who love to hear receive life and spirit that propels them on their journey towards Christ. If we do not arrive at relationship with Christ, all reading of Christian Scriptures turns out to be no more than a waste of time.
I pray that your reading of Christian Scriptures, and all of the life and spirit that you receive in the reading and hearing of Christian Scriptures propel you to Christ, in Jesus Name. Amen.