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Word of God Quotes
These are quotes concerning the Word of God—whether referring to Christ himself, the Scriptures, or the things God has spoken—from throughout Church History.
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Leningrad Codex of the Hebrew Scriptures
Ignatius, A.D. 110
The divine prophets lived according to Christ Jesus. They were persecuted on this account as well, since they were inspired by his grace to fully convince the unbelieving that there is one God who has manifested himself by Jesus Christ his Son, who is his eternal Word. (Letter to the Magnesians 8)
Anonymous, Letter to Diognetus, A.D. 80 - 130
For who that is rightly taught and begotten by the loving Word, would not seek to learn accurately the things which have been clearly shown by the Word to his disciples. To them the Word was manifested and revealed those things, speaking plainly, not understood indeed by the unbelieving, but conversing with the disciples, who, being esteemed faithful by Him, acquired a knowledge of the mysteries of the Father? For this reason [the Father] sent the Word, that he might be revealed to the world ... This is he who was from the beginning, who appeared as if new, and was found old, and yet who is ever born afresh in the hearts of the saints. This is he who, being from everlasting, is today called the Son, through whom the Church is enriched, and grace, widely spread, increases in the saints, furnishing understanding, revealing mysteries, announcing times, rejoicing over the faithful, giving to those that seek, by whom the limits of faith are not broken through, nor the boundaries set by the fathers passed over. Then the fear of the law is chanted, and the grace of the prophets is known, and the faith of the Gospels is established, and the tradition of the apostles is preserved, and the grace of the church exults; which grace if you grieve not, you shall know those things which the Word teaches, by whom he wills, and when he pleases. For whatever things we are moved to utter by the will of the Word commanding us, we communicate to you with pains, and from a love of the things that have been revealed to us. (Letter to Diognetus 11)
Pseudo-Barnabas, A.D. 120 - 130
You shall not let the Word of God issue from your lips with any kind of impurity. … You shall tremble at the words which you hear. (Letter of Barnabas 19)
Justin Martyr, c. A.D. 150
If we assert that the Word of God was born of God in a unique way, different from ordinary birth, let this … be no extraordinary thing to you who say that Mercury is the angelic word of God. (First Apology 22)
From Jerusalem men went out into the world, twelve in number—and these illiterate and without speaking ability—but by the power of God they proclaimed to every race of man that they were sent by Christ to teach to all the Word of God. (First Apology 39)
We have been taught that Christ is the first-born of God, and we have declared above that he is the Word of whom every race of men were partakers; and those who lived reasonably [Gr. meta logou, after or according to reason/word] are Christians, even though they have been thought atheists. (First Apology 46)
The Jews and Samaritans, [though] they had the Word of God delivered to them by the prophets and always expected the Christ, did not recognize him when he came, except some few, of whom the Spirit of Prophecy, by Isaiah, had predicted that they would be saved. (First Apology 53)
Now the Word of God is his Son, as we have said before. And he is called Angel and Apostle, for he declares whatever we ought to know and is sent forth to declare whatever is revealed. As our Lord himself says, "He that hears me hears him that sent me" [Luke 10:16]. (First Apology 59)
Those who affirm that the Son is the Father are proven neither to be acquainted with the Father nor to know that the Father has a Son. The Son, being the first-begotten Word of God, is God. (First Apology 63).
Theophilus of Antioch, A.D. 168
You will say ... to me: "You said that God cannot to be contained in one place; how do you now say that he walked in Paradise?" ...
Hear what I say: The God and Father of all truly cannot be contained, and is not found, in a place ... but his Word,
through whom he made all things, being his power and his wisdom, assuming the person of the Father and Lord of all, went to the garden in the person of God and conversed with Adam.
For the divine writing itself teaches us that Adam said that he had heard the voice. What else is this voice but the Word of God, who is also his Son? [He is] not [a son] in the way the poets and writers of myths speak of sons of gods begotten from intercourse, but as truth expounds, the Word, who always exists, residing within the heart of God. For before anything came into being [God] had him as a counselor, being his own mind and thought.
But when God wished to make all that he determined, he begot this Word, uttered, the firstborn of all creation, not himself being emptied of the Word [or Reason], but having begotten Reason, and always conversing with his Reason.
And this is what the holy writings teach us, as well as all the Spirit-bearing men, one of whom, John, says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God" [Jn. 1:1], showing that at first God was alone, and the Word in him. Then he says, "The Word was God; all things came into existence through him, and apart from him not one thing came into existence."
The Word, then, being God, and being naturally produced from God, then whenever the Father of the universe wills, he sends him anywhere, and he is both heard and seen, being sent by Him, and is found in a place. (To Autolycus II:22)
Irenaeus, c. A.D. 185
For the Maker of all things, the Word of God, who from the beginning formed man, performed all kinds of healing on his handiwork when he found it impaired by wickedness. (Against Heresies V:12:6)
That the Word of God forms us in the womb, he says to Jeremiah, "Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, and before you came out of the belly, I sanctified you and appointed you a prophet among the nations" [Jer. 1:5]. … We are formed by the Word in the womb. This very same Word formed the visual power in him who had been blind from birth [Jn. 9:1ff], showing openly who it is that forms us in secret. (Against Heresies V:15:3)
Clement of Alexandria, c. A.D. 190
Thus in many ways the Word is figuratively described, as meat, flesh, food, bread, blood, and milk. The Lord is all these, to give enjoyment to us who have believed on Him. … In his own Spirit he says he will deck the body of the Word; as certainly by his own Spirit he will nourish those who hunger for the Word.
And that the blood is the Word is testified by the blood of Abel, the righteous interceding with God. For the blood would never have uttered a voice, had it not been regarded as the Word. … The blood of old that interceded, intercedes in the place of the new blood. And the blood that is the Word cries to God, since it intimated that the Word was to suffer. (Instructor I:6)
I think it's important to point out in this following quote how many verses of Scripture we understand to refer to the Bible that the early Christians understood to refer to Christ. Here the verse is 1 Pet. 2:2, which says that we should desire the spiritual milk of the Word as newborn babes. To them this was the nourishment Christ brings, not studying easy parts of the Bible, as most of us understand it.
For the Word blended with love at once cures our passions and cleanses our sins. The saying, "Sweeter than honey flowed the stream of speech" [Iliad I:248], seems to me to have been spoken of the Word, who is honey. And prophecy often extols him as "above honey and the honeycomb" [Ps. 19:10]. …
Further, many also use the fat of milk, called butter, for the lamp, plainly indicating by this enigma the abundant anointing of the Word, since it is he alone who nourishes the infants, makes them grow, and enlightens them. (The Instructor I:6)
This was a sign to [the Jews leaving entering Canaan], when wandering had trained them, and they entered their rest. It represents the great cluster, the Word, bruised for us. For the blood of the grape—that is, the Word—desired to be mixed with water, as his blood is mingled with salvation. (The Instructor II:2)
The Word can never leave those who belong to Him, not even if we are asleep. He ought to be invited even to our sleep. For perfect wisdom, which is knowledge of things divine and human, and which includes all that relates to the oversight of the flock of men, becomes, in reference to life, art. Therefore, while we live it is constantly with us, always accomplishing its own proper work, the product of which is a good life. (The Instructor II:2)
Tertullian, c. A.D. 200
Before all things God was alone … He was alone because there was nothing external to him except himself. Yet even then he was not alone,for he had with him that which he possessed in himself, that is to say, his own Reason. [Which is how Tertullian translates the Greek "Logos"] (Against Praxeas 5)
God is rational, and Reason was first in him … This Reason was his own thought, which the Greeks call Logos, by which term we also designate Word [Tertullian is writing in Latin and used the word "Sermo"], and therefore it is now usual with our people, owing to the simple translation of [Logos] to say that the Word was in the beginning with God, even though it would be more suitable to regard Reason as the more ancient. God did not have Word from the beginning, but he had Reason even before the beginning. Word itself consists of Reason, which it thus proves to have been the first to exist as being its own substance. Not that this distinction is of any practical importance.
[Are you looking for a meaning to all that? The basic premise is that the Logos existed in the beginning with God, and Tertullian has some philosophical reasons for wanting to translate that as Reason rather than Word, even though Word is more common] (Against Praxeas 5)
Although God had not sent out his Word, he still had him within himself … as he silently planned and arranged within himself everything which he was afterwards to utter through his Word. (Against Praxeas 5)
Observe, then, that when you are silently conversing with yourself, this very process is carried on within you by your reason, which meets you with a word at every movement of your thought … Whatever you think, there is a word … You must speak it in your mind …
Thus, in a certain sense, the word is a second person within you, through which in thinking you utter speech … The word is itself a different thing from yourself. Now how much more fully is all this transacted in God, whose image and likeness you are? (Against Praxeas 5)
Scripture Quotes About the Word of God
My hope is that the quotes above help give us better insight into the Scriptures below. We are, after all, many more centuries removed from the apostles than those who gave the quotes above. All references below are from the World English Bible (WEB), which is the only modern translation I know of that is in the public domain (free to copy for any use).
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 through him. Without him was not anything made that has been made. (John 1:1-3)
By faith, we understand that the universe has been framed by the word of God, so that what is seen has not been made out of things which are visible. (Heb. 11:3, WEB)
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