The bible is often called the Word. Isaiah chapter 55 verse 11 attests to this. It reads, ''So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.'' In everyday use, a word is usually a combination or a collection of letters in a way that makes sense. Generally, there are certain basic facts that remain unchanged concerning any word or any collection of words. In the first place, a word usually always has a source. Secondly, there must also have been a reason for uttering it. Thirdly, in almost all cases, every word has a message embedded in it. Fourthly, a word is also always addressed to some person or persons.
As the Word, the bible has only one acknowledged origin or source, according to the writers of the sixty-six books that make up the book. For example, John, the apostle, declared in the first chapter of his book: 'In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.' Bible writers therefore continued to insist, some at the risk of being executed, that it definitely was God who inspired them to write what they wrote. It is on record that, while stressing this point, Jeremiah, the great Jewish prophet who authored the 24th book of the bible, was subjected to the most horrific humiliations. Also, considering the contents of the bible, it is evident that it is addressed to the human race. In Genesis chapter 1, for instance, the God of the bible spoke to Adam and Eve, and by implication, to their posterity. Verse 28 states, 'Then God blessed them, and God said to them, ''Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.''
Though, on the face of it, one could say that the bible was a message meant only for Israel and that others need not concern themselves with its contents. However, bible students will recall that God did promise Abraham in the book of Genesis that through him all Mankind
would be blessed. Therefore, the children of Israel were simply a representative audience, no more no less. Being the representatives of mankind, the Word was first addressed to them.
The Almighty, through the bible, decided to reach out to Israel so that through Israel He could reach out to the whole world. It must not be forgotten that the first Christians were all Jews.
The main reason why God uttered the Word was so that He could have a relationship with man. It must be recalled that the originally perfect relationship between God and man was soured in the garden of Eden when man sinned. Therefore, in reaching out to mankind through the bible, God hopes to bring mankind back to Himself. However, as God would not gate-crash into man's life, there also has to be a positive response from man. Hence, apart from being God's way of communicating with mankind, the bible is also His sole means of eliciting the right response from man.
Finally, the message embedded in the Word is a message of love, that is, God's love for man. ''I have loved you with an everlasting love,'' He said, through prophet Jeremiah. In fact, it would not be out of place to describe the bible as God's love letter to mankind. Again, the fact that the bible is called the Word, not a Word, indicates that it is unique, being the only one of its kind. Additionally, being referred to in the singular means that it is only one. The God who inspired Isaiah was the same God who inspired Paul, the apostle, to write his epistles. Therefore, no part of the bible is supposed to be used out of context as no part of it can be complete without the other parts.