Thursday, July 21, 2011


"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Romans 10:17 King James version.

This verse tells us that faith comes through hearing the Bible read. Right? The Bible is the word of God. Right? So faith comes by hearing the Bible. Let's look deeper.

It has become popular in Christian circles to refer to the Bible as "The Word," or "The Word of God." Although it is true that all scripture is divinely inspired (2 Timothy 3:16), the Bible refers to itself as "the Scriptures" (Matthew 21:13, Matthew 21:42, Matthew 22:29, Matthew 26:54, Matthew 26:56, Mark 12:10, Mark 12:24, Luke 4:21, Luke 22:37, Luke 24:45, Romans 16:26, etc.) and refers to Jesus as "The Word of God."(John 1:1, 14, Rom 10:8)
This may seem like a minor semantic difference, but it can cause us to have misguided understandings of scripture verses, the verse above being one example.

Updated understanding of original Bible manuscripts and translations have lead us to understand that the word "God" in the above verse in the original Greek is better translated as "Christ."

(From External evidence strongly favors the reading “Christ” here. Internal evidence is also on its side, for the expression ῥῆμα Χριστοῦ (rJhma Cristou) occurs nowhere else in the NT; thus scribes would be prone to change it to a known expression. tn The genitive could be understood as either subjective (“Christ does the speaking”) or objective (“Christ is spoken about”), but the latter is more likely here.)

So let's look at the verse in several updated translations;

New American Standard:
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.

New International Version:
Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.

So faith comes by hearing [what is told], and what is heard comes by the preaching [of the message that came from the lips] of Christ (the Messiah Himself).

New Living:
So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.

The Message:
The point is: Before you trust, you have to listen. But unless Christ's Word is preached, there's nothing to listen to.

The faith that is being described here is the faith that saves. We can have faith that a chair won't collapse when we sit on it, but that is not the context of Romans 10.

Romans 10:13-14
For everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord [invoking Him as Lord] will be saved.
But how are people to call upon Him Whom they have not believed [in Whom they have no faith, on Whom they have no reliance]?
And how are they to believe in Him [adhere to, trust in, and rely upon Him] of Whom they have never heard?
And how are they to hear without a preacher?

What can we conclude?
-The Bible is Divinely inspired.
-The Bible is referred to as "the scriptures" in the Bible
-Jesus is The Word of God
-(The King James version of the Bible is not the gold standard translation:-)
-The faith that saves comes from hearing the (Good News) message of and from Jesus Christ.
  • The Good News of, about, and from Jesus is shared
  • The Good News of, about, and from Jesus is heard
  • The Good News of, about, and from Jesus is believed
  • The believer calls on Jesus for salvation
  • The believer is saved

My faith is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness.