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Jesus is Sharper than any Two-Edged Sword

Posted by on Sep 20, 2010 in blog links, scripture | 2 comments

Jesus is Sharper than any Two-Edged Sword

Andy at “aBowden Blog” is translating through the Book of Hebrews – an admirable task. He recently published “Translation: Hebrews 4:1-14.” In a comment, I asked if he had determined what the referent was for the phrase “Word of God” in Hebrews 4:12. (Often, teachers use this phrase to refer to Scripture, which they say is “living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword.”)

This was Andy’s reply:

Glad you asked! I think that the Word refers to Christ. Several contextual clues lead me to that conclusion:

-Heb 1:2, the book’s introduction, informs us “In these last days God has spoken to us by one who is by very nature son.”

-Heb 2:1 continues the tought, expaining that since Christ is far superior to the angels, we should pay much closer attention to what we’ve heard. In other words, Christ is the content of what we’ve heard.

-The current verse under consideration (Heb 4:12) is part of a broad discourse which can be traced all the way back to ch. 3. In 3:6 the author exhorts that since Christ is our head, “Let us hold firmly with boldness onto our hope.” Then begins the references to Ps 95.

-In 4:12, the “aliveness” of the Word is emphasized. Elsewhere in Hebrews, the same emphasis is made regarding God. So in 3:12 we read, “See to it that there is not in any of you a wicked heart which turns from the living God,’ and in 10:31, “It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”

-The descriptions of the Word, particularly in 4:13, seem to fit the descriptions of Christ in Scripture. 4:12-13 tells us that nothing is hidden before the Word, everything becomes exposed, the Word has eyes, we give a final word before the Word; in Scripture we are told that it is God who knows the secrets of men’s hearts and we stand before him in judgment.

-4:14 provides an important indication for me. After speaking about the revealing, penetrating nature of the Word, the author immediatly states, “Having a great high priest who has gone into the heavens, Jesus the son of God, let us hold fast to our confession.” I hope I’m not pressing the point to far in concluding that the penetrating Word which reveals our sinful hearts is the very same one who intercedes for us as High Priest. Jesus: the revealing Word and the interceding priest.

I agree. The “Word of God” in Hebrews 4:12 refers to Jesus Christ (not Scripture) who is “living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword.”


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  1. 9-22-2010

    This is one of those things I always assumed, I always assumed “The Word of God” here was in reference to the Bible, never even thought to even think about it! Thanks for sharing, and this has really got me thinking about how much of the Bible I don’t even think to think about questioning my assumptions on…


  2. 9-22-2010


    When I learned this a few years back it made me go back through the entirety of the new covenant scriptures and analyze and evaluate each instance the term the Word of God was used to see if it was referring to written scriptures or the Logos, the living Word of God.


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