The Living Voice of God

“And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.”

John 10: 16

There is often a question as to how a person can reasonably hold to a standard sacred text. The question goes something like, “How do you know that the words in that Bible or Greek Text are indeed the words of God rather than the words of men?” It is a good question and one that needs to be answered. Now there are broader more theological answers we could give but if compelled to give a simple answer I would point them to John 10 as a whole and verse 16 in particular. How do we know that those words are God’s words? We hear the living voice of God in them. We hear the voice of our Shepherd.

Richard Muller says of the living voice of God,

viva vox: living or spoken word; also viva vox Dei: the living Word or speech of God.

The term applied to the Word of God spoken directly to Israel before the Mosaic inscription of the law and to the Word of God spoken directly to the prophet. In addition, because of the Reformers’ emphasis upon the power and efficacy of Scripture, the term was used by the Reformers and by the Protestant orthodox to indicate the reading aloud of vernacular Scriptures during worship.”

Richard Muller, Dictionary of Latin and Greek Theological Terms: Drawn Principally from Protestant Scholastic Theology, Term: viva vox.

In sum, the living voice of God was first the word of God spoken directly to Israel from Mt. Sinai and then it stood for the word of God spoken directly to the prophets. Then finally, the Reformed position is to speak of the living voice of God as reading aloud from the vernacular Scriptures. In our case here in the USA, that means the English Scriptures. That’s right folks the Reformers argued that the hearing the English Scriptures read in your ears counts as hearing the living voice of God. We’ve come a long way from the English Scriptures being the living voice of God to the English Scriptures becoming a multifarious, constantly changing, quasi-sacred text under the boot of whether or not it could be read by a 21st century child.

Leaving education aside and the fact that any country or church ruled by children is one under the judgement of God (Is. 3:4), the church used to hold that when the word of God was read in their language they were hearing the living voice of God. They were hearing the voice of the Good Shepherd. But for so many Christians this is not the case and if they admit that it is the case they admit it with a host of obligatory qualifications for fear that they will sound uneducated or too Christian.

The Scriptures tell us that Jesus’ sheep hear His voice and the Scriptures are the living voice of God. So again, you ask, How can you know that the KJV is the word of God and not of men? The answer is, I hear the living voice of my Shepherd in those words because those words are the living voice of God. And why is that so bad of a thing to believe about my Bible? It seems consistent with historical orthodoxy. Such a belief does not violate what the Bible says about the Bible and is consistent with my rational and affective experience. So why the burr in your saddle, naysayers? Let us believe this way and we admonish you to do the same.

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