It’s interesting to discuss the Bible with you because I learn something new from every encounter. When Nature of the Beat first commented on this thread about the distinction between Jesus Christ as the Word of God and the Bible as the Word of God, it threw me for a loop because while I knew this argument to be not right theologically I had no way to back up that intuition from the Scriptures itself. Your reference to Pastor Zandh likewise puts forward this same claim about the difference between the Scripture and Jesus Christ, which I can now properly articulate as to why this is a false distinction.
As to basic definitions, we have the following:
- God – the three persons of the Trinity: God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son and the Holy Spirit.
- The Word of God – that which God has spoken.
- The Scriptures – which can be defined as the permanent written record of God’s Word. Scripture is sacred because of the content it records and in this sense God’s Word and Scripture can be rightly understood as one and the same. (On this point we may disagree because you seem to emphasise more the human instruments the Holy Spirit inspired to write the books of the Bible and I tend to focus more on the divine inspiration than on the human agents.)
In John 10:34–36, Jesus is arguing with the Pharisees and He makes it clear that He makes no distinction between the Scriptures and the Word of God.
Additionally to this, if you read the passage Zahnd is quoting from in John 5:37–47, what you find is that Jesus is stating a simple truth. Salvation does not come from the Law but from believing God and in the One whom He has sent – Jesus Christ. He further states that the Law of Moses which the Jews had misattributed as providing salvation testified of Him as savior.
This is not a refutation of ‘Biblicism’ or some other form of idolizing the Scripture, but it is instead a statement about where in God’s Word eternal life is to be found. If I want to know about healing, then I must study the Scriptures about healing and not about wealth and finances. Likewise if you want to find eternal life you need to put your hope in Jesus and not in the keeping of the Law. Both the Law of Moses and the hope of salvation are found in the Word of God, but only the latter of the two saves.
Next we come to two passages from Hebrews:
Hebrews 1:1–2: God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.
Hebrews 4:12–13 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.
These pose a spiritual mystery as here God and the Word of God are considered as one and the same thing. Respectively, Jesus and the words God spoke are one and the same, and the Word of God and ‘Him with whom we have to do’ are one and the same.
Combined with the creation account in Genesis 1 & 2 which states that God spoke creation into being, John 1 which speaks about the Word made flesh and Proverbs 3:19–20 which equates Jesus Christ with wisdom, the only conclusion that makes sense is that just as Jesus is one with the Father so God and the Word of God (including the written record found in the Bible) are One. All I can do is believe and wonder.
Matthew Henry’s commentary on John chapter 1 was very helpful, and it might be profitable for you to read as well.