The Word of God can be identified as two things. The Word of God is another name for the Bible comprising the Old and New Testament, but the Word of God, or the Word of the Lord, is also an individual being. The Word of God appears all through the Old - and especially the New - Testaments. Who is "The Word of God?" (Picture credit to: Urban Asprines, Oneil)
The Greek word logos, (λóγος) which means "word", "discourse" or "reason" is also used to identify this being. So who is the logos, the Word of God? John 1:1-5 gives us the answer we seek. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and that life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it."
John 1:14, 17-18 continues, "The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son who came from the Father, full of grace and truth... For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made Him known." Who is the Logos, the Word of God? Jesus Christ, the Messiah is the Word of God.
Often in the Hebrew Bible, we read, for example, "Then the word of the Lord came to Jehu son of Hanani concerning Baasha," (1st Kings 16:1) "Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite." (1st Kings 21:28) The phrase "the word of the Lord" appears all throughout the Old and New Testament. More often than not, the phrase simply means that God was conveying a message through Word to someone, but there are certain instances where it appears that the Word of God in the Hebrew Bible is a being.
Since John identified the Word of the Lord as Jesus, it is easy to see that He truly did appear quite often in the Hebrew Bible. In previous entries we have identified the pre-incarnate appearances of Jesus as the "angel of the Lord" ("angel" means messenger, in some cases), and have noted that Jesus is in much prophecy, the prophecies of Isaiah are one example. (See entries: "Who Is 'The Angel of the Lord?'", "The Holy Trinity (Part Two)")
|"Logos" is Greek for "Word," "Reason," or "Discourse."|
One such appearance "In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worship him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed." (Daniel 7:13-14)
Put succinctly as possible, the Son of Man is God the Son: Jesus. Psalm 33:6, 9 says, "By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, their starry host by the breath of His mouth... For He spoke, and it came to be; He commanded, and it stood firm." The Greek logos is again used for "word." Many scholars have noted just how close the Greek for breath, pneuma, and logos indicate a personality.
Luke 1:2 says, "just as those who from the beginning [arche] were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us." (ESV) Note again the usage of logos - word. Luke is describing the beginning - and the Word. 1st John 1:1conveys, "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen our eyes, which we have looked at our hands have touched - this we proclaim concerning the Word of life." (NIV)
Once again, John goes on to note that Jesus is just that: the Word of life. Jesus is the Logos. We know that Jesus is the Creator. Hebrews 1:1-3 tells us, "In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, and through whom also He made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven."
Here, the author of Hebrews is conveying that the Word is "powerful." Whether it be God's spoken Word, or Logos (Jesus Christ), the Word is powerful. In fact, we read in Hebrews 4:12 that "the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." In other words, God's Word - the Bible, is "alive and active." It has power, it has substance. Speaking the Word of God has purpose and power.
Ephesians 6:17 confirms this, "Take the... sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." Also note that Colossians 1:15-17 says, "The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together." Jesus is the Creator, as aforementioned.
Jesus himself says, "Very truly I tell you... before Abraham was born, I AM!" (John 8:58) This was a significant claim that someone could make. Why? In the Hebrew Bible, the Angel of the Lord (or rather, the Messenger of the Lord) appears to Moses in the Burning Bush. (Exodus 3) The messenger declared, "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob." (Exodus 3:6) Here, this is significant because the Angel of the Lord is actually claiming to be God.
In Luke 20:37, Jesus (who we know is also God) confirms the historicity of this event. Now, Exodus 3:13 conveys, "Moses said to God, 'Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, 'What is his name?' Then what shall I tell them?' God said to Moses, 'I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I AM has sent me to you.'" So when Jesus claims, "...before Abraham was born, I AM!" (John 8:58), Jesus is claiming to be the messenger of the Lord, and the messenger of the Lord claimed to be God!
There are many other important things to note that give evidence and credence to the angel of the Lord being the pre-incarnate appearances of Jesus on Earth, as well as the Commander of the Lord's Army (Joshua 5:13-15), appearing to protect three Israelites who had been thrown into the furnace (Daniel 3:25), appearing to speak with Sampson's parents (Judges 13) and to inform Gideon that he was to defeat the Midianites (Judges 6), and other important things.
Jesus, as the "angel" of the Lord (not an angel Himself, but a messenger, we have established His identity as Logos and Creator) also appears to Hagar in the desert (Genesis 16), Jesus spoke to Abraham when Abraham was tested via Isaac (Genesis 22), He appears in the account of Balaam and the donkey (Numbers 22:21-41), He appeared to Israel at Bokim ca. 1380 (Judges 2:1-4) and he also appears to the prophet Zechariah several times. (Zechariah 1:9-21; 3:1-10; etc)
God spoke the universe into existence. "Let there be light," and there was light. (Genesis 1:3) By the Word of the Lord, when God spoke, He created. God spoke, the Spirit acted, and the Son created. Jesus, the Word, Created. Justin Martyr, an early apologist (ca. 150 AD) argued, "I shall give you another testimony, my friends, from the Scriptures, that God begot before all creatures a Beginning, [who was] a certain rational power [proceeding] from Himself, who is called by the Holy Spirit, now the Glory of the Lord, now the Son, again Wisdom, again an Angel, then God, and then Lord and Logos."
So who is the Word of God? Jesus is the Word of God. Jesus is the Logos. God's self-expression with the Greek concept of "reason" (logos) behind everything is clearly evident in this. Jesus had to become incarnate, or rather, to use John's words, Jesus "became flesh" (John 1:14), "And being found in human appearance as a human being, He humbled himself by becoming obedient to death - even death on a cross!" (Philippians 2:8).
 Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho, Chapter 61.