These words from the Gospel of John in the New Testament may be familiar to all who have read and studied the Word. Swedenborg explains how it can be possible that God is the Word in his treatise on the Holy Scripture, and that the “Word” here means the Lord as to Divine truth, in which alone there is life and there is light.
From Swedenborg's Doctrine of the Sacred Scripture, Numbers 1–4:
1. It is in everybody's mouth that the Word is from God, is Divinely inspired, and is therefore holy; and yet hitherto no one has known wherein it is Divine. For in the letter the Word appears like a common writing, in a style that is strange, and neither so sublime nor so brilliant as apparently are the writings of the day. For this reason a man who worships nature as God, or in preference to God, and who consequently thinks from himself and what is proper to himself, and not from heaven from the Lord, may easily fall into error in respect to the Word, and into contempt for it, and while reading it may say to himself, What is this? What is that? Can this be Divine? Could God, whose wisdom is infinite, speak in this manner? Wherein consists its holiness, and whence comes its holiness, except from religious feeling and its consequent persuasion?
2. But he who thinks in this way does not consider that Jehovah Himself, the God of heaven and earth, spoke the Word through Moses and the prophets, and that it must therefore be Divine truth itself, for what Jehovah Himself speaks can be nothing else. Nor does he consider that the Lord, who is the same as Jehovah, spoke the Word that is in the Gospels, much of it with His own mouth, and the rest from the spirit of His mouth, which is the Holy Spirit. This is why, as He Himself says, there is Life in His words, that He is the Light which enlightens, and that He is the Truth.
3. ....The style of the Word is such that there is holiness in every sentence, and in every word, and in some places in even the very letters. This is why the Word conjoins man with the Lord, and opens heaven. ... It follows that the man who reads [the Word] from the Lord, and not from himself alone, is filled by it with the good of love and the truths of wisdom; his will with the good of love, and his understanding with the truths of wisdom. In this way man has life by means of the Word.
4. Therefore in order to remove all doubt as to such being the character of the Word, the Lord has revealed to me the Word’s internal sense. In its essence this sense is spiritual, and in relation to the external sense, which is natural, is as soul is to body. This sense is the spirit which gives life to the letter; it can therefore bear witness to the divinity and holiness of the Word, and convince even the natural man, if he is willing to be convinced.
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The Holy Scripture is Divine Truth
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