The Bible

The Language of the Bible

"It is done! I am the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end."

Revelation 21:6

From the opening words of the Bible (Revised Standard Version) to its closing 'Amen,' the power of language is highlighted as a central aspect of the text. Among the many narrators and across both Old and New Testaments remain the words of God. Necessary to receive these words and therefore intrinsically tied in a kind of listening covenant, are God's followers. The words of God become speech acts bearing awesome powers. Perhaps the greatest of these is the power to create. Moments of creation provide especially important forays into the world of words. The notion that a speech can not only be but make concrete reality is one of the Bible's strongest selling points. After all, the Bible is a linguistic vehicle for spirituality, a space where words must create realities of their own, albeit less concrete than the world itself. In the narrative path of the Bible, the focus on God's words moves away from their power to create concrete objects. This is replaced by an intense attention to the words themselves, to the beauty of hearing them spoken, and the importance of finding salvation through them....

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