THE HOLY SCRIPTURE OR WORD IS
DIVINE TRUTH ITSELF
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.*  That the words which the Lord Himself spoke in the Gospels are Life, is declared in John:
The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life (John 6:63).
Jesus said to the woman at Jacob's well, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give Me to drink, thou wouldest have asked of Him, and He would have given thee living water. Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst, but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into eternal life (John 4:6, 10, 14).
"Jacob's well" signifies the Word, as also in Deut. 33:28, for which reason the Lord sat there and conversed with the woman. And "water" signifies the truth that is in the Word.
 Again in John:
If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink. He that believeth Me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water (John 7:37-38).
Peter said unto Jesus, Thou hast the words of eternal life (John 6:68).
And therefore the Lord says in Mark:
Heaven and earth shall pass away; but My words shall not pass away (Mark 13:31).
The reason the Lord's words are "Life" is that He Himself is the "Life" and the "Truth," as He teaches in John:
I am the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6).
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word; in Him was life; and the life was the light of men (John 1:1, 4.)
"The Word" here means the Lord as to Divine truth, in which alone there is life and there is light.  It is on this account that the Word, which is from the Lord and which is the Lord, is called
A fountain of living waters (Jer. 2:13; 17:13; 31:9).
A fountain of salvation (Isa. 12:3).
A fountain (Zech. 13:1).
A river of the water of life (Rev. 22:1).
And it is said that
The Lamb that is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters (Rev. 7:17).
Besides other passages where the Word is called the "sanctuary" and the "Tabernacle" in which the Lord dwells with man. * That Jehovah Himself spoke the word through the prophets, has been shown in THE DOCTRINE OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CONCERNING THE LORD (n. 52, 53).
3. But the natural man cannot be persuaded by these considerations to believe that the Word is Divine truth itself wherein are Divine wisdom and Divine life; for he judges it by its style, and in this they do not appear. Yet the style of the Word is the Divine style itself, with which no other style, however sublime and excellent it may seem, is at all to be compared; for every other style is as darkness is to light. 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. From the Lord proceed two things: Divine love, and Divine wisdom (or, what is the same, Divine good, and Divine truth, for Divine good is of His Divine love, and Divine truth is of His Divine wisdom), and in its essence the Word is both of these; and as it conjoins man with the Lord, and opens heaven, it follows that the man who reads it 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.
(Doctrine of Holy Scripture, 1 - 4)
→ International Headquarters:
Huntingdon Valley, PA U.S.A.
- Visit Us →
- Email Us →
- Mail Us →
» The Seven Days of Creation
Creation of the Natural World?
Spiritual Creation of Man?
» Emanuel Swedenborg
| || → → → → → |
» Nova Hierosolyma 101
→ Join our introductory class ←
about the beliefs of
The Lord's New Church Which is
» Swedenborg Library