My editor, Andrea, shared this article with me. Loved this section! Eugene Peterson has a way of opening eyes to a new way of thinking.
An excerpt from What are Writers Good For? by Eugene Peterson
It is a huge irony that Jesus, whose words create and form our lives, never wrote a word. At least not a word that was ever preserved. Those words he wrote in Jerusalem dirt using his finger for a pencil disappeared in the next rain shower. Notwithstanding, we know Jesus as a man of words. He is, after all, the Word made flesh.
But he didn’t write. He spoke. He never had a publisher, never gave a book signing, never dipped pen in an ink bottle. Language for Jesus was exclusively a matter of voice: ―he spoke and it came to be (Ps. 33:9).
His words, of course, did get written. And published. Probably no single person’s words have been reproduced in print in as many handwritten pages and printed books as the words of Jesus.
Still, it is important to keep that original oral quality in mind, the living voice of Jesus, the spoken words that came from his mouth and entered the lives of men and women through listening ears and believing hearts. Written words, important as they are, are a giant step removed from the speaking voice. A determined effort must be made to hear the speaking voice and listen to it, not just look at and study the written word.
Language is primarily a means of revelation, both for God and for us. Using words, God reveals himself to us. Using words we reveal ourselves to God and to one another. By means of language, the cycle of speaking and listening, both God and his Word-created men and women are able to reveal vast interiors otherwise inaccessible to us.
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