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I heard that there are difference among "Word", "word" and "Doctrine". Please notice "Word" has a capital letter "W".

I feel that sometimes "word" and "Word" are used mixedly in the Bible.

For example:

2 Timothy 4:2 (NIV)
Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction.

Titus 1:3 (NIV)
and at his appointed season he brought his word to light through the preaching entrusted to me by the command of God our Savior,

In above verses, one uses "Word", the other uses "word". Are they same? The second "word" might be equal to "Doctrine", just guess.

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migrated from Feb 25 '14 at 21:19

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Welcome to Biblical Hermeneutics Stack Exchange! Be sure to take our site tour to learn more about us. We're a little different from other sites. Please give sources for who are making these claims. Saying, "some say...", "most think..." means nothing without any examples of anyone who actually think that. Where did you hear that there is a difference between these? – Dan Feb 25 '14 at 22:53
Hi, I heard it from a facebook group. A guy who is the student in Westminster Theological Seminary (PA) said in a discussion. He is a Chinese, so sorry about I can't quote the context. And I do agree with him. Because in Chinese Bible, the words "Word" and "word" are translated differently. I want to experts confirm it. – Love Feb 26 '14 at 0:54
thanks for the context. – Dan Feb 26 '14 at 20:21
The same lower-case W and upper-case W apply as well to scripture, scriptures, Scripture, and Scriptures. Usually, the upper-case Scripture(s) is preceded by the article "the" and the word denotes the entire Bible (or perhaps the entire Old Testament). When we write "There is a scripture, I believe, in Exodus, chapter 21 where . . .," a lower-case S is fine. The same with "There are a number of scriptures which agree with this answer; for example, . . .." Second Timothy 4:2 uses the Word to refer to the whole of Scripture, whereas many more verses, esp. in Paul's letters, use the lower-case W. – rhetorician Mar 2 '14 at 1:59
There is no difference between Word and word in the Bible. They are both the English translation of the Greek word logos. And the Bible was written before the invention of lowercase letters, so everything was written in all caps. – Bruce Alderman Mar 5 at 16:29

1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

2 Tim 4:2 and Titus 1:3 both have τὸν λόγον (ton logon) in Greek. The decision whether to caplitalize or not is wholly down to the instinct of the editors of that particular translation.

It is worth noting, too, that this is a "luxury" of English: not every language system as the same lower-, upper-case distinctions that modern English does.

What the broader "semantic" content of "word" might be in any case is framed and determined by context, and needs to be discerned and understood on a case-by-case basis.

(Perhaps this is more a "comment" than an "answer" - if so, it can be moved!)

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John 1:1 also has "Word", it means "logos". So how about "word"? – Love Feb 26 '14 at 15:56
it is sort of half answer plus half comment. – Love Feb 27 '14 at 14:18
@Love : well, the thing is, most of these examples have logos as the Greek underlying the English "W/word". (What logos actually "means" is another matter!) The point for your question is that the semantic signal given by English capital (or not) is a matter of interpretation. Have you made any attempts to look at other translations, or a commentary or two, to see how the differences you're interested play out? Look at how the "word"-slot is filled in 2 Tim 4:2 or Titus 1:3 in the translations (several!) provided at those links. – Davïd Feb 27 '14 at 15:28

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