This Greek word is pronounced “logos.” It’s often translated as “word.” It came into the Greek language about the time of Jesus and thereafter was used by the early Christian Church in various ways. We need to ponder those ways before digging into Hebrews.
The Sophists used Logos to mean a discussion or discourse. Aristotle expanded that to mean “a well reasoned argument” in rhetoric.
The Stoics believed that Logos is the name for divine and eternal principles that created and pervade the Universe. I sometimes hear people assign to God everything Science has not yet understood. Those people often do not know they’re Stoics. Jewish thinkers (Philo, et al) used the term for work that had previously been understood as the Goddess Sophia (God’s Wisdom or his Wife and partner in creation). Sophia worship was phased out (but the Sophia texts are still available if you’re curious). Logos came to include Divine Wisdom. Modern translations use “Word” for Logos and also for Dabar (a Hebrew word) and also for Rhema (a Greek word for spoken or breathed words). These three different ideas are all translated “Word.” In general, if you read the Jewish Scriptures (what we call the Old Testament) and see “Word” it’s Dabar and refers to perfect First Principles and Laws for Everything. Rhema (Word) means the Breath that Animates and matches the modern concept of the Holy Spirit. In New Testament documents, the Logos Incarnate refers to Jesus of Nazareth’s divine and eternal nature.
But none of those is a set of documents decided upon by Church politicians. Modern sermons calling the Bible “The Word Of God” are often really about putting a stamp of approval on the institutional canonization process itself. That process went on for over 1,000 years, until only a few hundred years ago. Books such as Hebrews, James, Jude, Thessalonians, and the Revelation of John were controversial into the 19th Century (and some of those may still be).
Yes, I said Hebrews was controversial, more on that later.
I have no desire to discuss if Baruch or the Book of Wisdom should or should not be read and studied or ignored as God “not-breathed,” nor if 2 Thessalonians is the bogus letter that 1 Thessalonians warned us not to read. “I Believe in the Bible” people have pretty much settled or grew tired of this discussion (read my friend James White of Alpha Omega Ministries for more on this).
Paul wrote (or dictated) his final words to young Timothy where we can read “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” He wasn’t talking about his letter itself, nor anything we have in the “New Testament” (no Gospels had been written yet at that time). He meant the entire body of the Law and Prophets, the Psalms and Writings that Paul had studied his whole life as a Jewish scholar. God’s Logos is much larger than any book. It permeates creation and transcends time. Beware of Idolatry.
How does one interpret “All Scriptures” as they existed for the 1st Century church? If you understand the importance of that question, of the whole question of interpretation in general, we might be ready to tackle the letter to the Hebrews, or at least work our way back in time from today’s ways to interpret Scripture back to the days of yesteryear when the author of Hebrews tried to do what Paul, nearly with his final breath, asked Timothy to do. In fact, that’s the reason some people think Timothy wrote Hebrews. More on that later, too.