There can be no truth that is not said with words

I am current reading *Confronting Creation: How Judaism Reads Genesis: An Anthology of Genesis Rabbah :by Jacob Neusner.

Early in the book he make the above statement in his commentary on Creation. Here is the complete thought.

When our sages ask the question of detail—just exactly what did God do when God made the world, What did God use?—they turn to the bed-rock of truth. There can be no truth that is not said with words. So words convey truth. Words are made of letters. So at the bedrock of creation—the thing with which God made the world—we find letters. This appeal to the alphabet as the container of the rules of creation, the laws of life, should not surprise us.

Neusner, J. (2004). Confronting Creation: How Judaism Reads Genesis: An Anthology of Genesis :Rabbah (p. 39). Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock Publishers.

Disregard the context for the moment and see if there is not an apologetic in that statement?

Is there another way to convey truth except through words? I can’t think of anything can you?

In his commentary he is focusing on the speaking of things into existence by God and he adds that the words God used had power and that words we use have power he contrasts that power with this statement:

We too create worlds with words, so we should not be surprised that God did. If you doubt it, reflect on the power to create evil contained within a mean statement to someone you love—or hate.

Neusner, J. (2004). Confronting Creation: How Judaism Reads Genesis: An Anthology of Genesis Rabbah (p. 39). Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock Publishers.


Interesting insight, @Jimmy_Sellers!
From the Creator’s perspective, I can easily see this truth being spoken, as truth is an inherent attribute of God. For humans, I can see that we can only do things in part, and that which was used for constructive purposes becomes destructive and sinful in the brokenness of human flesh:

Proverbs 18:21 NASB
[21] Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.

James 3:8-10 NASB
[8] But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. [9] With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; [10] from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way.

In fact Jesus affirms that the words come from the heart, telling the truth of it’s allegiance:

Luke 6:43-45 NASB
[43] For there is no good tree which produces bad fruit, nor, on the other hand, a bad tree which produces good fruit. [44] For each tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they pick grapes from a briar bush. [45] The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.

In gauging and judging people by their fruit, we certainly can lean heavily on words, though likely need other aspects of someone’s walk to confirm any impression.

Maybe I found mostly negative examples of how powerful our words are at telling truth?! >_<

Perhaps we can find more positive ones as well…

Hope this was close to what you may be driving at in your post!


I wonder if it is not much more accurate to say we create perspective with our words? If the mind/heart of an individual is not convinced by spoken words than those words are powerless. It is impossible to please GOD without Faith. And though our Faith might utilize words, speaking the word is not the prerequisite which is Faith. Hebrews 11:6 kjv.

Doesn’t that mean that the creative ability of words rests within the mind/heart; not in the speaking? I remember that scripture admonishes us to let the mind of Christ be in us. I don’t recall where it admonishes us to mimic the words of Christ and therefore the creative ability of the Creator. All musings aside; wouldn’t that be a lovely tool to have in the arsenal. Have a need, have a desire, just speak it into existence.

From scriptural instructions, I conclude that once I have the mind the words will follow. But I am not sure that the spoken word has merit upon its own.

Otherwise, when the religious leaders tried to cast out demons, mimicking the words they had heard spoken by the Apostle Paul, those demons would have been affected. Instead, that evil spirit beat the religious leaders so severely; they ran away naked and wounded. JESUS we know the demon said. Paul we know but who are you? Acts 19:13-16 kjv.

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