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Who Wrote the Bible?


The Bible is actually a collection of ancient Jewish documents, poetry, philosophy, historical records (compiled at the time for various reasons), prophetic writings and practical letters written during the difficult years of the early Christian era.


There are 66 books in all, and they were written by 40 different authors ranging from a huge variety of backgrounds.  The collection spans a period of about 1,500 years.  Some authors wrote just one single book, others wrote several of the books.  Many of the authors are known historically; several are still unknown from other sources at this point.


The Bible boldly claims to be divinely inspired.  Is it true? 


On this subject, I found this delightful snippet many years ago, and have also come across it several times since.  It has never had a name attached, so I don’t know who originally wrote it, but the truths contained in it are too good not to share:


Could an ordinary person have put the Bible together?

Or did God do it?


If an ordinary person could do it, let’s look at what would have to be done.


  • We would have to gather together 66 books, written over a period of 1,500 years by 40 different authors.


  • The authors must have come from a variety of backgrounds, and must differ considerably in scholastic ability.  Among others, they must include kings, doctors, fishermen, shepherds, farmers, poets, country-bumpkins, prophets, religious leaders etc.


  • The material must contain 100% accurate information in regard to the sciences of the time, philosophy, law, economics, history, religion, together with some personal memoirs and some personal letters.


  • We would also have to add an amazing dimension.  Approximately a third of the total content must speak prophetically of things to come (100% accurate of course).  And the prophecies must come to pass.


  • The books must not contradict themselves or one another, and they must be perfect in continuity and unity, so that although each author has written with his own individual style, and each book’s content is different, all books must speak with ‘one voice’.


Our task completed, we now have to preserve the books in a hostile world for at least 2,000 years, all the while subjecting them to the sceptical scrutiny of the scholars of every age.  And after 2,000 years this collection of books must still be able to speak, and bring hope, to a lost and confused humanity.


Could an ordinary person have put the Bible together?

Or did God do it?


When beginning to explore and study the Scriptures, one of the big surprises is the amazing continuity and consistency that becomes apparent through such a seemingly hotch-potch collection of bits and pieces of ancient literature.


Despite the large assortment in types of manuscripts, the many different writing styles, and the incredibly long time period spanning the writings, the books of the Bible hold a common thread and a consistent theme from Genesis, the first book, through to Revelation at the end.  Facts given in the various books regarding events, history and geographical locations all agree well with each other and with known history from other sources.


But back to the question of authorship.  Firstly, Scripture itself claims to be ‘inspired’ by God (the literal translation of ‘inspired’ being ‘God-breathed’).  2 Timothy 3:16 clearly states that, ‘All Scripture is inspired by God’’, and 2 Peter 1:21 says that, ‘No prophetic message ever came just from the will of man, but men were under the control of the Holy Spirit as they spoke the message that came from God’’.  This bold claim to divine intervention in authorship later becomes validated through the astonishing number of fulfilled prophecies. 


Jesus himself knew that the words written in the Scriptures by the prophets were given by God (see Mark 7:5-13).  He also gave the Scriptures supreme authority – when countering the religious leaders of his time (see Mark 7:1-20), and when countering others who were out to trap him (see Mark 12:1-27).


Secondly, the weight of evidence to the fact that the Bible is inspired by God is enormous when seen in the light of changed lives of those who read it.  Throughout history there have been countless millions of stories of people whose lives have been completely transformed for the better, just through having spent time with the Scriptures.


Sir Walter Scott once said, ‘Compared with the Bible, all other books are mere leaves, or fragments.  Many books give us information or inspiration, but only the Bible can give us permanent transformation’.


The writers of the Bible were undoubtedly human, but the author was God.  No other book gives us more insight into our lives.  No other book gives us more hope for our future.  And there is no other book like the Bible that takes us on a journey that can bring us into a relationship with the Creator of the Universe. 


The Bible really is ‘a lamp to our feet and a light for our path’ (Psalm 119:105).




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