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Who wrote the Bible? A Comprehensive Guide 2023

The 66 volumes that make up the Old and New Testaments together constitute the Bible, which is God’s word spoken to His people. With more than 50 billion copies sold and disseminated, it is the best-selling book of all time. 3,350 of the 7,099 languages that are now in use have at least one passage of Scripture translated into them, and 683 languages have the Bible translated into its whole. This information is provided by Wycliffe Global Alliance.

So, is the Bible the same as every other “holy book” in all major global religions? A resounding “no” is required in response. “Of course, you would say that,” skeptics may ask, “All religions make the same boast.” Are all of their writings authored by the deities that represent them? Correct?Though, no. The Bible differs significantly from previous collections of “holy” literature.

The Holy Bible was written by God

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Who wrote the Bible? A Comprehensive Guide 2023

In addition to being a phenomenally talented author of timeless masterpieces like Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis was a leading authority on medieval English literature during his tenure at Cambridge and Oxford universities. He claimed that the Bible was unique among literature in the world in one of his articles. The other religious writings we read seem more like mythology, yet there’s no reason we shouldn’t study them to understand more about other people’s beliefs. Dr. Lewis’s Mythology was a thoughtful investigation. In actuality, C.S. Lewis wrote the Chronicles of Narnia. Lewis’ expertise in the mythical genre and C.S. Lewis’s belief. Lewis advised the reader to think about the Bible in conjunction with other religious writings and mythology.

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The Bible does not resemble mythology at all. Undoubtedly, there is a distinct ring of fiction to several of those works referred to as the Apocrypha. While there is significant historical information to take into account, the Apocrypha is not as genuine as the Bible’s sixty-six books. As a result, the Church did not include that group of fifteen works in the Canon of Scripture, which is considered to be inspired by God. And that final term, “divinely inspired,” brings us to the answer to the question, “Who Wrote the Bible?” We return to the first response, the one you probably expected me to provide: God wrote the Holy Bible, which is composed of sixty-six volumes.

Indeed, Westminster Theological Seminary’s renowned and departed Scottish Bible scholar John Murray opened his thesis on the topic with this masterfully concise yet well-thought-out synopsis:

"BELIEVERS with a wide range of theological perspectives affirm that the Bible is God's revealed word, that it is inspired by the Holy Spirit, and that it holds a special position as the standard for Christian faith and practice."

However, the Lord God uses secondary forces that He has carefully planned to bring about His will to bring about anything He desires to happen (otherwise, He couldn’t legitimately be the Almighty). That also applies to the Bible. God wrote the Bible in 66 books over at least 1,500 years, using 40 writers—or perhaps fewer or more, depending on how one interprets the authorship identification in individual books (e.g., The Epistle to the Hebrews)—and in both first-century Greco-Roman and Near Eastern cultures.

The Bible stands alone above all other highly esteemed writings as a revelation of God to Man because of its unique message, the “scarlet thread” of truth that unites all of the books as one, the testimony of Jesus of Nazareth, and the testimony of the Holy Spirit.

The Bible attests to its own words that it’s the word of God.

The Bible has several references attesting to the authorship of the Almighty. “God spoke to our fathers through the prophets many times and in many ways long ago” (Heb 1:1).

In reality, the Bible’s authors state emphatically over 3,000 times that it is divine! Reputable New Testament scholar Dr. Michael J. Kruger correctly said that “the Bible bears evidence within itself of its divine origins.”

The Psalms is one such text of self-attestation. One of King David’s most well-known Psalms is Psalm 19. To the praise of God’s revelation to humanity, the Psalmist writes a holy hymn. The Psalm 19 is split into two halves. The song’s first line claims that humans are aware of God because of (what theologians refer to as) General Revelation. The first line, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork,” explains how we come to know God via creation.

David praises God for revealing himself via creation in six verses. “The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul” is how verse seven of Psalm 19 opens the second part of the passage.

This method of understanding God is known by theologians as Special Revelation. To sum up, Psalm 19 teaches that although we can know God through creation—for example, by standing in an open field and gazing up at an unfathomably deep and dark night sky filled with countless stars, a million suns shining on other galaxies that are hidden from view, and diamonds sparkling against black velvet—we do not know God directly through this palpable kind of revelation.

David says that although we acknowledge the existence of a God in the universe as a whole, we learn about this God and His purpose for our life via particular revelation when he writes that the Lord is perfect in converting the soul. The Holy Bible, or “the law of the Lord that is perfect, converting the soul,” is the Word of God and the object of this unique revelation.

According to the Bible, it is a supernatural “word from another world.”4 But how can we be certain that God inspires the Bible?

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What Does the Terms “Holy Spirit Inspired” Mean?

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Who wrote the Bible? A Comprehensive Guide 2023

Peter, Paul, and the writers of the New Testament concur with Jesus: the Bible is the inspired word of God since He revealed His will via specific messengers. Initially, Peter states,

"Because no prophecy was ever made by human will; rather, men spoke from God while being guided by the Holy Spirit" (2 Peter 1:21 ESV).

Then, Paul states clearly:

According to 2 Timothy 3:16, "all of the Bible is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and training in righteousness."

Does “inspired” indicate that God gave each biblical author technical instructions to write down God’s voice? Not at all. The Bible is amazing because it conveys God’s Word to us via the experiences, emotions, hardships, and pleasures of individuals who are just like us.

God wrote the Bible in the same way that He sent His only Son to live the life we could never live, die the death that was rightfully ours, and rise from the dead on the third day. He spoke with us through His Word in a way that was clear to grasp, approachable, elegant, and cohesive.

It is crucial to clarify that inspiration and enlightenment are two different things. The Holy Spirit inspires the Bible, which is God “breathed out” (2 Timothy 3:16) using human humans as an instrument. The Holy Spirit’s “illumination” in our life refers to His assistance in helping us comprehend and implement God’s Word. Thus, devoted gospel preachers were neither inspired by themselves nor of their own volition.

However, it was the Holy Spirit who gave them light so they might share the inspired Word of God. For us to “hear, receive, and inwardly digest the inspired word of the Lord,” those of us who listen to the Word of God ought to pray for the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit (Collect [a gathering prayer] from the Book of Common Prayer).

Was the Bible Written by God through Humans?

Indeed, the Lord revealed his message through human means. God had the option to speak either directly or “immediately,” but he chose to speak “immediately”—that is, through human intermediaries. Consequently, we have to acknowledge that the Holy Spirit inspired the writings of these writers, who included prophets, priests, monarchs, servants, attorneys, fishermen, professors, and illiterates.

Who were the Authors of the Old Testament?

The Hebrew Bible, or Old Testament, is composed of 39 books or collected texts, most of which were penned by Moses. Other authors include prophets, priests, scribes or scriveners, kings David and Solomon, and prophetesses.

The Tanakh is an acronym that refers to the division of the ancient Hebrew Scriptures into three genres: the Torah, which consists of the five books of Moses; the Nev’im, or the Prophets, and their books named after the prophet in question; and the Ketuuvin, or the “Writings,” which includes the books of Poetry and Wisdom, such as Ecclesiastes, Job, Psalms, and Proverbs; and historical narratives like Ezra-Nehemiah, Daniel, and 1 and 2 Chronicles.

List of Old Testament Authors:

  • Moses
  • Joshua
  • Jeremiah
  • Zora
  • David
  • Solomon
  • Isaiah
  • Zeke
  • Daniel
  • Hosea
  • Joel
  • Amos
  • Obadiah
  • Jonah
  • Micah
  • Nahum
  • The prophet Habakkuk
  • Zephaniah
  • Haggai
  • Zachariah
  • Malachi
  • additional authors of proverbs and psalms
  • unidentified writers
  • Potential writers: Mordecai, Nehemiah, and Samuel

The Old Testament: Who Compiled It?

The Old Covenant Scriptures were compiled and inspired by God over some time, through consensus, unity, self-attestation, individual spiritual devotion, and communal liturgical usage. The canonization of some books by councils (such as “the General Assembly” of rabbis and scholars in 450 BC) is one theory of how this happened.

But a lot of this depends on the remark, or “Midrash.” Particularly during the Babylonian Captivity, the sacred texts—preserved by Israel as God’s Word to them—were given additional official recognition. The scriptures that Jesus declared to be the inspired word of God were finished by the time he lived. Everything is under God’s authority, including His Word.

Who authored the New Testament?

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Who wrote the Bible? A Comprehensive Guide 2023

List of New Testament Authors:

The writers of the New Testament included clerics (St. John), merchants (St. Peter, a fisherman), physicians (St. Luke), and unmatched intellectuals (e.g., St. Paul). The New Testament’s epistles were written over approximately seventy years by eight men, some of whom were Apostles (those who had a direct commission from Jesus Christ to minister in His name and to lead the mission of the Early Church). The final author of the Revelation was the Apostle John, who wrote it between 80 and 85, under Domitian, according to a second-century bishop named Irenaeus.

  • Matthew
  • John Mark
  • Luke
  • John
  • Paul
  • James
  • Peter
  • Jude
  • *unknown in Hebrew

The New Testament: Who Compiled It?

Bruce Metzger of Princeton Theological Seminary was one of the greatest New Testament scholars of the twentieth century. This learned and devout pastor-scholar penned the famous classic work The Canon of the New Testament: Its Origin, Development, and Significance.

"Several books of the New Testament were recognized as canonical texts as a result of a protracted and gradual process in which authoritative writings were isolated from a much larger body of early Christian literature."6

In 1 Corinthians 11:23, the apostle Paul stated, “For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you…” Paul acknowledged that his writings were inspired (that is, “God-breathed”), but Peter—with whom Paul had a clear symbiotic relationship—taught the Church that Paul’s writings were equally inspired by the Old Testament.

Remember that just as our beloved brother Paul likewise wrote you with the wisdom God granted him, so does our Lord's patience imply salvation. He addresses these topics in all of his letters in the same manner. Like with the other Scriptures, his letters contain some difficult-to-understand passages that uninformed and unstable people twist to their detriment (2 Peter 3:15-16).

The New Testament was not compiled by a council or commission, unlike the Old Testament. Instead, the Early Church acknowledged it as divinely inspired. One can read the writings of early church fathers like Clement of Rome, Papias of Hierapolis, Polycarp of Smyrna, and Hermas, as well as documents like the Didache, to gain an understanding of this process.

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The Bible as a Whole: Who Compiled It?

The late expert on the New Testament, F.F. Bruce wrote with conviction.

"There is a unity that unites the entire Bible; it is not just an anthology."

As a result, the canonical ancient Hebrew Scriptures were acknowledged by the Early Church. They also acknowledged the uniqueness of the Old and New Testaments’ “voice,” “redemptive history,” and purpose. The adage “The Old Testament is the New Testament concealed, and the New Testament is the Old Testament revealed” is still accurate and useful for explaining how the Old and New Testaments are continuous.

The Bible was written by God. In the true succinct words of the Westminster Confession of Faith:

"The Holy Spirit speaking through the scriptures can only be the ultimate arbiter, by whom all religious disputes are to be settled, all council rulings, views of historical authors, human doctrines, and private spirits are to be scrutinized, and in whose verdict we are to rest."

Jesus said that the Bible is God’s word.

Jesus was raised knowing the Word of the Lord. As God in the flesh, the Lord Jesus recognized that the Triune God was the author of the Bible. This is evident in the theology of His nature, which is that He is entirely God and fully Man, yet never combined or confused. However, Jesus was given the Holy Scriptures as the inspired word of God from birth.

Jesus and his family would assemble at the synagogue every Shabbat to hear the lectionary readings. At home, he studied the Bible. Under others, he sat. We are aware that He was mentoring the rabbis and priests at the age of twelve. However, there are unmistakable moments in our Lord’s life when He asserted the Bible’s authorship, infallibility, inerrancy, and aim. None is more clear than the risen Savior’s confirmation of the Bible about His resurrection from the grave, however, they should all be taken into account:

He then opened their minds to understand the Scriptures and said, "Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled." Luke 24:44–48 states, "You are witnesses of these things."

The Bible is God’s Word, as the Holy Spirit attests to.

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Who wrote the Bible? A Comprehensive Guide 2023

The Bible is unlike any other book that we have read. God’s Word was spoken by the Spirit of God. Furthermore, the Holy Spirit in the Word reconciles the two, acknowledging the work of the Holy Spirit in you.

Many years ago, at seminary, I asked the late, great Dr. Laird Harris, my professor, “How do we know the Apocrypha is not inspired? In response, he said, “The evidence of the Holy Spirit is one way we may be certain the Bible is inspired. “Mike, I want you to read two Apocryphal books this weekend. Next, read the Gospel of John right away. “Let’s discuss it on Monday,” the master scholar instructed me to do. He asked me, “Well, Mike, what is the answer?” on Monday.

How can one determine if the Bible is inspired? I responded, “Dr. Harris, I know this because the Lord Himself is there when His Word is read. “Excellent! He communicated with me via John’s words.” Did reading the Apocrypha cause you to feel the same way now? I gave Dr. Harris a grin. “No, I didn’t recognize God attesting to His Word in the reading of the non-canonical books,” I said with a smile. Dr. Harris turned to face the students to explain, “Something is different.”

"You know now. The Word of God is His voice to us. Never forget that the lives that have been changed by the Spirit of the Living God poring over His Word and applying it, with divine intent, to the hearts and minds of people who read, remain the greatest proof—even after all other evidences are taken into account, which they should be.

The Bible Is Enough

Not only is the Holy Bible inspired. The Bible is adequate. Everything in religion and life can be found in the Bible. Before there was an increase in the teaching and preaching of God’s Word, no real religious revival ever gained enough traction to convert large numbers of people. Thus, let us address these crucial problems regarding the authorship of the Bible with a humble, teachable heart that prays, “Lord, write Your Word upon my heart.” This leads us to the great prayer found in the Book of Common Prayer:

"BLESSED Lord, who hast commanded that all holy Scriptures be written for our education; grant that we may so hear them, read, ponder, absorb, and assimilate them inwardly, that we may, via thy holy Word's patience and consolation, embrace and cling to the blessed hope of eternal life, which thou hast given us in our Savior Jesus Christ. In the Book of Common Prayer, "Amen."

When all is said and done, the issue still stands: “Who will listen, more than just ‘who wrote the Bible?'” And who is going to follow Jesus Christ, the living Word of the Bible?”

Notes:

  1. The Attestation of Scripture, by John Murray, The Infallible Word (1946), 1–54.
  2. Declarations of Divine Authorship,” Genesis replies.
  3. When we refer to the Bible as “self-authenticating,” what does it mean? Canon Fodder.
  4. Refer to the first section of A New Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith by Robert L. Reymond (Nashville: T. Nelson, 1998).
  5. Personal notes of Dr. Laird Harris, Knox Theological Seminary, 1991.
  6. The New Testament Canon: Its Origin, Development, and Significance by Bruce M. Metzger (Oxford University Press on Demand, 1997).
  7. The Westminster Confession of Faith: For Study Classes, by Gerald Irvin Williamson (Presbyterian & Reformed Publishing Company, 1964).
    Extra Citation
    Norman L. Geisler and William C. Roach. Defending Inerrancy: Confirming Scripture’s Accuracy for a Modern Audience. Baker Books, 2012.

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Theblendrman
Theblendrmanhttps://infoblendr.com
I’m Olafare Michael Oluwabukola, a young enthusiast with an insatiable curiosity for the mysteries of science and technology. As a passionate explorer of knowledge, I envisioned a platform that could not only keep us all informed about the latest breakthroughs but also inspire us to marvel at the wonders that surround us.
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