Imagine getting a text in high school saying something like this: I was thinking about you this morning and I realize that we haven’t spent much time together lately. I’m thinking we should go on a date this weekend to catch up? What do you think? How would you read this note if:
- It was from your Mom or Dad
- It was from someone that you had a crush on
Knowing who wrote something changes how it’s received! The words mean something different depending on who wrote it. That is what’s at stake with the question: Who wrote the Bible? Were the authors a group of great thinkers who wanted to call the world to live a different type of life? Or did God write it? Or is it some combination of the two? Depending on who wrote it, it could mean something different. If the Bible is the word of God then it means so much more than if it is just the words of great men. So that brings us back to the question…God…who wrote the Bible, you, or a bunch of dudes?
Traditional Christianity claims that Moses wrote the entire Torah (the Greek word for Law which signifies the first five books of the Old Testament: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy). How could this be if Moses was not even born until the book of Exodus? Moses’ own death is recorded in Deuteronomy 34…did Moses write this as well?
How could Moses have recorded what happened in Genesis unless God had some sort of part in it? In fact, how could anyone have written Genesis unless God had given the words to a human being to record? Numbers 12:3 says that Moses was the most humble man on Earth…if he was the author of this book, wouldn’t him calling himself humble contradict that? But if it were God saying that Moses was the most humble man on Earth, then it makes perfect sense. Maybe God selected him because of the very fact that he was humble!
What we believe about the Bible is always directly connected to our faith in Jesus Christ. When you have faith in Jesus Christ, then you also have faith in the Bible – where we come to know who Jesus is- and you believe the Bible to be true. If you believe what the Bible says, then you believe that God, through the power of the Holy Spirit, empowered 40 different men to write what is recorded in Scripture. You believe that it is the Word of God. Not just part of it, but the whole thing; Old Testament and New Testament. All of it is the Word of God!
So how did this interaction between God and humans happen? 2 Timothy 3:16 says that all of Scripture is God-breathed. What does that mean? To Jeremiah God said: “Write all the words that I have spoken to you in a book” (30:2) David says” The Spirit of the Lord spoke by me and His word was in my tongue (2 Sam 23:2).” Peter tells us that the holy men of God spoke words as they were moved by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21).” Paul informs us that the things which he taught were expressed in words “which the Holy Spirit teaches (1 Cor 2:13).”
These men weren’t just some robots spouting out the words though. They knew what they were doing when they were doing it. We believe that each writer used his mental powers, arranged his thoughts and arguments, chose his words, constructed his sentences, and retained his own style. The Holy Spirit employed different types of men as His scribes: kings and peasants, fishermen and scholars, making use of their abilities, learning, and styles of writing. The Bible is clear on the fact of its inspiration, but not the “how” and there is nothing in the realm of human experience that could explain to us the inspiration of the Scripture.
It matters who wrote the Bible. If it were just great men that wrote it, then it might be considered a great piece of literature but it wouldn’t change anybody’s eternity. If these words are truly from God, then it changes everything! If it was just Peter that says “Cast all your anxiety on me because I care for you.” you might think: “Oh, that’s nice, but seriously Peter what are you going to do? When hard times came, you denied Christ and went against your word three times, so that doesn’t mean much to me.” But if it is God that says “Cast all your anxiety on me because I care for you”…doesn’t that give you strength to know that God is in charge and he cares about you? If it were just Paul, or some unknown author, that said, “I will never leave or forsake you” then you would probably get a restraining order for that man, but if it is God saying that…doesn’t that give you hope and comfort? If it was just Jeremiah that said “I will love you with an everlasting love”…then that sounds really good, but where are you now Jeremiah? (Besides being a bullfrog and a great friend of mine?) Seriously if it’s God that says he will love you with an everlasting love, doesn’t that make a difference? That changes who you are and how you live.
God is saying that to you! God says that He loves you so much that He would do anything for you! And he already has, in fact, done everything for you. In this book you find out who Jesus Christ is, you find out who our God is, and what he’s done for you! You find out how lost you are without God…you find out how your sin separated you from a relationship with Him, but through the love and grace of Jesus Christ, and his loving sacrifice for you on the cross you are now reconciled back to good and in right relationship with God! You find out how eternal life will be spent forever with the God that created you.
If these are the very words of God, then every single day, at any single moment, you can open it up and hear God speaking to you! How amazing is that! May you be compelled to open the Word of God, and may you be changed because of the love that God has revealed to you in the very words of the Bible, the words of God!