Who Wrote The Bible?

This is part of an ongoing series. Please see the introduction and definitions. Leave a note in the comments if you would like something else defined.

Christian theologians, over the centuries, have written millions (billions?) of words telling us what they think about the Bible. Here I would like to look at what the Bible says about itself.

Who wrote the Bible? It’s apparent from the evidence we have that men wrote down the words. There’s only one record in the Bible (that I know of) where God wrote down a portion of his word personally.

Exodus 31:18
And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.

Unfortunately, when Moses came down from the mountain he found the children of Israel (including his brother, Aaron) practicing blatant idolatry. Moses became so angry that he threw the stone tables to the ground, breaking them.

God kindly wrote a second copy. This time, however, he made Moses hew out the tablets himself. See what happens when you let your temper control you?

Exodus  34:1
And the LORD said unto Moses, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first: and I will write upon these tables the words that were in the first tables, which thou brakest.

Now let’s look at a couple of records where the Bible reveals to us the name of the man who did the actual writing of certain portions.

Jeremiah 36:4
Then Jeremiah called Baruch the son of Neriah: and Baruch wrote from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the LORD, which he had spoken unto him, upon a roll of a book.

So we know that the person who actually wrote down the words that made up a part of the prophecy of Jeremiah was a man named Baruch. Why then is the book of Jeremiah not named the book of Baruch? Let’s look at another verse.

Romans 16:22
I Tertius, who wrote this epistle, salute you in the Lord.

Why is the book of Romans known as a Pauline epistle, rather than a Tertian epistle?

In both cases the answer is obvious. Baruch and Tertius were scribes – secretaries. They did not originate the words they wrote but merely took dictation. Jeremiah and Paul are listed as the “authors” of their respective books. But were Jeremiah and Paul really the authors? The Bible records the testimony of each of these men. First, Jeremiah:

Jeremiah 36:1, 2
And it came to pass in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, that this word came unto Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,
Take thee a roll of a book, and write therein all the words that I have spoken unto thee against Israel, and against Judah, and against all the nations, from the day I spake unto thee, from the days of Josiah, even unto this day.

Aha! Jeremiah was not the author of these words. He merely spoke to Baruch the words that he had heard from the Lord. God (Jehovah, Yahweh) was the actual author of the book of Jeremiah. Of course, this information was already given at the beginning of the book.

Jeremiah 1:1-4
The words of Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah, of the priests that were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin:
To whom the word of the LORD came in the days of Josiah the son of Amon king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign.
It came also in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, unto the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah the son of Josiah king of Judah, unto the carrying away of Jerusalem captive in the fifth month.
Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

How about Paul? Many men have accused him of being a theologian who, basically, invented Christianity. Many unbelievers claim that Paul destroyed or obscured the teachings of Jesus. What did God tell him to testify of himself?

Galatians 1:11, 12
But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.
For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.

So, we see here that the Bible came to Jeremiah when the Lord spoke to him. Paul received his portion by revelation. Are there other verses that corroborate this?

2Peter 1:21
For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

So the prophecy – the Bible – did not come by the will of man. Moses didn’t write down his own words – and neither did Isaiah, the psalmists, or any of the other “authors” of the Bible. They were moved by the Holy Ghost – God.

2Timothy 3:16
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

In this verse we are informed that the Scripture was given by inspiration of God. It’s interesting to note that the phrase, “given by inspiration of God,” is one word in the Greek. That word is theopneustos, god-breathed. “All Scripture is God-breathed…”

So the Bible testifies that God himself is its one true author.

We’ve read the Bible’s description of how it came to be. The Lord “spoke words” to the prophet. It was “received by revelation.” Men of God were “moved by the Holy Ghost.” And the Scripture came by “God breathing.”  Question to ponder: Are all of these simply different descriptions of the same process?

For me the Bible is God’s word and his will for my life. God said it, that settles it.

2 thoughts on “Who Wrote The Bible?

  1. mdavid444444

    Who wrote the Bible? It’s apparent from the evidence we have that men wrote down the words. There’s only one record in the Bible (that I know of) where God wrote down a portion of his word personally. Exodus 31:18: And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.

    How can you know who wrote the bible when you haven’t even defined what this “bible” is?

    This is why few agree on a) what books are in the “bible”, b) what manuscripts to use (of whatever books one wants to use), and c) what part tradition plays.

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