Who wrote the books of the Bible? Was it God, since the book is claimed to be divine? Was it men? And if it was men, how can it claim to be God’s Word? Understanding the Bible’s authorship and how it came to be is foundational to our faith.
If we should be taking all the claims of the Bible seriously, we need to know that it’s a book we can trust.
What Scripture Itself Says About Who Wrote The Books Of The Bible
Upon first examination, it seems like a bunch of different men from many different spheres of life all contributed to writing Scripture, and that, in one way, does answer the question of who wrote the books of the Bible. Many books in Bible introduce the author in the opening verses of their first chapter. And while it is true that human authors like Moses, David, Peter and Paul did physically write down the words of the Bible, there’s a little more to it than meets the eye. Okay, actually a lot more. Check it out –
2 Peter 1:19-21 says,
“Because of that experience, we have even greater confidence in the message proclaimed by the prophets. You must pay close attention to what they wrote, for their words are like a lamp shining in a dark place—until the Day dawns, and Christ the Morning Star shines[g] in your hearts. Above all, you must realize that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophet’s own understanding, or from human initiative. No, those prophets were moved by the Holy Spirit, and they spoke from God.”
In this passage, Peter is recalling to his audience how he saw Jesus Christ with his own eyes. His life wasn’t just a cleverly designed story – it was all real. Because of what he experienced, he urges believers to take Scripture seriously. And most importantly, they must understand that Scripture didn’t come from human authors, it came from God through the Holy Spirit. This phenomenon is called inspiration.
What Does Inspiration Mean?
Inspiration is key to understanding who wrote the books of the Bible.
It’s profound but simple. God is the source of every word in the Bible, but he used human writers to be the instruments His Word flowed through. These authors were prompted by the Holy Spirit to write exactly what they did.
In fact, 2 Timothy 3:15-16 says all Scripture is inspired by God. Every word. The marriage of each author that contributed to writing the Bible with God’s purpose is a beautiful thing. The flowing poetry of David’s psalms convey God’s truth in a different way than the theological argument Paul gives in Romans, yet both are part of His holy revelation to us. God used the unique personalities and writing styles of 40 different men to record everything he wanted to communicate to mankind – no more and no less than what He wanted.
Evidences Of Inspiration
Again and again throughout Scripture, the Bible refers to itself as the word of the Lord, or claims to be a direct message from God. And we believe that the claims of the Bible are enough, but outside evidence just confirms even more that this book and every word in it is really authored by God, and that Peter, Paul and all the rest were just writing out His thoughts.
For one thing, the Bible is scientifically correct.
It’s not a science textbook, but every time it refers to scientific realities it proves true. For example, Isaiah 40:22 refers to the earth being round, Isaiah 55:10-12 talks about water cycles, Job 26:7 names Earth as suspended in space, and Jeremiah 33:22 claims the stars are innumerable (we haven’t found the end of them yet!). God created the world and the system and laws it is run by, so it only makes sense for Him to be able to talk about science accurately – more accurately than us and before some of these scientific discoveries were made.
The Bible hold up historically as well.
Over and over the Bible and historical records have confirmed one other, and we know from secular history that biblical places like Sodom and Gomorrah and figures like Nebuchadnezzar, Cyrus the Great, and Jesus existed as real people. Studying history is eye-opening, as through it we see the prophecies of Scripture fulfilled again and again and again.
Christ’s View of Scripture
Jesus was clear about His view of Scripture, and that’s the most convincing argument about who wrote the books of the Bible. He plainly believed that Scripture was God’s Word (a.k.a HIS word!). He studied and valued it, quoted it as authority in His confrontation with Satan (Matthew 4:1-11), and taught it as truth. He even described Scripture as unbreakable, or unable to be altered (John 10:35). Jesus was God and man, the sacrifice for our sin. He knew that He Himself was the fulfillment, climax, and glory of all that God had to say to man, which is why he said to the religious leaders at the time,
“You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me!” (John 5:39).
It Only Makes Sense For God To Be The One Who Wrote The Books Of The Bible
At the end of the day, the Bible is not a book that could have and would have been written by man. If you think about the message of the Bible, it’s anti-human nature. No man would have come up with the idea that all of our hearts are desperately wicked and that we need a Savior. We would never judge ourselves and the entire world so harshly and accurately. There is also no way we know the character and heart of God, as well as His perfect plan for our redemption, had he not revealed it to us Himself.
What The Inspiration Of Scripture Means For Us
The beauty of inspiration is in the fact that it can bring us rest. Imperfect people may have recorded God’s thoughts, but He is perfect and his words to us are perfect. This wasn’t just some men shooting in the dark and hoping they came to close to saying what God was thinking. No, God Himself was guiding these men as they wrote. Through the hands of chosen men, God was the one who wrote the the books of the Bible. Because of what we know about Him, we can also know that His book is authoritative, inerrant, and sufficient.
Anna Wishart is a graduate of Ethnos360 Bible Institute, and continues to seek ways to be involved with missions through writing. She currently lives in Winchester, Virginia, and enjoys biking, art, friends, the mountain views, and serving at Fellowship Bible Church.