Who Wrote the Bible?
Many people contributed to the writing of the Bible. Actually the Bible is a collection of writings from about forty contributors, thirty in the Old Testament and ten in the New Testament. For example, the Psalms are a collection of the works of several authors, of whom David, the "sweet singer of Israel", is the best known. But psalms were also written by Moses, by Asaph, by a man named Ethan, and by the sons of Korah.
The accounts which have been preserved in the Old Testament date from the earliest times and were both written down and transmitted orally. As time passed they were collected together and received by the Hebrews as coming to them by God's mandate. The prophets transmit God's message to humans, while many of the Psalms articulate cries of people to God. Yet these psalms are also preserved in the Bible as part of God's message to mankind.
The New Testament stories and teachings were widely circulated among the early Christian churches. The letters of Paul to the Christians in several cities were likely the earliest writings now found in the New Testament. But many other letters and epistles were circulated as well. Gradually it became clear to the early churches which writings were truly inspired and which were spurious or simply edifying messages from pious authors.
It is truly amazing that all forty of these authors, spread out over 1600 years, have such a unified message in spite of their great diversity in language, culture and time. There is a reason for that! The reason is that these forty or so writers are all secondary authors. There is actually only one primary author, the one who inspired all the human authors, the eternal God.
Christians believe that the Bible came to us from God himself, who used all these human authors to give us his message, through the presence and inspiration of his Spirit. He did not simply give dictation to these authors, because we observe their unique personalities and varying styles of writing shining through. But God's message, God's authorship, is always there, providing in the end through all the years, exactly what he wanted us to have. In this way the Bible is our own ageless treasure.
Published Thursday, December 26, 2013