Who wrote the Bible?

Though the Bible had about forty "authors" during the 1,500 years it took to write, it was God Himself who inspired, or instructed, those people to write what they wrote. "All Scripture is breathed out by God …" says 2 Timothy 3:16.

More than 400 times, the Bible attributes words to God Himself. The Bible also identifies itself as the Word of God dozens of times (for example, Psalm 119; Proverbs 30:5; Isaiah 40:8; 55:11; Jeremiah 23:29; John 17:17; Romans 10:17; Ephesians 6:17; Hebrews 4:12). The Word of God is said to proceed from the mouth of God in Deuteronomy 8:3 and Matthew 4:4.

God wrote the Bible.

Theologians say both that God inspired the men who wrote the Bible and that the Bible was written by inspired men of God. When you read the Bible, you can see the individual personalities of each of these people. However, it is also clear that an overarching Director was not only stitching the entire thing together, but directing each of the stories, sentences, and words. For example, when Matthew wrote about his time with Jesus, he was writing from memory. But even Jesus foretold that the Holy Spirit would help him write it (John 14:26). Matthew's Gospel includes the way Matthew wrote—his vocabulary, grammar, syntax, and style, but also includes everything God wanted him to record and nothing He did not.

Many of the men who wrote Scripture were aware of God's work through them. Peter wrote, "For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit" (2 Peter 1:21).

For much of the Bible, we know the individual people God used to pen each book. But for some other portions, we do not, such as Hebrews. We don't know for sure who wrote it, but we can know that God had it written the way it was composed.

This concept is not foreign to us. In literature, we call a person who writes for someone else an amanuensis. John Milton dictated "Paradise Lost" to friends and relatives because he was blind and was unable to write it himself. That's 10,550 lines of poetry and we don't question who wrote it—John Milton. Though God did not "dictate" the Bible, the concept is similar. God is the ultimate Author of the Bible and used humans to accomplish His work.


Related Truth:

Is the Bible really the Word of God?

How is the Bible inspired? What does it mean for the Bible to be inspired?

What proof do we have for the inspiration of the Bible?

Were there different authors of the books of the Bible? Who were the authors?

When were the books of the Bible divided into chapters and verses? Who did the dividing?


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