Chapter 12 - Who wrote the Bible?
The Bible is the sacred text of the Christian faith. It is also one of the best known books on the planet today. All around the globe there are billions of copies of the Bible in every human language. Chances are very good that you have at least one copy of the Bible in your home right now. Nearly everybody does.
To Christians, the Bible is the error-free word of God. The Bible is not the work of men -- it is God's word to his creation. To reinforce this fact, there are over 4,000 places in the Bible where it says things like, "Thus says the Lord." [ref] The Bible itself refers to its author in a number of places. For example, in 2 Timothy 3:16 the Bible says:
All scripture is God-breathed and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.
In 1 Thessalonians 2:13 the Bible says:
And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God.
In 2 Peter 1:20-21 the Bible says:
Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
In Psalm 19:7 the Bible says:
The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul.
The Bible is the law of the Lord, and it is perfect. So says the Lord.
This quote from the Christian Courier sums up the position of many Christians on the origin of the Bible:
God, although using human writers in the composition of the Bible, is nevertheless its ultimate Author. And since the perfect God cannot be the source of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33) or contradiction (Hebrews 6:18), it must be acknowledged that the Bible is perfectly harmonious. [ref]
The fact that the Bible is written by God gives the Bible ultimate authority -- God's authority. Because it is the perfect, error-free word of God, the Bible is essential to Christianity. The Bible acts as the single God-given source of information for Christians.
The Bible states that it is not the word of men but the word of God, and that the Bible is perfect.
If God exists and the Bible is the word of the Lord, then everything that Christians believe is true. Jesus is God, God does answer prayers, God did create Adam and humans have both souls and eternal life.
But what if the Bible was not written by God? What if the Bible is simply a book of legends and stories written by fallible human authors? What if God had nothing to do with this book? In that case, then Christianity collapses.
In other words, there is a lot riding on the Bible.
Is it possible to know who wrote the Bible? Answering this question is the purpose of this section.