Why Not Speak Directly To Us
It is clear throughout scripture that God desires intimate, loving relationship with people and between people.
In the beginning, man had a very close relationship with God. As a result, it would seem that there was no need for scripture in the Garden of Eden. God walked side by side with man, so why would it be necessary? If you had a question, you could simply ask Him!
After mankind fell from grace, there existed a separation between God and man.
God attempted to reach out to humanity through the few men who would allow Him to use them, such as Noah, a “preacher of righteousness” to a world full of wickedness.
At times, God would attempt to speak directly to man, but this generally resulted in them becoming terrified and requesting that He not do that anymore. This is part of the reason Moses became such an absolute mediator between God and man in the wilderness.
“All the people perceived the thunder and the lightning flashes and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood at a distance. Then they said to Moses, ‘Speak to us yourself… but let not God speak to us….’ Moses said to the people, ‘Do not be afraid…’ So the people stood at a distance, while Moses approached the thick cloud where God was.
All 66 Books Of The Bible Agree
But here is the wonder of it all: When the 66 books of the Bible with their 1,189 chapters made up of 31,173 verses are brought together , we find perfect harmony in the message they convey. As the great scholar F. F. Bruce noted: The Bible is not simply an anthology; there is a unity which binds the whole together.
The Bible writers gave Gods messages by voice and pen while they lived, and when they died, their writings lived after them. These prophetic messages were then gathered together, under Gods leading, in the book we call the Bible.
Who Compiled The Old Testament
Compiling and ascribing divine inspiration of the Old Covenant Scriptures occurred over time, by consensus, by evidences of unity, self-attestation, personal spiritual devotion, and by liturgical usage in communities. There are theories of canonization of selected books by councils . However, much of this is reliant upon commentary . The sacred texts, preserved by Israel as Gods Word to them, were more formally recognized, particularly, after the Babylonian Captivity. By the time of Jesus, the texts that Jesus affirmed as being the Word of God were complete. God is sovereign over all things including His Word.
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Stewards Of The Gospel Story
The four Gospels teach us about Jesus: what he said, what he did, what he taught. Each of the Gospels helps us also to see the significance of the One who died and rose again. Matthew does this openly by explaining how Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament. John teaches the eternal and divine truth about the Word who came down from heaven and returned to the Father. Mark shows the depth of Jesuss obedience by not even mentioning the name Jesus as he is mocked, stripped, spit upon, and crucified , until his final moments and last words . The Gospels teach us about Jesus, but told from after the resurrection , from after the moment that the witnesses had received the power of the Holy Spirit. It is the Spirit who enabled the apostles to be his witnesses , and who reminded them of everything Jesus had said . The apostles had two powerful impulses at their disposal: the Spirit-sharpened memory of Jesuss teaching and the Spirit-taught understanding of the existing Scriptures .
In fact, Luke at the beginning of his Gospel tells Theophilus that his book is just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us . The resemblance to Pauls words in 1 Corinthians 11:2 is striking.
How Did God Write The Bible
How do we interpret the sacred texts of the Bible? For those interested in how theological and scientific claims can be reconciled, this is an especially pressing question when we are asked to interpret the opening chapters of the book of Genesis.
Did God create the universe in six 24-hour periods? Did the Garden of Eden really exist? Are Adam and Eve historical figures? These are just several of the many questions that come up as we wrestle with the sacred text.
Before we consider the question of how we are to interpret the sacred Scriptures, however, I think that it is important to address a more foundational question: How did God write the Bible? Or using more technical language, by what process did God inspire the human authors who wrote the Bible? Over the years, I have come to see that how one answers this question of biblical inspiration often shapes how one will answer the hermeneutical question of biblical interpretation.
In this view, the sacred text is a text of Gods words alone; they are not human words, because the human author had no real role in creating them. For those who hold to this account of verbal dictation, the biblical text is a text that has no historical or cultural context. It is beyond time and place. As such, we have to read the Bible as it is. We have to grasp the meaning of the words as they are.
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Who Wrote The Book Of Genesis
- ZA Blog
Moses is traditionally considered the author of Genesis. But for over two centuries, one of the most contested questions in biblical scholarship has been Who wrote the Book of Genesisand when?
Genesis is the first book of the Bible, and one of the five books of the Pentateuch. Several other books of the Pentateuch include passages that mention Moses recording events and writing down what God says. The authors of the New Testamentand even Jesus himselfappear to credit Moses as the author of Genesis.
So why dont scholars agree?
There are passages in Genesis that Moses could not have written, because they describe events that happened after his death, known as postmosaica passages. And there are others that would simply be awkward for Moses to write, which are referred to as amosaica . If these passages were added later, how do we know what Moses did and didnt write?
So the real question is: did Moses write Genesis, or not?
Renowned Old Testament scholar Tremper Longman III tackles this question in his online course on the book of Genesis. The following post is adapted from his course.
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Did God Write The Bible Through Humans
Yes, the Lord used human instrumentality to bring forth his own word. Of course, God could have spoken directly or immediately, but he chose to do so immediately that is, through human agents. Therefore, we must recognize that these writers prophets and priests, kings and servants, lawyers and fishermen, scholars and uneducated wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
Who Were The Human Writers
So, who were the human writers of the Bible? Thats the most direct way this question was posed. Let me try to answer it as directly.
At least ten of the books of the Bible are unsigned. The authors did not see fit to include their names in the books they wrote. For example, Job and Esther in the Old Testament we dont know who wrote them. In the New Testament, Hebrews we dont know who wrote Hebrews. But the traditional list of authors would go like this:
- Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible and at least one of the Psalms .
- Ezra the scribe wrote the books of Ezra and 12 Chronicles.
- Nehemiah wrote the book of Nehemiah.
- Psalm writers include David, Asaph, the sons of Korah, Ethan, Heman.
- Solomon wrote some of the Psalms, most of the Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon.
- Agur and Lemuel wrote some of the Proverbs.
Then all the prophets wrote the books by their own name:
- Jeremiah, who also wrote Lamentations
Then the writers of the Gospels in the New Testament:
- Luke, who also wrote Acts
In fact, its interesting: If youd ask most people, Who wrote most of the New Testament? theyd probably say Paul, because he wrote thirteen letters. But actually, Luke wrote most of the New Testament because the books of Luke and Acts together comprise more of the New Testament than any other author which is why we named our first son Luke, but nobody calls him Luke anymore; he goes by Karsten.
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Alphabetical List Of New Testament Authors
- James: The book of James
- John: Gospel of John, 1st John, 2nd John, 3rd John, Revelation
- Jude: Book of Jude
- Luke: Gospel of Luke, Acts of the Apostles
- : Gospel of Mark
- Matthew: Gospel of Matthew
- Paul: Romans, 1st and 2nd Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1st and 2nd Thessalonians, 1st and 2nd Timothy, Titus, Philemon
- Peter: 1st and 2nd Peter
Did Moses Write Genesis
For many, the answer to this question is a matter of orthodoxy, and debates quickly become passionate. While it seems simple , scholars dont necessarily treat it as a yes or no questionthey also have to consider that Moses may have written part of Genesis.
For some, orthodoxy simply suggests that Moses wrote the whole Pentateuch, perhaps with the exception of postmosaica passages such as Genesis 11:28 and 14:14 and amosaica passage such as Numbers 12:4.
On the other extreme are those who say that Moses wrote none of the Pentateuch, but rather the Pentateuch was composed much later than the time the Bible purported that he lived .
In the following discussion, whatever we say about the Pentateuch pertains to the book of Genesis, though we will also on occasion refer specifically to the book of Genesis.
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So What Is The Answer
When it comes to authorship of the Bible, of course men were involved. Christianswould be the first to point this out. For example, Paul wrote letters to earlychurches that are included in the Scriptures . David wrotemany of the Psalms. Moses wrote the Pentateuch, or the Torah . In fact, it is estimated that over 40 different human authorswere involved.2 So, this is not the issue.
The issue is this: did God have any involvement or not? Did God inspire the authorsof the Scriptures?3 When someone claimsthat the Bible was written by men and not God, this is an absolute statementthat reveals something extraordinary.
It reveals that the person saying this is claiming to be transcendent! When one claims that God was not inspiring the human authors of theBible, that person is claiming to be omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent!
Who Was Jesus Did He Really Exist
Most scholars agree that Jesus, a first-century religious leader and preacher, existed historically. He was born in c4 BC and died reportedly crucified on the orders of the Roman prefect Pontius Pilate in cAD 3033. Then, for around 40 years, news of his teachings was spread by word of mouth until, from around AD 70, four written accounts of his life emerged that changed everything.
The gospels, or good news, of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are critically important to the Christian faith. It is their descriptions of the life of Jesus Christ that have made him arguably the most influential figure in human history.
We cant be sure when the gospels were written, says Barton, and we know little about the authors. But the guess is that Mark came first, in the 70s, followed by Matthew and Luke in the 80s and 90s, and John in the 90s or early in the second century.
In general, Matthew, Mark and Luke tell the same story with variations, and hence are called the synoptic gospels, whereas John has a very different style, as well as telling a markedly different version of the story of Jesus. Matthew and Luke seem to be attempts to improve on Mark, by adding more stories and sayings from sources now lost. John is a different conceptualisation of the story of Jesus, portraying a more obviously divine figure.
The Old Testament: Various Schools Of Authors
To explain the Bibles contradictions, repetitions and general idiosyncrasies, most scholars today agree that the stories and laws it contains were communicated orally, through prose and poetry, over centuries. Starting around the 7th century B.C., different groups, or schools, of authors wrote them down at different times, before they were at some point combined into the single, multi-layered work we know today.
Of the three major blocks of source material that scholars agree comprise the Bibles first five books, the first was believed to have been written by a group of priests, or priestly authors, whose work scholars designate as P. A second block of source material is known as Dfor Deuteronomist, meaning the author of the vast majority of the book of Deuteronomy. The two of them are not really related to each other in any significant way, Baden explains, except that they’re both giving laws and telling a story of Israel’s early history.
Did God Write The Bible
Evidence indicates that the Bible, in the form we have it, is a human document, but that does not mean it is not sacred.
The Bible as a whole makes no claim for divine authorship. Although many passages are quoted in Gods name, the five books of Moses never assert that their entire content is divine. Nonetheless, due to various interpretations and doctrines, the belief has grown up in Judaism that the whole Torah is divine.
One engine of this belief is the existence of a fascinating intellectual problem. In modern times, the problem is called the slippery slope. Essentially, it points up the difficulty with drawing lines. Opponents of abortion use the slippery-slope argument very effectively: If a fetus is considered a human being at, say, eight months, what about eight months minus 30 seconds? Minus one minute? Five minutes? One day? At each step, it is hard to defend the absolute distinction between the point one defends and a point just marginally prior to it.
Similarly, the slippery slope wreaks havoc with arguments about biblical authorship. If one word, just one word, of the Bible is in fact of human origin, then how can one defend the divinity of any of it? If one word, why not two, or 10, or the whole book?
So it is intellectually neater to hew to a hard line. If it is all from God, then thats the end of it. For centuries, Jewish exegetes argued that this was the simple truth.
Reprinted with permission from Beliefnet.com.
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The Word About The Word
The story of how the Bible came into being is largely told in the Bible itself. Perhaps we would like to know things that are not revealed. There are limitations to our knowledge. Yet the Bible is Gods revelation that tells us in great detail about the whole of salvation history, about the coming of the Messiah and his death and resurrection, and about the great hope of glory that is revealed in the Word who became flesh, the Lord Jesus Christ. And this word is fully trustworthy.