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  • Writer's pictureDarryl Buckle

Who wrote the Bible

One of the questions that is the most difficult to get our heads around is just who wrote the Bible? Is it’s authorship human or divine in origin? IF it’s human, then isn’t it just like any other book? If it’s divine (if God wrote it) then why did he make it so complicated to understand sometimes? These and other questions often fall under the category that Theologians (literally: the study of God) call Inspiration The Inspiration of Scripture Inspiration is defined as, “the supernatural influence of the Holy Spirit upon the Scripture writers which rendered their writings an accurate record of the revelation or which resulted in what they wrote actually being the Word of God” The phrase “inspired by God” is a translation of one Greek word meaning “God-breathed” (theopneustos). The English word “inspired” is a transliteration of the Latin which translates this Greek word with “inspirata” meaning “to breathe into”. However, the idea is not that God breathed into Scripture his breath, but that he breathed out his Word (through men). This helps us to understand one of the primary verses used to defend the concept of inspiration which is

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness…” 2 Timothy 3:16,

There are many theories regarding the process God used to influence the human authors to write the Scriptures, because there are many factors to consider. These factors include, the literary genre of the different portions, how inspiration relates to the use of sources, and whether inspiration a quality attached to the writer or to the individual writings. One theory is known as the intuition theory. The intuition theory views inspiration as equivalent to a high degree of insight, much like an artist’s gift for painting. This theory views the authors of Scripture as religious geniuses who retained their ability to

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write Scripture permanently. On the other side of the spectrum is the dictation theory, holding that God actually dictated the Bible to the writers and the authors were just passive implements in the hand of God. The dynamic theory emphasizes the combination of divine and human elements in the process of inspiration and in the writing of the Bible. Thus the person writing will give expression to the divinely directed thoughts in a way that is uniquely characteristic of him. This theory makes allowances for a writer’s own personality to come into play in word choice and writing style. In addition to 2 Timothy 3:16 (as mentioned above), 2 Peter 1:21 is also a key verse considered in formulating a theory of inspiration:

“For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along (“moved”) by the Holy Spirit.” 2 Peter 1:21

The word “moved” literally means “to carry”. The same word is translated “driven along” in Acts 27:15. 2 Peter 1:21 may be the only reference explaining how God inspired the prophets. It should be noted that 2 Peter 1:21 relates to the Old Testament. However, the writings of the New Testament are also referred to as Scripture (2 Peter 3:16), having been inspired by the Holy Spirit (1 Thessalonians 1:5) and carry the same weight of authority as the Old Testament Scriptures (Revelations 22:18-19, Deuteronomy 4:2, 12:32). So then we must consider the Scriptures to be writings of human authors under the direction and empowerment of the Holy Spirit, but not passive instruments like “pens in the hand of God” or “blank tape in a tape recorder”. By reading the Scriptures one can conclude that the Spirit used the personalities and unique backgrounds of the authors to present the word of God through their unique writing styles, including the use of grammar, vocabulary, and sentence structures of the writers. The reason I’ve included these 3 theories of Biblical inspiration is because nobody knows how God superintended the process of writing the Scriptures. Nor can we say to what end. IF God wanted us to have a roadmap for living he could have just written a bunch of bullet points all categorized for different occasions. While some of the scriptures are written in a question and answer sort of format as these men addressed issues facing their first century friends, much of the bible is written in narrative format – using the language of story. All this means that while God’s hand and heart are behind the writing of the Scriptures, his will needs to be sought through relationship and not by reading the instruction manual for life. No such manual exists. When was the last time you felt like God “spoke” to you through

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the Bible?


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