In this blog series “The Bible” my hope is to introduce Christians to some basic claims the Bible makes, resources to aid study, and offer instruction on reading and applying God’s word. This first post asks a fundamental question: who wrote the Bible? I’m not trying to prove divine authorship. I’m just asking the Bible to speak for itself so that new and growing believers may be instructed and encouraged. So, who wrote the Bible?
Obviously, the Christian scriptures have human authors. We’ve all heard of Peter, Paul, and
Mary John. What makes the Bible a special book is that it claims to have dual authorship. The scriptures claim that the supreme origin of their contents is God himself. There are two specific passages that speak to this:
19 And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, 20 knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. 21 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 1.19-21
The apostle Peter tells us that the scriptures didn’t originate in the will of man, but God’s. Imagine, God desired to speak to you. When you were cut off from him because of your sin and had no right to know him God purposed to introduce himself to you. It was his will to speak the words of scripture. He’s a God who communicates. Peter tells us that God isn’t hiding from us. He’s there. He has spoken, through human authors in words we can understand and live by.
16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3.16-17
Similarly, the apostle Paul teaches us that the scriptures are God-breathed. Those words have also be translated “inspired”. When your pastor says that the Bible is inspired and your literature professor says that Shakespeare was inspired they mean two different things. By inspiration, pastors and theologians are referring back to this verse from Paul and then intend that God “breathed out” the writings of the scriptures such that Paul’s words are God’s words. All of the scriptures are God’s divinely intended words.
So much of our theology and preaching hangs on these two passages, and others like them. If the Bible isn’t from God then we cannot stand firmly upon its teaching and rest in the gospel it proclaims. Growing Christians would do well to memorize these verses and daily thank our Father for authoring his Word.