How Was the Bible Written?

Posted on Posted in The Bible

Have you ever wondered how the Bible was written?

If you flip through the pages of the New Testament, you will find letters signed, “Greetings from Paul”, rather than, “Yours Truly, God”. So why do we say these letters are from God if some are clearly signed by men? This brings us to a fundamental question about the Bible, “Was the Bible written by God or by man?”

“And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, 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, 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)

In these verses Peter says, And we have something more sure, the prophetic word”. If you read the verses before, Peter is talking about seeing the transfiguration of Jesus Christ. So how sure is the Bible? Peter says it is just as sure as the person of Jesus Himself.

That’s why he goes on to says, “you will do well to pay attention” to it!

Now notice how Peter says the Bible was written: “men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.So how was the Bible written? It was written by men speaking from God, or to say the same thing in reverse, it was written by God speaking through speaking men.

Men spoke

As you read the Bible, you will notice men are speaking with their own words and styles that are unique to them. This is why John’s gospel is quite different from Matthew’s gospel. This is because John and Matthew did not dictate their gospels as God shouted at them from heaven, but instead John and Matthew both wrote “their words”, while at the same time, they wrote exactly what God wanted them to write through the power of the Holy Spirit.

From God (The Doctrine of Inspiration)

In these verses Peter helps us understand the Holy Spirit’s role in writing scripture. It was the Holy Spirit who prompted and guided the Biblical writers. So as Paul wrote with his own personality, grammar, and unique style, he was at the same time being “carried along by the Holy Spirit” so that every word, syllable, and letter was exactly what God wanted him to write. The Holy Spirit did the same thing with the other writers of the Bible, which is why we can say the Bible is inspired by God, even though it was written by men.

God or Man?

As we see in this text, the words in the Bible are both 100% from man and 100% from God. Men took up their pens and wrote, but it was God the Holy Spirit, who moved them to write and guided every jot, tittle, and iota as they wrote. Therefore all the words are His words.

So what does this mean?

It means that all the words in your Bible are from God, and all those words are just as sure as Jesus Himself.

Just imagine if the next time you opened your Bible Jesus Himself showed up and begin speaking to you directly? How intently would you listen?

Well the truth is He does just that, through His Word, and His Word is “more sure” than if He were actually standing in front of you speaking, as you gazed back into His dark brown eyes.

So the next time you read your Bible, know you are reading the very words of God, therefore you would do well to pay close attention.

 

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “How Was the Bible Written?

  1. You said that every word, syllable and letter was exactly what God wanted them to write, as influenced through the Holy Spirit (which I agree with). If this is true, then how do we have so many translations now, being that it was exactly how God wanted it to be originally? If it was perfect then, how do we have many different translations?

    1. Bailey,

      Thanks for the question. The reasons we have so many translations today does not have to do with the original text, but instead with the various language we translate the original texts into. So when we talk about the Bible being “inspired” by God, we mean the original Hebrew and Greek texts that the original authors wrote (or the autographs as they are called). This of course brings up another question, “How do we know our Bibles contain what the original author’s wrote?” I will answer that question in the near future as I continue this series on the Bible.

      But to answer your question, the reason different words appear from translation to translation in our English Bibles has to do with the process of translating Hebrew into English and Greek into English. Since Hebrew and Greek are very different languages compared to English, every English translation of the Bible is an interpretation of the original text, and interpretations vary, which is why we have so many translations. For example, have you ever copied a spanish paragraph into Google translate and then hit translate? It doesn’t alway read that clearly because Spanish to English requires interpretation, not just word for word translation. So no, God did not inspire every word in your English Bible, in fact He inspired non of them. But God did inspired the Hebrew and Greek words that are behind those English words. But don’t let that bum you out. After taking both Hebrew and Greek, I can say confidently that most English translation are excellent, and what you are reading in English, is what God said in Greek and Hebrew (just through the veil of translation). So praise God for men and women who spend their lives in the world of Bible translations! Or else we’d all have to learn Hebrew and Greek.

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