Wasn't the Bible Written By Men?

Published 10/19 2012 08:36AM

Updated 09/04 2013 10:22AM

The Bible is a fascinating and unusual literary entity.  It is composed of 66 different books: 39 comprising the Old Testament and 27 making up the New Testament.  Those 66 books were written by at least 40 different authors from various walks of life, including a shepherd, priest, king, servant, farmer, doctor, tax collector, fisherman, and more.  They were written over a period of 1600 years in 3 different languages on 3 separate continents.  Yet, in spite of this astonishing diversity of personality, time and culture, there is an undeniable, and humanly inexplicable, consistency and unity in the books from beginning to end.  Common themes run throughout. Persons and events predicted in the Old Testament are fulfilled in the New.  Archeological finds have consistently confirmed the historicity and reliability of persons, places and events referred to by the Biblical writers.  The Bible stands head and shoulders above any other book of its time or genre in terms of internal consistency, historical reliability and contemporary applicability.

            One common misunderstanding among many is that the 27 books of the New Testament were voted on and decided by a 4th century church council.  It is true that the first evidence we have of a complete listing of the New Testament books was not until the middle of the 4th century.  But the 27 books of the New Testament were not chosen by any one person or church council.  Rather, over the course of the first 250-300 years of Christian history, certain writings gradually came into focus and became the most trusted and beneficial and universally accepted of all the early Christian writings.  Over the course of time, these 27 writings were not chosen and decided upon to be God's Word, but rather accepted as such.  The New Testament canon didn't become the Word of God by being deemed so by the church, but it already was the Word of God that over time the church recognized and accepted.  As one author puts it, the church no more gave us the New Testament canon than Sir Isaac Newton gave us gravity.  The church rather clarified, recognized and confirmed what already existed.

            Was the Bible written by men?  Yes, in one sense it absolutely was.  But it has been the Church's belief, and is Church of the Cross' belief, that God was ultimately overseeing and inspiring the process of their writing so that what was finally written is rightly called the Word of God, and should be responded to as such.

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