Who wrote the Bible? As it has been pointed out in previous articles, God was the voice speaking behind the prophets, apostles, certain leaders, and writers of Scripture. Some of the verses we’ve looked at have made reference to the written aspect of God’s revelations. But in this article, the writers of scripture present a stronger defense for the fact that God regularly directed the actual recording of his Words, commands, and revelations of whatever sort they may be.
God used messengers in many generations of time–from Moses through the first century after Christ–to write letters to humanity (directed more to Israel under
the Old Testament, but to all of humanity under the New Testament). Although it took
many hundreds of years for God to dictate His words to the various writers of the Bible it was like a couple of days of recordings to God. A thousand years is like a day with Him (II Peter 3:8).
God is the actual Author of the Bible. He just directed many people to speak and write on His behalf. These many scribes of scripture wrote the progressive revelations of God from Genesis to The Revelation under the complete inspiration and anointing of the Holy Spirit. They were unified with one another in their every thought and intent as if they were all in one room at the same time jotting down the words of God as He spoke to each one of them.
Writers of the Old Testament
I will begin with Moses and work my way through the Bible to show the progressive consistency of confirmations which give proof that God was directing the writing of Scripture.
And the Lord said to Moses, “Cut two tablets of stone like the first ones, and I will write on these tablets the words that were on the first tablets which you broke. – Exodus 34:1, NKJV
God had to write the Ten Commandments on two tablets of stone a second time because many Israelites grew impatient as Moses was on the Mountain getting the tablets from God the first time. They had rebelled against God and talked Aaron into helping them create a golden calf to worship like they used to do in Egypt. Aaron gave into peer pressure, and Moses was so angry when he came down from the mountain only to see them worshiping an idol, that he threw down the original tablets of stone and they broke (Exodus 32:1-19). So, after God finished the second set of tablets and quoted to Moses additional laws for His people, “And the LORD said to Moses, 'Write these words, for in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel.'" (Exodus 34:27, ESV)
Now God also caused the writers of Scripture to record the historical events surrounding various periods of time, in addition to the revelations of His commandments, will, and prophecies of future events.
These were the stages of the Israelites’ journey when they went out of the land of Egypt by their military divisions under the leadership of Moses and Aaron. At the Lord’s command, Moses wrote down the starting points for the stages of their journey; – Numbers 33:1, 2a, HCSB
Joshua succeeded Moses as the next key leader and prophet of God. After God gave him revelations, Joshua added them to the same book that Moses had started. “And Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law God, …” (Joshua 24:26, KJV) The Book of the law of God was the compilation of all that Moses had already written under the instructions of God.
Now, God had designated a place for Moses to keep his written revelations. It was called the ark of the covenant. If you were ever into the “Indiana Jones” movies, you’ve heard of it. We’ll get into that in the next article. But that is the place referred to when the Bible mentions an account of the prophet Samuel when he finished writing God's commands for the first king of Israel:
Samuel explained the laws concerning kingship to the people. He wrote the laws on a scroll, which he placed in front of the LORD. – I Samuel 10:25a, GW
There are references made in the second Book of Chronicles that give Isaiah credit for writing portions of the Bible. We’ve already read how God spoke through Isaiah. He is responsible for recording God’s Words in the Book of Isaiah, and also, at least portions of the Books of the Kings and Books of the Chronicles.
Now the rest of the acts of Uzziah, from first to last, Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz wrote. –II Chronicles 26:22, ESV
Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah, and his goodness, indeed they are written in the vision of Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, and in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel. – II Chronicles 32:32, NKJV
King Solomon equated his writings with absolute truth when he said, “Have I not written to you excellent things of counsels and knowledge, that I may make you know the certainty of the words of truth, that you may answer words of truth to those who send to you?” (Proverbs 22:20,21, NKJV)
God commanded the prophet Jeremiah to transcribe the revelations which He had given him over a period of many years. For more proof that the Bible has God's stamp of divine authority, let's read the following from the Book of Jeremiah.
Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: Write in a book all the words that I have spoken to you. – Jeremiah 30:2, ESV
Take a scroll of a book and write on it all the words that I have spoken to you against Israel, against Judah, and against all the nations, from the day I spoke to you, from the days of Josiah even to this day. …Then Jeremiah called Baruch the son of Neriah; and Baruch wrote on a scroll of a book, at the instruction of Jeremiah, all the words of the Lord which He had spoken to him. – Jeremiah 36:2-4, NKJV
Daniel wrote down the dreams and visions he received (Daniel 7:1). And God also told one of the lesser known prophets, Habakkuk, to record the revelations He had given him. “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets.” (Habakkuk 2:2, ESV).
Writers of the new testament
The apostles who spread the message of the New Testament wrote down whatever they were commanded for both the early church and future generations. They didn't need to record proof of everything that Jesus ever said or did while He was on earth, just enough to restore humanity to a relationship with God.
Jesus closest disciple, John, puts that truth in perspective below:
Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. – John 20:30,31, ESV
This is the disciple who is bearing witness about these things, and who has written these things, and we know that his testimony is true. Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. – John 21:24,25, ESV
When John was older, he was exiled to the island of Patmos as punishment for being a witness for Christ. This is where John recorded the final book of the Bible! At the beginning of the book of the Revelation, the “Alpha and Omega” commanded John, "What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia:" (Rev. 1:10,11, MKJV) We read near the end of this Book how John heard a voice thunder from the throne of God, saying, "Behold, I am making all things new. Also he said, 'Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.'" (Revelation 21:5, ESV)
After everything, remember this:
For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. – Romans 15:4, ESV
Stop by again and learn how the writers of scripture preserved their scrolls: Why believe the Bible VI, The preservation of scripture
Go to the beginning of this series if you've missed anything: Why believe the Bible, Introduction