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Monday: Who Wrote the Bible, and Where? — 15 Comments

  1. I would have liked to have seen some discussion of the process of adding books to the Biblical Canon. It is clear that the Torah was part of the sacred writings well before the Babylonian captivity and probably by the time of King David. A lot of the other books came to be accepted during the Babylonian captivity or soon after.

    It is not just the writing that is important but the process of acceptance.
    I might do a bit of study in that area when I get the time.

    • "He(the Holy Spirit) guided the mind in the selection of what to speak and what to write." It is my thought that the Holy Sprit also guided earthen vessels as to what to include in the Bible Canon. I hope some research will come out on this topic this quarter. This is an incentive to read everyones contribution this quarter.

    • I might put it a little differently thus:
      "The books of the Bible were composed by about 40 different writers whom God inspired." Or something like that ...
      (I don't see God represented as writer, except for writing the Ten Commandments on the tables of stone to which we do not have current access.)

  2. Who wrote the Bible? We humans. Men who had the same battle with sin like you and me. The bible does not hide the character flaws of its patriarchs. Flaws in their character gives hope to us all. Peter inspired by the Holy Spirit calls Jesus You are the Christ. Son of the Living God few verses below Jesus turns and tells Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me. For you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”

    Who wrote the bible? It is men with passions like me. It shows how God can turn a person who is called sons of thunder to become the first disciple to become martyr for Jesus.

    God’s word is the living word will not return to Him void. I have studied the book of Daniel many times but for the first time I realized goat and ram represent the animals from the sanctuary. The author was inspired to make a connection through his writing we reach a greater depth of understanding of the Word.

    “The themes of redemption will employ the hearts and minds and tongues of the redeemed through the everlasting age”

    Christ Object Lesson Page 83

    God is ready to use you for His glory. Will you let him write His word in and through our life?

  3. I have put together this short summary of the development of the canon of the Hebrew Old Testament. There is a lot more material available but I have only given a brief summary so you can get a glimpse of the history of the Old Testament.

    The development of the Hebrew Old Testament Canon is partly shrouded in the mists to time. We can be reasonably certain that most of the books of the Old Testament had been collected together around the time of the return of the Hebrews from the Babylonian exile.

    It is fairly clear that the Torah was carried to Babylon. It was probably regarded as a valuable trophy. We need to remind ourselves that books in those days were hand-crafted scrolls that were not only valued but venerated. You did not go down to the local bookstore and buy a copy to read at home when you felt like it. I have described elsewhere the effort that went in to making a copy of the Torah. In the book of Nehemiah he suggests that Ezra brought the Torah back from Babylon (Nehemiah 8) and that it was read to the people.

    The book 2 Maccabees describes Nehemiah founding a library, with books about the kings and prophets, the writings of David. Judas Maccabeus also made a library of sacred books around the 2nd century BC.

    In all probability there were probably several collections of sacred writings in different populated areas. All of them would have included the Torah, but other writings may have also been included and may have differed from one another depending on community interests. Typically the sacred writings were divided into three; the Torah (law), the Nevi’im (prophets) and the Ketuvim (writings), There is evidence that by about 100BC the books included in the sacred writings included most of what is in the modern Old Testament.

    An important step in the development of the Old Testament Canon was the translation of the Hebrew into the Greek version we now call the Septuagint. This took place in the 3rd and 2nd century BC. It is believed that the Torah and Nevi’im were considered sacred and established as canonical by then but there were some doubts about the Ketuvim.

    There was some debate through to about the 2nd century AD about the Song of Solomon, and Esther.

    I should also mention the Masoretic Text. This was an authoritative collection of the Hebrew and Aremaic text compiled by a group of Jews known as the Masoretes from the 7th – 10th century AD. There is evidence to suggest that there were older manuscripts that the Masoretes used in their compilation.

    I have left a lot out but have shown that the process of canonisation of the Old Testament scripture was not a single event but rather a series of events over several centuries.

    • I understand that Greek was the working language in Judea at the time of Christ and that the Septuagint was the Bible version commonly used at the time. There are also those who argue that it is more likely that Christ used an Aramaic translation of the Old Testament.
      The best arguments I could find to support Christ's use of the Septuagint are in this article: "Jesus Taught in Greek: How can we know that the Greek wasn't translated from Aramaic?"

      The author of "The Bible of the Early Church" makes a plausible case for the proposition that the Jewish Masoretic text, upon which the King James Bible is primarily based, was created by Jews specifically to counter the Christians' use of the common Septuagint to convert people to Christianity. The author writes,

      The Jewish faithful did not like Christians using their Scriptures to convert Jews to Christianity. So, in response, the Jews essentially reestablished the canon of the Old Testament. They disavowed the Septuagint and declared the only true Scriptures to be written in Hebrew. They removed all the books that they thought were not first written in Hebrew and they intentionally changed verses that were in agreement with Christian doctrine. This created an environment where Jews considered the Septuagint to be the “Christian” Old Testament and full of lies. After all, due to all these changes, the Hebrew Scriptures didn’t look exactly the same as the Septuagint anymore.

      This is follows by examples which demonstrate that the Septuagint supports the identity and divinity of Christ where the Masoretic text does not.

      • I think that your comment regarding the Masoretic text is essentially true but the main effort of the Masoretes was in the 9th and 10the centuries. That does not mean that there were not efforts to return to the Hebrew much earlier.

        In the time leading up to Jesus time here on earth, there were two foreign aggregations of Jews, the Babylonian and the Alexandrian Jews. Both has kept alive the traditions of scholarship and had developed rabbinical schools. The Septuagint came out of the Alexandrian group. My guess is that in the NT era representatives of both schools of thought were alive and active in Palestine and synagogues were probably aligned with one or the other, much the same as we see Adventists aligning with different ideas now-a-days.

        Many Jews were multilingual, particularly among the educated, and it is quite possible that Jesus was familiar with both Greek and Hebrew versions of scripture.

        • If you don't mind, just a little speculation. Christ came through the Jewish Nation at a time when they were aligning more with different ideas.

          Synergestic with gospel going to everyone, then will I come. Maybe He is coming at a time to rescue us from aligning with other ideas. That means soon. Be ready. Matthew 24:24.

  4. History can help us to understand the process of the modern Bible's assembling. We can study its historical records and compare them to other history books, as it was done in the last quarterly study about Daniel and his prophecies. Information is important for convincing, but not enough for a deep personal experience. We live in the days when thousands of books are available, either fictional, philosophical, scientific or religious. But the Bible calls for an individual testing. As it is the experience with Jesus! We need to prove ourselves in order to pass it on to others. I heard the term "third world war" today, referring to what's happening! A war against an "invisible" enemy! May we sieze the opportunity and invitation of Jesus for a definite change of heart, a change that can start from us and involve all around. May this help the (also) invisible church to be raised, while we hurry Jesus' second coming.

  5. I was surprised that no one made any reference to Moses as a contributor to the writings found in the Bible. There was a time when almost everyone accepted Moses as the author of most of the writings found in the Pentateuch. What happened?

    Here is what I discovered:

    “Then the LORD said to Moses, “Write this as a memorial in a book and recite it in the ears of Joshua, …” [Exodus 17:14]

    “And Moses wrote down all the words of the LORD. …” [Exodus 24:4]

    “And the LORD said to Moses, “Write these words, …”[Exodus 34:27]

    “Moses wrote down their starting places, stage by stage, by command of the LORD, …”[Numbers 33:2]

    “Then Moses wrote this law and gave it to the priests, …” [Deuteronomy 31:9]

    “In his rejection of Mosaic authorship, Wellhausen nowhere discussed this biblical evidence. It is easy to deny Mosaic authorship, if one ignores the evidence for it. But that is not honest scholarship. …”

    Reference: https://answersingenesis.org/bible-characters/moses/did-moses-write-genesis/

    • Oh we accept Moses as the writer of the 1st 5 books of the Bible. We just took for granted that everyone knew that.

      Thanks Nic for pointing that out what we often take for granted and giving us texts to support Moses transcriptions.

  6. There are two terms basically connected to how the Bible has reached us: Revelation and Inspiration.

    Revelation is to do with how God's word came to men. It was conveyed in the "then and there", conditioned by the language, time, understanding and culture of that time. That is called the historical particularity. The vocabulary and thought-patterns were of those feeble men dwarfed by sin yet qualified for a service.

    Inspiration is the way the message of the "then and there" becomes the message of the "here and now". This, like the former, is purely through the influence of the Holy Spirit. How different pieces of information received by men, each weakened by sin in one form or another, are "pieced" together to form a "one-voice corpus"; how they cohere to make a single volume is INSPIRATION.


    Revelation is vertical, with the arrow pointing downwards: God reveals His plans for humanity to Men! At that time...

    Inspiration is horizontal: The Revealed Word laterally extends across the stretch of time, changing in culture, and civilization, and evolution...; how it laterally reaches out to all human endowed with vast and varied capacities, aptitudes, race and ethnicity...

    The "then and there" (Revelation) becomes the "here and now" (Inspiration). The pains and joys, the instructions and admonitions, the commands and laws of the "then and there" (Revelation) becomes the pains and joys, instructions and admonitions, the commands and laws of the "here and now" (Inspiration).

  7. Whatever the root source for any translation of the Bible, do we trust that it is God Himself who brings the knowledge of His will to each one personally? The promise is: "If you seek Me you will find Me, if you search with all your heart"(Jer 29:12,13). If my goal is to learn and obey the will of God, I can be confident that He will "instruct and teach [me]" Himself through the Word He has placed His protection upon(Ps 32:8). The efforts of men to be rid of God's Word have never succeeded, and now nearly everyone has access to it.

    Do we believe His "exceeding great and precious promises"? Are we confident that "the truth of the Lord endures forever"? If we trust in God for His guidance and leading, is He able?

    The 40 writers wrote according to the inspiration given them by the Author of all scripture.


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