Was the Bible the Invention of Man? / Did More than 35 Men Collude un Writing the Bible?
Here is a very brief overview to help you understand and to familiarize yourself with Scripture. To first-time readers and students of the Bible, I would like to give an outline of the Bible; its divisions, characters and a brief summary.
The Bible is a Book of books, sixty-six of them, divided into two main parts: The Old Testament and the New Testament. In short, the Old Testament is the story of a Nation, and the New Testament is the story of a Man. The Nation was God’s way of bringing the Man into the world.
The Old Testament describes the founding, preservation, and relationship God had with the nation of Israel. God promised to use Israel to bless the whole world (Gen.12:2-3). Once Israel was established as a nation, God raised up a family within that nation through whom the blessings would come – the family of David (Psalm 89:3-4). Then, from the family of David was promised one Man who would bring the promised blessing (Isaiah 11:1-10).
The New Testament details the coming of that promised Man. His name was Jesus, and He fulfilled the prophecies of the Old Testament as He lived a perfect sinless life, died to become the Savior, and rose from the dead.
The Old Testament primarily records God’s dealings with Israel on the bases of the covenant given through Moses at Mt. Sinai (Exodus 24:1-8), while the New Testament describes the new arrangement of God with men through Christ on the bases of the New Covenant (Luke 22:14-20; 2 Cor.3:6-11). The Old Covenant revealed the holiness of God in the righteous standard of the Law and promised a coming Redeemer. The New Covenant shows the holiness of God in His righteous Son, Christ Jesus.
THE CENTRAL CHARACTER:
Jesus is the central character in the Bible. The whole book is really about Him. The Old Testament predicts His coming and sets the stage for His entrance into the world. The New Testament describes His coming and His work to bring salvation to our sinful world.
Jesus is more than a historical figure, in fact, He is more than a mere man. He is God in the flesh – the third distinct person in the Godhead (God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit). He left His royal robes of heaven to come down to earth to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins and to offer us hope, salvation, reconciliation, and life eternal. His coming was the most important event in the history of the world. God Himself became a man in order to give us a clear, understandable picture of who He is. What is God like? He is like Jesus. Jesus is God in human form (John 1:14; 14:9) and the Creator of all things. This includes mankind, the animals, the heavenly planets, the angels – all things visible and invisible (John 1:3).
A BRIEF SUMMARY:
The Bible is God’s letter to humanity. God created man and placed him in a perfect environment; however, deceived by Satan, man rebelled against God and fell from what God intended him to be. God placed the world under a curse because of disobedience (sin) but immediately set in-motion a plan to rescue man and all creation to its original glory.
As part of His plan of redemption, God called Abraham out of Babylonia into Canaan (about 2,000 B.C.). God promised Abraham, his son Isaac, and his grandson Jacob (also called Israel) that He would bless the world through a Descendent of theirs. Israel’s family emigrated from Canaan to Egypt, where they grew to be a nation.
Around 1,400 B.C., God led Israel’s descendants out of Egypt under the direction of Moses and gave them the Promised Land, Canaan, as their own. Through Moses, God gave the people of Israel the Law and made a covenant with them. If they would remain faithful to God and not follow the idolatry of the surrounding nations, then they would prosper. If they forsook God and followed idols, then God would destroy their nation.
Around 400 years later, during the reigns of David and his son Solomon, Israel was solidified into a great and powerful kingdom. God promised David and Solomon that a Descendant of theirs would rule as an everlasting King.
After Solomon’s reign, the nation of Israel was divided. The ten tribes to the north were called “Israel,” and they lasted about 200 years before God judged them for their idolatry – Assyria took Israel captive around 721 B.C. The two tribes in the south were called “Judah,” and they lasted a little longer, but eventually they, too, turned from God. Babylon took them captive around 600 B.C.
Around 70 years later, God graciously brought a remnant of the captives back to their own land. Jerusalem, the capital, was rebuilt around 444 B.C., and Israel once again established a national identity. Thus, the Old Testament closes.
The New Testament opens about 400 years later with the birth of Jesus Christ in Judea. Jesus was the Descendant promised to Abraham and David, the One to fulfill God’s plan to redeem mankind and restore creation. Jesus faithfully completed His work. He died for all the sins of the world and rose from the dead and is now exalted to the right hand of God, the Father. The death of Christ is the basis for a New Covenant with the world. All who put their faith and trust in Jesus will be saved and live eternally with Him.
After His resurrection, Jesus sent His disciples to spread the good news everywhere of His life; His sacrificial death, and His power to save. Jesus’ disciples went in every direction spreading the good news of Jesus and salvation. They traveled through Asia Minor, Greece, and the Roman Empire. The New Testament closes with a prediction of Jesus’ return to judge the unbelieving world and to free creation from the curse of Adam’s fall.
WHO WROTE THE BIBLE?
This is a question that is undoubtedly asked by many people around the world. Briefly, the Bible gives guidance in our journey through life to eternity, as well as leads us to a relationship with the God of the universe. It is a historical book that is backed by archaeology, and a prophetic book that has lived up to all of its claims.
From a chapter in my book, this topic is covered extensively but because of space restrictions on doing postings I won’t be able to show you the overwhelming evidence when presented with the miracle of the Bible’s structure, inspiration, survival, integration (unity), historical and archaeological evidence, scientific insights, and over hundreds upon hundreds of fulfilled prophecies. But one thing is clear: There can only be one conclusion – The Bible is truly the Word of God.
It is God’s word. It is not man’s word. It didn’t start with man. It came from God. It’s the revelation of God himself – His ways, His thoughts, His attitudes, His purposes, His laws. Men were the channels through which it came, but always God was the source.
There was no collusion or pre-arrangement by men. It was not as if Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John met in committees. Matthew undertook to write of Christ Jesus as the King, and Mark agreed to write of Him as a Servant. Luke undertakes to delineate Him as the Man, and John determined to crown it all by writing of Him as the Son of God. It was not as if Paul and James met and after talking and praying about it agreed that Paul should write of the doctrinal and James of the practical aspects of the Christian faith. There is no trace of such a thing. They simply wrote as they were moved by the Spirit of God to meet a present need, to teach some glorious truth, to express some earnest longing, and from the gathering of their writings came this miraculous unit that we call the New Testament.
In my book I give you 10 compelling reasons but here is just one reason that the Bible is different from other books and that is because of its unity. Although this book was composed by men, its unity reveals the hand of the Almighty. The Bible, though regarded as a book, is in fact a library of 66 unique volumes, written over a span of 1500 years, written on three continents, in three languages, on totally different topics, and in extraordinarily different circumstances. These writers (more than 35) came from all walks of life; from kings to peasants, and they wrote under every conceivable condition. One wrote on history, another on biography, one wrote on theology, another on poetry, another on prophecy – others on philosophy, genealogy, ethnology, and narratives of wonderful journeys. The Bible covers hundreds of controversial subjects, yet it does not contradict itself but has the same theme. This unity is organized around one theme: God’s redemption of humanity and all of creation through the Person and works of Christ Jesus – God revealing Himself in the flesh.
The Bible is not the book of the month, nor the book of the year. It is the Book-of-the-Ages. You don’t read this book as you would any other book, and study and analyze it just as we do any textbook in literature or science. No! When you come to read this Book, come to it with reverence as this is the living Word of the living God. It is Supernatural in origin, divine in authorship, regenerative in power, infallible in authority, personal in application and inspired in totality. Other books are of the earth. This book is from heaven. There is life and there is energy in the Bible. It is unlike, any other book; for we read other books, but this Book reads us. It is the living, breathing, Word of God. It’s incredible! While all other books are written to inform us, the Bible was uniquely written to transform us through its divine message. I have known personally the transforming power of the Word of God – it’s changed my life.
So far, I have given you a very brief overview of scriptural evidence to counter the arguments of Bible critics and to show that belief in the Holy Scripture does not stem from wishful thinking; but rather, belief logically flows from an honest examination of the evidence.
Most criticism of the Bible comes from those who have never read the Bible or have just glanced at it or who have listened to someone else but have never studied it for themselves. If a person wants to be skeptical, they should at least go about it honestly. Take the Bible and study several books of the New Testament such as the book of John and ask God to reveal Himself to you as you read His word. You might be surprised at the results; in fact, God challenges us to seek and search for Him with an honest and open heart and that He would reveal Himself to us through His word and that is the greatest evidence of all.
In closing, God always tells us; “Let us reason.” So, let us explore another avenue. If the Bible was not inspired by God, then whose invention would it be? What would be the purpose of these 35 plus writers in producing these 66 volumes of Scripture over a period of 1500 years? What could they get out of it? Why would they do it? What would their motive be? You see, it doesn’t make any sense! The Bible must be the invention either of “Good” men, “Bad” men, or of “God.”
1.It could not be the inventions of “Good” men, for they neither would or could make a book, and tell lies all the time they were writing it; saying, “Thus saith the Lord,” or use words like “God said,” declaring it emphatically over 2000 times in Scripture, when it was their own invention.
- 2. It could not be the invention of “Bad” men, for they would not make a book which condemns all duty, forbids all sin, and condemns their souls to hell for all eternity.
3. Therefore, I draw this conclusion; that the Bible must be given by “Divine” inspiration of God. – Case closed!