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Who Wrote the Bible Stories?

scroll and bible You sit down at a candle-lit table, pen in hand, paper scroll partially rolled out before you. A fire is burning in the fireplace behind you, throwing just enough heat on your sheepskin-covered back to keep you nice and toasty.

You are waiting. You've heard of those who wrote the bible stories, and you wait for that moment of inspiration so you can begin a task you've felt the need to accomplish your entire life...

That's how I would guess the forty-plus men who wrote the bible stories felt at some point in there lives as they sat down to write the stories that make up the most distributed book in the history of mankind - the Bible.

So it was man who wrote the Bible stories?

The short answer to that is Yes. The long answer to that is No. I'm not crazy, really. Let me explain a little futher.

If you want to get technical, man actually put the pen to the scroll and wrote on it. However, as any writer will tell you, it takes much more than knowing how to write words and letters in order to put together a good piece of literature.

Who Wrote the Bible Stories fact:
Whenever someone wanted a copy of the "Bible" back in the times it was written - it had to be copied by hand.

To help explain how the Bible was actually put together, I will first give you some background information about God. God describes himself as being three separate entities all wrapped up into one neat package. It states in the Bible that God is made up of three "parts": God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. These "parts" are like your own body - hands, legs, eyes, nose - each is designed for a specific purpose.

Who Wrote the Bible Stories fact:
Several ancient texts and scrolls have been recovered which support many biblical stories from the Old Testament: Dead Sea scrolls, King Lists, Siloam Inscription, etc.

The first part, God the Father, is the creator. He created everything you see, hear, touch, smell, and taste, and also the things you can't. The second part, Jesus Christ, came to Earth in the form of to bridge the gap between us and God. He is also the part through which everything was created. The third and final part is God the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit guides our mind so that we grow in our relationship with God. God immediately sends His Holy Spirit to be with us when we admit to Him that we are a sinner and ask Jesus to come into our heart to save us.

Who Wrote the Bible Stories fact:
Archeological study has discovered that Mesopotamian life and culture mirrored much of the same culture and values we read about in the first 38 chapters of Genesis.

The Holy Spirit can guide us a couple of different ways. First, he allows us to make choices and then teaches us through the consequences of our choices. Secondly, he enters our thoughts to suggest whatever it is he wants us to do. Usually around that time, other things fall into place in our lives which confirm what he is saying. Oh and, just for clarification, His suggestions can be pretty persuading.

It is this second form of leading that is of interest when discussing who wrote the bible stories. All the inspiration required for the forty plus men to write the bible stories came from the Holy Spirit.

Who Wrote the Bible Stories fact:
Moses is generally credited as writing the first five books of the Bible - known as the pentatuch.

So did the Holy Spirit give the author a word by word dictation? No. He probably whispered something like, "I need you to write about this subject" and then provided the story to go along with it through friends and family, reminding the author about a related past experience he may have had, or providing the author with "diaries" passed down from generation to generation.

How long did it take to write the bible?

The original scrolls and letters to churches (like Romans, Phillipians, and Colossians) were written over a period of 1500 years. The authors really slowed down after the first thousand years - I'm joking, of course. Those forty plus authors each lived in a different time and / or place in history.

Who Wrote the Bible Stories fact:
The question is often asked, "Why are the gospels different from one another? Let me answer this with another question: Take any event, place five people to observe that event from similar locations, and get them to tell you about the event after it is complete. Will they tell you the exact same thing?

Around 1560AD, after various attempts throughout the centuries, English exiles in Geneva finally organized the texts into the sixty-six books and thousands of verses of the modern Bible. Since then, various translators have translated the Bible into several versions and several languages for use around the world.

How do they know for sure who wrote what?

Sometimes the author identified himself in the text. For instance, in some of the letters Paul wrote to the churches, he starts out by saying something like, "I Paul...". The authors of those texts are pretty easy to identify...

Who Wrote the Bible Stories fact:
The volume of biblical writings about Paul (Saul of Tarsus) is second only to that of Jesus.

Other authors are a little more difficult to determine. When the author doesn't name himself in a particular text, linguistic specialists analyze and compare writing styles of other books to see if they can find a match. The specialists look for similar words used, sentence structure, and other clues like historic facts which may indicate time period. Generally, an educated guess can be made for those books that don't name the author, but no one can really say for sure.

So why didn't God write His instructions in stone?

He did. It's called the Ten Commandments. That short-but-sweet message contains everything we need to know about how to live the life He wants us to live. However, being the all-knowing and all-loving God that He is, He also gives us the rest of the bible to help us deal with all the hard times caused by our own decisions, or from tests he throws our way.

Why use forty plus men and lots of stories?

If the Bible only contained a bunch of instructions written by God that listed things to do and not to do (yes, it does contain those things), would you read it? Our very nature is to do everything listed in the "Don't" column at our first opportunity.

Who Wrote the Bible Stories fact:
The book of Esther makes no mention of God. Yet, no book teaches the principle of divine intervention more clearly.

Look at Adam and Eve. They only had one rule to follow, and couldn't even obey it!

Another example hits closer to home. When your parents said, "If you do that, then this bad consequence will happen," was your reaction to roll your eyes and say, "I know Mom and Dad, I know", and then you would proceed to do whatever it was you were going to do?

Who Wrote the Bible Stories fact:
Luke, who wrote the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts, was a physician and the first scientist to question the facts of faith. He held fast to the belief the Jesus Christ was the son of God, and told us the story of his birth from the eyes of Mary...whom he probably got the story from first hand!

However, what happened if a friend, or someone you admired, said "When I did that, this bad consequence happened"?

You probably thought twice before you did whatever it was you planned to do, because you had a trustworthy example, right?

Who Wrote the Bible Stories fact:
Revelations, the last book of the Bible was written by John, probably the same "disciple whom Jesus loved". It was written to encourage followers of Christ at the time to hold fast to their Savior.

Being our mother and father rolled up into one, God was smart enough to include stories and experiences from all kinds of people. A variety of backgrounds and life experiences from the likes of fishermen, doctors, boat builders, kings, and priests have contributed to the Bible in one form or another.

There truly is something, or someone, in the Bible for everybody. God inspired several men with a concept, and enabled them to use their gifts and experiences to write practical (and entertaining) bible stories for His children.

It is early in the morning. What was once a bright, warm fire is now a heap of grey-black coals. You have been praying and writing all night. God has blessed your hands with the strength and endurance to finish His work. He has blessed your mind with the words which will guide generations of people for centuries.

You sit back in your seat and watch the sun rise over the rolling hills outside your window. No time to sleep now. You have chores to do. A family to feed.

Besides, if you get your work done soon enough, your name will get added to the list of men who wrote the Bible stories.

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