So who wrote the Bible? Did God write it, or was it written by men? The Bible’s answer is: Both.
We know—this is a mystery. Life and the Bible are both full of mysteries, and this is the first mystery we must accept when we open the Bible. Often, the Bible presents us with two seemingly contradictory realities that we must accept simultaneously. We aren’t asked to fit the two truths together, but to hold them both, side by side. This is true when we think about who wrote the Bible. Let us explain.
God claims to be the primary author of the Bible (2 Timothy 3:16). The Bible is his book, though he enlisted many helpers to write it.
There are two foundational Bible passages that explain this reality to us. The first tells us that God, our Creator, has made himself known by speaking in Scripture (2 Timothy 3:16). We call this truth that God has spoken, revelation.
The way he revealed himself was in 66 books, written by over forty authors, from three continents, whose lives spanned all of history. His Spirit moved in them in such a way that what these men wrote was God’s Word (2 Peter 1:21). Together these 66 books of the Bible tell one overarching redemptive story culminating in the person and work of Jesus. We call the process of men recording God’s Word, inspiration.
Both revelation and inspiration are not going on anymore as they were in the past (Hebrews 1:1-2). When the apostle John wrote down the last book of Scripture—Revelation—he was told to seal it up, and no Scripture has been written since.
The collection of books in which God inspired men to write his word is called the “canon”—and over time each book included in the biblical canon was recognized by God’s people as God’s Word. The Bible indicates in various places that God is done writing his Word, because the God’s plan for the history of the world is in its final chapter (Hebrews 1:2).
God has introduced himself with the help of ordinary men because he wants ordinary people to know him. He’s told us who he is, how to know him, and his plan for the world. All that he needed to say and do has been said and done.
Question is, will you open his book and listen?