Who “Penned” the Words of God ?
The title of this lesson is “Who Penned The Bible? You now what I mean; Who wrote down the words of the bible? Today I would like us to focus on the fact, that the bible is not the word of man, but it is the word of God!
I was telling Doug the other week, about a man who was suggesting to me, that if we could know for sure, who all the people were, that did the actual writing of the books of the bible, how much greater our faith could be.
You know, many of the books of the bible, maybe most, don’t specify by name, who the scribe, or who the “writer” was. And so man has speculated as to the various writers. And that particular man thinks that our faith would be greater, if we knew for sure, who did the writing.
But I said to him; How would that make any difference to your faith, to know for sure who wrote down the words? My faith doesn’t have anything to do with who God choose to write down the words. My faith, is founded and built, on the fact that it was GOD who supplied the very words that are written down!
The bible tells us, in 2 Timothy 3, verse 16; “Every scripture is inspired by God..” “Every scripture”.. That means “All scripture”. It means “the whole of scripture”.
And 2 Peter 1, verse 20 tell us; “Knowing this first..” In other words.. Don’t go any farther, until you understand this.. “Knowing this first, NO prophecy of scripture, is a matter of one’s own interpretation.” When we read the scriptures, we’re not reading someone else’s “explanation” of the thoughts and words of God. We’re not reading someone’s commentary, or their “interpretation” of what God once revealed, and wants us to know. When we read the bible, we’re reading the thoughts and words of God Himself!
“Every scripture” comes from the mind of God, and “No prophecy of scripture” comes from the mind of any human being. Now you might think that a “prophecy” of scripture, refers to a scripture that specifically foretells some future event, but the word “prophecy”, isn’t limited to just that. In past times, foretelling the future has been a PART of what prophesying has been. But what “prophecy” really means, is.. “the gift of communicating, and revealing truth from God.” And God gave that gift to men; And they wrote down exactly what God communicated, and what exactly what He revealed.
The bible, in it’s entirety, is a “prophecy”, from God. The bible is a communication, and a revelation of the truth, directly from the mind of God. The bible is a collection, of the thoughts and words of God. And 2 Peter 1, verse 20 is telling us that NONE of those words, are of anyone else’s personal rendering. ““NO prophecy of scripture, (No revelation of truth) is a matter of one’s own interpretation.” The bible isn’t man’s words, it’s God’s words! Nothing really could be any plainer than that.
And Verse 21 says it again, just that plainly; “For NO prophecy, ever came by the will of man; (it wasn’t man’s idea, to say or to write what we find in the bible) But, holy men of God, spoke, being moved by the Holy Spirit!” They spoke, as they were “moved” as they were “carried along”, by the very Spirit of God!
And of course the same holds true for the words that the “holy men of God” wrote down. It’s been thousands of years since anyone has actually “spoken” a prophecy from God. That’s why God has had certain people write it all down; So that everyone, for all ages, could “hear” the word, through what’s been written.
Now we’ve only looked at three verses of scripture so far. But I can’t see how anyone can take them to mean, anything except what they plainly say; That the writers of the bible did not write down their OWN words, or their OWN explanation, or their own “interpretation”, or what they THOUGHT God wanted them to say and write. They wrote the words, that the Spirit of God “moved” them to write. “Moved” by the Spirit, means.. “carried along”. They were “carried by God”, in their writings.
Our Faith is in God, not Man !
Here’s the fact of the matter; No matter who wrote the words down, God Himself is the author; God is the source of those words. That’s a pretty important point, and a pretty important “fact” to acknowledge isn’t it? That no matter WHO God chose to write down the words, they are GOD’S words, and not man’s words!
But you know, a lot of people don’t believe that. A lot of people think that the men who “penned” the words of the bible, were simply writing their own thoughts, choosing whatever words THEY thought might be best. But the bible says, that’s not the way it was.
Let me read that last verse once again, 2 Peter 1, verse 21; “For NO prophecy ever came by the will of man; But holy men of God, spoke, (and wrote) as they were MOVED by the Holy Spirit!” The Holy Spirit of God “moved” them, to say what they said, and to write what they wrote.
And so with that fact in mind, does it really matter who “penned” the words of the bible? Think about it; Is your faith based at all, on who wrote down God’s words? Mine isn’t. My faith is based ENTIRELY on the fact, that the words that I read in the bible, are GOD’S words, and not man’s words! As a matter of fact, the fact that they’re NOT man’s words, are precisely WHY I’ve got faith in them.
It’s like what’s written in Acts 20, verse 32; “And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.” The bible says that Paul spoke those words, and tradition says that Luke wrote those words, but the words are God’s. And it’s that FACT, that gives those words the power to “build us up, and to give us an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.”
I think it’s a lot like what the apostle Paul said, in 1 Corinthians 1, verse 13, when he wrote; “..Paul wasn’t crucified for you, was he? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?”
The point is, that Paul was simply preaching God’s word! No one’s faith was based on Paul. Faith is based on God, and on Christ! Faith never came from the one who preached the word. And faith never came from the one who wrote down the word. But rather, faith always, comes from the word itself, and from the source of that word. And that source is GOD!
“So then faith comes by hearing, the word of God!” Romans 10, verse 17. Not the word of man, but the word of God!
Consider the Old Testament..
The first five books of the old testament are generally attributed to the writing of Moses, but the bible doesn’t tell us that. And what difference would it make anyway?
How about the next book, the book of Joshua? The bible doesn’t say who wrote down those words. And how about the next book, Judges? Many have supposed that maybe Samuel wrote those words, but the bible doesn’t tell us that.
Then there’s First and Second Samuel, and First and Second Kings. No author is stated.
First and Second Chronicles, and the book of Ezra, are all commonly attributed to Ezra, but the bible doesn’t say one way or the other. Maybe the bible is silent for a reason. Maybe God wants our faith to be founded on HIM, not on who wrote the words down. Well, there’s no maybe about it.
The first verse of the book of Nehemiah says this; “The words of Nehemiah, the son of Hacaliah.” I believe that Nehemiah spoke the words that are recorded in that book, because God tells us, that they’re “the words of Nehemiah”. But God never told us who wrote those words down. And it doesn’t matter.
Then we’ve got the books of Esther and Job, and no mention of who recorded those words. But we know that they were inspired by God!
It’s not until we get to the Psalms, that some more names are mentioned. For example, many of the Psalms are titled.. “A Psalm of David”, or “A Psalm of Asaph”. King David is named in 73 of the Psalms. Asaph is named twelve times. The sons of Korah are named eleven times. Solomon is named twice. And Moses and Ethan, once each. That accounts for 100 of the Psalms, and no one is named at all, for the remaining fifty.
The first verse of Proverbs says; “The proverbs of Solomon, the son of David, the king of Israel.” God gave Solomon great wisdom, and great understanding. And even though the bible calls these proverbs, “The proverbs of Solomon” we know, that they weren’t really “his words”, right? Because the scripture guarantees us, that.. “Every scripture is inspired by God..” And so, even “The proverbs of Solomon”, are the words of God.
God inspired the words, and Solomon either spoke those words, or he wrote them down, or both. But it’s not at all unlikely, that King Solomon, might have actually had a scribe write down the words that the Spirit of God, put into his mouth. We don’t know, But again, it simply doesn’t matter.
Consider the New Testament..
In my old study bible, there’s a section at the beginning of each book, that gives a brief “survey” of the subject matter of the book, and it gives an approximate date of the writing, and it gives the name of the writer, when that name is known. For the book of Mathew, it says; “Early second century tradition, attributes the first Gospel, to the apostle Mathew.”
The bible itself doesn’t say a word about who the writer was, but “tradition” says it was most likely Mathew. And that’s fine with me, because it really doesn’t matter anyhow.
At the beginning of the book of Mark, it says; “The early church, is ‘practically’ unanimous, in ascribing the second Gospel to Mark..” Once again, “tradition”, and that’s fine with me.
Now let me read to you what it says about the book of Luke; “There can be no doubt, that ‘tradition” is correct, in stating that Luke, the beloved physician, is the author of this Gospel. As a companion of Paul, Luke had many contacts with apostles, (you see, Luke wasn’t an apostle. But he spent a lot of time with the apostles) and other witnesses of the gospel history. This, together with his cultural background, his intellectual training, and his intimate contact with men like Mark, enabled him to write a trustworthy, comprehensive, and beautiful gospel.”
Now, what I just read, was simply some man’s commentary. But let me tell you something; I really don’t care how much “cultural background” Luke had. Or how much “intellectual training” he had. I would never trust my soul to Luke. No offense intended, but the only one who I’m trusting my soul to, is the Lord!
That commentator must really believe that it was Luke’s intelligence and background, and his friends, that enabled him to write that beautiful Gospel of Jesus Christ. I think that commentator needs to get better grip on the truth. There’s only one thing, that enabled the writer of the book of Luke, to write that gospel. And that one thing, is the FACT, that the words were inspired by God!
Jesus the Word of God
The bible says that Jesus IS the “Word of God”. (John 1, verse 1) And we know that’s a somewhat figurative statement. Actually it’s a “spiritual” statement. “Spiritually speaking”, it’s quite literally true, that Jesus is the Word of God. We know that Jesus isn’t the physical words of ink, printed on pages of paper. But “spiritually speaking”, Jesus is the very essence of the words that are printed in the bible. And He’s the very “Spirit” of those words.
When we read the words of 1 Corinthians 13, verse 13, which says; “And now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; But the greatest of these is love.” … We’re reading about the very essence and Spirit of Jesus! And when we read the words of Galatians 5, verses 22 & 23, which says; “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” … We’re reading about the very essence and Spirit of Jesus!
When we read those things, and so many other things like them, in the bible, we’re reading about the things that give us spiritual life, and that maintain that life!
Jesus said, in John 6, verse 63; “..the words that I have spoken to you, are spirit, and are life.” The words of Christ, are the very means of achieving “spiritual life”. It doesn’t make any difference who wrote those words down on paper, or on whatever it was that they were originally written on. What gives those words the power that they have, the power to give life, is the One who “breathed” and “inspired” those words. And that’s God, and that’s Jesus Christ, who IS God. Who is called “the Word of God”.
Jesus said in John 14:6; “I am the way, the truth, and the LIFE; No man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.”
He said in John 11:25; “I am the resurrection, and the LIFE. He who believes in Me, though he may die, yet shall he live!” Jesus is the LIFE, and the life is manifested to us, or you might say that the life is made available to us, through the bible.
We’re told in Hebrews 4, verse 12; “The word of God is living, and active..” In other words, the words of God are not only alive themselves, but they’re also “active” in those who believe them, and who obey them. Those words are creating spiritual life, in those who believe them, and obey them.
That’s why we’re told in Hebrews 5, verse 9, that Jesus “has become the author (or in other words, the very source) of salvation, to all those who obey Him.”
Would you obey the Word of God and be saved? Would you hear the word, and allow it to create faith in your heart? Would you confess your faith that Jesus is the Christ? Would you repent of your sins, and be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins, so that they can be washed away by the blood of Christ? If you’ll do that, then God will add you to His kingdom, which we call “the church”, and God will also give you the promise of eternal life with Him, if you will remain faithful, even unto death. Will you do those things and be saved?
The invitation is for you, and for all who will hear God’s word.