The Bible was written by various writers, at various times, in various languages, from various places.
Yet the Bible is miraculously unified and consistent in its message; it is easy to see that the Bible had one true Author – God Himself.
If you assembled 20 writers from the same generation, the same time, the same country and the same language – and had them write about one subject – they would inevitably have many different opinions and conflicting ideas!
Yet the Bible manages to cover many complicated and controversial subjects, and still remain a single, unified book. This helps us to see that an all-knowing, all-loving and all-powerful God was truly THE source of its construction and purpose.
REACHING OUT TO ALL
There are 66 books in the Bible. The authors of 55 of the books have been well identified by tradition and historical study.
Scholars today are less certain as to who exactly wrote the following books: Judges; Ruth; 1 & 2 Samuel; 1 & 2 Kings; 1 & 2 Chronicles; Esther; Job; Hebrews.
However, we can be absolutely confident that these books of the Bible are inspired by the Holy Spirit. And that their contents are totally trustworthy as the Word of God. Ultimately, God is the true Author of each and every book in the Bible.
Some books of the Bible cover long periods of history, such as Genesis or 1 & 2 Kings. It is possible they are a collection of several writings by several authors, which were put together into one book by one individual chosen by God.
Psalms and Proverbs are good examples of multiple authors being inspired by the same Holy Spirit.
So then, the actual number of writers of the Scriptures could be well in excess of 40.
Most of the writers were Jews, and wrote from the context of the Jewish religion and culture. Even so, the words of the Bible reach out to people of ALL nations, ALL ages, ALL races, ALL social classes.
But who decided which of the many ancient writings should be included in the Bible, and how was that decided?
HOW WERE THE BOOKS OF THE BIBLE CHOSEN?
We have seen how the Bible is truly the inspired Word of God. But it is important to not just accept this fact without a good understanding of how we have received the Bible in its current form.
The inspired collection of books in both the Old and New Testaments is called the Canon of the Bible.
This word comes from the Greek kanon, meaning a “measuring rod or reed”. This signifies a rule or standard to which certain books must “measure up” in order to be considered Holy Scripture.
“Canonization” is the process by which the church leaders gave their final approval and acceptance to the books considered for inclusion in the Scriptures.
It is important to note that the Church or its leaders did not CREATE the Canon. They did not give the books divine authority or power. It is the “God-breathed” origin (inspiration) of a book which gives it anointing and then determines its canonicity.