Who wrote the Bible and is it accurate?

As we saw from the previous post, there is a strong case for not only the Messiah, but also specifically Jesus being found embedded deep in the Old Testament, and we haven’t even discussed the so called ‘theophanies’ – moments when the Hebrew clearly indicates God taking a human form and meeting with Old Testament characters in person! When you begin to see how precisely and beautifully the Scriptures are constructed, despite being written by approx 40 individuals in different locations around the ancient world, over the course of 1500 years or so, you realise what a completely unique and incredible book this is, and there is nothing that the higher critics can do to discredit or nullify what God has done through His Word.

Ultimately, above the human authors, the Bible was written by God. Second Timothy 3:16 tells us that the Bible was “breathed out” by God. Except for the giving of the stone tablets of the Law, which was written by God’s own hand (Exodus 31:18), God inspired the human authors of the Bible so that, while using their own writing styles and personalities, they still recorded exactly what God intended. The Bible was not dictated by God per se, but it was perfectly guided and entirely inspired by Him.

Humanly speaking, the Bible was written by approximately 40 men of diverse backgrounds over the course of 1500 years. Isaiah was a prophet, Ezra was a priest, Matthew was a tax-collector, John was a fisherman, Paul was a tentmaker, Moses was a shepherd, Luke was a physician. Despite being penned by different authors over 15 centuries, the Bible does not contradict itself and does not contain any errors. The authors all present different perspectives, but they all proclaim the same one true God, and the same one way of salvation—Jesus Christ (John 14:6Acts 4:12). Here are the books of the Bible along with the name of who is most assumed by biblical scholars to be the author, along with the approximate date of authorship:

Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy = Moses – 1400 B.C.
Joshua = Joshua – 1350 B.C.
Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel = Samuel/Nathan/Gad – 1000 – 900 B.C.
1 Kings, 2 Kings = Jeremiah – 600 B.C.
1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah = Ezra – 450 B.C.
Esther = Mordecai – 400 B.C.
Job = Moses – 1400 B.C.
Psalms = several different authors, mostly David – 1000 – 400 B.C.
Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon = Solomon – 900 B.C.
Isaiah = Isaiah – 700 B.C.
Jeremiah, Lamentations = Jeremiah – 600 B.C.
Ezekiel = Ezekiel – 550 B.C.
Daniel = Daniel – 550 B.C.
Hosea = Hosea – 750 B.C.
Joel = Joel – 850 B.C.
Amos = Amos – 750 B.C.
Obadiah = Obadiah – 600 B.C.
Jonah = Jonah – 700 B.C.
Micah = Micah – 700 B.C.
Nahum = Nahum – 650 B.C.
Habakkuk = Habakkuk – 600 B.C.
Zephaniah = Zephaniah – 650 B.C.
Haggai = Haggai – 520 B.C.
Zechariah = Zechariah – 500 B.C.
Malachi = Malachi – 430 B.C.
Matthew = Matthew – A.D. 55
Mark = John Mark – A.D. 50
Luke = Luke – A.D. 60
John = John – A.D. 90
Acts = Luke – A.D. 62
Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon = Paul – A.D. 50-70
Hebrews = unknown, mostly likely Paul, Luke, Barnabas, or Apollos – A.D. 65 
James = James – A.D. 45
1 Peter, 2 Peter = Peter – A.D. 60
1 John, 2 John, 3 John = John – A.D. 90
Jude = Jude – A.D. 60
Revelation = John – A.D. 90

Liberal scholars have tried very hard to discredit the Bible and its sources, but nothing they say ultimately holds water, and the witness of the scriptures themselves is powerful. No human could have constructed this book as a religious system, well-intentioned at best or fraudulent at worst, simply because it suited them to do so; it is the only faith book that is not only verifiable by science, history, archeology, and corroborated by numerous contemporary secular sources, but also woven together with literally hundreds of proven prophecies that all give testimony to its validity and divine origin. For the Gospels specifically, I would highly recommend you read The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel (there’s also a film version), and hear the perspective of the historical and biblical experts themselves.

Just before I finish, I want to draw your attention to the dates for the Gospels’ authorship on that list above. Look how soon after Jesus’ death and resurrection they were written – 20 to 60 years after the events themselves, written by eye-witnesses. Considering that the two earliest biographies of Alexander the Great were written by Arrian and Plutarch over four hundred years after Alexander’s death in 323 BC, and they are still generally considered to be trustworthy, this gap of a few decades is so small as to be negligible. In fact, the whole New Testament was completed in the form we have it today within 60 to 70 years after Jesus’ death and resurrection, which means that by ancient standards, and if we judge the New Testament the same way that historians determine the accuracy of any other ancient source, it stands up incredibly well. Sir Frederic Kenyon, former director of the British Museum, and author of The Palaeolography of Greek Papyri, said that:

“in no other case is the interval of time between the composition of the book and the date of the earliest manuscripts so short as that of the New Testament.”

Kenyon, Frederic – Handbook to the Textual Criticism of the New Testament

He also said, almost 40 years later, that:

“The last foundation for any doubt that the Scriptures have come down to us substantially as they were written has now been removed.”

Kenyon, Frederic – The Bible and Archeology

There are almost 24,000 ancient manuscripts in existence of partial or complete New Testament copies in Greek, Latin Vulgate, Ethiopic, Slavic, and Armenian languages. 5,664 of those are Greek. Compare that to the next most well-documented work of antiquity, Homer’s Iliad, for which there are fewer than 650 Greek manuscripts surviving, some of them very fragmentary. These all date from the second and third centuries or later, and Homer composed the work in approximately 800 BC. The mountain of documentary evidence for the New Testament is, quite simply, vast.

If, like me, you find ancient history fascinating, this should pique your interest to research more, and as you do so, let it build your faith and lead you to trust this incredible Book and its incredible Author.


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