In this episode we look at the What, Where, Who and Why the Bible was written. And what that means for you and me.
The Bible – The Inspired Word of God
As we begin to consider the Bible and its message let us first answer some commonly asked questions.
What does “Holy Bible” mean?
The word Bible comes from the Greek word biblos meaning “book”. Holy is a word meaning “set apart” or “separate”, with the idea of being set apart or dedicated by or for God. Therefore the name Holy Bible was given to this book because it was seen to be God’s inspired word, quite separate from all other books ever written.
When was the Bible written?
The Bible is in fact a collection of books or writings that were written over a period of approximately 1600 years by many different writers. The first books were written by Moses about BC 1500, while the last was written by John the Apostle towards the end of the first century.
Why is the Bible divided into the Old and New Testaments?
If we look at the index in the front of the Bible we see that it contains 66 books. The translators divided these books into the Old and New Testaments many years after they were written. The Old Testament contains 39 books that were written in Hebrew before the birth of Christ. The New Testament contains 27 books that were written in Greek after Christ.
Where was the Bible written?
There were many men whom God chose to write the Bible over a long period of time. Although most wrote in Israel, there were some like Daniel and Ezekiel who wrote in Babylon, and others like the apostles who wrote in different provinces of the Roman Empire. The amazing fact is that although the Bible was written over such a long period of time, in many different places and by many writers, its message is consistent and unified. This in itself indicates that God is its Author.
How did God cause these men to write the Bible?
There are many references in the Bible telling how God caused His message to be recorded. The Apostle Peter expresses it this way: “No prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:20–21). Peter is explaining that God selected holy or God-fearing men to whom He made known His will. These men then wrote the message that they received from God. These combined writings have become the book we know as the Bible.
Why was the Bible written?
This question is answered this way by the Apostle Paul: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16–17). The Bible was therefore given to teach man about God and His purpose, and to direct him into a way of life that is pleasing to God and rewarding to those who obey Him.
How can we prove that God exists and the Bible really is His word?
This is a very sensible question, yet the answer is neither complicated nor difficult to understand, for God Himself anticipated it and has given the answer in many places in the Bible. One of these is in the prophecy of Isaiah: “For I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure” (Isaiah 46:9–10).
Look at the claims that God makes here.
• He alone is God and there is no other. If this is true then the God of the Bible alone is the God of the universe, and therefore all other religions that claim to worship another god are false.
• He can tell the future. We know by experience that no man can reliably tell the future. In the Bible God foretells events that would be impossible to predict, humanly speaking, and yet they have come to pass with absolute accuracy.
• He has the power to accomplish His predictions. He claims not only to be able to foretell the future but also to bring it to pass.
From this we see that God has given a very simple method whereby the genuine seeker for truth can find an answer to the question, “Is there a God and is the Bible His word?” We do not have to be highly intelligent or well-educated to find the answer. It depends on our honesty to consider logically the facts that are presented in the Bible. The prophecies of the Bible substantiate its claim to be inspired by God. We will briefly consider some simple prophecies and test God’s claim that He can predict the future.