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Wondering What to Believe?

  1. Does Nature Give Proof of God?
    8 Digging Deeper
  2. Can I Hear God's Voice?
    8 Digging Deeper
  3. Who is God?
    8 Digging Deeper
  4. Who Wrote the Bible?
    8 Digging Deeper
  5. Can I Trust the Bible?
    7 Digging Deeper
  6. Is there a Right and Wrong?
    7 Digging Deeper
  7. Why Does God Allow Evil?
    9 Digging Deeper
  8. Who Am I?
    7 Digging Deeper
  9. What is the Meaning of Life?
    7 Digging Deeper
  10. Does God Love Me?
    5 Digging Deeper

The Old Testament begins with the five books of the Pentateuch, in large part attributed to Moses who died about 1400 B. C. The last book of the Old Testament is Malachi, dated about 400 B. C. About 200 B. C., the Hebrew Old Testament was translated into Greek by seventy scholars in Alexandria, Egypt. Jesus was born during the reign of Herod the Great who died in 4 B. C. The earliest New Testament documents, thought to be Galatians, I Thessalonians, Mark and James are dated about A.D. 50 or in that decade. The last of the New Testament documents are thought to be the letters of the Apostle John and Revelation written in the 80’s and 90’s of the first century. By the end of the first century A. D. all 27 New Testament documents had been written.

In all, our Bible with its 39 Old Testament books and its 27 New Testament books, was written by some forty authors over a period of 1500 years, the time from Moses to the death of the Apostle John in the late 90’s of the first century A. D.

The Bible is God’s story of creating man, revealing himself to man and relating to him. It is one long story of how God loves man, works in the nations of the world, and delivers to man his instructions for life. The Old Testament says, “The Messiah (or “anointed One”) is coming,” and the New Testament says, “He’s here in Jesus.”

Over 2,500 times in the Old Testament, the text says, “This is the word of the Lord,” “Hear what God says,” or “The Lord God speaks.” The prophets spoke as they were “moved along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Pet. 1:21). The word of God came to men through the vocabulary, background and life of God’s spokesmen but the message of truth revealed is from God’s Holy Spirit. God superintended the speakers and writers so that the end result received God’s stamp of approval and is termed the word of God.

God worked similarly through the inspired speakers and writers of the New Testament. The men specially appointed by Jesus (named “apostles”) were filled with God’s Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2 and spoke as the Spirit gave them utterance (Lk. 24:48-49; Acts 1:8; 2:1-4). Matthew, John and Peter were present and filled with the Spirit that day. Paul was later called by God to be an apostle and filled with the Spirit. He spoke and wrote by the leadership of the Spirit (as mentioned in Gal. 1:1, 11; Rom. 1:1-8; I Tim. 1:1). Paul’s writings are the commands of God (I Cor. 14:37). The other writers of the New Testament (Mark, Luke, Jude and James) were closely associated with the apostles. James and Jude were brothers of Jesus. Early in the second century A.D., the apostolic fathers (early church writers after the death of the apostles) spoke of the “memoirs of the apostles” as the standard of truth. When the second century church was facing the challenge of which writings were to be recognized as Scripture, the first criteria was, “Is the writing from an apostle or from an associate of an apostle, that is, is the writing apostolic?”

Revelation is God revealing things that could not otherwise be known. Not all the content of the Bible is revelation. Some of the contents are personal histories, travel plans, circumstances and facts known through the writer’s own knowledge. Inspiration guarantees that what the writer says or writes is a true and factual account. Because the Bible contains the revelation of God’s will for man, and because the writers were inspired by God, the finished text is accepted and approved by God and all of it is termed the “word of God.”