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Don Stewart :: Does the Bible Have a Unique Makeup?

Don Stewart

The Bible does indeed have a unique makeup. It is one of a kind - like no other book that has ever been written. There is nothing like it and it has no equal. This can be seen in a number of ways.

1. It Was Fifteen Hundred Years In The Making

From the composition of the first biblical book until the last, a period of fifteen hundred years elapsed. The Old Testament was written between 1400 and 400 B.C. The first book composed was either the Book of Genesis or the Book of Job. The books of the New Testament were written from approximately A.D. 40 to A.D. 80.

2. The Bible Was Written By Many Authors With Many Occupations

Over forty different human authors wrote the books of the Bible. These writers came from a variety of backgrounds and occupations. They included shepherds (Hosea and Amos) fishermen (Peter and John), a tax collector (Matthew), a doctor (Luke), and a military general (Joshua). At least four of the writers lived in the royal household: the kings (David and Solomon), a prime minister (Daniel) and a cupbearer (Nehemiah). Only a few of them, such as Paul, Luke, and Moses, received the finest education of their time.

3. Scripture Was Written In Different Literary Forms

The Bible consists of a number of different literary forms. It is a collection of letters, sermons, law, poetic descriptions, narratives of historical events, prayer, praise, practical sayings, and the warnings of the prophets. The sixty-six books also contain a wide array of writing styles which express the entire range of human emotions.

4. It Was Written Upon Three Continents

The books of the Bible were composed upon three different continents - Africa, Asia, and Europe. For example, the writings of Ezekiel were composed in Babylon (Asia); Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible in the Sinai desert (Africa); and the Apostle Paul wrote the letter to Philippi while in Rome (Europe).

5. Scripture Was Composed In Different Circumstances


There were a variety of circumstances in which the Biblical books were composed. Moses, for example, wrote while leading the children of Israel through the wilderness. Jeremiah penned his book while in a dungeon in Israel. Ezekiel composed his book while a captive in Babylon. The Apostle Paul wrote several of his works while in a Roman prison. John the evangelist wrote the Book of Revelation while banished to the island of Patmos. Obviously there was not a particular place or instance in which all of the biblical books were composed.

Though many other religions had a certain place where the divine word was revealed, this is not the case with the Bible. The God of the Bible was able to reveal Himself in many different places over an extended period of time. The writer to the Hebrews noted.

In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe (Hebrews 1:1,2)

6. Three Different Languages Were Employed In Scripture

The Bible was written in three different languages. The Old Testament was written mostly in Hebrew with some parts being composed in Aramaic - a language similar to Hebrew. The New Testament was originally written in Greek.

7. There Are Many Different Subjects Covered In The Bible

The Bible also covers a variety of subjects. These include the existence and nature of God, the creation of the universe, the meaning of human existence, the purpose of our existence, and the final destiny of humankind and the planet earth.

8. Most Authors Did Not Know One Another

Because the Bible was written over a period of fifteen hundred years most of the writers did not personally know the other writers of Scripture. In addition, the Old Testament authors would have been unfamiliar with the New Testament writings.

9. We Would Expect Chaos To Result From These Diverse Circumstances

Hence, the Bible was written over a period of fifteen hundred years, by forty different human authors from various backgrounds who wrote in different languages, upon different continents, in different circumstances, upon different subjects, and in different literary forms. These authors, for the most part, did not know each other. With all these contrasts one would expect something chaotic and disjointed when their writings were assembled into one book.

10. There Is One Unfolding Story In The Bible

Yet the Bible is a unity, one unfolding account from beginning to end in complete harmony and continuity. The Old Testament is incomplete without the New Testament and yet the New Testament does not make sense without the Old. Together the two testaments give a harmonious account of the dealings of God with humanity without any contradiction.

11. God Is The Source Of Scripture

Therefore one of the remarkable features of the Bible is its magnificent continuity. This is because God Himself is the source of the Bible. Moses declared.

The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law (Deuteronomy 29:29).

The Holy Spirit is the Divine author of Scripture. Peter wrote.

Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of humans, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:20,21).

Summary

The Bible has a unique makeup. It is different from any other book that has ever been composed. Over forty different authors wrote it over a period of fifteen hundred years. These authors came from all walks of life. They include fishermen, shepherds, a doctor, and a tax collector. The biblical authors lived on three different continents - Africa, Asia, and Europe. They also wrote under a number of different circumstances - including persecution and prison. The authors of Scripture wrote in three different languages - Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. The Bible was written in a number of different literary forms such as narrative, poetry, and law. The writers of the various books cover many different topics such as the existence of God, the creation and purpose of humankind, the explanation for the origin of evil and the coming of the Savior.

Although most of the writers did not personally know the other writers, they all speak on these topics with complete harmony and continuity. This marvelous feature of Scripture is a testimony to it being the Word of God - exactly what it claims to be.

CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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