One of the most popular questions in ministry involves the origin of the bible. Countless times I have been asked by whom and when the bible was written. In this week’s message I will provide answers to the most commonly asked questions about the word of God.
The bible consists of two sections, the old testament and the new testament also referred to as the old and new covenant. Old testament text, also known as the hebrew scriptures were written before the birth of Jesus Christ. The first five books of the bible (the Law) were mainly written by Moses, the remainder of the old testament was written by prophets. The old testament is divided in the following categories: 17 historical books, 5 poetic books and 17 prophetic books.
The old testament is estimated to have been written between 1440 B.C. and 400 B.C. The authors of the old testament include Samuel, the prophet who anointed the first two kings of the Kingdom of Israel, King Saul and King David who is credited with the authorship of many of the Psalms. Old testament authors also include Joshua, the Israelite leader who succeeded Moses, and King Solomon, son of King David known for his wisdom, wealth and power. Other writers include the prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah and a few “minor prophets” chosen by God.
The new testament was mainly written by the apostles of Jesus Christ and is comprised of letters that were meant to confirm the truth about Jesus Christ and Christianity. Consisting of 4 Gospels, the book of Acts, 21 Epistles, and the Revelation, the new testament or new covenant includes testimonies and text that were copied by local churches for decades until an actual collection was assembled. Since this collection was written on papyrus, it required regular copying.
Who decided which books to include in the bible? The books that were included in the old testament were chosen by the Jewish community as historic, poetic or prophetic. Acceptance of text was based on confirmation of the author’s statements through miraculous signs, accuracy of fulfillment and consistency with the revelation of other canonized books found in the word of God, especially the Law written by Moses.
As for the books chosen to be included in the new testament, scholars based selection upon the authors and their relationship with Jesus Christ or His apostles. The new testament was finalized at the Synod of Carthage in 397 A.D.
Fragments of the manuscripts of the old testament number in the tens of thousands and include the Dead Sea scrolls which date from 300 B.C. to 100 A.D. New testament texts are more recent and in great abundance having been translated into several languages since being canonized in 397 A.D.
The bible is undeniably the most historically sound document ever assembled. Filled with messages of hope, love and grace the word of God is at the root of righteousness and salvation.
The bible consists of 66 books divided into 1,189 chapters. An extensive read, the word of God is best summarized in it’s last five verses:
“16 I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.” 17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life. 18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. 19 And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. 20 He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. 21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.” (Revelation 21:16-21)
The word of God is the truth and an intricate part of one’s spiritual growth. The bible contains both historical facts and prophecies that are meant to lead people to Jesus Christ as we await His second coming. The word teaches only those who believe in Jesus will be saved and inherit a place in heaven.
Do you have questions about the bible? I invite you to email or call us for answers and guiding prayer certain to help reinforce or spark your faith in Christ. Let’s pray!
We thank you for this day and for your blessings in our lives
And for your holy word the bible,
We pray you will inspire us to seek you through your word
As we immerse ourselves in it.
Lord we ask that you strengthen us
And help us look at life through Godly eyes,
So that we may enjoy the gifts you bring upon us
Each and every single day.
We praise you for the magnificence you show in our lives
And thank you for forgiving our sins.
God we pray that you will fulfill our needs
And answer the prayers of those who seek and cry out to you,
Knowing we are truly blessed
To live the way we do having more than we’ll ever need.
We thank you for your love and all that surrounds us!
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre