How the Bible was written
How do I explain to those who don't believe how the Bible was written? I recently tried to explain, but I did not do a very good job.
Picture this: the CEO of the company is dictating a letter to the secretary. As the CEO speaks, the secretary takes down every word. When the CEO is done, it’s clearly the CEO’s letter.
At the same time, the secretary’s abilities, skills, etc. are sure to show through. For example, if the secretary has poor eyesight, the letter will probably be typed in a larger font. Yet the letter remains the CEO’s.
Although simplistic, that basically illustrates how we got the Bible. God is the “CEO,” and various human writers are the “secretaries.” God gave the writers the exact words which He wanted them to use. The Bible describes it this way: “All Scripture is God-breathed…” (2 Timothy 3:16). Similarly, “For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21). Often in the Old Testament (written about 1400 – 400 B.C.) you’ll hear God say something like, “Take a scroll and write on it all the words I have spoken to you … ” (Jeremiah 36:2) These words are God’s Words.
Does Jesus agree? Yes! One time Jesus quoted a passage from the book of Psalms. After He did, He made a parenthetical, yet important, remark: “–and the Scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35). He was saying, “These words are God’s words.”
The New Testament makes the same claim. One example is found in 1 Thessalonians: “… when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God . . .” (1 Thessalonians 2:13) Again, these words are God’s words.
And yet God in mercy chose to work through human writers, more than 35 of them. God used people like Moses, Isaiah, Luke, John, and Paul to write down His words, to be His “secretaries,” and indeed their personality/talents shine through. For example, Luke was a physician. In his books, we see lots of details, as you might expect from a physician. Paul was a learned man, so the books he wrote are often quite deep, even a bit more difficult to understand.
To summarize, God gave the Bible through human writers; we can learn a few things about them by reading their books. Yet they remained merely the “secretaries.” The words, finally, are God’s.
The preceding information is from the What About Jesus? website, a resource maintained by WELS Commission on Evangelism. The website has many other valuable resources for you and the people with whom you are sharing your faith.
Don’t let this experience discourage you. Keep taking advantage of the opportunities you have to point people to Jesus, the world’s only Savior.