Was the Bible Written by Man?


“Scripture is the most important tradition that man can have, and yet how few people make use of it. Instead they read the news.” (Rasmussen, Dennis, The Lord’s Questions, pg. 31.)

An acquaintance of mine recently went on a social media rant about how supportive he is of all people and how he does not judge anyone. Not seeing the irony, he then proceeded to wail against anything religious, how all religions judge, how foolish religion is and my favorite, how the Bible was “written by man.” To drive the point home he capitalized the word MAN followed by an obnoxious amount of exclamation points (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!).

Practically speaking I do not disagree with the idea that the Bible was written by man. In fact, I defy anyone to produce a text of anything – scientific, religious, historical, or any subject matter that wasn’t written by man. However, I don’t really think that was his argument. What I think he was trying to articulate, albeit incredibly poorly, was that in his opinion the Bible is not inspired by God through man.

This argument is nothing new, and in my mind certainly didn’t require the abuse of the exclamation point. Was the Bible inspired by God, or was it invented by the minds of men? It’s an incredibly important question that all honest seekers of truth should take seriously. It is for that very reason that I am a student of the Bible. I read the Bible, study different translations from the Greek to the Hebrew and I test the teachings and promises made. I know the history, the changes made, what was left out – what was added in. This has been, and will continue to be a lifetime pursuit.

On the New Testament:

“Today the fact is evident, that there are many differences in the manuscripts, either through negligence of certain copyists, or the perverse audacity of some in correcting the text.” (Daniel-Rops, L’Eglise des Apotres et des Martyrs, p. 313.)

But does the fact that there are differences in the texts, suggest that we should not consider them at all? More importantly, should we discount the testimonies all together? 

“Though the New Testament books were written without plan for the whole, and as particular circumstances demanded, and do not contain the ‘fulness of the gospel,’ nevertheless, they cannot be explained by any other hypothesis other than that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that the apostles were true witnesses of His resurrection.” (Barker, James, Apostasy From the Divine Church, p. 15.)

I often wonder if opponents of the Bible put in as much work to know if it’s the word of God. What a difference it is to hear someone argue: “I have studied and read and tested, but it just isn’t for me,” vs. “I’ve never really read it because I don’t want to waste my time on nonsense.” I can respect the opinion of the first line of thinking, because an honest effort was made. Unfortunately, I think too many people dismiss the Bible without giving it a fair shake, without really studying it. In my opinion, it is one thing to say that you don’t have any interest in it, and another to condemn an entire group of people because you know better – even though you haven’t really studied it, because it was written by man and is not scientific!

“The testimonies of the prophets leave to others the task of teaching about the world of common experience. Man’s natural curiosity is sufficient for his science. The teachings of the prophets comes from beyond the world, and it appeal not to science but to conscience.” (Rasmussen, Dennis, The Lord’s Questions, pg. 25.)

“Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” (John 5:39.)