by Pastor Matt Ritchey, Managing Editor
Estimated Time to Read: 3 Minutes
1. The Bible was written in three languages. The Old Testament is mostly Hebrew with some Aramaic in places (i.e., Ezra; Daniel). The New Testament was written in the common language of Greek.
2. The Bible was recorded by more than 40 traditional writers.
3. Moses is given credit for the first five books of the Bible, and most of the prophets are given credit for the books named after them. The Gospels are named after those who recorded them, and the authors of the Epistles are announced within the letter. We say “more than” because there are some books we are just not sure who recorded the information (e.g., Kings and Chronicles). Of course, we know the one Author to be God Himself.
4. The Bible was written by people from a multitude of different backgrounds and diverse personalities.
5. Writers include kings (David, Solomon), shepherds (Moses, Amos), priests (Zechariah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel), a tentmaker and former Pharisee (Paul), fishermen (Peter; John), a tax collector (Matthew), and a doctor (Luke).
6. The authorship of Hebrews has remained unidentified for centuries. Even though many Bibles attribute authorship to Paul in the introduction, the truth is that authorship of the book has been debated for centuries. Augustine was convinced Paul wrote it, while men like Gaius and Hippolytus did not include it with Paul’s writings. Martin Luther was sure the writer was Apollos. Tertullian attributes the book to Paul’s one-time companion Barnabas. Others attribute authorship to Silas, Luke, Saul (post-conversion, pre-Acts 13 commission), and an unknown, unique author. Anonymous authorship is not unique to Hebrews, several books of the Old Testament were written by people unnamed. For example, neither content or tradition identifies the authors of Joshua, Judges, Ruth, Kings, Esther, or Job. While it is interesting to discuss and study, the most important thing is the message the book contains.
7. Books within the Bible were written in different periods/times. Covering over 4,000 years, the people of the Bible experienced different times and cultures. Moses was born in Egypt, became a shepherd and died a wanderer. The times covered in Kings and Chronicles were written during times of plenty and times of need, times of obedience and times of disobedience. Hosea wrote during times of prosperity; Lamentations was written in times of great loss. Daniel was written during two different empires (Babylonian and Mede-Persia). Isaiah was written before captivity and after the nation was defeated and taken captive. Paul and the other apostles wrote during a time of Roman rule.
8. The Bible was written on three continents. Most was written in what is modern-day Israel (Asia), but some passages of Jeremiah were written in Egypt, Africa (Jeremiah 43) and several New Testament epistles were written from European cities (I, II Corinthians, Romans).
9. The Bible has several literary genres. Psalms are considered to be poetry. The Epistles are letters to churches and individuals. The Book of Revelation has created its own genre of “apocalyptic” literature. There are history books, prophecies, and law.
Read another article from this edition of the BABQ: