The Bible—Is It Really Holy?
HOW many people today view the Bible as holy, God’s Word? In this age of skepticism, many consider it out-of-date and irrelevant, doubting that it is truly holy. Even some of the religious leaders of Christendom teach that the Bible is saturated with legend and myth. They question ‘whether the biblical interpretation of history is one to which an intelligent person can subscribe.’—The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, Volume 2, page 611.
Prominent scholars are sowing seeds of doubt regarding the propriety of referring to the Bible as the Word of God. One said that “if one wants to use the Word-of-God type of language, the proper term for the Bible would be Word of Israel, Word of some leading early Christians.” (The Bible in the Modern World, by James Barr) What do you think? Is the Bible God’s Word? Is it really holy?
Who Wrote the Bible?
The writing of Genesis, the first book of the Bible, is traditionally credited to Moses, a Hebrew who lived some 3,500 years ago. According to the Bible itself, about 40 men from diverse walks of life shared in writing the rest of the Scriptures, resulting in the collection of the 66 books, or subdivisions, of the Bible. However, these men did not consider themselves to be the real authors of the Bible. One writer said: “All Scripture is inspired of God.” (2 Timothy 3:16) Another wrote of Bible writers: “Men spoke from God as they were borne along by holy spirit.”—2 Peter 1:21.
This places the writers in the category of penmen, or secretaries, controlled, or guided, by God. According to the Bible, the writer was usually allowed to select his own words in expressing the divinely supplied information. (Habakkuk 2:2) That is why there are many styles of writing throughout the Bible. But the writing was always guided by God.
Admittedly, the claims of these writers to divine inspiration are not in themselves proof that the Bible is the Creator’s divine message to humankind. Nevertheless, whether the Most High is the Bible’s Author or not should clearly be seen upon a careful and unbiased examination of the book itself. Does the Bible give evidence of divine authorship? Really, can we say with confidence that the Bible is holy?