The Origin of the Bible

“Pile them, if you will, on the left side of your study table; but place your own Holy Bible on the right side—all by itself, all alone—and with a wide gap between them. For…there is a gulf between it and the so-called sacred books of the East which severs the one from the other utterly, hopelessly, and forever… a veritable gulf which cannot be bridged over by any science of religious thought.”

spoken by Professor M. Montiero, former Boden professor of Sanskrit after spending forty-two years studying Eastern book

There are a great number of books written by men that stand as truly remarkable achievements—some literary, some historic, even some religious. But unlike the Bible, none of these makes so outstanding a claim as that of divine origin (see note 1), excepting the Koran and the Book of Mormon. It is precisely this claim of divine inspiration that makes the Bible so unique. It was written by men, but we call it the Word of God. There are four verses, in particular, that help explain the origin of God's Word.

The Bible Being God-Breathed

“All Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for teaching, for conviction, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” – 2 Timothy 3:16

The Scripture is God-breathed (2 Tim. 3:16). This tells us that the Scripture did not come out of man's thought, man's mind, but rather, it is God's breathing His thought and His word through His Spirit into and out of the writers. Hence, the Bible contains God's elements and carries His flavor.

The Bible Being the Speaking from God by Men Borne by the Holy Spirit

“For no prophecy was ever borne by the will of man, but men spoke from God while being borne by the Holy Spirit.” – 2 Peter 1:21

Since the Scripture is God's breathing His word out from men through His Spirit, no word of the Scripture can be of man's will; rather, men were borne by the Spirit and spoke out of God. The word, “men spoke from God, being borne by the Holy Spirit" (2 Pet. 1:21), has a twofold meaning: first, men were borne by the Spirit; second, men spoke from God. In the original Greek, being borne by the Holy Spirit means being carried along as a ship by the wind.

In the original Greek, being borne by the Holy Spirit means being carried along as a ship by the wind.

The writers of the Bible received God's inspiration, and they were under the power of the Holy Spirit, being borne and carried along by Him to speak out God's word. Furthermore, when they spoke, they spoke from within God. It was the Spirit of God carrying men along to speak, and it was also men speaking from within God. In other words, it was God speaking His own word from within men through their mouths. Second Samuel 23:2 says, "The Spirit of the Lord spake by me, and his word was in my tongue." This word was spoken by David. He told us that the words he spoke were the speaking of the Spirit of God through him, and that it was God's word that was in his tongue. Not only the Holy Spirit spoke through him, but also God's word was in his tongue and was spoken from his mouth. This is the Bible.

The Bible Being God's Speaking in the Prophet's and in the Son

“God, having spoken of old in many portions and in many ways to the fathers in the prophets, has at the last of these days spoken to us in the Son, whom He appointed Heir of all things, through whom also He made the universe” – Hebrews 1:1-2

The Old Testament is God's speaking in the prophets; the New Testament is God's speaking in the Son, our Lord Jesus (Heb. 1:1-2). Hence, whether it is the speaking of the prophets in the Old Testament or the speaking of the Lord Jesus in the New Testament, both are God's speaking and both are of God.

The Bible Being the Holy Spirit's Revelation

“But when He, the Spirit of reality, comes, He will guide you into all the reality; for He will not speak from Himself, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come” – John 16:13

The Lord's word here also proves that after the Spirit's descension, what His disciples spoke and wrote was disclosed to them by the Spirit. Hence, the Lord's word here proves that after His ascension, all the books of the New Testament, written by His disciples, were of the Spirit's revelation and their divine authority was acknowledged by Him. The Scripture, therefore, is the word written by men under God's command (Exo. 34:27), the word of the Spirit of God spoken through men, the word of God spoken through man's mouth (2 Sam. 23:2), and the word spoken by men who were moved by the Spirit (Mark 12:36).

The entire Bible originates from God; every word and every sentence, every iota and every tittle.

The Old Testament is the word spoken by the prophets under God's command (Jer. 1:7), the word of God coming upon the prophet (Ezek. 1:3), and the word of the Spirit of God spoken through the prophets (Zech. 7:7; Acts 3:18; 28:25; Rom. [:2; 1 Pet. 1:10-12). Some portions of the New Testament are God's speaking in the Lord Jesus (John 14:10), while other portions are words written by the apostles as taught by the Spirit (1 Cor. 2:13). The words written by the apostles as taughht by the Spirit are as sacred as the Old Testament Scriptures (2 Pet. 3:15-16). Hence, the entire Bible originates from God; every word and every sentence, every iota and every tittle (Matt. 5:18), are God-inspired. Hence, men should neither add to or take away anything from the Holy Scriptures (Rev. 22:18-19).

(note 1) To clarify, when speaking of divine origin or divine inspiration, we mean that every word of the Bible is inspired by God. This is traditionally held to be the orthodox view.