While the Bible is the word of God which has been given to us for the purpose of teaching, correction and training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16-17), it was penned by the hands of men who were instructed and lead by the Holy Spirit to write the words that we see within its pages. Written by more than forty individuals across a span of over 1,500 years1, the list of contributors includes kings, peasants, philosophers, fishermen, poets, statesmen, a doctor, and scholars.2
Those who dictated to scribes or themselves wrote the books of the Bible were prepared (Jeremiah 1:5), motivated (1 Corinthians 2:13; 2 Peter 1:21), and overseen by the Holy Spirit who used their personalities and circumstances in such a way that their words are the very word of God (1 Corinthians 14:37). To expand on this. since God is sovereign (1 Timothy 6:15), or in the position of absolute power and authority, he knew how to speak to and guide the authors so that they wrote exactly what he wanted them to. This is known as divine inspiration.
The doctrine which states that God wrote the Bible side by side with human authors whom he inspired to accurately and perfectly record his words is known as verbal plenary inspiration, which may sound really fancy, but simply means: the words of the Bible (verbal - Matthew 4:4), and every word of the Bible (plenary - Romans 15:4), are are the words of God himself (inspiration - 1 Peter 1:21).
So who wrote the Bible? Man. Whose words are the Bible? God’s.
- Driscoll, Mark, and Gerry Breshears. Doctrine: What Christians Should Believe. Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway, 2010. 41. Print.
- Ibid. 47