How We Got the Bible

Douglas Wilson

As a diligent Bible reader, at some point you’ve likely wondered, “Gee, I wonder how we got the Bible?” This really is a bedrock question, and how we answer it can send us in either the right direction, or in dangerously wrong directions. We should remember that God has two books by which He speaks to us. The book of the World, and the book of His Word. In the World we have natural revelation, which is sufficient to reveal God to us, and tell us we should seek Him and give worship unto Him, and to leave us without excuse for not doing so (cf. Rom 1).

However, God in His grace deigned to give special revelation by speaking to mankind. He spoke in the Old Testament in diverse ways (dreams, Law, prophets), all of which was carried along by the Holy Spirit’s inspiration (Heb. 1:1, 2 Pt. 1:21).  When Christ came, the fullness of God’s glory was revealed in the Son of Man who was the exact image of the one True God (Heb. 1:2-3). The Gospels and other writings of the New Testament are all a revelation of Christ, written by men who were eye-witnesses to the Lord Jesus.

Often, people ask a version of the “who made the Bible the Bible?” question. The reality is that Scripture is God’s Word, and, being such, is powerful and effective. A Dutch theologian, Wilhelmus á Brakel, offers an insightful story about an acquaintance of his who had never heard of the church, but found a Bible, read it, was converted and began living in accordance with God’s Word. This anecdote shows that it isn’t the Church that gives authority to Scripture, it is God’s Word that begets the Church. God made the Bible.

Without going into a long survey of how all the texts of Scripture, written by various authors, over millennia, came together, suffice it to say that it is nothing short of astonishing. God committed His Word unto the Jews, then the Apostles proclaimed the Gospels and epistles, and all of it reveals the only authoritative and infallible rule for how God intends us to live our life. Remember, as you read, it isn’t man that stitched a bunch of disparate documents together. God is the One who declared His Word, oversaw it as it was committed to writing, and has preserved it over the ages. Receiving the Word of God as the authoritative rule for life should compel us to search it diligently, and conform our lives according to it.

The Bible Reading Challenge is a ministry of Christ Church, Moscow, ID.