Abdirizack Abdirahman Bare

Research and Development, Consultancy

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In Christianity who wrote the Bible?

Recently i attended an inter-religious dialogue, and a pastor was asked about previous books where he confidently stated to which apostle of God it was sent to like, Moses, David, and Jesus. he was further asked, "if the bible is the book of God to whom was it send to?" meaning which apostle. He said it was sent to all and when further asked who wrote it down, he said i don't know, so i thought i could get a convenient answer from TED members. so I ask again who wrote the bible?

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    Gail .

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    Oct 2 2012: Many people wrote many sacred texts, but Constantine complied what is today known as the Bible that includes the New Testament. He made extensive additions, deletions, and changes in the stories, as a comparison of the KJV and older manuscripts prove.

    Did you know that before the KJV, the "son of the father" (as Jesus was called) was released unharmed. King James changed the term "son of the father" to a name that was unheard of until the 2nd century AD. (The actual term is bar abba or beloved son of a loving "Daddy" who gives his son anything the son asks for. In short, it could properly be translated as Son of the Sugar Daddy - which is basically how Jesus described his abba in heaven.)

    Did you know that Jesus said that heaven is within you now? You shouldn't believe anyone who says otherwise. (such as it's up there somewhere or where you go when you die)

    Did you know that Jesus never used the word sin? In the koine-greek (the original texts were written in koine greek) the term used was Hamartia (Ancient Greek: ἁμαρτία). It is an injury committed in ignorance (when the person affected or the results are not what the agent supposed they were)

    Did you know that Jesus never said "repent". He used two words instead: Metanoeo and Metamellamai. These mean respectively - change your way of thinking and change your way of emoting.

    Did you know that when Jesus spoke of hell, he spoke of Gehenna - the garbage dump outside of Jerusalem's city gates, where those with wretched lives eeked out an existence.

    Thus, if you live a wretched life, change your way of thinking and emoting so that you no longer commit hamartia. You do this by finding the heaven within you and letting it guide you - not by being sheeple who follow wolves in sheep's clothing.
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    Oct 2 2012: There are 66 books in the Holy Bible, 39 Old Testament (before Jesus Christ came to Earth as a man), and 27 New Testament (after the arrival in Bethlehem of the Savior Jesus Christ). Whether a person accepts the Holy Bible as what it claims to be (The supernatural Word of God) or not is a matter of faith. Faith is supernatural and is a gift given by God to those of his own choosing. This granting of faith is called being born again. Without faith the Holy Bible is foolishness. With faith the Holy Bible is accepted as being given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thouroughly furnished unto all good works. God wrote the Bible. He used many various persons to produce the original manuscripts( in Hebrew and Greek) which are no longer extant. Sometimes the human writer was named, and sometimes not, but the author is always God. Not every book titled The Holy BIble is worthy of the title. The best (most faithful to the earliest manuscripts) English translation is the King James Version (KJV), also called The Authorized Version (AV).
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      Oct 3 2012: Re:" The best (most faithful to the earliest manuscripts) English translation is the King James Version (KJV), also called The Authorized Version (AV)."

      What is your resource for this comment, according to whom?
      There are many other Codex from the period that were not included into the Bible such as the Gospel of Mary or the Gospel of Thomas. Can you tell us why they were not included?
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        Oct 3 2012: My resources? You know the drill here, Mr. Hoppe. Libraries are bursting at the seams with man- made resources. The KJV is most consistent with the Majority Texts. The Canon was born in dispute and to this day is a source of disagreement for scholars and denominations, including Atheism. My emphasis remains on faith, without which God's Word will be nothing more than an academic playground for sophomoric philosophisers. The Truth is sweetness to some, bitterness to others. Thank you.
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          Oct 3 2012: Its not as you say, The Truth" merely what you BELIEVE the truth to be and in many cases, what you have been told the truth is. (Can you actually say that Tyndale's translation is not more correct?) I am even willing to accept and respect your beliefs. What I cannot accept is when it is held up as the only truth or the only book of moral guidance, or that it is the absolute word of God.
          The Bible is after all a book that has been shaped by men to portrait a certain perceptive of the events. There are many historically inaccurate details in the translations of the gospels. The codex of Nag Hammadi, (which I think you mention as "the Canon" in dispute by scholars) is no more inaccurate than other books in the Bible. There is no absolute "God's word" in any of this. It is all recollections of oral history that was written down by men years after the fact, and shaped into a narrative that lead to a certain understanding. Text like those found at Nag Hammadi represent ideas that differ about the details of the events thatdid take place. Those with the power to shape Christianity deemed those writings to be heresy, and the texts were burned and destroyed.
          This is not to say that the lessons found in the Bible are not valuable lessons on which one can base their life around, but the lessons Jesus taught right not the lessons that religious dogma would have as believe. The lessons donot stop with the Bible they start there. You need to read more.
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        Oct 3 2012: You are without warrant, Mr. Hoppe, to consider my remarks to be offered as "the only truth". You are equally unjustified to ascribe infallability to me. TED conversations is a venue for conversation, collaboration, and debate. The value of TED is in reading the expressed understanding of others whether one agrees or not. If there is validity and substance to your point you can intelligently promote it without denigrating, or undermining others. Defend your position without attacking mine. I am well aware that ersatz scholars, particularly non-Christians, are ever-ready to assail the Holy Bible. We do agree that I need to read more. Thank you!
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          Oct 3 2012: We all have opinions, what matters to me is what those opinions are based on. But you are not offering up your opinion and this is what opens you up to "attack" as you put it.

          You stated, " The best (most faithful to the earliest manuscripts) English translation is the King James Version (KJV), also called The Authorized Version (AV)."

          The best, really? How would you know this? This is what was being called into question.
          You didn't write, 'In my opinion it is the best.' I would have no problem with this statement. But you are making a declaration here, 'It IS the best!' And that needs to be qualified in some manner.
          We would do well to remember that the reason the Bible survived as the accepted truth some proclaim it to be is because for over a century those who questioned it faced a tortuous death at the hands of the so called righteous, much like Tyndale.
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        Oct 3 2012: I am sorry I did not preface my remarks with "In my opinion". Everything I stated in the comment that aroused your considerable ire must be understood to be my opinion as I do not have the power, right, or authority to pontificate, or declare anything. Just a friendly, non-hostile exchange of viewpoints, sir, why don't you join in?
    • Oct 3 2012: "Whether a person accepts the Holy Bible as what it claims to be (The supernatural Word of God) or not is a matter of faith. Faith is supernatural and is a gift given by God to those of his own choosing."

      So God chooses you? Based on what criteria?
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        Oct 3 2012: A powerfully profound question, Mr. Klink. The Holy Bible declares that all who are born again, aka saved, are the result of God's own choosing. No person can do anything to qualify for the gift of faith. By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. It (salvation) is not of him that willeth (wants it), nor of him that runneth (works for it), but of God that sheweth mercy. No born again person can boast that they were saved because they met some criteria. Anyone can become born again if God shows mercy upon them. Thank you for your question!
        • Oct 4 2012: Edward, I think I am very able to refute this. However I notice you cite the Bible vs giving me your opinion and as much as I dislike the Bible i appreciate it in this particular response. I would think, being told that the creator of the Universe chose you for paradise would make most people puff up with a disposition of haughtiness, you tell me you don't feel this way. There must be some criteria if your God were to do this, thank you for telling me you have no idea what it could, would, or should be.

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        Oct 4 2012: I hope I don't get deleted for preaching, but this is directly related to the ongoing collaboration. You have missed the point, sir, and I apologize for not being more clear. Permit me to restate that it is not my opinion, but the verbatim teaching of the Holy Bible that God's choosing of a person to become born again is in no way based on, or influenced by, anything the person has, or has not, done. The only part a person contributes to the salvation process is to offend God (aka Sin), and we all do that. So, you see it is not that I have no idea what the qualification requirements are for becoming born again, it is that the Holy Bible plainly speaks for itself when it says there is no pre-requisite, no criterium, no minimum performance standard. The most awful, corrupt, vile, worthless human being can become born again if God shows them mercy. Thank you!
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    Oct 4 2012: There were 40 different authors of the bible, who wrote over hundreds of years. Each was inspired by God to write the words. This is proven by several ways.

    First prophits would die if their prophcies proved wrong in any way (false prophet). The prophets of the bible spoke of several things that happened soon after they said it and things that happened 500-900 years later in Christ and some that have not happened yet. Their prophices being by chance would be like predicting the lottery every day of your life correctly.

    Second we look at the apostles. They were uneducated fishermen. They lacked understanding as seen throughout the gospels. Yet when the Holy Spirit (Acts) came upon them they spoke in tounges and performed miracles and thousands agreed with them about Christ even though they knew they would be arrested, beaten or killed.

    Third we look at the fact that historicly outside the bible there is truth of the things spoken of happening and the places still exsist.

    Fourth as for the text itself it was a holy duty to copy exactly by the Jewish nation. Torah was destroied and burnt if a blemish was found. Latter text proved acurate with discovery of the dead sea scrolls being an almost exact copy.
    As for which writtings we run into the church deciding which were inspired and acurate as mentioned in several replies above. Some lost gospels and other writtings did not make the cut. Don't be fooled by people saying these are real. Even the early church could recognize these were not true. There were many who wanted the early church to fail and it is written in several books of the bible that this was so.

    2 Timothy 3:16 New American Standard Bible (NASB) All Scripture is [a]inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for [b]training in righteousness;

    Read Mathew 13 the parable of the sower for more understanding
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      Oct 5 2012: 1) Can you provide one example of a fulfulled prophecy that is specific, not open to vague interpretations, maybe mentions dates, that is proven to have occurred, and could not come about without supernatural intervention?

      How hard would it be having the OT and writing things down to make it sound like Jesus was the Messiah. Even so many Jews an point out where the early Christians got it wrong, even with the benefit of hindsight.

      If something is a known prophecy and humans work to make it happen, this is not evidence of supernatural.

      2) Believing in something and acting on these beliefs knowing there may be harmful consequences is not proof of supernatural claims. E.g. Suicide bomber and 911 terrorists. The Jonestown people who commited suicide. Ask the persecuted Falun Gung devotees in china. People believe and die for all sorts.

      Do you have any proof of any of the miracles in the bible. Can you demonstrate any biblical miracles.

      You know there are living followers of Indian gurus who claim they perform miracles similar to the new testament ones.

      Any recent healings of amputated limbs or down syndrome? Just one arm grown back say of an Iraq vet?

      Speaking in tongues is not a miracle. I still can and I'm an atheist now.

      3) So the bible mention Jerusalum etc. Is it really a miracle that the authors documented actual places in their scriptures?

      4) So quality control of the Old testament is proof that bible is inspired by god. I could say the same about the Qur'an.

      "Almost" exact copy???? so not exact??

      I find it odd that the supposed messiah had nothing written about him while alive. Surely Yahweh could have done better. And why not create a book made of indestructable material with the verse and commentary. Why just paper and pen. How mundane. Why not a miraculous speaking crystal that speaks the scriptures and answers questions.

      What you suggest is not proof unless you have faith without requiring compelling evidence. Unless you want to believe.
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    Oct 3 2012: Abdirizack, It is very important to clarify exactly what role the Emperor Constantine played in the Council of Nicea, what the purpose for the council was, what happened at Nicea, and briefly how the canon—the Bible as we know it—was formed. The council that formed an undisputed decision on the canon took place at Carthage in 397, sixty years after Constantine's death. However, long before Constantine, 21 books were acknowledged by all Christians (the 4 Gospels, Acts, 13 Paul, 1 Peter, 1 John, Revelation). There were 10 disputed books (Hebrews, James, 2 Peter, 2-3 John, Jude, Ps-Barnabas, Hermas, Didache, Gospel of Hebrews) and several that most all considered heretical—Gospels of Peter, Thomas, Matthaias, Acts of Andrew, John, etc. Liberal scholars and fictional authors like to purport the idea that the gospels of Thomas and Peter (and other long-disputed books) contain truths that the church vehemently stomped out, but that simply has no basis historically. It is closer to the truth to say that no serious theologians really cared about these books because they were obviously written by people lying about authorship and had little basis in reality. That is one reason why a council declaring the canon was so late in coming (397 AD), because the books that were trusted and the ones that had been handed down were already widely known.

    Be aware also that the "bible" has been translated from various languages and meanings have been changed or lost.
    Additionally each church and each minister adds their slant.

    Answer: Do your own research. Religion is personal and this question is personal and serious.

    In my opinion

    I wish you well. Bob.
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      Oct 4 2012: Bob, I am really grateful for dropping in to shade some light on a subject that had puzzled me for so long. I participate in a lot of inter-religious dialogues and really some stories in the bible doesn't match, it's like the theology of peoples of different generations. I know this question is personal and serious and i ask because i knew get some good responses. people need to understand what they follow.

      I will do more research and will surely share any surprises i may tumble upon.

      wish you well too Bob
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    Oct 3 2012: The Bible was compiled by early church leaders who sought for characteristics that distinguishes divine declaration from a purely human one by looking at the earmarks of divine authority.
    It was compiled after thorough examination of 2 categories of sacred writings: 1. Books accepted by some believers, but not others.
    2. Writings once accepted but later questioned

    The basic criteria for determining whether writings should be part of the Bible are:
    1. Authouritative: Does it claim to be of God? Is it authoritative?
    2. Prophetic: Is it prophetic? Was it written by a servant of God?
    3. Authentic: Is it authentic? does it tell the truth about God, man, etc.?
    4. Dynamic: Is the book dynamic? does it possess life-transforming power?
    5. Accepted: Was it recieved by the people for who it was originally written? Is it recognised as being from God?

    This five basic criteria would have to be explained in detail.
    The writers of the Bible were inspired by the Holy Spirit; and the scripture shows its truth by the power of God that goes forth to confirm His word.

    As Mr Edward Long has brilliantly stated it, this is an issue of faith. Certain truths about christainity may be known by those who are not christains; but there are certain truths and experiences that will not be known by someone who has come in contact with the life-transforming power of God. To those people, the Bible would be foolishness and that is understandable.
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    Oct 3 2012: This is an interesting question and one that will take some reading on your part.

    The Bible is made up of what is commonly referred as the Old and New Testaments.
    "The Old Testament is a Christian term for a collection of religious writings of ancient Israel." The number of books can vary depending on the version of the Bible we are referring to.
    Your question however seems to be asking about the origin of the New Testament.
    "The New Testament is an anthology, a collection of Christian works written in the common Greek language of the first century, at different times by various writers, and canonically named for the early Jewish disciples of Jesus of Nazareth. In almost all Christian traditions today, the New Testament consists of 27 books. The original texts were written in the first and second centuries of the Christian Era, most likely in Koine Greek, which was the common language of the Eastern Mediterranean from the Conquests of Alexander the Great (335–323 BC) till the evolution of Byzantine Greek (c. 600). All of the works which would eventually be incorporated into the New Testament would seem to have been written no later than around AD 150."

    There is actually a very fine outline of the early manuscripts, Codex as they were called, at Wikipedia.
    see Development of New Testament canon: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Testaments

    Additionally, I will recommend that you consult two excellent books on the subject, though there are many others.
    "The Unauthorized Version," by noted Oxford scholar Robin Fox Lane
    "The Gnostic Gospel" by the renown expert on the Nag Hammadi texts, Elaine Pagels

    It is also worth noting that the Bible has been translated many times. What was originally written has not doubt been altered to reflect the teachings of the more orthodox of the early Christians where there was areas of disagreement.
  • Oct 3 2012: as ed said, no one was there to see it.... but if you look through the bible a general rule to follow is the is the name on the book of the bible is the person who wrote that section. If you seek more about it i would suggest reading something like this: http://amzn.to/UEN658 there is a lot of valuable information in here and it could be worth the read.
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      Oct 3 2012: RE: "...none are going to be able to reply with any Truth because they where not around. "

      Its certain that there are historical scholars that have done extensive, I dare say exhaustive, research on this question. One example of this is that we find reference about Jesus in the writings of early historian Josephus. This is also an example of just how much scholars can and cannot agree on, but clearly there is some TRUTH to be found here.

  • Oct 2 2012: The initial answers to your question are rather good. I do not agree with all Edward wrote here, but the truth seems to be no human being knows who wrote some portions. Some of the Old Testament authors are known, such as David writing portions of Psalms. This book was written by many. We know the author identify of portions of the New Testament.

    What seems much more important is recognition of truth in one's inner self upon thinking and reflecting on what one hears or reads. What is meaningful to a person may very well be according to one's enlightenment from many different life experiences. What is meaningful is what persons hold dear in their heart and it is this that drives one's behavior.

    Let's add a challenge question for everyone here on TED. Would you be able to recognize what is truth (according to your enlightenment) if all references to author identity were removed from all material---books, magazine articles, thesis for university degrees, opinion editorials, letters,------anything included printed and electronic versions, including any religious authority books?

    What is important is planetary progress in comprehending life, the Cosmos, law, behavioral ideals, so that we all live better, which would include freedom from all threats.

    So called human religious authorities will never replace the original plan for planetary progress.

    A lot more could be said here to address this conversation question.
  • Oct 2 2012: I read that at least 40 different men wrote the bible over a fair amount of years.
    Write, but also edit. Some things were changed because they weren't as lyrical as the editor thought they should be, or because the editor thought something else was meant, or because the editor wanted to change it to what they thought it should be.

    Or, their writing embellished what was already on papyrus, as humans are wont to do.

    I'm just relieved to know that incest is all right, as Eve and her boys had lots of kids, and Adam and his girls did too, and so too did Cain and Abel with their children. Apparently for decades.

    Because we all come from Adam and Eve, according to the bible.
    Believe it? Not on your life.

    It is filled with too many contradictions, false information, misleading ideas, downright evil actions and simply isn't clear for something supposedly meant to be clear in order to guide the human race.

    And it isn't a "source material" book in my opinion.
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      Oct 2 2012: Of course the bible entirely isn't a wrong, It has Some Godly Message which is true, but people have for centuries edited and rewrote it until now where we have a bible which is almost entirely people's philosophy. It is teh corrupted book of God, it was sent to Jesus (Issa) and is known as Injiil.
      • Oct 2 2012: It is very likely the qu'ran contains pieces from the old testament that were altered before Muhammed was born. We know for sure the Hadith were altered because Sunnis and Shiites can't agree on those (one or both of those groups must be using partially altered texts).
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          Oct 3 2012: The Qur'an doesn't contain any piece of alter information, and to proof that Mohamed had no knowledge of Jesus before the Qur'an was revealed to him. He was uneducated but was a noble most trustworthy of men In Makka (Saudi Arabian City) at a time when adultery, idol worship, killing of girls at birth (because they were seen as a shame having a baby girl) were all widespread even before he received the revelation. Mohamed wasn't an expert even in the Arabic language, now look at the Qur'an (written in a very magnificent Arabic). what does this all count for, that the Holy Qur'an Unlike the Human written, human ideas, human collected bible was written by Angels by the order of God and then revealed to Prophet Mohamed (P.b.u.h) just like God revealed Injeel to Prophet Jesus (P.b.u.h). God gave all prophets miracles and it is the miracles that God gave Jesus (p.b.u.h) that Israelites thought was God Himself (or the Son of God) or the Holy Ghost, and there are accounts in the original bible itself where Jesus(p.b.u.h) denied that he is a Holy Ghost.
          the Row in the Shiites and Sunni accounts doesn't have anything to do with the infiltration or alteration of the Hadiths of prophet Mohamed (p.b.u.h) and on that please read more on that via this link and thanks http://islam.about.com/cs/divisions/f/shia_sunni.htm
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    Oct 2 2012: Lots of different people. We don't even know who wrote the gospels. Some of letters authors are probably known.
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      Oct 2 2012: Now if the bible was written by So many people, Some of them even not known as John Said, won't that leave a very big chance of infiltration of the bible to suit the needs of some people?
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        Oct 3 2012: In my view all religions are probably man made. This includes the scriptures.

        The bible based religions just happen to be one of the popular ones.

        Their is no evidence to support the supernatural claims. No reason to think the moral rules are enlightened or divinely inspired. Unless you think we should kill adulters, homosexuals, keep slaves, disrespectful children, and worship a god that is stated to support and committed genocide, and eternally punishes those who do not follow his vague contradictory book.

        The bible says a donkey talked. You might find some insights into the good and bad aspects of human nature but there is so much myth and iron age morality and unsubstantiated claims.

        I've read the bible cover to cover, and many parts many times. I'm not sure if it makes any difference if one person or many wrote it, because there is no evidence to support the core claims.
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          Oct 3 2012: Maybe it is time you have to turn to read the Qur'an as you did in the bible, cover to cover. The Qur'an is not man-made, neither is it a man-written. you will find in it answers to all your questions. Ask the nearest Muslim to offer you an English version of the Qur'an ( If you know Arabic, it will of course be the best) I am sure all your questions will be answered
          watch this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jIOUo0u8eaw
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        Oct 4 2012: You know I was expecting this to turn into a pro Qur'an opportunity.

        Obviously writing sometime over decades by one or just a few people should come us with something more consistent than the schizophrenic bible, where the old testament god and creation myths and tribal histories do not fit well with the stories about Jesus and Christian doctrines that developed and were written in the decades after his death.

        I used to have a Qur'an and have read a quite a bit. It looks entirely man made and a product of it's time. Quite poetic at times, even in English, like the Psalms in the bible. At times it may have been advanced compared to the alternatives at the time, but still endorses slavery and sexism.

        It does not answer many questions. It certainly does not offer proof for claims.

        I note Muslims pick and choose in regards to borrowing the god of the Jews.

        I have heard the arguments for the Qur'an being divine and there is nothing compelling in these, at least for me.

        I also not that there are some pagan parts that are at odds with monotheism.

        The Qur'an is an important book, but still a book.

        If there is just one interventionist god I expect it would not need 3 contradictory tries at getting the message straight. And instead of relying on paper and pen and human scribes should have just created a tome made from indestructible and exotic materials, and provide a commentary to the scriptures. Or how about a magic talking rock that repeats the verses and another that answers questions.

        Paper and ink. How mundane. How very human.

        And you still propose a specific invisible intangible god that created the universe and has given specific instruction with no proof, with no way to demonstrate any of the key claims are correct.
  • Oct 2 2012: Probably 2nd, 3rd century monks (based on earlier accounts and legends).
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      Oct 2 2012: Now if the bible was written by So many people, Some of them even not known as you Said, won't that leave a very big chance of infiltration of the bible to suit the needs of some people?
      • Oct 2 2012: Yeah, of course it does and in fact we know for sure it did happen to the bible (4th century bishops actively did this) and other holy books. Just one more reason not to join an organized religion.