Who Are The Biblical Authors
The Double Standard
Dr. Wm. Dever wrote in his book, ‘Did God Have a Wife’, that objectivity was not possible. He mentioned this point twice. Once, in about page 82 and once in his introduction. He sent the message that his book was not going to be fair or look at the issue from a very objective viewpoint.
Now that point of view is acceptable when the author is letting his writers know that he or she is not going to look at their topic with clear vision. What makes this strategy wrong, s when the author accuses other authors of not being objective yet demands objectivity be a part of their writing.
Dr. Dever made this accusation against the biblical authors on approx. page 72 of the same book. This double standard is part of the problem the biblical authors and bible believers are up against when they present their beliefs and God’s views. It is not a fair standard but it is one the bible believers must endure.
Are the Biblical Authors Propagandists
In the same passage Dr. Dever accuses the biblical authors of being authors of propaganda. He comes to this conclusion because they fail to meet his subjective and far into the future idea of what biblical writing should be.
His claim that they were not objective is unfair and sadly misses the point of biblical writing. The biblical authors were not writing independent works that looked both sides of an issue.
Instead, they were recording the history of the world’s origin, the rise of the Israelite nations while compiling God’s instructions, commands and will. There is no room for objectivity when one writes for another person or the Supreme Being.
If Dr. Dever were writing his book for someone else, he may not have been objective either and be considered to be spreading propaganda himself. Because the biblical authors were not writing their own works, nor working for another human being, they cannot be seen as propagandists.
They can be seen as humble servants of God who faithfully recorded his words for all the world to see. Just because Dr. Dever, and others, do not like the message, doesn’t change these facts. Objectivity cannot be used when serving and writing for someone else.
The Biblical Authors Were Not Goat Herders
That last word is a term I have often heard from atheists and other unbelievers when they describe the biblical authors. Another term usually thrown in with the words goat herders is Bronze Age.
While some of the biblical authors did write during the Bronze Age, most of them did not. That descriptive term does not fit the reality and distorts the narrative. Only two biblical authors, Moses and David, were sheep herders but those duties were short lived and not their careers.
Moses was educated in the Egyptian court and was appointed the leader of God’s people, the enslaved Hebrews. David was a young boy who tended his father’s sheep, but he rose up to be a mighty warrior and good king
Both men committed a murder so they could be called murderers if people decided to get nasty. Yet God saw something in them which made him look past their faults and promoted them to be top leaders.
Who Were The Biblical Authors
For the most part, we do not know who God used to write his Bible. I disagree with the train of thought that states that the 4 Gospels simply used the apostles’ names to further promote a religious viewpoint. There is no evidence supporting that claim.
For the Old Testament we have Moses for the first 5 books of the Bible. Joshua was a warrior, military man and another leader of the Hebrews. We do not know who wrote the book of Judges, the books of Samuel, though Samuel the Prophet may be the author, the book of Kings or Ruth.
It is highly unlikely that any goat or sheep herders had access to the information or were educated enough to write biblical texts. For the books of Chronicles and Ezra, Ezra himself is the traditional choice. Job and Esther have no known author, while those Psalms not written by King David, have a variety of writers.
King Solomon wrote almost all of Proverbs, all of Ecclesiastes and the Song of Solomon. For the 27 major and minor prophets, the author’s name is on the individual books. They were prophets of God not livestock tenders.
For the New testament we have 3 fishermen trained by Jesus himself and one by a Dr. Who also wrote the books of Acts Paul was a highly trained and educated person in the Pharisaical tradition and he wrote 13 NT books. Except for Hebrews the rest of the NT was written by Fisherman and one brother of Jesus.
So you can see that the term Bronze Age goat herders really does not apply when it comes to the biblical authors. These were humble men of God who wrote as the Holy Spirit directed and did not import their own views into their assigned biblical texts.
Over 1500 years
Unlike what some modern biblical scholars claim, the Bible was not written in the 5th to 7th centuries BC. Their is absolutely no evidence supporting those accusations. The Bible was written over a period of 1500 years covering parts of the Bronze Age, all of the Iron Age and well into the Roman Era. This is a feat that cannot be duplicated.
The fact that God used imperfect men from all walks of life, over a great period of time, using one theme, makes the bible special. No other religious work can make these claims. The Hindu Vedas have no known author or known occupation.
Some Final Words
One can wonder why God would choose such ordinary men to pen his words. These were imperfect men, with a lot of faults and problems. But the Bible is to about its authors. It is about God, what he did and what he wants.
The Bible is not propaganda for it sends a message of hope to all people. Nor is it objective. The Bible is not an analysis of different religions and comparing their beliefs.
It is a book from God with a particular message for everyone. It is very inclusive as any one can join God’s kingdom. The only item excluded is sin and sin is defined by God not man.
The biblical author’s, despite Dr. Dever’s opposition, wrote what they needed to write so that all men could be saved.
© 2019 David Thiessen