Below is the researched answer to "How do we know the Bible wasn't lost in all the rewrites and just got made up." This question was asked by one of the boys in my Youth Class during Sunday School. I thought it was a wonderful way to get started with the blog, however the answer is very long and detailed, so it will take several posts to cover all the information. Each post will have a theme with the answer, this way it will be easier to read.
Part 1- Unity
The Bible is the basis for Christian beliefs. With that being said, how do we know that this important document wasn't lost during the rewriting or even just made up? In order to know whether something was lost or not, we should first know what we're looking for.
The Bible itself is like no other book or set of books. There is a surreal synchronization in all 66 books that can only be achieved if they were written by the same author. There is an overlying story of God rescuing men and women from the eternal consequences of sin through Jesus Christ (We will expand more on this in a later post).
The Bible was written over a period of over 15 centuries (Genesis- Revelation) including a 400 year silent period between Malachi and Matthew (this gap separates the Old and New Testament, and begins when Christ came into the picture).
There were about 40 different authors with variant occupations. A few of which include:
|Name||Occupation||Reference||Books Wrote||Approx Dates|
|Moses||Prince/Shepherd||Exodus 2:10, Exodus 3:1||Ge, Ex, Le, Nu, De||1400 BC|
|Samuel||Priest/Prophet||1 Samuel 3:1, 1 Samuel 3:20||Jud, Ru, 1,2 S||1100 BC|
|Solomon||King||1 Kings 2:12||Pr, Ec, Song||1000 BC|
|Daniel||Political Leader/Prime Minister||Daniel 2:48, Daniel 6:1-3||Da||600 BC|
|Amos||Herdsman&Fruit Gatherer/Prophet||Amos 7:14-15||Am||790 BC|
|Matthew||Tax Collector/Apostle||Matthew 9:9, Matthew 10:3||Mt||55 AD|
|John Mark||Missionary Evangelist||2 Timothy 4:11||Mk||50 AD|
|Luke||Doctor||Colossians 4:14||Lu, Ac||60 AD|
|John||Fisherman/Apostle||Matthew 4:21-22||Jn, 1,2,3 Jn, Re||90 AD|
|Paul||Tentmaker/Apostle to Gentiles||Acts 18:3, Ephesians 3:8||Ro, 1,2 Co, Ga, Ep, Ph, Col, 1,2 Th, 1,2 Ti, Titus, Phm||50-70 AD|
These individuals not only lived in different times, but also different places. As shown on the map below (reference URL at bottom), the Bible was written on 3 Continents (Africa, Asia, and Europe).
The Bible- God
Willmington's Guide to the Bible- Dr. Harold L. Willmington
Faith Bible Institute- John Yates