One of the first arguments against the trustworthiness of the Bible is that it was written by men and, therefore, is full of mistakes. It is true that men wrote the Bible, but does that mean it’s flawed? Why couldn’t God speak to people and make sure that what they wrote was accurate? The answer is simple: He could and He did.
The Christian Bible contains two Testaments: Old Testament and New Testament. The Old Testament can be further divided into the Writings of Moses, Historical Books, Poetic Books, and Prophetic Books. Even though God began speaking to people as soon as He Created them, people didn’t write what God said for thousands of years. God’s Words were passed from generation to generation through the process of oral tradition. If the Bible is based on oral tradition, how can we trust that each generation was 100% accurate in passing along God’s Word to their children and that their children were 100% accurate in telling their children? Though God could have ensured that the oral tradition remained pure, He was waiting for the right time to speak His Word in a way that would become a permanent record for the people of the world. That time came when God called Moses to lead the people of Israel out of slavery in Egypt into freedom.
God developed a Personal Speaking relationship with Moses. It began with a burning bush that didn’t burn up. It continued as God instructed Moses on what to say to Pharaoh and the people of Israel. It increased as Moses led the people of Israel across the Red Sea and into the desert between Egypt and Canaan. God spoke to Moses for 40 years and told him everything we read in the first five Books of the Old Testament (Pentateuch). The reason we know how God Created the universe, what happened to the first man and woman, why there is evil in the world, why we need God’s forgiveness, is because God told Moses and Moses wrote it so Israel, and eventually the world, would have it to read.
The process of writing was not new when Moses wrote what God told Him. Moses had learned how to write on various permanent surfaces during his childhood and early adult years growing up in Pharaoh’s palace. The Egyptian culture was well known in the world for its permanent writing skills. The most common writing material was made from the papyrus plant, which grew in great abundance in Egypt. Papyrus documents held up well in dry areas like Egypt. Tens of thousands of ancient papyrus documents have been found in the region. Other writing surfaces included parchment, vellum, clay, stone, wax, and pottery.
God spoke and Moses wrote – “And Moses wrote all the words of the LORD.” (Exodus 24:4) “So Moses wrote this law and delivered it to the priests, the sons of Levi, who bore the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and to all the elders of Israel.” (Deuteronomy 31:9) God spoke and Moses wrote. It’s a simple process. That’s what I did for 40 years as a journalist: people spoke and I wrote. It’s not difficult to understand. Moses spent 40 years with God and wrote what the Almighty told Him to write.
How do we know that what Moses wrote is true? We don’t have the original writings of Moses; we have copies of what he wrote. So, how can we be sure that what we have is God’s Word? We’ll look at that in the next part of our study.
Also, see our the companion study, “Rightly Dividing The Word of Truth.”
In Christ’s Love and Grace,
Building Confidence Through Evidence
“Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”