Who Wrote the Bible?

C. Michael Hager

Christians will all agree that it was written by God, but how did God deliver it to us?  No, it was not the Gideons. Most certainly it did not simply fall out of the sky as a leather-bound King James Version with Gospel passages in red ink.

Most of us will agree that all the books of the bible were written by human men, inspired by the Holy Spirit. Who were these men? For the most part, the books of the Bible were written almost exclusively by the Jewish people.

The New Testament as well, was written primarily by the Jews who had followed Christ and believed that he was the Messiah. Even as they wrote, they did not generally call themselves Christians, simply Jews who believed in the one true God of Israel AND Jesus his Son, the Messiah arrived, our Savior. The word Christian was originally a derogatory used by non-believers as in "Those crazy CHRISTIANS!..."

Sometime in the second century the Greek term Katholou began to be used as descriptive of the Christian Church meaning “Universal”, "on the whole", "according to the whole", basically the “Universal Church”.  There was only one church, one form of Christianity and that Church eventually became known as the Catholic Church.  There were no Christians other than Catholic Christians for fifteen hundred years. (Even with the schism of the early Church into the Roman rite and the Orthodox rite, they were still all considered Catholic.)

The very early church used hundreds of writings as scripture for worship, (there are somewhere around 25 “Gospels” known to exist), but still relied on the Old Testament and the oral instructions and commandments taught by Jesus for the guidelines of worship.  Not until 315 AD did Athanasius, the Bishop of Alexandria, compile a list of 27 post Old Testament books that he considered to be inspired works, appropriate for use by the church in worship. (Which included only four of the known gospels).

In 379 AD, the council of Carthage, ratified Bishop Athanasius’ list plus those books of the old scriptures to be the works of man inspired by God and published an official list of the seventy three inspired works of the bible; The existing, currently used forty six books of the scriptures and twenty seven post resurrection books that popularly became know as the New Testament.

In 380 AD, the first known complete manuscript of the Old and New Testaments was produced by hand by St. Jerome, who translated both the Old Testament from the Hebrew and the New Testament from the Greek into Latin.  This version is commonly called the Latin Vulgate and is the basis for the accepted bible in the Catholic Church today.

Full bound copies of the bible were rare and often there was only a single bible in a given church because they were hand copied with pen and ink, word for word, page by page and often further illuminated with gold leaf and bright paints.

In 1380 AD, the first English translation was made by John Wycliff.  Not knowing Greek or Hebrew, he translated from the Latin Vulgate which made his translation twice removed from the original, a translation of a translation.

It wasn’t until 1456 AD that Gutenberg produced the first printed version of the bible in Latin, revolutionizing the way books were reproduced.

Up until the Protestant reformation beginning in 1517 every believer in Christ Jesus was a Catholic (Even Martin Luther) and by that time, as we can see, the bible was well established and accepted by the whole of the Unified Catholic Church.

Now, the logic follows that since everyone was of the same Universal Catholic Church, and the apostles themselves where the fathers of that same original Universal Church, and the writers of all of the books included in the canon of the Universal Church were members of the Church now popularly known as the Catholic Church, then the Bible as we know it today was verifiably written by Catholics, compiled by Catholics and ratified as the inspired works of man by Catholics, we can very safely state that the Bible was written by the people of the Catholic Church inspired by the Holy Spirit.

This is not an idle claim by the Catholic Church, it is a matter of historical fact.  It is verifiable from an abundance of secular writings throughout history. By the time the Bible was fully accepted and in use by the entire Universal Christian Community, and for fifteen hundred years, there was only one Catholic Church on earth.

Claims by non Catholics that the Bible was not written by Catholics are simply historically inaccurate. The only possible caveat to this claim is that the bible was written by the Holy Spirit through man… who, by the way, were all Catholic.

C. Michael Hager