The Bible’s Source—God or Man?

April 29, 2013

In a previous post we discussed the essence of the Bible; in this post, we’ll look at the source of the Bible.

Where did the Bible come from? Are its words simply religious lore, written down by people over the centuries? Are they the product of the thoughts or imaginations of men? Why do we call the Bible the Word of God?

Since our faith is based on this book, it’s crucial for us to know its source.

Knowing the source is critical

We definitely want to know where our drinking water comes from. If we know it comes from a pure source, we’re confident we can drink it without fear. Similarly, we trust certain news reports if we believe the reporters are reliable and their facts are checked.

Knowing the source of something helps us gauge its trustworthiness. Should we value it? Should we disregard it? Is it reliable? So much depends on the source.

What is the source of the Bible?

Throughout the ages, many have written down their thoughts, observations, and philosophies on life. But what about the Bible? Is it merely a collection of the thoughts, observations, and philosophies of pious men about God?

The apostle Peter says this: “For no prophecy was ever borne by the will of man, but men spoke from God while being borne by the Holy Spirit” (2 Pet. 1:21). Even if a person wanted to write something for or about God, all mankind is fallen, and the mind of man is darkened and limited.

Consider the true and profound words in the Scriptures. At times they defy our expectations by providing indescribable comfort or piercing light concerning our inner condition. Could any fallen person write such words?

Peter explains that although the Scriptures were written through men, these men spoke from God. The source of the Bible is God, not men.

How did these words get to us from God?

Let’s take a look at how note 2 of 2 Peter 1:21 in the New Testament Recovery Version explains this verse:

“No prophecy was ever borne by the will of man. Man’s will, desire, and wish, with his thought and exposition, were not the source from which any prophecy came; the source was God by whose Holy Spirit men were borne, as a ship is borne by the wind, to speak out the will, desire, and wish of God.”

If you’ve ever watched a boat sailing on the water, you‘ve seen its sails catch the wind. It moves along by that wind, not by its own power. This picture demonstrates where the Bible comes from. Just as a boat is moved by the wind, certain men were borne, or carried along, by the Holy Spirit. By this Spirit these men could then speak or write down the will, desire, and wish of God.

So the words of the Bible didn’t originate from man’s own mind. But how did this “being borne” happen?

The Holy Spirit and the human spirit

It’s important to see that God created human beings not only with a mind but also with an inward part that’s actually deeper than the mind. The Bible tells us that God formed “the spirit of man within him” (Zech. 12:1). The “spirit of man” is a person’s deepest part. Just as our physical eyes are our seeing organ, the human spirit is the inward organ by which we can contact and receive God.

John 4:24 says, “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit.” The “Spirit” refers to the divine Spirit and the “spirit” refers to the human spirit. With the human spirit, human beings can fellowship with God, who is Spirit.

As certain men were in fellowship with God in their spirit, they were borne, or carried along, by the Holy Spirit to write down the words of God. The Scriptures are God’s words, and they are holy because their source is God. They came to us from men who were borne by the Holy Spirit to speak or write down words from God.

It’s important for us to know the Bible’s source

Without understanding that God Himself is the source of the Bible, we won’t have a solid foundation to stand on. Our faith rests on the Bible. For us to have confidence in this book, we need to be clear that God is the source.

In our daily environment we interact with people who don’t believe in God or who don’t value the Bible’s words as being from God. At work, in school, on television, in movies—nearly everywhere we look—we encounter things and people that may make us question the Bible. And when we’re unsure about the Bible, our faith can be shaken.

However, if we’re clear that God is the source of the Bible, we’ll know it’s words are trustworthy, true, and pure because God is trustworthy, true, and pure. We’ll have confidence in the Bible, and our faith will be nourished by its words. His Word can sustain us in all situations, guide us to know God today, and be depended on for all eternity.

Because we know the source of the Bible is God Himself, we can trust in the Word of God wholeheartedly, without reservation or doubt. By trusting in and relying on the Bible, we will come to know our Lord more and more deeply both in this book and in our lives.

Why do you think it’s important for a Christian to know the source of the Bible? Share your thoughts below!

All verses and quoted footnotes in this Bible study are from the Holy Bible Recovery Version, published by Living Stream Ministry. This post is based on the topic, “The Word of God (Origin),” from the Topical Directory in Using the New Testament Recovery Version: An Illustrated Guide. Bibles for America gives away free copies of the New Testament Recovery Version. You can order one on our order page.

6 Comments

7 Comments

  • Praise the Lord for His Word! It is extremely important for Christians to trust the source of the Word because the Bible is the foundation of our faith. We come to believe in God through the Spiritual Word. God is Spirit and his word is spirit and life (John 6.63). Faith comes out of hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ (Rom.10.17). Once saved through faith we continue in the saving process, the transformation by feeding on the Word for life and growth. (John6.57). We are also sanctified by the Word (John 17.17). We communicate with fellow Christians with and through the Word (Col.3.16). Most of all, the Word of God says that the Word is God Himself (John 1.1). If a Christian does not trust in the source of the Bible, the Word of God he or she will not be able to live the Christian life to the full. He or she will treat the Bible as any other reference book and will miss the Life who is God Himself. They will also fail to know the organ by which they need to communicate with God, the human spirit (Zech.12.1)and exercise it to communicate with God (John 4.24). May the Lord give wisdom and revelation to all believers to realise that He Himself is the source of His Word.

  • William Sams says:

    Having recently received my Recovery NT Bible, I find it quite refreshing. I have read other translations, but this one is not only the best, but is most informative as well. Keep up the good work. I love your Bible Study as well. Jesus is Lord!

  • Stephanie says:

    Powerful message!! The Bible – the Word of God says, “man SHALL NOT LIVE by
    bread alone but by EVERY word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Simply put, man ceases to exist without the Word of God. The Word makes it possible for us to live, move and have our being. Jesus says, “I am The Way, The Truth and The Life; no man cometh unto the Father but by me.” There is no getting around this truth. Jesus was the Word made flesh, who makes it possible for us to live and have relationship with the Father. There is no life outside of Christ and no meaningful living outside the Will of God. Thank God for the Holy Spirit that brings all things to our remembrance. To God be the glory!!

  • STEPHEN BANDA says:

    THE BIBLE IS THE WORD OF GOD AND IS POWERFUL TO CHANGE LIVES TO DAY.
    GOD AND HIS WORD ARE ONE.
    THE BIBLE IS TRUE AND JESUS IS ALIVE.

  • Cesar Rivera says:

    Glory and honor to our divine God in three persons. God is the greatest wonder of all. And he has plans for his creation that humans have the obligation to seek it and be informed. In this Era and dispensation, people have from God 26 letters and one Book of revelation of Jesus Christ, which contain the messages that can make us wise to obtain the salvation faith that is the new testament of God to mankind. God made it simple: letters and the book with much symbolism and prophesies for those who love to study the word and do discoveries of the super natural. All these in association with the prophesies of the old testament about God’s plans developing through the centuries and recorded in the 39 books of the old testament represent God’s effort to save all those who care about the creator. Praise God for his extraordinary gifts to mankind.

  • Paulette says:

    In a time where Churchs just want your money to build bigger Churchs, its nice to find someone who truly cares about spreading the words of the Lord. My Church turned me down for help getting me a pair of glasses, I have Lupus. I was losing my faith, this has restored most of it, thank your for truly caring and sending out these books, otherwise I would not be able to get them.

    Praise the Lord,

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