The Bible was written over a period of more than a millenium by a large number of
different people from different walks of life. Three different languages were involved
and parts of the Bible were written in different places (even on different continents).
In spite of this the message of the Bible is a single united message, different from
the messages of the cultures in which it was written. No other religious book has
this unity of message, even including books written over a far shorter period.
The Writers of the Bible
The Old Testament was written by more than 35 different people. These are from very
The diversity of these writers is tremendous. One might imagine a more modern set
of people with the last of these writing in the second half of the twentieth century.
The equivalent of Moses would be a chieftain from the early part of the dark ages,
but one might include a Saxon king to represent David, a mediaeval serf to represent
Amos, a Tudor courtier to represent Nehemiah and a modern taxman, shopkeeper, doctor
and university lecturer to represent Matthew, John, Luke and Paul. One would need
to include another 15 people from equally varied backgrounds as well; some would
have to be fluent in an alternative language, such as Welsh of French. One would
not expect a group of such people to share a world view which is absolutely consistent,
and therefore to produce a work which looks like a single book.
The Consistency of the Bible
The Bible, however, is highly consistent throughout. Not only does it refer to one
God throughout, and to one hope of eternal life by resurrection, but it is consistent
in less major points. The picture of the Messiah, the coming anointed king who would
judge the world for God and set up God’s kingdom is consistent through the Old and
New Testaments, and the ideas of right and wrong do not change in any appreciable
way (although there is definitely some adaption to the circumstances of life as these
The Bible Project
The difficulty of managing such a project is extreme. If the Bible had simply been
written by a tradition of people who had been selected by a small community which
continued through the ages then it would be difficult to produce complete consistency.
The people who wrote the Bible were no such closed community. The prophets are frequently
highly critical of the religious establishment which preserved earlier scriptures.
This is the point of the message of the early parts of Ezekiel, which describe the
people who are running the Temple in Jerusalem as turning away from God, or of Isaiah,
which describes the corruption of the Jerusalem establishment (which would still
have seemed moral by standards of public life today) or the description of the Pharisees
by Jesus. The prophets who wrote books of the Bible (or whose words were recorded
by others) were frequently rebels who overturned the received ideas of their time.
To produce a book like the Bible it is necessary for the controlling interest to
last for many centuries, to be able to control matters across great distances, He
would need to be able to manage the gap of cultures and to be able to forsee situations
that might arise centuries later. No human being is able to do this. Only a supernatural
being could manage it.