Scriptures of Truth: The Formation of the Scriptures

April 17, 2023
Jim Paul

The Apostle Peter says in 2 Peter 1:16: “for we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ but were eyewitnesses of His Majesty.”1 He goes on to describe his personal experience when he was with the Lord on the mount of transfiguration (v. 17).

He then continues by explaining that this event was a fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy, demonstrating the reliability of God’s Word and assuring us of its truthfulness: “We have the prophetic Word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first that no prophecy of scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Pet. 1:19-21).

So, from Genesis to Malachi the divine Author was the Holy Spirit of God using human writers. The New Testament writers were also guided by the Holy Spirit to bring to completion the divine revelation of the entire Scriptures. The book of Revelation, revealed to John in exile, was written to the seven churches of Asia. The solemn word presented gave this injunction: “He that has an ear to hear let him hear what the Spirit to the Churches.” This wonderful book, the Bible, closes with some very serious consequences to anyone who would add or take away from what is written in it. In other words, from Genesis to Revelation the divine Author is the Holy Spirit of God. 

An unknown author wrote the following: 

“The Bible was written by approximately 40 writers. The first and last were separated by 1500 centuries. The writers were kings, statesmen, soldiers, scholars, philosophers, physicians, poets, herdsmen, shepherds, and fishermen. Parts of it were written in the desert of Sinai, the wilderness of Judea, the river of Babylon, the prison in Rome, and the Isle of Patmos. It contains history, geography, genealogy, law, ethics, prophecy, poetry, philosophy, hygiene, and principles to which obedience will produce individual happiness and national greatness. The Bible is so diverse in composition and contents. It gives the impression that each part is necessary to the other. Taken together these parts form one complete and coherent whole.”

The Inspiration of the Scriptures 

Having considered the formation of Scripture and the wonderful way it all came together, we are thankful it has been translated into many languages and is being distributed throughout the world. According to the Guinness Book of Records it is still the world’s best seller. We need to keep praying and supporting those who print and send out the Scriptures here and across the world. 

Let’s consider the fact that it is divinely inspired. The simple understanding of the word “inspiration” means it is God breathed. In 2 Timothy 3:16 we read: All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” What tremendous blessings and benefits are given to those who read and give heed to it! There are many who teach that only parts are inspired while the rest is added by human thought and experiences. This verse states quite definitively that all of the Bible is from God. 

The Lord Jesus while being confronted by Satan reminded him: “Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” The new believers at Thessalonica gave Paul reason to “thank God without ceasing, because when you received the Word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the Word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe” (1 Thess. 2:13). Dear believer, what is your attitude to the Scriptures you read? Listen to what James says: “But be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” (Jas. 1:22).

The Profit of the Scriptures 

In 2 Timothy 3:16-17, Paul speaks about being nourished up in good, sound teaching which is so important in laying a solid foundation for Christian living and service. It is doctrine that shows us the right way. David could say: “He restores my soul.” (Psa. 23:3). How many times have we been blessed by the restoring grace of our God leading us back to Himself through His Word. 

One other thing to consider is teaching children “the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” (2 Tim. 3:15). May this be an encouragement to parents, Sunday School teachers, Kids Club leaders, camp ministries, and all who work in bringing the gospel to children in a very ungodly world. Many have come to the Savior in later years through the seed of the Word sown in their hearts when they were young. 

The Searching of the Scriptures 

This subject is inexhaustible but here are a few pointers to encourage, especially our younger people to take the time to patiently search them out. The believers at Berea “received the Word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.” (Acts 17:11). Do you accept what you hear from speakers you listen to or do you search it out to see if it is true? Peter warns of many false teachers among us “who will secretly bring in destructive heresies…and many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed.” (2 Pet. 2:1-2). We are thankful for every gifted Bible teacher and gospel preacher who handles the Scriptures as the “oracles of God.” 

It is good to follow the exhortation from Paul to the young Timothy: “give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine…meditate on those things, give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may appear to all. Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will both save yourself and those who hear you.” (1 Tim. 4:13, 15-16). 

Below are a few excerpts from the introduction to the Gideons Bible:

“Christ is its grand subject, our good its design, and the glory of God its end.”

“It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet. Read it slowly, frequently, prayerfully. It is a mine of wealth, a paradise of glory, and a river of pleasure.”

“It involves highest responsibility; will reward the greatest labor; and condemn all who trifle with its sacred contents. 

“Owned it is riches; studied, it is wisdom; trusted, it is salvation; loved, it is character; and obeyed, it is power.” 

What a wonderful blessing to have the liberty at this present time to read it without harassment. We pray for those in other parts of the world who are denied that privilege. How good that we have the freedom to invite others to come and know the great blessing it can be to their lives. The Scriptures carry with it all the authority of the living, eternal God behind it! One day everyone will have to give an account as to how they received and obeyed its truth. I trust the reader will give God’s Word the very serious consideration and deep respect that is due it.

Divine Instructor, gracious Lord,
Be Thou forever near,
Teach me to love Thy sacred word,
And view my Savior there. 

Anne Steele


1. All scriptural references quoted from the NKJV