By MATTI FRIEDMAN
For millions of Jews and Christians, it’s a tenet of their faith that God is the author of the core text of the Hebrew Bible — the Torah, also known as the Pentateuch or the Five Books of Moses. But since the advent of modern biblical scholarship, academic researchers have believed the text was written by a number of different authors whose work could be identified by seemingly different ideological agendas and linguistic styles and the different names they used for God.
Where’s the news here, folks? No serious Bible scholar or thinking Christian disputes that the Bible’s 66 books have human authors. This is Christianity, not Islam. But we say, as Peter did with God’s direction, “that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Pet. 1:20-21). We affirm both the divine and human authorship of the Bible. We agree that different writings have different literary styles, aims, and authors. But it all fits together as God’s Word written, pointing to God’s Word Incarnate, Jesus Christ.