How was the Word of God compiled?

How was the Word of God compiled?

Men did not originate God’s Word, but spoke as moved by the Holy Spirit (2Pe. 1:21). Beyond their own understanding (1Pe. 1:10, 11), men recorded the exact words that God breathed out (2Ti. 3:16). What was written, although bearing the marks of the writers’ experiences, abilities, and personality, was in accord with the Word, "forever settled in heaven" (Psa. 119: 89). There seems to be no reason to limit the "volume of the Book" in the Lord’s first words in incarnation (Heb. 10:7) to the Old Testament. All the contents of the Bible were predetermined before their writing.

The same God who desired to communicate His Word and inspired men to write it is able to compile the sacred writings and preserve them. The way by which the Old Testament was compiled is not clear, but the Lord Jesus gives the divine imprimatur to the books recognized at that time. He said, "The Scriptures cannot be broken" (John 10:35). He defined the Scriptures that therefore must be fulfilled as the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms (Luke 24:44). Although the order of the Old Testament books recognized at that time was different from the order in our Old Testament, that three-fold division, law, prophets, Psalms, included the 39 books we recognize today. Their inherent spiritual weight, reliability, authority, life-transforming power, and internal and combined consistency marked those books as God’s Word. The Lord Jesus affirmed God’s superintendence in compiling the Old Testament. The same is true of the New Testament, although that is more easily traced historically.

D. Oliver