Bible Society of South Africa

About the Bible

Who wrote the Bible and when?

Millions of Christians all over the world believe that the Bible is the Word of God and profess to read it regularly, study it and regard it as a guideline for their lives.

Christians of all ages, and especially young people, are invited to make the Bible an essential part of their lives by reading and studying it in depth. This edition offers interesting and relevant material which directs the reader back to the Scriptures each time so that everyone who reads it can ultimately state with conviction:

I treasure your word
above all else;
it keeps me from sinning
against you. (Ps 119:11)

Apart from a short overview describing how the Bible came into existence and how it was compiled, the additional material also provides numerous applications of Scriptures specially selected to keep young readers on the right path.

Who wrote the Bible?

The Bible is a remarkable book which came into being over a period of at least 1 200 years. It was written by a variety of authors from shepherds to kings as well as prophets like Moses, Daniel and Isaiah. These included learned people like Ezra, kings such as David and Solomon and apostles of Jesus Christ such as Peter and Paul. Because so many authors wrote from such diverse points of view and circumstances, the reader “hears” the Word of God from different perspectives. The miracle of the Bible is that the different books all contain the same basic message and concept of who God is. The Bible is truly an awesome book because it speaks to people of all generations and nationalities throughout the ages.

When was the Bible written?

Long before the invention of writing (± 4th millennium BC) the history of God’s people was passed on by word of mouth from generation to generation by fathers, mothers, leaders in the community and storytellers. As time passed these stories were written down on clay tablets, scrolls of animal hide (leather parchment) and papyrus scrolls. The recording and rewriting of these manuscripts went on for many centuries as the scrolls decayed over time. In fact, the Hebrews were so concerned about preserving their writings that they became known as “The People of the Book”.

The books of the Old Testament came into existence over a period of a thousand years or more. The collection of books, which is divided into three categories (the Law, the Prophets and Writings), was written down during significant crisis periods in the history of the Jewish nation. By the end of the 1st century AD the books of the Hebrew Old Testament had been established. The Greek translation of the Old Testament used in the early church, contained additional books (Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical books) which are not part of the Protestant Bible, but are still used by the Roman Catholic Church. Since the Reformation, Protestant churches have used the books of the Hebrew Old Testament only.

Did you know?

The word Bible is derived from the Greek word biblia or “books”, which means the Bible you you are reading is actually a miniature library containing a collection of 66 books – 39 books in the Old Testament and 27 books in the New Testament.

Bible Society of South Africav.4.20.15
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