Brandon and I have been talking about the Saints on the last few pods, and specifically Saints who wrote in the New Testament. Going back to our first one on St. Paul, we got focused on these Saints as authors and how knowing the author is crucial to understand the writing. When we apply this to the Bible, it tends to be a conversation that gets handled either with way too little thought or with way too much contention.
Often, when we start talking about who wrote the Bible, we talk about it like we explain it to small children. God wrote the Bible, obviously. I’m not here to argue against that point. God did, in fact, write the Bible, but He isn’t the only author. When we stay at that level of understanding, we do get one of the key truths about the Bible, namely that since God is author, the book is reliable and true. This is incredibly important, obviously. It is THE fundamental starting point for our understanding of the Scriptures. God is the primary author of the universe as well as the Bible, but that idea carries further. Just like God is the author of existence, but He invites us, as His beloved children, to participate in and bring ourselves into the process of His creation.
When we want to dive into the fullness of the Bible, the human author matters, too. Not as much as God does, obviously, but it isn’t trivial. God brings the Truth to us, but He does it through us as well. When we look at the words of the Word, we can’t treat it like a holy possession. The Holy Spirit didn’t descend on St. Paul and move his hand to write exactly those words. Instead, the Holy Spirit puts the truth in St. Paul’s heart, and inspires him to use his own experiences and insights to communicate that truth.
This is God’s method of working with us in general, we are called to be the author of our lives as well, always with God as the primary author. He doesn’t tell us the words to use, He tells us the truth to communicate. He doesn’t tell us everything we need to do, He tells us our mission and entrusts us to live it. Don’t put down the pen.