Who wrote the Bible? How is the Bible put together?

Episode 1 Summary

Bible Study\

Episode 1 of this DIG Series tries to answer two questions.

The first question is "Who wrote the Bible?" Who authored these words of this ancient text, so familiar and yet so mysterious to many? Is there one author, or multiple ones? Are these simply a collection of human documents? Did the Bible drop from the sky, written by God? Is it appropriate to speak of divine inspiration by these human authors? What can we know, if anything, about these writers?

The second question in Episode 1 is "How is the Bible put together?" When we open the Bible, what do we find? We soon discover that the Bible is a compilation of multiple books arranged in two broad categories that are often referred to as the Old and New Testaments. Beyond this arrangement, what else do we discover? Is there any rhyme or reason for how these books are arranged, or how the texts appear on the page?

Watch Episode 1 of this DIG series and hear how some experts and practitioners in this field have attempted to address these questions.



Episode 1 Lesson

Bible Study\

Group Discussion

Teacher: Present the scenario detailed in suggested uses to your class members and then have them discuss how they might answer the following two questions. If you have a large class, you may want to divide them into small groups of 4-5 people.

  • Who wrote the Bible?
  • How is the Bible put together?

Watch Episode 1

After group discussion, introduce the video by saying something like: "Now we are going to watch one approach to how you might answer this question. This is not meant to be the 'right answer' to the question, but allows us to listen in on how some others have answered these questions."

Debrief

After watching episode 1, ask certain questions like: "What was your overall impression of the video? How did you hear them address the questions? Did anything stand out to you? What did you like, or not like? Was there anything important that you would have added or said differently? Is there one thing you want to take away from this video?"



Suggested Uses in a Bible Study Class

Bible Study\

A Note to Teachers: The proper use of this video series in a classroom depends on who you have in class. If you are leading a group of folks who are largely "inquirers" or "seekers" about the faith, then you would approach the class differently than a classroom that is made up primarily of professing Christians. Below you will find a suggestive outline for either situation.

A Group of Seekers or Inquirers

You may want to begin your gathering by acknowledging the historic and cultural importance of the Bible. The Bible is consistently a best-seller and has impacted the western world (and much of the rest of the world) more than any other book. A biblically illiterate generation will not only suffer spiritually, but will have difficulty making sense of much of the literary and linguistic references sprinkled throughout our language and literature.

People throughout the world and throughout history have looked to the Bible for guidance, inspiration, hope, and most of all, to encounter God in its pages. Just about anyone will profit from a better understanding of this book and the message it contains.

This series attempts to address some of the more common questions that people have about the Bible:

  • Who wrote the Bible?
  • How is the Bible put together?
  • What is the main message of the Bible?
  • Why should the Bible be an authority in my life?
  • Why are there so many translations?
  • Has the Bible changed over time?

Each episode considers two of the above questions. After watching each episode, consider offering an opportunity for the viewers to comment and ask questions. What did you learn? What stood out to you about how the question was addressed? What did you like? Was there anything you did not like? What further questions do you have?

A Group of Professing Christians

Teachers, this suggested outline involves viewing one episode per week for a 3-week series. Consider the following scenario to put before your class:

Let's imagine that you have a friend who knows that you are a professing Christian and has approached you about some questions about your faith. Specifically, this person would like to start with some questions about the Bible. Your friend is not so much a skeptic as an inquirer who is starting to consider issues of faith, but still has some honest questions.

These questions are:

  • Who wrote the Bible?
  • How is the Bible put together?
  • What is the main message of the Bible?
  • Why should the Bible be an authority in my life?
  • Why are there so many translations?
  • Has the Bible changed over time?

You decide to meet with your friend at a local coffee shop three different times to discuss two questions at a time.

Further Resources

Many questions may arise as people watch these videos, including questions that the teacher will not know how to answer. You may want to research some of these questions online. Rob Phillips, one of the interviewees in this series, has a website at www.OnceDelivered.net. Also, you may want to consult www.biblica.com/bibles/about. Authors such as John Stott, F F Bruce, and J I Packer can be a reliable source of information. Finally, several books on Christian Apologetics have some good information that can address questions that arise about the Bible.

Final Comment

The intent of this video series is NOT to make people in your class feel inadequate to give the same level of knowledge to these questions as those interviewed on the video. Sooner or later, they will be asked these types of questions and will not have a pastor, a professor, or someone trained in apologetics around to give an answer. The goal is to have your people think through how they might answer these questions, and hopefully the video will give them some additional insights into what they might share. Also, the hope is that your class members will themselves be better educated about these questions and that it will enrich their own faith.



The DIG video series was developed to help address real questions that people may have about faith issues, specifically about the Christian faith. Through interviews, narration, and engaging visual images, the intent is to look below the surface on some of these questions and dig a little deeper to consider some possible answers.

This first series deals with questions about the Bible. In these three videos, we discuss the following six questions:

  • Who wrote the Bible?
  • How is the Bible put together?
  • What is the main message of the Bible?
  • Why should the Bible be an authority in my life?
  • Why are there so many translations?
  • Has the Bible changed over time?

Each video (3 in all) attempts to address two of these questions. Each video is 12-15 minutes in length.

Those we interviewed in this series include:

Mike Glenn


Dr. Mike Glenn
Senior Pastor
Brentwood Baptist Church


Rob Phillips


Rob Phillips
Certified Apologist
North American Mission Board


Darrell Gwaltney


Dr. Darrell Gwaltney
Dean, School of Religion
Belmont University


Target Audience

For whom was this video made? Who is our target audience?

First, we had in mind the spiritual seeker – one who has not yet made a commitment to follow Jesus Christ, but has some honest questions about the faith.

Secondly, we had the average believer in mind. This person may have been raised in the church and heard a lot of teaching about the Bible, but still could use some help in answering some of these questions – for themselves and in conversation with others.

Our Goal

For the spiritual seeker, we hope we have handled these questions in a helpful and respectful way. We hope to create enough interest and understanding of these sacred texts that you will read the Bible for yourself, and consider how it may be speaking to you.

For the follower of Christ, our goal is two-fold. First, we hope these videos will strengthen and encourage you in your own understanding of the Bible. Secondly, we hope that you will feel better equipped to have similar conversations with others outside the faith and consider ways that you yourself may respond to these types of questions.

For everyone, we hope that a better understanding of the Bible and its message will have a deep impact on your life: "For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12).