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Who wrote the Bible?

BY CAREY KINSOLVING Published: May 29, 2012
"I think the angels wrote the verses, and God helped the angels type it out," says Sara, 8.

That's a lot of typing, but I think there's more to the story. Scriptures record messages delivered by angels, but people did the writing.

"Some names of some people are Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, and if they misspelled a word, then they would have to start over," says Jennifer, 9.

Actually, Jennifer is onto something. Hebrew scribes called sopherim were so careful in copying Old Testament scrolls that they developed a tradition of counting the letters of each biblical text. If the letter count of a copy didn't match the original, Jennifer's "start over" would apply.

"I think the disciples wrote it and Jesus and God," says Robert, 8. "They wrote it on scrolls. Then they cut it in squares, and they got leather and made the cover and put it together."

"God told people to make copies," says Joel, 10. "People did it. They sold them."

Year after year, the Bible continues to be the No. 1 seller. Complete and partial Bible translations have been made in more than 2,200 languages, according to a spokesperson for Wycliffe Bible Translators.

"God is the one who really made all the words, but the people who wrote it down just wrote it on paper," says Casey, 10.

Casey's idea is that people functioned as secretaries in the sense that God dictated the words.

Lynden, 9, believes people played a more active role: "God told the people who wrote the Bible to write sort of in their conscience. He didn't just come down from heaven and say here's what to write."

I like the way Anna, 9, states it: "God thought up the Bible, but he gave people the mind to write the Bible." Derek, 8, adds, "The Bible was written with freedom."

In other words, God used the personality and the circumstances of each writer to convey his message.

Sarah, 10, quotes from II Timothy 3:16 when she writes, "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.

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