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Authors of the Bible

Authors of the Bible, do we know them?
Muslims often make the argument that since the Torah, or the first five Books of the Old Testament speak of Moses in the 3rd person and even mention his death, therefore, they could not have been authored by him.They state further that since none of the Gospels do not name the authors, therefore, we will never know who wrote them and hence, the authority of the Bible is disproved.

But are these claims valid in the light of the evidence?.Let us see.

The Bible clearly talks about Joshua writing the Law of God:

25 On that day Joshua made a covenant for the people, and there at Shechem he reaffirmed for them decrees and laws. 26And Joshua recorded these things in the Book of the Law of God. Then he took a large stone and set it up there under the oak near the holy place of the LORD.Joshua 24

Based on this, scholars have affirmed that it was Joshua, son of Nun who wrote Moses's obituary towards the end of Deuteronomy, therefore negating any claims against his authorship.

As far as speaking in 3rd persons is concerned, the Qur'an itself is filled with references where Allah is spoken of in the 3rd person.For example:

Sura 1:1 In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.

And when God said, 'O Jesus son of Mary, didst thou say unto men, "Take me and my mother as gods, apart from God"?' He said, 'To Thee be glory! It is not mine to say what I have no right to.. 5:116

Based on the same 3rd person logic, Muslims would also have to reject Divine authorship for the Qur'an.

But perhaps that greatest argument one can make for the traditional authorship of the Law is that Jesus and His Apostles endorsed it.Consider the following:

4 They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away.”
5 “It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law, ” Jesus replied. (Mark 10)

46 If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wroteabout me.John 5
19 Has not Moses given you the law? Yet not one of you keeps the law. Why are you trying to kill me?”John 7

22 For Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you must listen to everything he tells you.Acts 3

Also refer to the discourses of Jesus with satan in Luke 4 where he replies to every temptation with a quotation from Deuteronomy, by stating "It is written".What's notable is that almost the passages endorsed by Jesus and His Apostles as quoted here are from Deuteronomy, which is the Book that is question!.It seems that Jesus and His disciples could foretell modern Bible criticism when they said these words. 

Now what about the Gospels?.While it is true that none of them have names ascribed to them, it is also true that Christians, right from theearliest times have accepted the traditional names of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.These people were eyewitnesses to Jesus's life and ministry and they were also the disciples of the Apostles themselves.If anyone would have known the authors of the Gospels, it was these people.People who doubt the traditional authorship are separated by these events from thousands of years.Who would you rather believe?

Moreover, Mark and Luke were not even disciples of Jesus, and Matthew was a former tax-collector, an occupation hated by his contemporaries.If someone wanted to forge the Gospels, one would use more popular names like Peter, James or Mary.In fact, there is no reason to ascribe these names to the Gospel accounts if they did not write them.

Of course, John is an exception to this argument.But still, the early Church testimony still holds the Gospel of John to be written by the Apostle himself.

What is more significant is the point that the New Testament itself hints at the authorship of the Gospels as supported by the Church Tradition.For example, Irenaues and Papias state that Mark wrote what Peter narrated to him.1 Peter 5:12-13, written by Peter hint at the fact that he used associates to have things written and Mark was one of these associates.

So combining all these arguments, a strong case can be built for the traditional authors of the Bible and hence, it's authenticity remains.

God Bless You

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