When I was in 8th grade, I was in an elective journalism class. We didn’t do much – mainly just wrote the weekly school paper, which fit on one sheet of paper front and back, and was not anything to brag about, by any means. I had a regular set of stories that I had to write (our teacher called it our “beat” – cute, huh?), but more than anything I just helped with the techie-related stuff. I would work with the teacher and other students getting the stories to fit and look good on the page, as well as some other computer tasks. It wasn’t my best class – I actually made B’s and C’s in there, and I was almost always an all-A student in my other classes. But nevertheless, at the end of that year, I won the journalism award. I still have the medal that they gave me, and to this day, when I look at it, I’m not sure why I won it.
Now, there’s really not much of a moral to that story. Or if there is, I’m going to go a totally different direction…
Out of the very few things I learned about journalism that year, one thing I did learn is that the line at the top of a news story where the author identifies himself or herself is called the byline. Bylines are important, because they give credit where credit is due. When it comes to the Bible, God’s Word, we unfortunately don’t have a written-out and translated version of a byline from God. But this isn’t to say that the Bible wasn’t written by God. Today’s lesson in The Ever Loving Truth talked about God’s role in the creation of the most awe inspiring, best selling, life changing book ever written.
People often argue that the Bible was written by men, and therefore cannot be any more special than any other book written by human hands. I’m guessing that this must have been an argument about Scripture, even back in the times of the early church, because Paul addresses it in his letter to Timothy when he says
16All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
Paul tells Timothy that every bit of Scripture is God-breathed. The Greek word translated into God-breathed is theopneustos, and literally means God-inspired. So from the very first words of Genesis to the very last words in Revelation, even though they may have been put on the page through the hands of men, they were inspired by God. He chose these men to be His instruments, just like I choose Pilot G-2 pens to be my instrument to write with. When I write a love letter to my wife, she doesn’t thank my pen, she thanks me, because I am the one who came up with the words. The same goes for the Bible – although men may have been the instrument used to write the words, the words themselves came from God.
Because the words of the Bible are straight from God, they are no ordinary words. They are influential, but many books written by men are influential. They are admirable, but many books written by men are admirable. Books written by men have even been called life changing. But never could you call the words of man authoritative. That is what makes the Bible a superior book to any other book, and the words therein superior to any words written by men. They are the authoritative words of the living God. And God has chosen to give us the words we need to live lives of great faith and good works.
The Bible changes lives in ways no other book does, in that it transforms people into something that is not very human. Humans as a whole are introspective – we see things from our own point of view. But the Bible teaches us to be theospective (a word I just made up…) – to see things from God’s point of view. And that’s what we were created to do, so it makes all aspects of our life better here on earth. And even more, it explains how we can have life forever, through Jesus.