The Bible is a library of books given by God. God used human writers to produce the Bible, but God Himself is the author. The apostle Paul encouraged his younger comrade in the faith to, “continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:14-17). The word translated “scripture” in verse 16 of our English text is the Greek word graphe; it refers to that which is written down. Several English words—such as autograph, biography, graphite, etc.—that connote the concept of writing have graphe as their origin. While in former times God communicated to man in various ways such as dreams, visions, prophetic utterances (Hebrews 1:1), it is the written message under consideration here by use of the word graphe. If we are going to know the will of God and spiritual truths that are essential to our salvation, we must go to what is written in the Bible. We are not going to simply wake up one day and intuitively know God’s will. We must read so that we can understand (Ephesians 3:4).
The phrase translated “inspiration of God” in 2 Timothy 3:16 is from theopneustos in the Greek; referring to “expiration” (Bauer 449-450). The exhalation of God’s breath was the means by which all scripture was given. While one may have ideas without expressing them, the vehicle of expression for those ideas must be words. Paul wrote, “or what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual” (1 Corinthians 2:11-13). God breathed the words of scripture. He did not merely give rough ideas to the writers of the Bible and let them run with them elaborating and editing as they saw fit. The scriptures are the words that Holy Spirit gave to the biblical writers. David said, “The Spirit of the LORD spake by me, and his word was in my tongue” (2 Samuel 23:2).
Thus, when we approach the Bible as readers, we must keep in mind that God is the ultimate author of the words. Different humans may have been used as His instruments and their various situations, cultures and vocabularies may have been employed to communicate the message, but it is still God’s message given in the words He has selected. So, do not come to the Bible to set the various writers at odds with one another or with this dismissive treatment of saying things like, “Well, that’s just what Paul thought and he was sexist.” No. God gave each writer the words of His message. If we have an issue with what is written, then our issue is with God, the author.