2.1.2 Who were the authors of the books of the Bible?: So, who then are the authors of the books of the Bible? Obviously the Church must know them very well since they are popularly believed to have received divine inspiration from God Himself. Right? Actually, they don’t. For example, we will note that every Gospel begins with the introduction “According to.....” such as “The Gospel according to Saint Matthew,” “The Gospel according to Saint Luke,” “The Gospel according to Saint Mark,” “The Gospel according to Saint John.” The obvious conclusion for the average man on the street is that these people are known to be the authors of the books attributed to them. This, however is not the case. Why? Because not one of the vaunted four thousand copies existent carries it’s author’s signature. It has just been assumed that certain people were the authors. Recent discoveries, however, refute this belief. Even the internal evidence suggests that, for instance, Matthew did not write the Gospel

“...And as Jesus passed forth thence, HE (Jesus) saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and HE (Jesus) saith unto HIM (Matthew), follow ME (Jesus) and HE (Matthew) arose, and followed HIM (Jesus).” Matthew 9:9

Did “Matthew” write this about himself? Why then didn’t Matthew write for example: “he (Jesus) saw ME, and my name is Matthew. I was sitting at the receipt of custom…” etc.

Such evidence can be found in many places throughout the New Testament. Granted, it may be possible that an author sometimes may write in the third person, still, in light of the rest of the evidence that we shall see throughout this book, there is simply too much evidence against this hypothesis.

This observation is by no means limited to the New Testament. There is even similar evidence that at least parts of Deuteronomy were not written by their claimed author, prophet Moses (pbuh) . This can be seen in Deuteronomy 34:5-10 where we read

“So Moses....DIED... and he (God Almighty) BURIED HIM (Moses)... He was 120 years old WHEN HE DIED... and there arose not a prophet SINCE in Israel like unto Moses....”

Did Moses write his own obituary?

Similarly, Joshua too speaks in detail about his own death in Joshua 24:29-33. “And it came to pass after these things, that Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, DIED, … And they BURIED HIM … And Israel served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that overlived Joshua, and which had known all the works of the Lord, that he had done for Israel ….”

Such evidence is part of the large cache which has driven the Biblical scholars to come to the current recognition that most of the books of the Bible were not written by their supposed authors. For example, the authors of the Revised Standard Version of the Bible by Collins honestly say that the author of “Kings” is “Unknown.” But if the author is unknown then why attribute it to God? How can it then be claimed to have been “inspired”?

Continuing, we read that the book of Isaiah is “Mainly credited to Isaiah. Parts may have been written by others.” Ecclesiastics: “Author. Doubtful, but commonly assigned to Solomon.” Ruth: “Author. Not definitely known, perhaps Samuel.” and on and on.

Let us have a slightly more detailed look at only one book of the New Testament, that of ‘Hebrews’:

“The author of the Book of Hebrews is unknown. Martin Luther suggested that Apollos was the author...Tertullian said that Hebrews was a letter of Barnabas...Adolf Harnack and J. Rendel Harris speculated that it was written by Priscilla (or Prisca). William Ramsey suggested that it was done by Philip. However, the traditional position is that the Apostle Paul wrote Hebrews...Eusebius believed that Paul wrote it, but Origen was not positive of Pauline authorship.” From the introduction to the King James Bible, New revised and updated sixth edition, the Hebrew/Greek Key Study, Red Letter Edition

and one book of the Old Testament: “In tradition, [David] is credited with writing 73 of the Psalms; most scholars, however, consider this claim questionable.” Encarta Encyclopedia, under “David”

Is this how we define “inspired by God”?

RESPONSE: Al-Kadhi is confusing human authorship with divine authorship. Each book of the Bible is inspired by God. Who the HUMAN author is, is (to a large extent) beside the point. (The exception is when the Bible itself claims a certain human author, such as in the letters of Paul).

For the Old Testament, the Christian answer is simple: Jesus accepted the Old Testament as inspired scripture. Therefore so do we.

[With regard to his objections about Moses and Joshua, the Bible nowhere says that Moses wrote all of Deuteronomy. Nor does the book of Joshua ever say that Joshua was the author. It is the book ABOUT Joshua, not BY Joshua.]

For the New Testament, books should be able to be traced back to the apostles. All 27 books were either authored by an apostle or by a close associate of an apostle. More to the point, the books were accepted by the apostolic church.

Let me just deal with the two specific books mentioned: Matthew and Hebrews. For Matthew, the testimony of the early church is unanimous that Matthew wrote the gospel attributed to his name. For Hebrews, the greetings at the end make it clear that the author was a close associate of Paul.