Wednesday, 8 September 2010
Who wrote the Bible?
Ephesians, like many letters in the New Testament, is written by the apostle Paul.
I was watching a sermon the other day and was reminded of a helpful question to ask when handling Paul's letters. There is some debate over authorship of some of the letters, but the whole world agrees that Paul wrote half of them! The preacher advised that we start with this half and begin to ask our questions...
Paul's claims are outrageous. He says that God has spoken to Him, and that God had called him to speak about Him. Paul claims supernatural experience and commissioning from God. C.S. Lewis uses the following argument to ponder Jesus which is also helpful when we come to Paul. It seems given the nature of his claims we really only have three options.
Who is this man Paul?
Was he a liar? Was he deliberately writing things that he knew were not true? Was he manipulating people? He lost everything for this cause. Would he do this for a deception? What kind of a man is he?
Was he a lunatic? Did he believe what he was writing but was mentally unstable? Was he deluded? Was he a madman like many before him and many after him who thought that God was speaking to Him when God does not even exist!
Or was he an authorized truth teller? Did God reveal himself to Paul and inspire him to write under the influence of the Holy Spirit? Are the letters that we have 'breathed out' by our maker?
I think the only thing we can do in light of his claims is to read his letters and make the best decision we can. I think we should decide for ourselves. Personally I think this is worth exploring. If he is who he says he is, surely our lives will never be the same again. We can pick up the best selling book in history, read it and see what we think. We'll be studying and preaching from this letter next term...
When I read his insight, wisdom, theology, love, and see the impact of this book on the lives of millions of people, I am compelled to invite others to read and explore these amazing letters of the Bible.