The Bible is not one big book, though when you get to know it well you will likely conclude it has one true author because it is so interwoven. No, the Bible was written by about 40 different men over about a 1,700 year period. The different writings of these men were collected and over time accepted as inspired by God. This conglomeration of books makes up the Bible. How God formed the Bible really adds to its incredible nature.
Try to think of it this way. God spoke a special language, or rather languages, to these 40 authors. To some he spoke to their hearts, to others he spoke through their life experiences, to others her spoke audibly. But it was as if he was speaking to 40 different translators. Each translator took what God spoke to him and put it into his own written language. God did this with 40 different translators over about 1,700 years.
Now imagine I am speaking to you through a translator. Would not that translator’s own thoughts and character influence his choice of the words he used or how he translated what I said? If I use a different translator every day, wouldn’t each one be a little different? Now think of how much a language will change over time – like 1,700 years. How people think and reason and their knowledge of the world and science changes over time too. Just read something written by Shakespeare for an example of this. But while all these translators and the effect of time would greatly influence how I sounded, if they were all translating what I said, would not my way of thinking and my character consistently come through, despite the translator?
This is exactly what happens with Bible. You will see huge differences in presentation and in wording of the Bible. Sometimes this will be to such a degree that it confuses us. But I have never met someone who has studied the Bible and stuck with it for a long time, who didn’t eventually conclude that the entire Bible has one true author. It eventually becomes undeniable. So be ready for a little confusion, but look for that consistency that comes for the character of the Bible’s true author – God.
On the practical side, there is a lot of help avaialable for this.
I am currently using the New Living Translation Study Bible, and I could not recommend a Bible version more. It is filled with notes that help explain the time and translation issues. It is written in easy to read modern English without totally abandoning accuracy. If you ever find the Word confusing, there is help in this Bible, its footnotes and its additional information. I strongly encourage you to give this book a chance.
Beginner’s Online Bible Study *obbs*