How do we know Bible isn't just man-made?


This question might seem a bit skeptical, but yesterday I was reading this book called Consuming Fire, which goes into detail about how the Old Testament was formed. It is a Catholic book published by Ignatius Press, a Catholic press, and it makes use of historical criticism.

In talking about the formation of the OT that we now have today, the author speaks of Yahwistic, Elohistic and Priestly traditions that acted on each other over time to revise the OT text. The author speaks of how such and such authors, while in Babylonian Captivity, wrote certain Scriptural passages (such as the Tower of Babel in Genesis) to reflect their stay in Babylon.

All this, and if taken to a certain point, implies for me that the writers of the OT were simply commenting on their life experiences. At least, that’s the implication I see. The writers are not recalling real events that happened, but are creating myths to describe some perceived cosmic or personal reality. So, when the writer wants to emphasize something as an objective, eternal mandate, he puts the mandate in the words of God: “And then God said…let there be light,” etc.–even if God never really said this and this is just a creation of the author. That’s the way it seems to me, at least.

So, I suppose my question is: how do we know that the Bible is truly God’s word for us? When the writers say that God declared this or that, did God really say this or that, or is what God says only a representation of what the writer wants God to say, to fit in with his perception of religious truth?

Textual criticism seems to destroy the essence of faith


It’s a sideways way to get there, but you may want to read this.

God Bless,


Yes, it does. It was a major reason for my deconversion.


We know the Bible is truly God’s word because we believe in Divine Revelation. Which means that God, Who is the Bible’s Author, cannot deceive, nor be deceived. We know that God is the Author of Revelation because He has proved it by external acts like miracles & prophecies.

The actual people who penned the Bible worked under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost.
So, since God is the author of the Bible, it cannot contain any error. “All scripture is inspired by God” (2Tim. 3:16)

We know that Jesus approved of the Old Testament because he often quoted passages from it. The New Testament was written by the disciples and Apostles of Jesus, in the first century while their memories were vivid in detail. (Again under the inspiration of the Hoy Ghost).


[quote=Madaglan]Textual criticism seems to destroy the essence of faith

The Holy Scripture has been defined and declared to be the inerrant Spirit breathed, divinely inspired Word of God by the Church.


Historical criticism is discussed in a couple other threads in the Scripture forum.

Cardinal Ratzinger is the author of a couple relevant documents that can be downloaded from the EWTN/document library.

Historical criticism of the Bible has been flawed by pre-existing “philosophies” of the investigators, particularly that of being skeptical of divine intervention. So, that makes a lot of “historical” historical criticism a case of begging the question. Which is to say, they assume it’s not inspired and therefore go fishing for things that “prove” that point of view.

The Church has accepted and canonized the books of the Bible based on its eyes of faith. And, so it is properly understood only through that faith. Jesus gave us the parable of the sower and the seed to show how some come to accept the faith, and how others are less fortunate in the outcome of hearing the truth of the Gospel.


How do we know it is realy the word of god?

for the most part, especially in genisis, we cannont ever proove anything as true or false simply because of the time frames we are looking at. We can abrely decipher most of the stuff about egypt, and that is an extremely well documents civilizartion. So, what about those civilizations before egypt but after noah. Almost no historical refrences because it is SO far back…

Therefore, from a scientific point of view, is nearly impossible to proove or disprove things like the Tower of Babel. if a tower was built, it would have been destroyed completely by nature and man.

So, how do we KNOW it is the word of god…

That is an issue of faith…

To believe something when there is no physical proof that it does or does not exist. That is the essence of and religion…


my two cents



Of course the bible is man-made, because it was written by men.

But the writers were also inspired by the Holy Spirit to write what He wanted written, as God’s revelation to mankind.

God revealed himself first, not through the written word, but through His direct revelation to people such as Adam & Eve, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and the Prophets. And he inspired certain men to write of his continuing revelation. These writings became the bible.

The New Testament also was man-made–written by men.
Did St. Paul think he was writing scripture when he wrote letters to the various communities? I don’t know. But the Holy Spirit used his writings, and inspired him to write, so the result IS inspired scripture.


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