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Authorship

The Bible has many dif­fer­ent human authors. Some books of the Bible do not indi­cate in any way who wrote them. Oth­er books bear the names of per­sons to whom author­ship is ascribed. In some cas­es it is per­fect­ly clear that the indi­cat­ed author is in fact the per­son who actu­al­ly wrote the book with his own hands. In oth­er cas­es it is as clear that the author of the book had anoth­er per­son do the actu­al writ­ing of his work in the man­ner of a sec­re­tary. In still oth­er cas­es it is the Tra­di­tion of the Church, and not sel­dom the opin­ion of bib­li­cal schol­ars, that the indi­cat­ed author of a giv­en book of the Bible is not the per­son (or per­sons) who wrote it, but the per­son who orig­i­nal­ly inspired its writ­ing, whose name is then attached to it as its author.

In a num­ber of instances the Tra­di­tion of the Church is not clear about the author­ship of cer­tain books of the Bible, and in many cas­es bib­li­cal schol­ars present innu­mer­able the­o­ries about author­ship which they then debate among them­selves. It is impos­si­ble to estab­lish the author­ship of any book of the Bible by schol­ar­ship, how­ev­er, since his­tor­i­cal and lit­er­ary stud­ies are rel­a­tive by nature.

Because the Ortho­dox Church teach­es that the entire Bible is inspired by God Who in this sense is its one orig­i­nal author, the Church Tra­di­tion con­sid­ers the iden­ti­ty of the human authors as inci­den­tal to the cor­rect inter­pre­ta­tion and prop­er sig­nif­i­cance of the books of the Bible for the believ­ing com­mu­ni­ty. In no case would the Church admit that the iden­ti­ty of the author deter­mines the authen­tic­i­ty or valid­i­ty of a book which is viewed as part of the Bible, and under no cir­cum­stances would it be admit­ted that the val­ue or the prop­er under­stand­ing and use of any book of the Bible in the Church depends on the human writer alone.