The Bible is one of the most complex, beautiful, and difficult works of literature ever to appear on a printed page. There are two ways that readers of the Bible can view the scriptures as they study them. Some read the Bible as individual written works by completely unrelated authors that were collected into an anthology by early church members. Others see the Bible as a unified collection of works written by different authors, but inspired by one Divine Author who chose to express His story through the pens of many writers. Although there is evidence to support both views, there is strong harmony between all of the biblical books that cannot be ignored. Thirty-five different authors have been traditionally cited having written the books of the Bible, yet each of them seemed to be making common points about the character of God. Two of these characteristics seem to be the most unifying for all the authors and books; God’s righteousness and His sovereignty. Examples of God’s righteousness and sovereignty are two doctrinal beliefs that unify the Bible by appearing in every book and being supported by every biblical author.
The nature of the Bible at its core is in fact unified. This statement may seem difficult to defend because of the Bible’s numerous and seemingly unrelated authors. But the writers do in fact share an important common attribute, as do each of their writings. That common factor is that each author was hand picked by God Himself to be the author of His story. Their writings each share the common theme of bringing glory to God, no matter the specific content or topic of their narratives. This unity accomplishes in creating a harmonious overarching narrative that runs throughout every page of the Bible. Each book acts like a puzzle piece, beautiful and important on its own, but once brought together they create a picture of God’s character that could not be seen by looking at each of the pieces individually.
Although there are many common themes about the characteristics of God in the Bible, His righteousness is an attribute that every biblical author speaks to. One of many examples is from Psalm 119:137 saying, “Righteous are You O Lord, and upright are Your judgments” (NIV). This verse is not only a great example, but also a tangible definition of the word righteousness in reference to God. Righteousness refers to God’s quality of being morally correct and justifiable in all circumstances (Erickson, 2015). From God’s righteous judgment of Adam and Eve’s sin in the beginning of Genesis, all the way to God’s righteous judgment of the world in Revelation, the Bible reveals God as morally justifiable in all circumstances. God’s moral standards are addressed in every biblical book, and so is his righteous judgment of humanity’s ability to obey or disobey. This is an important key to humanity’s relationship with God. Understanding God’s benchmarks of morality is an important step in understanding sin and how to avoid letting it corrupt ones relationship with God. Whether one studies Moses with the Ten Commandments, or the Apostle Paul with his letters to the early churches, all of the biblical authors are in agreeance of what God’s moral standards are, and how they should be followed by humanity. The Bible serves as a unified message of what God defines as right and what He defines as sin. It is also consistent in its guidance on how following God’s righteous path leads to a closer, more intimate relationship with Him. His righteousness, which is displayed consistently throughout the biblical narrative, is one clear example of the Bible’s unified nature.
Another characteristic of God that is unchanging throughout the entire Bible is His sovereignty. The term sovereignty refers to God’s supreme power and authority over His creation (Erickson, 2015). Although there is much speculation over how much free will humanity truly has, and there is biblical evidence to back up many differing theories, it is impossible to deny that the Bible portrays God as sovereign over the world. From His control over the foundations of the Earth in Genesis 1, to His control over the redemption of humanity through the death and resurrection of Jesus, to His control over the end of the Earth portrayed in Revelation, God is shown as divinely and lovingly in command of all circumstances. One of many biblical examples that shows this plainly is Psalm 24: 1-2 which states, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world and all who live in it; for He founded the seas and established the waters” (NIV). Understanding God’s sovereignty is an important in humanity’s relationship with God because it allows the creation to put complete trust in the loving power of their Creator. Knowing that God perfectly sovereign allows humanity to trust His plan. The consistency of God’s sovereignty shown throughout the entire Bible unifies its message and its view of God’s personality and power.
There are many examples of how the books of the Bible are consistently unified in their message about the character of God and how humanity can best relate to Him. God’s righteousness and His sovereignty are just two examples of many, but they are theological beliefs every book in the Bible agrees on. They are two themes that run through the entire biblical narrative weaving each book and each author together. They serve as evidence of the hand of God being the ultimate author of the Bible as a whole, no matter how many different writers He used to express it.
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