and the Writers
God is the ultimate ‘author’ of the Bible because He gave information to the human writers and guided the writing so that the final product was God’s words. Sometimes this happened through a conversation with God, a dream, a vision. When Jesus came, He was God, and when taught His disciples, they wrote down what He said. So there were a variety of ways that God communicated with the writers. He is said to have ‘inspired’ the words that were written by human writers. The actual Greek word for inspired means ‘God-breathed’.
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17.
The Bible records these direct communications from God, but sometimes it was also people simply recording what happened, and passing on what they learned. One can learn about the person God chose to use from studying a person’s writing style and experiences. For example Paul, who wrote much of the New Testament, would use certain words, phrases, a way to tell a story, or set up an argument and conclusion, just like we all would. So God didn’t possess someone in some sort of automatic writing, rather He used the human writers that He chose, and guided the final outcome. In the New Testament, it talks about how the Holy Spirit comes to be with us and guide us when we believe in Jesus. In the case of the disciples who lived life with Him and followed Him, the Holy Spirit was promised to help them remember everything Jesus taught, even after He was gone. “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” John 14:26. God did choose specific people for the writing of the Bible who had certain historical and spiritual qualifications. While the Holy Spirit is still sent to help all believers today, people today cannot be writers of scripture for historical reasons.
The Bible contains 66 different books written by 40 authors over a span of 1,400 years. They contain an amazingly congruent message both forward and backwards. Jesus is the central figure of the Bible. Much of the Bible, the Hebrew scriptures that were written before His birth, look forward from the perspective of the writers pointing to His coming. Much of the New Testament, written after His death, resurrection and ascension pointed back to when He was on earth. Both the Old Testament (Hebrew Scriptures) and the New Testament, written by His disciples who lived and walked with Him when He was here and were eyewitnesses of His life, death, resurrection an ascension, also point even further forward to the time that is still future for us today - His return to earth in the Second Coming.
One important thing to think about, is that from our perspective, a prophecy that comes true, is seen as miraculous, because we wonder how anyone could know or see the future. But God is the Creator of everything, not just matter, but even time itself. The Bible says He spoke it into existence, creating everything out of nothing.
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1. The term ‘heavens and earth’ is a part of speech called a merism, which is a comprehensive phrase, in this case meaning God created absolutely everything that is. He is not constrained by our dimensions - space or time, so He knows what is coming, because He’s sees events from a perspective outside of them. I’ve heard people describe God’s perspective of time as being high up in the air above a parade. Down on the ground we can only see it as each group passes because we are constrained by time, but from high above it, He can see it all at once. So it is easy for Him to see the end of the parade and tell a human what is coming.
Jesus Christ is God. He was in the beginning and is Creator. When He was born, He took on human flesh so that He could show people in the most direct way possible who God is. In John 1, Jesus is called the Word of God, because He is the direct expression of God to us in human form, and by knowing Him, we know God. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made, and without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and that life was the light of men.... The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:1-4, 14. When Jesus came, He taught truth to his disciples and many of them are the ones who wrote the New Testament. Because Jesus is God, He knows what is coming in the future, and could give that information to His followers to pass along to us. The prophecies come from God who knows the future. And He chose individual people to write down each of the prophecies.
Here are some more articles detailed about the writers of the Bible.
Who wrote the Bible? https://www.gotquestions.org/who-wrote-the-Bible.html
Authors of the Bible with a list of their bios: https://overviewbible.com/authors-who-wrote-bible/
What is Prophecy? https://www.gotquestions.org/prophecy-prophesy.html
Every book of the Bible contains prophetic material about Jesus’ comings and the words of God, so in that sense, every book is considered prophecy. On the postcard connected with this website, there are scripture references to a variety of prophecies from various books of the Bible. Below is a list of the human writers who wrote down those specific prophecies and some information about each of them. There are also links at the end of each person’s description to a write up with a lot more information about them on GotQuestions.org. This is a great resource for hundreds of answers to hundreds of questions about the Bible and what it contains. A link to GotQuestions.org can be found on the Resources Page.
Prophet, Jewish Exile, High Position in Babylonian and Medo-Persian Empires, Writer of the Book of Daniel
The main prophecy on the this website, and the corresponding postcard that has been mailed out, is the Seven Year Prophecy from Daniel 9:24-27. Daniel was a Jew who lived in Israel, but was taken to captivity in Babylon in 586 BC with the Jewish nation. He and several other young men, probably teenagers at the time, were taken to learn and serve in the courts of Babylon there. Essentially, the Babylonian Empire would train up people from the nations they conquered and put them in positions of leadership to control the people group they came from. Nebuchadnezzar the king had dreams that Daniel was able to interpret with the explanation of God through angels about the future. These dreams had to do with each successive nation that would control Israel into the future until one day the evil world ruler would rise up, and then finally the Messiah would return to defeat him, rule the earth and bring peace to Israel. As Daniel got older, the Persians came and overtook Babylon, and then he, and the Jews were under Persia’s control. Daniel was a man who loved and served God, and wasn’t afraid to stand up for his beliefs. Because God gave him the interpretation of dreams, kings elevated him to high positions in Babylonian and Medo-Persian empires. But because of Daniel’s position, God used him to protect Israel while they were in a foreign land. The book of Daniel in the Bible is not just a book of prophecies, though it contains many. It also tells the story of Daniel’s life, his character and choices, and his relationship with God.
Daniel 9:24-27, Seven Year prophecy, is about a longer 490 year prophecy. Part it talks about a future decree that will be made to restore and rebuild Jerusalem, which is the starting point of 483 of the years and then ends with the coming of the Messiah presenting Himself as King of the Jews. This part of the prophecy was fulfilled with exact precision. But then the prophecy says the Messiah (Jesus Christ) would be ‘cut off’ meaning violently murdered. The final Seven Years of the 490 is yet to begin. The book of Daniel prophecies about a number of historical events including, but not limited to, the Babylonian Empire, the Medo-Persian Empire, Greece and Rome, Alexander the Great and his four generals, Antiochus Epiphanes and his conquest, the destruction of Jerusalem and the Jewish Temple in 70AD.
In 1948, a copy of Daniel was found in the Septuagint among the Dead Sea Scrolls which are a Greek translation of the Hebrew texts that were translated 3rd and 2nd century BC. The book of Daniel is also referenced by Jesus, who also prophesied that the Jewish Temple would soon be destroyed, that someday the evil world ruler would come and set up the ‘abomination of desolation’ in the Jewish Temple and then that he would try to annihilate the Jews. This is part of the Seven Year prophecy.
Daniel Bio: https://www.gotquestions.org/life-Daniel.html
Seven Year Prophecy: https://www.incasenoonetoldyou.com/post/seven-year-prophecy
World Government Rising: https://www.incasenoonetoldyou.com/post/world-government-rising
Evil World Leader: https://www.incasenoonetoldyou.com/post/the-evil-world-leader
Prophet of Judah, many centuries before the time of Jesus Christ
Joel lived during the time of the dividing of Israel 800 years before Christ. The nation had disobeyed God, and they were divided into a norther and southern kingdom. Then the Assyrians came and took away the northern kingdom in 722 BC to exile. Then a few hundred years later, the southern kingdom was taken away to Babylon 586 BC. This was the exile that Daniel was a part of.
God had told Israel in Deuteronomy 28, when the nation was formed, that they would receive blessings for following Him, but if they followed other gods, they would receive curses. One of the curses was the occupation of, and exile to, other nations. After several hundred years, the nation of Israel was following other gods and living lives full of sin and oppression, so God sent many prophets, like Joel and Daniel (16 Prophets in all), to warn them of coming invaders. God is just, so He will eventually judge wrongdoing, but He holds off for a really long time, because He is merciful and wants people to turn to Him in faith, humility and repentance so He won’t have to bring judgment. “Yet even now,” declares the LORD, “return to Me with all your heart, with fasting, weeping, and mourning.” So rend your hearts and not your garments, and return to the LORD your God. For He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in loving devotion. And He relents from sending disaster.” Joel 2:12-13
The prophecies that God gave these men had both near and far fulfillments. They warned of the nations, like Assyria, that would come and take them away as a near fulfillment, but then they also told of far fulfillments of the end of days, and the Day of the Lord, when God would execute judgment on the entire world when He would come to earth Himself. The prophecy of Joel tells of the signs in the sun, moon and stars that the Day of the Lord was coming, (Joel 2:30-31) along with a prophecy concerning a great army of strange creatures that would come across the land in a war (Joel 1-3). This army is spoken of in Revelation 9, written 900 years later by the Apostle John. But like all of these prophecies, it also tells of how God would then set up a kingdom of peace and justice in the world and set everything right.
There is also a double prophecy in Joel that is fulfilled both when Jesus would pour out His Holy Spirit. In the time right after Jesus ascended, He gave His Holy Spirit to the first Christians so that they could speak in foreign languages and share the gospel with all nations. “And afterward, I will pour out My Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on My menservants and maidservants, I will pour out My Spirit in those days” Joel 2:28-29, Acts 2. The second fulfillment will be right before the Day of the Lord, when Jesus would pour out His Holy Spirit onto the last Christians right before Jesus’ returns so they can spread the good news of Jesus Christ to all nations in foreign languages. “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come” Matthew 24:14.
Tax Collector, Disciple of Jesus, Apostle, Writer of the Gospel of Matthew,
Martyr for Jesus Christ
The book of Matthew was written by one of the twelve disciples who followed Jesus. Jesus had a number of followers, but He had an inner circle of twelve whom He specifically chose (Matthew 4,9,10). These men had the inside track, and Jesus explained many teachings and parables to them. They walked with Him through Israel as He healed people, did miracles, cast out demons and taught the masses (Matthew 3-25). They were eyewitnesses of His death (Matthew 26-27), His empty tomb (Matthew 28), His appearance after He rose from the dead (Acts 1-2), and ascension into heaven (Acts 1-2). These men were commissioned to then spread their eye-witness accounts and the teachings that they learned from Jesus (Matthew 28, Acts 1-2). One requirement to be an official Apostles of Jesus was to have seen the resurrected Jesus (Acts 1-2). Jesus promised these men that the Holy Spirit would remind them of what He taught them.
Matthew was a tax collector. He wasn’t someone that was well-liked in his community, because he was a Jew who collected money for the Roman Empire that was occupying the land of Israel. He was grouped in with people who were outcasts in the culture. But Jesus saw him and chose him to be one of his followers and close companions, and to share friendship and the teachings of God. Jesus was no respecter of persons then or now. All can come to Him, learn from Him and be His friend.
Matthew wrote down what he saw from a Jewish perspective to a Jewish audience. It is likely that he used Mark’s account as part of what he wrote down and then added in the details for the Jewish perspective. The book of Matthew was written around 50-60 AD, within 20-30 years of Christ’s death. This is significant, because other people who had lived during Jesus’ life and ministry would have been able to read this document and accept or reject it as true to what happened. Matthew, like all of the other Apostles, died for spreading the message of salvation through Jesus, His death and resurrection. Jesus had told them ahead of time that He would die and rise again. These men wouldn’t have given up their lives to spread the message and then be martyred, unless they truly witnessed Jesus death and resurrection.
Matthew was recording the teaching of Jesus in the verses that were referenced on the postcard. He was recording a teaching called the Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24-25 where Jesus specifically talked about what Daniel had prophesied five hundred years earlier concerning the End of Days and then gave more details of His own. Jesus talked about the apocalyptic worldwide events of the final Seven Years to come, the ‘abomination of desolation spoken of by the Prophet Daniel’ (Matthew 24:15), the sun and moon going dark (24:29), (a reference back to Joel), and Jesus’ return in the future on the clouds of heaven (24:30) to judge the world leader and those on his side.
Matthew Bio: https://www.gotquestions.org/Matthew-in-the-Bible.html
300 Prophecies of Jesus First Coming: https://www.incasenoonetoldyou.com/post/300-prophecies
Fig Tree Prophecy: https://www.incasenoonetoldyou.com/post/the-fig-tree-prophecy
Doctor, Companion of the Apostle Paul,
Writer of the Gospel of Luke and Acts of the Apostles
Luke recorded the Olivet Discourse as well. His writing is dated a few years later, 60-61 AD, and words much of the teaching the same, so he used either Matthew or Mark or both to work off of and then added his own details because he was a Gentile (non-Jew) writing to an audience of non-Jews. He also wrote the book of Acts that records the history of when the Apostles began going out to spread the message in Israel and beyond, and then the Apostle Paul’s missionary journeys to other regions and countries. Luke was a doctor, who was a companion of the Apostle Paul on his missionary journeys (Colossians 4:14, 2 Timothy 4:11, Philemon 1:24). While Luke was not an Apostle himself, his writings were taken from the eyewitness accounts of Matthew (Apostle), Mark (companion who recorded Apostle Peter’s words) and Paul (Apostle).
“Inasmuch as many have taken in hand to set in order a narrative of those things which have been fulfilled among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write to you an orderly account, most excellent Theophilus, that you may know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed...” Luke 1:1-4
Luke Bio: https://www.gotquestions.org/Luke-in-the-Bible.html
Disciple of Jesus, Apostle, Writer of the Gospel of John, 1st 2nd & 3rd John
& The Revelation of Jesus Christ
John was the youngest of the twelve Apostles and was very possibly a teenager when Jesus called him. He and his brother James were fishermen whom Jesus called to follow Him when He began His ministry. And they immediately left their fishing to follow Him (Matthew 4). He was one of Jesus’ chosen twelve disciples, who were then commissioned to be Apostles (Matthew 9-10). He wrote one of the four gospels - the Book of John, three small letters - 1, 2 and 3 John, and the book of Revelation. John walked with Jesus, learned from His teachings, saw Him die on the cross, saw the empty tomb, talked with Jesus after He was risen, and saw Him ascend into heaven.
The Book of John is an eyewitness account of Jesus life, ministries, miracles, death, resurrection and appearances after Jesus rose. His focus of the book was to invite people to believe in Jesus who died for them and receive eternal life. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him, will not perish, but have eternal life” John 3:16. If you have not read the Bible before, this is the book to read first. John saw Jesus ascend into the clouds, as recorded in the book of Acts and was one of the founders of the first church in Jerusalem. John was boiled in oil for his faith. He died a martyr’s death as did the rest of the Apostles.
John wrote the book of Revelation (Rev. 1:9). The Book of Revelation, written 95-96 AD records visions John received while exiled on the Island of Patmos. In the visions, Jesus and angels spoke with him and explained what he is seeing. He recorded these conversations and the details of what he saw in the visions. These visions expand in even more detail upon the visions seen by the Prophet Daniel and the prophecies Jesus taught in the Olivet Discourse concerning the final Seven Years, the Antichrist and the ‘abomination of desolation’ (Revelation 13), worldwide chaos and apocalyptic events (Revelation 4-19), and the Second Coming of Jesus to earth (Revelation 19-22). Revelation references elements most of the 66 Bible books from beginning to end. Its goal is to show Jesus as God the Creator (Revelation 1, 22) who was foretold to come from the beginning of the creation of mankind, as the Savior who would die and rise again, and then would one day return to rule planet earth, fulfill every last prophecy, (of which there are hundreds), and set everything right that was broken by sin.
“John, to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen. “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” Revelation 1:4-8
John Bio: https://www.gotquestions.org/life-John-Apostle.html
Pharisee, Jew from Tarsus, Roman Citizen, Persecutor of Christians,
Chosen by Jesus on Damascus Road, Apostle to the Gentiles,
Martyr for Jesus Christ
Paul was the last of the official Apostles (1 Corinthians 9, Philippians 3:4-6). He was not part of the original twelve that Jesus chose. He was Jewish and Roman. He was born in Tarsus in Turkey. He was very staunchly Jewish and even persecuted the first Christians until Jesus appeared to him as he was traveling, blinded him temporarily, and then called him to be the Apostle to the Gentiles (non-Jews) (Acts 9). The Twelve Apostles were Jewish and began their ministry in Israel telling the Jews about how Jesus came as their long-prophesied Messiah. Jesus did commission them to go into all the world and preach the gospel, and so over time, they did expand their travels. The Apostle Thomas is even said to have gone to India. But Paul was specifically sent to Gentiles (Acts 22:21; Romans 1:5; 11:13; Galatians 2:8, 2 Timothy 1:11; 2:7). He went on four missionary journeys into Asia Minor and Southern Europe. He eventually was imprisoned and martyred in Rome. His conversion and journeys are recorded in the book of Acts that was written by Luke (Acts 9-28).
Paul wrote most of the books in the New Testament. We call them books, but they were originally letters written to churches he started on his journeys, individuals he ministered to, and apprentices he raised up. Both Mark and Luke, who wrote two of the Gospel Books of the New Testament, traveled with him and learned from him.
The books of 1 and 2 Thessalonians that are referenced on the postcard are written to churches in the city of Thessalonica that he had founded. Paul traveled there, told people of Jesus, many believed, and then they were persecuted by others in the town. This is recorded in Acts 17. Paul then wrote them letters of encouragement because someone pretending to be him had written them and told them that the Day of the Lord had come (2 Thessalonians 2:1-2). Because they were undergoing so much persecution, they believed that this horrible time of the end must have begun. He wrote them to encourage them that the letter was from an impostor and then he reminded them of the things he had taught them about the Day of the Lord. This is the same Day of the Lord that is talked about by Joel and other prophets, Daniel, Jesus and the Twelve Apostles. Paul reminds them of the things that will signify the Day of the Lord such as the rise of the Antichrist, the ‘abomination of desolation’ he will set up in the Jewish Temple that must occur before his persecution of believing Jews and Christians (2 Thessalonians 2). Then after these events, Jesus will return on the Day of the Lord to defeat the evil world leader (Antichrist).
He also encouraged them, that because they were followers of Jesus, God counted their debt for their sins paid. They accepted that Jesus died for them, so they will not be punished by God’s wrath (1 Thess. 5). “For God has not appointed us to suffer wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ” 1 Thess 5:9. This wrath includes all the wrath of God against sin. This doesn’t mean followers of Jesus don’t suffer in this broken world, but it does mean that everything that falls under the category of God’s wrath and judgment against sin will not come on His followers. So Paul reminded them that before the ‘wrath’ of the Day of the Lord comes, Jesus will snatch away His believers to protect them from the judgment Jesus will unleash on the Antichrist and his companions (1 Thess. 4:13-18). “By the word of the Lord, we declare to you that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a loud command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will be the first to rise. After that, we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will always be with the Lord” 1 Thess. 4:15-17.
Paul Bio: https://www.gotquestions.org/life-Paul.html