There are some things debated within the Bible which are legitimate. Questions may arise over apparent contradictions in texts for instance. There are also things debated that really make no difference and will never be resolved. A case in point is the "authorship" of various books in the Bible. Most of us know that it is very difficult to determine who wrote the book of Hebrews. Most evidence points to Paul being the "author", but many would debate that it could have been Peter, James or someone unknown to us. Maybe, from God's point of view, He didn't want anyone to know who wrote the book, since nowhere in the epistle is there definitive proof of the writer.
2 Peter 1:20 and 21 states a truth that must be upheld or the entire Bible becomes nothing but a battleground for opinionated blowhards who want to argue and debate every jot and title of every passage. This truth regards the "authorship" of the Word of God. Please look at these two verses from the New International Version:
"Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of the Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation.
For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit."
When people debate who the author of a particular book in the Bible is, they are missing the point. God is the author of His Word. The men whom He chose to actually write down the words were simply doing as they were told to do. The Holy Spirit "carried along" these men in the sense that the men did not make up what they were writing out of their own minds. Peter didn't decide one day to write his memoirs and lo and behold 1 Peter and 2 Peter suddenly appeared in the bookstores.
In 2 Timothy chapter 3, there is a pivotal verse to understanding how the Word of God came about. In verse 16 it says, again in the NIV:
"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness."
The King James uses the phrase "given by inspiration of God" which is fine, but the NIV, Amplified and many other versions have captured the real meaning when they use the phrase "God-breathed". All scripture is God-breathed, meaning that the original Word of God came from the very heart of God. In Genesis, after God formed Adam from the dust of the ground, it says that "God breathed into Adam‘s nostrils the breath of life". The only reason we are alive is because God Himself breathed into man "the breath of life". This is why we must study and learn the Word of God, so that we can tap into the very life of God He breathed into His Word.
The original God-breathed Word of God was as perfect as God. Holy men of God were carried along by the Holy Spirit and as they were moved, they committed it to writing. That which these men originally wrote was the perfect God-breathed Word of God. Of course the most dramatic example of this was Moses, who received more of the Word of God than any man who ever lived. Not only did Moses write all the laws recorded in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy; he wrote those four books of the Bible PLUS Genesis. Moses was not the author of any of these books, he only wrote them. God was and is the author of His Word.
Each man wrote in his particular style of writing. Each one used words that were in his vocabulary. Each man's individual personality shines through in what he wrote and how he wrote it through direct inspiration from God. This is very evident in the difference between Amos and Isaiah in the Old Testament, or Mark and John in the New Testament.
The Bible, unfortunately, is not the God-breathed Word of God. The Bible contains the Word of God, but it is impossible to get back to the original God-breathed texts, for they have long ago disappeared. God has watched over His Word and what we know today as the Bible does indeed contain His Word, but it takes certain qualities to honestly sift through all men's private interpretations and opinions and get back to God's heart.
A student of God's Word must first be meek. The Bible says that Moses was the meekest man who ever lived. He also received more of the God-breathed Word of God than any man who ever lived. James 1:21 exhorts us to "receive with meekness the engrafted Word which is able to save our souls." There is absolutely no room for arrogance when it comes to receiving God's Word. Humility of mind is essential to gaining introduction into the throne room of God's heart.
A student of God's Word must be diligent. 2 Timothy 2:15 says:
"Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth."
The word translated "study", really means; to make haste as manifested in zeal, earnest and diligence. The NASB translates the beginning of verse 15 as; "Be diligent to present yourself approved unto God..." Because of the usage of "workman" later in the verse; study is allowable by context. Thus, the best possible translation would be; "Study, be diligent and eager to show yourself approved unto God." The reason for diligence is to make sure we "rightly divide" the Word of truth. There is absolutely no room for laziness or sloppiness when it comes to Biblical research. There is also absolutely no place for "private interpretation" of God's Word. We must strive to rightly divide what is written.
A person does not need to be "smart" to study and understand the Bible. In fact, many an intellectual has failed miserably at Biblical research due to making something very simple far too complicated. It does not take a genius to figure out what God is saying in 99% of His Word. This is why children many times comprehend more of the heart of God's Word than adults. They keep things simple. "Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so" is a song every Christian child knows. It would do most adults well to learn this song instead of the rambling nonsense promoted in much of Christian music today.
A very wise man once told me to make sure to not only "study" the Word, but to "read" it faithfully. The more you read the Word, the greater "feel" you get for it. The more you read the Word, the more you see the whole picture of God's purpose from Genesis 1:1 to the end of Revelation. Many Christians narrow their reading to just the Gospels or Epistles or New Testament. We need to read the whole Bible to understand God's heart for all generations.
We need to read about Abraham, Moses, David, Elijah and many others in the Old Testament because Hebrews 12 calls them "so great a cloud of witnesses". These people are our heroes and heroines, our role models and our mentors. They provide us with living examples of faith. They show us how to live for and walk with God no matter how desperate the circumstances.
Instead of debating "authorship" of Bible books, believers need to diligently and with great meekness and simplicity study the Word of truth. "Read the Word, read it some more and then read it again"; these were the exact words my wise mentor spoke to me almost 40 years ago. I have tried to never forget these words and that is why I wanted to share them with you, for I know you love God and His Word or you would not even be reading this post. I pray God mightily blesses you with great understanding and comprehension of His glorious Word as you diligently study it. Blessings2You.