Who was the creator or author of the Law? God or man?

Who does the scripture say was the creator or author of the Law?

Having seen the word inspired used often here, please give a clear example of inspired or any other idea you use in your answer.

Example 1: I watched the sun set last night and it inspired me (moved me emotionally) to copy it by painting a picture of it.

Example 2: I listened to a few motivational speakers about building your business, I got really inspired (motivated) to copy them and get out there and work harder and make my business even better than theirs.

Example: 3 My dad told me to go tell the other kids that we all had to rake the leaves in the yard. I went and told the other kids and we all were inspired (persuaded) to do it because it was dad telling us to do it.

Or whatever example you want that explains what you mean.

This article describes pretty much my view of inspiration:

First, inspiration involves a type of supernatural and superintending synapses (i.e. a conjunction) between God’s purposes and their expression in the minds of the individual authors. This synapses happens in different ways, for example, there is a difference in the degree of divine direction between “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘Write in a book all the words I have spoken to you’” (Jer 30:2) and “Now about virgins: I have no command from the Lord, but I give a judgment as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy” (1 Cor 7:25).[3] The difference is divine dictation (which does happen in Scripture) and Paul’s need to do some theological and pastoral improvisation when he lacks dominical declarations on a tricky topic (which he did with the Spirit’s guidance). Similarly, there is a different type of divine influence exerted upon the composition of a Psalm by an author and its collection by a redactor. Inspiration is indeed concursive, it brings divine intent and human activity together, but it is a dynamic rather than a monolithic or mechanical process, pertaining primarily to cognition with a view to composition or some other activity that will actualize the canon.

Second, inspiration takes place primarily at the conceptual level. This is not to say that God simply gives an author the gist of what he wants them to say.[4] As if God tells the Psalmist to write something poetic about God as a Shepherd which leads him to write Psalm 23 or as if God gives Paul a few ideas about love which he then turns into the ode to love in 1 Corinthians 13. Yet inspiration means stimulating the mind to reach for words, but falling short of giving them. Now obviously, you cannot have concepts without words, so there is admittedly some overlap with the verbal model insofar as “the words of human beings are adopted to serve God’s purposes.”[5]However, I’m inclined to say that human authors are directly inspired and it is in a derivative way that their words as the product of that process are inspired. God provides the concepts, the Spirit initiates and superintends the concursive operation of divine influence and human cognition, resulting a composition dually authored by God and human authors. Then, the Spirit continues to guide the whole process of collection and canonization to ensure that God’s word is communicated and effective.[6]

The dynamic view of inspiration tells us, though without giving us a description of the exact cognitive process, that these human words can be identified with God’s Word . Thus we can legitimately say that it is not only Ezekiel, Amos, Jeremiah, Matthew, Paul, or Peter who speaks to us, but God is the one speaking through them to the church. It is God’s voice that is heard through the grammar, style, and words of the authors. However, authors are inspired at the level of concept, framework, worldview, and idea. Their own style, personality, vocabulary, and even their idiosyncrasies come out—not despite inspiration but in tandem with it.

Further, I agree with the critiques of verbal plenary inspiration here:


If you get the opportunity, Walton and Sandy’s The Lost World of Scripture is a good read. It spends a lot of time reviewing how oral transmission was important and how inspiration remains intact throughout the process. We live in a culture dependent on the written word, but that only is a fairly recent development with oral transmission having been the norm in the past, and being authoritative.



I have a question for you, Cody_G. Both St Paul (Colossians 2:17) and the unknown author of the Epistle to the Hebrews (Hebrews 10:1), state that the Law of Moses in both its legislative requirements and its stories is a mere shadow of the reality we have in Christ. So, to put things in your terms, if the Holy Spirit inspired the life of Christ, what spirit inspired a mere shadow and not the reality?

They were certainly from man, for see how Jesus responded in Matthew 19:“Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?” Jesus replied, “ Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning .” (Matthew 19:7-8 NIV)

Clearly a human being (Moses) has played a central role in the giving of the Law, albeit in an imperfect way. So the question is whether the Law was also from God. If so, then the question cannot be answered in a binary way, that is, in an “either or” way. So the framing of your question will not lead you to the truth.

gregoreite, I trust this will answer your questions.

The Law was a shadow of things to come, the reality is found in Christ. After Jesus came, the shadow would fade away because the reality had come and fulfilled and replaced what was in the Law. As light shines on an object, the object creates a shadow; the shadow of the Law gives us a dim image of the Kingdom of Heaven and of Jesus. Since the Law is the shadow of The Kingdom and Christ, the commands, statutes, ordinances, laws, decrees or whatever other words used to describe God’s will that He spoke to His people, are a shadowy figure of the Heavenly reality. These were not as some would say, laws, customs, and ideas from surrounding cultures or some examples that came from
false gods. This was not just ANE culture and thought; it was the spoken Word Of God.

The Law was given verbally to Moses by God. Consistently in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, phrases such as these were used to describe Gods” communication with Moses and Israel, “The Lord said to Moses” or Moses said “the Lord said to me” or “as the Lord our God commanded”.

The Law was The Word Of God from God’s own mouth. It was so much so that Jesus said, Matt 5:17 "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. And, Luke 16:16 "The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John. Since that time, the good news of the kingdom of God is being preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it. 17 It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the least stroke of a pen to drop out of the Law. The reality of the Law, is Jesus, and he came to FULFILL the very Words Of God. It was so much the Word Of God that Jesus had to fulfill it to the letter.

In Heb 8:5 They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.” The reason God warned Moses to make everything according to the pattern shown him on the mountain was because it was the representation of heaven. Not some ANE idea, not an image he dreamed up in his head and not stories handed down the generations to him. It was God speaking directly to him about heavenly things.

These are a few things of what Jesus said about the Law or it was said about him.

Keeping the Sabbath was a command God gave verbally to Moses, this is what Jesus said about that commandment of God, Matt 12:8 For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath." Jesus was the Lord of that verbal command of God.

Matt 22:37"‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." (Here the Law is united with what God told the prophets.)

Matt 23: "The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3 So you must obey them and do everything they tell you.”

Luke 2:22 When the time of their purification according to the Law of Moses had been completed, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”, 24 and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.” (Here the Law of the Lord and the Law of Moses are the same.)

Luke 2:39 When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord , they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth.

Luke 11:52 "Woe to you experts in the law, because you have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you have hindered those who were entering."

So Jesus and the apostles new, God Himself was the author, creator and giver of the Law.

You’ll forgive me @Cody_G, but these kinds of questions always get my spidey senses tingling. What I mean is that the question appears to have a simple answer, but actually the full answer is a lot more complex.

The simple answer (and the answer you appear to be leading us to) is to say God is the author of the law. I agree with you (though perhaps not in exactly the same way). However, to leave it there actually causes more problems for people since it is not a complete answer. Let me give you an example:

Both Exodus 20:1 and Deut 5:5 say that God spoke the Ten Commandments audible to the Israelites from the mountain. And yet, the two sabbath commandments are not identical.

Exodus 20:8-11 (NIV2011) says:

Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work… For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

Yet Deuteronomy 5:11 (NIV2011) says:

Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the LORD your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the LORD your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.

If God is the author of the Law and spoke it Moses (and in this case all Israel) why the change? Did Moses mishear the first time, or perhaps the second time, age was getting the better of the poor guy and he misremembered? Or perhaps, Moses intentionally changed the commandment in his retelling the second time because it fits with Deuteronomy’s theme of remembering what they were (slaves rescued by God’s grace) even as they are on the cusp of becoming what God intended them to be (God’s settled, flourishing people).

Given the number of times, Deuteronomy gets referenced and cited in the New Testament I think it is not inappropriate to say that the Holy Spirit approved of this addition on Moses part - the Holy Spirit inspired it after all…

I would also use this as a good illustration of the general relationship between the Holy Spirit and the writers of scripture. That is to say, it was a dynamic and variable relationship. They wrote to specific people, in a specific time and place, sometimes in response to specific situations, circumstances, and events,s, sometimes simply as a record of events and ideas. Nevertheless, what they wrote was nothing less than what the Holy Spirit intended them to write down and record. Yet, given the number of genres in Scripture, it was also a variable relationship, the Holy Spirit inspired Paul in a way that was different to Mark, which was different from the way he inspired Jeremiah, or the writer of Ecclesiastes, or the sages of Proverbs.

Does that make sense, @Cody_G? How do you make sense of the difference between Ex 20:11 and Dt 5:11 in light of scriptures record that ‘God spoke these things to Israel’?

On an aside, I think it is worth pointing out that neither the Westminster Confession, the Longer/Shorter Catechism, nor the Heidelberg Catechism formally outline what they mean by the scriptures being ‘inspired of God’, but rather focus more on the content, qualities, and use of Scripture. That in itself cautions me about being too narrow and prescriptive over one’s definition of ‘inspiration’.

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The problem appears to be that the word “inspired” is not a precise translation. “God Breathed” seems to be more accurate which conjures up a different concept.

The traditional view is that God gave the ideas but it was expressed by the writer in their own words. Words which have been copied and translated and transmuted through cultures over the centuries. The result is therefore not as precise as many would want us to believe.


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Hi Liam, You make too much of this. There’s more than just those two places that a Commandment has different wording to expound and explain its meaning, even from God’s own mouth (a “Thus saith the Lord” moment). The Law was “God Breathed”, it was expelled out of His own mouth.

Ex 16:23 “This is what the Lord commanded: ‘Tomorrow is to be a day of rest, a holy Sabbath to the Lord. So bake what you want to bake and boil what you want to boil. Save whatever is left and keep it until morning.’” 24 So they saved it until morning, as Moses commanded, and it did not stink or get maggots in it. 25 “Eat it today,” Moses said, “because today is a Sabbath to the Lord. You will not find any of it on the ground today. 26 Six days you are to gather it, but on the seventh day, the Sabbath, there will not be any.” 27 Nevertheless, some of the people went out on the seventh day to gather it, but they found none. 28 Then the Lord said to Moses, “How long will you refuse to keep my commands and my instructions? 29 Bear in mind that the Lord has given you the Sabbath; that is why on the sixth day he gives you bread for two days. Everyone is to stay where he is on the seventh day; no one is to go out.” 30 So the people rested on the seventh day.

Ex 20:1 And God spoke all these words: Ex 20:8 "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”

Ex 34:1The Lord said to Moses, "Chisel out two stone tablets like the first ones, and I will write on them the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke.” Then this is what God said about the Sabbath. Ex 34:21 "Six days you shall labor, but on the seventh day you shall rest; even during the plowing season and harvest you must rest.

Deut 5:1 Moses summoned all Israel and said:” Hear, O Israel, the decrees and laws I declare in your hearing today. Learn them and be sure to follow them. 2 The Lord our God made a covenant with us at Horeb. 12 "Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the Lord your God has commanded you. 13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 14 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your ox, your donkey or any of your animals, nor the alien within your gates, so that your manservant and maidservant may rest, as you do. 15 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.” Moses is simply doing what God did at other times in reference to His command, expounding on it, and reminding them they were slaves and God delivered them, therefore they must obey Him.

During Nehemiah’s time, the Levites expounded (gave the meaning of) the Law to the people. Neh 8:5 Ezra opened the book. All the people could see him because he was standing above them; and as he opened it, the people all stood up. 6 Ezra praised the Lord, the great God; and all the people lifted their hands and responded, “Amen! Amen!” Then they bowed down and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground. 7 The Levites-Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan and Pelaiah — instructed the people in the Law while the people were standing there. 8 They read from the Book of the Law of God, making it clear and giving the meaning so that the people could understand what was being read.

The Law was not just the Ten Commandments, it was all the laws, commands, statutes, ordinances ect. When God said, “Do not commit adultery” He explained its meaning by giving more rules to follow, basically no unlawful sex. Jesus took all the, in detail, extensive laws, commands, statutes, ordinances ect and condensed them into two, Matt 22:35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

I fear that you have missed my point. N0 worries, let me try again, Exodus 20 and Duet 5 are the only times when God spoke the law audibly to the people of Israel. The event is recorded in Ex 20, and then retold in Deut 5 some 40 years later. It wasn’t a summary, or an additional commandment, or an explanation or exposition, it was a retelling of a historical event. An event which Moses, under the inspiration and authority of the Holy Spirit, adjusted slightly for the benefit of his hearers. That doesn’t make it a contradiction or the bible less inspired, but pretending it is not there helps no one either.

You really need to give your interlocutors more credit, @Cody_G, because paragraphs like that leave you in danger of sounding more than little patronising.

That’s not what God-breathed means.

Any good commentary or Bible dictionary will point out that the Hebrew and Greek words rendered “the Law” have a semantic range and do not refer to exactly the same thing every time it is used. For example, it can refer to the Torah (the collection), and the old covenant (the system).


I see what you mean. No need for any reasoning about it as I will deal with it. Thanks.

While interacting on a forum or just in general with any group of people, you have such a mixture, so if you’re trying to communicate to more than one, your conversation may appear patronizing to some, even though it’s not meant to be. I say the things I say in a way that will hopefully speak to a larger audience. There are those that may think the Law was only the Ten Commandments and not realize it encompasses more than those. The concept that the Israelites created the law from the customs of the surrounding unbelievers is totally contrary to the truth, so I wanted to make sure it was clear that God spoke the words and the Law was not formed from ANE superstitions. What God was doing was changing their way of thinking to His way.

In times past I and a friend went out to college campuses in our state and did open air preaching You can imagine the diversity of people in that situation, much like this forum. There are going to be outright antagonistic unbelievers, people who don’t really care and just want to live their life, false brothers and sisters, those who once believed but turned back to the ways of this world, those lacking in any real knowledge of Jesus and those who are zealous for Him. . We preached repentance, righteousness, sin and judgment and called people to turn to Jesus for salvation. As Jesus would react to different people in different ways, so do I according their attitude. One time while a friend was preaching I observed a young woman listening intently. At one point my friend spoke about woman dressing modestly, for their own sake and the sake of those around them. The young woman was wearing very short shorts and an immodest top. She started tugging on her shorts so as to make them longer, you could tell she was being convicted. Seeing this I perceived that she was humbly receiving the message, so I went and got a Christian sister and asked if she would go and talk to the young woman. We went over and the woman was receptive, so my Christian sister had a calm, gentle and profitable conversation with her. All this time the friend who was preaching had to deal with outright reprobates reproaching him and trying to cause confusion. In the end we sowed the word of God and left the increase up to Him.

On another occasion I was openly declaring repentance from sin and faith toward God on a campus when a young woman came up and began listening for awhile. She finally talked to me and said, “I am a Christian, God loves me, I am going out this weekend and party but I will go to church on Sunday and ask God to forgive me.” Of course I responded that is not what a true follower of Jesus would do. So then she asked me, “Do you allow music in your church?” The manner in which it was asked, her previous statement and her demeanor lead me to believe it was asked in an antagonistic manner. I perceived the issue was not music in church but more of a self-righteous attitude. I determined the best response was one that would convict her of sin in hopes God would work repentance in her heart. I asked her, “Do you lust after guys?” Her head fell down; she was quiet and walked away. My hope was she was convicted and would deal with the real sins, rather than strain at the gnat of music in church.

The purpose of bringing up these examples is to show that it is my duty and privilege to sow the seed but whether it sprouts, takes root and produces fruit is determined by the ground it is sown on. So as I would do out there I do hear, cast as much seed (Word of God) in hopes it falls on good soil and produces the fruit of faith and righteousness.

Fair enough, but then you and I are not really having a dialogue are we? Our conversation is more like a interactive sermon. The simple reason being you are using our interactions as a platform. When replying to a person on a forum it is curtosy to reply to the person you are talking and the arguments they are making, not the to crowds who might be listening in and what they might be thinking/believing. :slight_smile:

I applaud your evangelistic Spirit. However I have an important question to ask. In your dialogues with those on this forum, are you genuinely open to changing your mind on this issues you raise or are you hear to change the minds of others?


I take it that you say that God is the author of Ten Commandments. If so, do you keep the Fourth Commandment which says that Saturday is ordained as God’s Day of Rest?

Yes. In accordance to John 5-16 and Matthew 12-12 and other such scriptures.

Courtesy would suggest I do both.

My desire is to know the mind of Christ and to do my Fathers will.

Respectfully, that is not an answer. I’ve no doubt that every Christian on this forum has the same desire, myself included. Forgive me, it seems like a simple question -I promise you it is genuine and not a set up for a trap. Are you open to the possibility of having your mind changed on the issues discussed here on the forum?

Are you open to the possibility that Christ may sometimes speak to you through others (including even others here) to help you continue to grow in the knowledge of God and the pursuit of His will?

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It was an honest answer, sorry if it was not clear. I want my mind to be open to the truth that is from the Father and the Son. So if there are thoughts that are expressed that are contrary to mine but in line with God’s, I want to change.
Phil 3:10 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. 12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. 15 All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16 Only let us live up to what we have already attained.

As Jesus said repent and believe the good news.


Mervin, I believe my answer above to Liam will answer your question.
Thank you.

The Sabbath is the seventh day of the week and it is a day of rest. Jesus did not address the say of the Sabbath. If God set aside the seventh day as the say of rest, than how can this be changed? Isn’t this the logical conclusion of your position, that the Sabbath is God’s eternal day of rest?

The first day of the week became the Christian day of worship because it was the Day of Resurrection and the Day of Pentecost. God gave to the Jews the Old Covenant. God gave to the whole world the New Covenant of Jesus Christ. God spoke the the Hebrews in Genesis 1 about the Beginning. God spoke to us Christians in John 1 about how the Creation took place through Jesus the Logos/Word.

I do not undwerstand how some people can insist that the 4th commandment proves that God created the universe in six 24 hour days, which is not the subject of the commandment when they do not honor the Sabbath which is the subject of the commandment.

Hi Roger,
It’s not quite clear to me what point you are trying to make so I am not sure how to respond. Are you trying to say that Saturday is the Sabbath and therefore there is a certain way one must treat it?

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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