- Did the book claim divine authorship?
- Was the book a product of God speaking through a mediator?
- Was the human writer identified as a spokesman for God?
- Did the human writer have the prophetic gift?
- Was the book historically accurate?
- Was the book a record of actual facts?
- How was the book received by the recipients?
There are three periods in Israel’s history when it was recorded that the writings were viewed as divine. The first was at the receiving of the Torah. Six hundred thousand men acknowledge that the words were from God and committed to obey them.
- All that the Lord has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient! - Exodus 24:7
The second period was during the reforms of King Josiah. The Book of the Covenant was read before the people. The people accepted it as divine and committed to obey it.
- The king made a covenant before the Lord, to keep His commandments and His testimonies and His statutes.. to carry out the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people entered into the covenant. - 2 Kings 23:3
The third period was during the rededication of the Post-Exilic Temple. Ezra read the Scripture to the people. The people wept and committed to obey it.
- For all the people were weeping when they heard the words of the law. - Nehemiah 8:9
Ezra collected the inspired books and ordered them as the Law, the Prophets, and the Psalms (i.e. the Writings). Jesus’ use of the phrase, the Law, the Prophets, and the Psalms shows His acknowledgment of the Old Testament canon.
- Now He said to them, These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled. - Luke 24:44