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  • Dr. Jim Broffitt

Were murders involved in writing the Bible?

Would you be surprised to learn that about 30% of the Bible was written by murderers -- Moses, David, and Paul?  


Moses is generally credited with writing the first 5 books of the Bible (Genesis through Deuteronomy), although there is debate about Deuteronomy since the last 8 verses discuss Moses' death.  There are people who write their own obituaries so it is certainly possible that Moses penned these verses after God told Moses he would die and not enter the promised land.  It is also possible that they were written by Joshua who took over leading the Israelites after Moses' death.

The killing of an Egyptian:

Exodus 2:11-12 (NIV) 11  One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to where his own people were and watched them at their hard labor. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people. 12  Glancing this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.

A few verses that refer to Moses writing these books:

Exodus 17:14a (NIV) 14  Then the LORD said to Moses, "Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered 

Numbers 33:2a (NIV) 2  At the LORD's command Moses recorded the stages in their journey.   

Deuteronomy 31:24 (NIV) 24  After Moses finished writing in a book the words of this law from beginning to end,


The book of Psalms contains 150 psalms, and most were written by King David. Bathsheba was a beautiful woman who was married to a soldier named Uriah.  David had an affair with Bathsheba and she became pregnant.  To cover up his sin, David sent for Uriah to come home and enjoy some R&R with his wife. However, Uriah slept at the door of the palace and refused to go home to his wife because his fellow soldiers, who were camping in the open country, couldn't enjoy the same privilege.  So, David plotted to have Uriah killed.

The killing of Uriah (Note -- Joab was commander of the army):

2 Samuel 11:14-15 (NIV) 14  In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it with Uriah. 15  In it he wrote, "Put Uriah in the front line where the fighting is fiercest. Then withdraw from him so he will be struck down and die."

Although David didn't hold the sword (or whatever weapon was used), David arranged for Uriah's death, so David was guilty.


Paul wrote 13 letters (which became books in the Bible) -- in biblical (but not chronological) order, Romans through Philemon.  The author of Hebrews is unknown, but many think it was also written by Paul.  Paul started out life with the name Saul, but it was changed to Paul sometime after Jesus appeared to him in a vision (see Acts Chapter 9).  Saul was a pharisee (a Jewish religious leader) who was intent on destroying the followers of Jesus. After he became a believer, he was a changed man and worked diligently under extreme persecution to build up the church. During his missionary journeys, Paul was beaten, stoned, shipwrecked, imprisoned, and finally executed in Rome.

The killing of Stephen and Saul's efforts to annihilate the church:

Acts 7:54-60 (NIV) 54  When they heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. 55  But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56  "Look," he said, "I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God." 57  At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, 58  dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59  While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." 60  Then he fell on his knees and cried out, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." When he had said this, he fell asleep.

Acts 8:1-3 (NIV) 1  And Saul was there, giving approval to his death. On that day a great persecution broke out against the church at Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. 2  Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him. 3  But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off men and women and put them in prison.

Perhaps Saul didn't actually hurl a stone at Stephen, but he was there orchestrating Stephen's murder.

I started to write about reasons why you can trust the Bible, but I fear that if I make these essays too long, you won't read them, so I'll save most of that for another time.  The above, however, is one reason.  If the Bible is fabricated, a giant hoax, you would think the perpetrators wouldn't use murders to write a major portion of it.  Although Moses, David, and Paul were sinners like you and me, they were courageous and effective servants of God, and they are greatly revered by all Christians. 

An important point to take from this is that God's love for us is so amazing that His grace will reach down to the lowest of sinners.  There are people who think they have done such horrible things that God will not forgive them.  Not true.  We are all sinners, but God provided a way for us to be forgiven so we can live with him for eternity.

Romans 3:23 (NIV) 23  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Romans 6:23 (NIV) 23  For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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