Several of the books of the bible are named for the people (e.g. John, Paul, etc.) on whose writings that book is based, or even written by that person. Also, we know that the books of the bible were decided upon at a meeting* of senior clergymen.
How did Christians reconcile this as “the word of god” when so much of it was written, edited, and/or compiled by mortal humans?
more likely a series of meetings and written exchanges over several years.
If someone speaks something that is true, then are they not speaking the word of God?
It is true that Paul left his cloak, and it’s also true that Paul would like it back.
In Christianity, Jesus is God. Therefore, any word he speaks is the Word of God.
Do you think Jesus ever had a conversation with someone else about something menial? When he was working in the carpenter shop with Joseph, do you think he might have said something like “could you hand me that wood planer, please?”
Was every word that Jesus spoke booming, profound, and deep? I think not. The Word of God can be just as much found in the simple as it can in the profound.
Okay, maybe I should have left it as “early christians”. Modern christianity considers the bible as a collection of metaphors, lessons, what-have-you, but even just a few centuries ago, (as I understand it), they considered it the literal truth. They were constantly trying to make scientific discoveries match up with the bible (e.g. the pope’s librarian famously wrote an essay saying the rings of Saturn were where Jesus left his foreskin).
Is this a whoosh? I would say any one of probably a billion different ways.
And word of mouth would be one of the least desirable options if I wanted to ensure the message was conveyed accurately and in a way that receivers would have good grounds for believing was divine.
How early? Which Christians? It’s important to take into consideration that the earliest Christians were not a single, coherent group; that very few people at that time were literate; and that both Judaism and early Christianity had a strong oral tradition. There was no consensus, let alone a “meeting of clergy” at that time.
Both Christianity and the Christian (Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox before the Schism) canon evolved. To understand the evolution, you’d have to study the time period and the beliefs and views of the the cultures where early Christianity began. (So would I. I find this stuff interesting but am no expert.) One thing that is clear is that early Christians did not interpret the Gospels literally. As Hugh Houghton, Director of Research in Theology and Religion at the U. of Birmingham (UK) put it,
There are still many, many, many people who believe the Bible is literally true. And there are still many, many, many people who will willfully disregard empirical evidence that does not conform to their religion.