Concerning the unusual style of Scriptures, Baxter pointed out the following:

There are five areas in which the style of the Scriptures is impressive:
  1. The brevity of entire books.
  2. The brevity of Bible incidents.
  3. The omissions of the Scriptures.
  4. The impartiality of the Scriptures.
  5. The calmness of the Scriptures.1

This reference from 1971 now is only available as a used book.  Therefore, I will summarize Baxter's thoughts.


Considering the material they cover, the books in the Bible are very brief.  The first 2500 years of recorded human history is summarized in Genesis.  One issue of almost any magazine will give more information than what is contained in Genesis.  The Gospels are brief accounts of Christ's life among us.  No published autobiography or biography today would be so brief.  The author of the Bible is unique.


Information is very compact in the Bible.  Major events, such as Christ's birth, baptism, and transfiguration are covered in only a few verses.  Christ's appearances after his resurrection from the dead are very brief, and no single gospel describes more than 4 of at least 10 of these.  The conversion of Paul and especially the death of James the brother of John (Acts 12:2) are both brief.  Compare the extremely short phrase concerning Christ's crucifixion (Matt 27:35) to such movies as Mel Gibson's film, The Passion of Christ.  The author of the Bible is unique.


The Gospels are very brief.  For example, neither Mark nor John mention anything about the first 30 years in Jesus' life.  John told of only 20 days in Jesus' life.  All the Gospels tell of only 34 days in His life.  Other ancient literature is not so brief.  Acts is centered around events in the lives of Peter and Paul, but not the other apostles.  It in interesting that there is no physical description of Jesus in the Gospels.  Clearly the Biblical writers were writing under restraint.  However, what was written is sufficient for our faith (John 20:30-31; 21:25).  The author of the Bible is unique.


This is a dramatic difference between the Bible and other ancient books of biographical nature.  Those others exalted their heroes and never said anything negative about them.  However, the Bible describes both the virtues and the sins of the heroes and heroines.  For example, Abraham lied about Sarah, Sarah lied about laughing, David committed adultery and murder.  James and John wanted to call down fire from heaven on a Samaritan village that didn't welcome Christ and his apostles, and they also requested positions of authority over the other apostles.  Peter denied Christ three times.  The impartiality of the Scriptures is obvious, and its marked difference in this regard from other ancient sources is striking.  The author of the Bible is unique.


Whether the Gospel writers were describing something of awe or joy or sadness, their language was calm.  There is no colorful language or excessive description.  Christ's death and resurrection and ascension are all described in the same calm manner.  This is striking, and we must admit that there is a vast difference between the Bible and other ancient or modern books.  The author of the Bible is unique.


The dramatic difference in style between the Bible and other ancient or modern books is outstanding.  This can only be explained by a radically different kind of author, a kind of author inspired by the Holy Spirit.

  1. Baxter, BB. I Believe Because: A Study of the Evidence Supporting Christian Faith.  Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, MI, © 1971, pp177-183.