Bev Ellis, an Australian book store owner was understandably upset when a customer told her a strange man had been defacing many of the store’s Stephen King books by writing in them. She was surprised to catch up with the man in a nearby Woolworth’s and find out that it was Stephen King himself, who had autographed the books (World, September 18, 2007).
Having bought many used books over the years, I am always irritated to find that a previous owner has underlined or highlighted the book, but I am glad to find a book that has been autographed by the author. I realize that defacing the book by underlining lowers the value, but the autograph of the author increases the value.
It would be marvelous if “Original autographs” [the original manuscripts] of some of our Bible books could be found among the thousands of extant manuscripts, but apparently none have ever surfaced. Verification of an original autograph would be a sensation in the archaeological world, no doubt.
Paul apparently used a scribe to write down most of his epistles, although he indicates several times that he personally wrote down a part. “Ye see how large a letter I have written unto you with mine own hand” (Galatians 6:21). “The salutation of Paul with mine own hand, which is the token in every epistle: so I write” (2 Thessalonians 3:17).
Moses told Israel, “the LORD delivered unto me two tables of stone written with the finger of God; and on them was written according to all the words, which the LORD spake with you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly” (Deuteronomy 9:10).
Every page of the Bible demonstrates the autograph of God. It is more than coincidence that the longest chapter in the Bible, Psalm 119, is devoted to praise for the written word of God. “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105).