Christians including Jehovah's Witnesses sincerely believe the Bible is a direct communication from God to man. That the bible-- being a perfect book, written by forty writers all inspired by God-- has remained unchanged for thousands of years. This claim, when made by a layman, shows his ignorance on the subject, and when made a religious authority is dishonest and misleading.
The Bible was not handed to mankind by God, nor was it dictated to human stenographers by God. What we know as the "canonized" bible was not assembled in anything like its present form until the 3rd century by a council of Catholic bishops (although it was still debated for centuries after). They chose which books should be included in the bible, which books were inspired by God, by vote, just as we might vote on a law.
According to Professor John Crossan of Biblical Studies at DePaul University the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great (a pagan who believed in many gods), who was the first Roman Emperor to convert to Christianity, needed a single canon to be agreed upon by the Christian leaders to help him unify the remains of the Roman Empire that was falling apart. Until this time the various Christian leaders could not decide which books would be considered "holy" and thus "the word of God" and which ones would be excluded and not considered the word of God.
Emperor Constantine, who was Roman Emperor from 306 CE until his death in 337 CE, used what motivates many to action - MONEY! He offered the various Church leaders money to agree upon a single canon that would be used by all Christians as the word of God. The Church leaders gathered together at the Council of Nicaea and voted the "word of God" into existence. The Church leaders didn't finish editing the "holy" scriptures until the Council of Trent when the Catholic Church pronounced the Canon closed. However, it seems the real approving editor of the Bible was not God, but Constantine! One can easily argue that the first Christian Bible was commissioned, paid for, inspected and approved by a pagan emperor for church use. Later, in 382 AD under the emperor Theodosius, all other gospels were considered heresy, were banned or buried, their owners arrested and sometimes killed.
The Gospels according to Thomas, Jade, James, Peter, and the Gospel of the Hebrews, of the Egyptians, of Perfection, of Judas, of Thaddeus, of the Infancy, of the Preaching of Peter, of the Shepherd of Hermas, the Epistle of Barnabas, the Pastor of Hermas, the Revelation of Peter, the Revelation of Paul, the Epistle of Clement, the Epistle of Ignatius, the Gospel of Mary, the Gospel of Nicodemus and of Marcion were all not considered inspired (or inspired enough). They did not get voted in. There were also the Acts of Pilate, of Andrew, of Mary, of Paul and Thecla, and many others. If the bishops at the Council of Laodicea in 365 had voted differently, millions of Christians would have believed differently.
This begs the question; since Jehovah's Witnesses made their own translation of the Bible (The New World Translation), why did they accept the Bible canon as put together and voted on by Catholic Bishops and a Pagan emperor? It would only seem reasonable for them to make their own canon, and possibly include some of the missing books that were voted out by the Bishops. They highly tout the Dead Sea Scrolls as proving the bible had not changed, but you won't hear them mention that most of these missing books were also found in the cave with them.
We HIGHLY recommend that you watch the videos on this subject below:
Biblical Mysteries Explained: Lost Gospels
The Gospel of Judas
Banned from the Bible (The History Channel)
Banned from the Bible ll (The History Channel)