Balancing the Sword - A comprehensive study guide to life's manual
Perfect to frame the discussions of your family worship or a church-wide study.


Buy Now


Reading Planner

Vocabulary Tool





Study Support








Tell a Friend


Bookmark and Share


Definition of word.

author's purpose
au-thor's pur-pose

The author’s purpose (a.k.a., author’s intent) is his reason for writing. What is the author attempting to achieve by writing? Some write to preserve history, to entertain, to educate, or to persuade. Some write not for their audience but for themselves. The author’s purpose may be a combination of motives.

An author's purpose may intertwine with complex internal motives such as pride, greed, or cathartic reasons, especially those who journal or author poetry or lyrics. However, an author's internal motivation is not the primary focus of author's purpose. For example, an author may be under contract with a university which requires that he publish research papers each semester. The professor’s internal motive may be to retain his professorship. However, his author’s purpose may be to document statistical data on decomposition rates for the purpose of aiding policymakers in legislating better laws for waste disposal. Therefore, his internal motive is job security while his author's intent is educational.

How do we determine the author’s intent? Clues may be evident in the writing's tone or the author’s point of view, as the author’s point of view is often tied to his purpose for writing. The reader may have to infer an author’s objective. The style of writing may be an indicator, but most often one must extract the author’s purpose from what is written, not how it is written. If a work is well composed and achieves its aim, the original goal for writing should be easily determinable. In a persuasive essay, the author’s purpose may be abundantly clear. The apostle John stated his author’s intent in the close of his gospel unambiguously. “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name” (Jn. 20:31).  A few other examples for why Scripture was written include that people could be taught the Law (Ex. 24:12), that we could learn and receive hope (Ro. 15:4), and that the readers could know imminent future events (Rev. 1:1).

My motive for writing Balancing the Sword was to aid the average Christian in gaining a comprehensive working knowledge of the entire Bible. I've explained more of my author's purpose in an on-line article entitled, The Spark: How did this all begin?.

See tone to learn more.

Author: Allen B. Wolfe

Buy Balancing the Sword!

Balancing the Sword is a structured study guide for every chapter of the Bible.