Here’s a question you might ask yourself: how much evidence would be enough to satisfy me in demonstrating the Bible as inerrant and perfect in its historicity, and that it is the unique Word of God? Many scholars and ordinary people seem to be demanding, without saying it out loud, that we would need to see recorded footage of the historical events in order to believe the Bible as history. This underlying assumption belies an extreme skepticism which, in order to be consistent, would have to question whether George Washington was really the President of the United States. Is this a description of you? This thinking masquerades as “intellectualism” but is actually shown to be a hard-core presupposed assumption that there can be nothing supernatural in this here cosmos.
Is that you? Do you scoff at the miraculous parting of the Red Sea because “things like that don’t happen”?
If you are a hard-line skeptic, then I suppose even if I could show you film footage of Jesus rising from the dead, that you would object that it was a re-enactment and a hoax. Therefore, I am mainly speaking to those of you who have an open mind to think critically and honestly about the evidence and beauty of the historical and theological records in the Bible. Once the prejudices one is holding have been challenged and discarded, there opens up a cosmic vision of glory and beauty and pleasure which would be impossible for the hardcore skeptic.
So let’s interpret the nature of the Bible… One of the more fascinating ways to check the history of the Bible is to study archaeological finds from the Middle East. A good sampling of sources claim that there are more than 25,000 archaeological finds which confirm just the Old Testament history. Keep in mind that the great majority of the Bible is narrative which can be placed in an historical setting – a specific location, people, and set of events. This opens it up to being scrutinized for accuracy against the archaeological record, (and by the way is a very bold move if you are trying to create a fictional story as if it were true) . You would think that if the biblical authors were making it all up as myth, that there would be scads of digging which would turn up the truth of the matters and overturn the Bible as a reliable history of the cosmos.
Yet that doesn’t happen.
Infamous 19th century atheist skeptic Sir William Ramsay decided to once for all prove the Bible wrong by attacking the book of Luke, archaeologically. His forays into the Middle East and ancient Greek world turned him into a Bible believing Christian after every archaeological study he attempted proved Luke to have been accurate to the greatest detail.
As an example, the Book of Mormon on the other hand is filled with faulty history, even claiming that the Native Americans are the descendents of the Israelite Jews. The Quran also shows itself to be definitively human as the author did not even know what the Christian doctrine of the Trinity was, over 500 years after the completion of the New Testament; claiming that the Trinity according to Christians was Father, Son, and Mary. If the God of the Quran truly was God, then do you think he would know what Christians had believed and preached for hundreds of years?
With all of our archaeological work, we continue to find evidence corroborating the biblical record. 40+ authors writing over the course of 1,500+ years starting almost 4,000 years ago, and their witness is found to be accurate and true. Wow! I love the Bible and its unified, glorious interpretation of the cosmos. Have you looked through it by faith? Or are you continuing to presume that for the Bible to be truly God’s Word, it would have to be truly simple, non-supernatural, and filled with video recordings of the events it depicts?
Besides all of the exciting physical, historical evidence for the biblical record, there is the overriding power of its composition. If and because it is the true, unique Word from the unique God, it is therefore able to transform people as they read it and believe it. This is the witness of God’s Spirit.
In my next post, I will begin to commend the Bible to you as not only the supreme lens through which to interpret the cosmos in general, but the only true and undefiled lens through which to interpret your own self. When you see yourself through the lens of God’s Word, you can also see the beauty and glory of the entire story of redemption, and how it applies to you. I hope you are hungry for delicious, fulfilling truth.
Thanks for reading,