- The Bible Says Jesus Was Real. What Other Proof Exists?
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The sacred Scriptures were written by some forty different persons, over a span of about 1, years. These authors, from a variety of cultural and educational backgrounds, writing in three different languages Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek , produced a volume of sixty-six books that is characterized by such an amazing unity and beautiful continuity as to be inexplicable on the basis of human origin.
No serious student of this matter can fail to be awed by this vast body of consistent evidence that can only argue for an inspired document. Moreover, there are countless instances of minute agreement between the biblical writers in matters of history, culture, geography, biography, etc. Those who would explore this point further are encouraged to study J. If the Bible is the verbally inspired word of God, one ought to be able to expect it to be absolutely accurate in the various areas of subject matter upon which it touches.
Works that are strictly human—no matter how scholarly or painstaking the authors—are always characterized by unintentional mistakes which betray fallibility. For example, when the famous Tacitus penned his renowned History and Description of Germany, it was flawed with so many errors that modem scholars are shocked.
When the Encyclopedia Brittanica was first published, it contained so many mistakes regarding places in America that the publishers of the New American Cyclopedia issued a special pamphlet exposing the blunders of its rival! The Bible, though, is always amazingly accurate in its historical and geographical details.
For example, biblical evidence indicates that Moses authored the Pentateuch cf.
The Bible Says Jesus Was Real. What Other Proof Exists?
Exodus ; Mark This is confirmed by Josephus Against Apion , I, 8 , and a number of pagan writers—Hecataeus, Manetha, Lysimachus, Eupolemus, Tacitus, Juvenal, and Longinus—all credit Moses with the laws that distinguished the Jews from other nations cf. Critics once scoffed at the mention of the Hittites in the biblical narratives cf. Genesis ; Supposedly, they never existed! After years of research, literally digging up the evidence, Ramsey was forced to conclude that Acts was historically accurate. In Acts, Luke mentions thirty-two countries, fifty-four cities, and nine Mediterranean islands.
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He also mentions ninety-five persons, sixty-two of which are not named elsewhere in the New Testament. And his references, where checkable, are always correct. This is truly remarkable in view of the fact that the political and territorial situation of his day was in a state of almost constant change. In his monumental work, Lands of the Bible , J. McGarvey observed that there are hundreds of instances in which the Bible can be checked for accuracy in such matters.
For example, are the Scriptures always topographically correct? Are compass references accurate? The prophet Isaiah based the credibility of his message on the validity of predictive prophecy. To the promoters of idolatry in his day, he issued a challenge:. Exactly what is predictive prophecy? Thomas H. Study this narrative carefully and compare it with history! But after that is accomplished, Jehovah announced that the Assyrians themselves would be destroyed , History reveals that that is exactly what happened cf. When the kingdom of Judah lapsed into a state of spiritual decay, the prophets announced that Babylon would arise to punish them Jeremiah ; Habakkuk and indeed, to captivate them for seventy years Jeremiah The history of those events is available for all who care to read it cf.
Daniel In 2 Kings , we are informed that Sennacherib, the king of Assyria, came up against the fortified cities of Judah and took them Assyrian records indicate that forty-six cities were captured. It was prophesied, however, that he would not be able to take the city of Jerusalem 2 Kings Considering this is not a problem anywhere else in Genesis much less the other historical books of the Bible , it leads one to believe that there is not a real distinction here either, and that the earlier commentators were right: Genesis is both literal and symbolic.
Even in the Old Testament, the prophet Isaiah provides more than sufficient evidence that the theology and history of Genesis are inseparably joined. He quotes God Himself saying that the doctrine of creation is the primary reason He can be trusted in all matters, including His control of world events.
It is obvious that Biblical authors were familiar with the text of Genesis and saw how it connects to the real world. This is why their views must come prior to recent attempts at re-interpretation through the discovery of Ancient Near Eastern texts such as the Gilgamesh epic, Enuma Elish, or others. If anything, these texts are confirmation that the ancient pagan world retained something of its memory of the global flood and the world before it.
When, however, one looks at the Biblical text in comparison with these pagan documents, the differences are significant. From the transcendence of God, to the consequences of moral choices for the created order, to the realistic presentation of people and events, there are an overwhelming number of indicators, both within the early chapters and within other parts of the Bible, that Genesis is a literal account of history.
This is the perspective of Jesus and His disciples.
Besides what has already been said, here are a number of additional reasons why Genesis 1 should be seen as literal history formed by God with symbolic intent:. This is the common vocabulary we see in ancient times, medieval times, and modern times. Wherever these words are used in other parts of the Pentateuch or other historical narratives of the Bible, we interpret them as referring to normal time. God ad intra does not have days. Creation is an act proceeding outwardly from God…. Appealing to the eternal Sabbath is also of no avail.
What one must show is another place in Scripture where a first, a second, a third day, etc.
The most well-known of these is integral to the Fourth Commandment. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God…. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
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Genesis provides what one would expect at the beginning of a universal history: a record of what actually happened in the beginning. The observation that God provided an account so different in structure and content from other literature in the Ancient Near East is testimony that He gave them the one accurate account, especially considering they were surrounded by Egyptian creation stories. Genesis 1 and 2 are narrative history, as can be seen in the way events flow from one to another through chapter 3 and forward.
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God does not make a chain of solid gold, in which the first link is a floral wreath. If the creation history is an allegory, then the narrative concerning the fall and everything further that follows can also be allegory. The writer of the Pentateuch presents his work entirely as history. We must therefore call their work history. And the graveyards are full of people who prayed to him for health. As is the case with other incorrect statements in the Bible, false prophecies cast doubt on all biblical claims.
Historians have long known that the biblical story of a worldwide flood is a myth. For instance, Andrew White says nineteenth-century Egyptologists found that Egypt had a flourishing civilization long before Noah, and no flood had ever interrupted it.
The book of Exodus claims to contain a historical record of the escape of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. But historians and archaeologists have been unable to verify any of the events described in the book. No known Egyptian records refer to the biblical Moses, the devastating plagues God supposedly inflicted on the country, the escape of the Hebrew slaves, or the drowning of the Egyptian army.
The book of Esther purports to describe how a young Jewish girl named Esther was chosen by the Persian king Xerxes I to be queen after he had divorced Vashti. Although historians know a great deal about Xerxes I, there is no record that he had a Jewish queen named Esther or was married to Vashti. Additionally, the book of Esther describes the Persian empire as having provinces, but historians maintain there was no such division of the empire.
The book of Daniel describes events that supposedly happened during the Babylonian captivity of the Jews. The fifth chapter states that Nebuchadnezzar, the Babylonian king, was succeeded on the throne by his son Belshazzar.
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But historians tell us Belshazzar was not the son of Nebuchadnezzar and was never king. In contrast, historians know that Cyrus of Persia took Babylon. In the New Testament, the second chapter of Luke asserts that shortly before the birth of Jesus, the emperor Augustus ordered a census throughout the Roman world.
Luke claims that every person had to travel to the town of his ancestors for the census to be taken. He identifies the census as the reason for Joseph and Mary traveling from Nazareth to Bethlehem, where Jesus is said to have been born. In his book Gospel Fictions, Randall Helms says this type of census was never taken in the history of the Roman Empire. According to Genesis chapter 1, Adam was created along with the rest of the universe during the course of one week.
The Bible thus views the human race and the universe as having existed for a relatively short period, probably no more than several thousand years. Historians and scientists give a much longer historical record. Matthew chapter 2 avers that shortly after the birth of Jesus, King Herod ordered the massacre of all male children two years of age or under in Bethlehem and its vicinity.
Matthew alleges that while Jesus was on the cross, there fell over the whole land a darkness lasting from midday until three in the afternoon. Andrew White explains that although Romans such as Seneca and Pliny carefully described much less striking occurrences of the same sort in more remote regions, they failed to note any such darkness occurring even in Judea.
Finally, the previously discussed contradictions can be cited as examples of historical inaccuracies. In each instance where the Bible contains a contradiction about an alleged historical event, at least one of the accounts is wrong. The Bible writers were poor historians, let alone conveyers of messages from an infallible God.
There are other reasons why the Bible should not be considered the word of God. Some people use Bible verses to justify beating children, withholding medical treatment, handling snakes, drinking poison, chopping off body parts, plucking out eyes, driving out demons, withdrawing from the affairs of this world, renouncing the pleasures of life, and expecting the world to end. Many compelling and morally sound reasons support the Humanist position that the Bible is not divinely inspired. Instead of being inerrant, the Bible has far more errors and immoral teachings than most other books. By treating this mistake-ridden book as the word of God, humanity has been led down many paths of error and misery throughout history.
In too many ways, the Bible continues to produce such results. But in some cases, the errors caused by the Bible have been corrected and the harms have been stopped. This happened when a scientific approach was applied to problems.