Certainly antagonists and skeptics to the bible would argue that the bible is historically inaccurate. They would argue that a quick reading of Gen. 1 and Gen. 2 would show that the bible cannot be relied upon as a historical document concerning the history of the world and man. Beyond Gen. 2 we read genealogies of men who lived well into the 900s. Speaking of genealogies, if we were to add up the dates in these records we would find that the bible reveals the earth to be somewhere near 6000 years old. Not only do scientists take issues with such claims, but so do archaeologists. Are their criticism merited, or does the word of God really stand the test of time?
According to some Archaeologists, the answer is yes. “Dr. W.F. Albright, a late professor at John Hoskins university wrote, “There can be no doubt that archeology has confirmed the substantial historicity of the Old Testament tradition (Introduction to Biblical Archeology). Millar Burrows of Yale wrote, “On the whole, however, archaeological work has unquestionably strengthened confidence in the reliability of the scriptural record… Archaeology has in many cases refuted the views of modern critics. It has shown, in a number of instances, that these views rest on false assumptions and unreal, artificial schemes of historical development (“What These Stones Mean“).
A study of ancient languages is always revealing. The earliest forms of writing, Cuneiform, appear in 38th century BC. This would clearly fit into the model revealed in the bible. In fact, it would make the earlier forms of writing appearing within a couple hundred years of the beginning of time. What is even more interesting is how the other written languages came upon the scene. Egyptian, Chinese, and several other ancient cultures began there written languages around the same time; 2000-2500 BC. This would clearly place there development not only in within the realm of the bible narrative, but also in a post flood world (more on this momentarily). History actually sides with the bible. If the Tower of Babel is true, and I am convinced that it is, then it would make since that the written language of the world would relatively appear around the same time without any relationship to one another.
Speaking of the flood account, in these ancient languages, the oldest tablets we have in our possession contain stories of floods. Even more telling is that the cultures who are not nearly as ancient, but clearly separate from these above mentioned cultures have global flood stories. In Asia, the Chinese have flood account, as did the Babylonians. In America various tribes had flood accounts, such as the Pueblos that live in the Grand Canyon (they believed that a flood caused the Grand Canyon). In Europe, in Viking mythology there is a flood account, and in Africa the Egyptians record a flood story as well. Perhaps the neatest of all is the Aborigines; separated from the world until relatively recent times (considering the history of the world), they too have a flood account. How can all these different peoples, on different continents, who spoke different languages and lived in different times all have flood stories? Is it merely a coincidence? Or, does this further testify to the validity and historical accuracy of the scriptures?
Then there is the fact that the bible continues to be proven right when the critics consider it nothing more than fables and make believe. For years the Hittite empire was doubted as actually existing. In the bible, its is mentioned mostly in passing. However, David., had a Hittite serve in his army, Uriah. Uriah’s wife Bathsheba, ultimately become the mother of Solomon. Because of the lack of evidence of such a nation in any dig, tablet, or record other than the bible, the bible was called flawed. However at the turn of the20th century the capital city of the Hittite people was discovered and we learned that the nation was just as extensive than that which the bible revealed.
Not only have cities and nations been revealed to be true and not mere mythology, but specific persons are now being found in archaeological digs. Until 1993 the great king David had no references to his existence outside of the Old Testament narrative. This led many critics to liken David to king Arthur. But, in 1993, an inscription was found at Tel Dan speaking of King David. In 1933 the royal palaces of Omri and Ahab were discovered verifying not only their existence but their reigns as kings over Israel. An Assyrian “Black Obelisk” discovered in 1846 depicts king of Israel, Jehu in subjection to the Assyrians. The Lachish letters, a diplomatic correspondence between the governors of Lachish and Sidon mentions a prophet who demoralized the people and urged them to surrender to the Babylonians. Jer. 38:1-4 records Jeremiah encouraging Israel to go to Babylon, to surrender so that their lives could be spared. In these same letters it mentions Jaazeniah and Gemariah the scribe, who are spoken of in Jer. 35:3 and Jer 36:10 respectively. Verifying the existence of not only persons of interest but also persons who played a minor part in the history of Israel.
While we will never find every biblical account verified by archaeology, the evidence is substantial that the events depicted in the pages of the bible are not mythology, but historical facts. ~WTK
Grinnell church of Christ
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Is The Bible Historically Accurate?
Volume 3 Issue 38 August 19, 2012