“In view of the overwhelming mass of authentic and well-attested evidence now available, as I thought of the skeptical criticism which from the eighteenth century onward would fain have demolished the Bible altogether, there kept hammering in my brain this one sentence: The Bible is right after all.”—Werner Keller
Many skeptics throughout the centuries have tried numerous ways to prove that the Bible cannot be trusted, and one of the most notable methods is to attack the historical accounts recorded in the text. The idea was that the prophecies contained in this work had to have been recorded after the fact since they were so accurate. There were many clear Old Testament prophecies that Christ fulfilled; however, at that time, the oldest copies of scripture were produced hundreds of years after the time of Christ. The theory was that overzealous believers changed the text to make it appear that Jesus fulfilled the prophecies. In order to prove this all one needed to do was prove that the Bible was full of historical inaccuracies and then, as a result, it would prove the supernatural events of the Bible were false too. The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls nearly destroyed that argument since the writings predate Jesus by many years.
As was mentioned about the scientific concepts found in Holy Scripture, the Bible is not a history book, but rather it is His story set in the context of real world events. It is widely known that the Bible stands alone as an extremely historically accurate work. The constant attacks on its ancient record have done more to prove its authenticity and have proved the text to be a useful tool in the study of archaeology. As the old quote says, “the Bible is an anvil that has worn out many hammers.”
In Exodus there is an account of the Jewish slaves constructing buildings in Pithom with bricks made of straw. When Moses challenged Pharaoh, the slaves were forced to gather stubble for the bricks. Eventually, they made bricks without either. In the late 1800s and early 1900s archaeologists, Naville and Kyle, found buildings where the bottom section was bricks made with well cut straw. On top of these were bricks with less straw and containing stubble. The top layer of bricks contained no straw. The Bible record was clearly accurate.
I remember well studying the Hittite Empire when I was a sophomore in high school. For centuries, the only record of this people was in scripture. Several critics cited this as an example of biblical exaggeration since no record could be found anywhere and the Bible claimed it was a large empire. However, during an excavation in 1876 evidence was found of this civilization and the Word of God was proved to be true again. Today, we have overwhelming knowledge of this once great empire.
The book of Isaiah mentions a king from Assyria named Sargon. It was the only reference to him found anywhere in antiquity, and again skeptics concluded this was proof of the Bible’s lack of trustworthiness. In the 1840s the palace of Sargon was excavated by archaeologist, PE Botta. This discovery proved that this prophetic book was written at the time it claimed to be written. Why is this important? Isaiah mentioned a Medo-Persian king, Cyrus, specifically by name over 100 years before his reign!
The New Testament too has proven to be just as accurate. The books of Luke and Acts were both written by Luke who was a physician. As most doctors would do, Luke was extremely detailed in his record keeping of the events surrounding the time of Christ. Many would be attackers saw several very specific but undiscovered historical details in these works as being proof that these records were not written by an eyewitness of Jesus’ and the early churches time period, but the critics felt that they were written one to three hundred years later. As always, archaeologists have now proven these specific details to be an extremely accurate account of the time when God’s Son walked this planet.
The Bible truly is an amazing work, and it gives every reader a special invitation to become a part of His story through child like trust in the atonement purchased at the cross.
“I prefer to believe those writers who get their throats cut for what they write.”—Blaise Pascal