Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Is The Bible a True Record of God's Word?

 All the evidence points in the affirmative. By far the most telling sign of authenticity is that, from the start, the earliest Scriptures record the terrible blunders, mistakes, and murders of the Hebrew people. From Adam and Eve's shameful fall to Cain and Abel to Judas and Peter's betrayal of Jesus Christ, it's often very ugly.      

Brutal honesty is rare in most literature, and especially in the histories of powerful men and women. If you're an historian and your subject doesn't enjoy what you wrote, your life is at stake. This never applied in the Old Testament. Monstrous Jewish leaders, male and female, committed heinous crimes of all kinds, even sacrificial child burning at times. King Ahab and his wife Jezebel (871 B.C.) rejected God and worshipped Baal, a demon of evil. It's all written down, the good and bad. 

The Bible's authors are all unknown, and they must have wanted it that way so they and their families would survive. And survive they did. At one time there were many dozens of ancient Middle Eastern tribes; the Canaanites, Hittites, Amalekites, Jebusites, and more. Only the Israelites survive, as God promised Abraham in Genesis, the first book of the Bible; which means, "the book of books". 

Other religions are loaded with flattering and flashy stories of human royalty and their successful military victories; gods and goddesses cavorting among themselves and frequently using and abusing people for entertainment; and numerous, confusing creation tales that can't be true or proven. The Code of Hammurabi (1752 B.C.) predates Moses and the Ten Commandments, and is a laudable exception. But it's secular, not based on moral principles or anything like the Word of God. It's a very long and useful set of laws that reflect King Hammurabi's will. The God of the Israelites speaks with a singular will that his human creation must treat Him and each other with respect and love because, "I am the Lord thy God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage."  In other words, He wants us to be free; He's the singular source of all morality; He knows each of us, and we should never worship anyone or anything else.  This is the first ethical monotheism in human history. 

All our modern human frailties, weaknesses, temptations, foibles, and embarrassing failures are displayed accurately in the Bible's 5,788 year-old record. So too are the enormous deeds of goodness, courage, skill, valor, and love. Courageous women particularly stand out. Miriam and her servants saved the infant Moses from execution. There's also Ruth, Judith, and Queen Esther who saved the whole Jewish nation from extermination. It's a powerful message, that our human nature has barely changed in the whole span of history. No other Scriptures come close to the Bible in completeness. There are vastly more sinners than saints. All the world's great authors drew from it, and  still do. 

The complete Hebrew Bible is called the Tanach, and it includes the Torah; from Genesis all the way through Malachi. From there the New Testament records the lives and deaths of those who came to be called Christians. Initially it was an insult hurled at Jesus' disciples and His later apostles. 

Genesis describes God's act of creation, which more and more is being shown to be in accordance with material science. The so-called Big Bang, for example, is miraculous beyond all reason. The hierarchies of matter, light, water, earth, and early primitive life - the "days" of God - coincide with modern research. At the same time, Charles Darwin's evolution theory and all the analysis of fossil discoveries since have turned out to be unsupportable. One of the greatest geneticist/mathematicians in the world proves this:

But, you may ask, how do we know the Bible is even authentic? Maybe it's just a recent invention?  The first evidence of Hebrew letters date back to ca. 1500 B.C. and were found in the Sinai Peninsula. They were carved in stone during the time of the Exodus, and are known as the Serabit el-Khadim Inscriptions (Link)

The earliest Old Testament writings we have are sheets of silver foil inscribed with the Priestly Benediction from the Book of Numbers, Chapter 6:24-26 ("May the Lord Bless you and keep you. May the Lord let His face shine upon you...") dating from the 7th Century B.C., known as the Ketef Hinnom Scrolls, found in a burial cave.

The Dead Sea Scrolls are the second-most ancient writings from the Old Testament. There are 230 manuscripts dating from 250 B.C. onward. Letter for letter they agree with other complete testaments from 1000 years ago. From the most ancient times, Jewish scribes demanded that every hand written copy (the first printing press wasn't invented until 1440) must be letter-for-letter perfect. A major problem for writers in ancient times was that papyrus (the earliest kind of paper) is a plant fiber that can't last very long. Only stone, sheet metals, and fired clay can last for thousands of years, and these were used also to establish the truth of ancient Israel. Fortunately, there are archaeological discoveries being made every year in the Middle East and the Holy Land that reaffirm many of the Bible's descriptions of people, places, and events:

Of course, there are many doubters in the academic and social realms, but their credibility can be judged by asking them one question, "Do you believe in God?" If they don't, then no amount of evidence will have any effect on them. Next, ask them, "Do you believe in the Judeo-Christian God?" If they answer no, we can ignore their opinion. Their minds are closed to Truth. 

Aside from the truthfulness of the Bible, the second most common complaint is it's seemingly male-oriented view. The Lord is referred to as "He", and many women feel threatened by the "patriarchy", which supposedly is the source of most evil. But this complaint is actually groundless, and here's why:

Have you ever wondered how the Bible could be correct when modern scientists claim they've accurately dated the age of the earth at 4.5 billion years? God created the earth about 6,000 years ago, according to Biblical reckoning. 

You may be shocked to discover that there's a huge body of evidence proving that modern radiometric dating (the accepted scientific method of determining the age of rocks) is wildly inaccurate. Rocks from recent lava flows at Mount St. Helens, Washington; and New Zealand's North Island have been taken to multiple laboratories for radiometric dating (which measures radioisotope decay) and the tests claimed the 40 to 60 year-old rocks were several billion years old. Modern science is based on many faulty assumptions: