Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Are Some of the Stories in the Bible Simply Fables (i.e. Jonah and the Whale, the Tower of Babel, Noah’s and the Flood, Adam and Eve)?

The short answer to the question of whether or not any of the stories in the Bible are fables or not is no they are not fables and they actually happened. The next logical question I’m sure you’d ask is “how do we know?” So I will continue and answer that question. Dozens and dozens of books have been written on how we can trust the stories in the Bible as truth, but I will just look at a few of points made.

First, we know that the Bible tells us all of the events are true. 2 Timothy 3:16 says “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness.” This means we can trust that all the Bible is true, even the parts we don’t understand.

Secondly we know that the Bible (both the Old and New Testament) is without errors (minus a few very minor copyist errors dealing with large numbers). The Old Testament we have today is the same Old Testament that was used and quoted by Jesus. The New Testament we use today is the same one that was compiled shortly after Jesus' death. We have found more manuscripts for the Bible than any other ancient text. In fact, there are over 24,000 manuscripts (or parts of) of the Bible while the second closest number is 643 manuscripts of Homer’s Iliad. By having this many manuscripts we can compare them and see that the Bible has not been changed over time.

A third factor we can use to trust the Bible is from non-biblical sources. There are many records of ancient Jewish and Roman historians who were NOT Christians, yet wrote about Jesus and his followers. Sociologists (those that study people groups) have noted that almost every major ancient people group has some type of story that is similar to the Bible’s account of Noah’s flood. People who study languages seem to agree that we can trace back all languages to one root language. This would be consistent with the Bible’s account of the Tower of Babel.

A fourth factor we can use is archeological evidence. When archeology became recognized as a reputable method of science less than a hundred years ago, atheists were sure it would prove the Bible was wrong. Actually, just the opposite happened. Thousands of discoveries have proven that events the Bible claim In fact, the Bible has been viewed as being so accurate that I’ve heard reports that people from the National Geographic Society (which is NOT a Christian organization) will sometimes use the Bible to help them in their archeological digs. I would also like to mention that no archeological discovery has ever been able to directly contradict a Biblical account.

We should not be surprised by all of this evidence pointing to the accuracy of the Bible. Our God is wonderful God who would never lead us astray. When we read about stories in the Bible that seem hard to believe, we must remember that they seem hard to believe because they are miracles. The very definition of a miracle requires direct action by God. It shouldn’t be surprising that when God acts, it appears as something way different from our ordinary lives

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