“Since the creation of the world, His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead” (Romans 1:20 NIV). “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork” (Psalms 19:1 NIV).

Among the books of all religions the Old Testament (OT) canon “Bible” is original in its construct and theology. It purported that there is only one God who is the sovereign creator of all that is, was and is to come, and He breathed His book the Bible through His chosen vessels (Genesis 1:1; 2 Tim 3:16-17). The historicity of that belief, juxtaposed against the backdrop of modern scholars’ need to disprove the historicity of the Bible, thus, negating the validity of the theology of the Bible is a widespread problem and lends itself to meet a scholarly need to disprove all things theological.  Lee McDonald posited that Josephus argued for the historicity of the OT; the historicity of the OT was preserved throughout the history of Israel by the prophets (p. 110).  Therefore, giving credence to the truthfulness of the Bible and validating its content.

To claim that any part of the Bible is false purported that it is all false.  There is no middle ground. God is not a man that He should lie (Numbers 23: 19).  Archeological discoveries of Ancient Near Eastern (ANE) literature supported the historicity of the Bible and validated its contents (Eugene Merrill, Mark Rooker, and Michael Grisanti, p. 63).  Merril, Rooker, and Grisanti identified the parallels between the historical culture of the times referenced in the Bible but did not present the social structures as equal to the historicity of the Bible as dictated by God to the writers of old (p. 69).  The scholars cautioned readers that “The idea . . . that the OT is merely a human book that converted ANE mythology into another version, the concoction of Israelite poets and theologians” is a false premise (ibid).

God revealed Himself to His people through His then living servants, and He reveals Himself to us through the Bible.  Just read this Psalm of David.

1 – The heavens declare the glory of God; they skies proclaim the work of His hands.

2 – Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.

3 – There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard.

4 – Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens, He has pitched a tent for the sun

5 – which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion, like a champion rejoicing to run his course.

6 – It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is hidden from its heat.

7 – The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.

8 – The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.

9 – The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of the Lord are sure and altogether righteous.

10 – They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb.

11 – By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is a great reward.

12 – Who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults.

13 – Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then will I be blameless, innocent of great transgression.

14 – May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer (Psalm 19 NIV).

That simple psalm speaks to the sovereignty of God and His availability to all of humankind. Through His word and His creation.  There is a prevalent worldview that believes that denying the existence of God and claiming that the Bible is just a myth negates their responsibility to engage in a covenantal relationship with Him.

Merril, Rooker, and Grisanti also posited that this worldview will lead readers to surmise that the Bible is merely a book of myths or legends,  “concocted” to meet the theological need of a group of people (p. 71). On the other hand, Oswalt pointed out that one can contend that a “legend” is a false story about the past while still asserting that a “history” is a truthful rendition of the past; however when making that assertion one must posit the question “false or true according to what standard?” (p. 16). Consequently, one cannot propose that the historicity of the Bible is false without saying at the same time that the theology of the Bible is false. In concluding, it is necessary to reiterate that,

All Scripture is God-breathed [given by divine inspiration] and is profitable for instruction, for conviction [of sin], for correction [of error and restoration to obedience], for training in righteousness [learning to live in conformity to God’s will, both publicly and privately—behaving honorably with personal integrity and moral courage]; so that the man of God may be complete and proficient, outfitted and thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17 Amplified Bible AMP).

As people of faith, we contend that our faith is adequate to support our arguments against historical errors. However, history has proven that researchers cannot argue that their findings are the final word on a particular topic.  For instance, Oswalt began his discourse on the historical perspective of the “Bible and Myth” by presenting Wright, Stahlin, and Weiser’s view on the topic (Oswalt, 29). Not even a page later Oswalt iterated that opinions have now changed by citing the work of Oden, Smith, and Rogerson (p. 30). Furthermore, Oswalt contended that reliable data did not support the change in opinions, but iterated that the opinions were mere “assumptions of [the] scholars” (ibid). Of course,Oswalt was discussing the construct of the Bible being a myth; however, the premise of Oswalt‘s reasoning can be generalized to other research presented concerning the historicity of the Bible.

In addition, Merrill, Rooker, and Grisanti proffered that archeology has provided credible evidence that the historicity of the Bible is accurate; further, the scholars contended that to present an argument that the Bible is mythical and or legendary would be unduly biased (46). MerrilRooker, and Grisanti posited that archeological finds of The Merneptah Stele, The Tel Dan inscription, Dead Sea Scrolls, and the Tel Amarna letters supported the historicity of the Bible ( MerrilRooker, and Grisanti 47-48).  From a research standpoint, a believer can stand on the promise that empirical research proved the historicity of the Bible.  However, it still takes faith to believe that there is a God who is sovereign over all things and that te Bible records His words in a book penned by Him through human instruments.

Bibliography

McDonald, Lee Martin, and Lee Martin McDonald. The Biblical Canon: Its Origin, Transmission, and Authority. Peabody, Hendrickson Publishers, 2007.

Merrill, Eugene H., Mark F. Rooker, and Michael A. Grisanti. The World and the Word: An Introduction to the Old Testament. Nashville, B&H Academic, 2011. https://play.google.com/books/reader?id=9iq5AwAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&output=reader&hl=en&pg=GBS.PR4.

Oswalt, John N. The Bible among the Myths: Unique Revelation or Just Ancient Literature? Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2009. https://play.google.com/books/reader?printsec=frontcover&output=reader&id=9zgRdJy1X80C&pg=GBS.PA6.w.0.0.0.5.

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You’re Not the Only One

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