Historically Accurate Bible

This entry is part 499 of 507 in the series Inquiring Minds

What’s the most historically accurate writing in the Bible?

The short answer is… all of them. But we must understand that the Bible is first a book of faith. It is about believing in God before anything else. Therefore, every believer believes the Bible is God’s Word.

God inspired the writing of the biblical books. There are several theories of inspiration, but I believe that God wrote the words he wanted the writers to use through the Holy Spirit. If God spoke it, and God is not a liar (Numbers 23:19), then everything he said is accurate.

There are also allusions, and every once in a while, one of the biblical writers will use an example from other cultures in the Bible. Paul references poetry by a Greek poet. Jude talks about the book of Enoch. But it does not make these things inspired. It just makes them examples for the writers to connect with their current culture.

One of the psalmists talks about the sun running its cycle from east to west. Scientists with more information in our day made fun of this because if the Bible was written by God who has ultimate perspective, the psalmist would have talked about our solar system and where the sun actually is and the earth is.

But if he told these ancient Israelites that type of information they would not understand it. They had their own cosmology and understanding of how everything worked. And their current understanding at that time was the newest and most accurate science according to that day.

The same thing happens when people try to understand the cosmologies of Genesis 1-2, asking questions about objects in the skies instead of how the ancient Israelites would have viewed the cosmos.

Every book of the Bible that points to historical events is accurate according to the writer of that time. What I mean by this is that they recorded history in their cultures and times differently than we do today.

They were more interested in the events themselves rather than the academic details and exactness we rely on today. Think of the Civil War era. There’s been a lot written on the Civil War. But there are things we don’t know and people we have no idea about.

The Civil War was only 160 years ago, and they did not record history the way we do today. Even they did not have the exactness that we demand in our Western naturalist and scientific society. We want to know every little thing but the Bible was not written to give us every little historical detail.

The Bible is a book of faith. Everything that’s written according to history is accurate. But it is written there to tie the story of faith to human history. The people in the Bible are real people who lived at points throughout human history.

For instance, Abraham is a real man who existed, and his journey to faith described in the Bible is accurate to historical events but the main story is not the history it’s attached to. The story of faith is what’s important.

Archaeology becomes an extremely important discipline to the Bible because it literally unearths the fact that the Bible is true to the history and geography it references. For the longest time archaeologists did not believe the story of Jonah because they could not find Nineveh.

But they have recently found what they believe to be the city of Nineveh. The Bible was right and they were wrong until they discovered the city. Another example is Sodom and Gomorrah. Because they were utterly destroyed, burned to the ground, archaeologists could not find any evidence of them.

But they’ve recently found black discs about where Sodom and Gomorrah should have been. They had to dig down to find a layer of ash in the soil record. So disciplines like archaeology and gathering historical facts from other cultures will help to confirm what the Bible says is accurate.

Like everything else in the scientific disciplines it will take time for us to find the things we are looking for. Other ancient cultures and civilizations have written about amazing things we have not found yet. The city of Atlantis comes to mind.

As a Christian, I wait for the sciences of history and archaeology to catch up to what the Bible says was there when it was there. These places were contemporary with the authors who wrote in the Bible at the times they existed. But now they have been buried under thousands of years of dirt and rock. We are rediscovering what was obvious to the biblical writers at the time of their writing.

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