Day 6: The world’s most reliable ancient document – Part 2c

If the history is wrong the claim is wrong.

Bible References (NIV)

Devotional

The Bible verses you read today were selected because they each refer to people or places that sceptics of the Bible once tried to say never existed. That was until archaeology showed that they did!

During the past couple of hundred years sceptics of the Bible have wanted to undermine trust in the Bible. Many archaeological excavations were undertaken with a bias as a result.

For some quick examples, Bible critics used to say that the Babylonian siege against Jerusalem (which you read about in 2 Kings 25) didn’t happen in the late 6th century BC like the Bible describes. That was, until pottery shards with ancient Hebrew scripts on them were uncovered 30 miles southwest of Jerusalem describing that very siege.

Bible critics even used to say that King David was just a mythical figure, despite the many accounts of his life in the Scriptures and strong cultural traditions. Then fragments of an ornament were found verifying that he was indeed 10th Century king, well known to his neighbours, exactly as is written.

For a more recent example, Bible critics have suggested various places mentioned in the New Testament never existed. For example, the Pool of Siloam where the man born blind (John 9:1-7) went to wash and was healed. Then in 2004, the pool was accidentally discovered by men digging a sewer. Its excavation was completed in 2023, after which it was opened for public viewing.

Today there are more than 25,000 dig sites in connection with Biblical times and places — and they’ve proven again and again that the Bible’s accounts of history are accurate.

Nelson Glueck, a famed archaeologist of Jewish descent summarised, “It may be stated categorically that no archaeological discovery has ever controverted [denied] a biblical reference. Scores of archaeological findings have been made which confirm in clear outline or exact detail the historical statements in the Bible.”

In the video clip you are about to watch you’ll hear more — including comments from sceptics who investigated the matter, who were surprised by what they found.

Why then the continuing scepticism toward the Bible by various academics — as is still commonly echoed within public media and education? As the video clip also states — it is the miracles! If a person doesn’t believe in a God or spiritual realm, then for them, ‘miracles cannot happen’. They therefore conclude that the Bible’s accounts have to be unreliable — irrespective of the evidence.

Yet if a God or spiritual realm does exist, miracles are possible! So it is noted, 95% of the people on our planet are spiritual at some level.

In summary: The Bible claims to be a record of the history through which God has made himself known to us. This makes the historical reliability of the Bible’s accounts important — and as it happens, strong evidence exists to show that they are.

The significance is that, if God really has been revealing himself to us, we now know something new. Not only that God is good. He can be known!

The world’s most reliable ancient document – Part 2c — 5mins

Reflection questions

  • Why is archaeological evidence important?
  • To revise: How many archaeological dig sites now exist in connection with Bible times, combining to further verify the reliability of the Bible’s historical accounts? (over 25,000 sites)
  • Given the amount of evidence there is to suggest the Bible is reliable, why might some continue to criticise the Bible – while blatantly ignoring this evidence?
  • What most convinces you that the Bible is a reliable record of the history through which God has revealed himself to us?
  • What story or illustration might you be able to share with someone else, to prompt them to consider that the Bible is a book of history?

For prayer

“Thank you, God, for engaging in history in ways that left a trail of evidences we could check through archaeology. You knew the kinds of questions we would ask. Thank you.”

related topics

coming up in our next devotion

Day 7: The World’s Most Prophetic Book – Part 3a

The Bible’s many hundreds of predictions are also very bold. With 5000 years of Bible history behind us, we can investigate to see whether the predictions came true. What we are, therefore, given is a way of testing whether the Bible does have the Divine hand of God behind it!

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