Is the Bible True? - Archaeology
Is the Bible true? Not only does the Bible miraculously foretell the future, it also recounts the distant past with great accuracy. As such, archaeology has been a source of great vindication for the Bible. In Josh McDowell's classic treatise on the historical evidences supporting the Bible's veracity, renowned archaeologist Nelson Glueck is quoted as saying, "It may be stated categorically that no archaeological discovery has ever controverted a biblical reference." (McDowell, Evidence that Demands a Verdict, Here's Life Publishers Inc., 1979, p. 65.)
Consider, for example, the biblical account of Israel's exodus from Egypt. Pharaoh, Egypt's monarch, chased the Israelites with an army of chariots, cornering Israel at the Gulf of Aqaba (the Red Sea). God miraculously parted the Red Sea allowing Israel to pass through over a land bridge. The Egyptians followed in close pursuit, but after the last Israelite made it across, God released the parted water and drowned the Egyptian army. Archaeologists have discovered a number of evidences vindicating the Bible's exodus account, including chariot wheels embedded in coral along the land bridge at the bottom of the Red Sea. (Exodus Revealed, video documentary by Discovery Media Productions.)
Is the Bible True? - The Authors
Is the Bible true? Consider the integrity of the Bible's authors -- men who claimed to be inspired by God. Take for example Luke, who authored approximately one-quarter of the entire New Testament. Luke is regarded as an authoritative historian -- one of the greatest of antiquity. Dr. John McRay, Professor of New Testament and Archaeology at Wheaton University in Illinois, explains, "The general consensus of both liberal and conservative scholars is that Luke is very accurate as a historian. He's erudite, he's eloquent, his Greek approaches classical quality, he writes as an educated man, and archaeological discoveries are showing over and over again that Luke is accurate in what he has to say." (John McRay, quoted by Lee Strobel, The Case For Christ, Zondervan, 1998, p. 129.)
Sir William Ramsey, one of the greatest archaeologists of modern times, declared, "Luke is a historian of the first rank." (Sir William Ramsey, The Bearing of Recent Discovery on the Trustworthiness of the New Testament, 1915, p. 222.)
Now, let's consider the martyrdom of many of these authors. According to sources and traditions outside the Bible, many of the Bible's writers died brutal and horrible deaths in defense of their written testimony. In fact, all but one of the New Testament's authors were executed for proclaiming and defending their testimonies (John was spared, but forced into exile by Roman Emperor Titus). Of course, martyrdom in itself is not unique -- many people throughout history have died willingly for their beliefs. What makes the New Testament authors' martyrdom special is that these men were in a position to know the truth of their written accounts.
Think about it -- no one knowingly dies for a lie! For example, the September 11th suicide hijackers may have sincerely believed in what they died for, but they weren't in a position to know whether their beliefs were absolutely true. The hijackers put their faith in religious traditions passed down over many generations. In contrast, the Bible's martyrs were in a position to know the truth. They were eyewitnesses to the historical events they recorded. Either they saw what they claimed to see or they didn't -- plain and simple. Nevertheless, these men clung to their testimonies, even to their brutal deaths at the hands of their persecutors, and despite being given every chance to recant their stories. Why would so many men knowingly die for a lie? They had nothing to gain for lying… and everything to lose.
Is the Bible True? - Judge For Yourself…
Is the Bible true? For those of us who don't believe that God inspired the Bible, how do we explain it? What compelling reason do we have to reject the Bible as God's divine revelation to man? We should lay aside our philosophical disposition, examine the evidence objectively, and weigh the facts for ourselves… And then ask: Is the Bible true?