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The Bible - Historical Accuracy

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Quotable Quotes

Time and again, archaeological discoveries prove the Bible to be historically accurate - as well as scientifically accurate. Consider the following quotes...

There are more sure marks of authenticity in the Bible than in any profane history.
(Sir Isaac Newton)

I claim to be an historian. My approach to Classics is historical. And I tell you that the
evidence for the life, the death, and the resurrection of Christ is better authenticated
than most of the facts of ancient history . . .
(E. M. Blaiklock, Professor of Classics, Auckland University)

If the New Testament were a collection of secular writings, their authenticity would
generally be regarded as beyond all doubt.
(F. F. Bruce, Manchester University)

There exists no document from the ancient world, witnessed by so excellent a set of
textual and historical testimonies . . . Skepticism regarding the historical credentials
of Christianity is based upon an irrational bias.
(Clark Pinnock, Mcmaster University)

For the New Testament of Acts, the confirmation of historicity is overwhelming.
Any attempt to reject its basic historicity, even in matters of detail, must now
appear absurd. Roman historians have long taken it for granted.
(A. N. Sherwin-White, Classical Roman Historian)

A Flood of Evidence

What documented evidence supports the biblical record of the universal flood?

Flood stories have been discovered among nearly all nations and tribes. Though most common on the Asian mainland and the islands immediately south of it and on the North American continent, they have been found on all the continents. Totals of the number of stories known run as high as about 270.

Although these traditions have been modified through the ages and some have taken on fantastic elements, most of them have certain basic elements in common.

1. 88% of them single out a favoured individual or family.
2. 70% point to survival due to a boat.
3. 66% see the Flood coming as a result of human wickedness.
4. 67% speak of animals saved along with human beings.
5. 57 % record that the survivors end up on a mountain.
6. 66% indicate that the hero receives warning of the coming catastrophe.

The assertion that many of these flood stories came from contacts with missionaries will not stand up because most of them were gathered by anthropologists not interested in vindicating the Bible. Moreover, they are filled with fanciful and pagan elements, evidently the result of transmission for extended periods of time in a pagan society. A third factor is that the ancient accounts were written by people very much in opposition to the Hebrew-Christian tradition.

Most important of all the flood stories is the Babylonian account. Interest in it rises because it comes from the same Semitic context and the same geographical area as the Genesis narrative and because it is similar to the Genesis account in so many ways.

The Babylonian flood story was part of the library of King Ashurbanipal of Assyria (668 - 627 B.C.) found during the British excavations at Nineveh in 1853 and 1873. The story was the eleventh tablet of a twelve-tablet piece entitled the Gilgamesh Epic, an account of Gilgamesh's search for immortality. Gilgamesh (king of Uruk, biblical Erech) interviewed Utnapishtim, the "Babylonian Noah," and learned from him the story of the flood and his securing of immortality.

Subsequently an early Akkadian story of the flood, written in Mesopotamia about 1600 B.C. and known as the Atra-hasis Epic, and a Sumerian version of the Babylonian flood story (dating circa 1700 B.C.) have come to light. The story in all these texts is similar and the flood hero is known variously as Ziusudra in Sumeria and Atra-hasis or Utnapishtim in Akkadian.

Up Tight about the Hittite

According to the Bible a nation called the Hittites lived about 4. It suggested that they lived nearly 2000 years BC (Genesis 23:10). For a long time, people such as archaeologists and historians, said the Bible was wrong because there was no mention of the Hittites outside of the Bible.

As Napoleon Bonepart once said, "Man will believe anything as long as its not written in the Bible."

So without any documents or buried cities to support what the Bible said, people used this as another reason why the Bible should not be believed. Even Encyclopaedia Britannica contained nothing in about Hittites. Then a discovery was made of Hittite texts in 1906 (written by the Hittites themselves) at Bokaskoy, the location of Hattusha which is modern Turkey. The writings spoke of a Battle with the Hittites. The Bible speaks of a battle with the Hittites.

The next edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica contained significant information about the Hittite people! You will not have any problem finding the Hittites on a web search.

A Pagan Prism that supports Bible Belief

Why is the "Taylor Prism" so important?

Taylor's Prism, also known as the Sennacherib Prism, discovered about 1850, records Sennacherib's invasion of Judah, and mentions king Hezekiah (2 Kings 18:13-16; Isaiah 36:1).

Sennacherib was king of Assyria and Babylonia from 705 to 681 B.C., the son of Sargon II and father of Esarhaddon. He besieged Jerusalem in the days of Hezekiah. Sennacherib left copious records of his reign, the final edition of his annals being known as the Taylor Prism, and a better copy known as the Oriental Institute Prism.

These remains tell us a lot about his military campaigns, his buildings projects, his literary ability, his invasion of Judah and his death.

The account of the siege of Jerusalem has so often been quoted that only a brief portion will bear quoting: "As for Hezekiah the Judean who did not submit to my yoke, 46 of his strong, walled cities, as well as the small cities in their neighbourhood, which were without number, by escalade and by bringing up siege engines, by attacking and storming on foot, by mines, tunnels, and breaches, I besieged and took...Himself like a caged bird I shut up in Jerusalem, his royal city."

Evidently the Taylor Prism is important because it parallels so closely the biblical record of this king's conquests and life. If corroboration is needed to the biblical record, we do have three-dimensional evidence from the pagan king himself.

[Information on the flood and Hezekiah were sourced from Truth for Today by Paul Mizzi, http://www.tecmalta.org/tft301.htm]

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