Sunday, June 26, 2011

In our Sunday lesson, I want to delve into the incredible accuracy of the Old Testament. Although the Bible has been relentlessly attacked by unbelieving scholars for more than a century, it still stands as the most accurate and authoritative book ever written.

Evidence from historical inscriptions and manuscripts discovered in the last century prove that the Word of God is inspired. Although we will never be able to verify every miniscule piece of data, the overwhelming evidence will provide any reader with the confidence that we have established the credibility of the greatest book ever written!

For example: Critics denied that Moses could have written his account in the fifteenth century before Christ because they claimed that writing was not yet invented. However, the discovery by archeologists of numerous ancient written inscriptions, including the famous black stele containing the Laws of Hammurabi written before 2000 B.C., have conclusively proven that writing was widespread for many centuries before the time of Moses.

The Greek historian Herodotus discussed the Exodus in his book Polymnia, section c. 89: "This people [the Israelites], by their own account, inhabited the coasts of the Red Sea, but migrated thence to the maritime parts of Syria, all which district, as far as Egypt, is denominated Palestine."

It is an interesting note about Herodotus is that he was a secular historian. In his own history, he wrote, "my business is to record what people say. But I am by no means bound to believe it." We can also note that he was extremely careful and accurate in his recording of historical fact.

Another interesting note is that Strabo, a pagan historian and geographer who was born in 54 B.C., also confirmed the history of the Jews and their escape from Egypt under the leadership of Moses. He wrote, "Among many things believed respecting the temple and inhabitants of Jerusalem, the report most credited is that the Egyptians were the ancestors of the present Jews.

An Egyptian priest named Moses, who possessed a portion of the country called lower Egypt, being dissatisfied with the institutions there, left it and came to Judea with a large body of people who worshipped the Divinity." (Strabo, Geography, lib.xvi.,c.2).

Many critics have also suggested that such a dry desert area as the Sinai could never have supported the huge flocks of sheep of the Israelites as recorded in Exodus. In 1860, W. Holland explored most of the Sinai Peninsula. Despite the present conditions, he found some areas that would still support large herds and that at one time the peninsula itself was formerly thickly wooded. (W. Holland, Recent Explorations in the Peninsula of Sinai, 1869)

by Bonnie Calhoun