The Historical Accuracy of the Bible
There are many topics that can be discussed to show that the Bible is historically accurate. Since my last post was on Noah’s Flood, I will focus on that. If the flood was universal, which I believe it was, than other cultures would have something to say about it.
Genesis 7 and 8 tell us of the destruction of the world by a great flood. To many, the story of the flood is actually a recording of ancient myths. However, we have much evidence outside the Bible to show that the flood was a reality and that the Bible is true. Notice the flood traditions of ancient peoples. One scholar lists 88 different traditional accounts. Almost all of these agree that there was a universal destruction of the human race and all living creatures by a flood. Almost all agree that an ark or a boat was the means of escape. Almost all are in accord in saying that a seed of mankind was left to perpetuate the race. Many add that wickedness of man brought about the flood. Some even mention Noe. Several speak of the dove and the raven, and some discuss a sacrifice offered by those who were saved. To anyone familiar with the biblical account, the similarity is astounding. The universality of this tradition is such as to establish that the biblical flood was not a figment of someone’s imagination.
In 1872, George Smith, discovered the now famous Babylonian flood tablets. In these, a certain person was told to build an ark or ship and to take into it seed of all creatures. He was given the exact measurements and was instructed to use pitch in sealing it. He took his family into the boat with food. There was a terrible storm which lasted six days. They landed on Mt. Nazir. He sent out a dove. It came back. He sent out a swallow. It came back. He sent out a raven and it flew back and forth over the earth. When these people were safely out of the boat, they offered sacrifice to the gods. The account differs from the Bible in some particulars, but is so much in agreement with the Scriptures as to make one wonder how the historical nature of the flood could be questioned.
Furthermore, archaeology has found positive evidence of a great flood in some ancient cities. At Susa, a solid deposit of earth five feet thick was found between two distinct civilizations. The nature of the deposit establishes beyond doubt that Susa was completely destroyed by a flood which was not merely local. At Ur, the ancient home of Abraham, a similar deposit of water laid clay eight feet thick was found. This deposit clearly shows that Ur was destroyed by a flood of such proportions that is must have been a vast flood such as the one of the Bible. Further evidence could be presented, but this should be sufficient to demonstrate that the Biblical flood was a reality.
Again, Luke 2:1, mentions “Caesar Augustus” as the ruling monarch of the Roman Empire. In Luke 3:1, we are told that John the Baptist began his ministry in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar. This shows that Augustus was no longer on the throne. Still later in Acts 25:21, we find Paul appealing his arrest to Augustus. A superficial reading might lead us to suppose that the Bible contradicts itself. But on close examination, with other known facts, we find that the emperor at that time was Nero, whose full name was Caesar Augustus Nero. Of this Albert Barnes says, “The reigning emperor at this time was Nero. The name Augustus properly denotes that which is venerable, or worthy of honour and reverence. It was first applied to Caesar Octavianus, who was the Roman emperor in the time when our Saviour was born, and who is usually called Augustus Caesar. But the title continued to be used of his successors in office, as denoting the veneration or reverence which was due to the rank of emperor.”
The attacks upon the credibility of the Bible have served to make stronger, not weaker, the conviction of every lover of the true Word of God.