Myth or Real: The Bible is Nonfiction
At the end of yesterday’s devotional, I referred to the scripture (Bible) as Truth. But is it? Most Christians believe it is. After all, The Bible says so.
Using deductive reasoning, if the Bible is inspired by God (II Timothy 3: 16-17), and if God is Truth (Isaiah 65: 16; John 14: 6; John 16: 13); then The Bible must be true.
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (II Timothy 2: 15 KJV)
Therefore, we Christians, by faith, believe it to be so. This is not a negative thing, in my opinion. Christians are not disillusioned or crazy, but perhaps some may be unaware of other proof that is available to them.
When you’re talking with non-Bible believers, you can’t quote scripture and really expect them to accept it, can you? And simply giving them the above passages will most likely not change their mind. After all, logically (which is how most people think), The Bible cannot be true just because The Bible says so.
Just as Paul’s letter to Timothy suggests, we as Christians, should study, so that we are able to answer these kinds of questions, and not be ashamed. In these situations, we need to be able to give a practical explanation of why The Bible is more than a fictional novel. So, let’s find out how.
While we can look at multiple prophecies listed in Isaiah that were fulfilled in the New Testament (i.e. Jesus’ virgin birth [Isaiah 7: 14; Matthew 1: 23] as well as accounts of His death [Isaiah 53: 5-6, 8, 12; Matthew 27: 26-31, John 1: 29, I Peter 2: 24]), it seems that historical evidence would best demonstrate The Bible’s reliability to a non-believer.
Such as in the book of Isaiah, a major prophet, of whom “the nucleus of material is attributable” and was “a citizen of Jerusalem in the 700s BCE” (Bandstra, 2004, p.299). Isaiah prophesied of a ruler Cyrus that would conquer a supposed impenetrable Babylon, free the Jewish people, and restore the temple (Isaiah 13: 17-19; Isaiah 44: 28)
“I will raise up Cyrus in my righteousness: I will make all his ways straight. He will rebuild my city and set my exiles free, but not for a price or reward, says the Lord Almighty.” (Isaiah 45: 13 NIV)
The Bible records this prophecy fulfillment in the Old Testament book of Ezra, but an inscribed cylinder of Cyrus, as well as a further inclusive inscription found in Ur (Mesopotamia), gives historic evidence as it accounts Cyrus’ victory over Babylon in 539 BCE and “corroborate[s] many of the details in Ezra 1: 1-5 describing Cyrus supporting the Jews in returning to Judea from captivity to rebuild the Temple in 537 BCE” (Suren-Pahlav, 1999). This ancient history validates these events, which occurred 150 to 200 years after Isaiah had even lived, thus sufficiently demonstrating that The Bible contains both non-fictional accounts as well as foresight.
After reviewing not only the scriptural, but also historical evidence, I hope we’re all ready to answer for The Bible, without shame or doubt.
Myth or Real: REAL
Bandstra, B. L. (2004). Reading the Old Testament: introduction to the Hebrew Bible (4th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadworth, Cengage Learning.
Suren-Pahlav, S. (1999). Cyrus the Great: The Father & Liberator. Retrieved April 27, 2016, from The Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies: http://www.cais-soas.com/CAIS/History/hakhamaneshian/Cyrus-the-great/cyrus_the_great.htm