March 3, 2014
“What evidence is there for the Bible?”
“Can it be trusted?”
“Is it historically reliable?”
These are questions we often ask of the Bible and they are very important questions.
However, it seems that many of those who ask these questions today do so without any desire to genuinely investigate the historicity of the Bible. Often they’ve already decided that it is unreliable and therefore not to be taken seriously. Sadly, the extent of many people’s investigation into the Bible goes no further than YouTube clips of their favourite sceptics.
Last week several of us from Cornerstone Church decided to do a Bible tour of the British Museum.
Our friends at Day One Ministries provided an excellent tour guide to take us around the museum which contains over 8 million objects spanning the history of the world’s cultures: from the stone tools of early man to twentieth century prints.
We spent most of the morning exploring the ‘Middle East’ and ‘Ancient Egypt’ galleries. Then after lunch we moved upstairs to explore the ‘Ancient Greece and Rome’ section.
It was fascinating to see the wealth of historical artefacts from across the ages testifying to the truth of the Bible.
On the ground floor (room 9), for instance, there is a series of beautifully crafted panels from Nineveh, the capital of the ancient Assyrian Empire.
According to the Biblical record, Nineveh was a wicked and immoral place. It was well known among the nations for its violence, cruelty, lust and above all idolatry (worshipping false gods).
In the book of Nahum God promised that he would destroy Nineveh for their rebellion and immorality: ‘There the fire will consume you; the sword will cut you down— they will devour you like a swarm of locusts,’ (Nahum 3:15).
Shortly after this oracle of judgement the Babylonians, the Persians and several other nations descended on Nineveh and in 612BC it was utterly destroyed.
It was very moving to see the black scorch marks staining the panels from the ancient city. A haunting reminder that the Lord keeps his promises. Nineveh was consumed by fire.
For 5 hours we studied hundreds of artefacts, all of which confirm what the Bible teaches with sparkling accuracy. And according to our guide that was a mere half of the material we could have examined!
On our lunch break I approached our tour guide and asked him: ‘How do you react when people accuse the Bible of being an unreliable book of stories?’ He responded by saying it was very sad to see that so many people today can’t be bothered to seriously investigate it for themselves.
If you have never properly examined the historical evidence for the Bible, let me encourage you to book yourself on to one of these tours. It’s not quite as quick as a YouTube clip, but it’ll be thoroughly worthwhile!
By Tom Sweatman