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The Bible, Ancient Myths or Word of God?

By Larry R. Lasiter

1996

Is the BIBLE trustworthy, or is it only a collection of ancient myths and legends? It claims to be the very Word of the Creator, but how can we know for sure?

Why it so important to know? Well, because the Bible itself speaks with great authority and teaches that all who will live by it will receive eternal life, and all who will not submit to its writings will ultimately perish in the flames of the Lake of Fire!

If you are skeptical yourself, you may be astonished to learn that there are over 80,000 accounts of a worldwide flood among the various cultures on the Earth. How is it that so many peoples, tribes and tongues would have a worldwide flood recorded in their own histories if it had not happened? It's hard to find a people on this planet that does not have it in its history. One of the most famous is the "Epic of Gilgamesh".

In the 1850's a British Archaeological team discovered 12 large clay tablets as they excavated the ancient city of Nineveh. These 12 were among more than 20,000 other tablets found, but the 12 told the story of a worldwide flood that so closely resembled the Biblical account it was uncanny. It told of a man named Utnapishtim, in the Babylonian tongue, constructing a massive ship at the command of God. Afterwards, he loaded the seed of all living things, the beasts after their kind and finally his family.

The story goes on to say that after the flood the ship came to rest upon a mountain called Mt. Nisir. Obviously, "Utnapishtim" represented "Noah" and "Mt. Nisir" represented "Mt. Ararat".The names are different because the Epic of Gilgamesh was written in the Chaldean language and the Biblical account in Hebrew.

 

Evidence From the Earth's Strata

In the 1920's Sir Charles Leonard Woolley led a team of archaeologists to search for and excavate the ancient city of Ur. Ur was the city that the Bible says God called the ancient Patriarch Abraham out of to follow Him. Many historians did not believe that Ur had ever really existed up to this time since the only record was in the Bible. But when they found the city it could be no accident because even the bricks made to build it had the name "Ur" stamped into them.

But the archaeologists found something they weren't expecting, -evidence of a massive flood.

Notice this quote from "The Bible As History" by Werner Keller, -"Now Woolley and his associates had, through their tireless and patient efforts, made a discovery that shattered even the experts. A vast catastrophic inundation, resembling the BIBLICAL FLOOD, which had regularly been described by skeptics as either a fairy tale or a legend, not only HAD TAKEN PLACE but was, moreover, an event within the compass of history. At the foot of the old staged tower of the Sumerians, at Ur on the lower Euphrates, anyone could climb down a ladder into a narrow shaft and see and touch the remains of a gigantic and catastrophic flood which had deposited a layer of clay almost ten feet thick. Reckoning by the age of the strata containing traces of human habitation, and in this respect they are as reliable as a calendar, it can also be ascertained when the great Flood took place. It happened about 4000 B.C."

Prophecies Prove Bible Accurate

Isaiah was inspired by God in 712 B.C., BEFORE the Jews were carried into captivity by the Babylonians that there would be a DECREE issued for them to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the city.

Over 100 years later the Babylonians conquered Judah and carried them away to the land of the Chaldees. 70 years later the Medes and the Persians joined forces to attack and conquer Babylon. The Jews were then under Persian rule. The King of this world ruling Empire was Cyrus the Great. Under his rule the Jews were allowed to return to Jerusalem and begin rebuilding. The Books of Ezra and Nehemiah record the details of this.

But what makes this so remarkable, is that God had prophesied this to occur about 150 years earlier through the mouth of Isaiah.

And so that there could be no mistake, God even named the King who would issue this decree that allowed the Jews to return. Notice Isaiah 44:26-28, -"Confirming the word of His servant, and performing the purpose of His messengers. It is I who says of Jerusalem, She shall be inhabited! And of the cities of Judah, They shall be built. And I will raise up her ruins again. It is I who says to the depth of the sea, Be dried up! And I will make your rivers dry. It is I who says of CYRUS, -He is my shepherd! And HE DECLARES of Jerusalem, -SHE SHALL BE BUILT. And of the Temple, your foundation will be laid." Notice also Verse 1 of Chapter 45, -"Thus says the Lord to CYRUS His anointed, whom I have taken by the right hand to subdue nations before him."

God not only foretold exactly what would happen far in advance, but even gave the name of the King who would issue the decree before he was even born.

Prophecies of the Messiah

Isaiah described how the Messiah would not answer His accusers while on trial.(Isa.53:7) How He was not imprisoned overnight, but rather given a quick, illegal trial (vs 8). How He would be put in a rich man's sepulchre (grave) (vs 9), and even in dying would ask for the forgiveness of those putting Him to death.(vs 12).

Now notice the fulfillment of these Scriptures in the Gospel accounts. Matthew 27:13-14, -"Then Pilate said to Him, "Do You not hear how may things they testify against you?" And He did not Answer him with regard to even a single charge so that the governor was quite amazed."

Matthew 27:59-60, -"And Joseph (a rich man) took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his own new tomb, which had been hewn out in the rock."

Matthew 26:15-16, -"What are you willing to give me(Judas Iscariot) to deliver Him (Jesus) up to you? And they weighed out 30 pieces of silver. And from then on he began looking for a good opportunity to betray Him."

Hundreds of years earlier the Prophet Zechariah foretold this betrayal by Judas Iscariot

Notice Zechariah 11:13, "And I said to them, -If it is good in your sight, give me my wages; but if not, never mind! So they weighed out 30 shekels of silver."

Luke 23:34, -"But Jesus was saying, "Father forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing."

The New Testament is literally filled with the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies concerning the promised Messiah. Far too many for this small article.

Testimony of Christ's Apostles

Notice this quote from "Has the Bible Been Preserved Accurately" by Neil Earle, -"Consider this: Who in 1980 could write a biography of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and claim that the late American President rose from the dead in 1945? Who would believe such a hoax and stick to it for a lifetime? The allegation could easily be refuted by relatives and witnesses, still living, who knew the truth. Who would die for such a fraud? Yet the Apostles suffered and finally were martyred for their beliefs."

One by one the Apostles gave their lives rather than renounce their testimony that Jesus Christ was indeed the promised Messiah, was the Son of God the Father, and had been cruelly crucified and arose from the grave on the third day.

Now notice this personal testimony from the Apostle Paul. 1 Corinthians 11:24-27, -"Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren; I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure."

What a powerful testimony!

And after enduring all these things our beloved brother Paul was beheaded in Rome!

Before he died, he wrote the church at Rome and told them that the sufferings of this present age is not worthy to be compared to the glory to come.

My friends, many have died fighting for conquest, freedom or survival through the ages, but these men of God willingly laid down their lives for the hope of glory tomorrow, in what the Bible calls the Kingdom of God.

 

 

Points of Truth Ministries